Friendly Valley is a gated Senior Citizen community of 1,290 homes located in the Santa Clarita Valley north of Los Angeles, California’s San Fernando Valley.. We border Sierra Highway between Golden Valley and Via Princessa. Both are also on and off-ramps for the Highway 14 freeway which parallels Sierra Highway through our valley.
The Santa Clarita Valley
Back in the early 1960's when Friendly Valley was begun there wasn't much going on in this part of the world, mostly known for oil drilling in the Newhall area and as the location of many western movies. And also as the first discovery of gold in California in Placerita Canyon.
But my how things have changed. The City of Santa Clarita was incorporated some 21 years ago so residents could have more control over local government and development of the valley.
The city now includes Canyon Country, Newhall, Saugus, Valencia, Bouquet Canyon and portions of Castaic, We have major shopping centers, entertainment venues, an aquatic park, parades and an active city council. We also have a local radio station, KHTS and The Signal newspaper.
The Friendly Valley Community
We are proud of our community for all it offers. If I sound like a fan, well I am. I live here, and I really appreciate my neighbors, the neighborhood, and my lifestyle.
The community was begun in 1963 on property reportedly owned by Bob Hope and grew as new phases were added. Today there are 14 homeowner associations roughly coinciding with the various phases.
Amenities within Friendly Valley fill a long list. Many residents feel the most important amenity is the choice of lifestyle, whether very low key or on-the-go. Regardless of which one prefers, there are classes and clubs offering social events, travel, and special interests clubs. We have a wood shop, ceramics room, sewing room and outdoor sports including lawn bowling. Golfers enjoy the 9 hole executive course and the 18 hole pitch-and-putt course. There are several fitness classes including exercises in or out of the pool, often followed by a visit to the spa.
The Villager, a one-page newsletter lists events and announcements and is delivered to homes twice each month. Announcements are also shown on television Channel 6.
A note about what you will and won't see here: Security is on duty 24 hours, 7 days a week. You will first meet them at the entry gate on Friendly Valley Parkway. Keep your speed down and mind the stop signs and you won't have to meet them again. Another aspect you will see is the effort the gardening crews put in to keep us looking neat and well groomed. Some things you won't see include trash, graffiti, signs in the front yard, laundry on the patios and door-to-door solicitors.
Many residents don’t drive but never mind, we have a tram (mini-bus) four days a week which takes us to the major shopping centers for marketing, banking, Wal-Mart, Costco, and Starbucks. A new center at Golden Valley and Highway 14 is now completing and includes Kohls, Target, Lowes, Chili’s and a host of other vendors.
How We Are Governed
I want to emphasize an important financial point about how we differ from most other developments. Most condominium developments hire independent management companies to handle the daily affairs and of course, those management companies charge a management fee which is added on to the homeowner monthly fee.
Each of the fourteen homeowner associations elects its own Board of Directors and to some degree establishes local rules and sets its own homeowner fee. Each board sends one representative to the Community Council which is responsible for recommending solutions to issues which affect the entire community. Those recommendations go the Recreational Association which is responsible for community-wide matters, such as security and management of the recreational facilities.
The important point here is that all of these boards and councils are staffed by volunteer residents. Therefore, our homeowner dues can go for things which benefit our community, and for reserves for replacement, as required by law.
We Do Have Rules
We are a Senior Citizen community and governed by California Law. With respect to age, one person in residence must be a senior citizen 55 years of age or older; each other resident, except the spouse or cohabitant or a care giver, must be at least 45 years of age.
Upon purchasing a home a one-time fee, of approximately $2,950.00, must be paid to the Friendly Valley Recreational Association. This helps defray some of the ongoing improvement costs and legally required replacement reserves. This fee entitles the resident to full use of all amenities.
There are a few other fees for special uses, the guest fee for golf is currently $5.00 and each member of the Roadrunners Club pays an annual fee of $100 to park an RV.
Many residents have pets and there are the normal rules one would expect in any community for these pets. Each Homeowners Association sets its rules about the number and size of pets. Generally pets are not allowed in the recreational areas, except for seeing-eye dogs, when dogs are walked they must be on a leash, and of course each owner is responsible for cleaning up after their pet.