Ventana Ridge is a proposed residential development of 70-90 homesites to be located adjacent to the northeast corner of Somersett. For access to the development, the Developer has requested an easment through a small section of SOA unused native land at the upper end of Painted River Trail. This easment will permit a Ventana Ridge road to connect to Peavine Creek Road in the existing resendential area adjacent to Somersett. There will be no access to Somersett properties from this road. The amount of SOA land required for the requested easment is approximately 12,250 square feet (0.28 acres).
The question now being, what is this easment worth to the Ventana Ridge Developer and what is a reasonable selling price on the part of the SOA?
To address this question, at the December 12th, 2019 SOA BOD Meeting , the Board voted, on a 3:1 basis (Board Member Simon was not present) with Board Member Retter the disenting vote, to sell the easement property in question to the Ventana Ridge Developer for $300,000 plus all associated costs. Associated costs would include all the legal costs associated with the land sale, as well as the costs associated with obtaining SOA owner approval. It appears that the SOA’s Governing Documents do not permit the BOD to sell off common area property without majority vote of the unit owners.
The $300,000 approved price was apparently based on an appraisal the SOA obtained from Valbridge Property Advisors, in which Valbridge concluded the following: 1) the market value of the SOA land was $32,300, however, 2) the increase in the market value to the Ventana Ridge property as a result of the easment was $900,000. These were accompanied with the appropriate assumption disclaimers!
Given the preceeding, it is obvious that the land in question is much more valuable to Ventana Ridge than to the SOA and, therefore, should be considered in the price negotiations. Valbridge further advised that it is not reasonable to expect that the Ventana Ridge Developer would pay the full amount, and that typically a range of 25% – 50% of the value enhancement (i.e., the $900,000) would be reasonable. The $300,000 subsequently approved by the Board falls within this range (33%). However, there are those who believe it should be higher.
Whether $300,000 or $500,000, selling off this land, which in itself, provides no real value to the SOA, is a good way to replenish the SOA’s depleted Common Area Reserves.
Want to speak your opinion on this issue? Attend the January 22nd Board Meeting, where via Agenda Item 6.b “Easement Access – Appraisal for Ventana Ridge Update”, you can comment on it prior to discussion by the Board.
For those who care to read the entire (all 119 pages of it, including pictures) Valbridge Appraisal, it may be accessed via the following link: Ventana Ridge Easment Appraisal Report