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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

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Irvine Swim Team Dispute Holds Cautionary Tale for South County’s HOA-Governed Communities

If you didn’t see it, the Register has published an article describing a four-year-long war between residents, the HOA and a local swim team within Quail Hill, an Irvine master planned community.  The article is here, and reads in part:

It all started, Chemers said, because he and other homeowners didn’t like the swim team’s use of a neighborhood pool for summer practices and meets. They objected to noise from the buzzer, the traffic and trash. And they didn’t like being told to get out of the pool to make way for the swim team. Chemers said the swim team wasn’t playing by the rules and was getting special treatment from the HOA board.

Other homeowners, including Barracudas founder Doug Swardstrom, saw the team as a community asset, an amenity to living in the neighborhood. They pointed out Quail Hill has three pools. The swim team uses just one for practice and has three home meets a year.

Read the whole thing at the Register.  This article is not behind the paywall.

The article is interesting in part because it shows some of the petty politics and personal agendas that can take root in HOA management.  Ladera Ranch, Sendero  and many South County communities are governed, in part, by HOAs.  Ladera Ranch has even had its own feud between residents and groups who reserve exclusive pool time at one of Ladera’s many swimming pools — although granted, the Ladera feud of which we are aware has never been as heated as the Quail Hill situation.

Still, the article is a reminder of the importance of good community management — and perhaps even more so, the importance of good old-fashioned neighborliness.

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