Mar 012018

Following the rash of package thefts last holiday season, the use of video doorbells has become very popular. Some of our neighbors have expressed an interest in installing a video doorbell device and a few have already done so. This is an action which would normally require approval from the HOA via an Architectural Review Request. In order to simplify the procedure to obtain approval for this device, the Architectural Review Committee  has established the following guidelines:

  1. The pre-approved devices are the Ring Doorbell, Ring Doorbell Version 2 or the Ring Doorbell Pro. Current MSRP for these units is $179, $199 and $249 respectively.


   Ring Doorbell                      Ring Doorbell 2                     Ring Doorbell Pro

  1. The color must be Venetian Bronze
  2. The device may be installed as
    1. a replacement for the original doorbell pushbutton. The Ring unit would be WIRED using the existing doorbell wires. OR
    2. the device may be installed in WIRELESS mode in the center of the door. This would require that the homeowner remove the battery every 6 to 8 months to recharge it.
    3. NOTE: The Ring Doorbell Pro can only be used in the WIRED mode. It cannot be used in the center of the door.

Helpful background information:

The Ring doorbells listed have the following features:

  1. 1080HD wide angle video camera with night vision. (Original Ring Doorbell is only 720p) The existing doorbell position is 38” from the ground. The view angle of the camera is 160° horizontal and 90°-100° vertical, sufficient to allow coverage of a person standing at the door. There are ‘wedge’ plates available to adjust the tilt angle of the camera.
  2. Adjustable motion detection. The sensitivity can be adjusted via a smartphone app so that it will not alert when someone walks by on the sidewalk outside the building.
  3. Live viewing and two-way voice communication with the person at the door on your smartphone or computer via 2.4MHz WiFi. You must have a WiFi network in your house. (NOTE: The Pro model operates on both 2.4MHz and 5MHz.)
  4. Cloud recording of sessions (MSRP $30/year)
  5. Pushing the button on the WIRED Ring device will sound the existing chime in the house.
  6. If the Ring unit is operated in the WIRELESS mode, it will NOT activate the existing door chime. An auxiliary plug-in WiFi chime is available and can be located anywhere in the house (MSRP $30).
  7. NOTE: If your original door chime is NOT functional, notify CIMS. It is the Association’s responsibility to repair it.

If you wish to install one of the listed units according to these guidelines, a formal ARR is not required. You may notify the manager,Julie Strobel, at CIMS using the Video Doorbell request form on our website and she will be able to approve the request. Any other installation will require standard ARR approval.

 Posted by at 10:11 PM
Mar 012018

By now all residents/owners should have received the letter from the Palo Alto Public Works Department reminding residents that effective January 1, 2018 smoking is prohibited in all multi-unit residences such as Barron Square.

Smoking is prohibited:

  1. inside all multi-unit residences, including balconies, porches, decks and patios,
  2. in common areas such as pathways, courtyards, community rooms, swimming pools, grassy areas, parking lots and garages,
  3. in outdoor areas within 25 feet from a doorway, window, opening or vent of a multi-unit residence.  

The Association will be posting “No Smoking” signs in the common areas and providing each unit with a written notice of the no-smoking restrictions as required by the ordinance. The Board may consider the establishment of designated smoking area(s) as permitted by the ordinance.

All owners who are renting or leasing their units must include a copy of the restrictions in their leases or rental agreements from January 1, 2018 as required by Section 9.14.060 of the Smoking and Tobacco Ordiinance 

A copy of the letter from the City of Palo Alto is here

 Posted by at 9:42 PM
Nov 202017

Smoking Restrictions in Palo Alto

Multi-unit Residences

Palo Alto City Council unanimously voted in December 2016 to restrict smoking at all multi-unit residences and common areas to reduce public exposure to secondhand smoke. Smoking restrictions for multi-unit residences go into effect on January 1, 2018. 

Landlords and sellers of condominium units are required to give written notice to tenants and buyers about the smoking ban and include smoking prohibitions as part of the terms of their rental agreements. This ordinance requirement considered input from a 2015 survey of Palo Alto multi-unit residents. The survey showed that:

  • 80% of multi-unit residents said smoking inside the unit bothers them;
  • 64% indicated smoke bothers them very much;
  • 90% favored smoking restrictions in multi-unit housing.

The following is from the Staff Report of December 5, 2016:

While there would not be an active enforcement program, Committee members noted that adopting the Ordinance would help to create a social norm for Palo Alto. Several Bay Area cities have done this, and believe that it has been successful. Council may decide that this approach is desirable. There remains a concern, however, that Palo Alto residents may expect outreach and
enforcement, for which there are no available resources.

 Posted by at 9:49 PM
Oct 022017

Recently the City of Palo Alto has been tagging some of the recycle containers to remind residents of the proper way to recycle cardboard.  As shown on the tag, cardboard boxes should be broken down to conserve space and then placed in the blue container. Placing whole boxes in the container make the transfer to the collection vehicle difficult and may cause litter.

To save space in the container for other recycle items, the cardboard may be cut down or folded to pieces no larger than 2′ by 3′ , bundled securely and placed next to the blue container. 


Continue reading »

 Posted by at 2:02 AM
Sep 152017

We have a number of new residents in Barron Square and it may be a good time to remind everyone about some of the important safety and security rules for use of the clubhouse, pool and spa areas.

State law requires that the pool area be closed with secure gates, to prevent small children from entering alone. Over the summer we installed new security gates with digital locks at the West and North entrances to the pool area. Now we have added gate alarms to prevent people from blocking the gate so it cannot close. If a gate is left open for more than one (1) minute a loud alarm will sound. Once the gate is closed the alarm will stop.

We remind you that ALL children under the age of 14 MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT RESIDENT 18 years of age or older.

A copy of the rules for use of the pool and the spa/sauna areas is available. In particular you should note that:

  • Glass bottles and breakable containers are STRICTLY PROHIBITED in the pool area, including the upper deck.
  • SMOKING is NOT PERMITTED anywhere in the clubhouse, pool, or spa/sauna areas.
  • The hours for use of the pool/spa areas are 8AM to 10PM (Sun – Thurs) and 8AM to 11PM (Fri – Sat). 

The key fobs you received for entrance to the clubhouse and pool areas, tennis court and the El Camino gate are registered in your name. You should not loan your fob to anyone else. If you lose your fob, contact CIMS Management for a replacement.

With regard to security, there have been recent incidents of a non-resident entering the pool area or loitering in the area near the tennis court. In general the best protection is everyone’s awareness to strangers in the area. Thain Way is a public street and we can’t prevent non-residents from parking there. But if someone enters into the private areas of our complex, either stop them and ask them to explain why they are there OR if you feel  threatened by them or observe criminal behavior, call 911 for police assistance.

 Posted by at 1:15 AM