The following is the latest in a series of monthly messages from the RVR Master Association Board, called “A View From The Board.” The messages summarize recent Board decisions and discussions and are designed to bring RVR homeowners up to date on issues important to the community.
Dear RVR Homeowners,
On July 24, the RVR Master Association hosted the community’s annual summer meeting at the Ranch House. It was good to see many familiar faces and welcome newcomers to RVR. We had a full agenda and shared a great deal of information with those who attended.
For those who missed the gathering, I’d like to use this month’s “View From the Board” to provide highlights on two key areas of discussion: progress on Board initiatives, and Golf at RVR.
At the meeting, we reviewed five commitments the Board made to the community at our December 2018 Annual Meeting and shared the Board’s progress on meeting those commitments:
Short-Term Rental Review: In December, we committed to looking at ways to better manage and restrict short-term rentals within RVR. When our governing documents were written 20 years ago, short-term rentals like VRBO and Airbnb did not exist. As a result, we have very little ability to restrict short-term rentals unless we revise our covenants. That’s one of the reasons the Board recently chartered a Governing Documents Committee – to address covenants and rules that haven’t kept up with the times. Board Members Ben Johnston and Gary Lesser are chairing this committee, which should begin its work soon.
Governance Enforcement: In May, the Board unanimously adopted a revised enforcement policy and fine schedule. This was in response to the community telling us we were not doing enough to enforce existing rules. We’ve communicated extensively about the new policy, including our desire to manage violations primarily with warnings, conversations, and courteous dialog between management and RVR property owners. I’m pleased to tell you, so far, our approach is working. In the 10 weeks since adopting the new policy, RVR management has been successful in bringing about compliance without the need for either written violations or fines.
Information Technology (IT) Subcommittee: RVR homeowners Hugh Sontag, Laura Hanssen, and Board member RJ Spurrier have been making great progress on exploring upgrades to RVR’s existing – and aging – computer systems. They’re focused on improving accuracy, reliability, and streamlining ease of use. One immediate improvement many of you have noticed was introducing the “Square” pay system at the Ranch House. This has been well received by both members and staff.
Improved Board Communications: At the December 2018 Annual Meeting, we committed to improving Board Communications with the community. Since February, we’ve begun sending e-mail communications the week after our monthly Board meetings. These messages, called “A View From the Board,” are written so you don’t have to guess at the important things happening in our community. You are reading this month’s View From the Board. We’ve received excellent feedback about these messages and will continue them year-round.
Long-term Facilities Planning: This is the one commitment we don’t have much to report on – yet. Here’s what we mean by “Long-Term Facilities Planning”: The Ranch House is 20 years old; we’re roughly two-thirds built out, and the facility sometimes seems like it’s bursting at the seams. What do we need to do to prepare for an RVR with 550 homes at full build-out? It’s on our radar. At our December 2019 Annual Meeting, we’ll report our progress on this key focus area.
Golf Update: Also at the community meeting, Brian Leasure of our Golf Advisory Committee gave an update on golf at RVR. You may recall that, a year ago, the Board and the RVR community had a contentious relationship with the former owner. He demanded that we either buy the course, subsidize his operations, or support his efforts to develop the driving range with high-density housing. If we did none of those things, he threatened to shut down the course.
Since then, the golf course has had a new owner, who, unfortunately, is still interested in converting the driving range to either high-density housing or a “boutique hotel.” The Board, the Golf Advisory Committee, and the community all vigorously oppose those efforts, and we continue to believe the Town of Carbondale won’t allow such development.
Now, the good news. The golf course has a new operator who is managing the course on his own – separate from the owner. The operator, Red Cunningham – who many of you know – has been running the course and the re-imagined restaurant, The Homestead, since spring. Both the course and restaurant are receiving rave reviews. We believe it’s important for the health of RVR that there’s a successful golf course and restaurant in the neighborhood.
A year ago, when we were in a crisis mode over the golf at RVR, the course was for sale. Today, it is not for sale, but the fundamental demographic and economic issues that brought about last summer’s situation have not changed. That’s why the Board continues to study its options. We wish nothing but the best for the current operator of the golf course. But if the course turns out not to be self-sustainable over the long term, the Board and the community may someday need to act to protect our interests – namely our property values.
As confirmed by the Billy Casper Golf report that we shared with you in January, golf nationally is a declining industry. It’s aging out. While it’s premature to pursue any options today, it would be irresponsible on our part not to consider the financial impact on the RVR of a closed golf course. That’s why we are completing our due diligence that we began last summer. The next step in that process is completing the open space report, which is being finalized by our consultant, DHM. When that report is ready, we’ll share it with you, in the same manner, that we shared the Casper Golf report.
As always, I look forward to your feedback – on the above topics or any dialog that will strengthen our great community. Send your questions or concerns to Kendra (firstname.lastname@example.org). She’ll pass your comments along to the board, or respond to you directly.
Our next Board meeting is Wednesday, August 21, at 5:30 pm in the Ranch House Board meeting room. Hope to see you there.
On behalf of your volunteer RVRMA Board,