Gated Communities Suck

Because of where I work, I deliver to a lot of gated communities. Of all of the ones I’ve been to, there’s maybe one that isn’t a complete piece of shit.

While the residents in some of these communities can be pieces of shit, I’m actually not talking about them. I’m talking about the gate systems they have in place.

Just like the apartment buildings of this area, all of the gated communities are different from one another. I’ll get to the apartments in another piece. They’re fucking weird. Now that I think about it, almost all of the gated communities ARE apartment or condo complexes.

What I don’t understand is, why do there have to be so many DIFFERENT types? And why can’t any of them work?

For starters, almost all of them have two gated entrances/exits. Only one actually has a keypad at both entrances to get in. The rest have no keypad to get in at the rear entrance, yet there is an entrance gate. That one that has a keypad at both entrances, one of those is on the passenger side of the vehicle, so if you’re driving by yourself you have to get out of your car, in all types of weather, to punch in the code to open the gate. But at least they have a keypad there.

One of the communities, if you GPS your way to a street inside it, the GPS will ALWAYS take you to the rear entrance where you can’t get in because there’s no keypad. They thought well enough ahead to put in a place where you can turn around if you accidentally find yourself at this entrance with no way of opening the gate, but they refuse to put in a keypad there.

When you get the gates to open, they stay open long enough that 30 cars can get in behind you. Sounds safe. That is, if the gates aren’t open already when you get there. Some of them stay open all day and all night. Some of them I’ve never seen closed.

Speaking of the keypads, not all of them are the same or operate the same way. Only one place set up a general entry code that all delivery services can use to get in. That was awfully nice of them. As for the rest, some of them have a certain code for each resident. You can use one resident’s code each time you go, no matter who you’re going to see. Most of the time they’re just four digit codes. One place requires you hit the pound button before the four digit code.

One place requires you use their very basic keypad to search for the person you’re going to see to get their three digit code. You do this by hitting one of two buttons over and over again to scroll through the entire list of residents alphabetically, remembering their code once you get it, then punching in the code. The keypad will call that person, and then they can push a button on their phone or their wall to open the gate for you. That’s great, if their phone is working, or you know their last name, or if they’re even listed.

Another one of the places is the same way as that last one, except the display on the keypad box is digital and the three center lines on the display don’t display. So you only get the top third and bottom third of their names. Good luck reading that shit.

With both of those places, it makes me wonder. When the residents come home, how do they get in? Do they have to page themselves? Or do they have their own code to punch in and get the gate to open? If they have their own code, why don’t any of them give it to delivery people so they can get in more easily?

Personally, I would never live in a gated community for these very reasons. They’re offered as amenities, as selling points to get someone to live there. But if they’re screwy or don’t work, or they’re never closed, what’s the point? If I had to live in one of those places and chose that place because of the gate feature, and the gates were never closed, I’d be pissed. Or if people had problems getting in to see me… fuck that. That’s not ease of use.

Do you know how many times I’ve gotten in behind someone who entered their code? Just slipped right in. That seems safe. Hell, I’ve gone to one place several dozen times and have only seen the gate closed once. They also have a security guard shack right at the entrance, and only once have I seen a security guard there. What’s that about?

Do you live or have you lived in a gated community? Would you?

9 responses to “Gated Communities Suck

  1. I have lived on a military base, so yes, I guess I would. The big perk to me was that no one could actually find my house with GPS or Google, because it doesn’t work on military bases. Of course, no matter how many times I told visiting civilians that, they swore it would, and ended up calling me from a gate. (Don’t miss that. Not fun to load up four kids and drive to the gate at all hours!)
    Other than that, no. To me, gated communities represent a separation I don’t like, in addition to a false sense of security which you’ve noted here. False sense of security can be very dangerous.
    In Florida, my parents have friends who live in a gated community, where the gate is manned by a guard at all times, where residents are buzzed if visitors aren’t expected or haven’t been previously noted. The condos are full of people who are much older than we are, and I suppose they feel vulnerable. (It’s also hurricane-proof, so it’s where my parents go when it gets that bad.)
    That being said, I think gates and fences are important. Good fences make good neighbors, and people are less likely to enter a gate, period.
    I was thinkin about you earlier when I looked up my neighbor’s newly-listed house, and it offered crime stats in the area. Pursuant to our convo about the little areas that are never bothered with? I think you’d be amused at the crime maps. Our green area hasn’t had anything reported since 2003, but if I look around us there are reds and oranges.
    I found it very interesting that in the more expensive areas, there is actually a lot more petty crime, substantially more than here in blue-collar land, but way fewer gun-related crimes. No one would car-jack my Kia minivan, you know? lol

    • Yeah, I’m not a fan of gates. Although I’ve always planned that if I win the lottery or get extremely rich, I’m going to buy a bunch of land and build a 20 foot wall around the whole thing. Just in case of a zombie apocalypse or something.

      I couldn’t imagine living in a place with guards, whether a senior center or an army base. I couldn’t do it. That’s too militant for me. I got a story for you that I’ll actually write up as a blog piece after I respond. I don’t like people with power because of the potential for power abuse. And people with guns typically think they’re better than everyone.

      I think it’s funny what areas have what crimes. I was once told (and I don’t know how true this is) that if a cop pulls someone over for speeding, that incident is considered a police matter and is viewed at as such. And if a city wants to look like it has less “crime” or police incidents, the police will let people get away with shit so that there are fewer incidents and the city looks better. A city I lived in (which I fucking loathe) was like that. Cops let you get away with everything there, and it showed. The people who live there are all assholes. But in the nice areas where I work with multi-million dollar homes, the police pull everyone over for everything, even if you’re not doing anything wrong. Yet not much happens there as far as bad shit goes, and I can’t think of an area where I’ve felt more safe or a police force I’ve respected more. Strange how that works.

      • Well, to be fair, it’s not that I wanted to live on post, but rather the $850 in housing (in 2006) wasn’t enough to get a house big enough for our big family. So at the time, it was very convenient 🙂
        Look forward to your blog story — as always.

      • Oh I’m sure. Convenience is definitely a major pro. The gate isn’t too big of a con. Gotta keep them kiddies roomed and boarded. Or something.

  2. Pingback: I’m A Smooth Criminal | Beefy's House o' Fun

  3. Nope. I wouldn’t live in a hated community. My sister used to live in one and like you said, 30 cars could tailgate behind the first one in.

    As for apartments, I’ve lived in various complexes. I’ve never ordered pizza bc I feel sorry for the delivery person who has to navigate the cf maze.

  4. I live in a gated community in Doral/Miami . The REAL problem with these communities is that from what I have seen living here over 12 years , EVERY board goes corrupt and EVERY HOA is corrupt .

    The monthly fee’s are usually twice what they should be, stealing by those on the board is as easy as can be and the board and their friends are above the rules .

    I retire in 6 months and will be selling . I will be buying a REAL house , NOT a gated community .

    • Wow, that’s good info, and something I wouldn’t have known about being an outsider. Naturally my observations were just random, passing through views. Thanks for the info, and good luck on your move!

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