HOA, condo Golf course community updates (February 2018)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communties


Although the industry likes to tout that HOAs are democratic bastions of self-governance, they ignore realities such as this situation: members of this California community never had the opportunity to review a proposal to save their golf course. The board reviewed the “contract” in a closed meeting, and turned down the offer. The board, in its defense, says that the offer would have required the HOA to collect $50 per month on behalf of the golf course owner, an illegal activity for a nonprofit association. The golf course is now closed, and its future is uncertain. 


Homeowners slam association for missing golf course opportunity (CA)

By Jason Cowan Jason@Calaverasenterprise.com Feb 9, 2018

A 2015 proposal by a golf company to homeowners in Forest Meadows could have saved the golf course from closure late last year, but the association’s board of directors never circulated terms among homeowners to gauge interest, some residents say.

A plan suggested by Sierra Golf Management, which owns the Forest Meadows Golf Course, would have exchanged free golf privileges or $50 vouchers for food or beverages to nonparticipants, among other amenities to homeowners that paid $50 monthly dues to mitigate a negative cash flow, according to a 2015 letter from Jeff Christiansen, president of Sierra Golf Management, to Eric Davis, then-president of the Forest Meadows Homeowners Association.

The terms, where Sierra Golf Management would remain in a managerial role, were never circulated to the homeowners, said Mike Miller, homeowner and president of the Forest Meadows Men’s Club at the golf course. The board at the time deemed the proposal a contract offer and held discussions on the matter in closed session, where board members ultimately declined, Miller added.

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Lakewood was designed as a 55+ golf community, but now the golf course has new owners that want to redevelop the land. The problem is, according to Lakewood residents, many paid a premium for a golf course view, and now there are plans to build a high density development of more than 500 homes, many with basement apartments. There’s an undercurrent of discrimination against lower income residents of certain ethnic backgrounds — the likely owners and residents of the planned residential development. And, of course, there are environmental concerns to be considered. Some homeowners are suing the Township, the planning committee, and the owner of the golf course, in an attempt to halt development plans. Read the comment thread on this one. 

More scrutiny in Lakewood development | Di Ionno

Updated Jan 29; Posted Jan 28

By Mark Di Ionno mdiionno@starledger.com,
Columnist, The Star-Ledger
In Lakewood, the argument over development can be boiled down to a few words.

Enough is enough, is the position of residents who want to halt what they think is unabated development.

Enough is never enough, is the position of developers and, according to a recent lawsuit, they’re getting all kinds of help from the township government.

The lawsuit, filed earlier this month in Ocean County Superior Court by the Fairways at Lake Ridge Homeowners Association, demands that several town development ordinances — including the town’s master plan adopted in December — be invalidated.

The new ordinances and master plan will clear the way for construction of 517 townhouses with 517 basement apartments, for a total of 1,034 residential units on what is today the Eagle Ridge golf course.

The development plan includes almost 70,000 square feet of retail space encompassing two buildings, five community centers and a clubhouse.

Named in the lawsuit are the Lakewood Township Committee, the Lakewood Planning Committee and GDMS Holdings LLC, the golf course developer.

The suit maintains the Eagle Ridge Golf Course was switched to a high-density development zone in an “11th-hour” move as the 2017 master plan made its way through the governing bodies.

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(Pixabay.com free image)


Another case of some members in the HOA attempting to ‘rescue’ the community by taking on millions of dollars in debt. 

Meadows rescues community with country club mortgage

The golf course will be saved after the intervention of the Meadows Community Association

SARASOTA — Last fall’s fears of bulldozers ripping up a golf course in the sprawling Meadows community to pave the way for residential development have been laid to rest at this time.

The Meadows Country Club has been drowning in debt that now totals $6 million, thus facing potential bankruptcy and foreclosure. But the Meadows Community Association, the governing body of the Meadows, is throwing the club a life preserver in the form of a $3 million purchase of the club’s bank debt — still to be finalized, possibly this week.

This win-win situation saves the country club and provides the association a higher return on investment from deposits into the reserve fund — from the current 1 percent on certificates of deposit and such to 5 percent on the mortgage loan to the Meadows Country Club.

“The Meadows Country Club and the Meadows Community Association working together is in the long-term best interest of the club and the community,” Andrew Kingsley, the club’s general manager, told the Herald-Tribune on Monday.

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About The Meadows Community Association


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A group of residents is working with the County to create a recreation district (a special tax district) to keep the golf course and green spaces from being sold for development. Many agree with the plan, but some disagree with the purchase price of the golf course, and resent ongoing costs of $99 per month for the next 30 years, especially because they don’t personally play golf. 

University Park at odds over country club’s fate

By Chris Wille
Real Estate Editor
Posted Feb 11, 2018 at 10:43 AM
Updated at 3:08 PM

Preserved or developed, land is highly valued

Correction: Homeowners would pay an average of $99 a month for a proposed recreation district bond. An earlier version of this story incorrectly said the cost was $99 a year.

The dense old growth forest that hangs over the twisting entrance to University Park and the long drive to the front gate sets the stage for the entire community. That imposing stretch of nature sells a lot of homes, as does the entire lush and very green neighborhood, the pride and joy of the residents.

University Park’s 1,208 acres hold 53 lakes and ponds, a golf course with 27 holes, other green space and only 1,202 homes, about one per acre.

Nancy Phillips once lived in University Park. “Aesthetically, it’s so beautiful and it’s a private community,” she said. A Realtor with Michael Saunders & Co., she sold 15 UP homes last year and 12 the year before. Some homes she’s sold two to three times.

The long winding road up to the gated entrance “eases tensions” and “absolutely” helps close sales, Phillips said.

“Green space in the park is very, very important.”

A private partnership owns 366 acres, land that primarily holds University Park Country Club, but includes some 100 acres of ponds, roads, infrastructure and small parcels. The homeowners do not control that land, and the risk of residential development hangs over the community should the homeowners fail to acquire the acreage. The nationally ranked golf course meanders through homes on both sides of the fairways, and the green space that represents could be forever lost.


Residents want to gain control of the land to preserve the green space and protect their home values and their community’s beauty. That is the undisputed and paramount goal. Yet a controversy has split residents.

A committee of property owners called the University Park Planning Group worked out what they consider the best viable plan for purchasing the land, the creation of a recreation district. A community survey conducted by the UPPG indicated that a vast majority of residents — 85 percent — support the plan to establish the district, which would issue bonds for the land purchase.

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