Somersett Country Club Lease Agreement – Good or Bad – Legal or Not Legal

On November 14, 2011 the Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Executive Board entered into a three year Lease Agreement (with options for subsequent three and four renewal periods) with the Somersett Country Club (SGCC), a private entity, wherein it allocated $15/month of Somersett homeowner assessment dues to the SGCC in exchange for the “lease” of SGCC facilities and services to be accessible by homeowners.  Read more.

5 thoughts on “Somersett Country Club Lease Agreement – Good or Bad – Legal or Not Legal

  1. Did you see the letter to the editor in the paper today? So some believe Blake is now walking on water. A visionary.
    When we moved here in 2008 it was made clear to us that, as non-golfers, we would never have to subsidize the “Club”. They were selling memberships in the 30,000. range.
    When they became desparate, the price dropped dramatically and they offered to let you play at reduced rates on off days early in the morning. Such a deal!!!
    Years later, the club house still hasnt been built, the membership hasn’t grown and they want the non-members to pay for it. This just stinks!

  2. I have lived in Somersett since 2003. From just two tracts of homes and a few golf holes when I first arrived to today’s beautiful town center and all of the community’s amenities, it’s been fascinating to watch.
    The creation of a planned community takes vision, hard work and immeasurable risk. A Reno local, Blake Smith, accomplished this. If you enjoy Somersett, I trust that you too appreciate the decades long effort and the pure determination it took to create our award winning community.
    One of the things that makes Somersett so unique is the setting and the golf course running through it. If you’re a golfer, now is the time to join. Both equity and non-equity memberships are at amazing prices.
    The Somersett Owners Association took a vital and positive step to ensure the long-term value of our Somersett community. By working together, both the SOA and the country club has found a solution to benefit both the community at large and the golf course.
    For a mere $15 per month – which comes out of existing SOA dues (not an increase) – the community has enriched further quality of amenities being offered.
    If the deal was not struck, the likely outcome would be the closure of the golf course. Imagine the golf course closing, browning out, and simply going away. Imagine what that would do to the value of the community. You don’t have to go far – look at home values in Arrowcreek and now D’Andrea. Both have been hit harder like Somersett. Rather than work together, those communities have torn themselves apart. What kind of community to you want to live in?
    I certainly understand that there are detractors to the deal. But, to ensure everyone – the SOA, the community at large, and the golf course – gets through this economic recession as best as possible, the deal is a creative, positive solution for everyone.
    I applaud Blake Smith and the rest of the SOA leadership for taking this bold step, and thank them for their leadership and taking the inevitable slings and arrows that come with taking bold action. Thank you!

    1. I totally agree with Greg’s comments regarding the beauty and uniqueness of the Somersett Community. That is why we moved here in 2004 and bought a house adjacent to the Golf Course, which means we have a vested interest in its survival. But let’s get to the point here. Did the SOA Board have the authority to enter into an agreement with the Country Club to add amenities to the common interest community wherein it indebted Somersett homeowners to the tune of $1.4 M over the first three years of the Agreement without a vote of approval from homeowners? I and many others think not. Couple that with the underhanded manner in which the agreement was accomplished and you have a lot of disgruntled homeowners. If the SGCC and SOA Boards had been upfront, informative, honest about the real agreement purpose and submitted it to a vote of the homeowners I believe that, given the makeup of the Somersett community, it would have had a high probability of passing. If passed then great – mission accomplished. If not, then not so great for the SGCC as equity members would have to step up to the plate and cover their own operating losses, either through increased dues, one time assessments or some other method of raising revenues. Is this why some SGCC members are so quick to judge those who opposed how the agreement was handled and label them as being anti-community? The SGCC Board did the right thing for its members, but the SOA Board did the wrong thing in abdicating its fiduciary responsibility to the Somersett community at large by not taking it to a vote.
      Bottom line, I firmly believe it is not the SOA Boards charter or authority to add high cost elements to the common interest community without homeowner approval. What would we all say if the SOA Board decided on their own volition that it was in the best interest of the community to buy and develop the foreclosed upon town center buildings and subsidize tenet occupancy (at homeowner expense and without homeowner vote) so as not to have these vacant. Maybe a stretch but hopefully it makes my point, and hopefully my opinion will not disenfranchise me from all my friends in the SGCC.

  3. So let me get this straight. Everyone loves the privately owned golf course, but it is losing a butt load of money. It is probably fitting that the SOA save it to maintain housing values. But after investing up to $7M over the maximum term of the “Lease” agreement, the SOA general membership will have no equity to show for their investment (but will have be able to pay to play some boccie). All of the investments will end up benefitting the equity members of the SGCC. That’s a really sucky deal, in my opinion.

  4. We noted that in the RGJ article “In the Rough” March 11, 2012, that Blake Smith, the former Somersett Golf Course owner, said that the subsidy would not save the club, and it would have to make it on its own.
    The SGC members have suggested that the “lease/subsidy” arrangement as a win-win for any of the Somersett Homeowners, SGC members or not. Perhaps the only winners are those who belong to the club and do not live in our community.
    As a homeowner living in Somersett, we see the “lease” as flawed, it does not make any business sense! In essence the homeowners are committed to giving nearly $4,000,000 to the SGC over 10 years and receive “nothing” (equity) in return. If the Golf Club fails, Blake Smith gets the land back to develop as he pleases, the SOA dues diverted will be lost as will any of the amenities developed for ALL Somersett homeowners under the agreement.
    We believe that for the SGC to succeed to remain as a golf course that it has to be in “harmony” in with the community. One of the issues at D ‘Andrea, was that the Golf Club was run by the golfers for the golfers and they expected the residents to want to bail out a seemingly “elitist” club. One advantage Somersett has, is that it is already a golfing community as it owns Canyon 9 (cost $800K).
    We are not disgruntled homeowners by stretch of the imagination, we are concerned homeowners about the monthly dues diverted to a seemingly losing cause (especially if you agree that Blake Smith’s publicly expressed sentiment is a probable outcome). It seems to us for a win-win situation to develop, that the SGC has to be eventually owned by the community.

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