Note: SU Editor was unavailable to attend meeting. Therefore, the following was derived from its audio recording. Given some clarity problems with the recording, we apologize for any misstatements and welcome any correcting comments.
Homeowner Comments – Many Sierra Canyon (SC) owners were present at the meeting and vocal in presenting to the BOD their opinions/complaints on a variety of issues, some of which follow:
- A complaint that, given the SOA does not maintain common area rockery walls within SC (these are inspected and maintained via SC assessment funds), why should SC owners be assessed for repairs of the SOA rockery walls outside of the SC community. Also an implication that the SOA was negligent in not routinely inspecting and maintaining the SOA common area walls.
- A statement read to the BOD by the SC Board President accusing the SOA of: 1) an improper letter and threats to SC owners regarding landscaping performed by the SC developer, 2) a poorly written special assessment document that essentially precluded owners from getting relief via their homeowner assessment insurance, 3) a lack of help on the part of the SOA in advising SC owners of the special assessment, 4) a lack of leadership on the part of the SOA in maintaining adequate reserves, and 4) submittal of a formal letter to the SOA Board requesting that Board member Jason Roland (due to his wife being employed by Somersett Development Company – the subject of the SOA’s lawsuit regarding the rockery wall defects) take a leave of absence from the SOA board until such litigation is settled. For those interested in the details, a copy of the SC Board Presidents statement and letter may be viewed via the following link: SC President Statement
Editorial Note: SU believes the statement regarding Board member Roland to take a leave of absence is unwarranted. All Somersett Owners in good standing have a right to serve on the SOA Board when duly elected. If conflicts of interest arise it is then the responsibility of the Board member to recuse himself/herself from all activities pertaining to the source of the conflict, as Mr. Roland has appropriately done. Also, the Rockery Wall litigation will most likely take several months or even years to resolve. Taking a leave of absence would leave the SOA Board with only four members for an extended period of time, unacceptable.
- The SC Board president questioned the appropriateness of accepting a contribution from the Somersett Development Company for the Round-about Holiday Lighting project given the ongoing litigation.
- A concern over rumors that another special assessment would be forthcoming, and that many SC owners with fixed income could not afford them.
- A proposal by a SC Board member for the new SOA BOD to eliminate the Special Assessment and secure another loan to finance the rockery wall repairs.
- The SOA treats SC as a second class citizen uncapable of taking care of themselves. AGC examples were addressed.
- Lack of communication between the SOA and SC
- A request to re-examine the SOA/SC relationship with regard to the amount of money being paid to the SOA via common area assessments (approximately 1.5M annually) and the $1200 special assessment. The implication being that SC does not receive appropriate benefits.
- A request to restore the Del Webb signage on the West Entrance Monument.
Note: Other issues were raised and discussed that were difficult to follow via the audio recording. Therefore, anyone wishing to expand on the preceeding is encouraged to do so via reply to this posting. The bottom line here is that there are serious contentions between the SOA and SC that need resolution.
Special Assessment – The BOD approved a phased payment plan for the $1200 Special Assessment. That is, the proposed $600 January 1, 2019 assessment may be paid for in installments up to June 30, 2019. No late fees would be imposed if paid for by this date. Likewise, the $600 July 1, 2019 assessment may be paid for in installments up to December31, 2019 before being subject to late fees. Given complaints from some owners that they have not yet received an official notification of the special assessment, hopefully, the BOD will insure that all homeowners are notified in a timely manner with a detailed explanation of payment options.
Holiday Lights for Round-abouts – The BOD reversed its previous decision not to fund Holiday lighting for the Somersett Parkway Round-abouts. This based on $10,500 in contributions received from local businesses. The SOA will fund the remaining $11,000 required for the project. Contributors to the project were Somersett Development Company – $6,000, Toll Brothers – $2000, The Greens at Town Center – $500, and a combined $2,000 from American Family Insurance, Dickson Realty & Synergy Home Mortgage.
Fuel Fire Reduction Project – A $45.5K bid was accepted for reduction of fire fuel levels on approximately 65 acres of common area land. This to provide defensible space between residential structures and areas of extreme fire danger. Services to consist of both hand treatment and mastication (the reduction of vegetation into small chunks via equipment grinding, shredding or chopping, usually leaving the mulched vegetation in place). Areas affected may be viewed via the following link: Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project. Note that this does not include SC areas as SC performs its own fire fuel reductions.
Gypsy Hill Rockery Wall Repair – Successful bidder for this project was Ralph I. Wadsworth Construction Company at $1.28M. Two other bids were received at $1.25M and $1.50M. One advantage by Wadsworth Construction was its ability to start work in February. Slope and wall stabilization will consist of a rockery wall tie-back anchor system and shotcrete reinforcement. Project location may be viewed via the following link: Gypsy Hill Slope Stabilization Project Area. Related proposals from American Geotechnical, CME, Reno Green and Padovan Consulting (totaling approximately $97K) for testing, inspection, landscape and construction management services were also approved.
Irrigation Main Line Repair – Approved a Padovan Consulting proposal for the preparation of plans, specifications and a RFP for repair of a leaking six inch main irrigation line. Estimated cost for the proposed service is $6.5K.
Somersett Parkway Crosswalk – Involves installation of a rapid flashing pedestrian crosswalk system on Somersett Parkway at Willow Ranch & Back Nine Trails. Awarded to Titan Electric at $25K.
SOA Parks Committee Dissolution – Based on a recommendation from the Committee Chair, The BOD approved dissolution of the Parks Committee, this based on the Committee having completed all tasks outlined in its Charter. A copy of the motion to disband as prepared by the Committee is available via the following link: SOA Parks Committee Motion for Disbandment. In consideration of a homeowner comment and upon recommendation of the Committee, the BOD approved formation of an Ad-Hoc Garden Group to advise the BOD on issues pertaining to the Community Garden portion of the West Park.
Appointment of BOD Members to Committees – The following Board members were assigned as laisons to the various SOA Committees. Board members are expected to attend the Committee meetings.
AGC – Frank Leto primary, Tom Fitzgerald secondary
CSC – Tom Fitzgerald primary, Terry Retter secondary
Finance – Joe Strout primary, Terry Retter secondary
Communications – Frank Leto primary, Terry Retter secondary
Facilities – Jason Roland primary, Joe Strout secondary
SOA Committee Charters – Amendments to the Aesthetic Guidelines, Budget& Finance, Communication and Facility Committee Charters were proposed A proposed change to the AGC Committee called for the reduction of BOD appointed members from seven to five. That is, one primary and one alternate Board member and three independent professionals (a civil engineer, an architect and a landscape designer). Unit owner representation on the AGC committee would be eliminated. Changes to the other committees call for appointments of one year terms with a maximum of two one year extensions. No explanations were given for the proposed changes and no motion was made to approve the proposed changes, apparently to further discuss in a “Committee Workshop”.
WISHING YOU A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR