The Building


Your HOA fee includes every utility except electricity:

  • Water
  • Gas (fireplace only)
  • Trash disposal
  • Basic cable from Cox
  • Sewer

You’ll need to set up an account with San Diego Gas and Electric for electrical power. You set up a Cox account and decide if you want more than the minimal service, such as adding internet service.

Heating and Cooling

The La Mesa Village Plaza complex contains several buildings but only one of them contains residences. We refer to the other buildings as the “commercial” buildings. They contain outside businesses. There is a separate “cooling tower” that is shared between the commercial and residential buildings.

Residences and the commercial buildings use a heat pump for both heating and cooling. The heat pump in a unit connects to a supply of water that is processed through the cooling tower, where the exchange of energy with the outside air occurs. Think of the cooling tower as being like the compressor of a standard air conditioner, located outside a residence.

However, your heat pump also has a compressor inside the residence, which makes, along with the fan, the noise you hear when it turns on. The noise you hear when your heat pump is not active is the sound of the common water circulation.

You are responsible for the heat pump and the electrical costs to run it. See Resetting Your Heat Pump if your unit is not cooling.

The Floors

There are really six floors:

  • The lowest floor is our residential parking garage. See The Garage. Besides our cars, the area by the lobby area contains the recycling area, residents’ bicycles, and a hobby shop.
  • The street level floor contains the commercial garage and our lobby. The trash bins, into which your trash lands when you put it in one of the chutes, are located here. See Accessing the Trash Bins for disposing of items too large for the chutes.
  • The third floor is the one we call the “first floor”, as in Europe. It contains the units whose numbers begin with 1, including 119, our association rooms, and behind that some recreational facilities (see Recreation).
  • Above that are the remaining three residential floors, 2 through 4.

The Elevators

There are three elevators, called “Lobby”, “A”, and “B”; all of them stop at all six floors, and all have their levels named “Parking”, “Lobby”, “1”, “2”, “3”, “4”. From the Lobby Elevator, Elevator B is diagonally to the left, and Elevator A is diagonally to the right, as seen from the building entrance on Date Street.

Of these, only the Lobby Elevator stops in the Lobby. Elevators “A” and “B” stop in the commercial parking lot when you press “Lobby”. From those elevators you can get to the lobby by walking across the commercial parking lot to the door.

To operate the Lobby elevator, you need a fob, unless you are going to the Lobby. Inside the elevator, swipe your fob on the pad above the number buttons, then press the floor you want. The fact that you can always go to the Lobby is handy when someone you have let in wants to depart via the Lobby; you don’t need to “let them out”.

To operate Elevator A, you need a perimeter key to enter the elevator waiting room from the commercial parking. From resident’s parking, either a key or a fob will work. Neither is needed to operate this elevator once you are inside.

To operate Elevator B requires a perimeter key to enter the elevator waiting room from either garage floor. No key or fob is needed to operate this elevator once you are inside it.

Only “B” may be used for moving large items, such as furniture.

The Lobby

The exterior lobby door is locked. You can open the door with your fob or by using the keypad outside on the right. (Explained in Keypads).

However, to access the rest of the building from the lobby requires the perimeter key, or using your fob to operate the Lobby elevator. Your mailbox is located in the lobby. There are outgoing mail slots.

Up a short flight of stairs, to the left as you enter the lobby, are two locked doors. These doors are opened with the perimeter key. The door on the left goes to the parking garage. The one on the right goes to the first floor.

When you enter the lobby using the keypad, the door to the first floor unlocks for enough time to enter the building and open the stairway door.

Package Deliveries

How do you get a package delivered? It depends on which company is delivering it:

  • USPS deliveries are put in the large mail boxes with the key to the box put in your box, or the package is left in the lobby area if too large.
  • UPS deliveries are left in the lobby each morning.
  • Fedex delivers to your door.
  • The San Diego Union-Tribune delivers to your door.
  • Amazon deliveries depend on the carrier used, but due to size most end up in the lobby.
  • For something valuable, Amazon can deliver modestly-sized packages to a set of lockers located in a Chevron service station at the corner of Navajo and Lake Murray Blvd; this is the station on the left side before reaching Navajo, inside the convenience store. Amazon calls these lockers Cadabra, and you choose this as your shipping address. When the package arrives, you are sent a bar code to unlock the box. Not all items can be delivered to Cadabra.

It is wise to pick up your packages from the lobby when you receive a delivery notice, and we suggest you do not leave them overnight.

Commercial Garage

Residents may only park on the Parking level. Nonetheless, there are things we do in the commercial level garage.

The commercial garage is a bit bewildering at first, and unfortunately you need to know your way around it before your moving van arrives. When exiting Elevator B, turn left 180 degrees around the elevator structure and you’ll be looking at the garage exit behind the Masonic building, where your movers will park.

The commercial garage has another vehicle exit at the opposite end, which is from La Mesa Blvd. In between these two places, on the far wall, is a door to the lobby.

To get out to La Mesa Blvd there is a tunnel near Elevator A. That is safer than walking on the driveway. The tunnel leads to a metal gate that is not locked. You come out near Lightbulb Coffee.

To get out to the trolley side, there is another tunnel located near Elevator B. When you exit this way, you will arrive at the fountain. You will find a barrier prevents you from walking past the fountain directly to the train; it is necessary to walk around it on the left or right. You can also exit the building on the La Mesa Blvd side and walk up the sidewalk to the station.

Other tunnels are for the businesses, as is a set of mailboxes by Elevator B.

The door to the lobby is not marked, but is on a short diagonal wall. There are some complicated-looking pipes to the left of the door.

Disposing of Trash

On the residential floors, each floor has a room with the trash chute is to the right of Elevator B as you face the elevator. A motion-activated light will come on as you enter.

When you put some trash in the chute, it drops down to a set of very large dumpsters on the commercial garage level. The back side of the Elevator B structure in the commercial garage has a big set of double doors that open with your perimeter key. That room contains the trash bins. There is a light on a timer inside to the left. This is the place to dispose of items too large for the chutes.


If trash items present any possibility of jamming the chute, they must be taken to the commercial level bins, not put in the chute. Examples of such items include pizza boxes and long skinny things like brooms and mops.

Full details on waste disposal are in the section Trash.

Resident’s Parking Garage

You have one space assigned exclusively to you, marked with your unit number. You can use any of the spaces marked with letters for another car. Do not use the numbered spaces, as they are leased to the commercial tenants.

Please observe the 5 mph speed limit. To open the gate to exit, just pull up to it. It is safe to follow someone else out if the gate is open, just use caution.

To open the gate to enter, use your fob at the terminal as you enter the driveway.

From Parking, the door to the Lobby Elevator is near the recycling and bike parking, near the entrance gate. The door to the elevator is not labeled, and not locked. Inside the elevator waiting room is a door that leads to stairs to the lobby. You need a fob to go to any floor other than the lobby.

On this wall to the right of the recycling is the door to the workshop; see Recreation. It has a special key.

Elevator A will operate without your fob, but you need the fob or perimeter key to get into it from Parking, and your perimeter key to get into it from the commercial parking. On the commercial level, if you walk in the tunnel that leads to La Mesa Blvd (between Subway and Lightbulb Coffee), the elevator entrance is the first door on the left.

Elevator B will operate without your fob, but you need the perimeter key to get into it from either parking level.