February 27th BOD Meeting Summary

Following is a summary of some of the more pertinent topics discussed and/or approved at the February 27th Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting.

Homeowner Comments;

  • Several homeowners spoke (pro and con) on a homeowner group proposal to install speed calming devices along Back Nine Trail (i.e., to be paid for by the homeowner group and subsequently maintained by the SOA). Three homeowners spoke in favor of the proposal, citing speeding observations and safety concerns for pedestrians and children at play. Three spoke in opposition, their concerns being: inadequate data to support the speeding claims and effective use of speed calming devices, impact on low clearance vehicles, maintenance issues and other unintended consequences, but primarily that the entire Back Nine Trail Community (approximately 250 homes) had not been adequately consulted or surveyed on the proposed project, only a select self-interest group. Opposition recommendation was that full community input and approvals be obtained before proceeding. (See Agenda Item 6.d below for Board action on this subject).
  • A couple homeowners spoke on what they consider to be an untenable relationship between the SOA’s Aesthetic Guideline Committee (AGC) and Sierra Canyon Architectural Review Committee (ARC). Points made were: 1) Sierra Canyon (SC) homeowners should be able to get minor changes approved by the ARC without going to the AGC, 2) Sub-associations can impose stricter requirements on homeowner changes than master associations, therefore, the perceived notion that SC homeowners only need to obtain AGC approval is not valid, 3) minor changes (e.g., landscaping) should not require an application fee, 4) SC homeowners and the ARC have been treaded badly by the AGC and 5) AGC and ARC issues have been dragged on for too long and action is required now.
  • A homeowner spoke on a personal issue with the Board regarding a perceived threat and the reactions thereto. Being somewhat personal, SU chooses not to summarize on what was said. If the homeowner wishes to air his comments publicly, he may do so via reply to this article.
  • An SC Association Board member again addressed the Board on Rockery Wall issues. He made several points which the writer was not able to completely capture but appeared to address the following: 1) a request for Rockery Wall inspection reports, 2) a mistrust of the City of Reno to adequately inspect the Toll Brothers Cliffs project, 3) SOA direction with regard to Rockery Wall inspections and 4) funding sources.
  • The SC Association President requested that a copy of the SGCC Maintenance Report (as referenced in the “SOA Engineering Update” link below) be sent to the SC Board for review.

Committee Reports:

  • The AGC Committee recommended non-approval of a homeowner request to plant trees, at their expense, in SOA Common Area. (See Agenda Item 6.e below for Board action on this subject)
  • The General Manager Report included updates on the following projects/programs;
    1. Rockery Wall Inspection Program – Scope of work for a proposed inspection program expected to be completed within a week with RFP’s to follow. Objective is to identify any changing conditions and identify areas for preventive maintenance.
    2. SGCC Mechanical Equipment – A report on the condition of the Somersett Golf & Country Club (SGCC) mechanical equipment was completed along with recommended short and long-term repairs/maintenance. A meeting with the SGCC is being scheduled to discuss the report and action plans. No discussion on SOA vs SGCC financial liabilities ensued.
    3. The Cliffs by Toll Brothers – A letter to be sent to all Somersett owners regarding the Cliffs residential development is currently under review. Letter will apparently address compliance with regulatory requirements and the process to be followed by all parties involved (Including individual Somersett owners) who may have disputes/concerns with project compliance, inspections, defects, hillside stability, etc. Letter expected to be completed by mid-March and subsequently distributed by mail to all Somersett owners.
    4. SOA Engineering Projects – Updates were provided on the following on-going projects: 1) Rockery Wall Failures, 2) Common Area Drainage & Hillside Erosion, 3) TCTC Slide Relocation & Landing Pool, 4) Somersett Parkway Irrigation Leak, and 5) Golf Course Irrigation Facilities. For details, click on the following link:       SOA Engineering Update – Feb 2019

Old Business Items

  • Item 6.a Legal Updates – Nothing new to reeport here except that the hearing to announce the final ruling on the James /McCulloch case (Northgate owners issue) sheduuled for February 28th was cancelled to be rescheduled in March.
  • Item 6.b Committee Charters – Some minor revisions to the previously approved AGC Charter were approved. This did not effect the previous revision that eliminated the Construction Manager and Homeowner positions on the Committee.
  • Item 6.c Rockery Wall Update – See the SOA Engineering Update link referenced above.
  • Item 6.d Back Nine Speed Calming Devices – Based on subsequent opposition to the previously approved homeowner request for the installation of speed calming devices on Back Nine Trail, the BOD placed its implementation on hold. This to obtain additional input from other Back Nine Trail homeowners. Perhaps in the form of a meeting between homeowners and SOA BOD and Management Staff to discuss concerns and solutions. Editorial Note: Although a generous and admirable request, SU questions the wisdom of BOD approvals for modifications to common area elements proposed and paid for by self interest groups, as it sets a bad precedent for other self interest groups to pursue their agendas. Common areas belong to the community as a whole and any modifications thereto should only be considered in that context. Permitting homeowners to individually pay for common area modifications could have unintended consequences that could financially impact other homeowners or the Association at large.
  • Item 6.e 8643 Gypsy Hill Common Area Planting Request – At the January Board Meeting, the Board took under consideration a request by a Somersett Homeowner to plant eleven trees on SOA Common Area property adjacent to their property. Homeowner would pay for the trees , installation costs and irrigation cost via extension of drip lines from their property. Request was denied. Editorial note : SU believes that denial of this request was a no brainer, given not only liability concerns, but what happens if the owner decides to sell their property and the buyer does not want to continue to maintain them? Also sets a bad precedence for a multitude of other owners wanting to modify common area landscaping to suit their own fancy, perhaps to the detriment of others.

New Business Items

  • Item 7.a  Discussion on AGC Fee Reduction – Discussion centered mainly on the reduction of AGC fees for simple applications not requiring permits. That is, fees associated with the “Edxternal Changes” and “Desk Review” categories, which are currently estblished at $400 ($175 refundable after inspection) and $100 ($50 refundable after inspection) respectively. It was suggested that there should not be a charge for these types of applications and homeowners should not have to go to the AGC for approvals. Board will review the current fee structure with Finance Committee involvement. For those interested, the current AGC fee schedules may be accessed via the following link:           AGC Fee Schedule