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Latest COVID-19 Information 

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October 24, 2020

Board Approves Two Changes to New Construction Committee (NCC) Policy

Members of the Board of Directors voted at the October meeting to alter charges levied by the New Construction Committee (NCC). Since the early days of High Desert, prospective home builders were required to pay a “ deposit” (technically, a fee) to cover all of the phases that the NCC must monitor during a home’s construction. These fees are passed from builders to homeowners. For custom (Estate and Premier) homes, which typically take one year to build, the required “deposit” is $8000. For builder homes, which normally are completed within six months, the “deposit” is $4000. This “deposit” also covers professional fees, such as the cost of an engineer’s report and city permits. Typically, a significant portion of that money was returned from NCC to the builder after construction was completed. 

The NCC is responsible for monitoring all aspects of new home construction in High Desert, and the NCC used to be solely run by volunteers, who spent hours assuring that new homes conformed to standards laid out in our governing documents. The last volunteer chair of the NCC was Brett Rayman. When he moved out of state, the Board failed to find any volunteers to assume the mammoth task of chairing the NCC. Therefore, the Board was compelled to hire a construction professional (Rob Montoya) to perform the job. Rob’s hourly fees are commensurate with his qualifications and he carries his own insurance. The advantage of having a licensed professional chair the NCC is that it gives the High Desert Residential Owners Association an extra layer of protection from liability arising from misinterpretation of the governing documents. 
This shift from volunteer to professional chair of the NCC is a policy change. Therefore, the Board wants builders and home buyers (new construction) to recognize that there will now be additional expenses incurred during the NCC’s oversight of their home construction, meaning less of the “deposit” will be returned, as compared to the past.

The second change that Board members made to NCC policy applies to home modifications. As High Desert ages, more homeowners want to make significant modifications to their home, such as major additions. Some of these even require city permits. Up until now, the fees incurred were assumed by our Residential Owners Association, which is clearly unfair. Moving forward, significant modifications that are deemed outside of the purview of the Modifications Committee (MC), and therefore referred to the NCC, will require the fee be paid by the homeowner. This fee may be partially refundable. It will be based upon the size of the project and estimated construction and professional costs. 

Reminders and Notices

September 17, 2020

Attend Albuquerque City Council Meetings Remotely

Albuquerque residents can attend government meetings remotely, including Albuquerque City Council meetings, on GOV-TV by clicking on this link:

GOV TV is the local government television channel for Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. GOV TV provides real-time streaming video of local government programming 24 hours a day. Programming includes live coverage of government meetings, recorded news conferences, and a wide variety of locally produced TV shows about public services, facilities, employees, officials, and events.

August 20, 2020

Thanks to Homepage Photographers

We owe a big debt of gratitude to the following people for contributing fabulous photographs to our homepage. They give it life and show us all how beautiful High Desert is. We'll change these pictures as time goes on and new seasons emerge.

Thanks to:
Levitt / Dakota
Freer / Martin
Helen Wertheim
John Kynor, Q Realty photo by delphinide

August 05, 2020

Voting Members Informed by Board that Vote to Change Bylaws Failed

Voting Members learned at their quarterly meeting January 23 that the Board declared the recent vote by Voting Members to amend the bylaws as “officially failed.”  Voting members were asked to approve changes to the by-laws to meet state law. They were also given the option to individually accept or reject two optional provisions. Clay Wright, Board president, told Voting Members that 43.9 percent voted in favor of the change and 37.1 percent against. Since High Desert bylaws can only be changed by a 75 percent vote in favor, the change to the bylaws failed.  “At this time, the Board has no plans to conduct another vote,” he said, citing the expense and time to mail ballots, collect and tally the votes.

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The Board proposed  one optional change to allow quicker revisions to bylaws without going through the process of a full vote each time the state passed a change that did not agree with the High Desert bylaws.  The association is, according to its own bylaws, required to abide by state law.  Allowing the Board to pass changes bringing the association and its bylaws into compliance with state law would streamline the process, Board members felt. The Board would not be permitted to change the bylaws for any other reason except to bring the association into compliance with state law.

“The Board will continue to follow state-mandated changes to the bylaws,” Clay told Voting Members.  “As a result, our governing documents will remain in conflict with state law.” One of the changes that are in conflict with the law involves state-required notification to homeowners when a policy change is under consideration by the Board.  “We are publishing notification online right now even though it is not required under our current bylaws,” Clay said.  The state also requires open Board meetings which are not required in the bylaws. Board meetings are currently open, Clay told Voting Members.  Violations notifications should be 14 days, according to state law.  High Desert, which used to give 30 and then 10 days notification, now gives 14 days notification.

Voting Members asked if there were any consequences to High Desert if the bylaws remain unchanged.  Clay said as long as the association follows state law anyway, there will probably be no official problem, but he could not guarantee that.

“Why does the state want to be involved with our governing documents?” asked one homeowner.  Clay responded, saying, “The state wants some control over what homeowner associations do.  They don’t want us overburdening residents with overly restrictive rules on dog walking, grass growing and parking.  That’s their rationale.”

Another Voting Member asked if another vote could be taken, saying the ballots came during the holidays and were too easily put on the back burner.  Clay said the board had no plans to have another vote.

Financial Report
Board Treasurer Tom Murdock presented the financial report to Voting Members saying he was currently working on the fiscal year 2020-2021 High Desert budget.  He will be holding two meetings for homeowners in Gated Villages to garner input about their village’s budget needs.  “This is your opportunity to have real input,” he said.  Homeowners will be notified of their gated villages meeting date. The final budget will be approved or denied by Voting Members at their April 23 Annual Meeting.  A final budget will be mailed to all homeowners in early May. Following his presentation a Voting Member spoke, commending Tom for his association work. Voting Members applauded.

Annual Meeting
Neil Wetsch, Board Director, and Nominating Committee Chair, asked Voting Members to consider running for the four open positions on the Board of Directors. Statements of Interest must be submitted to the Nominating Committee by February 14. (Click here to fill out an online version.Interviews by Committee members of homeowners interested in election will be conducted in March and April, he said.  A slate of four nominees will be presented to Voting Members at the Annual Meeting.  Nominations can also be made from the floor.  Any homeowner in good standing can run for election.

Wildland Fire Prevention Working Group Update
Camille Singaraju, High Desert homeowner and chair of the Wildland Fire Prevention Working Group, spoke to Voting Members about its recent activities. The group was formed last year in response to several recent fires in High Desert.  The group is working closely with Albuquerque Fire Rescue to identify areas of High Desert that pose increased threat of destruction by fire through excessive brush, weeds and deadfall. Camille asked Voting Members to make sure their represented homeowners all have evacuation plans if a fast-moving wildfire begins.  “Also,” she added, “if there is a fire somewhere in High Desert, please don’t drive up to see it.  Your car will block the bigger trucks that come in to fight the fire.”  Homeowners should clear excessive growth three to five feet away from their home’s walls.  “We’d like to extend it out to 10 feet,” she said.  “And we are looking at different ways to manage growth in the arroyos.”

Added Clay, “Look after yourselves. Have a plan.  If there is an issue, fire services will be taxed.  You must take care of yourself.  If you don’t want a fire in your backyard, don’t leave stuff around to burn.  Don’t store firewood up against your house.  Don’t leave gasoline stored in your garage.”  He also encouraged homeowners to contact their legislators to purchase another brush truck for Albuquerque Fire Rescue.  The trucks cost $185,000 each.

Communications Group
Homeowner Russ Rhodes told Voting Members that he recently spoke with the Board and different Voting Members about forming a smaller co-group of four or five homeowners to discuss pertinent issues and resolve differences. He said he first considered forming the group when he observed “increasing tensions and anxiety” between Voting Members and Board Directors.  “We want to get any tensions out of the way and get a good conversation started between the two groups,” he said.  He said the initial group will be made up of Board Directors Dave Williams and Robin Troy, and Voting Members Harrison Jones, The Trillium, and Eric Frow, The Legends. Responded one Voting Member, “Great idea!  We do need more discussion.”  Voting Members did not vote on the proposal but did offer general agreement

July 25, 2020

Albuquerque Reopening Plan

Continue to monitor the news on these websites:
The office of Neighborhood Coordination

April 16, 2020

Assessments Still Due During Pandemic

Assessments Still Due During Pandemic But Board Issues Resolution to Waive Late Fees and InterestNote: Annual Meeting Rescheduled for August 6

Hello everyone,
Thank you. Thank you for following the directives of our elected officials and health authorities. By doing what you are supposed to, you are playing an active role in fighting the virus that causes Covid-19. Keeping yourself mentally and physically strong during the pandemic is a service to our community. We are together in our isolation.

Please continue to follow the links on this page to the latest information from city and state officials. This information is updated continually.

Please know that your Board of Directors is working hard to keep things running. By adopting prudent measurers, we are managing to keep all our vendors employed. This is good for them, it is good for our economy, and it maintains a continuity of service to our entire Association.

One of the services we have been asked about is CC&R compliance. We are continuing enforcement activities and assessments. Many residents are using their newfound spare time to clean up their yards and fix other appearance issues. Keeping our property looking good is something we all agreed to when we moved into High Desert. It is one of the most important steps we can take in maintaining aesthetics and property values.

Another question concerns assessments. We are continuing assessments. Assessments provide the revenue necessary to keep our community functioning. That said, the Board does understand that the current situation does present a financial burden for some. To ease that stress, the board has adopted a resolution that offers relief by waving late fees and default interest resulting from late payment of assessments. The Association will temporarily defer sending delinquent accounts to the collection attorney. Read the full board resolution by following the attached link.

Board of Directors Resolution Regarding Late Fees and Default Interest

HDROA committees have adopted the appropriate measures and continue to do their work.

The Annual Budget will be mailed to all residents on time. This meets both state requirements and our own governing documents.

Thank you. Be safe.

Clay Wright
President, HDROA


News & Articles

October 24, 2020

New Sign Policy for High Desert

At its October meeting, members of the Board of Directors passed a change to the signage policy in High Desert. In recent years, the Board has received numerous requests from residents for a policy that pertains to political signs being posted during city and national election cycles. Although the Board understands residents’ desire to display support for their candidates with signs, members agreed that political signs should be subject to limitations in our community’s governing documents, as are holiday decorations, realtor signs, and home security signs. 

The new addition to the sign policy is as follows:

Public campaign election signs: 2 campaign signs are allowed on a lot 45 days prior to an election. Signs must be removed 3 days after the election. Sign dimensions are limited to 3ft by 3ft or 9 square feet. Signs must be located in the front yard facing the street. Signs cannot be located on the sidewalk or rear of the lot facing open spaces or streets. Banners, flags, balloons, etc. are not allowed.

Please be sure to abide by this new change in policy beginning January 1, 2021.

October 20, 2020

Tramway Cleanup!

On Saturday, October 10, from 10 A.M. to 12 P.M., eleven High Desert residents joined me (Michele Lesher) for our revived Adopt-A-Highway cleanup of mile markers 9 and 10 of Tramway Blvd (east and west sides, plus the median). We started at Albertsons, with half of the volunteers working south from Academy to the bridge at Bear Canyon, the other half working north to the bridge at Simms Park Road. We accumulated 18 full bags of trash and some large pieces of lumber and other construction materials. NMDOT picked up those bags and debris on Tuesday, along with other bags that had been collected all the way down Tramway to Candelaria.  

Please join me in thanking the following volunteers for their efforts:

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Susan Camp (Desert Highlands)
Robert Lind (Chaco Compound)
Kitty Smith (Chaco Compound)
Charlotte Trone (Desert Mountain) 
Goeff Schuster (Sunset Ridge)
Meghan List (Chamisa Trail)
Steve Hartig (Overlook)
Julie Hartig (Overlook)
Sandy Jacoby (Overlook)
Ralph Jacoby (Overlook)
Jake Lesher (Overlook)

To keep the Adopt-A-Highway cleanup active, we are committed to holding a formal event twice per year. Our next event will occur sometime in April, 2021.

October 02, 2020

Voting Member Election Results

Voting Members (VM) of the Association are appointed for two-year terms. Half of the villages in High Desert elect their representatives each year and this year the election cycle included the villages listed below.

Each VM and their alternate (AVM) represents up to 50 homes, so larger villages have more VMs. The number of positions available are shown in parentheses. Some positions were not filled. These are indicated below. 

The results of the election are as follows:   

Chaco Compound      VM  (1)  Joyce Lum

                              AVM (1)  Catherine "Kitty" Smith

Chamisa Trail            VM  (2)  Not filled

                              AVM (2)  Not filled

Desert Sky                VM  (2)  Not filled

                              AVM (2)  Not filled

Desert Song              VM  (1)  Norma Argo

                              AVM (1)  Stephen Vender

Enclave                     VM (2)  Roger Ames, Diane Green

                              AVM (2)  Paul Donahue, Maureen Truesdale

Legends                    VM (1)  Eric Frow

                              AVM (1)  Not filled

Overlook                   VM (2)  Thea Berg, John Ledwith

                              AVM (2)  Michael Shaw, Dennis Miyoshi

Piñon Point                VM (2)  Harrison Jones, Ashleigh Morris

                              AVM (2)  Not filled

Solterra                     VM (2)  Lynn Claffy, Nick Teske

                              AVM (2)  Margo Murdock, One not filled

Sunset Ridge             VM (2)  Camille Singaraju, Douglas Weigle

                              AVM (2)  Jed Faruki, One not filled

Tierra del Oso           VM  (1)  Jean Craven

                              AVM (1)  Jeff Todd

Wilderness Compound   VM  (1)  Kari Stevenson

                                 AVM  (1)  Not filled

Wilderness Estates        VM  (1)  Not filled

                                 AVM  (1)  Not filled

Wilderness Village         VM  (2)  Carol Welsch, One not filled

                                 AVM  (2)  Not filled

September 16, 2020

Welcome to the New High Desert Website!

Although the previous website served our community well for many years, new technology and changing needs called for a complete redesign. It took months of behind-the-scenes efforts from volunteers to produce the fully responsive new website (viewable from computer and mobile devices too). But we believe it will become a tool that is increasingly used by residents for finding out what’s happening around our community and locating vital information.

Let’s take a little tour.

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Throughout the new website you’ll see current news and informational articles, all complemented by beautiful photographs of nature and recreational activities around High Desert. At the top of the Home page, there's a menu of six key categories: High Desert Living; Villages; Documents and Forms; News; Contacts; Login (only for management and voting members). Each category, if clicked on, leads to a page with more subcategory options. Or you can glide down the drop-down menus that help you select a desired subcategory directly.

High Desert Living has information and images related to our community and its natural setting, including articles on history, residents’ photographs, even advice about gardening and the plants native to our part of the country. But there is also an exciting new category called, "New to High Desert." There, new residents will be able to find answers to the numerous questions that arise when entering a community that has a residential owners association and accompanying rules and regulations.

The new Villages category lets you quickly find information pertaining directly to your gated or non-gated village. Each village’s page even lists the names and contact information of current voting members.

The Documents and Forms section is especially useful because it offers us access to all of the official, current documents of the High Desert Residential Owners Association. It also has a really practical new feature: fillable pdf forms plus online forms you don’t need to download. Whether you want to complete a Vacation Watch Request or want to fill out a Statement of Interest form for volunteers, just select Online Forms and you can find, fill out and submit a form online, knowing that it will be received by the appropriate person.

The News section offers residents access to recent postings, notices, the calendar of events and issues of the Apache Plume, High Desert’s quarterly newsletter. The Contact section makes it quick and easy to learn how to contact HOAMCO (our management company) and Board and voting members, let alone find essential emergency and security contacts.

Another feature of note on the new website is the “Read More.” This options keeps the site from looking text heavy, but also lets you quickly access additional information for any given notice or article.

Finally, at the bottom of each page are links to the most needed documentation and forms, making access even faster.

This website belongs to all of us here in High Desert. We encourage you to tour the site, test the search feature and consider how you might contribute to our community and to the website. We believe the site can be an excellent way to strengthen our community connections. One way it can do that is by suggesting Volunteer Opportunities (under High Desert Living). Another way is by sharing photographs of life around High Desert (Photo Gallery under High Desert Living). We encourage you to submit photographs as well as articles, and we look forward to seeing and hearing about what you’re experiencing in High Desert.

Like any good website, this one will continually evolve. With this in mind, feel free to submit  feedback to our Communications Chair Janet Brierley:


July 12, 2020

Stucco Repairs Ongoing

Please be aware that the company High Desert Maintenance LLC is onsite making repairs to the stucco throughout the community. The work will be ongoing for several months. If you have any questions or concerns please do not approach High Desert Maintenance LLC. Instead, call HOAMCO at 505-314-5862. Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

May 28, 2020

Party in the Park Postponed

The annual High Desert Party in the Park event has been postponed until next summer. Brenda Gossage, homeowner and coordinator of the event, decided to postpone given the amount of pre-planning involved and the current coronavirus crisis and possibilities of extended closures. She consulted with Board President Clay Wright before making the decision in late April. 

May 28, 2020

Election Schedule for Voting Members

Voting Members in High Desert are elected each year in September. Villages hold their elections in either an odd or even year (see list below). 

Odd Year Elections:
Aerie; Canyons; Chaco Ridge; Desert Highlands; Desert Mountain; Highlands; Mountain Highlands; Trailhead; Trillium; West Highlands; Wilderness Cañon

Even Year Elections:
Chaco Compound; Chamisa Trail; Desert Sky; Desert Song; Enclave; Legends; Overlook; Pinon Point; Solterra; Sunset Ridge; Tierra del Oso; Wilderness Compound; Wilderness Estates; Wilderness Village. 

Interested in serving as a Voting Member or Alternate for your village? Fill out a Statement of Interest.