REMINDER: Club Area Workshop & Brainstorm Saturday 12-2

UPDATED:  Sincere thanks to everyone who came to today’s workshop & brainstorm session. There was a large and lively crowd.  For those interested in getting in touch with the Village Working Group, send an email to villagewg@cox.net.   Again, thank you for attending, expressing your opinions and giving input on this very important subject. 

 

Sure, it’s the crazy-busy holiday season but we hope you’ll find time to drop in to the Village Working Group’s Workshop and Brainstorm session from 12-2 this Saturday to give input on proposed tract maps and amenities in the event Coto Valley Club gets sold to a developer who wants to put in houses.  Silver-Bronze is expected to make its decision on the sale of the club this month.

The workshop will be open-house style for Village residents with participants dropping by any time during the 2 hour session. Information overviews will be given at 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. Bring your friends from the Village.  The more the merrier!

Workshop & Brainstorm Session
Saturday, December 6
12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Canyon Room, Coto Valley Club

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5 thoughts on “REMINDER: Club Area Workshop & Brainstorm Saturday 12-2”

  1. Having attended the village working groups meeting Saturday, I found out the following which might be helpful. As a sideline, because the pending decisions will have significant impact on all of our lives and there are dramatically diverse opinions as to what is the best decision I hope despite that we can respect one another through the process and civility will prevail. To that end, if we’re not sure of something – such as motives – let’s simply ask as opposed without hinting at corrupt ones unless we have facts to support our claims. Also, I’d like to encourage transparency in all matters and a willingness to address opposing opinions and correct erroneous information. Without these procedural safe guards I doubt we will be able to attain a level of mutual trust that would be necessary to establish an alliance which can constrain the developers from running roughshod over our best interest. Along those lines, it would be helpful to clear the air by the working group addressing the issues raised by an email which has been circulated, specifically:

    1) The matter that SBC is using “$1,260,000.00 to “buy off Village Residents” (about $3K per household) to vote their way to change the deed restrictions on the property” I think should have been divulged. I learned that the village working group was aware of the fact but am not aware that they disclosed that on a blog, meeting or elsewhere. That they did not leaves the group susceptible to suggestions of hidden motives, although I don’t believe they have any. I found the group to have invested much time and effort doing a thorough analysis of the village resident’s opinions and what they perceived to be the best solution for which I am grateful.
    2) I would like to hear what the substance of their discussions were with Bob Pack (AKA Stonefiled development). I also would like an explanation of why no Village Homeowner Board members were allowed to be part of the discussions. One member of the Village Working group acknowledged they were intentionally excluded. I would like an explanation of why that would be the case.
    3) Did the group really dissuade potential buyers of the Clubhouse property who want to keep the Clubhouse as is stating they did not want that type of business and would not support it? If so, why?
    4) Did the group really recently held a meeting with a select group to discuss the elimination of any amenities now on proposed sale? If so why?

    In summary the working group sees the best solution is the (or one of the) proposed housing solution which would require a rezoning to commercial to residential and the development of housing in the area. The rezoning would take a 50%+1 vote (I believe this is part of the cc&rs). Also, they believe in order to effect what the housing will end up looking like we need to create an alliance of 50% +1. The idea being if we had that alliance we could approach the new owners (apparently as they already have done?) and say, unless you are willing to do this (i.e. provided these amenities such as a pool) you will not be able to get the votes to rezone the area. Whether or not that is the case or not is indeterminable at this point since no one knows whether the developer will be able to get the 50%+1 by simply buying off some of the households. The developers also might seek to influence some to rezone by implying if they did not get the vote they simply would use the current zoning and put something there which no one would be happy with (i.e. a jiffy lube). It was suggested that the current zoning might exclude that because there is an additional restriction of recreation to the commercial zoning. Apparently the working group has asked the sbg for that information but hasn’t received it. Since it is a public document that could dramatically impact the future I think we need and can to procure it. If anyone has suggestions on how to do so that would be great. Even if it was not rezoned in such a manner, I doubt they really could do so since I believe the HOA or county could reject the building. If someone on the hoa could or familiar with the zoning process could verify whether or not either entity has such control it would be helpful.
    My greatest aversion to the housing plan was the revelation that these are tract homes (with modified exteriors). I have no idea how that would enhances the value of the area homes. So much of what is good about our area is the uniqueness of the housing in the area – minor modifications to tract homes do nothing to add to that value in fact I think they would diminish the value. The questions I have are:

    1) Does the HOA not have any say in what the houses look like when built. If so, how in the world would tract homes comply with the architectural guidelines?
    2) How could we avoid a switch and bait by the developers – such that they say they will comply with our architectural and amenities request until they get the rezoning and then do whatever they want?
    3) Although they get the 50% +1 doesn’t the county also have to approve any rezoning and if the county must also approve what that process consist of.

    One of the points made at the meeting was if not this then what? What I fear is, although there might have been viable alternatives, its past the time when those ideas could be developed sufficiently to be implemented since a buyer will be purchasing the property in the next few weeks. If that is not the case I would love to hear how it is incorrect and what might be done to develop those alternatives. What I think the working group has absolutely right is not doing anything is highly unadvisable since the developers will be able to get what they want unless we can have a unified front of at least 50%+1. The unified front does not have to agree in all matters but has to agree on the most significant ones. The assessment would be wrong if we think the developers will implement a good plan without our input which, judging by the ideas circulated to date, is highly unlikely. Even with that front I’m not sure ultimately what say we can have but it certainly is worthy of exploring and now is the time. If anyone has answers to the questions I posed above I think it would be a good starting place. Your ideas through a reply all are encouraged. Thanks to the working group for their efforts at resolving the important matter in the best of all the residents interest. Best to all.

    Joe Connor
    23392 Via Alondra

    1. Joe,
      Thanks again for your note. I will do my best to answer many of your questions succinctly and also within the guidelines the Village Working Group (VWG) operates under per its agreement with the Village HOA board, which is to post only confirmed facts to the blog.

      To assist in getting information out to residents, the Village Working Group is developing an email distribution list where we will answer questions from residents. If you would like to receive email updates in addition to what is posted on the blog, send an email to VillageWG@cox.net and put INCLUDE ME in your subject line.

      For those in the neighborhood who may not have received the email to which Joe’s comment refers, it was sent from an anonymous person or persons using an email alias of SBC Update. The Village Working Group has offered to meet with the anonymous author but so far the group has not received a reply.

      That said, let me address Joe’s questions:

      1.) The WD Land proposal issued on behalf of Silver-Bronze Corporation (SBC) was recently updated. The original proposal included a line in there that states “Buyer shall offer $1,260,000 to the approximate 428 Village property owners to be shared pro rata between all property owners who agree, within 90 days of the written offer, to give up their CVCC restriction….” When the VWG drafted its “Evaluating Options” presentations and “November 12 Presentation,” the group only had a copy of WD Land’s marketing flyer. We received the full WD Land proposal as we walked into the November 12 meeting and shared the specific details of the $1.26M at that two-hour meeting.

      The Village Working Group stated at the November 12 and December 6 meetings that it is strongly against using money to buy votes. Instead, we believe the buyer should use it for first-class sustainable amenities so that the long-term maintenance of the amenities stay low, thus translating into low dues for homeowners. However, should a majority of Village residents strongly feel the payment is desired, the VWG’s opinion can be changed.

      2.) The Village Working Group is a committee recognized by the Village HOA Board. We send in regular committee updates to the board.

      The VWG’s charter is to gather information related to the future of CVCC and how it affects the Village and share it with homeowners. Under that charter, VWG members have met with the potential stakeholders as well as people or organizations that may have useful information. This includes the Save Coto Lifestyle and Coto Neighbors groups, Realtors, property management companies who operate amenities similar to the ones being proposed for the Village, Coto Golf & Racquet Club, SBC board members, Oak Grove, Stonefield Development, CZ Master and Los Ranchos Estates. The data gathered from these meetings was used in the Evaluating Scenarios exercise. Additionally, VWG posted blog entries recapping information learned about Silver Bronze’s history, CZ Master’s position and Oak Grove’s thoughts about the future of the Club.

      3.) No. In the Village Working Group’s “Evaluating Options – Part 2” we looked at 18 plausible scenarios for the CVCC property. Of the four options dealing with homes, one was an option (page 21) of putting 20+ homes on the land and keeping the tennis courts only – meaning no additional amenities such as a pool, fitness center, meeting room or basketball court.

      Joe, as to your second set of questions that are related to what happens IF Silver-Bronze sells to a home builder, let me try those answer those.

      1.) WD Land’s proposal for Silver-Bronze states in the “Requirements and Restrictions” section the new homes would be dues-paying members of the Village HOA. As such, those homes would be subject to the Village’s architectural guidelines and CC&Rs.

      The document further states the “buyer will work with the Working Group on floor plans, elevations and exterior materials, to achieve a very unique and different home like the Village, so it looks custom, not like a tract.” The original Conceptual Site Plan in the WD Land proposal also shows that 16 lots are proposed on Silver-Bronze’s land (the 6-acre portion where the club is) and 17 homes on Stonefield Development property (here, an assumption is made by Silver-Bronze that Stonefield would re-develop its land for housing). Those 33 homes are listed as 6,000-square-foot minimum lots, which are the size of current Village lots.

      There are some important details to consider about the proposal. First, most things in the proposal are suggestions enabling the buyer to evaluate the purchase and are not legally binding. However, these ideas do set the expectations of both sides and will likely set the framework for the development. The language in SBC’s WD Land proposal does give the Village a seat at the table to negotiate with the buyer, which is great to have at this point in the deal. Finally, the Village Working Group does not have negotiating authority for the Village. Any change to zoning needs to be done by the individual land owners. The Village Working Group is attempting to find a plan that is acceptable to a super majority of Village homeowners and to the potential developer. Should that be accomplished, individual homeowners will approve the plan.

      2.) The Village Working Group (and Village Board of Directors) are examining methods to enforce the “plan” and strongly feel that a bait and switch can readily be avoided. This speaks to the urgency of identifying the specific desires (amenities, architectural controls, reimbursement of transactional/ rezoning legal fees incurred by the HOA, phasing of proposed development, i.e. amenities in the first phase, limiting the development to SBC/ Stonefield land vs. Village Open Space, “capping” the assumed nominal increase to homeowner HOA dues, etc.) of Village residents so that they can be documented correctly and early in the negotiations. Many of these Village “deal points” can be translated into enforceable “conditions of approval” when the developer seeks entitlements through the County (by example, the Tentative Tract Map).

      3.) Yes, the county board of supervisors will have to approve the plan and the buyer would submit plans to them for review as part of the county’s standard procedures. The board of supervisors holds open meetings where plans are discussed. The developer may speak. Representatives of a majority of homeowners presenting their views carries significant weight (especially if they are being reasonable). Keep in mind that CZ Master can also speak.

      Joe, you close by addressing the other options. The Village Working Group vetted 18 different scenarios. As part of its due diligence, VWG had experts in housing development, commercial real estate and Realtors assist in ranking each scenarios. Included in the evaluation criteria was the short-term and long-term viability of each scenario. The VWG also used financial data related to the costs of operating amenities such as pools and fitness rooms as well as the expense of watering the grass-area in front of the existing CVCC and calculated what those costs would mean for Village dues. You can read the details that went into each evaluation by clicking on the Excel file in the “Evaluating Options – Part 2” blog post.

      Please remember, Silver-Bronze can sell its property to a buyer who wants to keep it zoned commercial, and in that scenario the Village does not get much, if any, of a say in the matter. But, if the buyer wants to re-zone the land, that is where the Village’s leverage increases because the buyer will need approval from 50%+1 of homeowners.

      In closing, the Village Working Group has stated frequently that we believe change is coming and it presents an opportunity to enhance our community. As such, we must unify and use our leverage to influence whatever changes may come for the good of the Village. That’s our motive. Nothing else. We’re doing this because we love where we live and we do not want to get stuck with something no one likes – and that will happen if we do not try to find a win-win-win scenario for the Village, Silver-Bronze, Stonefield Development and the developer that purchases the Silver-Bronze land. For good or for bad, we are intertwined.

      Kind regards,
      Donnelle Koselka, on behalf of the Village Working Group

      1. Thank you and the Village working group for all your efforts, including this extensive response. The email distribution list should be very helpful to keep everyone in the loop. After attending the most recent hoa and an extensive conversation with Kevin (thanks again for the time), I believe a few things are imperative regardless of anybody’s specific desires for the ultimate use of the land. First, I believe it is essential that everybody participates in keeping members of the HOA board whose interest align with the Village residents (apparently this was the tact used on the SBG). If a developer is able to replace those positions with those who would simply implement their plan, it is my understanding that those members could revise both the architectural guidelines and ccr’s and basically do whatever they want in. At this point because of those restrictions the Village has protection from that since all work must be according to those constraints (including any commercial building (I think because of this we need not fear a neighborhood Jiffy Lube). The other imperative I see is the need to create an alliance of 50 +1, not only to have input as to what we would like to see but also to avoid the installation of the developers puppet regime. Although compromise in some context (i.e. moral ones) rightly has pejorative connotations , moving forward, I think it will be necessary to achieve, although maybe not the best good, a better good for the neighborhood. I hope we are willing to do so in order to avoid what could end up being a very ugly outcome. Best to all.

        Joe Connor

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