Wednesday, October 23, 2019

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Oakmont News, Opinion & More

OVA to Bid for OGC?

Yesterday OVA President Steve Spanier made the announcement that he had resigned his Golf membership in order to be able to help guide the association through this 11th hour and most critical phase in its relationship with the Oakmont Golf Club. 

Citing the OGC’s intent to sell the golf operation, Spanier wrote the following in his last president’s message: 

“I consider this to be the most urgent issue Oakmont has faced in decades. From now on, I will be “all in” working to protect resident interests and will keep you informed as we go.”

No proposals were made, but a meeting scheduled for this coming Tuesday promises to be devoted to a discussion of the fraught issue. Pondering the outcome we look at our situation. 

A river of green grass meanders through our village. Although only about 500 of our 3200 homes experience its immediate nearness, all residents benefit from the openness and close to nature feeling that the 220 acres of greenery convey to the adjoining neighborhoods. 

From a point of uncertainty we look at the future of our golf courses. Article after article describe the trials and tribulations that have befallen golf communities from one end of the country to the other. The ending is not always a happy one.

Frequently the courses fall into disrepair and become a blight on the landscape. Repurposing the land is fraught with zoning  difficulties and lawsuits by homeowners. Some associations manage to transition from turf grass to native growth; a lucky few communities continue by establishing parks.

What will Oakmont look like in a few years? Will a national chain of golf club investors have bought the Oakmont Golf Club and successfully operate at least one if not both courses? Or will development interest have won the day? Can OVA’s belated entry into the discussion save the OGC from the described scenarios? 

At this very moment in time, Oakmont seems to be caught at an inflection point in its decades old history, wondering about the future and concerned over its fate

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7 Comments

  1. Lisa Symonds on March 2, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    I realize Yvonne is one of the many homeowners borderimg the golf courses and wishes to preserve her river of green grass by spreading the costs to all Oakmont residents. Those wanting to keep the golf courses are asking all OVA residents to subsidize their personal benefits instead of coming forward with open deep wallets of their own. This is evident by the lack of participation in the recent OGC Valley Resident Program which I myself purchased to help OGC.

    I am a golfer and would love to see the courses remain however only if profitable as a private enterprise. I do not want the role of OVA to change and take on the enormous risks and costs associated with the OGC golf courses. I believe our home values will continue to hold value regardless of what happens to the 230 acres because of our location and the beauty of the valley, mountains and vineyards nearby and close proximity to Santa Rosa amenities and wider Bay Area as well as demand by retiring baby boomers.

    Playing golf is a rich person’s sport and players must step up to pay the rising costs of labor, water, environmental restrictions etc. I estimate membership fees in the $15,000 to $30,000 initiation costs with $1000 monthly fees would be realistic and similar to many surviving courses. I do not want the OVA residents from all income streams to be burdened with the millions of dollars in debt and future maintenance costs required should OVA become embroiled in the OGC and become involved in their survival. We can not allow special interests to ruin our home values by encumbering us with this high risk project and potential significant debt. Home buyers will go elsewhere if our monthly OVA recreation fees become higher than is found elsewhere or in other neighborhoods.

    • Elaine on March 2, 2019 at 6:17 pm

      Thank you, Lisa. The OVA BOD needs to understand that our home values are much more likely to be negatively impacted by the certain increase in our dues should the OVA take on any responsibility for the golf courses.

  2. Gerry on March 3, 2019 at 8:52 am

    Your truthfulness and objectivity are greatly needed and greatly appreciated.

    I am continuously appalled by what some will say and do in order to coerce others into assuming their responsibilities, paying their bills, and financing their ‘views’ and leisure activities.

    It certainly seems that for some the lure/chance of a forever-capture of other people’s
    money (OPM) is an exciting and enjoyable M.O. The obvious damaging impact of the demanded OGC bailout on the coerced payors — the entire Oakmont Village community — certainly doesn’t appear to be even a minor consideration in some people’s self-serving agenda(s).

  3. Gerry on March 3, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    I omitted indication that my previous comment here was directed to Lisa’s and Elaine’s astute real-world observations.

    • jim Golway on March 3, 2019 at 5:24 pm

      Glad you clarified that Gerry.

  4. Keith on March 3, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    As a new resident here, it is disquieting to read of such difficult issues facing us. I no sooner moved in than the the OVA and my Homeowner’s Association dues went up. Now this issue has the possibility of burying my wife and I under burdensome and unexpected increases to our dues. Sort of regretting buying out here with such potentially damaging economic issues facing us. I think that if we’d been aware of this issue and battle, we would certainly have factored that in heavily in our decision to move here, and possibly chosen another community. When you’re house hunting it’s hard to gather all the relevant facts for decision-making. This is definitely a major issue that we wish we had known about when deciding whether to live here or not. The BOD should keep this in mind in future negotiations. This really does have the power to affect decisions of people to live here or not.

  5. Phillip Herzog on March 9, 2019 at 11:23 am

    Keith,

    And all who feel the same as Keith, please send your thoughts to the Board of Directors. They need to know just how much this issue impacts buyers decisions when considering a home here in Oakmont.

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