‘DVExit,’ 3 of 10 Dammeron Valley subdivisions vote to leave homeowners association

Stock image, St. George News

WASHINGTON COUNTY – Three subdivisions voted Friday to leave the Dammeron Valley Landowners Association after residents at odds with a developer joined forces for a “DVExit” initiative.

Over the past several months, the issue became so contentious that residents asked the Washington County Clerk/Auditor’s Office for help counting votes and for a neutral location to do so.

Dammeron Valley, located about 14 miles north of St. George on state Route 18, is seen in this file photo, Dammeron Valley, Utah, May 21, 2016 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News

Of 10 subdivisions that voted on whether to leave the landowners association, three were successful and two did not receive enough ballots to proceed with a vote, according to information from the exit initiative.

Five subdivisions voted in favor of leaving the association but did not have the required majority of landowners needed.

“Many years of bad management and possible overreach by the developer has caused trouble,” Amanda Ballif, a resident of Dammeron Valley Farms 2A subdivision, said.

The Dammeron Valley Landowners Association is not needed to have a well-kept community because the county codes are sufficient and can actually be enforced whereas the DVLA has got only one recourse – to sue neighbors.”

Two subdivisions, the Meadows and the Ranches, left the association last year, Dammeron Valley resident Dave Arenaz said.

The DVExit Initiative was formed to help subdivisions remove themselves from the “sinking ship” of the Dammeron Valley Landowners Association, Ballif said. 

The DVExit Initiative website lists a host of reasons for the exit initiative, including allegations of questionable accounting practices and the sporadic enforcement of the codes, covenants and restrictions including architectural guidelines. Other issues relate to ongoing involvement in lawsuits which may put landowners at risk financially.

Dammeron Valley | Image courtesy of Washington County, St. George News

“Since the DVLA board has limited enforcement powers, they resort to intimidation or even threats of litigation. Often, they choose not to act at all and the results can be seen throughout the valley,” the website states.

Brooks Pace is the developer of Dammeron Valley and a principal in The Dammeron Corporation.

“The exit vote is democracy in action,” Dammeron Valley developer Brooks Pace said, “and while I’m disappointed in the results and the division in Dammeron, I do believe the community will come back together in the future.”

Brooks Pace’s wife, June Pace, is secretary for the Dammeron Corporation.

“The DVLA (Dammeron Valley Landowners Association) has been the backbone of Dammeron Valley for 40 years and helped create the beautiful community it is today,” she said. “There are many people who are very upset with the decision to exit.”

The homeowners association board has always been made up of volunteers who spend their own time to make the community a better place, she said, and the demands on the board have grown with the increasing number of Dammeron Valley residents.

“It may be timely to look at the organization with the idea of improving some things that aren’t working well,” June Pace said.

She said discontented residents knew there was a homeowners association when they moved there, and she wishes they had joined the board and been part of the solution rather than leading an exit movement.

However, all residents share the common ground of love of the land. “We can reunite as a community based on this alone,” she said.

Craig Meyocks lives in the Dammeron Valley Homesteads subdivision which voted to leave the landowners association.

“It’s nice to have it behind us,” Meyocks said. He believes the landowners association no longer serves a useful purpose for the Homesteads subdivision because it is already built out – no more lots are available.

“There’s still some subdivisions that are in the build-out phase, where there’s still a lot of lots to build on. I can definitely see the need for CCRs and governing documents (for them),” he said.

The Washington County Clerk/Auditors office supplied a neutral location for the Dammeron Valley vote count, Washington County Elections Supervisor Melanie Abplanalp said.

“They requested a neutral party,” Abplanalp said.

The vote had nothing to do with county elections and the County Clerk’s office did not retain records of the vote count, she said.

“I can’t tell you how much we appreciate the county clerk’s office,” Meyocks said.

“They showed us how to count ballots so they were anonymous, so there wasn’t any question, you know, people’s votes were private and they weren’t compromised … they helped us out a great deal,” Meyocks said.

From the county’s perspective, a subdivision leaving a homeowners association has no effect, Washington County Planner Scott Messel said.

“(It’s) business as usual,” Messel. “Nothing changes. We still approve building permits, if there’s zoning enforcement … we still make sure that the subdivision meets our code.”

The exception would be if a subdivision owned private roads or open spaces; the county would need to make sure those are properly maintained.

Some homeowners associations have very low fees for the maintenance of minimal public spaces such as entrance signs and associated landscaping. Others have higher fees and more extensive responsibilities including the maintenance of private roads, open spaces, gates and clubhouses.

Anyone purchasing a home in a subdivision with a homeowners association, or HOA, must join the association.

Some HOAs have more restrictive rules than county or city ordinances, Messel said, but the county does not get involved in enforcing those rules.

Email: japplegate@stgnews.com
Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

 

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18 Comments

  • Caveat_Emptor May 24, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    After carefully exploring the purchase of a bare building lot in the Pinion Hills portion of DV, my research identified a disconnect between the first 4 phases CC&Rs, and the subsequent phases 5 and 6 Amendments, pertaining to the design of a home.
    The CC&Rs are rather unsophisticated, but the Architectural Guidelines were the most concerning to me.
    While the AG for Phases 1 thru 4 prescribed some level of detail for home design, they were not quite as prescriptive as the subsequent phases, 5 and 6.
    Since we were not interested in building another stucco coated box, we thought that we had the flexibility for a mountain rustic design, with a shallow roof detail, that was previously accepted by the Architectural Review Committee of a Park City based subdivision. After a lengthy phone conference with the resident chairperson of the DV Architectural Committee, and a discussion of what is specifically allowed, in writing, by the legally (Washington County Recorder’s Office) filed CC&Rs, it became apparent that the developer would never approve any design that was not another stucco coated box…….the implied threat was that if we chose to proceed with a proposal for a non-stucco coated box we would not be approved, and we would have to pursue legal action.

    Friendly advice: read the CC&Rs and associated Architectural Guidelines first, then make sure what you have in mind, which may meet these regulations, would be “approvable” before purchasing. This may seem excessive due diligence, but this is typically the most expensive investment that a family will make.

    • wilbur May 25, 2017 at 9:38 am

      You were aware of the significant fire danger posed by the Pinion Hills geography, purposeful small roads, and heavy vegetation, were you not?

      Generally, stucco sided structures are more resistant to flames than wood sided construction, be they bland boxes or not.

      • Run From those Hills May 25, 2017 at 6:18 pm

        The Utah Wildlands Fire Ordinance makes your boasting of fire protection in Pinion Hills moot. “Purposeful small roads”? Explain that one genius. And those rubber roof flat trays make a great flat pan for airborne embers to sit on in a wildfire. But leave it to loony leftists to spend thousand on security while leaving their front doors unlocked.

    • Run From those Hills May 25, 2017 at 6:23 pm

      The problem is Pace and his hip pocket DVLA lackeys don’t even follow their own CC&R’s. It is typical “Do as We Say, Not as We Do” hypocrisy.

  • Utahguns May 24, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    You think the HOA’s of these communities really do any good for its people? It’s a joke.
    The Veyo Culinary Water Assn is another example of sustained incompetence.

  • Run From those Hills May 24, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    Most of what remains in the Dammeron HOA is Pinion Hills, which is a great example of why these other subdivisions are exiting. My understanding is the Developer, Brooks Pace, has gotten away for decades doing what he pleases, and then runs to Washington County for bailouts (e.g., an undersized and improperly built sewage system backing up into homes requiring WCWCD takeover) and variances (e.g., cheating on road widths, easements, drain pipe size, etc.). Finally, a standing room only crowd packed a Washington County Commissioners meeting to protest the entitled actions of Pace. And it appears Washington County is heeding these protests and requiring Pace to play by the same rules as everyone else. Pinion Hills is a beautiful spot, it’s just too toxic to live in.

  • wilbur May 25, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Pace is unabashedly proceeding to remove virtually all trail access for the equestrians here in DV.

    While professing he’s creating a horse-friendly development, his actions speak otherwise to his promises.

    The DV HOA board is tightly wrapped around his middle finger, and generally backs his decisions, to the contrary of the wishes of the land owners.

    He’s currently hard at work trying to force an “overarching” new HOA system on all landowners, and shove incorporation down our throats so he can get a state, fed, and local financed septic system to continue his developments.

    Happy to be rid of him, for now.

    DV landowner.

    • comments May 25, 2017 at 10:42 am

      Sounds like all you whiners need to gather the pitchforks and storm the castle, lol.

      • wilbur May 25, 2017 at 12:12 pm

        Yeah, you would too if his fecal waste flowed downhill and out onto your property.

        • Run From those Hills May 25, 2017 at 6:21 pm

          Pace is an entitled, silver spoons child who needs to be spanked and sent to stand in a corner until he learns how to be a responsible developer and citizen.

      • Run From those Hills May 25, 2017 at 6:24 pm

        Sounds like you need to pull your brown nose out of….

  • Nordysgirl May 26, 2017 at 7:09 am

    The majority of these comments are not only lies but also from the same haters in Dammeron who started this Exit. Their comments about Brooks Pace are far from the truth but they feel safe spreading more lies on this feed because they aren’t using their real names (right Wilbur .. aka Hunter Wolfe?). Wilbur and his cronies are a bunch of miserable human beings that unfortunately have landed in one of the most beautiful places in Southern Utah. Their only goal here is to tear down this community and the developer … not giving a damn about their neighbors (or property values). And when someone (and I have a pretty good idea who made that comment) makes a comment like “gather your pitchforks and storm the castle” … you can only imagine the low life people we are dealing with.

    • Hunter May 26, 2017 at 9:31 am

      A little ironic that someone calling people out for posting anonymously called me out by name using an anonymous profile. I can assure you, I’m not Wilbur. This is my profile, including a photo of me. I have no other accounts under which I post on this site. But, thanks for the shout out!

    • comments May 26, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      sound like someone got their panties in a knot. I think you just outed yourself as the real low life. and who is nordy?

      • Hunter May 26, 2017 at 1:43 pm

        I don’t think it’s low-life behavior to be involved in what is essentially my local government. I’m a landowner and worked to exercise my rights under our governing documents. I have nothing to hide and have been completely transparent, including sitting on a panel in a 2 hour community meeting with the DVLA Board to answer questions from other landowners regarding the Exit Initiative’s position. Many residents agreed with the Exit side, and many agreed with the DVLA Board. That’s how governing works. Some subdivisions had the votes to exit, and some didn’t.

        But, the accusation that I’m posting disparaging comments about the developer on here using an anonymous account are ridiculous.

    • Run From those Hills May 29, 2017 at 8:22 am

      Nordysgirl (AKA June Pace or one of her paid protesters) should get an Oscar for her Tammy Wynette routine, but attacking honest people with legitimate grievances against an irresponsible Developer who wields undue influence over a DVLA board of pawns is pretty low. Your husband established the rules that the exit residents decided to follow. How much of a low life and control freak do you look like for trying to obstruct our rights? But the rules don’t apply to you, do they June? Besides, his silver spoons will keep feeding you and yours for many years to come, so why don’t you just mind your own business and learn to live and let live.

  • Nordysgirl May 29, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Not June and not paid by anyone. You are the one doing the attacking and it’s become truly pathetic to listen to. Why are you even living in Dammeron if it’s so bad? Maybe causing trouble is all you have? Or maybe you are just a grumpy old man that gets off on this? Either way, get over it!

  • Henry June 14, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    The comments here are reflective of the infighting in Dammeron Valley. I am embarrassed to read the accusations and nastiness- both sides (exit & stay) have points. Brooks had been able to do what he wants as a developer & I’m not thrilled with his actions. But it’s not fair to attack him personally nor is it fair to attack people’s political views as you hide behind an anonymous profile. Mean people suck.

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