Bear Valley Community Services District

Archived Project

Gate Access Control System

New gate access software will enhance security and improve the gate experience for residents

May 30, 2019
Last Updated:
June 26, 2020

ur current gate system has been a topic of interest to many residents in recent times. Current passes are easy to forge, are not easily tracked, and do not limit hours of access to guests. As a result, some visitors have been entering the valley outside their authorized times. This has raised valid concerns about access to amenities and possible resident exposure to criminal activities. The entry gate process is also cumbersome for both gate staff and residents who must wait for gate keepers to visually identify, verify, and grant or deny access to each vehicle coming through. This causes delays, especially during heavy traffic periods, winter weather conditions, and holidays.

Current System

  • Uses a mix of windshield stickers for residents, clickers and cards for automated entry (clickers no longer work)
  • various colored passes for visitors
  • Special passes for contractors and other service providers
  • Gate staff uses hand written logs to track activity
  • Residents are required to phone or fax in visitor passes

Why Change?

The current process is outdated, inefficient, cumbersome, and has proven ineffective at restricting entry to approved visitors. In response to these concerns, the BVPD is installing a new software and security system that will streamline the process, enhance the experience for all involved, and tighten security in our valley. The new system has been chosen to meet several standards:

  • Must improve security
  • Provide residents with peace of mind and ease of access
  • Improve the gate experience for residents, visitors and staff

The New System

The new system will be provided by GateHouse Solutions. This company first launched in 1999, and has hundreds of systems installed in 16 states. They are an industry leader in Community Resident and Visitor Management Systems. The software is proprietary and expandable. If needed, we will be able to add components like License Plate Readers and Facility Access (for example, restricting guest access to the solid waste transfer station).

Resident Web Portal

The new system provides a web portal for residents to conveniently pre-authorize their visitors, view their personal information, and view their visitor activity history. In this portal residents can determine the visitor "type":

  • Regular Visitor - resident determines the length of their pass
  • Denied - never allowed entry for this address (but does not stop other residents from granting entry for their properties)
  • One-time Access - once admitted, the visitor is removed from the system
  • Contractors - for service providers
The Resident Web Portal puts residents in control of their visitor passes
Mobile Phone App

A mobile phone app is available for both Android and iOS phones that will allow residents to manage all of their GateHouse features.

Visitor Entry Process

Once a resident has entered a pass for a visitor, that visitor has several options. They may receive the pass as a text to their smart phone, print a paper pass from an email, or pick up a printed pass at the gate.

Printed passes

Printed passes will still be available at the gate for pickup

  • Visitor Name
  • Resident Name
  • Destination Address
  • Expiration Date
  • Directions to residence
  • Speed limits and other community requirements (stop at horse crossings, etc.)
Electronic Passes
Electronic guest passes can be displayed on and scanned from a smart phone

Residents will be able to send electronic passes to their visitors via text or email. These passes can be printed or displayed and scanned on a smartphone.

Gate Entry Notification

Residents will be alerted to guest entry when they are logged at the gate. These notifications can be sent either by text message or email.

Resident Gate Experience

A major goal was to improve the gate experience for residents. Residents will still receive gate stickers for entry through the visitor lane, and that lane will function much as it does now with gate staff checking and approving each vehicle. The process will be faster, as gate staff will be using handheld scanners to process passes and waving residents through.

Residents may also choose to opt into a more modern version of the old "clicker" system. This new system includes an  RFID reader for the residents lane coupled with special stickers for the vehicles, and will greatly increase entry efficiency.

The 'fast lane' will be installed in the existing right hand lane

The new gate arm and RFID reader will be installed in the current right-hand lane, replacing the old hardware that used clickers and cards.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the system cost?

The software and equipment cost is around $30,000. The District is also purchasing RFID tags which are an additional $60,000. The special RFID tags will be available for purchase by residents to who wish to use the residents-only 'fast lane'. These tags will cost $12/per tag per year.

Can RFID tags be stolen and used?

No, these tags are designed to "self destruct" when removed.

Will the new technology provide an alert when a guest enters?

Yes, you may opt to receive either a text or email when your guest is granted entry.

If email or computers are down, how will residents authorize passes?

Residents will still be able to call the gate and provide information, or use their mobile device to authorize passes.

What about residents who don't use smart phones or computers?

Residents will still be able to call in passes, however according to the 2013 census, 98% of BV residents said they have and use a home computer.

What happens if there is a power outage at the gate?

The gate is powered by a generator, and the new system includes a battery backup.

Special RFID stickers will be available for purchase by residents only, to allow streamlined access through the 'Residents Only' lane
Can visitors be authorized only from my home computer?

No, the software is designed so that residents can access it via mobile devices or home computers, whichever is preferred.

If we had license plate readers, would the RFID be redundant?

Both are important tools for security. The RFID stickers are intended for residents only. License plate readers may be utilized in the future to track access and flag those who are not authorized to enter.

Will the gate continue to be staffed with personnel?

Yes, the Gate will maintain 24/7 staff to process visitor entry.

Will there be an overlap in the old technology and new technology?

Currently vehicle stickers will sill be accepted for entry, but ONLY through the visitor gate (left-hand lane). Residents will also be able to 'call in' passes as needed.

Will the Resident gate be available to all residents?

The Resident gate will be accessible to residents who choose to purchase an RFID tag.

Can I place an RFID tag on my motorcycle?

Yes, the RFID tags are typically placed inside the windshield on your vehicle, however they may also be applied to motorcycle forks or headlamp.

Will I still be able to use my Amenity card to gain access to the valley?

There will be an overlap period where this will be allowed, however as we fully transition to the new software this will be phased out.

Are RFID readers safe?

Yes, RFID readers are used in many industries including:

  • Product inventory tracking
  • Conference Attendee tracking
  • Libraries
  • Laundry Services
  • Race Participant Timing

The electromagnetic fields are measured in laboratory conditions and radiation is below threshold limit values set forth by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation.