Communication, Coordination Keys to Owners Association

If one were to attempt an analogy for Mary McLaughlin's position as general manager of Hacienda Business Park Owners Association, "city manager" would probably be the most accurate term.

"Hacienda, in a sense, is like a miniature city. We have responsibilities to our Board of Directors and our tenants and property owners as well as to Pleasanton residents. The Owners Association has been set up to see that those responsibilities are met," explains Mary. "As manager of the Association, I am responsible for seeing that the various aspects of the Park are running smoothly and that we are meeting the needs of our tenants, owners, and the community.

One of the major responsibilities of the Owners Association is providing the proper and necessary services required by the tenants and owners. A number of those requirements have been outlined in the Hacienda conditions and covenants which govern the Association. These include services in the areas of communication, security, maintenance and other resources.

Pleasanton Pathways, for instance, comes under the auspices of the Owners Association. All tenants at Hacienda are welcome and invited to utilize the publication for advertisements, articles and announcements. Pathways also offers free space for employers advertising for positions opening up within their firms.

The Association is currently developing a tenants handbook for new tenants in the Park as another communications tool.

The Community Room, located on the first floor, in Chabot Center, is offered free of charge to any non-profit group needing a place to meet. Tenants of the Park, as well as other community groups are encouraged to use the facility.

The private security that patrols the Park 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is also under the direction of the Owners Association.

Maintaining the appearance of the Park is a primary responsibility of the Owners Association and to this end it is involved in a number of projects including the design review process for buildings proposed within the Park and the land management and landscaping projects. Hacienda has signed a 50 year maintenance agreement with the city to insure that standards remain high. (The agreement is self-renewing and runs in 50 year cycles in perpetuity.)

"The Owners Association is in charge of all the common areas within the Park and seeing that they are kept up," states Mary. "This means the lighting, bus stops, landscape medians, and other areas that aren't part of the individual plots."

Mary and the Owners Association are currently playing a big part in the Park's new Transportation System Management (TSM) program. Mary is currently in the process of recruiting a transportation coordinator to work with the tenants and owners developing and implementing alternative commute methods. "Every tenant or owner of a company with 50 or more employees must institute a TSM program - carpooling, vanpooling, bicycling, etc. "One of our main goals for traffic management is to see that the roadways are kept clear and as easy to travel as possible," Mary says. "The transportation coordinator will be hired as a service for our tenants to accomplish that." Although it will be furnished as a service of the Park, it is one of the conditions of Mary's strict charter.

The Owners Association is also one of the focal points for citizen liaison between the Park and the community. Mary explains that "We act somewhat as a communication conduit. People will call the Owners Association for information on things that are happening within the Park. We are able to answer many of the questions ourselves but if not, we can certainly refer them to the appropriate person, business or service."

The Association reports to the Hacienda Board of Directors for response to requests and needs voiced by the  tenants and owners or the community, and works within a set of by-laws for implementing procedures.

"We deal with just about everyone who is involved or concerned with the Park," Mary explains. "This includes current and potential tenants and owners, city officials, homeowner groups, technical consultants and others. When they have a request for additional services that are within the powers of the Association to implement, we present it to the board for a response. We try to keep the lines of communication open so that the Park is run smoothly and efficiently."

From the well-managed look of the Park, that strategy seems to be working.

To see a reproduction of the original article and edition of Pleasanton Pathways, visit: March 19, 1984 Pathways.

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