“This is seen in all the issues that have arisen over the past 5 years, and can be unpacked by looking directly at the fears people in Oakmont are driven by; home values, conflict with neighbors, losing a recreational activity, fire etc.”
The above comments from a former Oakmont resident, give pause and lead to consider his words further.
Are we members of this community truly driven by fear and anxiety? Most particularly was the lopsided result of the Oakmont Golf issue the product of fear, fear of the unknown?
The YES voters cast their dominant ballots after a yearlong debate over the fate of some 250 acres, threaded throughout the Oakmont village. Their primary argument was the fear of housing development on golf fairways. The NO residents tried their very best to dispel this worry by citing city planners, zoning regulations and open space development restrictions.
“But looking at the current malaise, we see more and profound forces at work. Oakmont faces a generational and demographic change among its population.”
We now know that the former argument won the day by a wide margin, yet leaving behind a third of unhappy fellow neighbors.
Has this event split the community, or was the community disunited before? Fresh off the controversy over pickleball, the OGC affair drives a further wedge into our retirement environment.
On the horizon looms a no less fraught and weighted project, namely the renovation of our central plaza, specifically the questions surrounding a new Berger Center.
Is it fear of the new and the untried, or are other elements at work? Money plays a big part with opponents of the proposed expansionist ideals by the board of directors and their supporters.
The dues increasing by some 31 percent with the prospect of more to follow, poses a challenge to moderate incomes among our members. A committee to research ways and raise funds to help neighbors meet the new expenses has been formed.
But looking at the current malaise, we see more and profound forces at work. Oakmont faces a generational and demographic change among its population.
After more than half a century of existence as a middle-class haven, the location with its beautiful surroundings in the wine country has become a magnet for a more affluent clientele.
They buy the mid-century homes and set about to remodel them post haste. They bring the same certitude of conviction to the rehabilitation of our public facilities. Simple maintenance gives way to expansive renovations or new construction.
“Oakmont finds itself at the confluence of two trends; a populace who have lived here for many years and feels entitled to a quiet pace of life, known as retirement, and the new arrivals, a decade or more younger, filled with ideas and idealist conception for their new habitat.”
The old is becoming exchanged for the new, a juxtaposition that can be disquieting and upsetting to a society whose median age is reportedly 76.
It is facile to say that change is the only constant if you are of advanced age. A time when excitement does not rule your life any longer and you seek peace and harmony in your environment.
Oakmont finds itself at the confluence of two trends; a populace who have lived here for many years and feels entitled to a quiet pace of life, known as retirement, and the new arrivals, a decade or more younger, filled with ideas and idealist conception for their new habitat.
How can the seemingly divergent needs be brought to a common and acceptable denominator? How can a widening rift among generations and demographics be healed?
Standoffs lead to strife and unhappiness, but understanding the deeper currents flowing through our community, will lead to compromise, writ large.
The “old elderly” among us need to lead the way, accepting, if not embracing the march of time and the sense of a certain displacement, while the young and semi-retired residents would do well, recognizing the conflict existing and, therefore, tempering their enthusiasm for a recreated future.
Understanding of the inherent anxieties leads to compromise and acceptance of each other’s needs and wishes.