The Villa Owners Predicament

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The Villa Owners Predicament

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    Rana Goodman

    Rana Goodman wrote Steve Anderson on 6/10/22 10:38 AM:


    I received a call this morning asking if I was aware that, due to an error in the reserves, the Villa owners must cough up to $10,000 or $12,000 within the next 30 days or liens will be placed on their homes by the HOA.

    I wonder if the Board is even aware that many of the owners living in the Villas are elder seniors, many on a fixed income. Personally, I would like to see a vote count of the members of the Board, as to whom made that unreasonable decision. I’d also like to know if the Nevada Real Estate Division would approve of such a thing.

    I guess  it may of slipped minds of some board members that groceries, gas, etc. is at an all-time high and many, many seniors are struggling with the decision of what to buy between, medication, food, mortgage, gas, and now an assessment of this kind.


    I have asked for a confirmation of this from the board president and will post a reply as soon as I receive it.

    Steve Anderson’s reply:

    Hi Rana:

    The Board has not had any vote and no one has received a bill to pay anything at this time.  There is no question that Villa reserves are underfunded, but the purpose of the proposed special assessment is the removal of non-essential turf in the limited common elements of each of the Villa communities.

    This comes from a mandate by the Southern Nevada Water Authority to remove all non-essential grass by I believe 2027. Barry Rubinson and Wendy Linow who are the Board Liaisons to the Villas have been meeting with the Villa representatives regularly for the past year where the possibility of having a special assessment to fund the cost of the turf removal.

    Further there was a paragraph in the last set of materials provided to all homeowners at the Annual Budget Meeting that stated that this project was a possibility.  Last week Villa owners had been specifically invited to a Villa owner Forum meeting to discuss the project, review possible assessments and to engage in a question-and-answer period.

    Management has been in discussion over the past six months with the Southern Nevada Water Authority.  Through these discussions it has been confirmed that the turf located in the limited common elements is non-essential and must be removed.

    Currently we are waiting for clarification on whether turf in the backyards is essential or non-essential. If we could maintain turf in the backyards, it might lower the cost for some of the Villa communities, but it would also present other problems of being able to access backyards for maintenance and would not reduce the amount of maintenance needed.

    If the Board was to go ahead with this project, a number of steps would need to be taken.  These would include the following: (these are not necessarily in the order that they would need to occur).

    1. Have a landscape architect draw up plans for each of the Villa communities.
    2. The Board of Directors would issue a RFP to landscape companies to bid on the work.
    3. The Board of Directors would need to open the sealed bids and then staff would need to recommend who would get the contract.
    4. The Board of Directors would need to pass a resolution assessing each of the Villa community homeowners what their special reserve fund assessment would be.
    5. Selected contractor would begin work after all of the funds have been collected.

    The figures presented at the Villa Forum last week gave owners in each of the Villa communities an idea of what their assessment could be.  It ranged roughly from between $10,000 to $12,000 depending on the Villa community.

    Since funds need to be collected prior to the start of the work, a 60-day period for payment was discussed.  The basis for 60 days was that this would well allow people sufficient time to raise the funds and to pay.

    As a longtime advocate and professional social worker, I am not insensitive to the needs of the poor and those that a near poor living on a fixed income.  However, as a Director of the HOA it would be inappropriate for me or the Association to dig into the financial background of individual residents.

    Friends, family members, financial advisors, bankers, and other individuals can all be important people to seek advice from in how best to finance this assessment and to review individual financial situations.  I would hope that people begin talking to their advice givers now rather than later.

    There are also other questions that relate to this issue. Some caveats:

    1. The money for the rebates is limited on a year-to-year basis.  Thus, we are only allowed two requests for rebates this year.  We already have Hampton Road and the East Lawn in the rebate queue.  An issue for the Villa’s is whether they would constitute 1 or 4 projects.  Also, rebates in future years is not a sure thing.  It is felt that now with the mandate people MUST remove the turf or be fined.  Thus, this will be the carrot on the stick instead of having rebates.  Rebates may be going away.

    The dilemma – Do we move ahead now or do we wait.  Costs from landscapers have gone up 8% since February.  If you have a crystal ball for the future, we could use it.  Will costs stabilize or go down in several years?  Will rebates be available in several years?  If we go ahead now, it will cost Villa owners between $10,000 and $12,000 per house.

    If we wait two or three years, will it go up to $13,000 to $15,000, stay the same or go down?  Last, the project does not lend itself to doing it in bits and pieces and in the long run this will become more expensive over time.

    The above just represents a few of the difficult decisions that the Board faces.  There are many unknowns for sure.  The bottom line is that as of this date, we have worked with the Villa representatives and have held a Villa owner’s meeting to lay out what is being contemplated and why.

    We have looked at loaning money from main association funds or seeking an outside loan to do the work.  In the end this still does not lessen the cost for the individual Villa owner and increases other risks for the main association.  In Board discussions the consensus has been that individual owners are best able to structure how they pay for the assessment based upon their own circumstances.

    At this point all that has been provided is information and both management and the board continue to be open to alternatives and new ideas, We are in the process of moving towards making a decision, but no decision has been made at this time.

    I appreciate your asking me to clarify this issue as it is important to have the full information rather than bits and pieces.  I am certain there are well other issues to clarify, and I will do my best to answer further questions if I can.

    Stephen Anderson, President
    Sun City Board of Directors

    Rana Godman wrote 6/15/22

     Good morning, Steve

     May I have your permission to post your response to the villa grass situation?



    Hi Rana:

    Yes, please go ahead and post my response to you.  Management continues to get more information and has continued to talk with SNWA.

    The Board will meet again with the Villa representatives in a workshop next week.  While we might get a variance today to leave the backyard turf, the SNWA says that could go away if the water crisis gets worse in coming years.  Thus, this would mean coming back in future years and having to do another special reserve assessment.

    If only the heavens would open, and we would have rain for 40 days and 40 nights!  I am sure that would cause other calamities and problems!  This decision will not be easy as there are so many unknowns.

    We do continue to discuss, gain more information, and will work to make the best possible decision.  In doing so I fully understand the impact of any decision we make on the Villa owners.


    Anthem Today’s obvious question is, if the Southern Nevada Water District is paying entities that remove grass and the state is mandating it, why are the Villa owners (who pay more than single home owners to the HOA in order to include landscape care), having to front the money for the landscape repair and grass removal?

    Stephen Anderson

    Rebates will only cover a portion of the costs for the removal of the turf.  Further the rebates are paid after the work is completed and may not be paid for 6 to 10 months.   The contractor who does the work expects payment upon completion of the work.  The costs beyond turf removal will also include the removal of trees (many of which are already diseased and dying), the installation of new plants, rock, and trees.  The money for the project needs to be in hand prior to the beginning of the work.

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