Protecting Our Trees

Dear Homeowners,                                                                                   September 2012

The HVR1 Architectural Committee (email: hopes this letter finds you in good health and trusts everyone is looking forward to the fall season. We write to clarify our position on some concerns of late and to communicate our goodwill. We are homeowners like yourselves, appointed to represent your interests and to uphold the terms that govern HVR1. We appeal to you as community members.

There has been a tremendous amount of destruction to the Palo Verde trees in our neighborhood recently. Landscapers with chainsaws have been busy in HVR1 brutally trimming these trees. Blue Palo Verde and Foothill Palo Verde trees are protected by the City of Scottsdale’s (COS) Native Plant Ordinance, which tells you their importance to our native Sonoran Desert environment. The leaves, branches and canopy of the Palo Verde provide sun protection for the tree’s bark and plants growing below, and a place for birds to build their nests. Arborists know that pruning the tree more than 15-20% is not advised. Stubs are not only unsightly, but will cause die-back into the tree. Scottsdale’s Principal Planner has suggested pruning to no higher than 5 feet above the ground when trimming for fire safety. But uninformed landscapers have gone overboard, and you can never un-trim a tree or undo the damage to the tree. Guidance can be found at: Pruning Arid Zone Trees

We understand that homeowners are house proud and want to keep the front of their homes looking nice. The translation of what is nice may vary from homeowner to homeowner, and there is room for flexibility and diversity. Judicious pruning, watering or adding of approved plants is okay. But the principal fact is that each HVR1 homeowner is obligated to observe the Deed Restrictions defined by our CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions) and Building Guidelines. This makes the homeowner responsible to keep the Natural Area (NA) outside of their Building Envelope natural as much as possible consistent with the original establishment of HVR1 as a Sonoran desert community with its indigenous plants and wildlife. Homeowners should resist excessive pruning, raking, applying of gravel overlays or chemicals, or planting non-native trees in the NA. If you consider pruning/planting in the NA, please contact the AC for guidance (email:

Our objective as the AC is to protect, not obstruct. HVR1 is one of the few HOAs with large lots, natural desert, natural privacy and dark sky. We should all act in a way that respects the look and essence of the community as it was intended and as it now exists. We all benefit when a neighbor is not permitted to paint their house glitter-purple or add a yellow-blue-red playhouse in the front. Protections and restrictions are the social and legal contract between HOA and homeowner.

The homeowner is expected to learn and abide by what City of Scottsdale requires. However the Board and AC are happy to share our knowledge and assistance. Feel free to ask us.

We invite homeowners to view Board and AC members as representatives and neighbors who are here to help and advise in the interests of the HVR1 community. We are currently engaged as follows:

1) Building Guidelines are being clarified and updated.
2) The Board and AC will do our best to educate about our community by making information easily available, conducting seminars and making ourselves accessible as much as possible.

Please consider working with us in a spirit of community cooperation. We can be much more effective forging compromise together and moving forward rather than revisiting the past.

Yours Sincerely
HVR1 Architecture Committee