Sierra Canyon, Somersett, Villages, The Vue – Your Community Forum

All Somersett Owners will soon be in receipt of mailed Ballots for the Somersett Owners Association (SOA) 2018 Board of Director (BOD) elections. Three two-year Director positions are open with four declared candidates. In addition to the actual Ballots, the Ballot package will also contain Candidate Statements for each of the four, which may also be accessed via the following links:

Of the four Candidates, only Mr. Fitzgerald is a current BOD member seeking re-election. For the past two years, Mr. Fitzgerald has served as the SOA BOD President, and therefore has an established track record and continuity on ongoing SOA issues to his credit.

While the Candidate Statements provide some insight as to candidate qualifications, they should not provide the sole basis for deciding who to vote for. Therefore, talk to others in the community for their knowledge and opinions, but perhaps more importantly, plan to attend Candidate Night (currently scheduled for Wednesday October 24th from 6-8 PM at the Sierra Canyon Aspen Lodge) where a moderated Q&A session will be held. If past practices hold, specific questions regarding qualifications and community issues will be asked of each candidate. Given time constraints, Somersett owners will also be given the opportunity to ask questions of individual or all candidates.

Some of the more important issues facing the Somersett community in 2019 include: Rockery Wall Repairs, Wildfire Fuel Reduction, West Park Plans, Aging Infrastructure and Lawsuits against the Somersett Developer and the Somersett Golf & Country Club (SGCC). With regard the SGCC, it should be noted that candidates Retter and Strout (the SGCC Treasurer & BOD Member) are SGCC members, and therefore, potential conflicts of interest may arise over the ongoing SGCC Purchase & Lease Agreement issues with the SOA.

Candidates wishing to post a statement on their behalf are welcome to do so, just email it to: somersettunited@gmail.com.

Comments from readers on any or all of the candidates are also solicited.

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For Somersett owners who were unable to attend the October 4th Budget Presentation Meeting, the presentation slides are now available for general viewing on the Association’s website at www.somersett.net.  They may also be accessed via the following link:

SOA 2019 Budget Presentation

 

OK what transpired at the SOA Budget Meeting held at TCTC Thursday night? Well, there was some review of 2018 accomplishments:

  • The failed Rockery Wall repairs were completed. Although at an approximate cost of $3.0M, which was over the original estimate of $2.5M, thereby requiring additional Common Area reserve fund expenditures.
  • The West Park plans were completed. Although at a higher cost than originally budgeted for by the City of Reno. However, the Parks Committee has done a good job at raising additional funds from outside sources.
  • Numerous TCTC facility improvements were accomplished.
  • The various SOA outstanding loans (i.e. The Canyon9 & TCTC Developer Loans plus the Rockery Wall Repair Loan) were consolidated into a single loan  of $6M for 15 years (5% interest first 10 years, adjustable last 5 years) which saved the SOA approximately $107K in early payoff to the Developer.

However, more importantly, what about 2019?

  • The good news is that the operating budgets for the three activity centers (General Common/Canyon9, The Club at Town Center, and the Private Gates/Streets) are not significantly different than 2018. Therefore, monthly assessments for these areas will remain the same. That is, General Common Area – $92.00, TCTC – $89.00 and Privates Gates – $54.00.
  • The bad news is that the Common Area Reserves have been depleted to the point that the estimated $3.7M for additional “high risk” (e.g., Gypsy Hill and 2nd Roundabout) Rockery Wall repairs in 2019 and beyond is not available. The proposed solution is to levy a “Special Assessment” on Somersett Owners in 2019 to fund this amount.
  • Given the approximate 3100 unit owners for 2019, the Special Assessment equates to $1200 per unit owner. One might opine that this amount is way over that permitted by the SOA CC&R’s without a majority vote of unit owners. That is, per Article III, Section 5 of the SOA CC&R’s, Special Assessments which exceed 25% of the annual amount (in this case 25% of $92 x 12 = $276) cannot be approved by the Board, but require majority unit owner vote. However, this requirement is apparently superseded by Nevada Law (NRS 116.3155 2. b) which obligates HOA’s to establish adequate reserves. The SOA has concluded this statute applies, and therefore obviates the need for a homeowner vote. This based on a memo from Nevada Legislative Counsel Brenda J. Erdoes to then Nevada State Senator Michael J. Schneider, dated July 12, 2007. A copy of this memo may be accessed via the following link:

Schneider Memo – Assessments without Owner Vote

  • One might ask, why not just take out an additional loan for the $3.7M? The rub here is that the SOA’s current debt service inhibits the ability to obtain additional loans. However, this aside, the Special Assessment makes more sense than incurring additional loan debt with its attendant interest charges.
  • How exactly will the $1200 Special Assessment in 2019 be levied? While this will be up to the new Board installed at the November Annual Homeowner Meeting, it is expected that the first $600 will become due and payable in early 2019, with the balance deferred to later in the year or via periodic installments.
  • Regarding the ongoing lawsuit against the Somersett Developer, and underlying contractors, in the SOA Chapter 40 claim for damages, nothing new to report. However, the SOA Finance Committee acting Chairman expressed the viewpoint that recovery of any damages would most likely be far lower than the amount expended and claimed by the SOA. How any monetary recovery in this area would subsequently be processed, would be up to the SOA BOD at that time.

The Budget Meeting PowerPoint presentation which summarizes the various 2019 operating budget items will be accessible on the SOA website (www.somersett.net). Also, the complete budget details will be mailed to all Somersett unit owners no later than November 1, 2018.

The SOA has scheduled a 2019 SOA Budget Presentation Meeting, open to all homeowners, to be held on Thursday, October 4th at The Club at Town Center Sports Court. If past practices prevail, the presentation will most likely consist of a PowerPoint presentation summarizing 2018 financials and accomplishments in addition to outlining the proposed Operating (revenues, expenses, special projects, etc) and Reserve Fund Budgets for 2019. This for all three of the SOA independent assessment areas. That is; Common Area/Canyon9, The Club at Town Center and Private Gates & Streets.

Regarding homeowner assessments, a historical review of past assessments and any proposed increase and/or decrease for 2019 is usually presented. Note that the SOA BOD can increase annual assessments up to 15% over the previous year without homeowner vote. Also, under certain circumstances, the Board has the power to levy “Special Assessments” in any calendar year, without homeowner vote, provided it does not exceed 25% of the annual per unit assessment. No universal “Special Assessment” has ever been levied on a SOA unit owner. However, it has been suggested by some that this may be a way to pay for expenses incurred for repair of the Common Area Rockery Wall defects.

The October 4th presentation will, in all probability reflect the final budget to be approved at the October 17th Board of Directors Meeting. This is not to say that changes cannot be incorporated in the interim. Following approval by the Board, a detailed 2019 Budget Package will be mailed to all unit owners to be ratified at the November 19th Annual Homeowner Meeting. This is basically an automatic ratification, as to be rejected, it would require 75% of all voting members to reject it at that meeting.

An informative meeting, for which owners are encouraged to attend.

A recap of the New Business items discussed and/or approved at the September BOD Meeting follows:

Note: See previous post of September 22nd for meeting agenda topics and associated details

Item 7. – BOD approved acceptance of Signature Landscape’s proposal of $32,632 for hillside & drainage repairs along Roanoak Trail, Oak Hollow Trail and Scott Valley Road. Repair work involves minor soil excavation and installation of rock and straw waddle.

Iten 7.b – Opened bids from Granite Construction ($262,262) and Gradex Construction ($123,123) for Winter Peace Ct. hillside stabilization repairs. Work consists of grading activity and installation of rock and straw waddle. Contract was awarded to Gradex Construction.

Item 7.c – Approved CFA proposal for Rockery Wall settlement monitoring at the Somersett Parkway second round-about. Proposal amount includes $2,100 for setup and initial observation and $750 for each subsequent observation. Observations to be conducted on a once per month basis with a limit of ten observations. (Hopefully results will result in the re-opening of the walkway adjacent to the Rockery Wall)

Item 7.d – Discussion on miscellaneous plans for the Somersett West Park arising from SOA Park & AGC Comittees and City of Reno comments. Most of the discussion centered on fencing and BBQ considerations. No decisions or approvals ensued, only that further discussions between the parties be held and comments resolved before coming back to the Board.

Item 7.e – Approved Reno Green proposal of $21,250 for installation of 50 trees along the Somersett Parkway.

Item 7.f – A proposed agreement between the SOA AGC and the SCA ARC was defeated on a 3-2 vote. The proposed agreement woud have established some guidelines and responsibilities between the two architectural committees. Director Roland expressed the opinion that acceptance woud be in violation of the SOA CC&R’s. Futher negotiations between the SOA and SCA required.

Item 7.g – The revised TCTC Rules and Regulations were reviewed and approved. Major changes involve pool safety issues, clarification of TCTC alchol policy and elimination of Teen Center (no longer applicable) related rules.

Item 7.h – The revised Facilities Charter was approved. Major change was addition of some common area amenity responsibilities to the Charter.

Items 7.i & 7.j – SOA Collection and Compliance Policies were reviewed and approved. No apparent changes from current Policies in effect.

Item 7.k – A homeowner request to plant a tree in the common area adjacent to their home (i.e. by and at expense of homeowner) was denied, primarily due to liability concerns.

The Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (BOD) open meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 26th at 5:30 PM at The Club at Town Center (TCTC) Sports Court. The Meeting Agenda may be accessed by clicking on the following link:

September 26th BOD Meeting Agenda

The BOD Meeting Packet, which contain details pertaining to many of the Agenda toics is now available on the SOA website ( www.somersett.net ) under the SOA/Committees & Meetings tab (Member Loigin required).

New Business items on the Agenda which contain back-up material within the BOD Meeting Packet referenced above include the following:

Item 7.a  –  Evaluation of proposals for ”Various Common Area Hillside/Drainage Repairs” from Signature Landscapes ($34.632), Environmental Protection Services ($47,746) and Nevada Environmental Consulting ($36,100). Areas affected are along Roanoak Trail, Oak Hollow Trail and Scott Valley Road. The BOD Meeting Packet contains a complete description of locations and work to be performed.

Item 7.b  –  Opening of Bids for the “Winter Peace Ct. Hillside Stabilization” project. The BOD Meeting packet contains a  complete description of locations and work to be performed.

Item 7.c  –  Evaluation of a “CFA Proposal for Rockery Wall Settlement Monitoring at Second Round-About” proposal. Proposal amount includes $2,100 for setup and initial observation and $750 for each subsequent observation. (Comment: The detour sign for the walking path adjacent to the Rockery Wall does not advise reason for the detour, maybe stating this would defer walkers from ignoring it!)

Item 7.d  –  Review of a “West Park Plans” document, which contains comments from the SOA Aesthetic Guidelines Committee (AGC) on the City of Reno West Park Plans for Fencing, Lighting, BBQ Grills, Garden Shed, Restroom, Landscaping, Irrigation, Drainage and Miscellaneous features.  Somersett Parks Advisory Committee comments also included. (Question: Given that the West Park Property is not part of the SOA Common Area, but owned by the City of Reno and open to all Reno residents, why is the SOA AGC involved it its plans? If incorporated, will the AGC comments increase cost?)

Item 7.e  –  Evaluation of a “Tree Planting Proposal” from Reno Green ($21,250) for the planting of 50 trees along the Somersett Parkway.

Item 7.f  –  A “Discussion on SCA & SOA ARC Authority”, regarding a letter from the Sierra Canyon Association (SCA) to the SOA, which states the SCA intent to resume the SCA Architectural Committee’s responsibilities as outlined in a SCA memorandum dated June 14, 2018 (also included in the BOD Packet). In the SCA letter to the SOA, SCA agrees to the following:

  • An architectural committee application fee will not be charged by the SCA
  • All structural work and work requiring permitting will be reviewed by ARC and final approval will remain with the SOA.
  • SCA will be responsible for all applications reviewed and approved under their jurisdiction

Item 7.g  –  “Revised TCTC Rules and Regulations”. Proposed revisions for discussion and approval. Proposed changes include: A complete deletion of the Teen Center Rules provisions section; Permitting use of water only on the Sports Court (i.e., no other food or drink allowed); A designated swim diaper requirement for children not bathroom dependent; Restriction on use of toys/inflatables in the pool: and a Revised Alcohol Policy (a hot contention with many Association Members), which states the following:

Outside alcohol, beer and wine, will only be permitted inside of TCTC. No outside alcohol will be permitted on any outside space of TCTC including the pool and golf course.

Residents may be permitted to bring outside alcohol (beer and wine only) subject to the following conditions:

  1. It must be a TCTC sponsored event that is on the calendar and scheduled accordingly. Private events cannot have outside alcohol.
  2. There must be a staff bartender present. Alcohol must be checked in with the bartender at the time of arrival. The bartender must open and pour all beer and wine.
  3. There will be a $1.00 corkage fee for each container of wine and beer (for wine, nothing larger than 750 milliliters per container and for beer, 1-6 cans, nothing larger than 32 ounces. (Comment: seems inappropriate and insulting to charge a nominal fee to those who choose to bring their own booze!)
  4. Beer and Wine only.
  5. Management reserves the right to ask for a valid ID for age verification and to refuse service if we feel sobriety is at risk.
  6. Residents must follow all conditions and respect staff at all times. Question: is this provision really necessary?

Item 7.h  –  Review and approval of a “Revised Facilities Charter”, which adds responsibilities regarding other SOA Amenities to the Facilities Charter.

Items 7.i & 7.j  –  Review of the current SOA “Assessment Collection Policy and Compliance Policy”.

Owners who have an interest in any of the preceding agenda topics should plan on attending the meeting and making your comments known. As usual, homeowner comments on any of the Agenda topics are accepted at the beginning of the meeting prior to their discussion by the Board. Homeowners who wish to comment on any other topic are permitted to do so at the end of the meeting.

The deadline for submitting Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Director (BOD) Candidate Forms is September 30th. As previously reported, the BOD positions currently held by Tom Fitzgerald (President), Ryan Burns (Treasurer) and Steve Guderian (Secretary) are up for election this year. Indications are that Mr. Guderian (recently appointed to fill a vacated Sierra Canyon Board position) and Mr. Burns will not be seeking re-election. To date, the SOA has received Candidate Forms and Statements from four Association Members. Since there are three open positions, this does not leave a lot of Candidates to choose from. Therefore, If you feel qualified and have a desire to serve your community, you are encouraged to “throw your hat in the ring” and submit your Board Candidate Form and Statement.

Candidate Forms are available on the SOA website under the “Seeking Candidates for Open SOA Board Positions” News posting. A copy may also be downloaded via the following link:

SOA 2018 BOD Candidate Form

Names of Candidates will not be made public by the SOA prior to the September 30th deadline. Election Ballots along with the Candidate Form and optional Candidate Statements will be mailed to all Association Members by October 15th.  A “Meet the Candidate” night(s) will be scheduled shortly after the ballot mailings. This to allow Association Members to meet the Candidates, listen to their responses on fixed questions (prepared by the Communication Committee) and ask questions of their own.

Candidates wishing to announce and publish any document supporting their candidacy on this website may do so via email to somersettunited@gmail.com

The Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Director (BOD) positions currently held by Tom Fitzgerald (President), Ryan Burns (Treasurer) and Steve Guderian (Secretary) are up for re-election this year. Indications are that two of the preceding will not be seeking re-election. SU believes it important that incumbents disclose their intentions in this regard, as it may influence the decision of others to run or not run. All three open positions are for a two-year term. The election process being as follows:

  • Association members desiring to serve the community via the BOD must complete the required Candidate Form and return it by September 30th to the SOA office at The Club at Town Center (TCTC). Along with the required Form, Candidates may also include an optional one page “Candidate Statement” supporting their candidacy along with a “Head Shot”. Candidate Forms are available on the SOA website (http://somersett.net) under the “Seeking Candidates for Open SOA Board Positions” News posting. A copy may also be downloaded via the following link:

SOA 2018 BOD Candidate Form 

  • Election Ballots along with the Candidate Form and optional Candidate Statements will be mailed to all Association Members by October 15th.
  • Although not yet announced, if past practice holds, one or two “Meet the Candidate” nights will be scheduled shortly after the ballot mailings. This to allow Association Members to meet the Candidates, listen to their responses on fixed questions (prepared by the Communication Committee) and ask questions of their own.
  • Ballots must be returned (in the provided secret ballot envelope) to the SOA by 1 PM on November 19th. It is expected that, as in the past, ballot boxes will be installed at both The Club at Town Center and Aspen Lodge for convenience. They may also be mailed as long as they are received by the 1 PM November 19th deadline.
  • Ballots will be opened and counted at the November 19th Annual Homeowner Meeting at TCTC. Successful Candidates will be announced and will officially take office at that time.

Needless to say, new participation on the BOD is always a good thing. If you feel qualified and have a desire to serve your community, you are encouraged to “throw your hat in the ring” and submit your Board Candidate Form and Statement.

Any Candidate wishing to announce and publish any document supporting his or her candidacy on this website may do so via email to somersettunited@gmail.com

It has been three months since this website published an update (accessible via the following link: May 22 “ROCKERY WALL LITIGATION UPDATE”) on the Somersett Owners Association (SOA) lawsuit against the Somersett Development Company et. al. pertaining to the SOA Common Area Rockery Wall Defects. What has transpired since then? Not much with regards to resolutions or settlements. As usual, the wheels of justice move slowly, meanwhile the SOA Attorneys continue to rack up their $285-$375 per hour legal fees.

In the May 22nd posting, reference was made to the “First Amended Complaint for Damages (Corrected)” document, filed with the Court on May 3rd, which updated the original Chapter 40 Complaint for Damages against Somersett Development Company, Q&D Construction and Parsons Brother Rockeries.. Access to this document is available via the following Link: FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES (CORRECTED)

Subsequent to the updated complaint, documents filed with the Washoe County District Court (Case # CV17-02427) include the following, filing dates noted:

• DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL by both the SOA and Somersett Development Company (June 21 & August 17)

• ORDER OF RECUSAL by District Court Judge David Hardy as being a member of the Somersett Owners Association. Case was subsequently transferred to another department (July 12)

• Q&D CONSTRUCTION ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES (August 13)

This document contains Q&D’s response to the SOA’s Complaint for Damages. The first 15 pages are responses to each allegation contained in the SOA’s Complaint. Basically, all responses are repetitive in which Q&D denies each and every allegation. Pages 16-20 “Affirmative Defenses”, puts forth 21 stated defenses against the SOA Claim. These include references to: plaintiff misconduct & negligence; statutes of limitations & repose; doctrines of estoppel, waiver, laches, & unclean hands; acts of God; acts by others; and limited liability should the Complaint for Damages prevail. A reprint of Q&D’s “Affirmative Defenses” contained in the Court filing document are accessible via the following link: Q&D CONSTRUCTION DEFENSES TO SOA CLAIM FOR DAMAGES

• SOMERSETT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT AND CROSS-CLAIM (August 17)

Document filed on behalf of Somersett Development Company, Somersett LLC and Somersett Development Corporation. The first 5 pages contain repetitive denials of all allegations contained in the SOA Complaint. Pages 6 and 7 offer up 11 supplemental “Defenses” which include references to: statutes of repose & limitations; acts by others; improper acts and conduct on part of the plaintiff; doctrines of consent & estoppel: and violation of NRS 116.31088 (majority owner approval of lawsuit).  A reprint of Somersett Development Company’s “Defenses” contained in the Court filing document are accessible via the following link: SOMERSETT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY DEFENSES TO SOA CLAIM FOR DAMAGES

Pages 8-13 of this document represents a Cross-Claim by Somersett Development against co-defendants Q&D Construction and Parsons Brothers Rockeries. This Cross-Claim, without admitting any truth to the SOA’s Claim for Damages, basically alleges that the matters referred to in the SOA Claim were “proximately caused by the acts and omissions of Cross-Defendants”.

• PARSONS BROTHERS ROCKERIES ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES (August 21)

This document contains Parsons Brothers Rockeries response to the SOA’s Complaint for Damages in which they deny all allegations contained in the SOA Complaint. Also, some additional stated “Affirmative Defenses” which reference: improper acts on the part of the plaintiff; statutes of limitation or repose; violation of NRS Chapter 40 provisions; and the doctrines of waiver, estoppel, accord, satisfaction & latches. A reprint of Parsons Brothers “Affirmative Defenses” contained in the Court filing document are accessible via the following link: PARSONS BROTHERS DEFENSES TO SOA CLAIM FOR DAMAGES

• PARSONS BROTHERS ROCKERIES ANSWER TO SOMERSETT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY CROSS CLAIM (August 23)

A response to the Somersett Development Company Cross-Claim in which Parsons Brothers denies all allegations contained therein and offers up some “Affirmative Defenses” to the allegations.  Since these do not represent a response to the SOA Claim for Damages, but rather against Somersett Development Company, a reprint has not been included.

Other Activities Pertaining to the Rockery Wall Lawsuit:

• A Mediation session between the litigants was held on June 21st. However, per the SOA Attorney, “Mediation proceedings are confidential, so the details of the session cannot be disclosed”.

• The SOA response to the Intervention Affidavit filed by a Somersett Homeowner with the Nevada Real Estate Division (NRED) was submitted on July 30th to the NRED Investigator. This Intervention Affidavit (see previous post by clicking on: ROCKERY WALL LAWSUIT NRED INTERVENTION) alleges that the SOA violated NRS 16.31088 by not obtaining majority homeowner approval for proceeding with the Rockery Wall Lawsuit. No results to date on the NRED investigation into this matter.

• SOA incurred Legal Fees as of June 30th, 2018 related to the Rockery Wall Defect issues are as follows:

1. Somersett Development Company et. al Lawsuit: $138K  ($44K in 2017, $94K in 2018)

2. Dispute with Country Club:  $28K  ($13K in 2017, $15K in 2018, to date, no information regarding the SOA dispute with the Country Club has been made available to Association members).

3. NRED Intervention Affidavit:  $8K

Comments Anyone?

SNPAA Wine Sharing Party

The following posted in support of the Sierra Nevada Performing Arts Association (SNPAA). SNPAA ia non-profit organization established to support the performing arts in Northern Nevada and to provide scholarships to local talented students:

Hello: I am pleased to invite you to our Sierra Nevada Performing Arts Association Underwriting and Wine Sharing Party at the Villa Ciorciari in Arrowcreek on Saturday, August 25. (Details below) This will be a very casual summer party. Tickets are $35 each, which can be purchased on-line at snpaa.org by going to our Events page, or purchased by check by printing the form below and mailing it to our address for receipt by August 17. We are also asking that you bring along a bottle of wine per person for sharing with others that night. We will be auctioning off a Wine Wagon, as well as, implementing our usual 50/50 Raffle. Hope you can join us. Please feel free to pass this invitation on to others. If you have already responded, thank you and just consider this a reminder. Joe Morabito

P. S. If you would like to donate wine with a retail value of $25 or more per bottle for our Wine Wagon Auction, just let me know and we will pick it up.

Joseph Morabito
President
Sierra Nevada Performing Arts Association
+1.949.500.0753 Cell