Oakmont’s Semimonthly Newspaper
Solution to Community Garden, Water Problem Awaits Bids
Some 250 CC&R Violations Foggy Morning in Oakmont Corrected Under New Fines Policy
A delay in getting bids for work to restore water to Oakmont’s Community Garden appears likely to push a solution into March at the earliest. The work, expected to cost in the vicinity of $30,000, involves digging a trench across Stone Bridge Road to access city water. The supply was cut off late last year when the city said a line running via a neighbor to supply the garden was against city policy. Manager Cassie Turner told an Oakmont Village Association Board workshop Jan. 6 that the three bids required to move the project forward had been slow in coming. She said the two remaining bids were unlikely to be in time for the Jan. 20 board meeting, which would delay action until the Feb. 17 meeting at the earliest. Another possible solution proposed the installation of a water tank adjacent to the garden. OVA President John Felton said a tank, estimated to cost less than $5,000, makes sense. A 3,600-gallon tank would only have to be filled three times each summer at a cost of $200 a delivery, according to one speaker. However, Community Garden president Pat Olive said a tank could present many problems, including possible theft of water and resulting damage to the equipment, leaving the spigot open, delivery trucks disturbing the neighborhood and complaints from neighbors about the tank itself. Felton reported on the work of a residents’ group, Hearing, Education, Advocacy, Resources and Support (HEARS), which has asked the board for its cooperation as it seeks improvements in the equipment enabling residents to better hear and understand what’s being said at Oakmont facilities. Felton said OVA already has upgraded some equipment and is looking into other possible improvements. “We’re doing everything we can,” he added. He said the Long-Range Planning Committee would include questions on its surveys seeking resident input on the problem.
Peeling paint, dilapidated fences and landscaping eyesores are disappearing rapidly from Oakmont as the Architectural Committee begins enforcing a new policy that allows fines of up to $500 for uncorrected violations of the Oakmont Village Association’s CC&Rs. The committee has completed inspections of Oakmont’s 3,169 homes and found 300 violations, according to Marianne Neufeld, chair of the AC. She said approximately 250 of the violations have been corrected with the rest still outstanding as the new year began. The new policy allows for fines of up to $100 for a first uncorrected violation, up to $300 for a second violation of the same offense, up to $500 for a third violation of the same offense and another $500 for additional violations of the same offense. A $100 fine can be levied for making a modification without first filing an application and obtaining AC approval. The OVA Board may suspend membership privileges in addition to or instead of fines. Only the board can impose the penalties. The AC Chair emphasized that the committee is “trying to solve the issues at the Architectural Committee level and only go to the board if we can’t get it done.”
TRASH CAN STORAGE AN ISSUE
Director Andie Altman reported on efforts to get a legal opinion on the extent to which the OVA can have discussions with the 36 homeowner associations in Oakmont. She said she wanted guidance on whether the board “has an appetite” to work with the HOAs. Former director Herm Hermann told the board it’s an issue whose time has come, adding that there are a wide variety of HOA problems and “it behooves the board to look for solutions.” Turner said her conversation with an OVA attorney raised the issue of the OVA being charged with
Neufeld said the first round of inspections was conducted in September and October. Next, she said, the AC will inspect backyards facing the golf courses. Community-wide inspections will be conducted in April and May and then again in the fall. The number of violations is likely to fall dramatically as violations spotted previously are corrected. Both Neufeld and OVA Manager Cassie Turner have emphasized that the purpose of the fines policy is to get properties into compliance, not to make money. Neufeld said the policy already “has immensely improved Oakmont.” She said that while many of the violations involved peeling paint, dilapidated fences and deteriorated landscaping, trash can storage was also “a big one.” She said the cans have to be in the garage, in a special enclosure or in the backyard. In every case, the AC informs the homeowner by letter of the details of the violation. The homeowner can then file an application with the AC for approval of what is needed to correct the violation. If approved, the homeowner has 90 days to complete the work. If the homeowner does not respond to the first letter in a reasonable time, a second is sent extending
See community garden on page 7
See cc&r violations on page 7
Oakmont Village Association 6575 Oakmont Drive, Suite 7 Santa Rosa, CA 95409-5906
January 15, 2015 • Volume 53, Number 2
PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID SANTA ROSA, CA PERMIT NO. 323
Oakmont resident Peter Boyle captured this spectacular winter moment on a foggy morning two days before Christmas from the back deck of his home on Singing Brook Circle.
First Homes Selling in the Meadows
Sale of the first home in the new Meadows development was expected to close by mid-January, with four more slated to follow in the coming weeks. “There has been a tremendously overwhelming response from potential buyers to the new homes under construction at the corner of Oakmont Drive and Highway 12,” said Alex Heath-Rihl, marketing vice president of Willow Glen Homes. So far, 13 of the 36 homes planned for the 15-acre project have been completed, or are nearly finished. Heath-Rihl said as many as 100 visitors have been dropping by on weekends to look at the finished models. Prices range between $500,000 and $800,000. Sale of the first homes on the last piece of buildable land in Oakmont means cash will begin to flow soon to the Oakmont Village Association in the form of development impact fees. The potential fees, on a perhome basis, have been escalating since the agreement was first signed between the developer and the OVA in 2007. The most recent calculation puts the amount at more than $15,600. The Meadows developer, the Hunter Group, had agreed earlier to pay for the fees upfront by constructing an office or other building for the OVA. That deal was set aside last spring when building plans for the office were dropped. The total value of impact fees today is expected to be as high as $550,000. Only about a third of the Meadows site is being developed. The Hunter Group is selling three acres of land to owners of the Oakmont Gardens and granting access to the property from Oakmont Drive for a memory care facility. The remainder of the Meadows property is zoned commercial.
Inside the Oakmont News Volunteer Opportunities.....................3
Golf Club News....................................5
Relocation of West Rec. Classes & Events........................................24