SUN CITY WEST AGRICULTURE CLUB

STANDING RULES AND REGULATIONS
Revised & Adopted June 18, 2016

 

PREFACE: The Agriculture Club is for the enjoyment and use of the members. All property and plots of the Sun City West Agriculture Club (the Club) are owned by the Recreation Centers of Sun City West (RCSCW). The purpose of the rules and regulations are to establish procedures and guidelines that will allow continued membership in the club and to prevent abuse of the rights of other members and their plots. Agriculture is defined as growing and harvesting of food producing plants. Common courtesy and respect for the rights of other members are fundamental to the use of your membership.

1. Close the garden gate when entering or leaving. The last person to leave should make sure there are no others in the garden and then secure the padlock. This applies at all times of the day.

2. Everyone, including members, guests and visitors to the garden, must sign in every time they enter the garden.

3. Garden area speed limit is 5 mph. In consideration of our neighbors, do not speed or honk at any time when approaching the compound gate from either direction. 

4. Vehicles must be parked so as not to impede traffic inside the garden. There is no parking in the driveway outside the gate.

5. The tool shed must be kept locked. Hoses, tools and equipment stored in the shed may only be used with the owners’ permission. All tools and or equipment kept in the tool shed must be marked with the owners name and plot number. 

6. Members may not use any power equipment owned by the club without contacting a Safety Committee Member. 

7. A telephone is provided on the north wall of the compound for emergency use. The street address of the club is posted inside the call box. 

8. Pets must be leashed or confined to the inside of the owner’s plot. 

9. Water is on during the daylight hours. In the event of a broken water line, immediately close the area control valve (located by the gate, behind block wall left side, as when leaving compound), and notify a board member. 

10. lf a hose bib leaks and you are unable to fix it, contact a Plot Monitor or a Board Member as soon as possible. Repair all leaks for your plot immediately. 

11. A timer must feature an auto-shutoff in the event of battery failure. Water shutoff valves must be installed outside cages. Rigid pipe connections are not connected to a hose bib, usually a “T” has been added and rigid pipe connected with a shutoff valve outside the cage. When making a connection in order to pipe water into your plot, it is mandatory to check with a Plot Monitor prior to making a connection. 

12. Agriculture Club members must have a valid Sun City West Recreation Center card. Club membership dues and fees are determined as per the By-Laws Article II Section D, and are payable upon joining the club and annually by December 31st, by check, for the coming year. A key deposit is due when joining. A plot clean-up deposit is due when a plot is assigned. The key deposit and plot clean-up deposit are refundable when the keys are returned and the plot is left clean of all garden refuse and weeds. 

13. A plot marker will be provided by the plot manager. Club members must keep it visible at the left corner of each plot. If the marker is rendered unreadable please contact the Plot Manager for replacement. 

14. Garden plots must be kept free of weeds and grasses. No vegetation of a poisonous or invasive nature may be planted or allowed to grow.

15. In cooperation with adjoining plot holders, keep paths and adjacent roadway free from weeds, grasses and other debris. Walkways between plots are not to be used for planting or any other purpose and must be kept clear at all times. 

16. No member may remove plants, vegetables, tools or equipment from another members plot without permission.

17. Plot holders shall erect no enclosures or plant, or allow to grow, any vegetation, trees or shrubs that will shade and/or encroach on adjacent plots.
If shade cloth is used, it must be installed in a readily removable way. Shade cloths must be removed between October 15th and March 15th if the  shade impacts adjacent gardens. lf shade impacts an adjacent garden(s), and a plot holder(s) submits a complaint, a Plot Monitor will notify the offending plot holder and ask for correction. 

18. Manure, sand, dirt, mulch, compost, etc., hauled into the garden for use on a plot must not be dumped on the roadways. It must be dumped directly onto the user’s plot. Green manure may not be brought into the garden area. 

19. Individual garden plots are not to be used as storage sites for materials of a noncurrent or non-normal gardening nature. 

20. It is a members responsibility to arrange for weed control while they are away. When an absence is planned, a member must arrange for another Agriculture Club Member to maintain the plot and a Plot Monitor must be advised, in writing, of the name and telephone number of the caretaker(s). It is the responsibility of the member(s) to eradicate all weeds and remove all debris before leaving, and to inform the Board in writing of an absence, as well as a a phone number to contact in case of an emergency.

lf for any reason, it is necessary to clean a members plot(s), while they’re absent, there will be a fee charged to the member, not to exceed $4O.OO per plot, to be paid to whomever volunteers to do the cleaning. lf the plot is secured with a padlock, it will be removed.

21. A member may have no more than two (2) plots in their name . If two (2) Club Members jointly have multiple plots and one member terminates Club membership for any reason (death, move out of SCW, non-renewal of Club membership, etc) the remaining Club member may keep only two(2) plots and must dispose of excess plots through a sale, forfeiture, or donation to the club within 6 months. Should additional time be required for harvesting, the additional time will be determined by the Agriculture Club Board. When a plot is released by a member(s) and needs to be sold/reassigned: 

A) First consideration will be given to a joint member should the total number of plots not exceed two (2) for that joint member.

B) Second consideration will be given to the adjacent (right and left) plot holders, based on Club seniority.

C) lf no adjacent plot holders want to use the vacated plot, the plot manager will post a 10-day availability notice. Any member interested in the plot will sign the notice. If more than one member is interested in the plot, seniority in the Agriculture Club will prevail. 

D) Lacking a sale of the improvements, the plot holder continues to own the plot and is responsible for the plots’ maintenance and club dues for one(1) year. After one year the plot will be considered abandoned and Rule #27 will apply. All current ownership arrangements of record shall be grandfathered. 

22. Drawings/plans of cages, sheds, watering systems and fencing (including any fence posts), etc., must be submitted to a Plot Monitor for approval before building begins. When cage(s) or fence(s) and water system are completed, they will be checked for compliance. lf there are any questions during construction, the member can check with a Plot Monitor or the Plot Manager. Cement and/or concrete shall not be used for any purpose, including securing posts. 

23. All plots are defined as follows: 

“Open”: having no fence or perimeter barrier.

“Fenced”: having a perimeter barrier.

“Caged”: having a maximum 7′ high perimeter barrier with top closure.

In all plots the tillable area (including fence/cage) shall be approximately 16′ wide (18′ at corner plots) x 38′ deep maximum. A clear path 4′ in width must be maintained between adjacent lots, with 2′ on either side of centerline of water lines where they exist. Exclusions are double, triple or quadruple plots. End-to-end gardens cannot be joined. Plots must maintain the 4′ clearance at rear water line area. Cages must have a door opening onto the adjacent road. Doors must be a minimum of 36″ wide. Two or more plots utilized by one owner would require a 4′ path(s) at outer limits of adjacent plots only and not between plots. Existing non-compliant plots are to be grandfathered. 

When a non-compliant plot is sold, it may remain as is unless modifications are made, then it must be made compliant.

24. Cages must be kept in good repair or are subject to removal.

25. Any plot not used for 12 consecutive months for agricultural cultivation and harvesting shall be considered abandoned. Refer to Rule #27.

26. Dues for the following year are due by December 31st. A member shall be considered delinquent if the dues have not been paid by January 31st. The Plot Manager and the Treasurer working together will make reasonable efforts to contact the delinquent member informing them that unless dues are paid immediately, the plot will be reassigned and deposits forfeited. Should no dues be received by February 28th,, the Board will declare the membership and any plot(s) abandoned. Refer to Rule # 27.

27. If the club has to take over an abandoned plot: an attempt to notify the owner via Certified Return Receipt mail will be made, after 15 days from receipt and no response is received by the club, the Club Board will determine a value for the enclosure and any improvements, as well as any contents which may have been left. The plot will be sold and the money given to the prior owner or family. Clean up fee(s) will be forfeited to the club.

28. Any proposed amendment to the Standing Rules and Regulations shall be submitted in writing to the Club Board, which will take action at its next Board Meeting to review the proposed rule change and approve or reject it. If rejected, the submitting member will be notified in writing of the decision. lf accepted by the Board, the proposed change shall be posted for at least 3O days prior to the next General Meeting. The proposed change shall be presented to the membership for consideration. A simple majority is required for passage. 

29. When a violation of these Agriculture Club Standing Rules and Regulations occurs the following procedure will occur: 

A) A Plot Monitor will discuss the offense with the member to try to achieve resolution.

B) If not successful, a Plot Monitor will send a letter to the offending member via Certified Return Receipt mail giving the member a written notice identifying the offense and specifying a 30 day time frame for resolution, and potential penalties if violation is not corrected. Notice of the offense will also be given to the Club Board. 

C) After 30 days, termination will follow upon recommendation by the Recreation Centers’ General Manager.

30. Members who threaten the safety of themselves or other club members, are disruptive, abusive toward others or cause dissension between members, other clubs or the Recreation Center in general may have their Agriculture Club membership suspended or terminated. 

Reference: Recreation Centers of Sun City West, rules, regulations & procedures for
chartered clubs. Chapter 3, Article I, F 4.