Rockery Wall Repair Funding

Submitted by Charnelle Wright, Association Member

It concerns me that the BOD elected to raise monthly dues rather than impose a Special Assessment. A Special Assessment might have been structured to at least provide a Tax Write-Off. Or at least allow Homeowners to get something back if they could put this on a credit card for some points.  Just like a Tax Increase, higher dues have a negative impact on property values as they will most likely never be reduced.

Thank you.

Charnelle Wright

October 25th BOD Meeting Summary

Following is a recap of issues discussed and or approved at the October 25th Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting. For the full meeting agenda and associated back-up details, please refer to the previous Post entitled “October 25h BOD Meeting Packet”

Committee Reports

  1. Community Standards Committee  –  The BOD approved the appointment of Anna Koelewyn to the Committee
  2. West Park Committee  –  The BOD approved formation of a “Somersett Parks Advisory Committee” to replace the existing West Park Committee. Purpose is to serve as a liaison between the Community, the SOA Board and the Reno City Parks Departments on Somersett Park issues. The proposed Charter would have covered both the East & West Parks as well as Trailheads. After discussion, the Committee and Charter was approved with the elimination of Trailheads from the Charter.
  3. Budget & Finance Committee  –  The Committee recommended approval of the 2018 Budgets (see New Business Items below).

Old Business

  1. Legal Update  –  Regarding the ongoing litigation between the SOA and “Northgate” property owners, the BOD reported that settlement agreements have been reached with eleven of the thirteen property owners, and of the eleven, seven agreements have already been executed with the others expected to follow shortly.  Per the SOA attorney letter, “The settlement checks are being prepared for those that the lot expansion agreements have been recorded”.  In response to a homeowner question on settlement details, the BOD advised that there may be some non-disclosure agreements in place and would consider what can be disclosed. For those litigants whose cases have not yet been settled, the BOD advised that the Judge hearing the case had passed away with a new Judge not yet assigned.  Therefore, no timetable available.
  2. Rockery Wall Repair Update  –  A verbal update was given by Seth Padovan (SOA Consulting Engineer). He reported that the Contractor (Granite Construction) will begin work the first part of November with completion of affected areas by February 2018. The BOD stated that Rockery Wall repair work would proceed on Country Club leased land even though liability issues have not yet been resolved.
  3. Pool Redesign Update  –  A little bit of a disaster here.  Earlier in the year the SOA hired Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative (OLC) an architectural engineering firm to present designs for upgrading the TCTC Pool Facility.  They presented six different designs (see previous post in July archives entitled “July 26th BOD Meeting Summary”) ranging in cost from $320K to $423K.  The BOD approved a $348K design, which was amended to $273K with the removal of a deck expansion option.  Plan was to start construction upon annual closure of the pool. However, OLC was unable to obtain a contractor, therefore, the SOA took it upon themselves to locate one.  Subsequently a $1.2M bid was acquired from a single vendor, which was obviously unacceptable.   Upon review, the SOA’s Consulting Engineer advised that the original cost estimates are unattainable.  Therefore, we are apparently back to square one with no pool modifications starting this year.  A homeowner suggested we get a rebate from OLC due to their faulty work regarding cost estimates.  In response to another homeowner comment, the BOD advised that the funds allocated for TCTC Pool Facility upgrades could not be diverted to help pay for the Rockery Wall repairs. This because TCTC and General Common funds emanate from different assessment activities, which by law cannot be co-mingled.
  4. Town Square Budget  –  The BOD approved the 2018 budget for the newly instituted Town Square Activity Center.  This $89K budget supports SOA Incurred management and operational expenses connected with the privately-owned retail buildings within the Town Square complex.  Revenues to offset SOA expenses come from assessments placed on the property owners.

New Business

  1. The BOD ratified the previously approved proposals for: 1) Association insurance (LaBarre/Oksnee at an annual premium of $67,567) and 2) Completion of forensic evaluations for the Trail Ridge Hillside slope failures (Kane Geotech at $9,446).
  2. Wood Rodgers Rockery Wall Evaluation Proposal  –  Tabled in order to get competitive bids.
  3. Employee Bonuses  –  The BOD approved the release of $25K for FirstServices Residenial (FSR) employee incentive pay.  In response to a homeowner comment, the BOD advised that the budgeting of these bonuses is part of the FSR contract to be awarded based on performance parameters.  There was also some discussion about the large turnover in FSR personnel and steps taken to alleviate the problem.
  4. Snow Removal Proposal – Approval of the Reno Green proposal was tabled in order to allow comparison with a recently received bid from another vendor.
  5. Newsletter Contract Renewal  –  The BOD approved renewal of the Somersett Living Magazine contract. There is no cost to the SOA for publication of this bi-monthly magazine. Publisher obtains revenue from advertisers.
  6. Acceptance of Loan for Rockery Wall Repairs  –  The BOD approved moving forward with a Pacific Western Bank loan of $6M.  This to pay $1.5M of the Hillside/Rockery Wall repair cost of $2.5M as well as  consolidation of outstanding TCTC, Canyon9 and Country Club purchase loans.  In response to homeowner inquiries, The BOD explained the basis for financing the $2.5M repair costs via General Common Reserves, General Common Operating Funds and the above mentioned bank loan in lieu of imposing a special assessment.  Also, that SOA legal counsel has concluded no homeowner vote would be required to accomplish the preceding.
  7. SOA 2018 Budgets  –  The BOD approved the 2018 Budgets for the General Common, TCTC and Gates Activity Centers as presented by the Budget & Finance Committee.  2018 monthly assessments for these areas will be as follows: General Common – $92, TCTC – $89 and Gates – $54.
  8. Revised AGC Guidelines  –  The BOD approved acceptance of the revised Somersett Aesthetic Design Guidelines document with an amendment removing junipers from the approved plant palette. Since numerous changes, both in format and content, have been incorporated, full copies (i.e., as opposed to a summary) of the revised document will be mailed to homeowners.

Nevada Revised Statute Chapter 116

For those readers who may be interested, access to Nevada Revised Statute Chapter 116 – Common-Interest Ownership Uniform Act (NRS-116), has been added under the “References” Tab on this website. NRS-116 is the governing document for Common Interest Communities such as Somersett. Provisions of this Statute are often referenced in relation to documents, issues, actions, etc. undertaken by the Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (BOD) and the FirstServices Residential (FSR) Management Company.  NRS-116 is broken down under the following Articles.  Since Article 3 is the one most encountered by the SOA BOD and FSR in their day to day operations, its subsections are also listed.

Article 1.  General Provisions

Article 2.  Creation, Alteration and Termination of Common-Interest Communities

Article 3.  Management of Common-Interest Communities

  • General Provisions
  • Meetings and Voting
  • Liabilities, Insurance and Fiscal Affairs
  • Liens
  • Books, Records and Other Documents
  • Miscellaneous Rights, Duties and Restrictions

Article 4.  Protection of Purchaser

Administration and Enforcement

To access NRS-116, go to the References Tab and under SOA Governing Documents, click on the NRS-116 link.

SOA Board Candidate Statements

The SOA has released the Candidate Forms and Qualification Statements for those homeowners seeking election to the SOA Board of Directors.  Three positions are open with five candidates seeking election.  The five candidates ate listed below, simply click on their names to view their submitted Candidate Form and optional Qualification Statement.

Steve Guderian

Neil Holets

Frank Leto

Glenda Powell

Jason Roland

However, candidate submitted documents are not a tell all. Therefore, homeowners are encouraged to attend one of the two “Meet the Candidate Nights” wherein each candidate will be given the opportunity to provide an opening address, respond to Election Committee questions, provide a closing statement and respond to individual homeowner questions as time allows.

Meet the candidate Nights have been scheduled as follows:

Thursday, October 26th, 6:00 p.m. at The Club at Town Center.
Monday, October 30th, 6:00 p.m. at Aspen Lodge.

October 25th BOD Meeting Packet

 The Somersett Owners Association (SOA) has published the Meeting Packet for the October 25th BOD (Board) Meeting. Packet is now available for viewing on the SOA website (www.mysomersett.com or www.somersett.net). The Board Meeting Packet contains details behind the agenda topics, which may be accessed via the following Link:

October 25th BOD Meeting Agenda

The October 25th Board Packet contains an updated agenda from that previously published.  This with the addition of the following New Business topics: 1) Wood Rodgers Rockery Walls Evaluation Proposal, 2) Employee Bonuses, and 3) Acceptance of the Greens at Town Center Common Area Landscaping. 

A summary of details contained in the Board Meeting Packet follow:

Committee Reports

·        Community Standards Committee –  Recommends appointment of Anna Koelewyn to the Committee.

·        Somersett Parks Advisory Committee    A new Committee to replace the current West Park Committee, which has completed its business.  Primary purpose is to serve as a liaison between the Community, the SOA Board and Reno City on Somersett Park and Trail matters.  Committee Charter was included for approval.

September 27th BOD Meeting Minutes

For those interested in what transpired at the September SOA Board Meeting, an excellent recap was provided.

Old Business

·        Rockery Wall Repair Update –  No back-up material included in the Packet, most likely a verbal update from Seth Padovan, SOA Consulting Engineer.

·        Pool Redesign Update    No back-up material provided, most likely a contractor to accomplish to approved TCTC pool modifications has not yet been selected.

·        Town Square 2018 Budget    Not to be confused with The Club at Town Center (TCTC) budget, This budget is for a new “sub association” comprised of other Town Center property owners (e.g., currently three units consisting of the two retail buildings and The Greens at Town Center residential development).  Projected revenues and expenses are detailed with monthly assessments listed at $3,790 per unit

New Business

·        Acceptance of Insurance Proposal    LaBarre/Oksnee was selected as the SOA insurance provider at an annual premium of $67,567.  Policy provisions are detailed, which include flood and earthquake insurance.  However, Rockery Wall damage is excluded.

·        Acceptance of Kane GeoTech Proposal –  Proposal is for $9,446 to complete the forensic evaluation of the Trail Ridge hillside slope failures.

·        Wood Rodgers Rockery Walls Evaluation Proposal    No details provided

·        Employee Bonuses    No details provided

·        Snow Removal Proposals    Proposal received from Reno Green for the 2017-2018 winter season.  Hourly rates quoted for all services, which include $46 – $56/hr. general labor and $80 – $90/hr. heavy equipment operator.

·        Newsletter Contract Renewal    Proposed services for continued publication of the Somersett Living Newsletter. Note that there is no cost to the SOA for publication of this bi-monthly magazine.  Publisher obtains revenue from advertisers.

·        Loan for Rockery Wall Repairs    Actually this is a consolidated loan to finance Hillside/Rockery Wall Repairs and to also pay off of the following loans: 1) the Developer loan for TCTC, 2) the Developer loan for the Canyon9 Golf Course, and 3) the loan for purchase of the Country Club Land and Water Rights.  Proposed total loan amount (from Pacific Western Bank) is for $6M at 5% for 11 years and $10K in loan fees.

Note: At the October 23rd Budget meeting it was reported that the $2.5M cost for Hillside and Rockery Wall repairs would not be financed via a special assessment, but rather as follows: 1) 1.5M in debt financing (i.e., from the $6M referenced above), 2) $600K from the Common Area Reserve Fund (brings reserve fund down to 34%, which is considered marginally acceptable for reserve funding) and 3) approximately $400K from Common Area Operating funds.

·        2018 General Common, TCTC and Gates Budgets –  Budget details for each of the three cost centers were included in the Board Meeting Packet.  These will also be mailed to all owners on November 1st for ratification at the November 15th Annual Owners Meeting. Owner assessments for 2018 are proposed as follows: 1) The General Common Area at $92/mo, which represents a $12/mo increase over 2017 (actually 2017 assessments were $69/mo but this included a one time -$11/mo abatement), 2) The TCTC at $89/mo, which is the same as for 2017, and 3) Gates at $54/mo, a $10/mo decrease from 2017.

·        Revised AGC Guidelines    The Board Meeting Packet contains a copy of the proposed revision.  When approved, a copy of this document will be made available under the “References” section of this website.

SOA Governing Documents

The following submitted by Jim Haar, Association Member

On September 9th, a news article entitled “New and Improved Website” was published on the SOA website describing it’s “new improved” features. One of the quoted features was the following:

“In addition, the website design allows the posting of comments for members who have logged in. If you have an idea or want to share your opinion with the community, please feel free to post a comment on any article on the website. All comments are moderated to make sure they are not offensive, and your name will be shown be below the comment. However, we want to encourage the free and open expression of ideas and opinions which will make our community better. If you have something to say, but it doesn’t seem to relate to an article on the website, please email our Community Relations Coordinator with the article you wish to post.”

A commendable feature, which prompted me to submit an article on updating the SOA’s Governing Documents.  However, that was two weeks ago and it has not yet been posted on the SOA website nor communicated back to me regarding any problem or delays.  Apparently the SOA is not yet prepared to honor it’s own commitments.  This is not acceptable given the compensation the SOA provides FirstServices Residential to manage this sort of thing.  That said, the message I wanted to share with fellow homeowners follows:

Subject: Recommended Appointment for an Administrative Committee

The Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Governing Documents (e.g., the CC&Rs, Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation) are outdated and in need of revision.  The current “Second Amended CC&Rs” were recorded back in 2005, the Bylaws in 2002 and the Articles of Incorporation in 2002.  Since these documents affect every homeowner within Somersett, it is prudent that they be kept up to date to best serve the community and property owners.  Therefore, I believe it is time for the SOA Board to establish an “Administrative Committee” for the specific purpose of reviewing the SOA’s Governing Documents and recommending updates to be voted on by Somersett owners.  With the passage of time and subsequent “lessons learned”, some beneficial changes are most likely in order. As a minimum, sections that are no longer valid or applicable need to be eliminated and newly established doctrines added. These would include the following:

  1. The original Master Developer (Somersett Development Company) is still defined as the “Declarant” in these documents with certain rights, responsibilities and governing powers. However, this Declarant no longer exists and therefore, the Declarant needs to be redefined as being “The Somersett Owners Association”.  Any sections that specifically reference the Master Developer need to be eliminated or revised.
  2. The current CC&Rs establish ownership and relationships between the SOA and the Somersett Country Club (SCC), which has changed because of the purchase of the SCC’s land and water rights by the SOA in 2015. The CC&Rs need to be updated to adequately define the current relationship.
  3. The SOA’s legal relationship with other residential and non-residential Town Center property owners needs to be defined in the CC&Rs.
  4. A review is needed to assure conformance with the current Nevada Revised Statutes (e.g., NRS 116) pertaining to Common Interest Communities.

The preceding should include collaboration with the Sierra Canyon HOA to make necessary updates to the “Notice of Annexation and Supplemental Declaration of CC&Rs for Sierra Canyon”. Perhaps by working together to review and propose changes to these CC&Rs, some of the dissent between the two Associations can be alleviated.

SOA BOD Candidates Announced

The deadline (October 18th) for submitting candidate forms for the three open Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Director (BOD) positions (i.e., two 2-year terms and one 1-year term) has passed with five homeowners seeking election. The candidates are as follows:

  • Steve Guderian
  • Neil Holets
  • Frank Leto
  • Glenda Powell (incumbent SOA President)
  • Jason Roland

Incumbent Directors choosing not to run for reelection were Joe Fadrowsky, who previously resigned with one year remaining on his term, and David Nisenfeld. Continuing Directors with one year left on their terms are Ryan Burns (Treasurer) and Tom Fitzgerald (Secretary).

Ballots along with candidate statements are in the process of being mailed to all Somersett owners. Ballots will be counted, results announced and successful candidates taking office at the Annual Homeowner Meeting on November 15th.  It was not announced how the 2-year and 1-year slots will be determined, perhaps by vote count.

As in the past, two “Meet the Candidates Nights” have been scheduled as follows:

  • Thursday, October 26th, 6:00 p.m. at The Club at Town Center
  • Monday, October 30th, 6:00 p.m. at Aspen Lodge.

Any Candidate wishing to post an article supporting their candidacy may do so via the process outlined under the “Open Forum” tab

October 25th BOD Meeting

The Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (BOD) open meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 25th 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:

October 25th BOD Meeting Agenda

Given that the Board Meeting Packet for the October 25th meeting is not yet available on the Association website, details associated with the agenda items cannot be commented on at this time.

Of particular interest, due to their financial impact, are updates on the Hillside/Rock Wall Repairs and TCTC Pool Redesign projects. Exactly how the $2.4M for Hillside/Rockwall repairs will be funded and budgeted has not yet been disclosed, and whereas the Pool Redesign effort was budgeted for 2017, finding a contractor has been problematic. Perhaps the agenda items on these topics will provide some closure.

The 2018 SOA Budget for the three cost centers (Common Area, TCTC and Gates) are also on the agenda for discussion.

Note:  For readers who may not be on the SOA’s email distribution list, please be advised that prior to the BOD Meeting, there will be a 2018 Budget Presentation for Homeowners on Monday, October 23rd at 5:30 PM at TCTC. 

It is not known if there will be any forthcoming recommendations from the various SOA Committees.

Note: There are two openings on both the Finance and Communication Committees for those wishing to serve.

 2017 Board of Director Candidates Wanted

 

The October 18th deadline for Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Members to announce their candidacy to serve the community by running for open Board of Director (BOD) positions will soon be here.

For 2017, three Board positions will be open for election.  Two 2-year terms to fill the seats currently held by Glenda Powell and David Nisenfeld, and a 1-year term to fill the seat vacated by Joe Fadrowsky earlier this year.

Association members desiring to serve the community via the BOD must complete the required Candidate Form and return it by October 18th to the SOA office at The Club at Town Center (TCTC).  Along with the required Form, candidates may also include a one page “Candidate Statement” supporting their candidacy along with a “head shot” which will be published on the SOA website.  

Following the October 18th deadline for candidate submittals, ballots and candidate statements will be mailed to all Association members.  Ballots must be returned by November 14th to be counted at the Annual Homeowner Meeting scheduled for November 15th.  Elected candidates will take office at that time.

New participation on the BOD is always a good thing.  If you feel qualified and have a desire to serve your community, you are encouraged to “throw your hat in the ring” and submit your Board Candidate Form and Statement.  A Board Candidate Form is available for download via the following link:

2017 Board Candidate Form