Submitted by Joe Bower – Sierra Canyon (Del Webb Reno) Owner
Glad to read the latest email from Somersett titled “Somerset Water Conservation” and sub-titled “Ways the Association is Planning for and Conserving Water in Our Community.”
All efforts of Somersett’s should be praised. I especially like the “water meter spreadsheet” something I have long advocated. I assume it will be in gallons and not dollars as one association was doing in past years. Haven’t heard what efforts are being undertaken by the three sub-associations: The Vue, The Villages, and Sierra Canyon.
It is sad to learn of “water usage reductions well in excess of 20%.” That percentage could easily have been achieved before the crises hit as excess watering and long-time to correct irrigation leaks were common knowledge.
TMWA seems the be the “guy” everyone is looking up to, but the best method for any association is to slowly, but surely, convert its grassy common areas to xeriscape using drip irrigation instead of overhead spray. Time to include this in the 2016 budgets now being prepared.
Somersett also needs to change its landscaping rule to allow for decorative rock or decorative rock with some bushes in private owner mow-strips in addition to the now only allowed choices of turf or juniper.
All association boards have the fiduciary duty to enforce the rules of the association. The Somersett rule effective June 1, 2015 for privately owned mow-strips clearly statesthat:if the front yard is xeriscaped, approved junipers may be planted in the mow strip area. (emphasis added)
This means that if the front yard is NOT xeriscaped, approved junipers may NOT be planted in the mow strip area.
Developers/Builders, as well as owners, are mass violators by planting juniper where front yards are grass. Fines can go towards common area grass to xeriscape conversion costs. It doesn’t matter if there is a drought or not. We moved into and live in an association and a rule is a rule and this one needs to be followed; or changed using common sense and adding member desired options. Decorative rock = no water. Of course mow-strip trees need to remain, but they are already on drip.
The Somersett Owners Association(SOA) Board of Directors (BOD) will be holding their open Board meeting on Wednesday, August 26th at 5:30 PM in the Canyon View Room at The Club at Town Center. Items the BOD will be discussing and taking action on may be accessed via the following link.
The following announcement from Joe Morabito, President, Sierra Nevada Performing Arts Association:
The Sierra School of Performing Arts is doing the Broadway Musical Cinderella at the Bartley Ranch – Hawkins Amphitheater on September 4-6 and 11-13. This is the wonderful well known story for all ages with beautiful music that Disney made famous.
Whether we agree with all of them or not, as Somersett Owners Association (SOA) members, there is a set of Association Rules and Regulations we must all adhere to or risk the consequences of their enforcement. The Association document defining such (i.e., SOA Rules and Regulations Document RES#SOME.0009.07) was updated effective June 1, 2015, and may be accessed by clicking on the following link:
The above document covers a wide variety of topics including: Holiday Decorations, Garage Sales, Parking, Signs & Flags, Vehicle Operations, Landscaping, Fencing, Animals, Business Activities and an Aesthetic Guideline Summary. Violation and Collection Policies are also covered.
To preclude any future problems, if you have not already done so, homeowners are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the above document as well as the SOA Compliance Policy previously posted on August 18th.
It has been nine months since the last BOD elections wherein BOD candidates put forth an agenda to improve communications between the BOD, Community Management and Somersett residents. Obstensibly to be accomplished via the SOA’s Communication Committee and BOD representative Susan Novell.
Given that the Communication Committee’s specific Charter is: “to assist in the development of communication systems that 1) will enable the Board, Board Committees, and management staff to directly communicate information to Homeowners; and 2) will enable Homeowners to directly communicate information to the Board, Board Committees, and management staff”, it is difficult to see where any significant progress has been made in this regard. Especially via the Association’s website www.mysomersett.com, a major avenue for Association communications, which is in dire need of update.
With regard to new SOA website features, the following has been suggested in the past without success:
A homeowner forum/blog section, wherein homeowners can express their ideas, concerns, questions, letters to the BOD, etc. and expect answers when appropriate. The current website does not support a forum for homeowners to directly communicate with the BOD and/or Management Staff.
Informative BOD, Committee and Staff Reports. The current website publishes nothing more than committee meeting dates and abbreviated meeting minutes with little detail. Frequent status reports as to what the BOD and SOA Committees have accomplished or are proposing should be posted on the SOA website and included within the bi-monthly newsletters.
News items important to the community. This is a completely neglected feature.
Document Access: Not all SOA documents are accessible on the SOA website (e.g., the SOA’s governing documents), but require separate login to the FirstResidential Services website to access. This should be corrected with all of the SOA’s governing documents available on the SOA website.
A revamp of the website templates to make it more user friendly.
It is recognized that Communication Committee positions are staffed by volunteers who cannot devote full time to committee endeavors and that their suggestions and proposals are subject BOD approval. However, it is not clear to the average Somersett resident what, if anything, has actually been accomplished.
Comments on how you believe the SOA could improve homeowner communications are welcome and can be emailed to the Communication Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org
It appears from recently submitted comments that two of our readers have an issue with the publishing of SOA documents on this website, questioning the right to do so and citing violation of copyright law.
In response, this website firmly believes that the SOA’s governing documents do not fall under the creative or intellectual property that is protected by copyright law. Rather, that these documents fall under the public domain category and therefore, are free for this website to republish.
In addition, this website has published many SOA documents in the past without any complaint from the SOA Board of Directors. Therefore, unless a formal complaint is received from the BOD, that establishes what law(s) have been violated, this website will continue to do so.
There is certainly no malice or profit intended in republishing these documents, rather it is for the convenience of our readers. Also, do not see any harm to the Association in so doing, and therefore, what the fuss is all about!
Any copyright lawyers (no self proclaimed experts please) out there care to comment?
Unfortunately, as in all homeowner associations, there are residents who, knowingly or out of ignorance, choose to violate the Somersett Owners Association’s (SOA) governing documents, be it by not taking appropriate care of their yard, illegal parking, barking dogs or other provisions. Many residents have complained to the SOA about perceived violations, without receiving any feedback as to what actions have or will be taking place, only that the complaint has been received. However, this is not to imply that no action will be forthcoming. Simply put, by law, the SOA is not permitted to disclose the status of any sanctions taken against a homeowner by the SOA. Also, all homeowners have a right to due process in challenging the validity of any reported violations. This is all spelled out in the SOA’s Compliance Policy, which all homeowners are encouraged to read and which may be accessed via the following link:
All Association Committee meetings are open to homeowners with time allocated for homeowner comments. If you have any comments, concerns or questions related to the above, or any other issues, you are encouraged to attend the meeting.
The Somersett West Park Committee met on July 13 with Jeff Mann, Reno Parks Manager, in attendance to address Committee questions. Many interesting and important questions were addressed, the Q&A’s of which are included in the Committee meeting “RECAP” published on the Association’s website. This RECAP may also be accessed by clicking on the following:
Regarding Park use, of particular interest was the following Q&A:
Does Mr. Mann have any suggested uses for the park in addition to the current ideas of a play area, community garden, and a dog park?
Mr. Mann stated that the City’s perspective is to build a park that the owners of Somersett want to be built. Mr. Mann noted that Reno has a short growing season for Community Gardens; also, turf will not survive in a Dog Park and often DG means mud for 9 months of the year.
Regarding Mr. Mann’s comment on “turf will not survive a dog park…”, apparently he has not visited the dog parks at the Sparks Marina and the Hidden Valley Regional Park, both of which are grass based. Also, note that the current conceptual design for the park incorporates a community garden.
Jeb Bush will hold a noon rally at the Hyatt Place across from the Reno-Tahoe airport on Wednesday August 12. This event is free to the public with doors opening at 11:00 AM. Tickets can be obtained online at www.renorallywithjeb.eventbrite.com.