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Did You Know – Sun City West, part 3


by Marion Mosley, community relations chair


In a previous article, I listed various departments that you might find in a city. Table 1 below shows how our community, which is unincorporated and so operates differently than a city, handles those services.

Keep in mind that these “departments” do not answer to the Rec Centers. They are their own entities within Sun City West. The Rec Centers (the “Association”) is more like a parks and recreation department and thus handles those types of services for the amenities it owns and operates.

Table 1

Let’s look at some examples. First will be roads and traffic. In Sun City West, the organizations shown above work closely with the PORA Roads and Traffic Committee to ensure Sun City West’s roads and traffic run smoothly. PORA’s committee works diligently to see that all issues in our community are addressed. The PRIDES, for those of us who have not attended TORCH, save the community thousands of dollars each year in road taxes. Just look at all the road repairs MCDOT makes, and they cost us $0 directly.

We have already touched on CC&Rs in a separate article, but they most likely need a little more exposure. PORA acts as an agent for the Rec Centers for CC&R enforcement. It works as a reactionary group based on individual complaints from homeowners. If PORA cannot resolve the complaint within a certain amount of time, the complaint is sent to the Rec Centers’, which will try to resolve it or elevate it to the Association’s attorney for further action. Such action could mean a lien being placed on a property until the complaint is resolved, or legal action being taken to force compliance.

So, what does the relationship between the Association and PORA really look like? First of all, both organizations are defined as 501(c)4 non-profit organizations within Sun City West.  Table 2, shown below, defines the primary differences between the Rec Centers and PORA. We will see that the Rec Centers’ role in the community is quite different than PORAs.

Del Webb incorporated the Association under Title 10 (an Arizona statute that regulates corporations), and set in place specific bylaws that govern our community. As Table 2 shows, annual dues are mandatory, as is the rule that governs the age of individuals who can live here.

While PORA came later and was also defined as a Title 10 corporation, its membership is voluntary.

Sun City West – the community – was established as an unincorporated active adult community governed by Title 33, which governs Planned Communities. Because of these provisions, the Recreation Centers is required to operate under both Title 10 and Title 33. (Title 10 deals with corporate laws, while in Title 33 you will find a lot of the rules regulating open meetings, open records, etc. for planned communities).

Table 2

Although Table 3 is shown below, I won’t elaborate on it except to say that the lines of responsibility are quite clear to most. Bottom line is that the general manager runs the Association. The Governing Board sets the Association’s policies and oversees overall financial stability of the Recreation Centers. The Governing Board DOES NOT dictate operations, although some tend to think so.

There is one more piece of information worth reviewing. That is located in Table 4, which is attached below. This table compares our Sun City West community with three of our surrounding neighborhood communities who are considered in the same category as ours: non-profit active-adult living communities.

Take a look and you will see that Sun City operates only under Title 10, meaning they are not required to hold open meetings if they so choose. Also, while Sun City Grand and Corte Bella have changed their bylaws to allow the age limit to include 45+, they have seen only a small percentage of people taking advantage of it.

There are most likely more things that pique our minds on how our community works. However, this should help us better understand how our community, PORA and the Association work. As always, I’m open for questions and comments, so feel free to let me know in the comments or at If I don’t have the answer, I do know how to find it. Until next time….

  1. Judy Hatfield says:

    Very informative!

  2. Thanks for the excellent article.

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