My wife and I live in a homeowner association called Crown Harbor. Crown Harbor is a small gated Alameda California community of 76 townhomes nestled along Ballena Bay, Crab Cove, and Crown Beach. Crown Harbor is a quiet, well-kept community on the San Francisco Bay, close to downtown Alameda's Historic Webster Street shopping, restaurants, post office, twice-weekly Farmers' Market, and much-anticipated seasonal events such as Concerts at Crab Cove, 4th of July Parade, and Neptune Beach Community Celebration. Alameda Hospital is less than 2 miles away. Crown Harbor is only 10 minutes away from Oakland's world-famous Jack London Square. San Francisco is a 15 minute ferry ride away. World-renown wineries in Napa Valley and Sonoma County are less than an hour away with award-winning Rock Wall winery less than 10 minutes from Crown Harbor.
The homes in Crown Harbor are townhouses in that each unit is part of a free-standing building that shares one wall with an adjacent unit. One could say that Crown Harbor condominium complex is based on a townhouse architecture — one unit is next to and/or immediately above another. The term condominium refers to the type of ownership where homeowners own the insides of their individual units, and the association owns the containing structure and the surrounding area called common area. As odd as this sounds, homeowners don't own their garages or patios. These are referred to as exclusive use common areas. This means that no one other than the owner is expected to use the area, but the owner does not technically own it as he/she does for the inside of the unit. This allows some restrictions to apply. For example, if an owner wanted to convert his/her garage into another bedroom, this could be denied. The CC&Rs stipulate that the association is a better place to live if owners park their vehicles in their garages.
I mention the type of ownership because the association owns the sewer laterals. Effective January 1, 2015, the City of Alameda modified how sewer laterals are maintained. In the City of Alameda, the City owns and maintains all public sanitary sewer mains, but the property owner owns and is responsible for maintaining a sanitary sewer lateral. This has some implications for association complexes like Crown Harbor.
|A sanitary sewer lateral is typically a four-inch diameter clay or plastic pipe that delivers sewage from the structure or property to the sanitary sewer main.|
|The sewer laterals in Crown Harbor are maintained by the Association. Though all Owners are responsible for the plumbing inside their units, the Association is responsible for the line from the unit to the City main. The city of Alameda outlines the division of responsibilities between the city and homeowner associations.|
|To comply with the county of Alameda's Sewer Lateral Program, the Board has engaged the services of New Pipes Inc. to inspect all of the sewer laterals in Crown Harbor. This process has begun and will not inconvenience homeowners whose units have a sewer lateral cleanout immediately adjacent to the unit. Others, who are not so fortunate, will be notified by New Pipes that they will have to allow access to their homes for New Pipes to use a toilet to inspect their sewer laterals. New Pipes is posting more detailed information on garages of all affected units.|
When New Pipes came to inspect my sewer lateral via the cleanout, I had to remove some bark chips so they could find it. This was a catalyst to do some yardwork. Rather than just add new chips to the one spot, I removed all of the chips from the side and front yard, relocated them to the backyard, and added all new chips in the front.
The association has a pine tree whose fallen needles get stuck in the bark. I bought micro bark chips in hopes that I can rake up the pine needles without picking up the chips. Time will tell.
That was yesterday. Today is oh my aching back.
Yardwork is alive in the lab.