First the Fence, now the Plant Police

Somersett United
Somersett United

The following quote extracted from a Somersett Owners Association memo to some Sierra Canyon Homeowners citing front yard landscape compliance violations.  Apparently, the developer (Pulte) did not always follow the required guidelines, and that compliance is now the responsibility of the Homeowner.  Unless, of course, the Homeowner can convince Pulte to make the appropriate corrections under a warranty provision.  One can certainly empathize with the affected Homeowners in that most probably did not know what the requirements were before purchasing their property, no doubt some many years ago, and hence, were surprised to receive the letter.

“Dear Homeowner,

The Somersett Board of Directors is notifying you of non-compliance issues regarding your front yard landscaping. As installed, the front yard landscaping on your home violates the PUD, CC&R’s, and Aesthetic Guidelines of the Community by not meeting the minimum planting requirements as stated on the approved typical landscape plans.

The SOA has previously reached out to Pulte Homes regarding landscape requirements for the front yard landscaping in Sierra Canyon. Since the last communication was sent to Pulte, there has been no further correspondence or action taken by Pulte to correct the outstanding compliance issues. Contacting Pulte Homes soon so that any non-compliance issues may be resolved within your warranty period is advised.

The following are the planting requirements for front yard landscaping …….:

 Standard lots with turf

  • 1 front yard tree (Deciduous trees planted at 2” caliper, evergreens planted at 6’ tall)
  • 6 deciduous shrubs (3 gallon)
  • 10 evergreen shrubs (3 gallon)
  • 5 perennial shrubs (1 gallon)

Corner lots with turf

  • 1 front yard tree (Deciduous trees planted at 2” caliper, evergreens planted at 6’ tall)
  • 10 deciduous shrubs (3 gallon)
  • 15 evergreen shrubs (3 gallon)
  • 8 perennial shrubs (1 gallon)

Standard lots with xeriscaping

  • 1 front yard tree (Deciduous trees planted at 2” caliper, evergreens planted at 6’ tall)
  • 10 deciduous shrubs (3 gallon)
  • 12 evergreen shrubs (3 gallon)
  • 5 perennial shrubs (1 gallon)

Corner lots with xeriscaping

  • 1 front yard tree (Deciduous trees planted at 2” caliper, evergreens planted at 6’ tall)
  • 12 deciduous shrubs (3 gallon)
  • 18 evergreen shrubs (3 gallon)
  • 8 perennial shrubs (1 gallon)

*Please note that the Sierra Canyon guidelines stipulate that 25% of shrubs must be Evergreen.”

Any questions or concerns, feel free to contact the SOA Compliance Director, Kenna Foote at 775 747-4500 x327 or

Beware of the Fence Police!

Somersett United
Somersett United

It appears that SOA CC&R compliance police are making the rounds issuing no-compliance letters to homeowners who have stained their privacy fences, at least those portions visible from the street.  Makes no difference when they were stained or if there is no detrimental appearance effect on the neighborhood.

The basis for the non-compliance letters appears to be a violation of Section 3.7.1 of the Aesthetic Guidelines, which state: “Privacy fencing must be maintained with the full body or semi-transparent stain detailed for your neighborhood (consult the Somersett Owners Association for specific information) or oil based clear sealer if no color is designated……The homeowner is responsible for sealing the wood on fencing within the lot boundary. No paint or semi-opaque stains are allowed unless otherwise designated”.  Herein lies the rub in that, per the SOA’s Compliance Director, it is a Somersett standard that stained fences within the community are not allowed and that no approved stain colors for doing such have ever been designated.   Therefore, those owners who to took responsibility to maintain their privacy fences on in good order by sealing them with a stain color slightly different than the original color, are now being punished.   As many of these non-compliances occurred several years ago, one would think a statue of limitations might apply.

To further complicate matters, non-compliance letters received by owners did not specifically identify what the non-compliance was all about.  Rather just a generic statement quoting Article VI, Section 5 of the CC&R’s as follows:  “No building, garage, shed, walkway, satellite dish, fence, wall, retaining wall, dog run, drainage ditch or system, landscaping or any other structure shall be commenced, erected, placed or altered on any lot in the Subdivision until the building plans and specifications thereof have been submitted to and approved in writing as to the conformity and harmony of external design with the existing structures or general scheme in the Subdivision , and as to the location of the building with respect to topography and finished ground elevation, by the Committee”. Thus, leaving the recipient with no clue as to why he or she received the letter. These letters also violated SOA Compliance Policy SOME.003.02, which requires that such letters include a “Request for Information and Compliance (RIC) Form” to be completed by the owner.  If the Compliance Committee wants owners to follow the “Letter of the Law”, suggest they do the same.

Bottom line, if you have stained your fence for whatever reason, even if years ago, be prepared to receive a non-compliance letter.  The SOA’s solution, if you are guilty of such a transgression, is to power wash off the stain, or replace slats, to return to its original state. If you have not yet done so, but are contemplating stain sealing your fence, suggest you refrain from doing so without first submitting a request for approval (along with $500).  However, except for a rare case, do not expect a successful outcome.

Storm Erosion and Drainage Damage

somersett UnitedIn a recent email to Somersett residents, the SOA advised of hillside erosion which resulted in the collapse of some rock retaining walls along the 14th fairway of the SGCC, affecting homes off of Ridge Field Trail.  Hopefully, affected homeowners may have some recourse from the Developer of these home sites.

This is not an isolated situation as the recent storms have resulted in water erosion and drainage damage to other Somesett residents and SOA common areas.  It is quite possible that upcoming storms will exacerbate the current situations.  Residents who are experiencing or fear problems in this regard are urged to contact the SOA, especially if adjacent SOA native areas are involved.

Somersett United Brief History, Blog Posts, Comments and Editorials

Somersett United
Somersett United

For recent followers and Somersett Homeowners who may not be familiar with the origins of this Somersett United website, a brief history follows.

The Somersett United website was launched in early 2012 by a group of Homeowners concerned with actions being undertaken by the Developer controlled BOD and whether or not these actions were to the benefit of the Developer as opposed to the benefit of Somersett Homeowners. Some of the more significant issues at the time involved the following:

  • Transfer of BOD control from Developer to Homeowners
  • Country Club financial subsidies using SOA assessments
  • Financial reimbursement to the Developer from SOA funds
  • Town Center lot purchase
  • Underfunding of reserves on the part of the Developer
  • AGC Fees
  • Funding responsibility for Common Area construction defects
  • CCR Amendment rollout/voting process and Country Club Purchase and Lease Agreement
  • Lack of communication and transparency on the part of the Developer BOD

Numerous Blog Posts were written by various Somersett United contributors addressing these issues and soliciting Homeowner opinions/comments, pro or con, from our readers.

With the passage of time and election of the all Homeowner BODs, resolution of these controversial issues, some favorable some not in our opinion, are now behind us.  As a result, current postings fall mainly in the reporting of Board and Committee actions, and those submitted by individual Homeowners addressing what they believe to be community issues.  This because the SOA’s community website, although recently updated with some positive features, still falls short in this area. In this regard, SU has long championed the inclusion of detailed bi-monthly BOD and Committee Reports being published on the SOA website.  This to keep homeowners informed as to their considerations, recommendations, decisions, etc., and with the  accepting  of Homeowner comments on such.  Also, inclusion  of a “Homeowner Forum” section  wherein Homeowners can voice their opinions/comments on a variety of community issues.  Perhaps when this is achieved, this website can be retired!

The process for submitting or commenting on a Blog Post and to get automatic notifications of such can be accessed under the “Open Forum” tab.  To date approximately 310 blog posts and 1100 comments have been published on this website.


The following submitted by Joe Bower, Sierra Canyon Owner

There are more and deeper potholes on Somersett Parkway than ever.

What is the Board doing? Waiting for councilperson and Somersett owner, Neoma Jardon, to get us to the top of the Repair List?

I have long reported the asphalt problems on the entry side of the Monument on Somersett Ridge along with photos. I do that every year and the City does fix, thank you City; but every year the same thing happens again with each year worse than the previous.

I haven’t been able to get a wide strip of bricks to replace the asphalt, but keep trying.