HOA Dues: Fact or Fiction

Layne Varney

Re-run by popular request

The SunBird Golf Club owns the roads within the community, including the parking lot east of the clubhouse, yet the SunBird HOA pays for all the maintenance for them.

That is a partially-true statement—please read the following.

In the beginning development of SunBird, Robson Communities, as the developer, had the SunBird HOA and Golf Course operating as separate business entities, even though it owned both organizations at the time. Robson Communities created the covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) of the HOA specifying what the HOA funds could or could not be used for Article 6.3(A) Purpose of assessments… (except for the golf course).”

It was determined by Robson Communities that the golf course needed more land to qualify for adequate well water rights to keep the beautiful green grass we all enjoy today. In 1998, when Robson Communities relinquished control and ownership of the HOA to the homeowners, an agreement was made with legal representations from both parties to address this and other matters. Legal documents between the SunBird HOA and the SunBird Golf Course were created and agreed upon and signed by both parties.

At that time, the SunBird HOA already owned and had title to the roads and common area in the Unit 1A, clubhouse, and sport courts/recreational areas, post office building and adjacent parking lot, and a portion of the parking lot east of the clubhouse. Robson Communities retained ownership of the remaining roads and common area in SunBird that were expected to be turned over to the SunBird HOA. However, these common areas were not given to the HOA but rather were recorded as property owned by the golf course. The HOA agreed to maintain the roads and common areas that would have been given to them at the time of transition in 1998. Understand that this would have a huge negative impact on the golf course without these water rights that was made to benefit the golf course and do not negatively affect the SunBird HOA. Part of the agreement was that the HOA had FULL rights as if they owned these properties, and the water rights would remain with the golf course owner. When you think about it, it’s a pretty small price to pay to ensure the golf course is able to maintain that beautiful green grass that we all love and to ensure that our community has good roads and at least one plentiful parking lot for everyone’s use.

Another fun fact

Robson Communities organized the HOA and the golf course as separate entities and created from the beginning a pro shop lease. The clubhouse is and always has been owned by the SunBird HOA, and the golf course did not have a pro shop building. As separate entities, Robson Communities, as owner of both at the time, developed the pro shop lease to ensure the organizations were not comingled.

Why does the SunBird HOA “rent” space and not just grant use to the SunBird Golf Course? Again, on Dec. 20, 1989, when Robson Communities took ownership of both the golf course and the HOA, they created our CC&Rs and they were written to not allow to “give” anything monetary to the golf course, including rental of building space. However, he did create documents for the HOA to rent space to the golf course at the current market value.

At the time these decisions were made, it worked best for Robson Communities to keep the organizations’ finances separate and clear.

A little more than five years ago, SunBird HOA conducted a vote to change the CC&Rs to allow the HOA to give monies to the Sunbird Golf Course; however, by an extremely narrow margin, it did not pass.

Just to head off future rumors: Things are always changing. The golf course has indicated that sometime in the future, they will be presenting another opportunity to vote to amend the CC&Rs to allow for the option of using HOA funds for the golf course. IF the SunBird HOA is presented with such a request, we will be sure to bring you, the homeowners, all the facts in advance so everyone can make an informed decision. THIS IS A BIG IF, as the SunBird HOA has not been formally approached yet.

For all the facts and history, please plan on attending the Town Hall meetings (HOA and Golf Board members share history) slated for Jan. 28 and Feb. 11, both at 7 p.m. in the ballroom.

“Fact or Fiction” is a monthly article established to help to enlighten and educate our community about the many amenities and other financial operations of the SunBird Community.