Phoenix Neighborhood Patrol (PNP) Members

Proposed Security Gates

Posted in: Moon Mountain Vista
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  • bryan
  • Respected Neighbor
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • 29 Posts
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Two homeowners have recently suggested gating our community. If other homeowers are interested in adding security gates to your HOA. Please contact a board member and express your desire, or email me above. Please post comments in this discusson.
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  • bryan
  • Respected Neighbor
  • Phoenix, AZ
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Perception of Security

More and more people want to reside in gated residential communities. Because of this, gated residential communities and garden apartments across the country are being built at record rates. In the 1970s there were approximately 2000 gated communities nationwide. In the early 2000s, there were over 50,000 gated communities where access is controlled by gates, entry codes, key cards or security guards.

All gated residential communities have several things in common. Gates provide the perception of security, safety, and privacy. In affluent residential neighborhoods, privacy means exclusivity and therefore increased property values. Adding an attractive automatic entry gate system can easily add $50,000 or more to single family home values within some communities regardless of whether it has any effect on crime.

The main purpose of a gate is to provide the perception of security and exclusivity. Let’s face it, everyone wants to feel good about where they live and a gated community is like a private club where access privileges are required. Any real benefits of crime prevention are a plus.

Gates are often considered as a cheaper alternative to hiring and managing security guards. Gate installation companies promote this in their marketing and stress the added benefit of liability protection. That is not always sound advice. Gates can also be a barrier to emergency services like the police or fire departments. It is extremely important to have a system in place that allows quick access to them. Most communities use a ''Knox Box'' key system but there are also universal keypad codes, and restricted radio frequency access. Check with your police and Fire Marshall.

Do Gates Reduce Crime? This is the most common question that is asked. The answer is always a qualified, yes. Working gates definitely reduce unauthorized vehicle and foot traffic on a property especially late at night and early in the morning. The effectiveness of gates depends on the nature of the property. Gates works best on a stable property with non-criminal, mature residents.

Formidable gates, by design, restrict access and therefore provide both a physical and psychological barrier for criminals. Criminals like quick escape routes and don’t want to become trapped behind gates should they be discovered. Many criminals will bypass a gated community for one that is not gated simply because of the restricted access.Gates is just another tool to help fight crime.

The best gate type depends on the purpose and property types. Swinging gates look the best and are selected more often for private single family residential communities. The downside is the cost and maintenance expense. Two gate operators are required to open each wing of each gate set, which doubles the expense and requires twice the maintenance. Swinging gates also get damaged more often as anxious drivers hit them as they enter the property with their cars.

Gates that slide horizontally are less attractive, but are cheaper to purchase and maintain. Only one gate operator is required and it has fewer vulnerable parts to break. When a car clips a sliding gate, the usual result is getting knocked off the track as opposed to bending or breaking a control arm or weld point.

The decision to install gates on a property creates a love-hate relationship. Residents love those gates but can be a pain to maintain. The net financial effect may be a wash but the difference may be made up in resident retention, the reduction of crime, police calls for service, and property damage.

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  • bryan
  • Respected Neighbor
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • 29 Posts
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I've Got Mine

The gating of existing and new residential developments has a profound impact on property values, both in the privatized neighborhood and in surrounding communities. Opponents of gated communities in Plano, Texas, claim that a gated community decreases property values in adjacent neighborhoods by 5 percent and realtors in Houston say that gated developments are worth 15-20 percent on the resale value of houses. In Dallas, lot values increased 25 percent due to gating. Neighborhood groups in California petitioning to gate off their streets admit to expecting property value increases of as much as 40 percent in 10 years.(Associated Press, 1992) The race to lock in position and equity makes sense for those who get their gates, but the results affect their nearby neighbors as well. It is common sense that excluding crime from one area will merely displace most, if not all, of it to nearby areas, and the experience of places like Shorecrest in Miami demonstrate this. Gating also reduces traffic in a neighborhood
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  • bryan
  • Respected Neighbor
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • 29 Posts
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Elite Communities &The Top 5th

Elite Communities

Gates not only protect leisure amenities and lifestyle enclaves, but economic and social status. The elite communities are perhaps the most traditional type of gated community in the United States, having their roots directly in the walls and gates which the very richest have always had. Now, however, the merely affluent, the top fifth of Americans, also have barriers between themselves and the rest of us, and so can the upwardly mobile middle class. These developments feed on exclusionary aspirations and the desire to differentiate. The gates add to the prestige of exclusivity; residents value the simple presence of a security force more than any service they may actually provide. Except for the oldest developments, the Elite communities tend toward ostentatious entrances and showy facades. Although they lack the recreational amenities of the Lifestyle types, they do have carefully controlled aesthetics and often enviable landscapes and locations. Some include lakes or nature preserves, or are designed to take advantage of mountain or hill sites such as Camelback Mountain or Double Tree Ranch.

Rich and Famous

The earliest non-military gated communities in the United States were the walled compounds of celebrities and the very rich. These elite developments offered prestige and privacy by physically separating from their surroundings, barring entry to all but the privileged and their guests. They range from the Florida vacation compounds of the East Coast aristocracy to the neighborhoods of Hollywood stars around Los Angeles. Newer enclaves for the rich and famous, however, continue to emerge. One well-off resident stated, ''You have a community of people in nice houses who just want to close themselves off from all the crime and the rest of it in the city at large.''

The Top Fifth

Enclaves of subdivided lots for homes are fenced off from their surroundings and marketed for their privacy and prestige. These developments tend to be smaller than those for the less affluent, sometimes with only a dozen houses, although many incorporate hundreds of units.

Marketing brochures and advertisements rarely mention gates specifically. Instead, code words such as private and exclusive are found over and over again. Older communities seeking the same privacy install gates on their own initiative.

Gated residential developments are now available to the middle class as well. Sold as executive residences, they usually offer no amenities beyond a gated entry, perimeter fence, or perhaps a pool or tennis court. Home to young professionals and middle managers, they provide the cachet of exclusive living to those with non-exclusive incomes. Many have electronic gates, and others have guardhouses at the main entrance. Guards, however, are sometimes never hired by the homeowners association because of the high ongoing cost, and the gatehouse stands as solely a psychological deterrent to outsiders. Individual home security systems are common, and the more sophisticated include video monitors which allow residents to view motorists requesting admittance at the main gate or even to observe the comings and goings of their neighbors by means of cameras placed throughout the development. .
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