How Would You Like to Spend Your SOA Money?

Everyone in Somersett is paying millions of your HOA dues to Somersett Golf and Country Club, with no pay back or equity ownership. You had no say in this decision and you should have. Please take our poll and give your answers here. The results will be released in a future blog. Only one vote per email address will be accepted.

39 thoughts on “How Would You Like to Spend Your SOA Money?

  1. If this golf course / country club is such a great amenity for Somersett and makes this such an attractive place to live, why can’t it pay its own way?

    Like any other business, it needs to support itself or go out of business. The whole enterprise is nothing but an ego builder for the developer with too few people to support it through membership.

  2. Limit children time in the pool so adults have more time in mail pool and no childrens swim lanes in the lap pool.There is far more owners without children than those with children.

    No money aid to the 18 holw golf course from HOA dues.

  3. This is not a fair and unbiased poll particularly with how the last option is framed and worded. The golf club contract is meant to provide additional amenities to the community, yet the option is famed as a “penalty” or subsidy versus the other options listed. The amenities and benefits provided by golf club to the community are substantial and include hidden amenities like propping up home values, flood, drainage and fire control to mention a few, yet the option is framed so no one would choose quote, “a subsidy” . The introduction paragraph is biased and misleading as well. If you truly want the opinions of the homeowners, you should gather them in a truly honest and unbiased manner and deal with the facts and not your opinions in the polling process and structure.

    1. Golfers should pay their own way and end their dependence for a bail out on those of us who have ABSOULTELY NO INTEREST in some people having a country club.

      We didn’t like the bank bail outs, we didn’t like the auto industry bail out and we don’t like the country club bail outs just to stroke some property developer’s ego.

    2. Rich,

      Wow, nothing like a little poll to marshal the forces!

      “Funding, sponsorship, assistance, contribution, support,” – you can call it what you want or spin it as you wish, but as you know, many of us here in Somersett consider the SGCC Lease Agreement as simply a mechanism directed toward enhancing SGCC’s financial stability and reducing the financial burden on its equity members. Therefore, I have no problem with the term “Subsidy”.

      You state that “If you truly want the opinions of the homeowners, you should gather them in a truly honest and unbiased manner”. I agree with this, too bad it was not followed when the Lease Agreement was being negotiated between the SGCC and the Developer controlled SOA Board. As you know, the Somersett CC&R’s clearly establishes a separation between the Country Club and the SOA via its “No Right to Use” clause. Hence the SOA’s own attorneys opinion that the “Somersett Owners’ Association does not have the power to unilaterally include the community membership to the Somersett Country Club (SCC) in the assessments without a vote of the membership”. However, a subsequent opinion was rendered that the SOA could get around the vote requirement via a leasing arrangement. Given that the Country Club was not intended to be included in the Common Elements of the SOA, I do not see how anyone can dispute the premise that any agreement with the Country Club involving homeowner assessments should have been properly disclosed and subject to a vote of all Somersett homeowners. This was the proper way to approach it. However, I suspect that the negotiators did not want a vote for fear of failure, hence the resulting lease agreement.

      You also state that “The amenities and benefits provided by the golf club to the community are substantial”. Yes, there are benefits; however, whether or not they are substantial is clearly open for debate. I as well as many others do not see it that way. (See “SCGG Lease Analysis” under the Articles section).

      The attribute of this Blog Site is that it provides a forum for us to air our differences and express our opinions. Hopefully this will occur in a responsible and reasonable manner without animosity, which has not always been the case. I for one do not necessarily fault the SGCC Board for exercising its fiduciary responsibility to its members. However, I do fault the SOA Board for abandoning theirs.

    3. If Mr, Oster were really interested in fairness, he would have sought to present his contract to all of Somersett owners for a vote rather than have Blake Smith ram it through the SOA BOD before homeowners had a chance to even respond to the proposal.

      1. The country club is Blake Smith’s wet dream. He’s the developer and he controls the Board of Directors. After nine years, the country club is still a money losing proposition so Mr Smith, by executive decree, has decided we need to keep his dream alive with our bail out of his folly.

        And as far as getting a lawyer to fight the bail out, we signed away most of our rights to sue in the CC&Rs. If we sue and lose, we pay the HOA’s legal expenses.

  4. Pathetic. Have you ever heard of push polling? Serious lack of integrity in this poll. You should be embarrassed to put out something so pathetic.

  5. Your “facts” are inaccurate and misleading and are not “facts” at all. The club is NOT losing $685K/year and is in fact now profitable, so there is little or no chance that homeowners will have to subsidize continued losses of the country club. Have any of you seen what Northgate looks like these days? It’s a huge dog park now overrun by weeds. Is that what you want your community to look like?

    Also, I don’t use the pool in the community. Should I be entitled to a $15 (or more) refund because I don’t like or use the pool? Somersett is a beautiful attractive community because of ALL of it’s amenities and the golf course is one of the most significant.

    All this over $15/month? – REALLY?

      1. If you don’t like this community and all it has to offer, why don’t you just find another community more in line with your interests and MOVE? Seriously? All over $15/month that isn’t even an extra $15/month. Wow…

    1. Barry, Here are some facts, According to the Country Clubs own financial operations summary, they had a net income loss of $685K in 2011. Their 2012 Budget projected a break even based on $435K income from SOA Dues assessments and $61K income from non member resident restrauant and driving range use. As I intrepret this, the Country Club is relying on approximately $500K from the SOA to be barely profitable.

      1. That was last year!! The club has added 60-70 (or more) new members since last year, which is contributing to bottom line on a monthly basis. The first few months in 2012 were break even or positive..

        1. Hi Barry

          According to an email sent recently out by The SGCC they have gathered 88 new members (so far) for 2012 dues
          50 @ $250 a month = $150,000/year
          10 @ $260 a month = $ 31,200/year
          10 @ $270 a month = $ 32, 400/year
          10 @ $280 a month = $33,600/year
          8 @ $290 a month = $27,840/year
          Total $275,040 (Congratulations to Greg)

          So taking the 172 members at $425/month
          $ 877.200
          one can add up the “take” from memberships

          2415 SOA Units = $362,250
          (172 Resident SGCC members have contributed $30,960 from their homeowner dues)

          As I understand it, there was a ruthless pruning of staff, which has saved about $300K for 2012 (unless a full time President is hired later this year). So one knows that the SGCC is being run professionally in an effort to “save it”. So with the $362,250 lease and the profit on maintaining the C9 golf course, we can safely say that the SGCC is in the black.

          The contribution by the SOA should now be based on 2411 units. I believe Ray Lee indicated at the finance meeting that there will be a further reduction by 39 units, as the distressed units in the Vue recently acquired by the SOA – these units actually owed Somersett over $200K in back dues. I have been trying to get an idea from the financials about non-paying units – however, the reporting structure seems a little obtuse, and so much assessment money has been written off over the last 3 years, one does not really know where we are – disadvantage of accrual accounting – but the numbers seem to show that only about 2100 units are current. I wonder how many of the 172 members are in arrears? If 10% of the 2415 units are non-performing – that is equivalent of each paying member now contributing $16.50/ month for amenities (NOT $15…) of ACTUAL CASH) and another $16.50 for Canyon 9 maintenance! Out of the $84 – we are paying close to 40% of our assessments to support Golf and SGCC and Canyon 9. That seems to make us a true golfing community.

          I would like to ask ALL, if they had known that they were going to pay 40% of their Somersett assessments for golfing privileges – would they have bought here? I don’t recall being told this by our Ryder Homes when we bought in 2006. Golf was optional! Not now though, as long as you don’t mind being treated as an outsider because of our CC&R’s!!

      2. Geoffrey,

        Good article. However, I believe the SOA contribution to the SGCC this year for the 2415 Units is $435K not $362K ($2415x15x12=$434,700). Regarding the 88 new members, these are not equity owner memberships, but rather “Preview Memberships” requiring a one year commitment. All revenues from these memberships will not be booked in 2012. The hope is that they will convert to equity memberships at the end of their commitment period. Your point that the SOA contribution of $15/month/unit is payable even if unit owners default on their dues is well taken. The SOA homeowner contribution will also increase if we are fortunate enough to experience resident growth, which will certainly occur over the term of the agreement.

      3. The facts will eventually come out. But reading all the member responses and non-member residents responses it appears:
        1. SOA fees recently started subsidizing the golf course and coffee shop. Without SOA resident fees the golf course is upside down. Seems like bad business to me. SOA fees are not a cash cow for bad businesses. Is this $180 per year for life per resident?
        2. Why did the SOA feel an obligation to give the golf course $500,000?
        3. What is in it for the residents who always have the option of joining without the SOA? If residents like golf and like to join stuff can’t they do so without the SOA? Getting to hit balls off of dirt and eating at a coffee shop in a portable building is not Country Club living for $500,000.
        4. A golf course who has 174 member’s does NOT a community make.
        5. Not a good investment by all but 174 members standards. And that does not mean it is bad. Opinions are what makes for good horse races.

  6. I think the point is missed, it is the home owners decision to vote yes or no on things such as mentioned above and ultimately make the decision to move forward or not. This was never put to a vote. I see that as a real problem. Major issues need to be voted upon by Somersett residents. Then the decision is made and we can move forward. Having something this large with this affect, shoved down my throat, doesn’t sit well with me. Should have never happened without a vote.

    1. You are extremely right. I still want to know who made this decision unalaterally. Not a good SOA management for sure.

  7. Barry

    The golf course is a significant aspect of Somersett, unfortunately there are only 172 members. According to Ray Lee (at the June finance meeting) there are 2411 assessment paying units, in Sierra Canyon, the Villages, the Vue and the rest of Somersett.We believe that ALL residents should have some say, especially if they pay (or have assessment monies diverted) for ammenities which they can either choose to use or not.
    It is sad indeed that the residents (who are not SGCC members) are treated on a par (maybe worse compared to the casino tour groups) with the general public. Our CC&R’s prevent us from having any special rights which could be enjoyed by ALL the residents. So one should not harp on how wonderful it looks, when looking is all we are effectively allowed to do!
    I am sure to give dogs their due, that they would prefer to frisk on the SGCC’s bright lush greens than to pick there way through the desert mountainside tumbleweed and sage brush on Northgate City Park. The dog’s running on the closed D’Andrea course looked very happy and Lenar are still building new homes, with no drop off in interest or price reductions.

    (and its lush green look)

    1. So, we’re paying this money so 7% of our residents don’t have to pay or can’t afford to pay their full obligation.

      These 7%’ers, what are they, a bunch of welfare cases that don’t believe they should pay their own way. Maybe we should look into food stamps and subsidized day-care for these underprivlidged Somersett families.

      What a bunch of welfare slugs!

  8. This is a travesty!! This should have been put to a vote by all members of Somersett. Is this a dictatorship?/ I am really ticked off by this decision by one guy. If the golf course needs money it needs to charge its members more; not take it from us. This decision needs to be thrown out.

  9. “Millions”? I don’t think that is an accurate statement. At a rate of $15 per household as stated above it would take many years to get to “millions of dues”. Does the SOA receive “payback” or “ownership” from other vendors which they pay such as Groundskeeper, the lease company for the fitness equipment etc? The club is a vendor who provides service. A vote is required if dues are increasing. Dues did not increase but instead were used to add a wonderful group of new amenities to the community. I know of many of my neighbors who do not golf or use the pool, fitness center, clubhouse or even the walking trails but do not complain about paying for them. They moved to this community because it is a wonderful place to live. Everyone knows what the dues are up front and can choose to take advantage of the amenities or not. Why does this group continue to focus on this one issue? I don’t see any posting about the amount of money spent on the landscaping contract (which is greater than the amount spent for the golf club amenity) or the water bills or property taxes or anything else. Why do these few residents feel they are speaking on behalf of the entire community? The bias here is obvious and the “facts” are presented in a way to justify these ridiculous rants. Enjoy Somersett for what it has to offer or MOVE.

    1. Lets get real here!

      “Millions” is correct, over the ten year term (with options) of the agreement and considering moderate growth, The current amenities will cost Somersett homeowners over $4M. This does not include the “Event Trigger” clause wherein the SOA Board can participate in a permanent Country Club clubhouse design and resident access arrangement wherein homeowners could be assessed up to an additional $15/mo. This would potentially add another $4M in homeowner assessments going the the Country Club.

      The pools, recreation center, tennis courts, Canyon 9, etc., were all part of the Common elements everyone new they were getting when they purchased here. The Country Club was specifically excluded from homeowner access. Until now that is, when the Country Club is in financial difficulity.

      One might also say, why do Country Club members feel they are speaking on behalf of the entire community? The bias here is even more obvious!

      Apparently you have been ignoring the many other Website articles that do not deal with the County Club issue.

      Apparently if I do not agree with your opinions I should MOVE out of Somersett. I would not be so crass as to suggest likewise. Lighten up and respect that others have a different viewpoint on this issue.

      1. What a CRAP thing to say “you should move out of Somersett.” Our Country Club has 174 members but their club is being subsidized to the 3000 owners in Somersett and Sierra Canyon. Very few people in Somersett can sell their homes for what they paid.

        Giant rip off for us 95% so you 5% can feel like big shots without having to foot the bill yourselves. This Country Club crowd are nothing but parasites living high off the residents of Somersett and the retired fixed income residents of Sierra Canyon.

        The only thing I can do at this point is continue talking to prospective buyers who tour the models to beware of their obligation to Somersett Country Club crowd for nothing in return.

    2. Thank you for your comments. Obviously, it is imperative in any discussion to rely on relevant and material facts when reaching conclusions. The lease agreement between the owners association and the golf club provides those facts, but those facts have not been expressed in a concise and specific manner by either the HOA or the golf club.

      The facts are: the “Duration and Term of the Agreement” is for 10 years, and will cost the property owners no less than $3,739,968.00 (section IV, Terms of Agreement, page 5, Duration and Term of Agreement).

      In addtion to this $3,739,968.00 obligation that the property owners will pay the golf club, there is a second condition in the agreement that could or will obligate the property owners to pay an additional $1,304,640.00 to the golf club (section IV, Terms of Agreement; page 5, subsection 5, Event Trigger, and page 8, subsection 10, Compensation). This $1,304,640.00 is to help the golf club pay for the construction of a permanent clubhouse. The payment of this additional $1,304,640.00 is retroactive to January 1, 2012. Consequently, the monthly payment by the property owners for the first three years of this agreement is $30.00 per month.

      The total amount of money the property owners will pay the golf club is no less than $5,044,608.00, and this amount does not take into consideration the additional homes that will be built over the 10 year period.

      I believe these are relevant and material facts that should be considered, when discussing this agreement.

      Common sense assumptions or concerns eminate from these facts: 1.) the permanent clubhouse will be built, maybe by the end of year three of this agreement; 2.) if this occurs, the property owners could be forced to pay for a portion of the permanent clubhouse’s: property taxes, insurance, utilities, employee wages and benefits, building maintanence and repair, equipment and furniture replacement, expansions, etc. At $5.00 per month, per property owner, this would amount to an additional $1,014,720.00 over the remaining 84 months, after the clubhouse is built.

      This brings the toal cost to the property owners, for this agreement, to
      no less than $6,059,328.00.

      Herb James

      1. My calculations are based on 2416 property owners in the Somersett/Del Webb development.
        Herb James

  10. The main “area in common” that Somersett needs is proper park with benches, gravel paths, flowers and trees. We lived fo a while in London and see this much needed “gentrification” especially in the summer months when entertainment is added on market days in the Village.

  11. Poll Results Comment

    Posted by Ex Country Club Member

    I have been involved in many polls over the years during my business tenure. Usually they taper off after the first few days. On observing a rapid vote increase of over 100% since late Thursday afternoon and well into the night (not a normal poll statistic) one wonders if some poll packing was taking place.

    Be that as it may, when you exclude the obvious Country Club member vote, the results do not indicate any wide spread support for subsidizing the Country Club with homeowner assessments. To the contrary, it appears most would rather have seen their dues decreased.

  12. I’m sure this voting thing was not representative of Somersett as a whole. Since I know a couple of members of the Country Club I know they were active in getting all of their members to vote that our dues should be used to subsidize their fun.

    The numbers look pretty close, 274 voted that we should water their grass and how many members are there? I believe it is somewhere around 172 members but if spouses also vote, we’d be getting close to 274.

    I guess when rape is inevitable, lay back and enjoy.

  13. Let the golf course and coffee shop go into bankruptcy. If it was built with county restrictions for open space use buy it for $0.10 on the dollar then it might be profitable. Most golf courses are not profitable.

  14. I would like the Somersett Golf Course to be viable as much as anyone. We paid an extra $100,000 for our beautiful golf course view lot. But the Golf Course isn’t the only reason that people buy in this community,now, or in the future. New developments will most likely feature solar energy, to power their town centers, and the homes. If we don’t make some attempts in this area, the golf course alone will not keep property values up or attract new buyers. This will take an initial investment, but will pay off. It takes plenty of money to keep our other amenities in good condition,both for our use, and to entice prospective buyers. The $15/month paid currently to support the Golf Club is not that much, but it’s foolish to think that will be enough in the future – at least to have the quality of other amenities that we will need and want as well. The economy has been unkind to almost everyone, not just the equity members of the Golf Club. We need to think of the future…now!

      1. I think the golf course will have to be public, to have any success, and I, like Blake Smith, wonder if it can succeed indefinitely, under any circumstances, in these bad economic times, combined with many golf course options for play in our community. My point was… we paid, as well as the golfers paid, and there is no guarantee of anything..I would prefer dues reduction to subsidizing the golf club, because there are more people like yourself, than there are golf members. It’s that simple..

  15. I Forgot to mention… dues, from anyone, including yourself, are not protecting our $100,000 view. We paid $750,000 for our property, and it’s now worth about $450,000.

  16. I backed out of a short sale for a home on the golf course, because in my estimation the country club is no where near self sufficient and a liability/headache to entire community. It was best decision I made…..and now that i live in Reno, I head often that somersett is an accident waiting to happen.

    1. Very smart decision on your part. My wife was determined to live in a Del Webb community so here I am. But, I sold a highly inflated Calif house and paid cast so at least I don’t worry about being under water.

      1. the del webbs are holding their value better….from what i heard as rumor 100 or so original country club members are hell bent to protect their memberships and their course by any means possible except them footing the bill. i get sent e-mail flyers for introductury memberships for nothing down (no equity stake) and 250/month or so (these are the meberships they are selling—-monthly passes…lol)
        if the residents subsidize, shouldn’t they as part of a reciprocal agreement received 4-6 or 8 transferrable rounds of golf per year…..oh, yea those 8 x 2000 parcels = 16,000 rounds which would make it a crowded somerset only public course still with no clubhouse or restaraunt

        i heard arrowcreek might lose 1 course from a board member…….it appears the somerset GC needs to face reality

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