Dear Sun City Residents: Your Elected Representative is Lying to You

Representative Kevin Payne wrote a guest commentary in the Sun City Independent entitled “PCA bill designed to protect Sun City.” A copy is here:

Representative Kevin Payne writes that Recreation Centers of Sun City’s compliance with the Arizona Planned Community Act would put Sun City’s 55-plus age restriction in jeopardy. This is simply not true. Nothing in the Planned Community Act jeopardizes Sun City’s age restrictions.

 Every retirement community in Arizona is subject to and complies with the Planned Community Act. They do so without jeopardizing their age-restricted status. The Planned Community Act makes all Sun City owners “members” of the Recreation Centers of Sun City (“RCSC”), with the right to attend and speak at all RCSC board and committee meetings, including closed-door workshop sessions. It also gives every homeowner the right to vote, recall board members, and inspect RCSC’s records. In 2018, the Maricopa County Superior Court determined that RCSC must do these things. 

 The fact that the Planned Community Act’s protections apply to Sun City owners in no way jeopardize Sun City’s age restrictions and it is disingenuous for your elected representative to even suggest such a thing. Other communities that have restrictions in recorded documents, such as Sun City West, are free to enforce age restrictions provided they are in recorded documents. To be clear, Sun City’s age restrictions are set forth in RCSC’s Facilities Agreements and the various sets of CC&Rs recorded against Sun City properties. No one is attempting to take away Sun City’s age restrictions. Nor could they do so under the Planned Community Act. If someone tells you that the Planned Community Act will strip away Sun City’s age-restricted status, they are lying to you.

 In fact, the Planned Community Act contains several provisions that help retirement communities enforce their age-restrictions. Because the age restriction requirements are recorded against all Sun City homes, there is no risk of Sun City being “the next Youngtown.” Youngtown’s age restrictions were not set forth in recorded declarations or agreements; Sun City’s are. These are nothing but untrue scare tactics to avoid RCSC having to act with transparency. While it is unfortunate RCSC is engaging in such a disinformation campaign, it is disheartening that your elected representative would also stoop to this level.

 Representative Payne also falsely states that the Planned Community Act would require RCSC to open its doors to everyone. However, RCSC’s Facilities Agreements make clear that it gets to decide which of its members can use its facilities and the Planned Community Act does not interfere with this right. All the Planned Community Act says is that everyone, whether you are allowed to use the facilities or not, can attend and participate in meetings, look at documents, and vote to challenge RCSC decisions with which they don’t agree. What is wrong with that?

 Finally, Representative Payne is apparently uneducated when he states that RCSC does not foreclose. It has filed many foreclosure actions over the years and its Facilities Agreements give it the right to foreclose after just ninety (90) days. One of the many homeowner protections in the Planned Community Act is that RCSC would have to wait at least a year before it is able to foreclose and not just 90 days. We ask again: What is wrong with that?

 We do not understand where Representative Payne has received his misinformation or why he feels the need to drum up fear by spreading this misinformation. Rather than supporting a bill that will remove RCSC from the Planned Community Act based on the lies and deceptions that you have heard, you should encourage RCSC to honor the protections the law affords you. We urge you to contact your representatives and set the record straight!

Representative Payne’s bill, HB 2374, is deeply flawed and his continued defense of it consists of nothing more than simply regurgitating RCSC’s false talking points. Write your representatives and senators to lodge your opposition to HB 2374.

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