Communities are increasingly considering using a gate because of the enhanced security that modern access solutions can provide. Until recently, gated communities would have to rely on either expensive human security guards or highly insecure solutions, such as 4-digit pin pads or physical keys. Today, a modern gate entry system can control access using a smartphone in ways that keep all unauthorized guests out, provide immediate access to law enforcement, and automatically open gates for delivery drivers. If you want to convert your neighborhood into a gated community, read on to learn the steps you will need to take to get a gate installed.
Discuss Community Gating With Community Members
If you want to succeed at getting a community gate approved in your neighborhood, you should start by getting buy-in from a few community members who can work with you to convince your entire community to agree to your plan. Instead of going straight to your homeowner’s association, you should start by discussing the possibility of installing a gate with a few respected community members who you already know.
Interest in community gates is growing, so many of your neighbors and community leaders are likely to have similar ideas. You can then form a team to research the benefits of installing a gate and select the right solutions that could be advantageous in your community. Once you have a clear understanding of why you want a gate in your community, you can approach community leaders and your homeowner’s association with good reasons for why a gate is needed. When your reasons are clear, you will have a better chance of convincing your entire community that something should be done.
Know Whether Gated Communities Are Possible
Communities that stand to benefit from having a gate are often left ungated because of local ordinances that make having a gate difficult or costly. Some local governments also have a ban on gated communities. Although there are clear social advantages to using gates, some local governments ban gates for a wide variety of reasons.
You should review local ordinances to understand what you will need to do to get a gate approved. In most areas that are open to community gating, you will need to get the approval of a couple of local officials, submit detailed plans for your proposal, and comply with a wide range of zoning laws. However, in other cases, you might have to restructure the ownership or management of your community to obtain necessary approvals. For instance, you may need to first make your community’s roads private property. In rare cases, community gating might not be possible without changing local laws or getting exceptions that require extensive investment with no guarantee of success.
Decide Which Gate Access Technologies You Will Use
Today, the technology you will use to provide residents with secure access is one of the most important considerations when installing a community gate. Some of the access technologies you can choose from include:
- 4-digit pin pads,
- license plate readers,
- FOB keys,
- proximity cards,
- human security guards, or
- smartphone-based solutions.
You should research all of the technologies that are available to decide on the best access solution for your community, but smartphone-based solutions are favorable in most situations. Smartphones ensure that access is linked to an individual resident or guest. It is also easier to take advantage of the latest technologies when access is based on smartphone technology. For instance, a leading gate entry system, such as Nimbio, will have partnerships that provide seamless access to first responders and delivery providers. Taking advantage of the best gate access technologies can get your community ready for the future while maximizing the return on investment of your gate.
Know the Cost of Your Proposal
Many communities are wary of using a gate because they are unsure about the cost of controlling access. In some cases, community leaders falsely assume that a human security guard will be needed. A minimum of three full-time security guards are usually needed to provide 24/7 access, so the cost of staffing a gate usually exceeds $100,000 per year. Many communities are unable or unwilling to spend $1 million or more over the next decade to keep their communities secure. Instead, communities can rely on modern automated solutions that provide better security than human guards can offer while eliminating the high cost of staffing.
Additionally, you will need to consider the cost of your gate. Many gates can be purchased and installed for less than $20,000. Highly secure automated gate solutions can cost $50,000 or more. Although these costs may seem high at first glance, the reality is that gates have been proven to increase the value of each property in a neighborhood by an average of $30,000.
Get Approval From Your HOA and Community Members
Obtaining formal approval from your homeowner’s association is the most crucial step for getting a gate installed in your neighborhood in most situations. If you are already active in your HOA, getting approval may be easier. As mentioned earlier, working as a team can also help to ensure that your proposal is taken seriously.
When proposing a gate to your HOA, you should start by approaching individual leaders of your HOA. These leaders can then invite you to present your idea to the community. You can then prepare a brief presentation that includes why a gate is advantageous, an estimate of costs, and specific solutions that could be beneficial. When you give this presentation, be sure to invite influential community members to win as much support as you can.
Many communities are highly supportive of a gate installation initiative that an active community member is willing to lead. Usually, gates are not installed simply because no community members have taken the initiative to get a gate proposal approved. Therefore, you can be confident that your efforts to propose a gate in your community have a high chance of being successful and are likely to improve your image as a community leader.