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 22, the RVR Master Association hosted its Annual Meeting, by Zoom. In these days of Covid-driven social distancing, it’s the only way we are able to safely conduct meetings.
We shared a great deal of information with the 40 homeowners who attended virtually. If you’re interested in viewing the PowerPoint presentation that was the framework for the Annual Meeting Click here .
This month’s “View From the Board” will provide highlights of key areas of discussion at the meeting.
Board Election Results: For the election that was held in July, we had four outstanding candidates for three available Director positions. Here are the candidates and their vote totals: Todd Richmond (88 votes), Ben Johnston (82 votes), Laura Hanssen (78 votes) John Lund (40 votes). Todd, Ben and Laura were elected to three-year terms. At its July 22 meeting, the Board elected officers for the next year: Cathy Cooney and Gary Lesser will serve as co-Presidents; Todd Richmond will be Treasurer and Ben Johnston Secretary.
Thank You, Yvonne: After six years as a Director, the past two as President, Yvonne Perry chose not to run for re-election. She began her Presidency at the height of the golf course crisis, and ended it in the middle of the Covid pandemic. Yvonne now gets to spend some well-deserved time with her husband Paul; her dogs, Sophie and Jazz; and her horse, Pippa. We sincerely thank Yvonne for all she’s done for the community.
Golf Update: We reviewed our journey with the golf course that began in the summer of 2018, and is still not over. Back then, the owner threatened to shut the course down if RVR didn’t meet his demands of buying it, subsidizing its operations, or supporting his desire to develop high-density housing on the driving range. Since then, we’ve been pleasantly surprised that the course has operated to rave reviews, and the restaurant (the Homestead) has become a neighborhood asset. Kudos to all at RVR who have supported the course and the restaurant. These are positive developments, but the problem has not gone away. The current owner has little interest in golf, and seems primarily motivated by the opportunity to develop parts of the golf course, including the driving range.
Governing Documents Update: When our governing documents were written more than 20 years ago, short-term rentals like VRBO and Airbnb did not exist. Neither did Sprinter vans. Times change. That’s why the Board in 2019 chartered a Governing Documents Committee to address covenants that may not have kept up with the times. The Committee has met 13 times since September 2019, and it soon became apparent that many of our provisions needed to be updated to reflect the evolution of RVR. When the Covid-19 crisis closed the Ranch House and shifted the governance focus at RVR, the Committee’s direction changed as well. The Committee chairs felt the time was not right to approach the community with proposed amendments to the governing documents. As a result, the Committee is suspending its work and finalizing an interim report to the Board, which is expected next month.
Financial Update: Our finances are performing better than budgeted, and we expect to see the majority of those savings maintained until the end of the year. The savings are the result of good expense management, better-than-anticipated interest on our capital reserves and, unfortunately, reduced Ranch House operations due to Covid. We will also benefit from $156,000 in PPP (Payroll Protection Program) loan forgiveness. The Board obtained the loan in April to ensure continuity of the Ranch House staff after the state issued its Safer at Home guidance. As a reminder, any savings to budget are applied to the capital reserve fund at year-end. The capital reserve fund continues to be adequately funded and has a current balance of approximately $1.6 Million. We anticipate a significant increase in expenditures in future years as our infrastructure, which is already some 20 years old, continues to age. Finally, we have engaged an outside firm to conduct a financial audit of the HOA; we expect those results in the next month or two. The purpose of the audit was twofold: to ensure we are applying best accounting practices, and to confirm that the financial statements accurately and fully reflect the health of the Master Association’s operations.
Covid-19 Update: We closed the Ranch House on March 16, to protect the health and safety of staff, homeowners and community. Those have remained our top priorities ever since. We are closely following health guidance from the State of Colorado and Garfield County. After filing social distancing business plans with the county, we gradually re-opened RVR activities, including tennis and the swimming and lap pools. The Ranch House gym and classroom remain closed because of the difficulty of safely opening them. Classes are available on line, and have been quite popular. Operating in a Covid environment has been a challenge to management and staff, increasing workload and causing us to stay abreast of continually changing legal requirements. You can help our efforts by supporting staff, being patient, and showing up for reservations when you make them. We expect to be operating in the Covid world for the foreseeable future.
Adapting at the Ranch House: Aside from swimming and tennis, the Ranch House is eerily silent. Normally this is a time of constant activities, but our focus now is around social distancing and safety. It’s hard to believe that the Ranch House was full of life not that long ago. This “new normal” has been challenging for staff and homeowners alike. The challenge for our management team has been to find new ways to bring the community together. We want to thank the community for continuing to be engaged in the activities we are able to offer.
Building Boom: One area that has been unaffected by our new normal is home building. RVR is experiencing the continuation of an unprecedented building boom that’s been going on for the past few years. There are currently 19 new homes under construction, and 39 active projects in front of the Design Review Committee. Many of these involve remodels and home upgrades. All of this speaks to the fact that RVR is becoming the go-to destination in the Roaring Fork Valley. Many buyers and new lot owners are telling us RVR is the only place they considered in the valley.
Real Estate Update: Karen Peirson, from the RVR Sales Barn and Sotheby’s International, describes the current market as “crazy hot!” There’s very little inventory at RVR, making it a seller’s dream. Karen reviewed recent history of RVR real estate, and provided detailed data for single-family custom homes, townhomes/condos, Old Town, Settlement, and undeveloped land. Highlights:
- Eighteen single-family homes have sold at RVR this year, for an average price of $1,382,000.
- Nine townhomes and condos have sold in 2020 for an average price of $1,004,000.
- In Old Town, three homes have sold this year for an average price of $818,000.
- In the Settlement, no homes have sold this year.
- And, 23 undeveloped lots have sold since the first of the year.
Our next Board meeting is Wednesday, August 26 at 5:30 pm. The meeting will be held via Zoom. You will receive an agenda for that meeting, as you always do, no later than the weekend before the meeting. The agenda will include directions for homeowners interested in Zooming into the meeting. Hope to “see” you there.
On behalf of your volunteer RVRMA Board,
Cathy Cooney & Gary Lesser