Clubhouse & Pool Access and Security System

The keycard system we currently have to control access to the clubhouse grounds and the pool is outdated.  I believe that it should be  replaced with a system that is easier to use and provides better control and monitoring. Management of the cards is handled by Chelsea Ewton. She is a volunteer, and while she has spent countless hours organizing the system, she has a real job – like many of our volunteers. Many other HOAs have the management company include these things in what they do for an additional cost. Not only is this approach more expensive, but (I believe) not as effective as our volunteers. It is incumbent on us to ease the workload on our the volunteers: otherwise, we will lose them and have difficulty recruiting new ones. This note is divided into three sections.

  • Current System – The current system and its drawbacks
  • Improved Access Control – A proposed system that would overcome shortcomings of the current system
  • Surveillance System – A proposed camera surveillance system to improve security

Current System

Chelsea has worked hard to take the data that have been gathered through the years and to organize these data into something that can be analyzed and used. However, there are obstacles that are difficult to overcome.

  • She has taken all the pool waivers she received on paper, combined them with a “Master List” that she received by email, and organized them by address in a spreadsheet to facilitate tracking and analysis.
  • We do not have a good handle on where all the cards are. Of the more than 650 cards that we believe have been distributed, we can associate less than half of the card codes with households.
    • Some have left the area when people moved out. 
    • Some were lost. 
    • The data associated with distributed cards may not have been captured.
    • Some of the key codes are duplicates and, therefore, demonstrably incorrect.
    • According to the data we have, we estimate that 294 cards have been distributed to 264 homes. Note that there is a total of 312 homes in the neighborhood
  • Assignment and deletion of valid key codes is difficult: it requires going physically to the two readers at the grounds entrance and at the pool with a keypad. We recently had one of the readers fail and it was replaced. Because of the uncertainty as to the whereabouts of all the cards, the system was programmed to validate all the cards we have received for both readers. Although we could correct this by disabling all the codes we cannot account for, this would be very time-consuming (requiring the recruiting of additional volunteers to avoid locking some valid cards out.

Improved Access Control

Our current system could be replaced by a cloud-based system that is easier to use and gives us better control over access to our facilities by residents and contractors. 

 Current SystemProposed System
ConceptLocal reader that allows access to all keys that have been enabledCloud based system that allows timed entry to each gate by user
Programming methodKeypad in close proximity to readers at gateInternet Access by computer or smart phone
Access DeviceKey cardsFobs, keycards, and/or smart phone apps
Access controlManually turn on or offAccess schedules specified by system administrator and changed remotely.
Data availableNoneData reporting what access codes were used and when.

The cost of this system would be about $5300 (installation) plus $60/mo. 

Surveillance System

I also propose that we add a four-camera surveillance system. The features of this system are summarized below:

  • Four high resolution cameras would be installed on the outside of the clubhouse, aimed as follows.
    • Clubhouse entry and parking lot
    • Grounds entry gate and entry to playground
    • Pool gate
    • Tennis courts
  • Cameras would be motion activated
  • Cameras’ live feeds could be shared with security service
  • Cost of the system would be about $3100 plus $25/mo.