With a record turnout of 84 percent, members of the Oakmont Village Association approved a dues increase of up to $17 a month to finance acquisition of the Santa Rosa, Calif. club’s golf course and facilities. With more due diligence on both sides, the purchase could be completed sometime in early October.
A record number of voters overwhelmingly gave the Oakmont Village Association (OVA) permission to raise dues up to $17 a month to finance the purchase of the golf courses and facilities of Oakmont Golf Club (OGC) in Santa Rosa, Calif., the Kenwood (Calif.) Press reported.
C+RB reported in July (https://clubandresortbusiness.com/oakmont-gc-enters-sale-agreement-with-homeowners-association/) on the impending vote for the proposed sale agreement between the OVA and the troubled club, which went up for sale in March with an asking price of $4.8 milion, after years of declining membership caused it to incur debt of over $3 million.
The vote on August 8 to approve the sale was 1,968 to 707—a victory margin of better than 2.5 to one, with an unprecedented turnout of 84 percent, the Press reported. Even if all eligible homeowners who did not cast ballots had voted “no,” the Press noted, the measure still would have passed with more than 60 percent.
The final results represented “a huge vote of confidence and expression of faith,” OVA Board President Steve Spanier told the Press.
“Now the real work begins,” Spanier added. “We just got over what is probably the biggest hurdle, but there is still much work to be done.”
With more due diligence on both sides, the purchase could be completed sometime in early October, Spanier told the Press. The next immediate steps, he said, are to craft a purchase and sale agreement with OGC and hopefully have it signed by the end of August.
Under the terms of a preliminary letter of intent signed by the club and the association, the Press reported, the OVA would pay $1.2 million to cover the OGC’s debts and also assume its primary $2.4 million loan.
The OVA is also on track to sign a lease agreement with Advance Golf Partners, Spanier said, with Advance then contributing $1 million for upgrades to the club, primarily to its Quail Inn restaurant. Advance Golf Partners would also assume responsibility for golf-related costs, including maintenance, taxes, and insurance, the Press reported
Opponents who for the last year have been raising funds for possible legal action against an OVA golf purchase were quick to argue that nothing has been settled by the results of the vote, the Press reported. While that vote authorized the OVA Board to raise dues, it did not authorize it to purchase the golf club, the opponents contended.
In late spring, the “No” side coalesced into a group calling itself the Oakmont Alliance, the Press reported.
“The vote is the outcome of a one-sided campaign conducted by the OVA Board and OGC over a period of several months,” said former OVA Board president Ellen Leznik, speaking for the group. “Oakmont Alliance was effectively blocked from presenting its viewpoint on any official OVA channels. Therefore, we believe that our community was not allowed to hear the full story, including potential liabilities and negative consequences, necessary to make an informed decision.”
But Virginia Katz, speaking for the “Yes” campaign that promoted approving the dues increase, said that was not the case.
“The Yes campaign was also not allowed to use Oakmont official channels to present its viewpoints,” Katz said. “This campaign was hardly one-sided, but the results are considerably one-sided. To imply that Oakmont voters were too uneducated to vote intelligently could be viewed as nothing more than sour grapes. The OVA membership has spoken loud and clear. Perhaps the Oakmont Alliance should listen.”
Katz added that her group is planning to donate leftover campaign funds to a fledgling effort to help Oakmont residents who may have trouble meeting dues requirements, the Press reported.