Many Northern Meadows residents are frustrated with their property owners association, and some are asking for help.

“Our HOA is being mismanaged,” Northern Meadows resident Stephanie Breezee said. “They are charging us for things they are not doing; right now we are doing our own front yard.”

The company Hoamco manages the Northern Meadows Homeowners Association.

Jason and Stephanie Breezee do yard work on their Northern Meadows home in June. Yard maintenance is a service provided by the property owners association, they say. Daniel Zuniga photo.

Residents, like S. Breezee, can be seen throughout the neighborhood maintaining their own yards, which is a service they say the association is supposed to provide.

“They let this bush die, and then they told us to replace it but that we had to pay for it to be replaced,” S. Breezee said.

And throughout the neighborhood, many yards have dead yuccas, dead trees, weeds, fallen branches, and patchy or poorly maintained grass.

“We never see the landscapers come through. We don’t know what their schedule is,” Northern Meadows resident Jason Breezee said.

According to residents, four years ago, yard maintenance crews used to come out every Monday, but now appearances are rare.

The Northern Meadows neighborhood’s Facebook page is filled with negative experiences with the association.

The Observer reached out to the association and received this response from the board:

Q: Is front-yard maintenance a responsibility of the HOA?
A: Some front yard maintenance is the POA and some the homeowner. Homeowners often assume maintenance includes many items which are their own. We have the items listed in a document that is available with all others and is regularly sent to the community.

Q: Why is front yard maintenance an issue now?
A: Front yard maintenance has always been a large issue simply by the volume and all the various pest, diseases, droughts, and other conditions which are routinely trying to kill landscape on the west mesa. Though for the last three years, more recently, added to that has been landscape companies’ own service issues, and currently due to COVID-caused labor and material shortages, cost increases, etc. Next year likely something else will join them. So, it is not an issue ‘now’; it is an issue always.

Q: What are the HOA’s goals for Northern Meadows?
A:The goals of the POA have always been to perform the maintenance for which is the responsibility of the POA on time and within the budget as with any association.

Here is the list of front-yard maintenance specifications and delineating of responsibilities from Hoamco:

Duties for landscaping vendor:
* Grass cut weekly in the growing season; approx. April to October
* Lawns blown of debris each visit and edged when the grass is 2 inches over the concrete.
* Weeds are treated and pulled as needed
* Aeration and fertilization in spring

* PRE-emergent herbicides applied up to two  times
* POST-emergent herbicides applied as needed during growing season
* Weeds more than 6 inches will be pulled or sprayed
* Blowing of leaves and trash to be done in the fall and as needed

Trees and Shrubs
* Shrubs trimmed/pruned to 4-6 feet tall. However, if shrubs/bushes are planted directly against and in front of a window, they will be cut low enough so that growth has room to occur and still not be in front of the window, though this may vary to an extent by plant type and window size.
* Shrubs will be trimmed 6 inches off the ground to allow for blowing out of leaves and trash.
*Shrubs overgrowing walkways, driveways or safety hazards will be trimmed as necessary.
* Trees, bushes, shrubs, etc., that encroach upon driveways, sidewalks, curbs, etc. will be trimmed back by 1 foot from the encroached item. If the rigid trimming to maintain a bush or shrub away from an item will result in damage or an unkempt appearance that will not fill with new growth, then the bush or shrub may be removed by flush cut if needed and not replaced so long as there are sufficient other numbers of plants. The homeowner may locate a replacement elsewhere in the yard at their expense.
* Trees shall be limbed upward to encourage height growth until maturity.
* Trimming is done to a height of 12 feet. Trimming beyond that height and for branches in excess of 2 inches in diameter are often done only as needed and may include a charge to the HOA or to the homeowner.
* Native plants may be trimmed only in the dormant season if their health requires it.
* Ground cover plants such as juniper will not be permitted to spread without limit. They will be contained to a localized area keeping an appropriate distance from other plants, hardscape items, utility cleanouts, etc.
* All trees and bushes will have a manicured look and be maintained in such fashion

* Irrigation is repaired by the landscaper
* Irrigation damaged by homeowner vehicles or actions will be billed for the repair
* If there is an issue with irrigation in your yard, call 505-924-5978 ext. 2154 or 2147 to place a ticket or go online to and create an account, to place your own ticket.

* All easements, running paths, gravel areas and curbs are sprayed to eliminate unwanted growth of vegetation through cracks
* Landscaped areas are policed for trash weekly
* Emptying of doggie pot stations, restocking with trash bags, emptying and restocking trash can liners
* Homeowners are responsible to pick up after pets regardless of whether the bag dispensers are empty
* In some areas of the community, the builder installed plants and trees within the easement. These often grow too large for the available space. It is HOA policy that these easement plants be removed at HOA cost when they are recognized as an issue. Trees in the easement may remain until such time as the tree is damaging to the surrounding sidewalk and/or curbs

The homeowner’s responsibility:
Please keep in mind that when you purchased the property, you also purchased the land, the gravel, the grass, the bushes, and the trees within the property. These are owned by you and therefore it is the owner’s responsibility to replace these items if they should die or become diseased for any reason other than a lack of irrigation. This ownership also includes storm damage and other naturally occurring events such as blown sand. Property origin of disturbed gravel during a storm, etc. is unknown afterward and is not possible to return it. Homeowners are responsible to clean blown sand and to replace gravel that is lost over time.

* If a loss of irrigation is determined the HOA will replace the plant material. New plant material may not be installed in matching size depending on the age of the plant material to be replaced.

* Per the master plan each property is required to contain a minimum of one tree and three bushes in the front yard. Some yards were over planted by the builder. When plants/trees die, it may be determined that it is not required to replace them all if the necessary number of plants/trees required in the master plan remain.

* The HOA may authorize the removal of plants/trees as necessary if they die, are diseased, or are declining without notice to the homeowner so long as there is no charge to the homeowner. If the homeowner is required to pay for the maintenance, then all efforts will be made to contact the owner by the methods (address, email, or phone) provided to the HOA by the owner. However, a safety issue may require the HOA to address the issue immediately and bill the homeowner upon completion of the task.

* Weeds less than 6 inches not killed by the HOA pre-emergent and post-emergent applications are the responsibility of the homeowner.

*** Please remember only a small portion of your of your monthly assessment actually goes towards the cost of hiring the landscape company. Most goes to the other costs of insurance, water used on the front yards, management to manage the community, events and special removals of oversized/damaging or dead trees, bushes, and flowers at the end of their life. Hiring of a personal landscaper that makes weekly visits to maintain an average individual front yard is at minimum $100 per month. A single homeowner’s dues contribute $8 per month to landscape services at this time. For this low cost the HOA receives the services that it does. However, the landscaper is unable to function as a private gardener performing any services in a varying manner for the homeowner that do not already align with the services provided in contract with the Association. ***