Note from management: The following letter is in reaction to the Board’s decision at its Dec. 12, 2019, meeting to make an offer to sell a small piece of land which is currently common area in the northeast corner of Somersett to the Vantana Ridge developer. The Board approved an offer of $300,000 plus all expenses involved in obtaining homeowner approval for the purchase. Here is a link to an appraisal report on the parcel.

By Marilee Watts

After attending the December 12 SOA Board meeting, I am beginning to question the Board’s decision to offer the Ventana Ridge developer only 1/3 of the $900,000 appraisal value of the land which is needed for secondary access to the development proposed. I believe the board’s opinion that it is raw dirt which is of no value to Somersett, is misguided. Since I am in disagreement and due to little public discussion at the meeting, I am requesting a written response explaining the basis of the decision to ask for only $300,000. The issue is NOT what the value to Somersett is, but the VALUE to the developer (as stated in the appraisal, page 4.)

This development has been proposed and under various reviews beginning in 2007 and most recently rejected by Reno City Planning Department in August 2018. Its original site preparation plan would have been similar to The Cliffs, with cut, fill and rockery walls which SOA has prior and ongoing experience with. Perhaps we can deter further destruction of Peavine and open space by commanding a higher price for what the Developer NEEDS. As there are other non-SOA acreages above The Cliffs, for example, which could also be used for further development, there may be similar requests of SOA for easement access, etc. Once this acreage is sold to the developer, what is to prevent them from changing their plans and creating further issues for the SOA? Any potential for precedent in these negotiations with Ventana Ridge needs to be carefully considered.

I acknowledge that any sale of SOA assets requires a homeowner vote, so it is required that the Board provide all information relevant to the issue which is up for vote to the homeowners. This includes opposing opinions. Since management has already estimated the cost of holding this vote at $25,000, let us make sure the homeowners are given ALL the information needed at the outset, to perhaps minimize additional expenses to the SOA. The homeowners should have ALL information and awareness of this Appraisal document so we can make an informed decision.

Thank you for posting this and for the Communication improvements you (Communications Coordinator Robin Bolson) and FirstService Residential have facilitated with SOA homeowners.

3 thoughts on “Homeowner’s Forum: Concerns about Ventana Ridge easement offer”

  1. Thank you, Marilee, for bringing this issue to the attention of the community. I am hoping that you get a good response from the BOD and Management, and that many homeowners get interested and involved in this topic.

  2. I also had some questions on this sale so I’m glad Mariliee brought it up.

    Is this the same request the board denied a few years ago, for a private home to have access to exit their property through Somersett? At the time it sounded like one home, but it could have just as easily been a whole development.

    I also would love more information on what this access means to traffic through Somersett and also why we would sell the property for such a low amount.


  3. David – To address your questions (as I see it!)

    1. It is not the same request you referenced.
    2. The proposed access will not affect traffic through Somersett.
    3. The $300K is not such a low amount in the eyes of the SOA BOD, although many believe it should be much higher (e.g. $500K)
    4. On a stand alone basis, the Somersett property in question (~0.28 Acres) has limited value to Somersett (appraised at $13,300).
    5. The real value is to the Ventana Ridge developer who needs it for an access road (again not through Somersett) to the development.
    6. Read the link to the Appraisal Report, it pretty much explains everything.

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