SOA Attorney Legal Opinions

The SOA’s legal Counsel (Michael Schulman) has issued a letter on the status of legal issues before the association. Specifically the following:

  •  The 39 Vue Lots for Sale
  • Easements Between the Association and Homeowners
  • Subsidy Reimbursement Case with Ombudsman
  • Country Club Agreement
  • Mediation Claim with Boulder Sub-association.

Details are accessible by clicking in the following link:

SOA Legal Opinions 2-18-2014

 Item 4 is of particular interest as it relates to the ongoing CC&R amendment vote and the future Country Club (SGCC) purchase agreement. Comments on this legal opinion follow.

  1.  If the proposed CC&R amendments are approved, they will establish voting requirements for the upcoming SGCC purchase agreement. That is, the purchase agreement could be approved by a simple majority vote of a 20% quorum of unit owners. Much has been said in previous blog articles about giving the BOD the authority to inter into multi-million dollar purchase agreements with such limited voter approval requirements. One can only speculate that the 20% quorum was proposed by the BOD to ensure easier approval of the SGCC purchase agreement.
  2. If the CC&R Amendments are not approved, the SGCC purchase agreement vote will still take place. However, it must be accompanied by an additional CC&R amendment allowing only for the SGCC agreement to be approved. That is, it will not grant the BOD the broad purchasing powers provided via the currently proposed amendments.
  3. The legal opinion regarding the SGCC purchase agreement clearly states that a CC&R amendment is required to grant the BOD the authority to enter into such an agreement. In previous answers to homeowner questions, the BOD stated that “If the proposed changes to the CC&Rs are not approved, the proposed new deal with the SGCC will still go to a homeowner vote as a stand-alone issue”, without any acknowledgement that a CC&R amendment would also be included (required) to grant such authority. Why this omission one can only speculate. However, it does raise the following questions
  • If the current CC&R amendment vote fails, what will the voting requirements be for a subsequent SGCC purchase agreement vote?
  • Given the propensity of the BOD to express their views and opinions in the ballot mailings, will the BOD grant equal space for opposing views and opinions in future ballot mailings, that is, in accordance with Nevada statute NRS 116.3105?
  • Answers to both of the above have been requested previously.  To date the BOD has not responded. These are not difficult questions, Again, one can only speculate as to why not.

Previous comments on this blog site have expressed the opinion that if the SGCC fails, property values in Somersett will be adversely affected, hence the primary purpose for a SGCC agreement, others disagree. Whatever the case, this is not a reason to vote for approval of the current CC&R amendments, as the SGCC agreement will be voted on independent of the ongoing CC&R vote.

Given the preceding, SU still recommends a DISAPPROVAL vote for those of you who may not have submitted your CC&R amendment ballots. Reason being that it grants too much BOD authority with too little homeowner approval.

SNPAA Fundraiser – April 26

The following posted in support of the Sierra Nevada Performing Arts Association (SNPAA)

The SNPAA Annual Dinner/Entertainment Fundraiser to support performing arts schools in Northern Nevada and to provide scholarships for talented students in our community is coming up on April 26 at The Grove.  See below.  I hope you can make it.  Just go to snpaa.org and click on the events tab to reserve your seats.   It will be an enjoyable evening.

For details please access the following SNPAA Flyer:

SNPAA 2014 Fundraiser

Golf Course View Property Values – What Does Zillow Say?

Posted by Geoffrey Brooks  –  Somersett Homeowner

As a follow up to my previous post, I think everyone who lives in Somersett has heard of Zillow…they provide a service whereby they will give you a “Zestimate” of the value of your house, or any house you are interested in.

One advantage of Talon Pointe is that it has Golf View Lots (18th Hole Trail) and Non-Golf Lots (Lynrock), so the added value from a golf course lot can easily be seen!

Golf Views           Zestimate         Last Sale Price          Zestimate Range     

8660 18th Hole       $346,954        $487,000 (Oct 2007)         $326K – $386K

8668 18th Hole       $349,761        $749,000 (June 2006)       $329K – $367K

8672 18th Hole       $353,299        $345,000 (Jan 2012)          $332K – $378K

Non-Golf  

8724 Lynrock         $374,556        $360,000 (May 2013)          $345K – $393K

8788 Lynrock         $351,421        $290,000 (May 2009)          $330K – $369K

Even though the descriptors (see attached Talon Pointe Property Listings) mention the desirable SGCC 9th hole fairway views – Zillow doesn’t appear to believe that they make a house any more valuable! In fact if one rummages around in their web-site, they do comment on golf course houses, view lots and their value.

The houses chosen were all built in 2005 to 2006 and built to a high standard, with lots of luxury features by Ryder. They are all on 6000 to 7000 sq ft lots and about 2000 sq ft (4 of the 5 are the same layout). On the face of these numbers, it seems that buyers would prefer to pay a little more not to be on a fairway!  Maybe not having to repair windows (from errant golf balls?) is a plus!

I just don’t know.

Please can someone tell me why the SOA Board and the SGCC keep making claims that our values are enhanced by a functioning golf course? The facts elucidated from the Washoe County Assessors site, both in Somersett and in D’Andrea, do not bear this out. Cluster housing built around a golf course does not guarantee value for the buyers.

If we all decide by vote to buy the SGCC (on terms as described by the LOI) it is so we can keep the “Somersett Space” open, it will not enhance our property values.

However, one thing is quite clear that the builders can extract a hefty premium from a golf course lot, presence, ambience, which is why the SCGG was built in the first place. The SOA/SGCC should both be asking the builders to contribute to the purchase price, helping the SOA buy the SGCC! It is the Builders interests which are really being served by having the residents buy the SGCC!

Will realtors on the Somersett Board and active in the Country Club please speak up for all of us?

Geoffrey Brooks

BOD Special Meeting Recap

Somersett United

The SOA Board of Directors called a special February 20th Homeowner meeting at The Club at Town Center to act on CC&R Ballot issues, specifically the following;

 

  •      CC&R Ballot and Confidentiality Issues
  •      CC&R Ballot Opening and Counting procedures
  •      Possible Counting of CC&R Ballots.

Since the submitted CC&R Ballots contained homeowner signatures, there was a confidentiality concern over using homeowner volunteers to open and count ballots.  To alleviate this concern it was established that ballot opening, counting and tabulation would be accomplished by BOD members and the Community Manager.   It was further decided that this would be performed during the meeting in front of those homeowners present.  Results were as follows:

  • Total number of ballots counted  –  1482
  • Number voting for Approval of the proposed CC&R changes  –  999
  • Number voting for Disapproval  –  483

What does this mean?

  1.  The number of ballots received to date is not sufficient to determine an outcome.  That is, given approximately 2500 Somersett unit owners, 1275 approval votes (i.e., 51%) are required for the proposed amendments to the CC&R to pass.
  2. The BOD recognized that an insufficient number of ballots had been received to determine an outcome, but wanted to see where the ballot count stood at this time. The BOD advised that an interim counting of ballots before the recently extended April 15 deadline was legal.
  3. Outstanding ballots will still be received and added to the above vote count.  No decision was forthcoming as to whether or not another interim vote (i.e., prior to the April 14 deadline) would be accomplished. Also no determination was made as to whether or not a third ballot mailing would be made to those unit owners who have not yet submitted a ballot.
  4. No determination has been made as to what the BOD will do if the required number of ballots for either approval or disapproval has not been received by the April 14 Deadline.

The BOD stated that it does not consider the absence of a unit owner ballot as disapproval.  Therefore, the strategy of not submitting a ballot because one either disapproves of the whole process, or does not completely understand its ramifications is not a good one.  If you fall into this category, you are encouraged to submit a DISAPPROVE ballot

On the flip side if you consider the proposed changes beneficial, and you have not yet done so, then you should submit your ballot accordingly.

Bottom line – to bring closure on this measure, the association needs your vote, either for or against.  If you have misplaced your ballot, please contact the SOA Community Manager Lauren Stemmler via telephone at 787-4500 x327 or email at LStemmler@mysomersett.com to arrange for a replacement.

As an editorial note, previous ballot mailings contained literature with an obvious BOD bias toward achieving an approval vote.  No equal space was provided for alternate opinions challenging the purported merits of the proposed amendments.  In this regard, some alternate viewpoints may be accessed by clicking on the following links to previous posts..

CC&R Amendments – Setting the Record Straight

TCTC Meeting Recap – CC&R Changes

CC&R Amendment Impact on Country Club Agreement

Should the SGCC Go Public?

Posted by Joe Bower – Del Webb Owner & SOA Member

FINAL ANSWER

I think the only way to keep Golf Club members happy; along with golfers in general; fairway homeowners; non-Club member association members; and to keep the Club financially afloat is to open the course to the public 3 days a week.

It is morally wrong for a portion of homeowner dues paid to the association to be diverted for non-association purposes that aren’t spelled out in Article II of the CC&R’s, especially to a Private Club.

Article II:  “The purpose of the Association shall be: . . . . . .”  Supporting a private Golf Club is not mentioned

“Golf Course View” Property Values

Posted by Geoffrey Brooks  –  Somersett Homeowner

Mr. Brooks has submitted an article addressing the property value controversy associated with “Golf View” homes.  He cites facts obtained from the Washoe County Assessor’s office,  which provides for some interesting conclusions.  Mr. Brooks’ article may be accessed by clicking on the following link:

Does Living on a Golf Course Enhance Property Resale Values

Comment on Vote Extension

Posted by Joe Bower – Del Webb Owner & SOA Member

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

First Ballot Deadline for proposed amendments to the CC&R’s was December 15, 2013

Second Ballot Deadline for proposed amendments to the CC&R’s was February 14, 2014

Third Ballot Deadline for proposed amendments to the  CC&R’s is April 14, 2014

The Board wants your ballot and your wallet.  Please only mail or hand-deliver the ballot marked DISAPPROVE or they will hit us on the head with another extension.

SGCC Agreement LOI Questions

Somersett UnitedAn update on BOD responses to homeowner questions on the Country Club Agreement Letter of Intent may be accessed via the following link:

Letter of Intent Frequently Asked Question1 (1)

Additional questions submitted by homeowners, which have not yet been responded to follow:

  1. Will the vote on the new Country Club Agreement be accomplished via ballot mailings to all unit owners? What will constitute approval?  That is, approval by a specified percentage of all owners, or a majority vote of a Quorum?  If the later, what will constitute a quorum?
  2. It has been stated that homeowners will get to see the finalized Country Club agreement and information meetings will be held prior to ballot mailings. Given that the BOD will most likely present a case for approval of the agreement in both the meetings and ballot mailings, will equal time and space be given to those who may want to present an alternate case for disapproval of the agreement?
  3. You have stated that hiring a golf club/course consultant to value the property is part of your due diligence process.  Has this person/firm been hired? Were any SGCC members involved in the selection process?  When will the report be available to all association members?
  4. You have identified that there is a risk that SGCC will fail with this new arrangement and SOA will end up with the property. How was that risk determined? Have you reviewed SGCC’s long-term financial plans?  What have you concluded from your analysis?
  5. The presentation states that SOA operation and maintenance of the golf course would require an immediate increase of $50-$70 monthly fees. Would you provide the detail behind these numbers including the working papers on the SOA website for SOA member viewing? Also who conducted the financial analysis?
  6. During the presentation you represented that Somersett property values would be negatively impacted if the golf course went “brown”. Please provide your analysis of the closing of Northgate on the value of adjacent Somersett homes pre and post-closing. Is there evidence, ceteris paribus, that the “browning “of Northgate decreased Somersett property values?
  7. Developments that require country club membership have lower property values than those where membership is optional, all other things equal. Prospective home buyers considering Somersett and who don’t want a golf club will buy a home elsewhere thereby limiting the potential demand for homes in Somersett. Since you have estimated the New Agreement will impact $750M of real estate, will you solicit an appraisal from a qualified independent (not currently specializing in Somersett) real estate appraiser on how the proposed New Agreement will impact Somersett property values both short-term and long-term? When will that appraisal be available to members of the Association?
  8. Have you reviewed the proposed New Agreement with the builders in Somersett? What is their feedback?
  9. Do the current CC&R’s allow the board to purchase or acquire property without homeowner approval – please cite the specific references?  If it does not, can you explain why it has been implied?
  10. The BOD has advised that the purchase and lease back of the SGCC real estate and water rights is permitted under the current SOA CC&R’s.  Please advise where in the CC&R’s this is permitted.  Has a legal opinion been obtained from the SOA Attorney?
  11. How is it that  “Developer” approval is required to annex property if, per SOA/SGCC presentation “Developer relinquishes control of the SOA board to homeowners as of Jan. 1, 2013; First Homeowner elected SOA board takes office immediately.”

If you have some questions you would like addressed, send them via email to soa@mysomersett.com.  BOD responses may be viewed on the association website www.mysomersett.com. Log-in is required.

Special Meeting on CC&R Vote

Somersett UnitedThe SOA Board of Directors has called for a Special Homeowner Meeting to address the CC&R Ballot measure. Time & location are as follows:

When  –  Thursday, February 20 at 5:30 PM

Where  –  Canyon View Room, The Club @ Town Center

The Meeting Agenda consists of the following items:

  1. Discussion and Approval of CC&R Ballot Confidentiality Issues
  2. Discussion and Approval of CC&R Ballot Opening & Counting Procedures
  3. Possible Opening & Counting of CC&R Ballots

No supplementary information was provided with the meeting announcement.  However, homeowners may address the BOD with their comments/questions (3 minute limit) on the agenda items prior to the BOD discussion.  Also, following the BOD discussions on any related or unrelated topic.

Given the importance of this measure, homeowners are encouraged to attend, engage in the discussions and ask questions you believe need answered

Please put on your calendar!

Somersett Special Assessment District

Somersett UnitedThe Reno City Managers office is submitting a “Staff Report” (for possible action) to the Reno Mayor and City Council for the refinancing of Bonds associated with the construction and financing of the Somersett Parkway. The debt service on these Bonds is being paid for by Somersett property owners within Special Assessment District No. 4 (SAD#4). Details associated with the proposed refinancing may be accessed by clicking on the following link:

Staff Report – SAD#4 Bond Refinancing

Per the preceding Staff Report, it is estimated that $1.75M in interest savings, over the remaining life of the Bonds, could be achieved by refinancing. This would result in approximately $100/year in reduced assessments to SAD#4 property owners. That is, Somersett property owners.

This is a City of Reno assessment issue and should not be confused in any way with SOA annual or special assessments.

Credit is given to REreno (A Blog website on Reno/Sparks/Washoe County real estate news) for bringing this to our attention.