Vacant Lot Policy

Overview

The Landscape Subcommittee, operating under the guidelines and regulations established in the CC&Rs, has developed a policy specifically addressing vacant lots within our community. This dedicated webpage has been launched to serve as a comprehensive resource for our residents. Whether you've received a notice or suspect that your lot may be affected by weedy or invasive species, this website is here to assist you. 

 

For further guidance, or if you have questions about the policy and its implications for your lot, please don't hesitate to contact Jaime Burton. Jaime will be available by appointment only to provide direction and help residents navigate the Vacant Lot Policy effectively. 

 

Please note that these lots are assessed by a third party consultant and shall be cleaned up within 6 months following the initial lot inspection. The Superstition Mountain Owners Association currently has about 127 vacant lots remaining. After this first inspection period - and its extended time frame for initial clean up of the lot - subsequent inspections will occur annually. It is HIGHLY ENCOURAGED that once a lot is cleaned up, pre-emergent weed control is conducted twice annually, typically in the early fall, and late spring. Click HERE to learn more about the benefits of pre and post emergent spray. Keeping on top of this regular maintenance will help limit the expensive cleanup and plant removal process.


It's important to note that during this roll out of the Vacant Lot policy, and individualized inspections, we are communicating with each lot owner and giving an extended amount of time for initial cleanup. We understand you may want to prioritize the lot next to your home, however this cannot be accommodated. Therefore, we kindly ask for your patience and understanding as we work through inquiries to prioritize efficient communication and cleanup efforts community wide.

 

Remember, this site aims to not only provide you with all the necessary information about the Vacant Lot Policy but also to foster a sense of community by encouraging participation and feedback. Your active involvement is essential to the success of this community-wide cleanup, and we look forward to working together to achieve our common goals.



The Vacant Lot Maintenance Policy

This policy sets forth the Association expectations and maintenance obligations of Vacant Lots throughout the community. The maintenance of the vacant lot is the sole responsibility of the lot owners. Please review the policy in detail by clicking below. 

View or download the Vacant Lot Maintenance Policy


Invasive Weeds/Species 

Invasive weeds are plants that are introduced into new environments where they are not native, and once established, they can spread aggressively, outcompeting native flora and disrupting ecosystems. These plants often have characteristics such as rapid growth, high reproductive output, and the ability to thrive in a wide range of environmental conditions, which allow them to dominate landscapes quickly. 

Witches Broom 

Fountain Grass 

Mistletoe

Stinknet 

Climbing Milkweed 

Buffel Grass 


Before and after Vacant Lots 

Be on the lookout in the future for before and after photos of non - compliant and compliant Vacant Lots.  


FAQ's

Q: Can we still pay the HOA to spray my Vacant Lot? 

A: No. This program was discontinued after the 2023 Weed Spray due to difficulty coordinating with owners, and an inability to adequately address every lot. Further, the pre-emergent spray has never addressed plant removal, trimming, etc. As desert vegetation has matured and died, the scope of work needed on vacant lots exceeded what the SMOA could take on effectively. 

Q. If my lot was sprayed by the SMOA in the past, am I still responsible for cleaning it up? 

A. Yes, the SMOA only sprayed pre-emergent in the spring to minimize new weedy growth. The removal of dead, overgrown, or invasive species is the responsibility of the lot owner, and will be called out in the inspection form you receive. 

Q. Are these requirements specific to my lot? 

A. Yes, your lot was inspected, and the notice was customized to the specific needs of your lot. It has been formatted such that you can share the inspection checklist with your landscaper of choice and they should understand what plants need to be trimmed or removed.

Q. Why are the Vacant Lot Owners given six months to bring their lot into compliance? 

A. The Landscape Subcommittee recognized that an initial clean up may require more work, time, and capital than ongoing maitinence. Once the initial clean up of the lots is completed in the first year, inspections by the site time, and communications to owners will be more timely and handled in accordance with other compliance items, on an ongoing basis. 

Q. I don't own a vacant lot. Am i still required to remove the invasive species from my lot? 

A. Yes. Invasive species can spread rapidly and are NOT on any approved plant list, and therefore should be removed. 

Q. Is the HOA conforming to this policy? 

A. Yes, generally. Wash maintenance and other common areas are maintained on a cycle, within guidelines governing 404 washes, and within budget constraints. 

Q: Why do we need a Vacant Lot Policy?

A: This policy is needed for several reasons – First, to ensure that our community is maintained and cared for, including properties that have not yet been built; Second, there are a lot of weeds, invasive plants and excessive vegetation on many vacant properties; and lastly these weeds can and will spread to neighboring properties. 

Q: What is an invasive species? 

A: An invasive species is one that “takes over” existing landscapes. Generally, invasive species are not native to the area (Stinknet or Globe Chamomile is an example of a non-native invasive plant). However, there are some native species that tend to be invasive or “weedy,” that is, they spread rapidly and take over existing landscapes. Desert broom, brittlebush, and climbing milkweed are examples of weedy native plants. 

Q: What about plants that are native to the Sonoran Desert, such as brittlebush, desert broom, mistletoe, and climbing milkweed? Why do these need to be removed? 

A: While these plants are indeed native to the Sonoran Desert, they are either fire hazards (brittlebush), they spread very rapidly by seed (brittlebush, desert broom), or they represent a hazard to other, more desirable existing plants (mistletoe, climbing milkweed). For this reason, the plants listed have been targeted for removal from our community. In addition, these plants are not on the approved plant list for the community.