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Over the last year, I have written a number of critical commentaries on the state of the landscaping in the Stevenson Ranch community. It has not improved. In fact, it has deteriorated further and there has been a complete lack of leadership or action to correct the problems. Instead everyone is finger pointing—laying blame on each other instead of finding a viable solution.

In the meantime, the landscape maintenance district (LMD), which is operated by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works (DPW), continues to syphons off at least 40%, if not more, of resident’s fees on an ineffective administrative structure. In essence, DPW is taking the LMD fees and not providing the level of service that is called out for in the contract. The LMD has been in breach of the contract since at least the beginning of 2016—they are ripping off the community. There is no other way to say it if the DPW LMD is taking fees but not providing the level of service that was contracted for—it is theft.

The Stevenson Ranch Community Association (HOA) for its part is charged with managing that LMD contract and has done little to correct the situation over the last eighteen months plus other than offer up excuses and throw blame. And of course, the HOA has thrown away more of resident’s monies on ridiculous signage that states drought tolerant landscaping will be installed along the Stevenson Ranch Parkway mediums in September, 2016. What an embarrassment.  

Someone at the HOA should at least cross out the 2016 on all those signs and write in a question mark or the year 2020—better yet just remove the signs. What a joke!

The HOA board appears to have a weak backbone on taking decisive action. There is a clear inability for the board to make those tough decisions. Instead, the board has sent toothless letters attempting to get traction from the LMD, which has already proven its incompetence in maintaining the landscaping in Stevenson Ranch. Oh, and the HOA sent another letter to the City of Santa Clarita expressing that it may be time to annex—an action that the HOA has no business doing as a mutual benefit corporation. Instead of pretending to be a quasi-governmental group they should put their collective energies into solving the landscaping problem. But then again, all that residents seem to be hearing are excuses as to why the HOA board can’t solve the matter instead of employing some out-of-the-box thinking to get the problem solved.

The reality is that stronger action is required in this situation—legal action for starters since the LMD has breached the contract for the Stevenson Ranch district. What is happening now is that the LMD, under the management of the DPW, is stealing the landscaping fees and not providing the services that they were contracted for in the Stevenson Ranch community. Maybe the residents need to break with the HOA and get a law firm to handle this matter on residents’ behalf as a class action lawsuit since the HOA is not upholding its fiduciary obligations.

Read more here: Commentary: County Public Works Ripping off Stevenson Ranch Residents