10668793 - close up of golf ball on tee

It is appropriate to address misinformation communicated by “Club West Conservancy” to our community. These attempts, whether intended or not, are divisive and unproductive.  

I have addressed these in a letter directly to Club West homeowners, but it is appropriate to communicate them at large to the entire community.

Let me start with reminding all of us that the golf course is private property. As such, the board is simply not in a legal position to propose or submit options for the golf course. 

Even so, the owners of the course have been engaged with members of the community for months to develop collaborative solutions to their issues, but the actors and actions of the CWC prevent them from presenting anything to you, the community. 

Let me repeat that: The CWC actions have served to hamstring any collaborative effort between the board, the city, your fellow homeowners and the golf course. 

This includes efforts to establish mechanisms to relieve, even forgive tax liabilities, environmental liabilities and mitigate other concerns. Further, the CWC action has created a chilling effect in creating a facilities or recreational bond district, one that might provide alternative financial solutions. 

All because CWC spins a false narrative that our board supports development, which it never has. 

These current efforts have been ongoing for nearly a year, but the CWC seemingly does not want you to be aware of them. Their claims to the contrary are false and misleading. 

The board supports the community will. Not the desires of the CWC, not the desires of the golf course, not the efforts of our councilman. We support the full community. 

The CWC demonstrates its intention by changing their stated mission of “conservancy” to some other, yet unstated, agenda and turning their focus elsewhere, leading to disruption. 

Claims of secret meetings or closed sessions are both false and divisive. They invoke conspiracy theories, false narratives, misinformation, and distrust.

CWC claims that there is no increased assessment risk, calling it a “scare tactic.”  Factually, the HOA could be compelled to levy assessments.  CWC’s stated limits or claims to such assessments are completely incorrect.

The HOA applauds homeowners working with the golf course for solutions. The HOA cannot demand private owners comply to a survey. The HOA can only require compliance to the CC&Rs. 

By utilizing your declarant rights, the board can fine and enforce rather than litigate. Unfortunately, CWC’s actions may deny you that option. 

Declarant rights are recorded contractual rights allowing their owner to dictate, change or restrict land use in a planned community.  Few HOAs in the country have them, Club West was lucky in obtaining them at all, much less having them given to us for free.  

This fact, and our intentions, were announced in our annual meeting in 2011 – 10 years ago, before some members of this group even lived in our community.  

CWC does not want you to have them. They are afraid that the community would use those rights to dispossess them of their “views.” They are not afraid of the board. They are afraid of you, the community. 

Factually, by suing the board and its members, CWC has created a potential liability for the HOA, and therefore each of our homeowners.  They chose to sue their neighbors on the board, rather than sue the course owner directly.  

Even after having been told that suing the owner likely could have derailed its sale and enhanced our community efforts. Why would the CWC chose to sue the board if “conservancy,” rather than disruption, was the aim? Any effort by the HOA for rapprochement has been rebuked. 

Factually, CWC’s suggested options have potential liability for the HOA. Some would require changing the underlying use of the land, not possible without declarant rights or resolving significant tax issues. 

The liability of allowing the land to remain fallow creates significant environmental and safety liabilities, not to mention actual remediation and tax issues.  All creating the potential for real and significant assessment issues. A price they are willing to have you pay.

CWC stated that the HOA should absorb those costs. I object and the board does as well. In that no golf course owner has presented a development plan, the CWC’s entire effort is a canard.

Michael Hinz is president of the Foothills Club West Association Board of Directors.

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