Dear RVR Homeowners,
It’s time to talk about the future of RVR.
More specifically, this “View From the Board” is about the long-range planning work that’s now underway in our community. It’s an effort being led by the Long-Range Planning Committee – at the Board’s direction. Because this important project will affect RVR for years to come, and because it will involve expenditures of community funds, it’s critical that we all engage in the process.
It’s been more than 25 years since River Valley Ranch was initially planned and constructed. Since then, hundreds and hundreds of homes have been established here. At present, there are another 27 new homes under construction. More importantly, RVR is now filled with families of all types, with great friends and with good neighbors. RVR has become a wonderful community with a neighborly feel in a beautiful setting.
And we can all agree we want it to stay that way.
A Strain on the Facilities: As RVR gets fully built out, and more and more people are living here, our common facilities – like the Ranch House – are straining under the load. Old timers remember holiday parties when everyone fit into the great room at the Ranch House. It’s no longer realistic to hold a community-wide event inside the Ranch House. The pool is jam-packed all summer long. So are the tennis courts, the locker rooms, the gym and our fitness classes.
Despite routine maintenance, time has taken its toll on all of these facilities. For example, we are overdue to replace the pool deck because the stamped concrete has deteriorated. But before spending hundreds of thousands of dollars from the reserve account to replace the deck, doesn’t it make sense to consider other updates or possible revisions to the pool area?
Times Have Changed: In many ways, the world works quite differently than it did a quarter century ago, at RVR’s birth. Could anyone have imagined the flow of packages from Amazon and what that might mean for RVR’s mail room, for example? And, who knew a community might want fitness classes and meetings held as hybrids with some people in the room and others attending remotely? Also, while we are at it, can we make RVR more environmentally sustainable?
It’s no small feat to find answers to questions like these. Whatever changes are made must stand the test of time for another two or three decades.
As many of you know, because you participated in it, the Long-Range Planning Committee started its work with a community-wide survey in early 2021. With more than half of RVR homeowners responding, those survey results are a great resource for this planning effort. The survey results supply not only ideas and suggestions, but a good sense of what the community values. In addition to the community survey, the committee interviewed a number of homeowners – and held multiple community gatherings for community engagement in 2021.
A big part of the challenge before us is to get the balance right – between what homeowners feel is needed and what they are willing to fund.
Why We Need Help: While the entire community needs to be involved in this process, it is not a job for amateurs. Members of the Long-Range Planning Committee are community voices but they are not experts in how pools, tennis courts and a building like the Ranch House should be configured or what the best new options are for such amenities. The Board believes that for the benefit of the entire community, and those who will be here enjoying RVR in the coming decades, it is essential to have high-quality professional assistance. Yes, that costs money, just like hiring an architect or interior designer to remodel your home does. But it’s money well spent to develop a good plan that effectively meets RVR’s needs and also ties to a budget.
So, to aid in this process, the Board at its January 2022 meeting authorized the retention of a master planning firm called the McMahon Group. McMahon was selected, over other firms that responded to a request for proposals, because of its deep experience and strong track record of developing plans that fit the community’s criteria and are then successfully implemented. Click here to be redirected to the Long Range Planning page of our website with information on the MacMahon Group and other useful resources.
McMahon will be starting its work here at RVR this spring. They will work closely with an expanded Long-Range Planning Committee to be sure they understand not only the condition of the facilities and the physical needs but also the community’s collective appetite for spending money on such things, and identifying various funding options. It will be the Committee’s responsibility to know your views and bring your ideas into the discussion. Details will follow; but, be on the lookout for website postings, further surveys and other opportunities to learn about what is being considered – and to give your input.
The Committee will be adding a few members later this month to broaden representation within RVR. If you are interested in participating on the committee, and can commit to representing all 552 homes, not just your neighborhood and friends, please click here to submit your statement of interest.
A Thorough Process: We expect the process to take several months and likely extend into the fall. McMahon will be meeting initially with the Committee to establish goals and spatial requirements for the Ranch House, pool and tennis facilities and related areas. McMahon will prepare a master site plan and conceptual floor plans and estimates of the probable cost of various solutions. Those will be reviewed and revised with the Committee until there is consensus on a proposal to present to the Board.
However, that is by no means the end of the process.
The plan will then be presented to the community in a series of informational meetings. Those presentations will include all aspects of the program, from initial goals through potential cost and funding scenarios. The feedback from those meetings will then be used by McMahon to develop a final proposal that could include revisions to the concept, financial plan or other aspects of the program as the feedback demands. The final proposed plan will be thoroughly communicated to homeowners. There will be no surprises.
Finally, this process is comprehensive and time-tested.
McMahon has been down this road hundreds of times with both homeowner associations and clubs – and has a strong track record of member approval. Our goal is that once McMahon, working with our Long-Range Planning Committee and the Board, puts a plan in front of RVR homeowners, we will know it’s one that fits the needs of our community, and has strong homeowner support.
Our commitment to you is to make sure any proposed modifications to RVR common areas are those that enhance the Ranch House experience, adding value to your membership, and to your property. The changes will be based on perceived community needs over the next 25 years.
RVR is a quarter century old, and when revitalized, will strengthen its position as the leading residential community in the valley. We look forward to working with the RVR community to create the future of our wonderful neighborhood.
On behalf of your volunteer RVRMA Board,
Gary Lesser John Lund
Board President Long Range Planning Committee Chair