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

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 www.mysomersett.com 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 mysomersett.com 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 mysomersett.com 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 firstname.lastname@fsresidential.com or alternately at firstinitiallastname@mysomersett.com.

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 www.mysommersett.com account and click on the “SOA/Committees & Meetings” link. 

Somersett United

As previously reported, the Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (BOD) are now holding their open meetings on a monthly basis. The March meeting is scheduled for this coming Wednesday, March 22nd at 5:30 PM in the Canyon View Room at The Club at Town Center. For those interested in attending, the meeting agenda may be accessed via the following link:

March 22nd BOD Meeting Agenda

 In addition to the BOD Meeting Agenda, a “Board Meeting Packet” is now being made available to SOA members, which contain more detailed information on agenda topics. However, at the time of this posting the March 22nd Packet had not yet been published, therefore, SU has no additional information to share in this regard.

Owners may access these Board Meeting Packets by logging on to your www.mysommersett.com account and clicking on the “SOA/Committees & Meetings” link

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).

 

Somersett United

Somersett United

It is this website’s practice not to respond to comments submitted by readers, as all comments are considered sacrosanct regardless of opinions, pro or con, on posted articles. However, Ms. Slattery’s comment on our “February BOD Meeting” post starts out by suggesting this website should be disbanded for sending out false information.

SU rejects the premise that there is false information contained in the “February BOD Meeting” article.  In this post, Items 1 thru 6 simply capture what transpired with regard to BOD Meeting Agenda items.  The only false information Ms. Slattery offered up on these items was that the TCTC pool was NOT open from 6AM to 4PM as reported.  An obvious oversight by Ms. Slattery in that the post clearly stated the “Lap Pool” was open these hours, which is indeed the case.

It appears that Ms. Slattery is most concerned about the negativity directed toward the SOA under Item 7 “Homeowner Comments” regarding the SOA’s non-compliance letter sent to numerous Sierra Canyon owners. The letter speaks for itself with the opening statement “The Somersett Board of Directors is notifying you of non-compliance issues regarding your front yard landscaping. As installed, the front yard landscaping on your home violates the PUD, CC&R’s, and Aesthetic Guidelines of the Community by not meeting the minimum planting requirements as stated on the approved typical landscape plans” (Note: Total letter content is contained in previous SU post entitled “First the Fence now the Plant Police”). Receipt of this letter apparently upset many Sierra Canyon owners as observed by their presence and voiced comments at the February Board meeting.  The SU post only reported on and did not falsely characterize these homeowner comments.  If so desired, an audio CD of the February Board Meeting is available to any homeowner requesting it, although not always the best quality in capturing audience comments.

In her comment, Ms. Slattery summarized events leading up to issuance of the non-compliance letters.  This chronology is indeed informative and should be read by the affected Sierra Canyon owners.  Perhaps if this background had been more deeply communicated to all, some of the negativity toward the SOA could have been alleviated.

February BOD Meeting

Somersett United

Somersett United

Some of the more significant issues discussed and or approved at the February 22nd Board of Directors Meeting were as follows:

 

 

  1. The Board approved a Finance Committee recommendation to award Reno Green the Tree Mapping and Irrigation Mapping contracts.  The Tree Mapping contract price was $1/Tree with an estimated 7500 trees to be documented.  The Irrigation Mapping price was unspecified but not to exceed $9000. Selection of Reno Green from the three bidders was obvious, given familiarity with the SOA landscaping and the fact they were the low bidder for both.  Contract awards are subject to acceptance of some conditions (e.g., SOA ownership of maps and associated databases) and review by SOA legal counsel.
  2.  The Board approved the West Park Committee recommendation on the re-allocation of land usage for the proposed West Park (for details see the previous SU “West Park Update” post dated March 2, 2017).
  3. The Board approved the issuance of four free pool use guest passes per year per household, not valid on holidays. It was also announced the lap pool was now open year-round from 6AM to 4PM.
  4. The Board approved holding their BOD open meetings on a monthly rather that bi-monthly basis.  This to begin immediately.
  5. The Community Manager briefly discussed winter storm damage issues within Somersett.  Specific problem areas mentioned were in Woodcrest (soil erosion and hillside slippage), the SGCC’s 14th hole (upper and lower rock wall failures) and drainage problems from SOA boundary walls into homeowner lots.  Seth Padovan (AGC Committee Consulting Engineer) has been working on these issues for the SOA and obtaining proposals from Geotechnical Engineers for problem investigation and repair solutions. These are expected shortly. However, repair work at this time is improbable due to the extremely wet soil conditions.
  6.  The originally planned Homeowner Town Hall Meeting on The Club at Town Center expansion was postponed to allow additional time to address cost related issues.  Instead the Board will be holding a workshop with the Finance and Strategic Planning & Facilities Committees on March 7th to discuss proposals, costs and preferred directions.
  7. Under the Homeowner Comments agenda, several Sierra Canyon owners spoke out against the generic letter sent to many owners addressing non-compliance with front yard planting requirements (see previous SU post “First the Fence, now the Plant Police”).  Comments centered on the following:
  • The Non-Compliance letter was generic with no specificity as to where the recipients were not compliant with planting requirements.
  • Owners purchased their home from the Developer (Pulte) in good faith and were unaware that front yard landscaping was non-compliant.
  • Many bought years ago and do not understand why this long after closing they are now receiving a non-compliance letter. Very unprofessional to hold owners responsible for a Developer oversight.
  • The SOA should have been overseeing the Developer to insure planting requirements were being met. To now expect owners to communicate and resolve their issues with Pulte is unreasonable. The SOA should be pressuring the Developer to correct non-compliances rather than placing the burden on the homeowners
  • The Non-Compliance letter was prepared and issued by the SOA without coordination with the Sierra Canyon Association. This lack of communication furthers the divide between the two associations.
  • Letter showed a lack of common sense and good judgement and should be rescinded.
  • A Sierra Canyon homeowner commented on the lack of communication between the Somersett and Sierra Canyon Boards. Proposed that routine meetings between Board members (two from each Board) be held on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.

West Park Update

Somersett United

Somersett United

The West Park Committee has been working with Toll Brothers and the City of Reno on obtaining an additional acre of land for the proposed West Park, which will most likely be granted.  This would increase park size from 3.68 to 4.68 acres (160,300 to 203,860 sq. ft.) and provide an additional 41,000 sq. ft.  of useable land.  In this regard the Committee is recommending the reallocation of West Park land usage as follows (values in sq. ft.):

 

                                                        Original                 Recommended                                      

Useable Space                  `          80,000                          121,000

Community Garden                      6,500                               8,125                                                 

Dog Park                                        43,000                            57,375

Community Use (1)                       7,500                             32,500

Balance (2)                                    23,000                            23,000

(1)   Includes Child Play and Lawn Areas

(2)   Unspecified Required Improvements

Note that the largest allocation increase will be for general Community Use, primarily in level lawn areas.  The Committee felt this was appropriate given the limited Community Use lawn area in the existing East Park.

Somersett United

Somersett United

The following quote extracted from a Somersett Owners Association memo to some Sierra Canyon Homeowners citing front yard landscape compliance violations.  Apparently, the developer (Pulte) did not always follow the required guidelines, and that compliance is now the responsibility of the Homeowner.  Unless, of course, the Homeowner can convince Pulte to make the appropriate corrections under a warranty provision.  One can certainly empathize with the affected Homeowners in that most probably did not know what the requirements were before purchasing their property, no doubt some many years ago, and hence, were surprised to receive the letter.

“Dear Homeowner,

The Somersett Board of Directors is notifying you of non-compliance issues regarding your front yard landscaping. As installed, the front yard landscaping on your home violates the PUD, CC&R’s, and Aesthetic Guidelines of the Community by not meeting the minimum planting requirements as stated on the approved typical landscape plans.

The SOA has previously reached out to Pulte Homes regarding landscape requirements for the front yard landscaping in Sierra Canyon. Since the last communication was sent to Pulte, there has been no further correspondence or action taken by Pulte to correct the outstanding compliance issues. Contacting Pulte Homes soon so that any non-compliance issues may be resolved within your warranty period is advised.

The following are the planting requirements for front yard landscaping …….:

 Standard lots with turf

  • 1 front yard tree (Deciduous trees planted at 2” caliper, evergreens planted at 6’ tall)
  • 6 deciduous shrubs (3 gallon)
  • 10 evergreen shrubs (3 gallon)
  • 5 perennial shrubs (1 gallon)

Corner lots with turf

  • 1 front yard tree (Deciduous trees planted at 2” caliper, evergreens planted at 6’ tall)
  • 10 deciduous shrubs (3 gallon)
  • 15 evergreen shrubs (3 gallon)
  • 8 perennial shrubs (1 gallon)

Standard lots with xeriscaping

  • 1 front yard tree (Deciduous trees planted at 2” caliper, evergreens planted at 6’ tall)
  • 10 deciduous shrubs (3 gallon)
  • 12 evergreen shrubs (3 gallon)
  • 5 perennial shrubs (1 gallon)

Corner lots with xeriscaping

  • 1 front yard tree (Deciduous trees planted at 2” caliper, evergreens planted at 6’ tall)
  • 12 deciduous shrubs (3 gallon)
  • 18 evergreen shrubs (3 gallon)
  • 8 perennial shrubs (1 gallon)

*Please note that the Sierra Canyon guidelines stipulate that 25% of shrubs must be Evergreen.”

Any questions or concerns, feel free to contact the SOA Compliance Director, Kenna Foote at 775 747-4500 x327 or kfotte@mysomersett.com