SLLA LogoImmediately prior to their March 14 Work Session, the Seven Lakes Landowners Association [SLLA] Board held a closed meeting to discuss dues collections policies with Community Manager Alina Cochran and the Talis upper management team.

“The collection policy brought forward will codify the steps that will be taken, with various notices,” explained Vince Matal, President of Talis Management Group. “The idea is to get a firm stable policy that can be addressed uniformly across the board.”

The proposed collection policy outlines steps for a first notice, second notice, third notice, and then how the matter could be potentially resolved with a lien or foreclosure proceeding. Matal described the policy as standard practice, with a slightly modified approach for Seven Lakes.

It was noted that an account that had been delinquent for years was recently paid in full after a lien was filed on the property.

“It’s fair. It’s equitable. It’s consistent, and it will get us our money,” said Director Kent Droppers. “This is a great step.”

The proposed policy will be posted on the community website and is available at the office for review. Action on the policy will be considered by the incoming Board at a future meeting.

“Our intent is to get this on the table and to get landowners to start looking ahead. It will be up to the next Board to, hopefully, approve it at the end of April,” explained SLLA President Randy Zielsdorf.

Read more: SLLA Board, Talis lay out collections process

SLWLA LogoThe Seven Lakes West Landowners Association Board unanimously approved, during its Tuesday, March 8 Work Session, a Financial Investment Strategy Policy that will be used for the Association’s cash and reserves. Treasurer Don Freiert outlined the policy’s three goals for his fellow directors. They are:

• First, to preserve the principal or the safety of invested funds.

• Second, to allow the Association ready access to funds needed on a short term basis.

• Third, to attain the highest yield possible on invested funds. Implementation of the Investment Strategy Policy will be coordinated with the goals of the Long Range Planning Committee so that the availability of cash is scheduled to coincide with future projects.

Events Committee Director Jane Sessler said she was “happy to see long range planning” coupled with “long range finances.”

Freiert emphasized that the goals of the new policy can be met by having both short and long term strategies. The short term strategy is to have enough money in a checking or money market account to meet three months worth of operating expenses, which Freiert estimated at $225,000.

The long term strategy would take the balance of the Association’s funds and distribute it into three categories: Safety, Liquidity, and Yield Maximization. “Safety” would be invested in Certificates of Deposit, US debt instruments such as treasury obligations, and corporate debt with “investment grade” ratings.

“Liquidity” investments should be set up so that money can be removed from accounts before maturity at a very minimal cost, Freiert said. “Yield Maximization” funds will allow the Treasurer to examine alternate investments and find the best yields available at any time for the Association.

On a quarterly basis, the Treasurer will report to the Board on upcoming financial needs, investments, and reinvestments of available funds — and also report on the principal activities in the Association’s investment portfolio.

Read more: Board approves investment strategy

Moore County LogoThe Greater Seven Lake Community Council [GSLCC] met with the Moore County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, March 8 to discuss water, zoning, the county budget, and road standards in private communities.

Though the Council also wanted to weigh in on the proposed Pine Forest subdivision, County Attorney Misty Leland told Council members and the audience that the Board of Commissioners could not receive any comments or questions pertaining to the Pine Forest development because quasi-judicial public hearings are still underway. The next Pine Forest hearing is scheduled for a Special Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, March 29 at 5 pm in Carthage.

 

Seven?Lakes Water

In response to Council questions, Public Works Director Dennis Brobst laid out three water supply options for Seven Lakes.

The first option is to simply continue to use the one million gallons per day water piped from Pinehurst to Seven Lakes through a water main that parallels NC Highway 21. Though this is adequate to meet Seven Lakes’ needs on most days, on peak irrigation days in the Summer, Seven Lakers have consumed more than 800,000 gallons per day. Without some additional supply, Brobst said, the Seven Lakes community could “tap out” of water.

The county has expanded the supply of water produced in Pinehurst with new wells 5A, 6A, and 3A. Water supply management will be enhanced through a newly completed computerized SCADA system that can report exactly where improvements are needed, so the community can get the “biggest bang for the buck” said Brobst.

A second option for providing more water to Seven Lakes is to extend a water line down NC Highway 73 from the Dormie Club, another private community, to Seven Lakes. That $1.5 million upgrade would provide some redundancy to the NC Highway 211 water line, Brobst said, but would would not actually increase the amount of water available in the overall system.

Read more: Commissioners meet with 7 Lakes Council

Foxfire LogoWith a unanimous nod of approval, the Foxfire Village Council accepted a charitable donation of 156 acres of undeveloped land along the recently completely Woodland Circle Extension during their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 8.

Calling it a momentous decision, Mayor George Erickson thanked his fellow councilmen for their careful consideration of the gift, which was offered by the McKean Brothers Trust earlier this year in lieu of the $1.4 assessment due on the property.

Initiated five years ago by a petition of property owners, the $1.9 million 1.5 mile Woodland Circel Extension project was assessed to fourteen landowners, using an equal rate per acre methodology — a formula that placed the majority burden, at approximately 75% of the total, on McKean’s land.

In the last few weeks, the Council debated the legal consequences of accepting the gift versus obtaining the property through a foreclosure process, concerned in particular about the impact if environmental contamination were found at a later date by a developer.

With no clear answers, a large price tag on the research it would take to get answers, and the first loan payment on the project due in less than a month, a decision was taken.

“We’re going to get the land one way or another. We may as well not do it the hard way,” said Councilman Ed Lauer. “If they don’t pay and we go to court, we’ll still get the land as is.”

The fair market value of the property exceeds the assessment lien, thus the resolution declared the debt of the assessment paid in full.

Read more: Foxfire accepts land in lieu of $1.4 million

MCS LogoCushioned from the full impact of state budget cuts over the last two years by a multi-million dollar infusion of Federal stimulus funding, the Moore County Schools [MCS] Board of Education is facing a “best case scenario” of an $8.2 million reduction in funding for the 2011-2012 academic year.

Presenting her proposed $90.2 million budget on Monday, March 14, MCS Superintendent Dr. Susan Purser recommended sweeping changes to counter the losses, including the grim prospect of closing Academy Heights, a year-round K-5 school located in Taylortown; eliminating 90 positions; and staggering school opening and closing hours to allow for some buses to provide multiple routes.

The anticipated $8.2 million reduction includes both the loss of $5.2 million in federal funding and also a $3 million cut from the state; however, the reduction in state funding could climb as high as $9 million — representing a 15% reduction.

“We looked at every place possible to generate funds,” Purser said.

Those recommendations included eliminating twenty-five positions currently funded by stimulus dollars; eliminating three central office positions; eliminating four assistant principal positions; reducing the maintenance budget by $100,000; closing Academy Heights and consolidating the program — a decision that will save $500,000 annually; retiring ten school buses and establishing staggered times for schools to allow for consolidated routes — a change that could net at least $200,000 a year; closing all offices for five days in December; reducing teacher assistant workdays by five; eliminating the PD360 online professional development program; eliminating the high school graduation project program; reducing the middle school athletics budget by limiting transportation costs by number and location of games; realigning orchestra and band programming; and reducing pullout intervention programs.

Read more: Schools struggle with $8.2 million in cuts

Moore County logoConcerns about two ailing Commissioners led Chairman Nick Picerno to call off the scheduled resumption of a lengthy public hearing on the Pine Forest PUD rezoning request that was slated for the Moore County's Board of Commissioners Tuesday, March 15 regular meeting.

Both Commissioners Tim Lea and Jimmy Melton are recovering from health issues. The Pine Forest hearing is scheduled to resume at a Tuesday, March 29 Special meeting of the Board, starting at 5:00 pm.

 

East Moore Water District

Meeting as the Board of Directors of the East Moore Water District [EMWD], the Commissioners approved a service and water purchase contract between EMWD and the County that bring up to 1.25 million gallons per day of water from the district to county customers in Vass, Hyland Hills, Pinehurst, and Seven Lakes.

The Moore County Public Works Department will pay the EMWD for water used monthly. EMWD will pay Public Works for meter installation and tap-ons to the water system in the District.

Read more: Board delays Pine Forest Hearing to March 29

SLLA Logo"I want people to step back and look at the whole document," Seven Lakes Landowners Association [SLLA] President Randy Ziesldorf told The Times in an interview on Friday. "If you look at the whole document, the Club's covenants are absolutely consistent with that document."

The document that Zielsdorf wants his membership to take a big-picture view of is the 2007 Agreement between the SLLA and Seven Lakes Country Club [SLCC] that aimed to put an end to controversy surrounding the Club's plan to sell its old driving range to a residential developer.

That agreement called for the Club to develop a set of covenants protecting its property. Those covenants were filed with Moore County on February 15, more than three-and-one-half years after the 2007 agreement was signed.

In a story published online on Thursday, March 10, The Times reported that those covenants fail to restrict the use of SLCC property to "the operations of the golf course and country club," as called for in the 2007 Agreement.

In 2007, Zielsdorf, along with his fellow SLLA directors Laura Douglass and Don Truesdell, said publicly that they supported the Agreement because it would prevent the Club's fairways and greens from ever being carved up into residential building lots.


"The most clearly worded statement"

What changed Zielsdorf's mind about the implications of the 2007 Agreement, he told The Times, was careful scrutiny, earlier this week, of the fourth point of the document, which reads: "Upon the sale of any Seven Lakes Country Club property for residential purposes such properties will be subject to the South Side Covenants."

Highlighting the phrase "any Seven Lakes Country Club property" and noting that "properties" is expressed in the plural, Zielsdorf told The Times: "It implies the Club would be selling something other than the old driving range for residential development."

"Number four is wide open; it could mean any country club property," Zielsdorf said. "I don't know how anyone can read bullet point number four and not interpret it this way."

"Maybe I should have been paying a little more attention to this four years ago," he added. "But this has been out there for four years. I think, in the haste, everyone has read this to think that it is only about the old driving range."

In an email to his fellow Board members that was forwarded to The Times, Zielsdorf writes: "If anything, bullet #4 is the most clearly worded statement in the July 2007 document."

He goes on to say, "Like it or not, the wording in the CC Covenants is consistent with the wording of the original July 2007 agreement. [SLLA Attorney Hunter] Stovall's value to the association was that he emphasized that "should" any CC property be developed, that it must fall under the South Side Covenants. This is emphasized in the CC covenants."

Zielsdorf's email also indicates that, from his perspective, the matter of the Club's covenants is closed, so far as the Association is concerned. "In light of the recent flap," Zielsdorf writes, "if the CC wants to revisit their covenants that is entirely their business, the SLLA should take no further action on this."


Read more: Zielsdorf: Country Club's Covenants Are Consistent with 2007 Agreement

Moore County LogoNo action was taken, during the Thursday, March 10 meeting of the Moore County Planning Board, on a proposed text amendment to the Moore County Zoning Ordinance to reduce the setbacks to zero for accessory structures within the Gated Community-Seven Lakes Zoning district.

Joan Frost, the Community Manager of the Seven Lakes West Landowners Association [SLWLA], asked the Planning Board to table consideration of the amendment to allow for further discussion at the homeowner association level.

The Gated Community-Seven Lakes Zoning [GC-SL] district encompasses the Westside community as well as all properties in Seven Lakes North and South.

Currently, Moore County's Zoning Ordinance defines the both the setbacks for primary structures and lot dimensional requirements for parcels in the GC-SL district as "none" -- basically, zero feet -- in order to allow the restrictive covenants governing the various communities within Seven Lakes to set the standards.

Read more: Planning Board Tables Seven Lakes Amendment

 

[This article has been changed to reflect the fact that Treasurer Denny Galford recused himself from the SLLA Board's vote on an amended agreement with Seven Lakes Country Club.]

SLLA LogoIn August of 2007, the Presidents of the Seven Lakes Landowners Association [SLLA] and Seven Lakes Country Club [SLCC] signed an agreement that ensured the Club's golf course would never be carved up into residential building lots.

On February 15 of this year, the Club filed with the Moore County Register of Deeds a Declaration, or set of Covenants, that would, in fact, allow the golf course to be converted into residential building lots.

The obvious question is: "How did this happen?"

 

Why Country Club Covenants?

When the news broke, in late 2006, that Seven Lakes Country Club was considering the sale of its old driving range for residential development, it sent shock waves through the community, which had never imagined that the five-acre expanse of grass beside the South Gate would ever be anything but green.

After considerable public debate and private negotiation, SLLA President Don Truesdell announced in August 2007 that the Association and the Club had approved and signed an agreement that would allow the development of the old range, subject to the covenants of Seven Lakes South, and would preserve forever the remainder of the Club's property as a golf course.

In the first clause of the five-point agreement, the SLLA granted the Club the right "to establish its own covenants limiting the use of all Country Club property to the operations of the golf course and country club." Association Attorney Hunter Stovall was granted the right to review the covenants "to insure compliance with this requirement."

It appears those covenants were written not long after the agreement was signed, but they were put to the side as the Club and Association joined forces to repel a lawsuit filed to overturn the agreement. After winning that suit, as an economic downturn cooled the real estate market and dashed the Club's hopes of selling the old driving range, neither Board apparently had much interest in dusting off the proposed covenants and finalizing the other four points of the 2007 agreement.

Read more: Club's Covenants Fail to Protect Golf Course

The Foxfire Village Council deferred any decision about whether to accept 156.37 acres of donated land along Woodland Circle, during its Tuesday, February 8 meeting, in order to allow additional time for a legal review of and report on the property.

The large tract was offered to Foxfire Village earlier in the month by McKean Brothers Nominee Trust, following the Council’s adoption of the $1.9 million Woodland Circle assessment roll, on which McKean’s property was assigned the lion’s share of expenses: a $1.4 million assessment.

Mayor George Erickson reported that the Village’s attorney has recommended that the Council accept the gift, because the alternative, foreclosure, would take both time and money. However, a formal check for liens on the property was incomplete and action was tabled.

In addition, Councilman John Eltschlager suggested that an environmental impact study should be conducted prior to approval. Presently, it is known that 34 acres of the 156 acre tract are delineated as wetlands.

 

Read more: Council wants more data on land donation

In Memory Of

  • Jane Scales Facey

     of Foxfire Village died on Tuesday, April 19 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. A private...

  • Nancy P. Neilson

    formerly of Seven Lakes, died on Monday,  April 18. Nancy and her husband, Roger, retired from...

  • John E. Letter

    95, of Seven Lakes, died Monday, March 21, at his home, surrounded by family and friends. A...

  • Marilyn Rose Kemble Bearden

     84, formerly of Seven Lakes, died on March 8 in Greenville, SC. The family will receive friends on...

  • Vonadora Baker Stackhouse

    96, died on Wednesday, March 2, her wedding anniversary, at her home in Seven Lakes West. Services were...

  • James R. Nichols

    (Jim) of Seven Lakes died at his home on Monday, February 22.  A Celebration of his life will be...

  • Timothy William Bouchelle

    49, of West End died on Friday, February 19, 2016 at his residence.  A visitation will be held from...

  • John P. Carpenter

    75, of Seven Lakes North died Saturday, February 13 at FirstHealth Hospice House in Pinehurst. A...

  • Michael Jerome Loney

    87 of Seven Lakes West died Tuesday, February 9 at First Health Moore Regional Hospital in...

  • Glenda Mae (Marks) Tucker

    64 of Seven Lakes passed on Sunday February 7 at Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro.  A...

  • Dr. William Harrell Johnson

    92 years old, of Seven Lakes West, died on Tuesday, February 2, at home.  A memorial service was...