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

Somersett United

The Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (BOD) open meeting scheduled for Wednesday, June 28th has had an agenda change from that published in the previous post.  That is, the following agenda items have been added:

  •  Ditch Repair & Maintenance (Sealed Bids)
  • Overall Rockery Wall Survey Proposal
  • NCE Army Core Permit Proposal
  • SOME Golf and Country Club Survey Request

 Since the SOA did not publish a “Board Meeting Packet” this month for the June 28th Meeting, details associated with agenda topics were not available for member viewing.  This is unfortunate as these Board Meeting Packets are helpful in assisting the development of homeowner comments on agenda items, which can be presented at the onset of the meeting prior to formal discussions and/or approvals by the Board.


Somersett United

The Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (BOD) open meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 28th at 5:30 PM in the Canyon View Room at The Club at Town Center (TCTC). The BOD meeting agenda may be accessed by clicking the following link:

June 28th BOD Meeting Agenda

A “Board Meeting Packet”, which contains additional information on agenda topics is not yet available on the website.  Packet should be available prior to June 28th Meeting date. Owners may access this packet by logging on to your account and clicking on the “SOA/Committees & Meetings” link.

Somersett United

The AtrowCreek 411 website recently posted an article on development plans for the defunct D’Andrea Golf Course property.  Plans include a nine hole golf course, a practice facility, an events center and single family residential units. To read the article in its entirety, click on the following link:

Redevelopment of D’Andrea Golf Course in Sparks is Moving Forward

A detailed description of the project may also be accessed on the Developer’s (D’Andrea Rising) website at:

Interesting concept, perhaps facets of which the SOA should keep in mind should a similar unfortunate fate befall the Somersett Country Club.

The following submitted by Geoffrey Brooks – Somersett Association Member:

The Sun can Shine on Dove Mountain Ct in Reno – Cheap at the Price!

NV Energy are offering free energy inspections of your house. I had my house inspected – and – perhaps not to my surprise, it was well built and had “extra” insulation in the attic. (About 16″)

In the basement the stub walls were protected with vapor barrier and insulation. Even the heating vents were insulated.

Areas of concern were the windows, especially our west facing upper windows, where the seals have failed – letting in air – and when we have rain, water as well…a more frequent occurrence this year, possibly due to La Niña (cool central Pacific water) not being so cool! Consequently the rainy/snowy weather typical for the NW States (WA and OR) in the winter, came South to Reno and the Sierra.  Le Nino (hot central Pacific water) again in August?

They also will install a free programmable thermostat, to maximize the efficiency of the HVAC systems.

Our house has a 41KWH Solar array, which since NV Energy have been crediting us 8 c/KWH, means that our total gas and electric bill was zero for 9 months in 2016. We still have to pay a $20/month access/ hook-up/maintenance to the electric grid.

Most folks don’t think that this is a good financial investment, especially as government tax credits means that many are unfairly subsidizing the few (NV energy and the NVPUC believe this – shame on them, as this absolute nonsense!)… so lets see how the economics really work.

The cost of the array was $41,000.   (A penny a watt)

Over three years we have generated 42KWH/day winter/summer- rain/shine – clouds/cloudless!

That is $1,765 worth of electricity at 11.5 cents per KWH (the published rate). NV Energy would pay me if I “used none” $1,270. This is a return on my investment of 4.3% – pretty good – assuming market value for my power.  (At my net purchase price this is a 3.1% return)

However, I had a 30% subsidy from the US taxpayer ($12,300), so my array only cost $29,000. Based on generating $1,765 electrical value, my return is 6.1% – even better. Granted it will take me 16.5 years to “re-capture” my investment. Note, electricity in CA sells for 20.0c/KWH in SF.

NV Energy should be facilitating (through leasing) the installation of roof top solar arrays throughout Reno/Sparks/Washoe County.

There are nearly 200K housing units according to the US Census bureau. If 10% of these had 30KWH solar arrays installed on their roofs, that would be 20K units x 30KWH/day = 600MWH.

North Valmy a coal fired plant (which loses money each time it runs) can only generate 522KWH.

The new Tonapah Crescent Dunes Solar thermal – 110MWH cost $1 Billion to build – it does also have a 1+GWH storage capability as well, so unlike PV panels can run 24/7.

20,000 installations would cost $600,000,000, provide many well paying jobs in NNV and generate electricity into the existing grid. No transmission losses (as can be expected from the Tonopah Crescent Dunes operation). With the largest battery factory (powered by solar) on this planet under construction in TRIC…NV Energy should be able to strike a deal for battery energy storage !!

As a point of comparison, building a Natural Gas Plant with Zero Carbon emissions (CCS) would cost $2.095/watt – so a 600MWH  facility costs $1.2 Billion. If one uses clean coal the cost would be $5.227/watt – so a 600MWH facility costs $3.16 Billion.  

NV Energy by investing in building on Washoe Rooftops should be able to get back $200,000,000 from the Federal government – if they start NOW.                                                                                           

The really good news the electricity from roof-top solar is “free”. If one burns natural gas you still have to pay 2.5cents/KWH.

References: US EIA March 2016, Crescent Dunes Power Station, Valmy N Power Plant                                                                                                                                              

Somersett United

Following is a recap of some of the more significant issues discussed and or approved at the May 24th Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting. A slightly revised agenda from that previously posted was used.

FirstService Residential (FSR) Management Introductions

Tracy Carter (not present) was introduced as the new FSR General Manager for the SOA and will be on board shortly. (Note that“General Manager” replaces the previous “Community Manager” title).  Bernadette Rodas was introduced as the new Assistant General Manager.

Old Business

The anticipated Somersett Fire Suppression Report from RCI was not discussed as this report has apparently not yet been finalized. It will also be removed from the Town Hall Meeting Agenda.

Seth Pandovan (SOA Consulting Engineer) provided an update on the SOA common area rock wall and hillside damage projects resulting from the winter storms.  Bottom line, significant repair work will be required, which will be very costly to the SOA.  No total liability estimates were presented.

New Business

Some minor hillside repair work off of Saddle Tree Trail was approved. Total cost ~$5K.

Repair and maintenance work on various Somersett drainage ditches continue.  The BOD approved an additional $14K for this work.

Discussion on the the Canyon9 Hole Pond Dredging Project was tabled until next month to allow time for additional assessments on how to proceed.

The Club at Town Center (TCTC) Canyon View Room Loft Glass Enclosure project was approved.  Total cost ~$10K.

TCTC Conference Room, Craft Room, and Game Room modifications (e.g., conference table, chairs, cabinets, counter tops) were approved.  Total cost ~$17K.

TCTC Spin Bike and Stairmaster purchases were approved.  Total cost ~$21K

Homeowner Comments

A Somersett resident questioned the ability of the Somersett Country Club to offer memberships to TCTC (i.e., for those Country Club members who are not Somersett residents).  It was pointed out that the Somersett CC&R’s (Article VII, Section 8)  have always permitted such memberships, which also include access to the Canyon9 golf course.  The BOD establishes the fee payable to the SOA for such membership, currently $90/mo.  If the Country Club collects any additional fees, it was not known. These members (approximately 20-25 in number) are subject to the same rules and regulations as regular Association members.

The Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (BOD) open meeting is scheduled for this coming Wednesday, May 24th at 5:30 PM in the Canyon View Room at The Club at Town Center (TCTC). The BOD meeting agenda may be accessed by clicking the following link

May 24th BOD Meeting Agenda

A “Board Meeting Packet, which contains additional information on agenda topics is also available.  Owners may access this packet by logging on to your account and clicking on the “SOA/Committees & Meetings” link.  In addition to financial reports and last month’s meeting minutes, the May 24th Packet contains Information related to the following:

  • Facilities Committee report addressing TCTC improvements.
  • A RFP for Somersett Ditch Repair and Maintenance
  • Quotes for TCTC Canyon View Room Loft Enclosure, Conference Room Furniture and Gym Equipment Additions.

As in all open BOD meetings, owners will have the opportunity to ask questions or provide comments on any of the agenda topics (i.e., at the beginning of the meeting) or any other non agenda topic (i.e., at the end of the meeting).

Town Hall Meeting

An open Town Hall Meeting will  be held on Thursday, May 25 at 5:30 PM. Topics to be discussed include the following:

  • TCTC Furniture and Room Usage, Engineering, Pool Slide Project, Fire Suppression Study, Traffic Signage, and Strategic Planning.

Snacks and Refreshments will be served. A cash wine bar will also be available.

For those of you who might not be aware, there have been some recent changes in the Somersett Owners Association (SOA) FirstService Residential (FSR) management staff.  Per the SOA’s website, the FSR management staff now consists of the following individuals (contact extensions at SOA phone number 775-787-4500 are indicated):

  • Bernadette Rodas    Assistant Community Manager x310
  • Ryan Dominguez    Project Manager x332
  • Brittany Feliz    Administrative Assistant x339
  • Kenna Foote    Compliance Director x327
  • Christopher Fesenmaier    Aesthetics Director x333
  • Kayla Franklin    Communications Director (not yet identified on the website)
  • Callie Froese    Club Manager x320
  • Lindesy McElfish    Program Coordinator x317
  • Ryan Newton    Sports Coordinator x321
  • Ron Eckhardt    Maintenance Manager x336

Note that the SOA Community Manager position is currently vacant.  Ryan Dominguez has stepped down from this position to manage the Town Center Properties Association and the Reno Green Contract. It is expected that a new hire will be accomplished shortly.

Ms. Rodas replaces Andrea Bryant who was promoted to Community Manager for a different FSR Community.  Congratulations to Andrea.

Mr. Fesenmaier and Ms. Franklin replace Erick Olsen and Rebecca Smith who left FSR to pursue other opportunities.

All the above can be reached via email at or alternately at

Submitted by Geoffrey Brooks  –  Association Member

In March the TMWA’s Senior Hydrologist Bill Hauck said “What a Winter!”

 “From the scientific perspective, there are many variables we use to determine that a drought cycle has ended”

“Some of those key factors are the amount of precipitation, soil moisture content, water content of the snow pack, current reservoir storage and streamflow runoff projections”.

“This has been the biggest winter in many, many years and may well turnout one of the wettest years ever”!

Lake Tahoe is overflowing causing “near flood conditions” in Reno. We have had over twice as much rain in this water year as normal so far. It is still raining and snowing on the nearby Mountains even in May.

Hills are green, so this means when summer gets here the fire-risk will be great. It is imperative for all to clear away, brush, tumbleweed and weeds from around your property lines.

So is this too much of a good thing…?

Well our normally “dry” stream beds dotted around have been flowing, we have developed a “marsh” at the East Park where the Peavine Stream flows.  Our two golf courses are lushly green, hopefully players are not being bogged down on the softer patches. The Somersett landscaping is in full spring bloom looking very beautiful.

Too much of a good thing…?

Somersett has had the large rockery walls collapse in 4 different residential locations. One of those was in Mountain Crest area. Unfortunately here several of the Toll Brother homes near the golf course had foundation collapse (inadequate building site (pad) construction). Fixing those issues has cost around $100,000 per house.

Why does this happen? Well all that rain washes out the supporting dirt/rock holding up the walls. Once this “backstop” is weakened…

Was this caused in inadequate preparation when Somersett’s infra-structure was put in? Well the “rocky cutting” as one drives in from the East of Somersett has been subject to rock slides, and subsequent modification, lawsuits. The irrigation system was improperly installed and subject to replacement, modernization, lawsuits. So one wonders whether there was proper due diligence during construction of the rockery walls. However, all the planning was for a desert with around 7” of rain per year. Then again, in Los Angeles (around 10” of rain a year), a heavy rainstorm often precipitates hillside “collapse”, mud flows.

How much will it cost Somersett and the SGCC to fix? This is unknown, at the moment, but guesstimates of $1,000,000 + have been made. We will have to bring heavy construction equipment in to replace the big boulders.

Walls have been in the news, in Somersett. Last year eyebrows were raised when the “great wall” was erected, as it was not a rockery wall. Walls have a history of falling down, examples are Hadrian’s Wall, Great Wall of China, Berlin Wall. Most walled places when under siege have fallen. So, like Humpty Dumpty who fell of the wall, it is very difficult (expensive?) to put the pieces back together.

Following is a recap of some of the more significant issues discussed and or approved at the March 22nd Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting. See prior post for agenda items and related information.

The Traffic Advisory Committee presented its Executive Report to the BOD on Somersett traffic observations and recommendations for traffic safety improvements.  The BOD had previously approved funding for installation of radar activated speed signs, will take the other recommendations under advisement and assess funding requirements.

The Communication Committee presented its recommendation to hire D4 Advanced Media for SOA website improvements involving home page modifications and member database integration.  The BOD voted to accept the D4 proposal.  Estimated cost at $150/hr is $3750 to $4650.

Strategic Planning Committee.  The BOD approved moving forward with installation of the proposed glass enclosure on the 2nd floor balcony above The Club at Town Center’s (TCTC) Canyon View Room (estimated cost $15K).  This to reduce noise impact on the 2nd floor management staff offices.  The BOD deferred decision on the installation of acoustic panels in this area pending results from the enclosure installation.  During the homeowner comment period, a homeowner objected to this project on the basis that it did nothing for residents, that the offices already had individual doors and the total project cost could be better used for member services.

Town Center Management.  The SOA has been established as the “Approving Owner” for the Town Center properties (this includes all third party retail and vacant lots in addition to the SOA properties) and therefore has the right to approve building and landscape plans related thereto.  In this regard the BOD approved: 1) establishment of an “Unincorporated Association” with its attendant set of Town Center CC&R’s and Easement Agreement, 2) the hiring by FirstService Residential (the SOA Management Company) of a full time (initially) Manager to oversee the Association and, 3) a resolution that will require all building and landscaping plans for these properties to be submitted to the SOA’s Aesthetic Guidelines Committee (AGC) for approval or rejection.

Foreclosure Lot. There is a small unbuildable parcel of land located at the corner of Willow Ranch Trail and Trail Hollow Court that is currently in foreclosure to be auctioned off by the Washoe County Treasurers Office.  The BOD approved looking into the parcel particulars for possible purchase by the Association.

Shelf Clean Up Proposal.  The BOD approved renewing the current contract for another year at the same price of $18K.

SOA Rock Wall and Common Area Soil Failures. Assessments have been completed, proposals for repair work have been received and are under review.    The BOD acknowledged the urgency of moving forward with repair work and will most likely award contracts prior to the next BOD Meeting.  Also, they will be scheduling an “Engineering Workshop” in the near future to address this “complex” issue. Two Somersett homeowners commented on damage to their properties as a result of these failures and implied they would be looking to the SOA for repair work cost reimbursements.

TCTC and Parkway Landscape Proposals.  Proposals were opened for landscape maintenance of the SOA Town Center properties. Bidders were Reno Green Landscaping and the Somersett Country Club.  Contract was awarded to Reno Green at $2215 per service month. A homeowner suggested requiring the use of electric mowers around TCTC lawn areas to reduce pollution.  Reno Green was also awarded a separate contract, at $4500 per service month, to extend their Somersett Ridge Parkway maintenance to include the area between Andover Court and the Sierra Canyon entrance monument.

Committee Memberships.  The BOD voted to limit homeowner participation on SOA Committees to only one at a time.  A homeowner, currently serving on two committees, objected to this limitation. The BOD also approved an AGC Charter Draft that will accommodate homeowner participation. The AGC will now consist of one homeowner in addition to the current BOD and Professional participants.


The March 22nd BOD Meeting Agenda has been updated slightly from that published in the previous post. The updated agenda may be accessed via the following link:

March 22nd BOD Meeting Agenda – Updated

The “Board Meeting Packet” referenced in the previous post is also now available for viewing on the SOA website. However, not all of the updated Agenda items contain back-up information in the Board Packet.  Those that do include the following:

  •  A 26 page Executive Report prepared by the Ad Hoc Traffic Advisory Committee .  This report addresses observed traffic patterns for three defined areas within Sommersett and provides recommendations for enhanced traffic safety for each.  Recommendations involve installation of 1) a programmable traffic related message board, 2) radar enhanced speed warning signs, 3) a button  activated pedestrian crossing, 4) yield signs and 5) speed bumps.
  • The Communication Committee is recommending hiring D4 Advanced Media (The SOA website designer) to perform some SOA website enhancements.  This includes updating the SOA website homepage to accommodate multiple blog categories in lieu of the current single blog format. Also to develop a program that will integrate the EZSuite Club Management and SOA Website member databases.  That is, to automatically sync them such that both contain the same member information.  The Packet contains the D4 proposal for performing the requested service.
  • The February 22nd BOD Meeting Minutes.  An overview of topics discussed, approvals granted and homeowner comments from the previous BOD Meeting.
  • Association Financials.  The usual multi-page balance sheets, statements of revenues & expenses, cash activity, delinquent assessment history, etc.
  • Aesthetic Guidelines Committee (AGC).  Proposed new charter for the AGC which expands membership to include an Association unit owner in addition to BOD members.  Also a resolution that requires all building and landscaping plans for Town Center properties to be submitted to the AGC for approval.
  • Description of a small parcel of land off of Trail Hollow Court being foreclosed on and scheduled for auction on April 26, 2017.
  • A proposal from Reno Green Landscaping for landscape maintenance of The Club at Town Center (TCTC).  In previous years, landscape maintenance for TCTC was provided for by the Somersett Country Club.

For a complete reading of the March 22nd Board packet, one may log on to your account and click on the “SOA/Committees & Meetings” link.