Following is a “Look-Back” at some of the more important issues/events encountered by Somersett Owners in 2019. However, what is more important now is to look forward to 2020 and bring closure to outstanding 2019 issues.
SOA Board of Directors:
- Membership – Two new SOA Board members (Craig Hanson and Simon Baker) were elected to serve two year terms (2020 & 2021). They replaced Board members Jason Roland and Frank Leto. They join incumbants Tom Fitzgerald, Terry Retter and Joe Strout. Officers for 2020 are as follows: Tom Fitzgerald – President, Simon Baker – Treasurer, Terry Retter – Secretary, Craig Hanson & Joe Strout – Vice Presidents.
- Recusals – Two of the Current Board members (Retter & Strout) are also SGCC equity members. Given the SOA’s current issues with the SGCC, 2019 saw many concerns expressed by SOA owners regarding Board actions relating to the SGCC and whether or not recusals on voting will be appropriately invoked.
- Assessments – As we all are painfully aware, a $1200 special assessment for 2019 was levied against all Somersett unit owners. This to off-set costs associated with the Rockery Wall faiure repairs. Although no additional special assessment is planned for 2020, the BOD did vote to increase the monthly assessment for the Somersett Common Area from $92/mo to $105/month. This to replace 2019 depleted operating cash and reserve funds. The Club at Town Center (TCTC) and Private Gates & Streets assessments for 2020 will remain unchanged at $89/month and $54/month respectively.
- Rockery Wall Repairs – Approximately $1.7M in contracts was awarded to contractors for repairs to the Gypsy Hill Rockery Wall, all of which have been completed. Inspection and movement monitoring of other suspect walls continued throughout 2019 with no identified issues or necessary repairs.
- Landscape Maintenance – 2019 issued in a new contractor (BrightView) for maintenance of the Somersett Common Areas, replacing Reno Green. Although not the low bidder at $1.44M, when considering other cost factors and expertise, BrightView was the prefered choice. Their 2019 performance has been well accepted.
- Somersett Parkway Crosswalks – As a pedestrian safety issue, two manually activated electric signs were installed on the Somersett Parkway. One at the crosswalk between the Town Center and the East Park, and the other at Willow Ranch Road. A speed warning electric sign was also installed on Evening Rock Trail coming down the hill from the Boulders.
- Somersett West Park – Construction on the Park by the City was started in 2019. Park to include a dog park (large and small), community garden, childrens play area and common space. A Community Garden Committee consisting of five Somersett Owners was apponted at the December 2019 Board meeting.
- Fuel Fire Reduction – Remediation work was performed throughout 2019 and will continue into 2020.
The Club at Town Center:
- Pool – The TCTC pool upgrade (a $500K project), which included relocation and construction of a new landing pool for the kids slide, was completed in time for the 2019 swim season.
- Gym Equipment – Renovation/replacement of TCTC’s gym equipment was accomplished at a price of $121K.
Aesthetic Guidelines Committee (AGC):
- AGC Committee – The AGC was restructured with the elimination of the owner position and one professional position. Committee now consists of five individuals consisting of two SOA Board Members, a Civil Engineer, a Buiding Architect and a Landscape Architect.
- Fees – AGC Fees were considerably reduced with the $50 and $100 deposits for the Desk Review and External Change categories made fully refundable.
- String/Bistro Lights – To settle the controversy over the use of these type of decorative lights (many felt that their use viloated the intent of a “dark sky” community) the SOA Board adopted a policy permitting their use subject to AGC approval.
- Communuty Standards Committee – This owner member committee was disolved by the SOA Board with its functions to be directly performed by the SOA Board members.
- Sierra Canyon ARC – Issues between the SOA AGC and the Sierra Canyon ARC regarding responsibiities and approvals (ongoing since 2018) carried over into 2019. Also a lot of discontent over the applicability of the $1200 special assessment to Sierra Canyon owners.
Somersett Residential Developments:
- The Cliffs at Somersett – Hillside excavation work completed. This 165 unit Toll Brothers development is well underway with several homes nearing completion and the majority of available lots either sold or under deposit. The many concerns expressed by Somersett Owners earlier in 2019, regarding hillside appearance and drainage, have apparently subsided (perhaps to rise again during the wet season). Homes in this development range from 2,636 – 4,118 sq. ft with a starting price of $625,995.
- The Greens at Town Center – Construction of ten connected town house units began in 2019 and, as anyone can see driving down the Parkway, is well under way. These 2150 – 2350 sq. ft. units are scheduled to start at $550,000.
- Ventana Ridge – A development adjacent to Somersett that has requested an easment through a small native section of SOA property to allow access to the development from Pevine Creek Road. After several iterations, the SOA Board voted to sell them the land for $300,000. If accepted, this will most likely require a homeowner vote in 2020.
- Growth – The total number of Somersett Units at year end 2019 was 3135. Total projected for 2020 is 3176.
- Rockery Wall Repair Costs – The issue over the Somersett Golf and Country Club’s (SGCC) liability for Rockery Wall repair costs remained unresolved throughout 2019. SOA litigation against the SGCC for their perceived share of repair costs (estinated at $680K) was placed on hold via a Tolling Agreement between the two parties, which was in effect until December 31, 2019. At the December 2019 Board Meeting, it was decided not to renew the Tolling Agreement and to form an “Executive Committee” to negotiate with the SGCC on the liability issue. As planned, the Committee will consist of three SOA Board members and two unit owners.
- Water Facilities Maintenance – In Janurary 2019, the SOA Engineer, Seth Padovan, issued a report on the status of the SGCC and Canyon9 golf course water supply system components. This report identified some deficiencies and contained recommendations for both short and log-term maintenance and/or repairs. Under the Water Facilities Agreement between the SOA and the SGCC, the majority of the water supply system components are the responsibility of the SGCC to maintain. The question that arose was will the SGCC be able financially to live up to its responsibilities under the Agreement. To address this issue and to assure that proper maintenance of the Water Facilities is achieved, a “Water Facilities Advisory Committee” consisting of both SOA and SGCC Board Members was established.
- Rockery Wall lawsuit – In October 2019, the District Court of Nevada issued a Summary Judgement Order in favor of the Defendants (Somersett Development Company et al.) in the SOA’s Chapter 40 lawsuit. Basically concluding that it fell outside of the six-year Statute of Repose. However, not to be deterred, in November 2019, the SOA BOD voted to appeal the Courts decision. This action could add significantly to the ~$400K in 2019 legal fees, which does not include the SOA’s estimated $100K-$150K liability for repayment of Defendant’s legal costs.
- Northgate Owners Lawsuit – In March 2019, the District Court of Nevada issued their final ruling in favor of Somersett Owners James and McCulloch in their lawsuit against the SOA. In its ruling, the Court found that former Northgate Golf Course property purchased by the James’ and McCulloch’s (adjacent to their Somersett property) was not subject to the Somersett CC&R’s and that the SOA could not prevent access based on such. This lawsuit had been ongoing since 2015 and has cost the SOA approximately $400K in legal fees.