Item 7c SOA BOD Meeting April 14, 2021

The following post submitted by Vince Loving, Association member:

” Initially I had a plan to compose and submit a positive letter for the April 14 SOA board meeting, but time got away from me and I missed the 3pm deadline.

With that said, I felt it was extremely positive that the board was actually going to follow a process to arrive at the best solution related to the renewal of the contract with First Service Residential. I saw the move to measure and research was a move in the right direction compared with previous issues that have all been treated with complete subjectivity.

To think the board was improving THEIR performance with this was an error on my part.

I sat through the “Townhall Meeting” on Tuesday April 13th, becaming more puzzled as that presentation unfolded. The meeting seemed to only be promoting why the SOA should move to internal management, almost no mention of selecting a new vendor to replace FSR or retaining our vendor FSR.

I must share that I have no love or dislike for FSR, but every interaction with this vendor has been respectful and helpful. They have always been positive in resolving any issue.

Fast forward to the April 14th Board meeting, it turns out that the newest 3 board members have been gathering information to support their desire to kick FSR to the curb at year end, they have been doing so since October 2020 when they were running for the board, despite stating they had no plan to change anything major, they just wanted Somersett to be “happier”.

It seems replacing or eliminating the management company is quite a major change.

When providing the board’s initial data there were 3 case studies cited, one was a 55+ community in the Las Vegas area, another was a failed hybrid model in the Stockton, California area (not Sacramento) and the third was our neighbor Caughlin Ranch, which has always been internally managed.

Caughlin Ranch is possibly the closest model, but it took the homeowners forum at the end of the board meeting to bring out the fact Caughlin Ranch is taking a hard look at bringing in a management company to handle the community.

The board meeting became quite interesting after the intro to the “consultant” that the board has identified to steer the board to a decision and possibly through the transition to internal management. There were several folks who have raised concern over a conflict of interest, me included. It was really terrific to be “educated by the “consultant” on the meaning of “conflict of interest”, this from someone whose resume indicates a career in the public sector, we all know politicians have a different view of ethics than most people do.

Speaking of ethics, it was interesting when Craig Hanson brought up that the board had made zero effort to look at anyone beyond the appointed “consultant” to consult on this project. Craig pointed out the completely unethical optics surrounding the selection of this individual and lack of a formal RFP. The Gang of 3 pushed back that they would be embarrassed to present our RFP to anyone outside the community, yet they repeatedly mentioned that Somersett is a small city unto itself. It was however classic, when Terry Retter, retired from PWC corrected the Gang of 3 on their wrongheadedness on this topic.

Thank you, Mr. Retter and Mr. Hanson, for being the voice of reason.

So here we are AGAIN. The Gang of 3 is driving the bus, they have made up their minds on how an issue will be resolved and only go through the motions for optics and perhaps because the law requires it to some extent. Any integrity the Gang of 3 had, is now lost, as they have proven they are only working for their own self-interest.

As I write this, I can only reflect on some of the statements that the Gang of 3 has made over the last 5 months, the top 5 are as follow:

People in custom homes have different tastes and motivations than those in tract homes.  Bill O’Donnell

If you don’t like what we’re doing hire an attorney.  Mark Capalongan

The law says we don’t have to take input from anyone to make these decisions.  Mark Capalongan

People who complain must have had unhappy childhoods.  Bill O’Donnell

Some people complain just to complain.  Bill O’Donnell

SOA Vacant Director Position

Director appointment

With Mr. Hanson’s resignation there is now an opening on the SOA Board of Directors. How will it be filled?  There are apparently three options for the Board to consider: 1) hold a special election, 2) leave vacant until the next election (held annually in November), or 3) appoint an interim Director until the next scheduled election. However, are there really three options? The appointment option has been a subject of controversy in the past, wherein it has been determined both a legal and non-legal option under the Associations Governing Documents, which we shall quote as follows:

Nevada Law: NRS 116.3103 2(c)

 2.  The executive board may not act to:

      (c) Elect members of the executive board, but notwithstanding any provision of the governing documents to the contrary, the executive board may fill vacancies in its membership for the unexpired portion of any term or until the next regularly scheduled election of executive board members, whichever is earlier. Any executive board member elected to a previously vacant position which was temporarily filled by board appointment may only be elected to fulfill the remainder of the unexpired portion of the term.

SOA Bylaws:  Article III Directors

Section 3.03 ELECTION AND TERM OF OFFICE:  …………….  Upon the death, resignation, or removal of a director during his or her term, the Board may call a special meeting of the members to elect a new director to the unexpired portion of the term or the Board may leave the position vacant until the next annual members’ meeting, at which time any unexpired vacant director’s term shall be filled by election of a new director. ………….

As can be seen from the above , Nevada law permits the appointment of Directors to fill vacated terms “notwithstanding any provision of the governing documents to the contrary”. Given that it is clear the Bylaws do not provide the Board with the right to appoint Directors, which rule applies? SU will leave this interpretation to others.

Interpretation of rules aside, logically speaking, unless we are very close to the annual October election cycle, appointment by the Board of an interim Director makes the most sense. Leaving the position vacant for a long period of time places undue burden on the remaining Directors and compromises the quorum requirements. Conducting a special election is a complex, costly and time consuming process that should be avoided. 

If the appointment option prevails, SU would suggest reaching out to previous Board members who have remained active in community affairs, or perhaps a Committee member whose expertise complements those of the existing Board members. Especially important if the Board decides to move toward a self-managed Association.

SOA Board Member Resignation

Board Member Craig Hanson has resigned his position on the Somersett Owners Association Board of Directors with the following statement (reprinted with Mr. Hanson’s permission):

After careful consideration about the recent Board actions to transition the association to Self Management I feel it is in the best interests of the Somersett Association for me to resign from the Board effective immediately. To achieve a successful transition it requires full and unanimous Board commitment which I cannot and will not give. While I truly believe there is merit to convert to self management for fiscal savings, I cannot support the unilateral selection of the consultant and extremely likely appointment to Association manager by a single member of the Board. I suspect there will be many future “sole source” hires, purchases and contracts which I cannot ethically or professionally support. 

I also want to express my gratitude to those who voted for me and ask their forgiveness for leaving my term prematurely.  With the current three vote block of the Board, I am afraid my ability to promote any measure is severely limited and impotent. 

I wish the Board luck and success in their efforts to improve Somersett.

Respectfully 

Craig Hanson

SU can empathize with Mr. Hanson’s position, not because of an opposition to assessing whether or not self-management would be beneficial to the Association, but due to the apparent disingenuous manner in which the Board President has approached this issue.  More on this when SU publishes it’s recap of the April 14th Board meeting Minutes.

Mr. Hanson’s voice of reason on the Board will be missed.

The SOA – Self vs Professional Management ?

self management

From the tone of the April 14th BOD Meeting Agenda Item 7.c “Discussion and Consideration of SOA Management Consultant” and the 6:00 PM April 13th Town Hall video conference meeting, it is apparent that the SOA Board (at least some members) are considering moving from a Professionally managed (e.g., FirstService Residential) Association to a Self-managed Association.  As indicated in our previous post, this would be a gigantic leap not to be taken lightly.  There is a vast difference between “Governing” and Association and “Managing” an Association. In our previous post SU pointed to the following website for an article on the pros and cons of self-management:

www.hoamanagement.com/self-managed-hoa-pros-and-cons/

In addition it the above, the following website articles provide some additional perspectives on the subject:

Self Managed HOA vs. Professional HOA Management (spectrumam.com)

Self-Managed VS Professionally Managed HOA’s – Hoamco

Self Managed HOA vs HOA Management Company: What’s Best For You? (clarksimsonmiller.com)

One of the overriding pros for self management appears to be the potential for saving money, especially applicable for low density Associations with few amenities. One of the overriding cons is the amount of time, expertise and motivation required by a “volunteer” Board to properly manage the Association. The current Board may have these qualities, but are they sustainable given the yearly elections?

Our readers are encouraged to access one or more of the above articles, form your own opinions and express them at the April 13th Town Hall and/or the April 14th Board meetings:

Video Access instructions for the April 13th Town Hall Meeting are as as follows:

Town Hall Meeting: April 13th at 6:00 pm

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8748557381?pwd=K1pKbHRMMmc3TCszWlI3bm9xYUlWQT09

Meeting ID: 874 855 7381

Passcode: 12345

Video Access Instructions for the April 14th Board meeting are as follows:

BOD Meeting: April 14th 5:30 pm

https://zoom.us/j/98476057473?pwd=cmFXMlA1bjRGNVhYd09vWGNNT3dlUT09

Meeting ID:  984 7605 7473

Passcode: 980167

 

April 14th SOA BOD Meeting

BOD Agenda 2

Following is the Agenda for the Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting to be held at The Club at Town Center (TCTC) at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, April 14th.

          April 14th BOD Meeting Agenda

Given that TCTC is still operating under some COVID-19 restrictions, Owner participation will again be via  “Zoom” videoconferencing. Video access available in the above meeting agenda copy.

The Board Meeting Packet (i.e., as of April 11th) providing background information on some of the Agenda items is available on the SOA Website (www.somersett.org) under the SOA Documents/Board Documents/2021 links. Comments on Agenda Items follow:

3.  March 24th, 2021 BOD Meeting Minutes 

The Board Meeting Packet referenced above contains a draft summary of the March 24th Board meeting minutes, or one may access SU’s previous post of March 31st entitled “March 24th BOD Meeting Recap” for a more complete summary of what was discussed and/or approved.

4.  Committee Reports

Although the published agenda lists all the SOA standing committees (i.e., 4.a. Budget & Finance, 4.b. Communications, 4.c. Strategic & Facilities, 4.d. West Park Garden, and 4.e. Community Events) there were no reports contained in the Board Meeting Packet. Perhaps no meetings held since the March 24h Board meeting.

5.  Financials 

The reader is refered to the Board Meeting Packet for the 30+ pages of SOA financial data. The condensed version discussed at the last Board meeting apparently not yet developed.

6.  Unfinished Business

No supporting information was contained in the Board Meeting Packet for the three listed Unfinished Business Items (i.e., Item 6.a. Legal Updates, 6.b. Dove Mountain Common Area Slope Repair, and 6.c. Snack Bar Update).

However, the following  Order No. 79921 (click on to view) pertaining to the Somersett Development Company lawsuit was obtained from the Nevada Supreme Court website. It references an oral argument to be held on May 4th, 2021 between the parties.

Order Scheduling Oral Argument No. 79921

7.  New Business

7.a.  Irrigation Head Replacement Proposal  –  A proposal from BrightView in the amount of $67,000 to provide and replace 1675 existing sprayheads ($40/sprayhead) along the Somersett Parkway between Roundabouts 5 and 6. The proposed sprayheads sell for $13.30 on Amazon, leaving about $26/sprayhead for installation. One might wonder what about the rest of the Parkway?

7.b.  Snow Removal, Additional Locations and Pricing  –  Given the recent determination that the SOA is responsible for snow removal from all association maintained sidewalks adjacent to common areas, a proposal to add this to BrightView’s current snow removal contract was obtained. BrightView has estimated the additional cost at $10,000 to $15,000 for each event.

7.c. Discussion and Consideration of SOA Management Consultant  –  Apparemntly the current Board is considering other options for association management and the hiring of a consultant to assist in this endeavor. Under consideration is a proposal from a Somersett owner, Nancy Kerry, to provide such service at the rate of $6,000/month. Ms. Kerry’s proposal letter to the Board is available via the following link. The Board packet also contains Ms. Kerry’s resume.  With all due respect to Ms. Kerry and her apparent qualifications, SU questions the wisdom of hiring a Somersett owner for this consultant role due to potential conflicts of interest.  Also, that there are consultants that specialize in HOA management issues.

Nancy Kerry Consulting Services Letter

SU does not believe a consultant is required to provide negotiation assistance between the Board and our current management company, FirstService Residential, or to consider replacement with another HOA management  company.  So what is the real goal here? Perhaps to assess moving to a self managed structure?  Obviously this is a decision not to be taken lightly. Whereas, money savings might be achieved, it would require a much more involved board in the day to day operations of the association, and hence many more dedicated hours. Could our volunteer members maintain this? To assist in understanding this issue, the following article on the pros and cons of self managed HOA may be of interest to many:

http://www.hoamanagement.com/self-managed-hoa-pros-and-cons/

March 24th BOD Meeting Recap

tmeeting notes

Following is a recap of topics discussed and/or approved at the March 24th Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (Board) Meeting, held via a Zoom Video Conference with Association members.  The reader is referred to SU’s previous post of  March 22nd, 2021 “March 24th BOD Meeting” for a copy of the Meeting Agenda and supporting information derived from the Board Meeting Packet. For those interested in listening to the Zoom Video Conference in its entirety, and hence all the discussions behind the following recap, a recording of such is available on the SOA website (www.somersett.org) under the “SOA Board and Committees/The Board of Directors/2021 links. The following recap references the Board meeting agenda items.

2. Homeowner Comments on Agenda Items

The following questions and comments, from two homeowners on Agenda Item 7.d Snack Bar Proposal:

  1. What consideration will the SOA receive from FSR as a result of their being released from Snack Bar operation responsibilities?
  2. A two week notice to quit operation on the part of the Peavine Taphouse is too short, should be at least 30 days to permit time to secure an alternate operating staff.
  3. To rely on pool lifeguards, probably teenagers, to police alcohol behavior is not realistic, what expertise and authority will they be given to accomplish this?
  4. A stated oposition to the selling of alochol at poolside due to its accompaning responsibilities and liabilities.
  5. The Peavive Taphouse would be responsible to hire and train a mature food service staff, what is the definition of mature?
  6. The project summary gave no indication of any income to the SOA from the lease agreement, which is not common in a landlord/tennet relationship.

3.  February 24th, 2021 BOD Meeting Minutes

The minutes of the February 24th Board meeting were approved with a minor amendment.

4.  Committee Reports

4.a.  Budget & Finance

  1. The SOA Treasurer, Simon Baker, reporting on behalf of the Committee reported the following: a General Common operating cash of $1.0M and a debt of $3.6M, a TCTC operating cash of $1.4M and a debt of $1.7M. The $5.3M in referenced debt being a consolidated 5% loan split up internally for accounting purposes.
  2. With regard the the Committee recommendation to pay down $1.5M of the SOA’s $5.3M debt via available cash reserves, the Board approved an amount ot $1.0M to be allocated as follows: $800K from TCTC reserves and $200K from the General Common.  The SOA Treasurer recommended the lesser amount at this time and to revisit the other $500K at a future date
  3. The Board approved addition of Quinn Rooker, Alynn Delisle, James Inhong Na and Dedre Lynn Sonne as members of the Committee and to revise the Committees Charter to accommodate more members than that currently authorized.
  4. The SOA Treasurer expressed his disappointment that FSR had not yet opened the new (higher interest paying) Union Bank account approved at the February 24th Board meeting, and therefore, precluded transfer of the proposed $250K into this account. The Board directed the immediate opening of this account and a $250K deposit.
  5. The Board also approved the opening of three other money market accounts and deposits to increase the yield of our cash reserves, these included: $1M in a Certificate of Deposit Registry Service wherein monies would be used to purchase one to two year CDs not to exceed $250K each (limit of FDIC insurance), and the opening of two additional bank accounts (Signature and Enterprise) with a deposit of $250K into each.

4.b.  Communication  –   Reported on: 1) the “Enter to Win” (sign up for SOA website log-in) contest in which 817 Association members responded and 24 prizses were awarded, 2) ten businesses have indicated an interest to advertise on the SOA website, and 3) will kick off the SOA photo contest next week.

4.c.  Strategic and Facilities  –  The Board approved the following Committee recomendations: 1) replacement of the existing TCTC Alosant reservation system with a Zen Planner system (the Zen Planner system is currently in use at Sierra Canyon and apparemtly half the cost and more flexible than the Alosant system, 2) increasing the Association’s Spectrum Internet service from 200 Mbs at $135/month to 600 Mbs at $199/month, and 3) allocation of $25K for the TCTC Snack Bar renovation project (see Item 7.d. below).

4.d.  West Park Garden

The Committee Chairman, Ken McNeil, reported that the garden was in danger of not opening this year due to required work and the lack of funds to accomplish. This included: movement of soil into the raised beds, installation of critter fencing around the beds and a storage shed for tools and carts. Drip irrigation components for the individual beds have been supplied but cannot be installed until the soil movement is accomplished. The Committee has some fund raising activities planned, but will not have the necessary funds ($2500 was mentioned) to accomplish work in support of the May opening date.

Board member O’Donnel offered use of his tractor, and General Manager Fields some Brightview support in moving the soil into the garden beds. No action was proposed for the fencing and storage shed issues nor any motion for SOA financial support.

SU Comment:  The West Park is a public facility, the capital costs of which are the responsibility of the City of Reno with the SOA only having maintenance responsibilities. Therefore, it is inappropriate for the SOA to fund any sheds, fencing, irrigation components, tools, etc., related to the construction and operation of garden beds. This should be the sole responsibility of the City and/or the 50 bed proprietors (some of which may not even be Somersett Association members).  For example, if a bed proprietor feels it is necessary to amend the soil, surround his/her bed with critter fencing or install specialized drip irrigation components, this should be his/her responsibility (requirements can differ depending on the crops planted) to accomplish and not the SOA. This is not an amenity available to all Association members and should not be supported by SOA funds.

4.e.  General Manager Report  –  It was reported that: 1) the installation of a camera at Hole 1 of the Canyon9 Golf Course has been effective in catching poachers, 2) the City is continuing work on rock removal and hydroseeding of the Dog Park and, 3) the hiring of seasonal employees is underway. For detailed information and updates on: 1) AGC activity, 2) Community enforcement data, 3) Owner communications,  4) TCTC events and club usage data, and 5) Landscape and Engineering project updates, the reader is referred to the Board meeting packet.

4.f.  Community Events  –  Association survey results for the 25 identified event possibilities are available on the SOA website.  The top five most favored were: Food Truck Night, Music on the Green, Wine/Beer Tastings, Holiday Lighting and Evening Tunes at the TCTC pool.  After a detailed assessment of looking into re-establishing the Farmers Market at the Town Center, it was determined as not feasible for a variety of reasons. It was also reported that over 100 residents have volunteered to assist in these events.

5.  Financials 

The reader is referred to the Board Meeting Packet for the 30+ pages of SOA financial data. Also, the SOA Treasurer advised he was working with FSR to develop a “short form” financial report for Board meetings that would be more meaningful to Association member review.

6.  Unfinished Business

6.a  Legal Updates  –  The Preston Homes lawsuit settlement has been signed by all parties. Under it the Back Nine Trail gate opening times will remain as is until the last lot goes into contract whereby gate control will be completely under the auspices of the SOA. Preston Homes will also be paying off their back assessments.  No activity on the Somersett Development Company Rockery Wall lawsuit.

6.b.  1880 Dove Mountain, Common Area Slope Repair  –  Nothing significant to report on project status.

6.c.  Snow Removal Rules for Sidewalks, Homeowner Lots and Common Areas  –  This was a carryover topic from the February 10th Board meeting wherein it was tabled pending additional information regarding City of Reno requirements on snow removal from sidewalks. It was determined from a reading of Reno Municipal Codes that property owners adjacent to sidewalks (private and HOAs) are responsible for snow removal and not the City.  This being contrary, in the case of Common Area property, to current SOA understanding. As a result, it was decided to obtain a quote from Brightview for snow removal from sidewalks bounded by Common Area property.

6.d.  Clubhouse Cleaning Proposals  –  Three sealed bids were received and opened with approximate annual fees of $77K, $93K and $108K. It was approved to proceed with the lowest bidder, Prestige, who also happens to be the the SOA’s current contractor. Proposals included the East and West Park bathrooms.

7.  New Business

7.a.  Canyon Nine Access Controls: Signage, Camera, Options for Remote Payment, Fee Changes  –  After much discussion on public abuse of the Canyon9 Golf Course (both damage and non-payment of fees) and whether or not the course should be open to the public, the Board voted to make the course private. That is, open only to Somersett residents and their guests, with no playing fees to residents and a $10 fee to guests.

7.b.  Upgrade of Cameras at the Gates  –  This item is not currently on the Facilities Committee radar for investigation and therefore no action required at ths time. However, the discussion was expanded beyond gate cameras to address the need for license plate cameras at the entrances to Sommersett. The result being that an integrated system including both applications will be investigated by the Facilities Committee. No time frame was established.

7.c.  Sports Court Painting Proposal  –  Approved a $7,497 proposal from Alder Ridge Development to prep and paint the TCTC Gymnasium walls.

7.d.  Snack Bar Proposals and Approval of Funds  –  After much discussion, the Board approved moving forward with the renovation of TCTC Snack Bar and a lease arrangement with the Peavine Taphouse for its operation. A $25K budget was approved for the project. Given the numerous details that still need to be addressed (much around the alcohol issue), the motion included a provision that project financial details and progress be presented at the April Board meeting.  The following link provides an initial summary description of the project, changes to which will be addressed at the April Board meeting.   TCTC Snack Bar Facility Renovation 

7.e.  Determination of Community Events Budget for 2021  –  No action at this time as the Comunity Events Committee is still in the process of event planning and budget requirements.

7.f.  Camera Upgrades in Somersett, Discussion and Proposals  –  This item was meant to address camera upgrades at TCTC.  Requirements are still  being prepared, therefore no action at this time.

8.  Board Member Comments

  1. The Board President proposed holding an April 14th Board meeting which was passed.
  2. Board member O’Donnell addressed the issue of signage and media to alert the public that the Canyon9 Golf Course will no longer be open to the public.
  3. Board member Williams advised he was working with the Reno Police Department to produce a process for SOA management to deal with Canyon9 poachers.
  4. Board member Williams advised that the equipment for the traffic speed survey will be installed at the agreed upon locations after spring break.

9.  Homeowner Comments on any Topic

Four homeowners commented as follows:

  1. Community Garden – Why not have the individual plot owners bring in their own bags of soil?
  2. Owner Surveys  –  On issues where the community can have an input, to do a survey before making a decision? Referenced the Canyon9 Golf Course public/private decision as an example
  3. Canyon9 Golf Course  –  That: a) users sign some sort of liability disclaimer indicating responsibility for self caused damage, b) residents register for play and be provided with a red bag tag for easy identification by spotters and 3) age restrictions associated with Golf Course usage be established.
  4. Sidewalk Snow Removal  –  Consider contracting with the SGCC for sidewalk snow removal required of the SOA.
  5. Somersett Entrance Cameras  –  Before conducting any homeowner surveys, the Board take a good look at camera specifications, requirements and costs, there is excellent technology available to capture not only license plates, but driver identification as well.
  6. Snack Bar Proposal  –  The agreement with the Pevive Taphouse for Snack Bar operation be crafted in such a way as to recoup some of the $25K in SOA lost revenue, it is not prudent to give away ones assets without getting something in return.

March 24th SOA BOD Meeting

Following is the Agenda for the Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting to be held at The Club at Town Center (TCTC) at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, March 24th.

Given that TCTC is still operating under some COVID-19 restrictions, Owner participation will again be via  “Zoom” videoconferencing.

The Board Meeting Packet (i.e., as of March 22nd) providing background information on Agenda items is available on the SOA Website (www.somersett.org) under the SOA Documents/Board Documents/2021 links.  Board Meeting Packet information  and comments pertaining to agenda items follow (Agenda Items referenced):

3.  February 24th, 2021 BOD Meeting Minutes 

The SOA published Draft Meeting Minutes for the February 24th BOD Meeting is available in the Board Meeting Packet referenced above, or one may access SU’s previous post of February 27th entitled “February 24th BOD Meeting Recap” for a more complete summary of what was discussed and/or approved.

4.  Committee Reports

4.a.  Budget & Finance  –  The Committee is making the following recommendations for Board Approval:

  1. Allocation of $1.5 Million in available cash reserves to reduce the SOA’s current loan principal, with $0.5M coming from the the General Common and $1.0M from The Club at Town Center (TCTC).
  2. Approval of Quinn Rooker, Alynn Delisle, James Inhong Na and Dedre Lynn Sonne as members of the Committee, this would require a revision to the Committee Charter to accommodate 2 Board members, 5 voting Association members and 2 alternate Association members. The current Committee consists of 2 Board members and 2 Association members and the current Charter only allows for 2 Board members and 5 Association members.
  3. Move $250K in Association funds into the newly opened Union Bank account which was approved at the February 24th Board meeting to achieve a higher interest rate on deposits.

4.b.  Communication  –  No recommendations for Board approval at this time. Currently working on the Somersett Photo Contest (approved at the last Board meeting), new surveys and SOA Website advertising.

4.c.  Strategic and Facilities  –  The Committee is making the following recommendations to the Board:

  1. Replacement of the existing Alosant reservation system for TCTC with a Zen Planner system. The Zen Planner system is currently in use at Sierra Canyon and apparently less costly and more flexible than the Alosant system.
  2. Approval of $20,000 (with a $5,000 contingency) for renovation of TCTC Snack Bar, which includes a two year lease agreement with the Peavine Taphouse for its operation. The details of which are available via the following link: TCTC Snack Bar Facility Renovation
  3. Increasing the Association’s Spectrum Internet service from 200 Mbps at $135/month to 600 Mbps at $199/month.

4.d.  West Park Garden  –  The Committee has ordered the drip irrigation system components for the raised beds (not funded by the city) and wiill be ordering new soil to replace the previously removed substandard soil (also not funded by the city). Costs to be absorbed by the Committee. Garden to be opened sometime in May following irrigation system testing. The Committee is also asking for the assignment of a FSE Staff member to the Committee

4.e. General Manager Report – The reader is referred to the Board Meeting packet for information and updates on: 1) AGC activity, 2) Community enforcement data, 3) Owner communications,  4) TCTC events and club usage data, and 5) Landscape and Engineering project updates.

5.  Financials 

The reader is refered to the Board Meeting Packet for the 30+ pages of SOA financial data

6.  Unfinished Business

6.a  Legal Updates  –  No updates on either the Somersett Development Co. Rockery Wall lawsuit or the Preston Homes Back Nine Trail lawsuit was provided for in the Board Meeting Packet.

6.b.  1880 Dove Mountain, Common Area Slope Repair  –  No status on this project was provided for in Board Meeting Packet. Apparently waiting for the development of a new Request for Proposal for the required repairs.

6.c.  Snow Removal Rules for Sidewalks, Homeowner Lots and Common Areas  –  No info on this topic provided for in the Board Meeting Packet.  Apparently a carryover from the February 10th Board meeting wherein this topic was tabled pending additional information, not only on Association rules and regulations, but City of Reno rules and regulations as well.

6.d.  Clubhouse Cleaning Proposals  –  No info on this topic provided for in the Board Meeting Packet.

7.  New Business

7.a.  Canyon Nine Access Controls: Signage, Camera, Options for Remote Payment, Fee Changes  – No info on this topic provided for in the Board meeting Packet.

7.b.  Upgrade of Cameras at the Gates  –  No info in this topic provided for in the Board Meeting Packet.

7.c.  Sports Court Painting Proposal  –  A proposal (estimate) from Alder Ridge Development in the amount of $7,497 to prep and paint TCTC Gymnasium walls with a $700 option to prep and paint four doors.

7.d.  Snack Bar Proposals and Approval of Funds  –  Action on the Strategic and Facilities Committee recommendation described under Item 4.c.2. above.

7.e.  Determination of Community Events Budget for 2021  –  No info in this topic provided for in the Board Meeting Packet.  However, most likely establishes a budget for conducting community events as proposed by the newly formed Community Events Committee.

7.f.  Camera Upgrades in Somersett, Discussion and Proposals  – No info on this topic provided for in the Board meeting packet

SU Note:  It can’t help but be noticed that the March 24th Board Meeting Packet was rather short on supporting information related to both the “Unfinished” and “New Business” agenda items. It also appears to SU that the SOA published Board Meeting Minutes are becoming briefer and less informative.

Maps and Somersett

The following submitted by Geoffrey Brooks Association Member

Do You Know Where You Live? Are you on the map?

Somersett Living, published bi-monthly contains a map of Somersett which shows the location of every street in our community? It shows the locations where developers are active, and the magazine has ads, paid for by the builders advertising their wares. The two golf courses (plus ponds for irrigation and fire control) in Somersett are clearly visible, along with the two community centers – Aspen Lodge (Sierra Canyon) and the TCTC at Town Square.

Link to  –  Somersett Community Map

Did you know that the road layout is now obsolete, especially if you live in the “Cliffs”? The property lots have yet to be updated for Hillbrow and The Pointe. (annexed into our PUD as SBE & Wintercreek).

I served as Secretary to the Ad Hoc committee to review and update our communities documentation (Includes PUD, Articles of Incorporation, CCR’s); the fallacies of the community maps and documentation (every owner in Somersett should have a complete set) were painfully obvious. For instance, Washoe County had updated many of the APN #s pertinent to Somersett. First Residential were requested to up-date the document package with reference to the Washoe County Assessors APN’s and area maps. Will the Board make sure this is accomplished?

On the Somersett Living map there is reference to 27 miles of hiking and biking trails. These are controlled, maintained by the Somersett Master Association.

link to  – Somersett Trail Map

This is in need of an update, as several trails are closed (temporarily, during construction, at Brae Retreat, in one instance)…or were not actually completed.

The trail map, which is a part of the PUD shows the controversial link from SBE (The Pointe) through Firefly Court. This trail link has been closed down by Sierra Canyon sub-association and the Firefly Court residents.

Many residents live near public trails (I do) and are always happy to see folks using them, as short cuts, for dog walking, or just walking, bike riding. There is a connector at Dakota Ridge (should be) to the neighboring Reno City Sierra Vista park, where a mountain bike trail riding loop (with jumps) has been constructed. The existence of Sierra Vista Park (formerly Northgate Golf Course) should be on our community map!    (there is plenty of room!)

Needless to say the views from any of the trails of the surrounding Sierra Nevada and the foothills of Peavine Mountain to the North are outstanding, the best in the City of Reno!

Feburary 24th BOD Meeting Recap

Following is a recap of topics discussed and/or approved at the February 24th Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (Board) Meeting, held via a Zoom Video Conference with Association members.  The reader is referred to SU’s previous post of  February 20, 2021 “February 24th SOA Board Meeting” for a copy of the Meeting Agenda and supporting information derived from the Board Meeting Packet. Agenda Items are noted.

2.  Homeowner Comments on Agenda Items (paraphrased, not directly quoted and apologies for any misrepresentations)

  •  A comment on why the need for changing the AGC Charter (membership change) for the second time in less than a year. Perhaps because the previous committee had to many professional experts, or they want to please Developers by not holding them to a high standard of accountability? Also addressed the issue of potential conflicts of interests by committee members, and suggested that members who have building or landscape projects in front of the AGC not sit as a Committee member, it being a matter of ethics.
  •  An objection to the current make up of the Committee in that it gives the two Board members (Capalongan and O’Donnell) and the homeowner representative (Rob Jordan – a close associate of Capalongan and O’Donnell) a voting majority over the two professionals on the committee. Not necessarily in the best interests of the community, whereas the previous committee make-up of four professionals provided for better representation. Also, a suggestion the Board post a copy of the AGC Charter on the SOA website, which clearly identifies the changes and reasons therefore.
  •  A comment on the Board’s decision to leave the FireFly Court trail access issue well enough alone and in doing so it may go away.  The owner questioned why it should be left alone when its blockage is a clear violation of the Associations legal documents. Quoted correspondence from Reno community leaders advocating keeping the Somersett trail systems open. Also commented on the Sierra Canyon Association’s authority and obligation to provide open trail access between the two communities.
  •  A testimony by a Somersett owner, whose home is adjacent to the trail and butts up to FireFly Court, stating he has not seen or heard of any abuse or property damage to adjacent Sierra Canyon owner or common area property by SOA residents accessing the trail, only the harassments of women and children using the access by FireFly Court residents. Stressed the need for being more neighborly and open up the access for both sides to use. Also, that in installing the blockage, the SCA may have encroached on SOA property (i.e., when turned over by Ryder) with regard to tree placements.
  •  A stated appreciation to Board member Jason Williams for the work he is doing with the City of Reno on addressing speeding along the Somersett Parkway and the installation of speed calming devices.

3.  February 10th BOD Meeting Minutes

 The Draft Meeting Minutes were approved, For those interested, the meeting minutes for the February 10th Board Meeting are contained in the Board Meeting Packet referenced above, which is available on the SOA website (www,somersett.org) under the SOA Documents/Board Documents/2021 link. Alternately, one may access SU’s previous post of February 12th entitled “February 10th BOD Meeting Recap” for a more complete summary of what was discussed and/or approved.

4.0  Committee Reports

4.a.  Budget and Finance  –  Committee recommended the opening of a new money market account with Union Bank. The SOA currently has ~$2.4M of reserve funds in a UBS account and ~$2.6M in a USBank account, both of which are paying 0.1%. A Union Bank account would pay 0.5% along with higher deposit insurance limits. Recommendation was to only open up the Union Bank account at this time and come back to the Board at a future date for approval to actually move funds. Board approved the opening of the Union bank account.

4.b.  Communication Committee  –  The Board approved appointment of Ashley Anderson to the Committee as well as the required funds ($384/annually) to employ use of the Survey Monkey application for Committee surveys. The Board also addressed the so-called “Effective Communications for Somersett HOA Board and Committee Members” document (so-called because the Board Meeting Packet did not include a copy and its content was not made clear), concluded that it was an important guideline document and to put it on the SOA website for all to see.

4.c.  Strategic and Facilities  –  No discussion

4.d.  West Park Garden  –    Board member Williams gave a brief summary of his discussion with the City of Reno an availability of funds for the West Park. Result being that the City apparently agreed that some items were not sufficiently completed prior to turnover to the SOA and will work with the SOA on a punch list of clean-up activities. These were not specifically identified, but some reference was made to the dog park portion.

4.e.  General Manager  –  Reported that the fuel fire reduction project will be completed by the end of February, the TCTC gym stage renovation project will commence on March 22nd  and that Summer Staff hiring has began.

5.0  Financials

The reader is referred to the Board Meeting Packet for the 30+ pages of SOA financial data. Board member Hanson had questions on a couple of over budget items contained in the report. These were cleared up to his satisfaction by Board Treasurer Baker.

 6.  Unfinished Business

6.a.  Legal Updates  –  The Somersett Development Company Rockery Wall lawsuit is still waiting a decision from the Appellet Court. The Preston Homes lawsuit is pending the filing and acceptance of legal documents by the Court. However, the apparent agreement between the SOA and Preston Homes are as stated in the SOA Attorney letter of February 16th, which may be accessed via the following link:   “Preston Homes LLC vs Somersett Owners Association

6.b.  1880 Dove Mountain, Common Area Slope Repair – The improperly installed split rail fence has been relocated from SOA to owner property.  A new engineering analysis has been completed on the hillside slope repair and a request for proposal (RFP) will be prepared.

6.c.  Discussion and Decision on Firefly Court Trail Access  –  Significant discussion here with the bottom line being that the SOA will leave things as they are (i.e., trail access to remain blocked by Sierra Canyon) with no further action.  The Board had referred this issue to the SOA attorney (Michael Schulman) for a legal opinion on SOA jurisdiction and options. The Attorney basically stated that Sierra Canyon has no obligation to open the access and that the SOA had no authority to require it.  The Attorney opinion letter is available via the following link:  “SOA Access Issues with Trail System

SU Note:  Subsequent to issuance of this letter, a SOA owner challenged the Attorney basis citing legal documents identifying existence of the trail access, which the Attorney apparently did not consider.  Is this a closed issue?  Who knows?  With the Board it is, who stated they will do nothing further unless taken to court by others (apparently unaware that the NRED Ombudsman’s Intervention Affidavit process is another avenue open to Association members)

7.  New Business

7.a.  Update AGC Charter  –  The Board approved a new Aesthetic Guidelines (AGC) Committee Charter, which had been revised from the one originally contained in the Board Meeting Packet. Committee membership under the new Charter shall consist of not less than three (3) nor more than seven (7) members, to be appointed by the Board. At least one Committee member shall be a qualified member of one of the allied physical design professions (e.g. ,landscape design, architecture, home design, civil engineering, land planning, and other related fields). The Committee shall also be comprised of one Board member and one alternate Board Member, and a minimum of one homeowner in good standing who is not a Board member.  The current Committee membership consists of the two Board members, one homeowner and two design professionals.

7.b.  Adoption of Community Events Charter  –  At a previous board meeting, the adoption of a Community Events Committee was approved.  Under this agenda item the Committee’s charter was approved. Also approved was the following individuals to serve on the Committee: Melanie Kuzmanich, Jenny Williamson, Sandy Capalongan, Jamie Villarino, Malisa Barclay, Louise Jordon, Gina Bayless, Amber Leland, and Corrine McGrane. The foregoing individuals make up the nine members authorized by the Committee Charter, which may be accessed via the following link:   “Community Events Committee Charter

7.c.  Featuring Homeowner Photos at the TCTC  –  The Board approved the holding of an owner photo contest with winning photos to be displayed at TCTC. An $1800 amount was approved to support this activity.

7.d.  Study of Crosswalk and Speed Signs for The Somersett Parkway  –  Board member Jason Williams summarized his discussions with the City of Reno, which resulted in the following: 1) Given the Parkway’s official city street designation, no physical speedbumps are allowed, 2) crosswalk signs and/or flashing speed feedback signs are permitted, but the City will not pay to  purchase or install them (probably have higher priorities), 3) If the SOA wants to purchase and install them, the City will then provide for their maintenance. However, the SOA will have to select their desired locations, perform a traffic survey and present to the City for final analysis and approval prior to installation, the approval of which is not guaranteed.

Discussions revealed that the 3-4 years ago a similar traffic survey was contracted for. Contact with the same company indicated that a suitable traffic survey could be conducted for $1000/location. The same company advised that based on the previous survey, it doubted approvals could be obtained from the City for installation of speed calming devices (an implied opinion that excessive speeding along the Parkway was not that prevalent). Apparently nine locations within Somersett have been identified as potential locations for flashing speed or crosswalk signs.  After discussion, the Board approved three traffic surveys, one on Back Nine Trail and two on Somersett Parkway. It should be noted that Back Nine Trail is a SOA private street and, therefore, not subject to City approval.

8.  Board Member Comments

Board President Capalongan expressed on opinion that the new AGC is “functioning very well now” (implying that the old AGC was not? or that the new AGC had start-up problems?). Also, that the AGC has adopted a policy of sending a letter of thanks to owners who submitted “exceptional applications”.

9.  Homeowner Comments

An owner expressed disappointment on the Attorney letter addressing the FireFly Court issue and that it was not included within the Board Meeting Packet (the Board advised it was received too late to include in the Board Packet but was now on the SOA website). The same owner objected to the Board President’s use of the term that under the new AGC, owners are happy again. This without a basis that they were unhappy under the previous AGC.

A comment that owners are unhappy with the extended length of times the North and South Gates to Back Nine Trail are open, which compromises security. Also, that Preston Homes appear to be violating City of  Reno regulations by working on Sundays. Stated that one of the reasons owners purchased gated community homes was for security reasons, which was not being accommodated, therefore, a partial rebate on their gated community assessments is in order.  Suggested that perhaps keeping the gates closed and providing Preston Home with gate key access could be a solution.  The Board President responded that Preston Homes has been approached numerous times on many issues, to no avail, and owners will have to live with the legally documented North and South Gate operating times (which were read to the commenter) until the last Preston Homes homesite, or two years, is sold.

A suggestion that automobile license plate camera readers, and warning signs be placed at the entrances to Somersett to dissuade criminal activity and enable police investigations. Board member O’Donnell expressed support and proposed including as an agenda item on the next Board meeting.

Another comment that the current operating hours of the Back Nine Trail gates compromises security, cited the recent package thefts by those following delivery trucks.  Seconded the need for license plate cameras and for gate assessment rebates because owners are not getting the security they are paying for. Suggested that perhaps Preston Homes pay for this portion. Also remarked on Preston Homes workers playing loud music and leaving trash around to the detriment of the community. The Board reiterated the uncooperativeness of Preston Homes, and that given the current home market, perhaps the last homesite could be sold within three months.

February 24th SOA Board Meeting

Following is the Agenda for the Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting to be held at The Club at Town Center (TCTC) at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, February 24th.

February 24th BOD Meeting Agenda

Given that TCTC is still operating under some COVID-19 restrictions, Owner participation will again be via  “Zoom” videoconferencing.

The Board Meeting Packet providing background information on Agenda items is available on the SOA Website (www.somersett.org) under the SOA Documents/Board Documents/2021 links.  Board Meeting Packet information  and comments pertaining to agenda items follow (agenda items noted):

3.  February 10th, 2021 BOD Meeting Minutes

The SOA published Draft Meeting Minutes for the February 10th BOD Meeting is available in the Board Meeting Packet referenced above, or one may access SU’s previous post of February 12th entitled “February 10th BOD Meeting Recap” for a more complete summary of what was discussed and/or approved.

4.  Committee Reports

4.a.  Budget & Finance  –  No report contained within the Board Meeting Packet for this Committee. However, at the January 27th Board meeting, the Committee was given the task of recommending new members to the Committee from the five owner applicants.

4.b.  Communication  –  The Committee is making the following recommendations for Board action: 1) Approve Ashley Anderson for Committee membership, 2) Approve an “Effective Communications for Somersett HOA Board and Committee Members” document (since the Meeting Packet did not include a copy of the document, not sure what this entails, are they currently not communicating effectively?), and 3) Approve use of the Survey Monkey Advantage system at $32/month for conducting owner surveys.

4.c.  Strategic and Facilities  –  Working on the following tasks: 1) Soliciting owner feedback on the 2021 capital projects list, future desired amenities and TCTC playground modifications, 2) TCTC alcohol policy, 3) TCTC pool snack bar enhancements, and 4) a queueing system for TCTC front desk area(?)

4.d.  West Park Garden  –  The lottery for selecting the 50 winners out of the 114 garden plot applicants was held, all were notified of the results. Orientation sessions for the successful participants will begin in April. The Committee will also be selling tomato plants in May as a fundraising exercise.

4.e.  General Manager Report  –  The reader is referred to the Board Meeting Packet for detailed information and updates on: 1) AGC activity, 2) Community enforcement data, 3) Owner communications,  4) TCTC events and club usage data, and 5) Landscape and Engineering project updates. Of particular interest is Item 4 of the Padovan Consulting LLC Engineering Update report related to Developer common area turnovers, a copy of which may be accessed via the Following link:   “SOA Engineering Update – February 2021

5.  Financials

The reader is referred to the Board Meeting Packet for the 30+ pages of SOA financial data

6.  Unfinished Business

6.a  Legal Updates  –  Again, no update on the Somersett Development Co. Rockery Wall lawsuit, which is apparently still mired in the Appellate Court. However an agreement appears to have been reached on the Preston Homes lawsuit as reported in the SOA Attorney Legal Update Letter of February 16, 2021. The  contents of which may be accessed via the following link:   “Preston Homes LLC vs Somersett Owners Association

6.b.  1880 Dove Mountain, Common Area Slope Repair  –  No status on this project was contained in Board Meeting Packet. However, per the February 10th Board meeting, this project was to be re-engineered and re-bid.

6.c.  Discussion and Possible Decision on FireFly Court Trail Access  –  No supporting information contained in Board Meeting Packet. Plan was to meet with the new Sierra Canyon Board and try to reach a negotiated settlement. Perhaps this item will address the results of whether or not such a meeting was held.

7.  New Business

7.a.  Update AGC Charter  – An action item resulting from the Board’s previous decision to restructure the Aesthetic Guidelines Committee. The revised Charter is available via the following link:   “Aesthetic Guidelines Committee Charter”.

7.b.  Adoption of Community Events Charter  –  At the January 27th Board Meeting, formation of a Community Events Committee was approved by the Board. Following is a copy of its proposed Charter:   “Community Events Committee Charter

7.c. Featuring Homeowner Photos at TCTC and possible photo contest  –  Most likely just a discussion item.

7.d.  Study of Lighted Crosswalk and Speed Feedback signs for Somersett Parkway  – At the February 10th Board meeting, Board member Jacob Williams advised he had been meeting with the City of Reno to address speeding problems on the Somersett Parkway. The following memo is a response from Paul Ellison, City of Reno Public Works, addressing Mr. Williams concerns, potential solutions and prerequisites:   “Somersett Parkway Traffic Calming Devices