Thursday, May 1, 2014

Sun City Was Never Designed To Be 55+ Only


Has Sun City Core Become Obsolete?

The Price of Un challenged Corruption 

For those of us are old enough to remember the ‘60’s, life was very different than it is now.  The mere thought of computers seemed like living in a Buck Rogers story.  People were not as environmentally aware, then.  Most families made do with one vehicle. 

The Sun City Civic Association (SCCA) is the name of the Home Owner’s Association that manages 4,762 units in an area it calls the Core.  Sun City is a residential community founded by Del Webb in the mid ‘60’s as an adult only community of age 18+.  It was founded that way so the developer could avoid building schools or being assessed for the cost of building schools. Look it up at the Sun City Library.  There is a book written about the founding of Sun City by Del Webb.
Buyers were told that CC&R’s would protect their property values and assure their purchase would be a good investment.  The CC&R’s adopted by Del Webb were modified boiler plate restrictions written for condominiums built in the “60’s without land. Landscaping standards then were “minimum maintenance”.     Thus most of the 4,762 homes were landscaped with rocks, green painted perma rock, or any other horrible substance that could be glued or painted in front and back of the Core homes that could substitute a nice cool green lawn.  In those days they traded beauty for no maintenance.  Who was around to challenge the reality of the CC&R’s or that ugly landscaping was better than unwanted maintenance as long as buyers bought into the Core.  These were the ideas of 46 years ago which are still accepted as Gospel in the Core today.  

The people who bought into the Core were considerably younger, healthier and more energetic when they first bought their $22,000 to $35,000 price range homes (which even in those days were a great bargain).  For many it was an opportunity to own property they could not afford anywhere else.  What made their purchase even more attractive was what SCCA calls the campus with its swimming pools, hobby shops, and other amenities.  Not having to spend any time on maintenance free landscaping meant the residents had more time to play and golf.  These were amenities that prior to Del Webb’s Sun City were really only affordable to the higher economic brackets of society.  Finally people who could barely afford to own their own homes were enjoying amenities they never imagined possible in their impoverished lives.  

The people who became the seven SCCA Board were popular and gave little cause to be challenged. Suddenly people who never enjoyed any status were big shots. They thought Sun City Core was the Beverly Hills of Riverside County. 

The titleholders of SCCA’s only source of information about their--then very isolated community was The Core Courier.  Anything that was said in the Core Courier was accepted as Gospel.  There wasn’t any one around with either enough knowledge or enough guts to challenge the The Courier and the Sacred Seven Board Members of SCCA who served for twenty straight years.  The Boards power then was absolute.  They did, said, and ruled as they chose unchallenged.  

As time passed, the residents grew old, tired, and sickly.  Less and less members used the facilities. More and more became apathetic due to ill health and old age.  Less members on important issues.  Those who did vote didn’t understand the full impact of what they were voting. The residency turnover in Sun City has never been a large enough percentage to replace the loss of vital voters.  A good guess might be that about 40% of the original buyers still live in their homes.   The SCCA Board had to continually reduce the number of voters to make a quorum.  Very few new residents who bought in the 90’s and 2000’s have been interested enough in the Campus and SCCA clubs and activities. 

The Board grew more powerful and more corrupt as less and less people challenged them.  They arbitrarily began to claim Sun City was a senior only community even though it was not. No one challenged them.  In 1997, the CC&R’s still permitted residents 18+ to live in the Core. The sacred seven (SCCA Board) began to worry that it might get discovered they were not a 55+ only community and decided to correct the situation. That is when Jean Roberge began "project 55" and illegally recorded with the County Recorder that the majority of the Residendeces voted to amend the CC&R’s to the age restriction of 55.  No one challenged her—not the county recorder’s office that had no reason to challenge her, not the titleholders who didn’t understand what she did, and not HUD, FHA, or the media, ever had the courage to challenge this illegal age restriction.  One man by the name of Doug Gibbs who sued the county and won.  SCCA claimed he lost. 

Who would have imagined way back then that just about every household would eventually own a PC, at least three vehicles, HDTV, two cell phones, and working on “living green.”  It is now the Twenty first century, and there are thousands of new homes built right to SCCA borders.  These homes are designed for today’s living styles with computer rooms, large walk in closets and master baths, three and four car garages, special wiring for cable, ceramic tile and hardwood floors, environmentally compatible, and best of all beautiful landscaping with green grass instead of rock and green painted rock.  Today’s home buyers want the benefits of these up to date amenities.  The new home builder’s feature them.  

It is like traveling in a time capsule when driving from one of the new communities into the Sun City Core.  The difference is immediately shocking.  Suddenly there are less trees, green grass is gone, and there is very little landscaping.  The roofs are composition instead of tile.  Many need painting, patching, and tender loving care.  Many more look as if the front door hasn’t been opened in ten years.  There are more single car ports and less garages, and the streets look abandoned—no walkers, no dogs, no children, no toys, no people, no interest, no love, no joy, no life.  It looks like a city of the living dead.  Sun City Core is a Hamlet unto itself in the center of its own imaginary universe it created 46 years ago. 

These are the ideas SCCA are still trying to enforce 50 years later without regard for the changes in life styles, new family neighborhoods built to the core’s borders,  increase of population, SCCA is now under governorship of the city of Menifee, todays' cost of living has risen by 40%and modern day cost of living, the need for older families to assist their younger families, and the fact the CC&R’s are obsolete. Though it appears they get away with it, much of SCCA’s actions have been illegal, That the 55+ only restriction was established illegally. The 55+ only restriction is a liability to the property values of SCCA Core. Except for invasion of senior privacy 55+ only fails to offer one senior benefit. It still fails to keep children from the senior only community as the residents enjoy abundant visits from their grandchildren which means those children hating residents still have to suffer children making noises of joy and happiness. 

SCCA continue to enforce CC&R’s.  It concerned itself less with titleholders’ rights and more with absolute control of titleholders.  It was so impressed with itself it posted signs all over Sun City saying “We enforce CC&R’s here.” Now, SCCA Board which is more interested in personal power than the highest and best interest of the residents of Sun City Core, wants to persist in keeping Sun City an illegal 55+ community, continue harassing people with obsolete CC&R’s, prevent the area from being upgraded and updated by permitting families to move into Sun city. 




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