Thu, June 27

Letter: Our experience exact opposite of picture painted by VOCA president


This is an open letter to the Village of Oak Creek Community regarding comments from Gwen Hanna, VOCA President, published in the January 1, 2019 issue of the Villager. Specifically, she paints a rosy picture of how the partnership between VOCA and HOAMCO and how it “ensures adherence with our governing documents." She also touts how this “functional HOA can dramatically increase the value of homes."

Let us share our experience, which has been the exact opposite of her opinion, and how we were treated with dismissive arrogance and told, essentially, go away and be quiet. Unfortunately for them, this is contrary to our DNA.

In 1999, we built an architecture designed beautiful home of our dreams. We knew there would always be a home on the adjacent vacant lot. We expected if VOCA/HOAMCO did its job, it would be consistent with the ‘open’ atmosphere of the neighborhood.

How would you think about VOCA, if one day, on the lot next to your home and patio, you witness truck convoys bringing in dirt for five months, importing fill to the tune of a height of 6-feet above grade, 1-foot higher than my adjacent fence.

Then allow a 24-foot high wall constructed within 4 to 7 feet of the lot line to create an almost ‘prison wall’ impact when standing on our patio, or from our bedroom window. There is barely room for a 3-foot-wide swale to drain water from the property to the front, leaving us concerned about overflow. NOTE: Not a single home on the entire street has less than a 20-foot separation, and no 24-foot walls facing the neighbor.

We were never given an opportunity to comment prior to start of construction. The builder was determined to use an existing plan that was never designed pushing the footprint to fit. The plan was rushed through Yavapai County and the VOCA Architectural Committee without one public notice, notice to the neighbors, of ringing of any doorbells.

Of course, the VOCA architectural committee approved the project.

We challenged the project with Yavapai County, and they assured us the project is to code (yet to be demonstrated when confronted by our civil engineer), and that issues, like conforming to Village norms, are up to the VOCA/HOAMCO Architectural Board. If we didn’t like their interpretation of code, we should sue.

We sat in our home for 18 years with lovely neighbors, who are equally upset but not as directly impacted. Even unsolicited comments of passers-by such as, ‘What the heck is going on?’ and “I’m so sorry for you!”.

Now we see a big devaluation of our home with our only recourse being to hire lawyers at significant expense and being told by VOCA/HOAMCO it could have been worse.

This is the reality of what VOCA/HOAMCO truly has to offer you, and you get to pay for it too.

Robert Czajkowski

Barbara Czajkowski

Village of Oak Creek