34.9% Vs. 0
Moss Creek is a residential community in Hilton Head, SC. In 2007, at the urging of its resident golfers, the HOA Board proposed to its members a single fee that would be paid by all property owners. The single fee would give all members unlimited access to all amenities: (greens fees at the two 18 holes golf courses, tennis and boat slips)
The issue, thinly veiled, was GOLF. The GOLFERS wanted, in essence, to spread their GOLF fees over the general membership, the majority of who were either non-golfers or occasional players. Community bylaws required a super majority (2/3 of the votes cast) in order to carry. A concerned group of owners led a community campaign in opposition to the measure and the measure did not achieve the super majority.
A short time later, the HOA Board, again at the urging of the GOLFERS acted within their bylaw authority and established an annual access fee option for the amenities of $1,000.
In the years since 2007, a period of very little inflation, annual HOA membership fees have risen to $4,980 annually. This is a 34.9% increase. The amenity access fee has not increased a dime. 34.9% to the general membership, 0 to the GOLF community.
-16.7%, -157.5, -400,000
There is no question that golf popularity in the United States is on the decline. Golf simply is not relevant to Millennials. Reputable sources such as CBS, and Forbes Magazine, report that the number of US golfers dropped 16.7% from 2005 through 2013. In 2013 the number of active US golf courses dropped by 157.5 courses. It was the eighth consecutive year of decreases. An estimated 23 million golfers today is down from 30 million in 2000. In 2013, 400,000 less Americans played a round of golf. In 2014, the 451 million rounds of golf played in the U.S. brought it back to the 1990 level.
15.1% ….unknown…. and unlimited
Our HOA board is putting in front of us a proposal. It will increase our dues by 15.1%; increase our Fire Mitigation cost by an unknown amount; increase our requirement to fund reserves by an unknown amount; increase our financial liability should the land become contaminated; and increase our fees by an estimated $46 to $59 per month should The Club close 9 or 18 holes.
The Moss Creek experience and poor demographic trends facing golf raise several questions about the future. The declining number of golfers and rounds played suggest that the cost per round is on the rise and will continue. How likely is it that our HOA fees will need to rise like Moss Creek’s over future years? The facts are compelling, and the willingness of this HOA Board to burden all owners in order to bailout, subsidize, a privately owned club used by a minority of residents strongly predicts that our HOA dues will be going up in the future to absorb the highly predictable operating losses, and greens, tee boxes and irrigation system replacement at The Club.
WE WON’T BE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO OPT OUT IN FUTURE YEARS.
THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW.
DEFEAT THIS PROPOSAL.