Managing a Master Planned Community

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By all accounts the country’s first Master-Planned Community was built in Scottsdale, Arizona. What is the difference between a Master Planned Community and a bunch of homes in the suburbs? The key word is “planned.”
With a MPC, there is an effort by developers to create a community that will satisfy all the needs of that community. Depending on the size of this community, there could be parks, shopping centers, schools, and even churches all built at the same time as the homes.
On a smaller scale, Master-Planned Communities is a type of community that can also be built to meet the needs of a certain segment of the population, namely retirees. This might mean building homes around a golf course or a community center which provides social services and meals.
Because of the size and scope of required work, a Master-Planned Community is almost always governed by a community association or homeowner’s association management company along with volunteer board members. When it comes to managing a MPC there are a lot of the same type of responsibilities as you would find with a typical HOA. The difference is the broad reach of that community and what exactly it encompasses.
Master Planned Community Board Responsibilities
Managing a MPC will require a duly elected board of representatives who need to insure that the resident’s needs are met in terms of their shared property or common areas. Because a MPC will often include additional recreational areas there is the need for a much larger grounds keeping crew. Consider some of the typical outdoor features found in a Master-Planned Community and it will give you a sense of the importance of staffing.

  • Tennis courts
  • Swimming pools
  • Golf courses
  • Hiking/Biking trails
  • Man-made ponds, lakes
  • Gardens
  • Walkways
  • Parking structures

All of this maintenance can be contracted to an outside company or managed from within the MPC board. Because of the size of this type of community, an association management firm should be considered a requirement to ensure the board is properly supplemented with a full-time staff member to handle the day-to-day upkeep and ensure there is a consistency with standards.
This does not mean that the residents are surrendering any of their rights but instead are letting professionals take care of the all the collections, payments, bookkeeping, and legal matters. After all, the reason for moving into a MPC is to enjoy your time away from work and not spend it inundated in the concerns of all of your neighbors.
Among the other responsibilities for managing a MPC is compliance with the CC&Rs that govern the community. All kinds of issues like parking, pets, improvements, and even flying flags are covered with these regulations that have been written and voted on by board members. If there is a need to a variance or levying a fine for an infraction then it becomes the board’s responsibility to handle that matter as efficiently as possible.
This does not mean that an MPC board is some monolithic authority. Instead, they should be receptive to the changing needs of the community at large. This holds true for an outside independent management company or a board made up exclusively of residents. For a MPC board to run smoothly all sides of an issue should be weighed and voted on accordingly.
In short, a Master Planned Community can almost be looked at as a global microcosm, one which requires diverse people driven management.
Are you living in a MPC community? What are you experiences with your board?
This Article is Provided by The Management Trust