FAQ: Front Gate Access – Security Enhancement

Q: Why are the current gate clickers a security concern?

A: We all chose to live in a gated community for numerous reasons. One of the biggest reasons is the security and safety it affords. As a result, residents have an expectation that our well-being will be protected as much as possible within financial limitations while maintaining a reasonably convenient level of access to the community for residents and authorized visitors.

Unfortunately, the current generic gate opener clickers have many pitfalls that negatively impact community security, for example:

  • Current clickers allow access to the community 24/7 to anyone who has them. Unfortunately, there is no record of who purchased clickers or what happened to the clickers when the original purchasers sold their home or lot.
  • Current clickers can and have been programmed into vehicles (a standard system called HomeLink). Not a problem if ONLY property owners/residents have programmed vehicles. That is not the case. And because the clicker code is generic, there are no means to establish how many vehicles (authorized or unauthorized) have 24/7 access to our community.
  • Current clickers can and have been programmed into other generic clickers, essentially giving access to our community and its facilities.
  • There is no accurate count of the number of clickers sold, nor the number of active clickers.
  • Some property owners believe the clickers use their 4-digit assigned gate code. This is false – the current clickers cannot be “tracked” in our security system.

Q: What features of the new remotes will improve security?

A: Several features of the new remotes will enhance our community’s security and safety and help ensure our amenities remain available for use by residents and lot owners:

  • We’ll be able to maintain a record of active remotes, and our system allows for activation or deactivation of the new remotes as residents move into and out of the community or when they are lost or stolen.
  • The new remotes are uniquely encoded and cannot be programmed into other generic remotes or personal vehicles, preventing the spread of unauthorized gate access.
  • The new remotes, in conjunction with our recently upgraded gate system, provide future long-term opportunities for improved accessibility and security for other areas within our community (e.g., boat storage, boat launch, pool, etc.).
  • They transmit a unique device code, which will be associated with a 4-digit code in the database, providing control and tracking in the event an incident occurs.

Q: How did the security committee decide on this option?

A: The security committee reviewed a variety of options to improve our current gate system security.  This included meetings with our DoorKing representative (front gate and gate code system provider),  Uwharrie Point community association manager and security committee (for an orientation and tour of their gates and access control systems), and Heron Bay and Badin Shores community gate system overviews.  Additionally, a comprehensive Internet search was conducted to locate access control systems appropriate for our community.

Options evaluated include windshield or headlight tags, front license plate tags, access cards, guarded front gate, bar codes, and encoded remotes.  The new encoded remotes option was chosen based on our community size, gate traffic, ease of use, and financial considerations.

Q: What will it cost me?

A: The only cost to lot owners is for the new remotes, and they are optional. You may continue to enter The Springs using your personal code. Should you want the new remotes, they are $35 each with an initial limit of 2 per lot (or group of lots if ownership is the same).

Q: Why should I have to pay $35 for a remote when I previously purchased a clicker?

A: We all have ongoing community access with our 4-digit gate code. This is provided to us as part of living in this community, and our HOA dues help fund the gate system and its maintenance. The remotes have been an optional community access method with an associated additional cost. The cost helped recoup the purchase of the generic remotes. This will also be the case with the new encoded remotes.  The $35 cost will help recoup their initial bulk purchase.

Q: Why can I only purchase 2 remotes initially?

A: We established a 2 remote limit to help ensure a fair and timely initial distribution of the new remotes to the full- and part-time residents who need them the most. After the initial transition period, you will have the opportunity to purchase more remotes.

Q: What is the range of the new remotes?

A: The new remotes have a range of 50-100 feet, similar to the current clickers.

Q: The old remote is programmed into my vehicle’s HomeLink button; will it still work?

A: No. The old remotes used a single, common code and that is what your HomeLink button is programmed with. The new remotes transmit a different, unique code that is linked to the lot owner.

Q: Can I program the new remote into my vehicle’s HomeLink button?

A: No. The enhanced security features of the new encoded remotes make them incompatible with HomeLink.

Q: Will my 3-digit directory code change?

A: No, it stays the same.

Q: Will my 4-digit access code change?

A: No, it stays the same.

Q: Who is eligible to buy the remotes? Lot owners, residents, contractors, visitors, friends, realtors, utility workers, police, fire department, EMTs, mail carriers, delivery drivers, etc.?

A: New remotes will only be sold to Springs’ residents and lot owners. All other personnel entering The Springs will use the gate directory, special purpose 4-digit codes, or the yelp-activated gate opener for first responders.

Q: Can the new remotes be mailed to me?

A: No, to ensure the new remotes are purchased by residents and lot owners only, we regret we won’t be able to mail them. We will provide opportunities to purchase the new remotes in person before the old clickers are deactivated. Beginning in January, the Security Committee will sell them to residents and lot owners at mutually convenient times and locations.

Q: What is the schedule for this change?

A: The implementation schedule is as follows:

  • October 4 – Finalize implementation plan, schedule, and communication plan.
  • Immediately – Discontinue sale of the current generic clickers.
  • Mid October – Send initial communication via the newsletter with a link to the FAQs.
  • Late October – Send reminder notification in the newsletter.
  • Late October – Schedule installation of the encoded remote reader at the gate.
  • Late October to Early November – Test new encoded remote system.
  • Early November – Send newsletter communication announcing the date, time, and location for sale of the new remotes.
  • Mid November – Begin sale of new remotes (initial limit of 2 per household).
  • Early December – Send reminder notification that old gate clickers will be deactivated effective January 1.
  • Late December – Send reminder notification that old gate clickers will be deactivated effective January 1.
  • January 1 – Deactivate old generic gate clicker equipment.
  • Ongoing – Distribute additional new remotes to residents and lot owners.

 

We appreciate your support and understanding as we all strive to improve the safety and security of our community, our facilities, and our homes.