Common Area and Trail System Maintenance

somersett UnitedThe responsibility for landscaping the common areas, and for trail maintenance, throughout the Somersett Master Association including its sub-Associations is the documented responsibility of the Master Association (i.e., the SOA). Unfortunately, this has not been adhered to these past years. Is it time to right the ship? Sierra Canyon thinks so, as witnessed at the last SOA Board Meeting wherein an agenda item “Review and Approval of Requested Sierra Canyon Sub-Association Agreements” specifically addressed  the SOA’s responsibility in these areas along with some proposed actions submitted by a Sierra Canyon Board member.

To get a more complete understanding on these two important issues, please click on the following link for an article prepared and submitted courtesy of Mr. Joe Bower, a Sierra Canyon Owner.

Common Area Landscaping and Trail Maintenance

After reading the above, you may wish to contact your respective Board members with your comments so that decisions that affect what you, your guests, and prospective homebuyers can’t help but see and walking on, are correctly made.

 

TCTC Pool Solar Heaters?

Somersett United
Somersett United

Should installation of Solar Heaters for The Club at Town Center (TCTC) pools be a subject of consideration by the new SOA Board?  This based on the following as stated on page 1-6 of the duly approved and recorded Somersett Planned Unit Development (PUD) document #3738228.

“Green Plan Amendments

10.  To encourage and again lead by example the Club at Town Center pools shall have a thermal solar pool heater installed within 1 year of approval of the PUD Amendment.”

Obviously the preceding has never been implemented, and when this issue was raised before previous SOA Boards, no action was ever taken, nor a definitive reason given.  For example, identification of any subsequent PUD provisions or other documentation  that would excuse the Developer from performing this requirement.

Given the above ,  SU believes there is an obligation on the part of the SOA Board to obtain estimates for installation of said solar pool  heaters, and subsequently go after the Somersett Developer (Somersett Development Co, LLC) for funding.  Failing this, the question arises as to whether or not this is a requirement or a worthwhile endeavor to accomplish with SOA funding.

ArrowCreek Golf Course – HOA Purchase Update

Somersett United
Somersett United

The ArrowCreek Home Owners Association (ACHOA) Board of Directors has voted not to move forward with the purchase of the ArrowCreek Golf Course land. As has been previously reported on this website, this purchase (similar to what happened here in Somersett) has been a very contentious issue within the ArrowCreek community for several months (See previous post “ArrowCreek Golf Course – Crunch Time”, dated November 17th). With the ACHOA Board decision not to move forward, opposition groups to the purchase were apparently successful in getting the Board to reverse their previous position. 

The announcement on the decision not to move forward with the purchase is available on the ArrowCreek 411 website by clicking on the following link.

http://arrowcreek411.com/2015/12/16/vote-to-proceed-with-golf-land-purchase-has-been-terminated/

Containment Fencing

Submitted By Joe Bower – Sierra Canyon Owner

Here is the Sierra Canyon Rule on Containment Fencing:

“Dark Green Vinyl coated 16 gauge containment wiring, with rectangular see-through opening dimensions of 2 inches by 3 inches may be used on split rail fencing in both the side and rear yard and must be attached to the inside of the fence. The wire shall extend the full height of the fence, from the ground to the top rail, and may not extend above the top rail. Dark green Vinyl coated 16 gauge wire with a square opening dimension of 1 inch by 1 inch may be added between the ground and the mid rail from the ground to prevent intrusion of pests such as rabbits. If desired, the dark green 1 inch by 1 inch square Vinyl coated wire can be used from the ground to the top rail to avoid double layering. Alternatively, dark green Vinyl coated “rabbit fence”, where the opening size increases as you move from the bottom to the top of the fencing is also acceptable if its openings fall between the 1 inch and 1 inch square and 2 inch by 3 inch rectangular criteria. All fencing material must be installed and maintained to prevent sagging of the material. Coated or uncoated chicken wire and plastic fence netting of any kind is prohibited.”

Got it????

This rule was approved by the Sierra Canyon Board on June 19, 2013 and became effective on July 19, 2013. It has been unenforced or sparingly enforced as management personnel doing community inspections do not get out of their vehicle, hence they are not walking behind homes to see who is in violation.  If a neighbor reports a neighbor, management staff still must personally and physically confirm.  Also, there are many owners who will claim:

  • I got approval for what is now the wrong wire.
  • I did not put the wrong wire up. It was there when I bought the house.
  • I am physically unable to take down the wrong wire and put up the right.
  • My renter put it up not me.
  • I don’t believe my wire is wrong. You need to come out and prove it to me.
  • I need to be grandfathered.

Somersett sent out the following dated July 6, 2015:

“Dark green, brown, or black, vinyl-coated 12-16 gauge, containment wiring, with see-through, square/rectangular openings no less than 1″ X 1”, is the only approved containment wire that can be used to line two-rail and/or three rail split rail fencing. The wire must be attached to the inside face of the fence (side not exposed to common property). The wire must cover the full height of the fence from the ground to the top rail. Wire may not extend above the top rail. For additional screening, a second offset layer of matching containment wire may be installed up to the rail below the topmost rail (i.e. Three-rail fence may have a second offset layer up to the second rail). The second layer of wire must not extend above the rail below the topmost. Prefabricated vinyl coated “garden fencing” (larger opening leading down to smaller openings) will also be accepted, as long as the smallest opening dimension is not less than 1” X 1”. Plastic fencing, poultry netting, and any non-vinyl-coated wiring are expressly prohibited.”

Got it???

Somersett rules are superior to Sierra Canyon rules. However, Sierra Canyon may have a rule that is stricter than Somersett’s as long as it doesn’t contradict Somersett’s.

The July 6, 2015 notice also stated “Beginning in October 2015, any containment wire not in compliance with the current guidelines will be in violation of the Somersett Guidelines and subject to the Compliance Policy.”

Now Sierra Canyon wants the Somersett Board to approve the Sierra Canyon 2013 Containment Fencing Guidelines.

What a mess! When members of the two boards meet to clean it up, owners must be notified. Owners may attend all meetings other than executive sessions and ARC/AGC meetings.  Also, only a quorum-attended duly-noticed board meeting can approve anything. Committees or project teams can only make recommendations.

Maybe some containment fencing questions on the upcoming surveys would help provide board members with the thoughts of owners who live with their fencing daily.

Sierra Canyon Security

Submitted by Joe Geer  –  Sierra Canyon

Fellow Residents,

We made our choice to reside here for various reasons, but particularly I’m certain we all had a sense of security in mind. One thing I learned in my military service of 24 years was to expect what I would tolerate from both my Soldiers and my leadership. They are one in the same as they both foster whether there will be success or failure.

Tolerance of crime statistics being either high or low based on demographics is a false sense of security. As I mentioned in an email to some fellow residents, would one murder in Sierra Canyon by break in be acceptable to our tax paying community ? I will not insult any of your intelligence. As a whole, we as a community generate a large revenue for both the county and city. We deserve the very best of what law enforcement can put in place. If you are willing to accept that as a whole that we are low on the bar of crime in Reno, then as I’ve always said, what an old boss use to say to me as a Quality Manager in Aerospace manufacturing, you deserve what you will tolerate. We need representation at the next city council that they justify no police presence in our community based on the revenue generated by our taxes and buying power.

Again, we deserve what we will tolerate !

Burglaries

Submitted by Joe Bower – Sierra Canyon Owner

I am sure there have been more burglaries throughout our community than I am aware of, but all of a sudden I am hearing about another and another.

Here is an interesting and frightful aspect of a burglary committed earlier this month.  Contrary to speculation, the criminal(s) did not enter through the garage. According to the police and locksmith, the criminal(s) entered via the front door using a master key.

There is lots of talk about going to City Council to seek more police patrols. It is better, in my opinion, to have more local action and that is to: (1) install recording cameras at our homes with window decals announcing that they are there; and (2) let neighbors know when you will be away or when you will be removing furniture and other items from your house; and (3) hide car keys

Our Boards could ask builders, their sub-contractors, and our own contractors to keep a photo of every on-site employee on file.  That might make any workers, who may be potential burglars, think twice. Going to the Board is better than City Council, in my opinion. Operating local is most always best, especially when the City only has so much money, manpower, and time to allocate to various geographical areas.

In my opinion, Neighborhood Watch is mainly a “feel good” option. After a while the signs are a blur. There are even burglaries in gated communities with Neighborhood Watch. Guess what, the burglars are typically the teenagers who live inside the gates.

However, some aspects of Neighbor Watch are excellent:

  • Share information
  • Be alert to what is happening on your street
  • If you see something that doesn’t look/feel right, remember the details as they might be needed later
  • Make your house a “hard target” so burglars don’t want to be there

Thank you Catherine and others who have shared what you know with me. Perhaps owners will comment on this blog about what they know, or even about their own burglary experience (particularly how entry was made), so we all might benefit. Suggestions on what might be done moving forward are most welcome.

Be aware. Be observant.

December 9th BOD Meeting Summary

somersett UnitedFollowing is a summary of some of the more significant items discussed and/or acted upon at the December 9th BOD open meeting.  Agenda items are indicated.  For all agenda items, click on the following link: December 9 BOD Agenda

Organizational Setup

Election of BOD Officers (3.a)

  • President – Susan Novell
  • Treasurer – Joe Fadrowsky
  • Secretary – Glenda Powell
  • Vice Presidents – Tony Fakonas and David Nisenfeld

Appointment of Primary BOD Committee Liaisons (3.b)

  • Communication – David Nisenfeld
  • Finance & Budget – Joe Fadrowsky
  • Strategic Planning – Tony Fakonas
  • Aesthetic Guidelines – Susan Novell
  • Community Standards – Glenda Powell
  • West Park – Susan Novell
  • Non-Committee Liaisons: Somersett Country Club – Susan Novell, TCTC – David Nisenfeld

Review and Approval of Requested Sierra Canyon Sub-Association Agreements (8.a)

Sierra Canyon is requesting that formal agreements between Sierra Canyon and the SOA Master Association be adopted to resolve issues regarding the following:

  1. Public Trail Maintenance – Sierra Canyon contends that, per association governing documents, the SOA is responsible for maintaining all public trails located within Sierra Canyon and should formally acknowledge and assume this responsibility beginning January 1, 2015.
  2. Architectural Review Delegation –  A request to review and formalize the current agreement
  3. Transfer Fees – This pertains to monies obtained from Developers by the SOA whenever a new home is built. The SOA has accumulated approximately $150K related to homes built in Sierra Canyon. The Sierra Canyon BOD is requesting the formation of a sub-committee of SOA and Sierra Canyon BOD members to discuss application of these funds to Sierra Canyon projects.
  4. Containment Fencing – A request to formally approve the Containment Fencing guidelines adopted by Sierra Canyon in 2013.
  5. Common Area Landscaping – The SOA is responsible for maintenance of common area landscaping along the Parkways within Sierra Canyon. The issue being what constitutes the SOA responsible landscape boundaries? Apparently this has never been specifically defined.  The request being that the two associations work together with a surveyor to define and document agreed upon areas of responsibility.

After significant discussions, no approval actions were taken on the above pending further reviews and meetings between the two associations.  Items 1) and 5) were identified as the priority issues with the intent of agreement approvals at the January 14 SOA BOD Meeting.

Review and Approval of Management Contract with FirstService Residential (8.c)

Renewal of the Management Contract was unanimously approved subject to some agreed upon modifications.

Review and Approval of Canyon Nine Maintenance Contract (8.d)

Bids were received from the Somersett Country Club ($286K) and the Groundskeeper ($252K).  The BOD voted unanimously to accept the Somersett Country Club (current vendor) proposal despite the $34K difference. This following a Board members expressed concern that Groundskeeper did not reference any local expert on golf club grounds maintenance and that their equipment list was not as specialized as the Country Clubs.

Review and Approval of Common Area Landscape Services Contracts (8.e)

The SOA request for proposal was broken down into four sections: 1) Common Area Landscape Services, 2) Tree Care, 3) Trail/Path Maintenance, and 4) Irrigation Control.

Bids were received from Groundskeeper (current vendor), Signature Landscapes and Reno Green Landscaping for all four sections. Two other companies only submitted bids for items 2) and 4) respectively. Totals (annual amount) for vendors bidding all four sections were:  Groundskeeper – $714K, Signature – $778K and Reno Green – $933K. Approvals were deferred until the January 14 BOD meeting to allow more time to review price breakdowns and the impact on use of single vs multiple vendors.

Miscellaneous Contract Approvals (8.f, g, h, i)

Various contracts pertaining to standard association business were unanimously approved. These included: 1) Common area fence repair, 2) Somersett Parkway shelf cleaning and boulder removal, 3) SOA website support services and,  4) IBS Point of Sale service for TCTC.

Review and Approval of Funds for 2016 Survey Incentive (8.m)

The Communication Committee is preparing a new and more comprehensive owner survey to be conducted in February 2016.  As an incentive for owners to participate, a prize up to $700 in value will be given, via raffle, to a winning participant.

Review and Approval of Committee Recommendations (8.n)

The BOD approved a Communication Committee recommendation for a “Communications Director” position within FirstService Residential.  This subject to the review and approval of a detailed position description.

Usage of TCTC by Sierra Canyon BOD (8.o)

A Sierra Canyon owner had questioned the use of the TCTC by Sierra Canyon for Board or Committee Meetings.  Apparently under the premise that Sierra Canyon owners are not members of the TCTC and hence should not have such access.  The SOA ruled that granting use of TCTC for Sierra Canyon meetings was within their purview and not an issue.  They advised that granting such use will only be done as long as it does not impact any TCTC activities.

December 9th SOA Board Meeting

somersett UnitedThe Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (BOD) will be holding their open Board meeting on Wednesday, December 9th at 5:30 PM in the Canyon View Room at The Club at Town Center. For those interested in attending, the meeting agenda may be accessed via the following link:

December 9 BOD Agenda

The first order of business will be to elect Board officers following the November election of two new Board members.

New Business items include the review and approval of various contracts associated with standard Association business. Of particular interest to Sierra Canyon residents may be the item related to review and approval of “Requested Sierra Canyon Sub-Association Agreements”.

Committee reports are always interesting to see what community issues and recommendations they are pursuing.

Homeowners are encouraged to attend and ask questions or provide comments on any of the agenda topics or other issues of concern during the Homeowner comments sessions.  For example, the 2016 Association Goals published in the previous blog dated December 1.

Somersett in 2016

somersett UnitedWhat do Somersett residents have to look forward to in 2016?

Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board Members

  1. Newly elected – Glenda Powell and David Nisenfeld
  2. Incumbents – Tony Fakonas, Susan Novell, Joe Fadrowsky

Amenities

  1. A Pickle Ball court will be constructed on half of The Club at Town Center (TCTC) indoor sports court.
  2. TCTC member Clubs (e.g., Bridge, Mah Jongg, Book) are now open for participation by non-members subject to the following:  1) Clubs are required to register all participants, 2) Non-resident participation cannot exceed 25% of Club membership, 3) Non-members may purchase a 10-punch pass for $20, and 3) this applies only to organized Club attendance and not for any other amenity usage.
  3. The Master Plan Amenity RFP (solicitation for a company to study, recommend and estimate future amenity additions for the Somersett community) is still on hold pending clarification on community needs and additional meetings with potential vendors.

Communications

  1. The Communication Committee is proposing my.comersett.com website additions and development of a new website with improved resident communications.  Hopefully this will include a homeowner forum section.
  2. A new community wide survey will be conducted in early 2016.
  3. There has been some discussion regarding a Communications Manager/Editor position within FirstServices Residential (the SOA Community Management Company).

2016 Board and Association Goals

The SOA Board has published their goals for 2016, which may be accessed by clicking on the following link:

2016 Board and Association Goals

Goals are discussed under the following categories:

  1. Staying within budget parameters while initiating cost savings ideas and contract reviews; maintaining exceptional service levels and planning for future growth
  2. Identify and Plan for Landscape Improvements
  3. Strategic Planning for community future growth
  4. Provide for exceptional communications to the homeowners throughout the course of the year
  5. Resolve Association’s outstanding community projects and issues

Readers are encouraged to access the above referenced link for details associated with each of the above categories as they address many issues raised in the past by Somersett residents. Specifically, guest usage of TCTC, improved communications, West Park concept and contingency plans for the Somersett Golf Club purchase agreement.

FirstServices Residential  Staff Additions

  1. Ryan Dominquez – Assistant Community Manager. This is a new position whose duties will include overseeing the Associations various third party contracts.
  2. Diane Pollock – Manager, The Club at Town Center (TCTC).   Ms. Polllock replaces Christina Cravens who left in May.  Perhaps Ms. Pollock can institute some new processes that will alleviate member complaints regarding pool operations and “kids” activities.