New coin-operated dryers are on their way to Laguna Woods Village

by in News

To the tune of jingling pockets and vibrated whirrs, Third Mutual dryers have gone coin operated.

Addressed by the Third Mutual board during its regular meeting on Tuesday, March 19, the dryer replacement project is now in session.

The project — first initiated in 2017 — anticipates the installment of 370 new, high-volume dryers. According to Village Management Services staff, the current rate is set at 30 dryers per day.

The new Maytag commercial models are said to outperform the previous machines, which were residential-grade and not designed for public usage.

For every 25 cents, dryers will operate in 20-minute intervals. Residents may pay all at once for accrued time, as larger loads may require 75 cents.

In the past five years, maintenance performed 1,741 dryer repairs, according to VMS staff.

As of January, the cost was offset within assessments, president Rosemarie DiLorenzo said.

Third residents who live in units that share a standalone laundry room are no longer paying a monthly surcharge. For owners in three-story buildings, the monthly surcharge for laundry rooms has been reduced.

Concerned residents at the meeting said that increasing the four-to-one washer-to-dryer ratio by one is not enough, even suggesting to return to charging guests for pool and fitness center access for funding.

“As far as the dryers go and for the number of dryers, we really tried to be perfect,” diLorenzo said, noting decisions were largely based on volume calculated from washer use. “If we have made an error, we could always fix it.”

Water conservation

Third Mutual resident and El Toro Water District director Kathryn Freshley and water district representative Sherri Seitz gave a presentation on water conservation within the mutual.

The report stated that Third Mutual has saved over 236 million gallons of water, or approximately 44 percent, from 2013 to 2018.

The majority — 38.4 percent — was from recycled water irrigation conversions, while 5.5 percent is credited to indoor conservation.

Seitz noted rebates exclusive to residents — $100 back on high-efficiency toilets and $200 back on washers — can be found online at etwd.com and ocwatersmart.com.

Alteration standard plan review policy

To expedite the variance request process, the board passed a resolution that allows over-the-counter staff approval for minor manor alterations via a standard plan review policy.

Examples of slight differences to previously approved alteration standards provided in a Village Management Services staff report include atrium enclosures, small room extensions and bathroom splits.

This policy will alleviate the high volume of variance requests as well as the lengthy process of handling requests.

Currently, there are 248 standard plans that do not require a variance from the ACSC.

Under this policy, staff may approve minor, nonstructural changes, such as those necessary for closets, windows and door types and locations. However, it upholds the necessity of the variance process for alterations that would affect the structural integrity of a building, affect room usage, create new rooms or relocate load-bearing walls.

The board unanimously approved the policy 11-0-0 upon second reading. The resolution takes immediate effect.

Resale report

The average resale price for a condo in Third Mutual in February was $408,320, down from $434,514 in February 2018, according to a VMS staff report. Resales year-to-date numbered 25, down from 29 the same time last year. Sales volume in February was $10 million compared with $12.6 million in February 2018.