Laguna Woods co-op board hikes fines for illegal golf-cart charging

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Laguna Woods United Mutual board on Tuesday, May 14, passed a resolution that will double the $50 fee for members who charge their golf carts using mutual electricity without a permit.

As proposed, violators will be fined $100 upon first offense — a fine that will escalate by increments of $50 for each subsequent offense, according to a Village Management Services staff report.

The cap is set at $250.

Director Andre Torng wondered if it’s possible for violators to apply for a permit and then have the fine removed rather than fine residents in violation each time.

Director Maggie Blackwell responded, explaining a pattern within issued violations.

“This is a continual occurrence. People pay $50 and are supposed to get (a decal) within a week or two … but they ignore that part. Then they go a few more months without getting caught, so they get a few more months free until they eventually get caught again — they’re just shining us on,” she said. “Now with the $100, they might pay more attention.”

The new policy affirms that the member must obtain an annual electric golf cart charging decal within 10 days of the violation, the staff report stated.

The board approved the resolution, 10-1-0, upon second reading with Torng in opposition. The resolution has satisfied a 28-day notification requirement and takes immediate effect.

Smoking policy

United passed a resolution that would strengthen restrictions concerning smoking on mutual property.

As revised, the policy would add vaping to the non-smoking policy and further clarify that smoking and vaping are banned in all areas aside from interior units, enclosed balconies or patios and enclosed vehicles — as long as smoke cannot escape.

The board unanimously approved the resolution 10-0-0 upon first reading. It must now satisfy a 28-day notification requirement and will be revisited in a June meeting.

Distribution of materials policy

The board passed a resolution that complies with Civil Code Section 4515 — updated Jan 1, 2018 — which allows residents of common interests to participate in politically expressive activities within the community, including the right to assemble, utilize, canvas and petition pertaining to elections or legislation.

Proposed policy revisions concern material distribution, petitions, postings and knocking on door practices, according to a VMS staff report.

All non-election posting would be removed after 30 days. Postings advertising election or election candidates would be removed once the votes are in.

Postings in the laundry rooms would not be permitted to exceed one-half a page in size.

Regarding distribution, materials would need to be secured — whether under a doormat or hung on doorknobs — and closed gates would not be permitted to be opened by material distributors.

Additionally, “No Solicitation” or “Do Not Disturb” signs would be honored.

Knocking on doors or ringing of doorbells to contact residents is only permitted weekdays from 10 a.m. to dusk, excluding national holidays, a staff report stated.

United unanimously approved the resolution upon first reading. The resolution must now satisfy a 28-day notification requirement and will be revisited in a June meeting.

Resale report

The average resale price for a co-op in United Mutual in April was $283,252, down from $294,153 in April 2018, according to a VMS staff report. Resales year-to-date numbered 92, down from 114 the same time last year. Sales volume in April was $9 million compared with $8.8 million in April 2018.