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Crown Harbor Homeowner Association

Security Cameras

In the interest of community safety, the Association is responsible for keeping the complex appropriately lit. Beyond that, Owners have the option to take additional measures within the confines of the CC&Rs.

patrol

Cameras as an Option instead of Security Patrols

In April 2015 the Board considered hiring private security for the complex. Based on information from other Associa-managed associations, this idea was not acted upon because:
  • A service to have security drive through the complex 3 times a night would cost $600 per month. With 76 units, that would result in a dues increase of $7.90 per unit per month. Though modest in cost, such low frequency of patrol is most often ineffective.

  • A service to have security continuously on site is $30 per hour. From 10:00 pm to 4:00 am would be 6 hours per night. With 30 days per month, the cost would be $5,400 per month. With 76 units, that would result in a dues increase of $71.06 per unit per month. This was deemed cost prohibitive.

Given that private security was not the answer, the Board considered security cameras.
cameras

Association-based Cameras

The Board considered placing security cameras strategically in the complex. According to Davis-Stirling rules that govern Associations, Associations can install surveillance cameras in "public" areas. Cameras cannot be installed in areas where there is an expectation of privacy, such as restrooms and saunas. Based on information from other Associa-managed associations, this idea was also not acted upon because:
  • To get proper coverage, electrical and camera wiring would need to be run to various locations. The cost of this adds up quickly.

  • The Association would have to set up a monitoring service which would also involve additional ongoing costs.

  • Although placing cameras at the front entrance could capture the license plates of vehicles that enter the complex, it would still be possible for trespassers to enter the complex by means other than driving.

  • In most cases for associations that have security cameras, the resulting footage is of little use to law enforcement. Criminals often wear clothing, such as a hoodie, that obscures their faces.

  • If the Association decided to obtain its own cameras, it would need to develop an Association camera policy. This would include specifying where and where-not cameras can be located, what signage would be required, and who would have access to the footage and data collected by the cameras. The board can create such a policy in the event that it decides to employ cameras in the complex.

Since the Association is not pursuing private security nor cameras, Owners can consider their own solutions.
Dropcam
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Best Buy

Unit-based Cameras

According to Davis-Stirling, it is not against the law for a homeowner to point a camera toward the common area of a complex. People waling the complex have no expectation of privacy since they can be seen by anyone standing on their balconies as well as people on the street; however, the association can prohibit the attachment of cameras to common area railings, balconies, ceilings, and walls. Boards can also adopt rules that require cameras to blend into the structure and be unobtrusive. The rules can also prohibit the pointing of cameras toward other Owner's windows and balconies.

For Crown Harbor residents who wish to feel a better sense of security, they may install cameras inside their Units and point them in the direction of the common area. The board will develop a policy for what needs to happen to allow them on the exterior, but for now, inside-unit cameras are permissible since no one has an expectation of privacy in the common area.
  • Cameras would be obtained at the Owner's expense.

  • Cameras would operate using the Owner's electricity and internet connectivity.

  • Owners could set up their own service agreements for monitoring or internet storage of the resulting footage.

A sample camera is the Dropcam — Pro Wireless High-Definition Video Monitoring Camera — Black. This camera features:
  • Ability to talk to people
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Alerts when the camera detects something via its motion sensor
In April 2015, the model was available at Best Buy for $199.99.
Dropcam Sample
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Storage Plan

In addition to cameras, Dropcam also offers an internet-based storage plan. An internet-storage plan to capture images for later viewing after an incident is $99 per year for 7 days of footage for the first camera. Each additional cameras is $49 per year. For example, having the ability to go back and look at any incidents up to 7 days in the past for 3 cameras is $147 per year.

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