Last year I received a call from a person interested in my old place in Lake Mead City the other day because I forgot to remove the webpage with the ad after I sold it. He was looking for a vacation property and he wasn’t even aware of the MCA. While I was a California real estate broker I saw my share of weird developments, but I never imagined that anything as bizarre as the Meadview Civic Association (MCA) would exist anywhere.
So here’s a primer for newcomers:
What is the MCA?
The MCA is a non-profit membership corporation founded by the developers to create an “upscale” community with many rules and restrictions and the current $35/year membership fee. The membership voted AGAINST a $5 fee increase on 5/25/13.
Last year I received the 1989 AMENDED restrictions for Unit 7 and I learned that many properties NOT in the MCA are subject to restrictions.
Be sure to review the restrictions for YOUR property as there are 20 different deed restrictions for the various units and make sure that you get AMENDMENTS and not just original restrictions.
Incredibly, the property restrictions in the town of Meadview allow chickens, goats and horses while Unit 7, about 8 miles from Meadview and mostly DESERT, prohibits chickens, goats, horses, a well, clothes drying on a cloth line, etc.
Of course all these documents SHOULD be available for download at the MCA website.
Who belongs to the MCA?
Every property that was placed into the MCA is in it forever or until the members vote to change that.
Which properties are in the MCA?
Lake Mead City properties do NOT qualify, but I believe every property north of Lake Mead City (Charles Dr.) qualifies.
Here is the weird part: SOME properties are NOT in the MCA and have no restrictions at all and that’s why you may have neighbors with chickens, wells, home based businesses and clothes lines and there’s NOTHING you can do about it. Only the properties in the MCA or subject to restrictions have to comply with the MCA rules.
Can anyone join the MCA?
I know people in Lake Mead City who are “social” members. While the current annual membership fee is $35 for property owners, they pay $50.
However, if you own property north of Charles, you can NOT join the MCA as a social member and you MUST put the property in the MCA and subject yourself to the MCA deed restrictions, dues and lower property values FOREVER or until the members vote to eliminate the deed restrictions.
Does MCA membership lower property values?
Yes, most definitely. I had been looking to move from Lake Mead City to Unit 7 for years and I could not find a suitable lot that was not in the MCA. I paid $18,000 for my lot and I would have gladly paid an extra $10,000 for a similar non-MCA lot.
Currently lots for as little as $5,000 can’t be sold because nobody wants to purchase property with those ridiculous restrictions. After all, most people who LIKE these restrictions can just stay where they are. The people that I know who’d like to move here want nothing to do with idiotic rules and regulations — they want to get AWAY from enforcement and control freaks.
Who benefits from the MCA?
Very few members use the facilities.
Memorial Day weekend 2013:
Friday 3 PM — NO members were at the facilities.
Monday 3 PM — NO members were at the facilities except for the new board holding a PRIVATE meeting, but by 3:30 PM one member was in the launch using his laptop.
Several thousand members pay for the facilities and enforcement of rules and regulations.
Word on the street is that many years ago the MCA provided a dumpster and members could use it for their household trash. That’s how many residents were enticed to join the MCA. Talking to long time residents about the MCA I encountered extreme animosity and hatred for the MCA.
What are the MCA facilities?
The MCA building in Meadview has an auditorium, meeting room and kitchen, there is a pool, tennis court, mini golf, … Members use the facilities for all sorts of activities from quilting to line dancing classes.
What are MCA activities?
A listing is on the last page of the Meadview News and at http://www.mca-az.org/clubs.html
Who can attend activities at the MCA?
Most activities can only be attended by MCA members. At the 2/12 MCA meeting I suggested that the listings in the advertiser indicate which activities are for MCA members only and the membership requirement is now properly disclosed.
At the 2/12 meeting I asked whether we could use the MCA facilities for our Gardening Club meetings and I was told that only MCA members could attend.
For some reason that I don’t remember, bingo is open to the public. The Meadview Quail is open to the public because they are affiliated with the university. The COM meetings are open to the public.
Basically, the Meadview clique decides which events are open to the community.
There are also occasional BBQs and benefits open to the public.
While members can bring guests to swim in the pool or otherwise enjoy the facilities, nobody is allowed to bring guests to members only activities.
Why is the MCA restricting access to activities?
They want to force property owners to join the MCA. Owners of property in eligible areas can not become social members.
Who can run for the MCA board?
The 2012 board blatantly violated the bylaws and did NOT allow me to run for the board. I was a member in good standing and in compliance with the residency requirements. However, the “election committee” headed by Gladys Burk decided that I was not eligible to run.
How does the MCA benefit members?
Most members not only see no benefits, but the MCA membership lowers their property values.
How can the MCA be changed to eliminate the lowering of property values?
The members can vote to REMOVE all deed restrictions or to dissolve the MCA. It the MCA is dissolved, all its assets will go to a new non profit organization OPEN TO ALL! I explained the procedures in my 11/9/12 OPEN LETTER to the MCA and community:
Do the deed restrictions make Meadview a nicer place to live?
No. Since 2008, Mohave County requires plans and inspections for all home construction. There is simply no need to get approval from the MCA for construction.
I am aware that the MCA does not like small homes. It’s CRAZY to demand that people build larger homes than they want and need. The smaller the home, the less energy is needed to heat, cool and clean the place.
It’s downright repulsive to not allow residents to drill a well, have a home business or to have chickens or goats.
All that while your neighbor on a non-MCA property might have a rooster crowing all night and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Your neighbors who are not in the MCA and not subject to restrictions are free to do whatever they like as long as they don’t violate county regulations.
What is the future of the MCA?
I hope that the MCA members will vote to eliminate the deed restrictions and the requirement for moving the property into the MCA to become members.
I think the dues structure should remain at $35 for properties in the MCA and $50 for social memberships with a discount for low income residents. Residents who put their property in the MCA can not leave the MCA, they guarantee future dues income and obviously they deserve a discount for this commitment.
The MCA should also lease or purchase property in Lake Mead City along Pierce Ferry to provide facilities to the many members who are simply too far from “downtown” Meadview to use the MCA facilities. A round trip to the MCA costs me about $5 in gasoline.
The MCA should offer many more activities and services to the community.
In the alternative, the MCA could simply be dissolved and the assets be donated to a non profit organization.
I am aware that MANY residents hate the MCA with a passion. Some sued the MCA, but they could not get out.
I don’t believe in litigation.
The MEMBERS should decide what to do about the MCA.
We now have 6 new board members, primarily due to my publications. While they got off to a very bad start by illegally holding a private meeting on Memorial Day, I hope they will honor their campaign promises and allow non members to attend activities at the MCA.
I’m sick and tired of having to waste my time and money on video taping board meetings and I hope that the new board will arrange to have all board meetings recorded and available for viewing at the MCA website.
The MCA website should include a discussion forum for MEMBERS to voice their opinions and to discuss policies and procedures.
The MCA website should allow members to sign up for email notifications of all unscheduled board meetings.
I decided to give the new board a chance to return the MCA to what it used to be:
- A fun place for the community to enjoy many activities
- an organization in compliance with state law and the bylaws.
Of course I also want the MCA to stop enforcing the idiotic restrictions, but that requires changing the articles and may take some time.
If the new board turns out to be the same as the old board, I will begin soliciting signatures for the petition to hold a special election to dissolve the MCA.
I have all mailing labels for Unit 7.