Tag Archives: Landscape

San Elijo Hills Community Association/HOA Updates for February 2018

St. Paddy’s Day Bash

Feeling lucky? Let’s get Irish…… One day early! Get ready for a Pre-St. Paddy’s Day party! The event will be held at Café Stoked on Friday, March 16th at 6:30PM.

Residents 21 and over join us for an evening of green! It will be a wonderful time to join friends and neighbors for food, music, dancing, drinks and fun! Don’t forget to wear green and come on down for a festive time! Attendance to this event is limited! Cost is $5.00/person. You must provide a check (no cash) payable to San Elijo Hills and deliver to Liz McCardle at the San Elijo Hills onsite office in order to reserve your spot! All reservations will be taken on a first-come-first-serve basis.

The onsite office is located at 1277 San Elijo Road S., San Marcos, CA 92078. For more information, contact Liz McCardle at sehdirector@waltersmanagement.com or call (760) 798-9015.

Hops In the Hills-Craft Beer Festival!

Hops in the Hills will be held March 10, 2018 3pm – 6pm @ the Hilltop Field of San Elijo Hills Park!

Beer, Music and Food!
$35-$45 tickets (unlimited beer tastings!)

Tickets: www.hopsinthehills.net
Facebook: SEH Hops in the Hills
Website: www.hopsinthehills.net

Looking for Sponsors!!
Contact Tina Heap
tinaheap2015@gmail.com

Support local schools!! All proceeds go to San Elijo Elementary and Double Peak K-8 PTO.

New Architectural Review Forms

A new year, a fresh start! You may be thinking about painting your home, installing solar energy or changing your yard! New forms have been created to streamline the review process and ensure that precise information is provided for a successful review outcome!  The Home & Landscape Improvement Application, Exterior Paint Improvement application, and Application for Solar Panels have been uploaded to the Walters Management web portal and Sanelijohills.net or you may request copies from the Management team.  These forms include checklists, so make sure to discuss with your hired professionals in advance, so that accurate plans are submitted. If you have any questions, please contact Liz McCardle at 760-798-9015 or by email at sehdirector@waltersmanagement.com.

Bunnypalooza 2018!

Looking for egg hunters!! The Easter Bunny is visiting the Hills! The San Elijo Hills Community Association is having its Annual BUNNYPALOOZA on Saturday, March 24th at the Hilltop field of San Elijo Hills Park. This year’s event will include an egg hunt, bounce houses, face painting, crafts, photo-ops with the Easter bunny, light refreshments, and more! A DJ will be entertaining us with music, games, and an obstacle course so parents and kids of all ages can enjoy some friendly competition!  BUNNYPALOOZA will begin at 9:30AM and run until 12:00 PM. The Egg Hunt will be split by different age groups in 10 minute increments beginning at 10:00 AM. Don’t forget to bring your own basket to collect your eggs and a camera to take pictures with the Bunny! Hope to see you there! For more information please call 760-798-9015 or email sehdirector@waltersmanagement.com.

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**Since 2006 SanElijoLife.com provides community news, photos, videos, and a directory of resources for residents of San Elijo Hills. The site is independent from the developer and the HOA and is run by local homeowners.

Summer 2016 San Elijo Hills Community Association – HOA updates

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Please see below for the most recent San Elijo Hills Community Association (HOA) updates:

Movie In the Park- Last Movie of the Summer

The San Elijo Hills Community Association is hosting a FREE showing of Sony Pictures Hotel Transylvania 2 (rated PG) as part of our summer movie series!

Now that Dracula (Adam Sandler) has opened the Hotel Transylvania’s doors to humans, things are changing for the better; however, Drac is secretly worried that his half-human grandson, Dennis, isn’t showing his vampire side. So, while Mavis and Johnny are away, Drac enlists his friends to help him put the boy through a “monster-in-training” boot camp. But things really get batty when Drac’s cantankerous, old-school dad (Mel Brooks) pays an unexpected visit.

Hotel Transylvania 2 will be shown on Friday, August 5th at the lower softball field of San Elijo Hills Park. Pre-show activities (including bounce houses, a sticky wall and more!) will begin at 6:00PM and the movie will start at sunset (around 8:15PM). Remember to bring your low-back beach chairs and blankets for lawn seating! A few food trucks will be there and will have a variety of food & refreshments for purchase.

Contact Liz McCardle with any questions at sehdirector@waltersmanagement.com or call (760) 798-9015.

Vallecitos Water District Ends Restrictions On Outdoor Watering

The Vallecitos Water District’s Board of Directors recently voted to rescind the mandatory drought restrictions under its “Level 2 Drought Alert” and move to voluntary conservation measures under its “Level 1 Drought Watch,” thereby ending restrictions on outdoor watering. Vallecitos customers may now irrigate any day of the week with no limit on the number of watering days, and may irrigate their landscapes as long as necessary. However, the Board expressed their desire to sustain water conservation as a permanent way of life and adopted a new ordinance permanently prohibiting wasteful practices, such as:

• Visible signs of runoff when watering landscapes
• Watering between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
• Watering within 48 hours of a measurable rain event
• Hosing down hardscapes (patios, sidewalks, etc.)
• Not using a shut-off nozzle when washing cars
• Not fixing leaks within 48 hours of discovery

The District’s action was taken in response to the State Water Resources Control Board recently terminating water use reduction mandates and allowing water agencies to set their own water use targets based upon their specific supply conditions. Recognizing persistent yet less severe drought conditions throughout California, the newly adopted emergency regulation, which is in effect through January 2017, mandates that urban water suppliers act to ensure at least a three year supply of water to their customers under drought conditions.  A thorough analysis determined that Vallecitos has sufficient water supplies for its customers, even if drought conditions continue for the next three years; therefore, the District won’t be subject to state-mandated water-use reductions through January 2017. This is due largely to its customers who saved 25 percent since June 2015 and the fact that Vallecitos now receives a portion of its water directly from the Carlsbad Desalination Plant, which is a local, drought-resilient supply. “Due to the exceptional conservation efforts by our customers and the foresight of the District to secure desalinated seawater, we are now able to give our customers greater flexibility when it comes to keeping trees, plants and vegetation alive,” said Vallecitos Board President, Mike Sannella. “We applaud our customers’ efforts and encourage them to continue to use water efficiently at all times.”

For more detailed information on the new permanent prohibitions, go to www.vwd.org/drought.

Entry Feature Landscape Renovation

If you have driven through our entrance, you probably noticed the various flags and drying vegetation. This was intentional and for a great reason….a fresh new look!

The Board of Directors recently approved a proposal from O’Connell Landscape to enhance the entry area by opening visibility to the water feature and providing a diverse environment of colorful plants, ground covers, and accents. A rendering will be available soon to homeowners who are interested in seeing the design. Stay tuned!

For more information, feel free to contact Liz McCardle at sehdirector@waltersmanagement.com or call (760) 798-9015.

Next Board of Directors Meeting: August 29, 2016

The next Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for 8/29/16, 6:00 pm at a different (temporary) location.

City of San Marcos Community Center
3 Civic Center Drive, San Marcos, CA 92069 (Dining Room)

See you there!

Artificial Turf Policy

On September 14, 2015 AB 349 was approved by the Governor, and set forth a mandate which prevented homeowners associations from disallowing the use of artificial turf in their communities.
The San Elijo Hills Board conducted a thorough review of the requirements of the law and created the Artificial Turf Guidelines. In accordance with California Civil Code 1357.130, homeowners were provided a copy of the proposed policy for review and comment period.
On June 21, 2016, the Board of Directors met to review all comments made either in-person or in-writing. After careful consideration, the Board adopted the policy with minor changes. A copy of the approved policy will be available to homeowners through the Association’s websites or you may request an electronic copy from Walters Management.
Here are some important highlights!

• Quality product that includes minimum 10 year warranty, 100% recyclable and made in USA.
• Installed in accordance with requirements. Refer to section (C) “Installation”
• Maintained professionally with evidence of service contracts upon request.
• Replaced in its entirety when the color has faded.
• The guidelines allow up to 50% of the landscape area in the front of your house to be artificial turf with restrictions. Side and rear yards are unlimited. Turf cannot directly attach to your front sidewalk. A buffer is needed to soften the look and to make it appear natural.
• The turf has to be of high quality and installed correctly. There are specific requirements for the base, turf, installation and warranty requirements. No rubber fill can be used. Artificial turf that loses 20% of its original color must be replaced in entirety.

The Board of Directors will delegate the review duties for artificial turf to an outside consultant. This decision was made so that a qualified professional is able to review the technical components and installation methods.

The anticipated cost will be $100 payable to the San Elijo Hills Community Association. This would cover the cost to review the information and inspection after installation. As with any changes to the exterior of the home, including artificial turf, plans must be approved by the San Elijo Hills Community Association. If you wish to make changes, please contact Liz McCardle at sehdirector@waltersmanagement.com or (760) 798-9015 for assistance.

Community Reminders

Clear and visible address numbers are important when it comes to safety. Please check your address numbers and replace any faded or missing numbers. This is a safety concern, which could potentially delay first responders in an emergency response.
It also impacts the general aesthetics of the community and is part of the required maintenance per the Governing Documents.

Paint or stain your fences. Fences should be stained or painted to match the house trim. No red or artificial colors, please. Protect the integrity of your fence while enhancing the look of your home!

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**This website – San Elijo Life is independent from the developer San Elijo Hills Development Company and the San Elijo Hills Community Association (HOA). The HOA updates are provided as a service to our readership. …Enjoy Life in The Hills.

Vallecitos Water District Ends Restrictions On Outdoor Watering

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Last night, the Vallecitos Water District’s Board of Directors voted to rescind the mandatory drought restrictions under its “Level 2 Drought Alert” and move to voluntary conservation measures under its “Level 1 Drought Watch,” thereby ending restrictions on outdoor watering. Vallecitos customers may now irrigate any day of the week with no limit on the number of watering days, and may irrigate their landscapes as long as necessary. However, the Board expressed their desire to sustain water conservation as a permanent way of life and adopted a new ordinance permanently prohibiting wasteful practices, such as:

  • Visible signs of runoff when watering landscapes
  • Watering between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
  • Watering within 48 hours of a measurable rain event
  • Hosing down hardscapes (patios, sidewalks, etc.)
  • Not using a shut-off nozzle when washing cars
  • Not fixing leaks within 48 hours of discovery

 

The District’s action was taken in response to the State Water Resources Control Board recently terminating water use reduction mandates and allowing water agencies to set their own water use targets based upon their specific supply conditions. Recognizing persistent yet less severe drought conditions throughout California, the newly adopted emergency regulation, which is in effect through January 2017, mandates that urban water suppliers act to ensure at least a three year supply of water to their customers under drought conditions.

A thorough analysis determined that Vallecitos has sufficient water supplies for its customers, even if drought conditions continue for the next three years; therefore, the District won’t be subject to state-mandated water-use reductions through January 2017.  This is due largely to its customers who saved 25 percent since June 2015 and the fact that Vallecitos now receives a portion of its water directly from the Carlsbad Desalination Plant, which is a local, drought-resilient supply.

“Due to the exceptional conservation efforts by our customers and the foresight of the District to secure desalinated seawater, we are now able to give our customers greater flexibility when it comes to keeping trees, plants and vegetation alive,” said Vallecitos Board President, Mike Sannella. “We applaud our customers’ efforts and encourage them to continue to use water efficiently at all times.”

For more detailed information on the new permanent prohibitions, go to www.vwd.org/drought.

Water-wise landscape makeover takes shape at San Marcos Civic Center

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Beginning Wednesday, Jan. 27, crews will continue work to plant water-wise landscaping surrounding the city’s Civic Center located along San Marcos Boulevard to set the water-saving example.

While newly planted varieties may look like grass from the past, the new “Native Move Free Sod” to be planted requires 50 percent less water than a traditional lawn and only needs mowing eight times per year.

“Knowing that California still faces unprecedented drought conditions, this project is helping the city be good stewards of all our water resources,” said Public Works Director Mike Edwards.

Landscape designs approved by the San Marcos City Council call for a large area of native mow free grass surrounded by an oval-shaped border of meadow grasses, a variety of succulents and yellow blanket flowers instead of intensive, high maintenance ornamental turf. Decomposed granite will border the meadow areas.

Irrigated with well water, higher efficiency irrigation technology with drip emitters and high-efficiency spray nozzles will also be put in place.

By transforming the landscaped area, the city not only expects to reduce water use by more than 50 percent but will also trim down on landscape maintenance costs for fertilizers, weed control and labor.

The $400,000 project, paid for in part by funding from the Water Security, Clean Drinking Water, Coastal and Beach Protection Act, will reduce water use and minimize run-off into the streets while creating a sustainable space for City Hall visitors.

For more information, contact Communications Officer Sarah Macdonald at The City of San Marcos.

October San Elijo Hills Community Association Updates

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Following is a list of important announcements and upcoming events from The San Elijo Hills Community Association (HOA):

Oktoberfest

Prost!! ! Fall is in the air and our most popular event of the year is back! Come celebrate Oktoberfest with your neighbors on Sunday, October 18th from 3:00PM-6:00PM at the lower softball field of San Elijo Park! Expect some of your past favorites, and some new surprises!

We will be celebrating German traditions through food! Bratwurst, hot dogs, veggie dogs, potato salad, sauerkraut, soft pretzels, and apple strudel will be served. A beer garden will also be available to residents 21 and over (must bring a valid state-issued driver’s license or ID). Four drink tickets will be given per household. No outside alcohol will be permitted into the event.

A lively DJ will be playing some German music mixed in with some modern, family-fun hits that will be sure to get you on your feet and dancing!

Carnival games will be sure to entertain our young residents! We will also have face painting, pumpkin decorating, arts & crafts, a rock climbing wall, bounce house, obstacle course, wrecking ball ride, photo booth and much, much more!

Please remember to bring proof of residency to gain entrance into the event (i.e.: driver’s license with on-site address, utility bill, HOA statement, etc.). Unfortunately, we will not be able to allow you to enter the event without verifying residency. No guests will be permitted.

If you have any questions regarding the event or would like additional information, please feel free to contact your Community Director, Liz McCardle, at (760) 798-9015 or email sehdirector@waltersmanagement.com. Hope to see you all there!

Artificial Turf

The San Elijo Hills Community Association Board of Directors is aware that Governor Brown has signed emergency legislation (AB 349) restricting Associations from prohibiting the use of artificial turf or any other synthetic surface that resembles grass. Bill AB 340 does not prohibit an Association from applying landscaping rules, so long as the rules fully conform to restrictions in Civil Code 4735(a).

The Board is currently in the process of creating a proposed policy, which will be provided to the membership and formally adopted after the review and comment period in accordance with California Civil Code 1357.130.

We appreciate your patience and understanding while the Board of Directors creates a policy that incorporates the synthetic material while maintaining a certain level of aesthetics and consistency in the community.

Double Peak Park Hours

As a reminder to residents, Double Peak Park is closed at dusk and persons in the parking lot and behind the lower gate will be cited by the Sheriff. Please be courteous and refrain from entering this area after the park is closed, which often disturbs the residents nearby.

Address Numbers

Clear and visible address numbers are important when it comes to safety. Please check your address numbers and replace any faded or missing numbers. This is a safety concern, which could potentially delay first responders in an emergency response. It also impacts the general aesthetics of the community and is part of the required maintenance per the Governing Documents.

Yard Maintenance

Keep your yards looking their best! During the on-going drought and reduced watering times, owners must continue to maintain their yard areas by mowing, edging, weeding, trimming, and pruning.

Did you know that there are many great alternatives to grass? Why not consider gardening with sustainable landscape that benefits the environment. There are trees, shrubs, ground covers, grasses and wildflowers that are already well-adapted to the environment in our region. They will reduce the use of fertilizers, pesticides, watering and maintenance. Native and non-native species can be interspersed to add variety and color. Plant using multiple layers or mixed borders. Trees, shrubs and flowers can be planted in layers which successively shade each other, requiring less water. Plantings should be closely spaced to discourage weeds from sprouting.

Consider mulch! The first line of defense against hot weather, and against windy conditions which can dry surface soil, is to apply a liberal layer of mulch around the plants. This protects the soil from direct sun exposure, keeping it moist at the surface. Mulch also reduces evaporation of water from the soil which reduces the need for watering.

If you are interested in modifying your current design, please remember that you must submit the necessary application and plans for review and approval by the Architectural Committee. Please contact Liz McCardle at 760-798-9015 with any questions.

San Elio Hills Community Association (HOA) – Water Restrictions & San Elijo Hills

San Elijo Hills

Dear Residents,

As you are aware, California is experiencing a significant drought. The drought is not only impacting the water supplies to residential locations but to the vast industry throughout the state. The purpose of this communication is to share with you the impact on the San Elijo Hills community and to discuss the ways we can work together to ensure San Elijo Hills supports our agencies and neighbors through conservation efforts.

Mandatory Water Conservation Regulations

On April 1, 2015, Governor Brown ordered the State Water Resources Control Board to implement reductions that will cut usage by 25%. As a result, the Vallecitos Water District raised its drought restrictions to Level 2. For a complete list of conservation actions, please visit www.vwd.org. We have also posted the drought restriction information (published by Vallecitos) on the Community Network at www.sanelijohillsnet.

Mandatory conservation actions related to landscape and irrigation include:

• Residential and commercial landscape irrigation is limited to no more than one day per week from November to May (no more than three days per week June through October).
• Irrigation is limited to no more than ten minutes per watering station. Systems using new water-efficient devices are excluded to this time constraint).
• Irrigation may only occur between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m.
• All water leaks must be repaired within 72 hours of notification by the water district.
• Outdoor watering is prohibited during and up to 48 hours after a rain event.
• Stop operation of ornamental fountains unless reticulating water is used.
• Prevent waste water associated with inefficient landscaping as well as flows onto non-targeted areas.

These regulations include both residential landscaping as well as the common areas, parks, etc. throughout the community. The San Elijo Hills Community Association is cooperating with the restrictions and has cut back irrigation accordingly. Please note: there are locations throughout the community with water efficient devices. These areas will operate with different run times to ensure the plants receive the appropriate level of irrigation within the restricted time frames. The Board is also continuing to look at areas where irrigation conversion is appropriate (switching from spray heads to drip tubing), and we will implement upgrades to the system throughout the year.

Maintenance Requirements

We understand the water restrictions will impact the health of plant material. The Association will continue to maintain its landscaped areas through regular weeding, mowing, edging and removal of dead material. Owners are expected to do the same. Therefore, please continue to maintain your yards. Owners should remove dead plant material and keep areas neat and tidy but weeding, mulching, trimming, etc.

Landscape Renovation Options

There are many options available to owners wishing to upgrade their landscaping and introduce drought tolerant themes. The Community Design Standards spell out a number of approved low water use plants from front yards. This list is NOT all inclusive but is an excellent starting point for residents. The Standards also include details on plant coverage and the use of rock in landscaping. Owners who wish to upgrade the landscaping on their properties must obtain approval from the San Elijo Hills Architectural Committee prior to installation. The regulations, explanation of process and application can be found on the Community Network at www.sanelijohills.net. Please contact Liz McCardle at lmccardle@waltersmanagement.com with questions.

Other Important Items to Note

The recent changes to the drought regulations will impact the Questhaven Park renovation project. The second part of the project was scheduled to begin on April 27. This project is on hold until the drought alter is reduced. Unfortunately, the new turf installed in the first phase of the project will be impacted. Please, please, please take care of the new grass area by reducing usage as much as possible. Wear appropriate shoes, use different areas to avoid wearing down the middle section, and avoid using the new grass for organized sports as much as possible.

In addition, while it uses recirculating water and is excluded from the ordinance, the fountain located in the town square will be turned off. The goal is to send a message that the community is sensitive to the water restrictions and will reduce opportunities for water loss and evaporation as much as possible. Please take a moment to talk with your children about the fountain and ask them to refrain from playing in the structure or vandalizing the area. The cost to repair assets from vandalism directly impacts our HOA dues.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and efforts to work together during this challenging time.

Regards,

Board of Directors
San Elijo Hills Community Association

Free fire-wise landscape workshop coming to San Marcos

San Marcos—On Wednesday, August 27 from 6 to 8 pm, the City of San Marcos, Olivenhain Municipal Water District and Vallecitos Water District will be hosting a free fire-wise landscape workshop. Workshop attendees will learn about protecting their home from fires while reducing water used for irrigation by installing fire-resistant, drought tolerant landscapes.

“The Vallecitos Water District is honored to be a part of this partnership,” said VWD Board President Hal Martin. “By working together, we can provide more residents with valuable tools to save our most precious resource while being prepared for the realities of living in the fire prone region that we call home.”

The workshop will be taught by local native plant expert and author Greg Rubin and will cover the basic principles of landscape zoning and hydration with an overview of plant selection, installation, watering and maintenance.

With San Diego County in the midst of a Level 2 drought alert, it is important that homeowners do their part to conserve water and prepare properties for dry weather conditions.

“Suburban and urban landscapes can influence how fire spreads and behaves,” said San Marcos Fire Chief Brett Van Wey. “In light of the existing drought conditions, building fire-wise landscapes have become more important than ever to protect our communities.”

This year’s record-breaking heat and exceptionally dry weather are not only challenging in terms of water supply but these conditions have set the scene for the most active fire season to date.

“Our customers are very familiar with the destructive capabilities of wildfires, and being prepared for the next fire is especially important during this hot, dry fire season,” stated OMWD Board Secretary Jerry Varty. “Installing fire-wise landscaping is a cost-effective step that customers can take to protect their homes against fires and conserve water.”

The primary goal for fire-wise landscaping is limiting the level of flammable vegetation and other natural materials surrounding the home and increasing the moisture content of remaining vegetation to reduce the risk of wildfires.

For more information or to reserve a seat please visit, www.olivenhain.com/events or call 760-632-4641.

Recommendations to Help Prepare Your Property For Storms from the California Landscape Contractors Association

Storms cause extensive damage to homes each year in California and throughout the United States.  Because weather patterns shift and change it is important to prepare for upcoming storms and events such as fire or flood that could damage your property.  The best time to prepare for a storm is before it happens.  The California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) is pleased to offer some recommendations to help protect and prepare your outdoor space for winter storms.

o       One of the most important things you can do is clean your gutters, including downspouts and drains where water exits your property.  Extensive water damage can be caused by blocked gutters and drains which force the water to find another path to escape.

o       Check your drains and downspouts to make sure they are clear and working properly.  If it does not, now is the time to clear or repair your drains.  Also, consider putting covers on your roof gutters to prevent leaves and other debris from clogging your drainage system during a storm.

o       Damaged trees that have branches that are cracked or overhanging homes, driveways etc., that can be a future hazard, should be removed.  Trees that have shifted in the soil due to wind or burn damage and those with burned roots should be removed as well, because they are now considered unstable and could potentially fall or be picked up by the wind and blown against your home or windows.

o       Pick up branches, toys, furniture, patio umbrellas, bicycles and other items around the yard before storms arrive.  These items can be a hazard in high winds if picked up and thrown.  If possible cover and tie down patio furniture that needs to remain outside by anchoring it to something solid.  Tornados, hurricanes and high wind storms can pick up patio furniture and cause extensive damage.

o       Rake your yard and remove any fallen leaves before a storm.   Leaves can clog gutters and existing drainage systems.

o       Trees close to the home need to be trimmed or cut back so in high winds they do not hit your house.  Strong winds can cause gutter, roof and exterior home damage by forcibly whipping trees up against your home.

o       Check all flowerbeds against the home and all downspouts.  Do these flowerbeds have adequate drainage away from your home if they start to overflow? Some downspouts empty into flowerbeds to water the plants, however in heavy rains they can cause your flowerbed to flood.  If applicable, consider adding a channel drain to these downspouts and/or flowerbeds that directs water away from your house.  Also, adding a layer of mulch will help prevent erosion by helping to break up rain drops before they hit the soil.

o       If you have an outdoor sump pump as a backup for excessive rain, consider what will happen if the electricity goes out.  If you need the sump pump to handle excessive water, it may be time to add another drain to help water exit your property quickly.

o       Large trees can be an excellent wind breaker and help protect your home and property from wind and rain, however it is important to trim them enough that some wind can pass through them to help keep them from falling over in high winds.  Any large trees too close to a home can cause damage and even loss of life if they fall on your home.  Some trees have shallow roots or may be unhealthy making them a risk to your home.  If you had high winds, do you have a tree that could be a possible danger to you or your family?  If you are not sure, talk to an expert and/or consider getting it removed.

o       Last year many areas in California experienced weeks of heavy rains.  Examine how your house sits on your property.  Are you at the top of a hill or at the bottom?  Are you at risk for soil slippage underneath your house or a neighbor’s?   Is water or earth going to flow towards your home or away from it?  Now is the time to examine and proactively prepare for excessive rain, add an additional drain or get help if you are at risk for landslides or erosion.

o       In areas where protective plants are removed or destroyed, soil becomes vulnerable to erosion.  Soil erosion can happen slowly or it can happen very quickly in a heavy rain.  The exact measures needed for your property are based on your soil type, slope grade, home location, weather, water availability etc.  Also areas exposed by fire can open the door for invasive species and weeds. In some areas erosion control materials or mechanical control measures may need to be applied.  Contact your local CalTrans office or local forest service for guidelines in your area.

o       Water flow is an important factor of any erosion plan.  Never underestimate the power of storm water and debris.  Evaluating the area and planning for storm events is a critical first step to protecting your property and improper or inadequate measures can aggravate potential problems.  If your home or business is on a slope, water needs to be captured and drained to a safe area to help prevent erosion.  If you need help with erosion control or fire prevention landscaping, be sure to hire a licensed professional who specializes in that area of expertise.  Ask for references, insurance certificates and request to see their license.  You’ll want to protect your home and your neighbors’ as well.

o       Most homeowners are not aware that homeowners insurance does NOT cover a flood.  Be sure to check with your insurance company to make sure that you are covered for storm damage AND flood to your property.  It is a good idea to check with your insurance company about once a year to make sure that you are adequately covered for your home at full replacement cost.  Full replacement costs allows replacement at the time of the loss.  The actual cash value is considered to be replacement cost minus depreciation.

Now is an important time to evaluate your property’s landscape and to examine weak areas and those that were damaged from prior storms.  Take a look at what worked and what did not and try to determine how to better protect your property for the next one.  Proactive steps now can help prevent property damage later.