D’Andrea Golf Course Redevelopment

Somersett United

The AtrowCreek 411 website recently posted an article on development plans for the defunct D’Andrea Golf Course property.  Plans include a nine hole golf course, a practice facility, an events center and single family residential units. To read the article in its entirety, click on the following link:

Redevelopment of D’Andrea Golf Course in Sparks is Moving Forward

A detailed description of the project may also be accessed on the Developer’s (D’Andrea Rising) website at:


Interesting concept, perhaps facets of which the SOA should keep in mind should a similar unfortunate fate befall the Somersett Country Club.

Saving Energy In Somersett

The following submitted by Geoffrey Brooks – Somersett Association Member:

The Sun can Shine on Dove Mountain Ct in Reno – Cheap at the Price!

NV Energy are offering free energy inspections of your house. I had my house inspected – and – perhaps not to my surprise, it was well built and had “extra” insulation in the attic. (About 16″)

In the basement the stub walls were protected with vapor barrier and insulation. Even the heating vents were insulated.

Areas of concern were the windows, especially our west facing upper windows, where the seals have failed – letting in air – and when we have rain, water as well…a more frequent occurrence this year, possibly due to La Niña (cool central Pacific water) not being so cool! Consequently the rainy/snowy weather typical for the NW States (WA and OR) in the winter, came South to Reno and the Sierra.  Le Nino (hot central Pacific water) again in August?

They also will install a free programmable thermostat, to maximize the efficiency of the HVAC systems.

Our house has a 41KWH Solar array, which since NV Energy have been crediting us 8 c/KWH, means that our total gas and electric bill was zero for 9 months in 2016. We still have to pay a $20/month access/ hook-up/maintenance to the electric grid.

Most folks don’t think that this is a good financial investment, especially as government tax credits means that many are unfairly subsidizing the few (NV energy and the NVPUC believe this – shame on them, as this absolute nonsense!)… so lets see how the economics really work.

The cost of the array was $41,000.   (A penny a watt)

Over three years we have generated 42KWH/day winter/summer- rain/shine – clouds/cloudless!

That is $1,765 worth of electricity at 11.5 cents per KWH (the published rate). NV Energy would pay me if I “used none” $1,270. This is a return on my investment of 4.3% – pretty good – assuming market value for my power.  (At my net purchase price this is a 3.1% return)

However, I had a 30% subsidy from the US taxpayer ($12,300), so my array only cost $29,000. Based on generating $1,765 electrical value, my return is 6.1% – even better. Granted it will take me 16.5 years to “re-capture” my investment. Note, electricity in CA sells for 20.0c/KWH in SF.

NV Energy should be facilitating (through leasing) the installation of roof top solar arrays throughout Reno/Sparks/Washoe County.

There are nearly 200K housing units according to the US Census bureau. If 10% of these had 30KWH solar arrays installed on their roofs, that would be 20K units x 30KWH/day = 600MWH.

North Valmy a coal fired plant (which loses money each time it runs) can only generate 522KWH.

The new Tonapah Crescent Dunes Solar thermal – 110MWH cost $1 Billion to build – it does also have a 1+GWH storage capability as well, so unlike PV panels can run 24/7.

20,000 installations would cost $600,000,000, provide many well paying jobs in NNV and generate electricity into the existing grid. No transmission losses (as can be expected from the Tonopah Crescent Dunes operation). With the largest battery factory (powered by solar) on this planet under construction in TRIC…NV Energy should be able to strike a deal for battery energy storage !!

As a point of comparison, building a Natural Gas Plant with Zero Carbon emissions (CCS) would cost $2.095/watt – so a 600MWH  facility costs $1.2 Billion. If one uses clean coal the cost would be $5.227/watt – so a 600MWH facility costs $3.16 Billion.  

NV Energy by investing in building on Washoe Rooftops should be able to get back $200,000,000 from the Federal government – if they start NOW.                                                                                           

The really good news the electricity from roof-top solar is “free”. If one burns natural gas you still have to pay 2.5cents/KWH.

References: US EIA March 2016, Crescent Dunes Power Station, Valmy N Power Plant                                                                                                                                              

May 24th BOD Meeting Summary 

Somersett United

Following is a recap of some of the more significant issues discussed and or approved at the May 24th Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting. A slightly revised agenda from that previously posted was used.

FirstService Residential (FSR) Management Introductions

Tracy Carter (not present) was introduced as the new FSR General Manager for the SOA and will be on board shortly. (Note that“General Manager” replaces the previous “Community Manager” title).  Bernadette Rodas was introduced as the new Assistant General Manager.

Old Business

The anticipated Somersett Fire Suppression Report from RCI was not discussed as this report has apparently not yet been finalized. It will also be removed from the Town Hall Meeting Agenda.

Seth Pandovan (SOA Consulting Engineer) provided an update on the SOA common area rock wall and hillside damage projects resulting from the winter storms.  Bottom line, significant repair work will be required, which will be very costly to the SOA.  No total liability estimates were presented.

New Business

Some minor hillside repair work off of Saddle Tree Trail was approved. Total cost ~$5K.

Repair and maintenance work on various Somersett drainage ditches continue.  The BOD approved an additional $14K for this work.

Discussion on the the Canyon9 Hole Pond Dredging Project was tabled until next month to allow time for additional assessments on how to proceed.

The Club at Town Center (TCTC) Canyon View Room Loft Glass Enclosure project was approved.  Total cost ~$10K.

TCTC Conference Room, Craft Room, and Game Room modifications (e.g., conference table, chairs, cabinets, counter tops) were approved.  Total cost ~$17K.

TCTC Spin Bike and Stairmaster purchases were approved.  Total cost ~$21K

Homeowner Comments

A Somersett resident questioned the ability of the Somersett Country Club to offer memberships to TCTC (i.e., for those Country Club members who are not Somersett residents).  It was pointed out that the Somersett CC&R’s (Article VII, Section 8)  have always permitted such memberships, which also include access to the Canyon9 golf course.  The BOD establishes the fee payable to the SOA for such membership, currently $90/mo.  If the Country Club collects any additional fees, it was not known. These members (approximately 20-25 in number) are subject to the same rules and regulations as regular Association members.

May 24th BOD and May 25th Town Hall Meetings

The Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (BOD) open meeting is scheduled for this coming Wednesday, May 24th at 5:30 PM in the Canyon View Room at The Club at Town Center (TCTC). The BOD meeting agenda may be accessed by clicking the following link

May 24th BOD Meeting Agenda

A “Board Meeting Packet, which contains additional information on agenda topics is also available.  Owners may access this packet by logging on to your www.mysomersett.com account and clicking on the “SOA/Committees & Meetings” link.  In addition to financial reports and last month’s meeting minutes, the May 24th Packet contains Information related to the following:

  • Facilities Committee report addressing TCTC improvements.
  • A RFP for Somersett Ditch Repair and Maintenance
  • Quotes for TCTC Canyon View Room Loft Enclosure, Conference Room Furniture and Gym Equipment Additions.

As in all open BOD meetings, owners will have the opportunity to ask questions or provide comments on any of the agenda topics (i.e., at the beginning of the meeting) or any other non agenda topic (i.e., at the end of the meeting).

Town Hall Meeting

An open Town Hall Meeting will  be held on Thursday, May 25 at 5:30 PM. Topics to be discussed include the following:

  • TCTC Furniture and Room Usage, Engineering, Pool Slide Project, Fire Suppression Study, Traffic Signage, and Strategic Planning.

Snacks and Refreshments will be served. A cash wine bar will also be available.

SOA Management Staff Update

For those of you who might not be aware, there have been some recent changes in the Somersett Owners Association (SOA) FirstService Residential (FSR) management staff.  Per the SOA’s mysomersett.com website, the FSR management staff now consists of the following individuals (contact extensions at SOA phone number 775-787-4500 are indicated):

  • Bernadette Rodas    Assistant Community Manager x310
  • Ryan Dominguez    Project Manager x332
  • Brittany Feliz    Administrative Assistant x339
  • Kenna Foote    Compliance Director x327
  • Christopher Fesenmaier    Aesthetics Director x333
  • Kayla Franklin    Communications Director (not yet identified on the mysomersett.com website)
  • Callie Froese    Club Manager x320
  • Lindesy McElfish    Program Coordinator x317
  • Ryan Newton    Sports Coordinator x321
  • Ron Eckhardt    Maintenance Manager x336

Note that the SOA Community Manager position is currently vacant.  Ryan Dominguez has stepped down from this position to manage the Town Center Properties Association and the Reno Green Contract. It is expected that a new hire will be accomplished shortly.

Ms. Rodas replaces Andrea Bryant who was promoted to Community Manager for a different FSR Community.  Congratulations to Andrea.

Mr. Fesenmaier and Ms. Franklin replace Erick Olsen and Rebecca Smith who left FSR to pursue other opportunities.

All the above can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@fsresidential.com or alternately at firstinitiallastname@mysomersett.com.

Water and Rockery Walls in Somersett

Submitted by Geoffrey Brooks  –  Association Member

In March the TMWA’s Senior Hydrologist Bill Hauck said “What a Winter!”

 “From the scientific perspective, there are many variables we use to determine that a drought cycle has ended”

“Some of those key factors are the amount of precipitation, soil moisture content, water content of the snow pack, current reservoir storage and streamflow runoff projections”.

“This has been the biggest winter in many, many years and may well turnout one of the wettest years ever”!

Lake Tahoe is overflowing causing “near flood conditions” in Reno. We have had over twice as much rain in this water year as normal so far. It is still raining and snowing on the nearby Mountains even in May.

Hills are green, so this means when summer gets here the fire-risk will be great. It is imperative for all to clear away, brush, tumbleweed and weeds from around your property lines.

So is this too much of a good thing…?

Well our normally “dry” stream beds dotted around have been flowing, we have developed a “marsh” at the East Park where the Peavine Stream flows.  Our two golf courses are lushly green, hopefully players are not being bogged down on the softer patches. The Somersett landscaping is in full spring bloom looking very beautiful.

Too much of a good thing…?

Somersett has had the large rockery walls collapse in 4 different residential locations. One of those was in Mountain Crest area. Unfortunately here several of the Toll Brother homes near the golf course had foundation collapse (inadequate building site (pad) construction). Fixing those issues has cost around $100,000 per house.

Why does this happen? Well all that rain washes out the supporting dirt/rock holding up the walls. Once this “backstop” is weakened…

Was this caused in inadequate preparation when Somersett’s infra-structure was put in? Well the “rocky cutting” as one drives in from the East of Somersett has been subject to rock slides, and subsequent modification, lawsuits. The irrigation system was improperly installed and subject to replacement, modernization, lawsuits. So one wonders whether there was proper due diligence during construction of the rockery walls. However, all the planning was for a desert with around 7” of rain per year. Then again, in Los Angeles (around 10” of rain a year), a heavy rainstorm often precipitates hillside “collapse”, mud flows.

How much will it cost Somersett and the SGCC to fix? This is unknown, at the moment, but guesstimates of $1,000,000 + have been made. We will have to bring heavy construction equipment in to replace the big boulders.

Walls have been in the news, in Somersett. Last year eyebrows were raised when the “great wall” was erected, as it was not a rockery wall. Walls have a history of falling down, examples are Hadrian’s Wall, Great Wall of China, Berlin Wall. Most walled places when under siege have fallen. So, like Humpty Dumpty who fell of the wall, it is very difficult (expensive?) to put the pieces back together.