Modification to the String Lights Policy
After many requests the HOA board refuses to make any modifications to the current lighting policy to benefit all homeowners of Fireside. We feel the current policy that is in place does not reflect that actual views and opinions of the majority of the community. These lights are not only practical but add to the overall ambiance and security of the community.
We currently have 2 strands of the string lights attached to three permanent poles (under 10 FT) that light up our 5 hole putting green in our backyard. Because we have a view fence these lights are visible (though minimal). Our lights blend in very well with our backyard and natural back drop of the surrounding area. These lights are not a nuisance to our neighbours. Also we are on a corner lot and are far enough away from sidewalk that this should not be a reason for our application to be denied. They do not devalue our home, our neighborhood or the community. These lights are not on a timer and the only time these lights are turned on is when we randomly use our putting green at night-less than 20 times per year. Our floodlights and security lights that are approved within the guidelines of the lighting policy of the DRC are much brighter and our turned on every night to help light up our home and make it as secure as possible trying to prevent burglars etc.
It is infuriating to me how many homes in the community have these lights approved because they are attached to a pergola or because they don't have a view fence. We have been fighting it out with the board and nothing seems to work. The policy used to state that you could have these lights if it covered a sport court, once we submitted that stating out putting green should be considered a sport court they removed that from the policy (how convenient and denied us). Just because they are attached to a pergola or some residents don't have view fence doesn't change the visibility. Though these lights are attached to a pergola or in backyards that don't have a view fence they can still be seen at night when walking around the community, to us this very unfair and biased.
Recently the board came out and said one of the reasons why the board will not revise the policy at this time is because "The current policy that is in place is in line with the Maricopa County and City of Phoenix Dark Sky Ordinance" however on May 2014, Brad Lundmark (former Manager of Fireside at Norterra and current On-site Community Operations : AAM LLC ) stated" After thorough discussion the consensus was that the Fireside at Norterra community is not considered a Dark Sky community and homeowners may need to get accustomed to seeing lighting from their neighbors property"
The current policy states:
Direct Lighting, where the light goes directly from the source to the area lit without reflection and is not concealed or diffused is not permitted. Rope lights, string lights, aerial stringing of lights, and lighting on view fencing, and walls is not permitted. Exceptions are (a) in a private courtyard where the lights and apparatus cannot be seen by neighbors (b) for the temporary display of holiday lights as described in Section M (c) rope lights or string lights that are affixed to approved, permanent structures may be used in backyard areas as long as the lights and apparatus are not directly visible to neighbors or pedestrians in public thoroughfares (d) exterior lighting must be uncoloured, and soft.
The Policy is very limiting and biased. Changes need to be made so it is equal and benefits all homeowners of the Fireside community.
We are urging the board to make modifications to the current policy to allow ALL residents the option to hang string lights.
Suggested Policy Modification... however we are open to any suggestions that other residents might have and will bring forward at the next board meeting.
Rope lights, string lights and aerial lights are permitted under the following conditions.
a) Attached to a permanent structure
b) do not exceed a certain amount of feet (TBD)
c) must be uncoloured and soft