Covenants Complaints and Enforcement
posted by: Drew Deurlington
Association News, Member News
Good news, if members are having issues with neighbors violating the Tahoe Donner Association rules, members can make complaints to Covenants staff seven days a week.
Report the complaint to Tahoe Donner Covenants Enforcement staff easily available to members:
- Online Complaint Submission: onestop.tahoedonner.com
- Email: Compliance@tahoedonner.com
- Phone: (530) 414-8166
A staff member is available to receive complaints:
Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
An after-hours on-call staff member is available to receive complaints:
Friday – Sunday 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and holiday periods
Special Holiday After-Hours Enforcement Coverage
Tahoe Donner want to highlight special holiday covenants enforcement coverage for the period of December 22 through January 7.
After-hours on-call staff will be available 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. on these days, and special extended coverage hours for New Year’s Eve from 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
What Can You Expect When You Call the Covenants Complaint Phone Line During the Staffed After-Hours?
A friendly Tahoe Donner staff team member will receive your phone call from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. Friday through Sunday and on holidays.
Be prepared to provide at a minimum:
- Your name, address at Tahoe Donner, your email address
- Nature of complaint with times occurring
- Address of property being complained upon
- Evidence: photos, video, etc.
- How this behavior is affecting you
- What actions have been taken to resolve complaint (for example the police have been called etc.)
Staff will take your complaint and make every effort to contact the owner of the property being complained upon. Staff will:
- Call the primary phone number on file and speak with owner or leave a voicemail
- If voicemail picks up, staff will call second and possibly third phone numbers on file to speak with the owner or leave a voicemail
- An email will also be sent if there is an email on file with the property
- A follow up email will be sent to the complainant confirming contact was made.
The communication to the respondent (complained upon property) will generally as follows with adjustments dependent on complaint,
- Dear Owner, Tahoe Donner Covenants enforcement staff has received an after-hours complaint on your property at X time.
- Detail will then be provided on the complaint.
- Questioning will transpire as to whether the owner is presently at the property or perhaps others. Member will be asked to voluntarily comply with the rules of the association.
- Additionally, staff will indicate that the owner will receive official documentation regarding the complaint following Covenants rules and enforcement procedures.
For complaints specific to loud parties, fire, aggressive behaviors and/or any other perceived life-safety or disturbances of the peace, staff will ask if the police or fire department has been called. If not, staff will recommend this takes place, otherwise staff will report these issues to the appropriate Town of Truckee. If during communication with the complainant it is determined that 911 dispatch should be engaged, and complainant requests covenants staff to facilitate the 911 dispatch on their behalf, communication to the complainant will include: complainants name, address, and contact information will be provided as the primary contact for agency response, additional information needs and follow up.
Let us all be good neighbors by abiding by and communicating to our friends, family and invitees the common courtesies and rules established for the Tahoe Donner community as well as Town of Truckee ordinances. The most common complaints for 2017 were: storage, trash spills, lighting, and noise. See a more detailed report on 2017 covenants complaints and enforcement further within this communication.
Common Courtesy Guidelines
Courtesy guidelines are not rules and simple good neighbor recommendations. These guidelines are identified due to frequent neighbor comment and complaints.
A tagline for Truckee you will see on license plate covers of Truckee drivers is, “the stars shine brighter in Truckee.” Tahoe Donner wants to help keep those stars shine bright by encouraging members and guests to limit outdoor lighting and have outdoor lighting off after 10:00 p.m. The Town of Truckee’s development code details language on dark sky night requirements. These apply to building requirements, but worth taking as a policy from the Town of Truckee that every resident should make the attempt to minimize light pollution as reasonable.
- Have all exterior lights on motion sensors to reduce accidental lights left on.
- Tahoe Donner does have Architectural Standards rules which dictate the type of lighting fixtures homeowners can install on the exterior of the house, this includes the requirement that the light source must be shielded.
- Exterior lighting must project downward and cannot project beyond the property boundaries nor be located 10ft above a walking surface.
The mountain air and granite surrounding Truckee and Tahoe Donner helps amplify and carry sounds. You can often hear trains crossing the summit, avalanche mitigation bombs at Sugar Bowl, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows and Northstar on early mornings for avalanche mitigation efforts. You can also hear snow removal and trash operations not to mention the party on the deck 10 houses down from you. If a noise thirteen miles away from the center of Tahoe Donner carries to your backyard, think how late night and early morning activities may affect your neighbors. Especially at night, outdoor activities on decks and patios, in hot tubs, and around fire pits can result in voices and other sounds that are loud and carry to neighboring homes, interfering with peace and even sleep of neighbors. Please be aware of the noise you may be generating.
Tahoe Donner does have a rule which noise complaints can be applied, Noxious Activities. We also would like to include noise control guidelines to emphasize the need to be considerate of others.
- Be neighborly and tell your neighbors when you are planning to have a large group event or party, and provide a contact for them to call if they have a concern.
- Bring your party inside by 10 p.m. and keep outdoor sounds to a minimum between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Trash and Wildlife
This is bear country, and proper disposal of trash, as described below, is important to avoid scattering of trash and property damage, and for the safety of people and bears.
- Trash and recycling cannot be left out prior to Tuesday pickup day without an approved Animal Resistant Garbage Can Enclosure (ARGCE).
- Make sure all food is removed from vehicles and trash is secure.
- Bears, porcupine, and other wildlife can and do break into vehicles and enclosures for people food. This endangers them and humans.
- There is no such thing as a dog poop fairy. Please pick up after your pet and throw your bags in appropriate waste receptacles.
- Respect the privacy and property of others. Don’t use other people’s driveways, yards for snowplay, sledding, parking or crossing.
- Amenity Access: guests/tenants must have a guest card to access amenities for a fee. Four guest/card limit.
Town of Truckee streets include the 68 miles of roads within Tahoe Donner. The speed limit is predominantly 25 mph.
- Tahoe Donner streets are part of the Town of Truckee Police Department Enhanced Traffic Enforcement zone, you will be ticketed for exceeding the speed limit.
- Slow down and watch for children, wildlife and recreation enthusiasts on all streets and coming out of driveways.
Town of Truckee Streets and Winter Driving
The streets in the Tahoe Donner Association are public streets owned and maintained by the Town of Truckee; this includes traffic enforcement, snow removal and accident response.
- Tahoe Donner streets are mostly 25 mph. Slow down and watch for children and wildlife.
- During winter months, members and guests should be prepared for changing winter conditions, and carry chains or have 4-wheel drive vehicles.
- Cars lacking this equipment can slide off the road, or become stuck in the street, preventing the snowplows from plowing and blocking residents from entering or leaving their homes or generating other hazards.
Other Guidelines and Recommendations
- Weather conditions change rapidly, be prepared for snow and heat even in the fall
- This community is part of the wildland-residential interface and you will see wildlife including bears, coyote, deer, beavers, porcupine, and more. Be respectful of their habitat and take it slow when driving in the community
- Respect the privacy and property of others. Don’t use other people’s driveways, yards for parking or crossing.
Tahoe Donner Covenants Rules Common Violations
Common rules which frequently result in neighbor complaints and possible citing of violations with fines starting at a minimum of $200 and up to $5,000 to owners include:
- Parking off pavement – no parking trailers, vehicles or other equipment off paved or approved surface
- Noxious Activities:
- Noise – loud music and partying between quiet hours of 10:00p.m. – 7:00 a.m. Sound travels far in the cold mountain air, thus keep music and gatherings inside during these courtesy quiet hours.
- Barking, dog at large and/or aggressive dogs
- Dogs on Leash - Pets must be on leash on Tahoe Donner property
- Pets must be on leash or within voice control on Town of Truckee streets
- Storage - Store items within enclosed storage areas (ladders, furniture, etc.)
- “Dumping” or leaving for “free” furniture, equipment, clothes, etc.
- Trash Spills – Please take the time to educate your guests or tenants regarding the proper use of the Animal Resistance Garbage Can Enclosure (ARGCE) unit. The metal units can be breached if not property secured. The locking mechanism key, if required, should not be left in the lock as it can be manipulated or broken off by our local bears. The disposal company’s employees carry keys to all Tahoe Donner Association approved garbage can enclosures. During winter conditions, please make sure the enclosure door is accessible to the garbage company. Make sure any snow that’s built up in front of the door is removed prior to Tuesday’s garbage day pickup. The garbage company will not empty the enclosure if there’s a wall of snow in front of it or the door is frozen shut.
- Warming fire – warming fires are only allowed in properly screen and contained warming fire container
- No fireworks or other unauthorized fire implements
- Drones are prohibited on Tahoe Donner owned property, unless authorized by Tahoe Donner management. This includes all green belts, open space, and trail system.
- Private property trespass – keep all activities on your property. Do not enter your neighbor’s property or utilize their property for any purpose, this includes parking, sledding and snow play, storage, etc.
- Use of amenities outside normal operational hours is prohibited. For example,
- Only registered golfers can use the golf course, no walking, snowmobiling, biking, skating, grass play, sledding or other activities on the golf course.
- No sledding or skiing at the Downhill Ski Area or Cross Country Ski Area
This is an abbreviated list of the Covenants rules. For a full list visit www.tahoedonner.com/governingdocuments. Note, any violation of Tahoe Donner rules, even resulting by tenants or guests, fall on the homeowner’s responsibility including hearings and possible fines levied because of violations.
Covenants Enforcement Update
Tahoe Donner has increased its communication to members regarding the Covenants rules and enforcement procedures established at the association over the last five months. This has included information on how members can report and make a complaint, along with the need for timeliness of reporting to help address issues in a more expeditious manner. This education engagement has been through the Tahoe Donner News, member eblasts, website, and Nextdoor postings.
Starting at the end of September, Covenants enforcement staffing moved from the 5-day coverage to 7-day coverage and at the start of November, after-hours on-call staff was added. These changes have improved the complaint and violation investigation timing down from up to a two-day delay to same day acknowledgement, member contact and violation investigation.
The Covenants Committee met most months this year except January due to severe winter storm, March and May for lack of business. At the meetings held this year, the committee sat and presided over a total of 24 hearings for properties with complaints brought forth spanning from illegal tree removal, storage, garbage, and parking to noxious activities: noise, lighting, dogs crossing property lines, aggressive behavior and barking, and business activities. A summary of second violations within a 12-month period and fines can be seen below:
|Covenants Hearings||Fine Amount ($)|
|Storage (2nd Offense)||$400|
|Storage (2nd Offense)||$600|
|Storage (2nd Offense)||$400|
|Business Activity – Excess Parking||$200|
|Storage (3rd Offense)||$1,600|
|Storage (3rd Offense)||$800|
|Parking Off Pavement||$200|
|Storage & Dilapidated Vehicle||$200|
|Storage (3rd Offense)||$200|
|Garbage Spill (2nd Offense)||$0|
|Storage (2nd Offense)||$400|
|Storage (4th Offense)||$800|
|Garbage Spill (2nd Offense)||$400|
|Forest Health/Fire Safety||$1,000|
|Noxious Activity (Common Area–Aggressive Dog)||$200|
|Noxious Activity (Exterior Flood Lights)||$0|
|Business Activities (2nd Offense – Increased Traffic & Parking)||$0|
|Common Area & Private Property Damage (Machinery & Equipment, Vegetation Removal)||$900|
|Business Activities (2nd Offense – Increased Traffic & Parking)||$0|
|Noxious Activity (Dog)||$200|
Year-to-date thru November 30, there were a total of 231 complaints, and of these complaints, 175 were actual violations of Tahoe Donner rules; most of which were first time violations within a twelve-month period. We are encouraged to see an increase in complaint submittals and attribute this in part to the homeowner education over the last several months. A year-to-date complaints detail is below. You will see the top two complaints and violations are for storage and garbage spills.
|No Permit ASO||3|
|Private Property Machinery||2|
|In Person at ASO||9|
|Month||Complaint Category by Month||Total|
|Machinery & Equipment||1|
|Parking Off Pavement||1|
|August||Common Area Noxious Activity Aggressive Dog||1|
|No Permit ASO||1|
|Private Property Machinery||1|
|Animal Control Misc.||1|
|Drone on TD Common Area||1|
|No Permit ASO||2|