Mathis Chazanov's census story on the Palisades Highlands touched on why residents consider the area a "small piece of paradise" (Times, July 14). To retain this idyllic lifestyle, a confederation of homeowner associations, which I chaired, was created. It seeks to tie mutual concerns and interest into a functioning coordinating body that can provide community services, and exercise an influence on public officials and government services.
The major effort has been in developing a 24-hour community security patrol. It is a necessity because of our location, city and state parks in our midst and limited police protection. Yet, three of the 15 associations in the community remain outside the sharing process, even though the patrol serves everyone.
The confederation, recently converted into a presidents' council, also maintains a community landscaping committee and pays for a canyon cleanup service.
There is also need to clarify a reference in the story to rentals. Without getting involved in a game of semantics, "rentals" and "apartment living" paint the wrong picture. Homeowners have the right to lease their condo units, all of which are separate, connected townhouses. But the owners are held responsible for any violations of (Codes, Covenants and Restrictions) that govern use of one's home and community property.
As for the complaints from some residents that it's difficult to get to know one's neighbors, the remedy depends in good measure on what programs each association undertakes. All have facilities and opportunities to encourage neighborhood-ness.
HYMAN H. HAVES