Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:

Did you ever ask yourself; “why do I like living in Fairfield Glade”?

We all moved here for a better lifestyle, I would say! The nice homes, golf courses, lakes and other amenities.

However, we have people continually complaining about the board, committees and the rules. Complaining is easy but do you do anything to make our area better?  Do you work for a position to make a difference?

The rule book is available and all residents should be aware of the higher standards that we all want!

Did you read it, abide by it and help keep our community a better place?  I don’t know about you, but I am tired of the “junk yard” look: wrecked or construction cars/trucks in the driveway, trash in the yards, piles of wood that could last 10 years, trucks, buses and cars racing down the roads when the speed limit is 30, old worn basketball goals and other play items making a terrible curb appeal, yards not mowed or maintained, trailers and RV’s decorating the area … on and on!

If you don’t like a better community with rules, don’t live here!  If you don’t want fines because of disobeying FFG rules, then keep up your home and yard!  Its easy, be a good neighbor and resident!

I moved here for a nicer place, not a dump site! Come on people, take pride in your community! If you don’t like the rules or people that work to make it better, then move on!  There are other states and locations that will tolerate your poor attitude!

M.H.

A proud Glade resident

 

Dear Editor:

Strategic Planning Chairman Oliver — I appreciate your email contact on the proposed village center concepts and applaud the work you folks are doing.

However, when it comes to sustaining and improving property values, I believe your committee and our Board are missing a very important consideration — the biggest threat at the moment is the pending APEX wind turbine project.

If that is allowed to become reality, it won’t matter what efforts are made to make Fairfield Glade appealing. It will be a high profile eyesore that is guaranteed to put downward pressure on property values and appeal of the Glade’s mountain environment.

Last July, the Board embraced the results of the resident survey (against) the APEX project but to date has shown very little concern or energy in actively supporting CMPC’s efforts.

There is much the Board could do to be PROACTIVE in taking a high profile position on promoting opposition to the impending threat, but its continued reticence and passivity is disturbing to me.

With due respect, I would like to see your committee re-order your priorities and recognize the ultimate impact on our community until that issue is resolved one way or another.

Attn: Glade Board members — please consider this as an appeal to you to get actively involved and support CMPC, and your community, during this critical period of state legislative activity.

Bob Emrick

Fairfield Glade

 

Dear Editor:

An Open Letter to the Glade Board of Directors,

This letter is in re:ponse to the open letter to residents written by Mr. Dossmann and published in the Glade Vista.

As a 19-year resident who has built two homes in Fairfield Glade, served on the Fairfield Glade Strategic Planning Committee in the late 1990s, and represented the Fairfield Glade Community on the Cumberland County Commission for 10 years, I am very interested in continuous improvement for our outstanding Community.

Having said that, I have concerns I would like to voice concerning the referenced letter.

1.  The letter conflates the terms “resort community” with “retirement community”, and indirectly with “private community”.  Which one does the Strategic Planning Committee (and by inference, our current Board of Directors) think we are?  While the “knee jerk” reaction might be to say “all of the above”, only one should be the primary focus of the Glade Community Club.

It is extremely fortunate that we have had a symbiotic relationship with Wyndham Resorts and we have been very successful partners in the past in achieving mutually beneficial projects.  Some projects Wyndham has taken the lead on while others have been initiated by the FGCC.

However, does the fact that the Wyndham Resort in North Carolina lies totally within the City limits of Lake Lure, make Lake Lure a resort community? For the discussion of who takes the lead in developing a Village Center, the distinction as to what type of community we want to be needs to be clearly stated and agreed upon by all Glade Community Club members (all 15,000 members strong).  The letter states “to live in  a resort is a choice”, but I would suggest that many current residents chose to live in a retirement community, not a resort.

2.  While the letter correctly says that “there are hundreds of resorts around the country competing for the same future residents”, there are also hundreds of retirement communities competing for the same future residents. However, I wouldn’t necessarily assume that they are the same people. I don’t know that the same things have the same priorities depending on which group you are trying to recruit.

3.  The letter clearly minimizes the importance and impact of HOA dues on all members.  In many cases HOA dues significantly exceed annual property taxes paid to Cumberland County by many of our residents.  The dues are not an insignificant part of the annual resident’s budget and we should be sure that the FGCC Board is a good steward of those funds.  I can assure you that if Property Taxes went up as much each year as HOA dues have recently, there would be a significant outcry from the residents.  When we say HOA dues we should always think tax.

4.  In regards to the costs of the Village Center, the letter states that the “goal” is to find a commercial developer to invest in our community and the proposed Village Center.  This should not just be a goal.  This should be a requirement.  No developer investment, no Village Center!  Since the Strategic Planning Committee “believes that a commercial developer will find the investment profitable” then making the project contingent on a developer to foot the bill should not be an issue.

My sense is that the Village Center is not driven by a grass roots, bottoms up demand of members.  In fact, the referenced letter states the Committee is presenting “some ideas” that seem to have originated in the Strategic Planning Committee itself.  I believe that when new strategic “ideas” that could involve tax (HOA dues) increases are presented, it is incumbent on the presenters to frame them in the context of all other potential uses for the tax dollars (HOA dues).  As Governor Haslam once said (and I paraphrase), the job of good governance isn’t to chose between good and bad ideas but to prioritize which good ideas you can afford to implement and are most desired by your constituents.

Carmin Lynch

Fairfield Glade

 

Dear Editor:

Recently, we have had a number of Town Hall Meetings concerning our Food and Beverage operations, a new amphiteater complex at Mirror Lake and proposed Town Center. Is this a result of group called  “Resident Voice”?

Resident Voice members are not opposed to spending money, although we believe there should be some spending limits imposed on the Board Of Directors, which will require changes to the Covenants and Restrictions.

Projects beyond such limits would require the approval of the Membership. As it stands now there are no limitations. The Board and General Manger will argue nothing will get done if you tie their hands. I don’t believe that.

In the proposed 2017 Budget it was stated we would be planning for a new Bandstand near Mirror Lake, which has now evolved into an amphitheatre budgeted at $240,000 and a Pavillon with kitchen and restrooms at additional $150,000.

I don’t believe this project as proposed can be completed for $400,000.  Furthermore, there will be additional ongoing maintenance and utility cost for another amenity that will generate minimal revenue. When the idea of a new amphitheatre was included in the 10-year plan a few years ago I don’t think this is what most of us envisioned.

If you agree with any of my comments let your Board Members know or come to a “Resident Voice” meeting and help us work with the Board of Directors.

“Communication is the key word.”

Cheryl Brunske

Fairfield Glade

 

Dear Editor:

It is now 2017. We have a lot that we purchased in 1986 as the  “Premier Dorchester Golf Course Lot” and still have no water or sewer. Why you may ask?

Because “Our Developers and Community Club have sold the South end property owners down the river. Kind of a FGCC and Developers Ponzi Scheme. Because all development is going North and for enhancements for the developers (Wyndham and Good Sam) marketing objectives , and “we don’t have money left for the South side”.

All while we pay ever increasing fees for  “Capital Improvements and Expansion of Services”  we can’t use because the services that were promised were never provided. How many lots a year does the Community Club own for abandoned dues that aren’t paying any in?

We have built 2 golf courses, bought another, built a community center, new sewer system, indoor tennis facilities, new club houses, $460K pickle ball courts, and we are now going to build a new bandstand to replace what we have and build a new  Village Center as the Chairman described, “not immeasurably different from what we have.”

Why not let the developer build a restaurant or shopping mall on the old motel property or down from the Sales Offices that replaced the Sassafras? When pray tell are we going to consider finishing something you committed to do more than 30 years ago? It is not unheard of to have a few years when board members don’t build their legacy.

We, like many others, bought property here in the middle 80’s with the promise of Water and Sewer in 5 years.

We were taken to the Community Club Offices and shown the plans for the sewer. Remember? I have been asking the Developer, the Community Club, and the Planning Committee when will either happen, since 1991. We were told repeatedly that all of the development was being made on the North side of the Glade for the developer and there were no plans or money to do anything for the South end.

Then Fairfield Glade went bankrupt and settled with the Attorney General. Fairfield offered us a choice of two lots. Both were out in the woods and both were vertical, we refused. Then they made their final offer, still out in the wood with a beautiful 12-foot high natural stone wall at the road. We refused.

Then comes the sewer down Westchester (because the old system couldn’t handle the northern expansion). Initially we were told we could tap into the sewer and run a line about 1,000 feet to our property by Engineering Manager Barry Fields.

We gave him the lot informtion and he said that he would work up a quote for me.

The next day he called and said he was sorry but no one on the south side could tap in at this time. Sewer development was being done for the new sections of the Glade to the North.

Finally, in I believe 2006 or 7, we were told that if we could get 51% of the lot owners between Westchester and our lot to agree to the running of the sewer, they would run it for us.

We fell one vote short and 4 of those lots were owned by the developer. They then told us that we could pay $15,000 and they would run the sewer, but we would not get any of that money back when others tapped in the line.

Needless to say we declined. I am now told that we can pay for it and get reimbursement when others build.

How long are we going to let this total disregard for the “current” property owners go on? We didn’t buy throwaway lots, we were buying building lots with a commitment from the developer and FGCC!!

T. Reigle

Fairfield Glade

 

Dear Editor:

In the April 18th edition a very nice letter from Ms. Mary Greene detailed how the employees at Kroger Pharmacy in the Village Mall helped her after she fell.

I agree, all of the merchants and services at the mall have a strong sense of community and every time I’ve had business there, from the post office to the restaurants, I’ve seen this demonstrated with attentive service and a genuine concern for the customer.

This made me wonder what would happen to these fine businesses if the Community Club tears down the mall for a Village Center.  What would happen to the restaurants, retail stores, pharmacy, etc.?  Obviously, they would need to make other arrangements but what would those be?  They could relocate temporally, but where?

There are no suitable buildings in the Fairfield Glade area for all these businesses.  Even if there were, would they be willing to invest in building out a temporary space, especially those that need special equipment such as the restaurants?

And what about when the Village Center is ready, would the Community Club offer these business the same rent deals as they how enjoy?  Would the businesses be willing or able to invest in a total interior buildout including such very expensive improvements such a new commercial kitchen?

My guess is that even if they survived they would not move back to the Village Center once they had a new location.

There are many reasons that I strongly oppose the Village Center project and these thoughts just served to reinforce my opinion.  Aside from the massive propaganda campaign as noted in the front page ‘Open Letter’ in the same edition drafted by the project proponents I’ve not seen a single positive comment on this project, but many concerns.

Mr. Weber made it clear at the town hall meetings that the board doesn’t need our approval to spend our money any way they want.  That’s evidenced by the outdoor pickle ball courts.  It was also implied that there’s no need to do an opinion survey even through this process worked well when we were dealing with the issue of incorporation.

In that case, the question was asked, financial impact noted and the response was a resounding negative.  The board did what they should and put a halt to any spending on a study. For the Village Center, now that several town hall meetings have provided a forum for information and questions, a simple “Yes/No” vote might resolve the whole issue.

If the community approves it would be a significant endorsement.  If not, the board can always ignore the results since, as Mr. Weber noted, they have no obligation to get our approval.

Steven A. Munro

Fairfield Glade

 

Dear Editor:

Regarding Open Letter to Fairfield Glade residents from Oliver Dossmann, Chairman, Glade Strategic Planning Committee published in April 1 Edition of The Vista.

Oliver, it is clearly a wise and prudent decision for your committee to be making plans so that  “the future of Fairfield Glade is bright and exciting”.

However, there is a very present need to be considered.   That, being Fairfield Glade road conditions.

Leaving the hazardous side-of-the-road drop offs on Stonehenge Drive for another day,  I refer specifically to the northern half of Forest Hill Drive and all its connecting streets.

These streets have never been paved, only covered with tar and gravel that has now deteriorated to primarily gravel.

These same conditions are also found throughout our community.

You are correct, for most of us our home in Fairfield Glade is “our biggest investment”.  The condition and appearance of the streets/roads where our homes are located can significantly impact the dollar value of that investment.  Yes, as you state,  “it is imperative that we protect that investment” .

Also, as you suggest,  “hundreds of resorts are competing for the same future residents” .

How many American resort communities have you visited that have gravel roads.

Perhaps we should first consider and accomplish basic priorities to keep Fairfield Glade alive in this vast competition.

If, as you say, we have chosen to live  “within a community that believes in excellence”, let’s direct that excellence first toward properly constructed paved streets/roads throughout our community.

Then we will all be able to safely drive or walk to enjoy all the amenities being planned for the Village Center.

First things first, PLEASE.

Barbara Branson

Fairfield Glade