Is Another Amenities Planning Report Necessary?

Somersett United
Somersett United

The Somersett Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) and our Board of Directors (BOD) is in the process of generating a Request for Proposal (RFP) to engage a land use planner to prepare a “Master Plan Amenities Recommendation” (i.e., conceptual renderings, building size, and space layout for moved/expanded amenities). Also, under consideration is the purchase of the parcel of land adjacent to The Club at Town Center, should it become available again. These actions may be well and good at some time in the future, but believed by SU to be patently premature at the present time. This based on the following:

  • The Amenities Assessment Report recommendations regarding amenity expansions (see previous post of July 25) were based on old (2010 census) demographics and inadequate homeowner (2013) survey data, and that new data is necessary before any amenity changes/additions are undertaken.
  • There is an apparent lack of control and supervision by the management staff in amenity usage.  The result being inadequate data and abuse of facilities by unauthorized users. Operational improvements are necessary to assess actual amenity usage and the problems associated therewith.
  • There is a general feeling that older adults (e.g., those without resident children) are getting shorted in amenity usage and venues, primarily due to the increase usage by children (see previous post of August 3 & Comments). There is a need to address this issue before proceeding with any land use planning.
  • There are many Amenities Assessment Report recommendations that should be acted upon before considering the hiring of a land use planner.  Most notably the implementation of a key card system for amenity access.  This would enable an accurate assessment and tracking of amenity usage as well as limiting access to authorized users.
  • Purchase of additional land at this time would not make sense given the recent SOA purchase (November 2014) of the parcels adjacent to the Town Center retail buildings, for which no current usage plan exists. Also not covered in the Amenity Assessment Report was the SOA purchase and leaseback of the Country Club property.  Given the ongoing failure rate of golf courses, what would the SOA do with this property?  To our knowledge, no contingency plan exists.  Hopefully, there will not be a need for one.

The conclusion being that no amenity expansions, purchase of additional property and hence, engagement of a land use planner, should be considered until: 1) implementation of a comprehensive key card system, 2) operational improvements, and 3) updated homeowner demographics, amenity usage data and surveys; have all been accomplished.

Let’s not get the cart before the horse, and perform the Amenity Assessment Report recommendations in the proper order.

Comments welcome!