Homeowners lament loss of their favorite hobbies – and property values
By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Quite often I hear from homeowners who tell me that, while they are frustrated with their homeowners’ association, they are reluctant to move because they enjoy their community amenities.
On the other hand, I also hear from HOA residents who tell me that they made their purchase decision based upon enticing recreational amenities, only to rarely enjoy them.
Those conflicting viewpoints have led to a very common problem in HOAs across the nation. Few homeowners and residents regularly use community amenities. Therefore, the majority of association members who don’t have the time or desire to enjoy common amenities, often object to subsidizing the cost of maintaining those facilities for a minority of homeowners.
Sooner or later the HOA or the owner of recreation facilities decides it’s time to stop the bleeding, by either disposing of the amenity or repurposing the land for other uses.
Homeowners who are most disappointed by these decisions just so happen to be the ones who purchased their homes based upon the assumption that the perks of the neighborhood would remain operational – and in good condition – for the remainder of their lifetimes.
To illustrate, I have cited three examples.
Golf Course communities
As covered extensively on IAC, the golf course community is becoming an endangered species. For example, in Lakewood, NJ, a land developer just received approval to build 1,000 homes on the site of a public 27-hole golf course, despite widespread opposition from the HOA and other neighboring communities.
Barely 20 years ago, a developer sold brand new homes at Fairways at Lake Ridge, reaping premium prices for lots with sweeping golf course views.
Now it looks like the primary hook for wooing homebuyers – the Eagle Ridge Golf Course – will become the site of yet another association-governed common interest community.
More houses, more traffic, more hassle.
Lakewood’s Eagle Ridge Golf Club: Letters, money pile up against development
Stacey Barchenger, @sbarchenger Published 2:48 p.m. ET Nov. 30, 2017
Asbury Park Press
LAKEWOOD – Just outside of Eve and John McNicholas’ living room window is a rolling green fairway and controversy.
It’s the 27-hole public Eagle Ridge Golf Club, an oasis of open space that has become ground zero in the battle over the township’s rapid growth. The township’s future.
“We loved it until about a year ago,” Eve McNicholas said. “Until all this nonsense started.”
That’s when it was publicly revealed the course had been sold. Months later, developer GDMS Holdings’ proposed a plan for the parcel including 1,800 housing units.
Read more (video):
Equestrian centers for horse owners
In a northern California ranch community, neighbors are at war over how assessment dollars are being spent. One board member and other homeowners say that most of their money is being used to pay for horse stables that are used by just a handful of association members.
The conflict has resulted in a lawsuit, as well as an investigation into a former ranch employee’s claim of sexual harassment. Both matters have been settled, but homeowners remain deeply suspicious that the current HOA board is mismanaging their funds.
According to reports, many owners are now calling for elimination of the horse stables maintained by Crystal Falls Ranch Association.
That’s not good news for homeowners who assumed that a ranch would forever accommodate their equine friends.
Political drama unfolds over Crystal Falls HOA’s finances, legal troubles
Published Nov. 30, 2017 at 09:53PM
Alex MacLean, The Union Democrat
Residents of the members-only Crystal Falls Ranch roughly 10 miles east of downtown Sonora are in the midst of a raging dispute over the homeowners association’s finances.
A small group of homeowners and one member of the Crystal Falls Association’s Board of Directors say they believe the $260,100 in annual membership dues is being mismanaged and allegations of misconduct that resulted in a recently settled lawsuit against the HOA are being swept under the rug.
Meanwhile, those being accused say all of the allegations tearing at the seams of the community are untrue and that their critics are purposely spreading falsehoods on social media in an attempt to influence the board elections that are underway.
Tennis vs. Pickleball
Just like golf, tennis is becoming less popular among amatuer athletes and active adults. In its place, pickleball has become the new team sport of choice, especially for older adults. Once underused and run-down tennis courts are being refurbished and designed for pickeball clubs and tournaments instead, much to the dismay of owners who still happen to prefer tennis.
But in common interest developments, it’s a fact of life that the majority rules, with little regard for the wishes of the minority.
To add insult to injury, pickleball is quite a bit more noisy than tennis.
Condo owners in one Ahwatukee, Arizona active adult community are fed up with the clackety-clack sounds of paddles hitting wiffle balls, not to mention the enthusiastically loud voices of competitive pickelball teams.
Residents with homes located directly adjacent to pickleball courts are quite unhappy, especially now that players have convinced the HOA to add lights to the courts, allowing game play for up to 14 hours per day.
Pickleball lights plan puts two HOAs at loggerheads
By Paul Maryniak, AFN Executive Editor Nov 29, 2017
Ahwatukee Foothills News
Pickleball has put two Ahwatukee homeowners associations on a collision course over a plan for lighted courts.
Some residents of the 56-unit RD1 HOA are upset that the Ahwatukee Recreation Center – which itself is a homeowners association – plans to install lights on its four pickleball courts.
The courts are between the center and about a dozen homes that look onto a grassy open knoll and a small lake.
It’s bad enough, said RD1 homeowner René Couché and his neighbors, that they have to put up during the daylight hours with the sound of whiffle balls getting whacked by paddles.
“Now we’re going to lose the few hours of peace we have remaining,” he said.
Savvy homebuyers need to be aware that no community amenity is absolutely guaranteed to last forever. Therefore, a buyer should seriously consider whether paying a premium sales price is worth it.