January 27th SOA BOD Meeting Recap

Following is a recap of issues discussed and/or approved at the January 22nd Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting (Note: Board Member Baker was not in attendance). Related agenda items are referenced. A copy of the BOD Meeting Agenda, updated from that previously published, may be accessed via the following link:

January 22nd BOD Meeting Agenda – Final

Homeowner Comments on Agenda Items

Ventana Ridge Easment – A homeowner suggested that the Board consider approaching the Ventana Ridge Developer with an “Annex” into Somersett option. This in lieu of selling them a portion of SOA land to satisfy their access needs. Doing so would not only provide Ventana Ridge owners with the benefits of living within Somersett, but also generate additional revenue for the Association.

Todd Shaw Settlement – A homeowner complained that the Shaw settlement was basically unfair to other Somersett owners who were fined and not granted variances for more minor infractions. That the owner, a long time resident of Somersett , was aware of the AGC requirements but when building his new home violated them willingly and subsequently had the means to fight the SOA over the imposed fines and alleged violations. (see item 6.a. below)

Committee Reports

  • 4.b. Communications – Committee activity includes the following: 1) Investigating the implementation of a SMS Texting system as an additional means for communicating important SOA information to owners, 2) Looking into the preperation of an annual or multiple surveys as a way to gather input from owners, 3) Currently unhappy with D4 Advanced Media’s performance in supporting SOA Website updates, considering alternate vendors.
  • 4.c. West Park Community Garden – No verbal report. However, the report contained within the Board Meeting Packet addressed the following: 1) A visit to the park to view sample raised beds raised a concern over the height of the handicapped beds, 2) Identified the following immediate tasks: Prepare an interest list for garden plots, a lottery to assign plots, fees for garden plots, irrigation of plots, anti-rabbit fencing, garden rules, and non-Somersett usage factors.

Old Business

  • 6.a.  Legal Updates – The Todd Shaw litigation settlement terms were read into the record. Terms are contained within the January 17th SOA Attorney letter to the Board. A copy of the settlement terms, as extracted from the Attorney letter, may be obtained by clicking on the following link: Todd Shaw Litigation Settlement Terms
  • 6.b.  Ventana Ridge Easement Access – Apparently Ventana Ridge has rejected the SOA $300,000 offer for the Developer to buy the requested easement. No discussion on actions moving forward.
  • 6.c.  String/Bare Bulb Lighting Policy – The official Bare Bulb Lighting Policy, SOME.0063 was read into the record and approved. A copy may be accessed via the following link: Bare Bulb Lighting Policy
  • 6.d.  Appointment of Executive Committee and Proposed Charter – The purpose of this Executive Committee is to negotiate with the SGCC on resolution of the outstanding issue related to SGCC Rockery Wall repairs and related expenses. Executive Committees have the power to act for the Board and per the SOA Bylaws must consist of the Board President, Secretary (see related item 7.d. below) and Treasurer. The Committee will also include two, yet unannounced, non-voting homeowners. The resolution establishing the Committee and its purpose was read into the record. This resolution was different, and much more lengthly, than the one contained within the Board Meeting Packet. SU will obtain a copy for subsequent publishing on this website.
  • 6.e.  SGCC/SOA Water Facilities Committee Appointment – Board Members Fitzgerald and Hanson were appointed as the SOA Board representatives on the Committee. This is the joint committee with the SGCC overseeing the operation and maintenance of the golf course (SGCC & Canyon9) irrigation water facilities and water rights.
  • 6.f.  Canyon9 Landscape Maintenance Proposals – The Board approved acceptance of the BrightView proposal. This is a three year contract at $275K for the first two years, same cost with an inflation rider for the third year. Can be renewed for a fourth and fifth year if mutually agreed upon.

New Business

  • 7.a.  Vegetation Removal in Drainage Channels Proposals – This project calls for drainage channel maintenance work throughout the Somersett community. Contract was awarded to Signature Landscapes at a price of $52,313. Board Member Hanson voted No on the basis that all channels did not constitute an immediate problem and could be deferred to subsequent years, thereby saving on the 2020 reserves.
  • 7.b.  Gypsy Hill Street Improvement Sealed Bids – A grading improvement project related to the Gypsy Hill Rockery Wall failure repairs. Three bids were received ranging from $49,540 to $68,444. Contract awarded to Apex Grading & Paving at $49,540.
  • 7.c.  Downstairs Hallway Painting Proposal – Color Trends was awarded the contract for painting TCTC stairwell and hallways at a price of $14,900.
  • 7.d.  Change in Board Officer Position – Board Members Retter and Hanson resigned their Board positions as Secretary and VP respectively. Retter was then appointed as a VP and Hanson as Secretary. This was done to accommodate item 6.d. above wherein an Executive Committee must consist of the Board President, Secretary and Treasurer. Since this Committee was commissioned to deal with the SGCC Rockery Wall liability issue, and given that Board Member Retter is a SGCC Member, it was felt appropriate to do so to forgoe any conflict of interest concerns. Mr. Retter agreed to the position change even though he felt his serving on the Committee would not constitute a conflict of interest.
  • 7.e.  Revised Board Liaison Committee Assignments – Board members and homeowners assigned to the various SOA Committees are identified on the following link:   SOA Committees
  • 7.f.  Ad-Hoc Governing Documents Review Committee and Charter – The Board approved establishment of a homeowner committee to review the SOA’s governing documents (e.g., Articles of Incorporation, CC&R’s, Bylaws) and provide recommended changes to the Board. Board member Retter was the driving force behind formation of the committee and will be the Primary Board liaison to the committee. In discussing the purpose and need for the committee, Mr. Retter listed the 24 homeowner volunteers already received. Of these volunteers, Jim Haar was appointed as interim chairman. The resolution authorizing the committee was read into the record and its charter approved with minor changes. The Resolution and Charter may be accessed via the following link: Governing Documents Review Committee
  • 7.g.  Appointment of Committeee Members – See link in item 7.e. above.
  • 7.h.  Revised Committee Charters – The SOA GM summarized the changes for each of the SOA’s standing committee charters which were approved. When signed and officially published, updated copies will beome available on the SOA website and on this website under the References Tab.
  • 7.i.  Todd Shaw Settlement Agreement – See Item 6.a. above.

Board Member Comments

With regard to the Shaw settlement, Board President Fitzgerals explained how this lawsuit was assigned to the SOA’s insurance carrier who prosecuted the case with their own lawyers, under which the max cost to the SOA was $7,500. The Board was kept informed throughout the process, but in the end it was the insurance carrier who negotiated the settlement terms , which the Board approved. For those who may be critical of the settlement, Board member Retter discussed and commented on how far, financially, should the Association go in pursuing issues of this type. Basically that cost/benefit assessments need to be considered on a case by case basis.

Post Meeting Homeowner Comments

A homeowner read into the record a letter she had sent to the SOA Board regarding the SGCC Rockery Wall failure liability issue. in which she stated now that the Tolling Agreement has expired it is time for the SGCC to pay-up their $630K liability, and if they cannot pay, then declare bankruptcy. Wherein the SOA could take control of the land and proceed with alternative uses.

A SGCC Board Member spoke up on the Rockery Wall Liability Issue, basically refuting the conclusions of the CME Rockery Wall Failure Report, in that all the facts were not considered.

Note: The above Homeowner and Board member Comment sections reflect what the writer remembers (as paraphrased) from attendance at the Meeting and listening to the audio tapes of such, which are not always clear. If any of the above characterizations are not entirely correct, corrections are welcome.