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Laguna Woods Village co-op board joins other boards in banning use of Roundup

LAGUNA WOODS — The votes are in — glyphosate will be a chemical of the past for Laguna Woods Village.

In alignment with a decision made last month in a landscape committee meeting, the United Mutual board on Tuesday, June 11, approved an unbudgeted expense of $15,000 for the purchase of alternative herbicide products, voting in favor of discontinuing the usage of glyphosate-based products henceforth.

Roundup will be banned on all United Mutual property, as the mutual joins Golden Rain Foundation and Third Mutual in the stand against the probable carcinogen.

In an experiment conducted earlier this year, Village Management Services staff investigated six viable alternatives to the usage of Monsanto’s controversial herbicide Roundup, the world’s most popular weedkiller.

Findings found Finale, supplemented with the Oroboost additive, to be most effective. Likewise to Roundup, the nonselective herbicide mix killed the Kikuyu grass — the number one weed managed by VMS crews — to the root.

Variables considered in the trial include cost per gallon, effective quantity, application rate and the number of applications — all of which could dramatically affect cost, as stated in a report.

United Mutual is facing an unbudgeted expense of about $14,800 — requiring 292 gallons of Finale and 25 gallons of Oroboost.

To compare, Third Mutual’s unbudgeted expense totaled $24,000 — requiring 449 gallons of Finale and 56 gallons of Oroboost — while GRF’s total annual usage rate was estimated at 57 gallons of Finale and just seven gallons for the Oroboost additive at a $3,000 unbudgeted expense.

United unanimously passed the resolution 10-0-0.

Smoking policy

The board failed to move forward on a resolution that would crack down on smoking on mutual property.

“This is not against the person,”  Director Maggie Blackwell said. “This is against the activity.”

The policy would have banned vaping and further clarified that smoking and vaping are prohibited in all areas aside from interior units, enclosed balconies or patios and enclosed vehicles — as long as smoke could not escape.

“I think this is a bridge too far,” Vice President Carl Randazzo said, noting the policy’s difficulty to enforce and that he breathes in more carbon monoxide due to the proximity of his unit to busy parkways. “I think the city ordinance is adequate as it is.”

The board vote tied 5-5-0 upon second reading. The resolution failed.

Distribution of materials policy

Just in time for election season, United passed a resolution that complies with Civil Code Section 4515, which allows residents of common interest developments to participate in politically expressive activities within the community, including the right to assemble, utilize, canvas and petition pertaining to elections or legislation.

Proposed policy revisions concern material distribution, petitions, postings and knocking on doors, according to a VMS staff report.

All non-election postings will be removed after 30 days. Postings advertising election or election candidates will be removed once the votes are in.

In terms of sizing, postings in the laundry rooms will not be permitted to exceed one-half a page.

Materials need to be secured — whether under a doormat or hung on doorknobs. Closed gates are not be permitted to be opened by material distributors.

Additionally, “No Solicitation” or “Do Not Disturb” signs must be honored. Knocking on doors or ringing of doorbells to contact residents is only permitted weekdays from 10 a.m. to dusk, excluding national holidays.

United unanimously approved the resolution 10-0-0 upon second reading. It takes immediate effect.

Resale report

The average resale price for a co-op in United Mutual in May was $240,366, down from $281,774 in May 2018, according to a VMS staff report. Resales year-to-date numbered 119, down from 145 the same time last year. Sales volume in May was $6.2 million compared with $8.7 million in May 2018.

Source: Orange County Register

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