Living in La Mesa

All of us desire that La Mesa be an attractive neighborhood characterized by good neighbor relations and a high quality of living. The La Mesa Homeowners Association Board of Directors and the Architectural Control Committee can help in certain ways, but they can’t be effective without the support, cooperation and consideration of all our residents. Following is a brief explanation of the responsibilities of the Board of Directors and the Architectural Control Committee.

Important Documents for each Homeowner

Each homeowner should have a copy of the “Articles of Incorporation”, “By-Laws” and “Comprehensive Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions” (CC&Rs). Each owner should also have a copy of the La Mesa “Architectural Control Committee Supplemental Rules”. These are all available on the La Mesa HOA website,  under “Legal Documents”. Please contact the HOA Secretary, 771-2330, secretary@lamesahoa.org, if you need paper copies of these documents.

Architectural Control Committee (ACC)

The mission of the La Mesa ACC is to uphold the Conditions and Restriction (CC&Rs) and the Architectural Control Committees Supplemental Rules in a friendly and respectful manner that allows reasonable improvements while affording protection for neighboring properties and the La Mesa community.

If you are planning an improvement or replacement project on your property, the ACC encourages you to review the latest CC&RS and Supplemental Rules and/or call one of the ACC members to determine what action you may need to take. In many cases of replacement an email notification will be adequate. You can also review the CC&Rs and Supplemental Rules on our website lamesahoa.org. Please feel free to contact any member the ACC to help clarify any questions you may have.

Although not intended to be a complete list, the following is a brief guide of the project types requiring ACC approval/notification prior to starting:

  • Re-stucco or paint house or trim
  • Re-roofing
  • New outbuilding
  • New or replacement windows
  • Replace or repaint exterior gate, garage door or entry door
  • Solar System installation
  • Ramada, pergola, deck, patio, portal addition or extension
  • Hot tub, swimming pool, etc.
  • Fence or wall – new, replacement, extension or change of type
  • Remodel or addition, such as replacing windows or room( s) addition
  • Exterior lighting
  • Removal of any native trees

Contact ACC: acc@lamesahoa.org

Email lists

We are keeping two email lists for La Mesa residents, only with their permission:

  • The La Mesa Alert List gets reports of security incidents (burglaries, prowlers, etc.) throughout the Placitas area. Similar lists are being kept for most other Placitas neighborhoods, and may eventually be handled by the County Sheriff’s office.
  • The La Mesa HOA List gets announcements and reports of meetings (such as for the Homeowners Association), lost pets of La Mesa residents, or other items of significant interest to La Mesa homeowners.

If you or any of your La Mesa neighbors are not already on either of these lists, and want to be, please send a note to lamesa@comcast.net.

Notices to the La Mesa Community

Official communications from the LMHOA Board and ACC are posted on the bulletin boards located next to each grouping of mail boxes. When you get your mail, please check these bulletin boards. Note: These bulletin boards were erected for the exclusive use of official notification purposes. Any other materials, especially advertisements, will be removed.

Neighborhood Watch

We have a somewhat informal La Mesa Neighborhood Watch. Some points to consider:

  • If you hear a house or car alarm or see anything suspicious, call 911.
  • Get to know your immediate neighbors.
  • Have at least one “house buddy” who can watch your house when you are away.
  • Try to keep you house looking secure, such as keeping garage doors closed, stop newspaper delivery when you are away, etc.

Dogs

Please carry a plastic bag with you when you take your dog for a walk. Any calling cards left by your dog are either on someone else’s property or on the roads where we all like to walk. Don’t be offended if a neighbor hands you a plastic bag and asks you to pick up after your dog if you failed to do so. You must keep your dog leashed (or under voice command) to prevent it from running loose on other people’s properties (as well as to keep it safe from the local coyotes). Nuisance barking should be reported to the pet owner or Sandoval County Animal Control. Please help your dog be considerate of the neighbors.

Outdoor Lights

One of the benefits of living in La Mesa is the night-time view of the stars. Outside lights should be shielded or screened so that lightbulbs are not visible from neighboring property. Motion detector lights should be monitored to make sure they don’t turn on with the wind. Landscaping lights should have a minimal visual impact as seen by your neighbors. Spotlights or floodlights are not to be used for upward lighting.

The Sandoval County Zoning Ordinance, which was approved by the Sandoval County Commission on November 11, 2010, includes new outdoor lighting regulations, that apply to all of Placitas. These are in Section 9 (2.7) D. 5:

5. Outdoor light fixtures shall comply with the following:

a. Fixtures shall be shielded such that light rays emitted by the fixture are projected at 45 degrees from a point on the fixture where light is emitted.

b. Where used for security purposes, or to illuminate walkways, equipment yards and parking lots, only shielded outdoor light fixtures shall be utilized.

c. Fixtures shall be required to have all light focused downward.

d. Exterior lighting shall be shielded in such a manner so that it does not shine onto any adjoining residential properties.

e. Outdoor light fixtures shall be limited to sixteen (16) feet in height.

f. All non-conforming lighting installed prior to the effective date of this Ordinance shall be altered or replaced in order to conform within two (2) years.

Water

The La Mesa Water Cooperative was established to supply water to both Sundance Mesa and La Mesa. The Coop regularly sends newsletters to its members to keep them informed about important issues. Since water here in the desert is a critical commodity, use your water responsibly, and avoid a high increase in your monthly bill by checking for leaks.

All houses have a “smart” water meter which lets you see your water use, down to the hour, on a website called EyeOnWater or a smartphone app. You can set an EyeOnWater alert to get an email or text message if there is a steady leak. Regularly (at least every few days) check EyeOnWater to make sure that your water use is what you intend. If you don’t use a computer or smart phone, you can ask someone else. Some people have their adult child watch their EyeOnWater, even from California or Illinois. See the Smart Meters page
for more information.

Recreational Vehicles

Because of their large size and the degree to which they block our beautiful long-range views, all RV’s must be garaged or stored elsewhere. If you plan on hosting guests who have an RV or if you want to park your RV briefly beside your house as you stage it for an upcoming trip, the ACC will grant temporary permission to park an RV on your property.

Satellite Dishes

Dishes should be concealed as much as possible to prevent their being an unpleasant visual to the neighbors including those who may have a house overlooking your property. Work with the installers to make sure the position of the dish minimizes its view by other property owners.

Firewood

Please keep firewood out of sight in enclosed areas or behind courtyard walls. While a homeowner may not see their own firewood, the firewood pile may be a most unwelcome sight to a neighbor.

Dead Trees

Unfortunately dead trees can be a refuge for bark beetles that spread to and kill live trees. Remove dead trees promptly. Please don’t throw dead trees into the arroyos. This is not only unsightly but will promote the infection of other trees. Since burning is dangerous and usually requires obtaining a permit from Sandoval County Fire Marshall, it is recommended that you either cut up the trees and put them in the trash or take them to the Sandoval County Landfill (see Burning in Placitas for more detail about the landfill).

Juniper Parasites

Here is a short document that Sandy Liakus Pilcher, Sandoval County Master Gardener (SCMG) made for us: True Mistletoe Infection of Juniper Trees