Letters to the Editor

Twin Lakes proposal is like insurance | Federal Way letters

Many Twin Lakes residents are unaware that Twin Lakes Golf and Country Club is not owned by the Twin Lakes Homeowners Association, but is a privately owned and operated entity. The potential closure of the club will have a very negative financial impact on every homeowner within the community, member or not.

The measure proposed and recommended by the board of the Twin Lakes Homeowners Association (amenities agreement) would help the golf club maintain financial viability during these difficult ecomonic times, thus preserving the value it offers to the Twin Lakes community. To do this, the already low homeowners dues would have to increase by $25 a month.

The primary consideration for each Twin Lakes homeowner voting on the upcoming measure should be: How will the closure of the golf course affect the value of my home? For example, if the average home value in Twin Lakes is $300,000, that value will drop an estimated 15 to 20 percent, or $45,000 to $60,000, if the golf course becomes insolvent, ceases operation and is forced to sell the land to a developer. That loss decreases each homeowner's net worth, reducing their borrowing power and, more importantly, will drastically reduce the resale value of each and every home. And as we all have heard so often, our home is the single most important investment most of us will ever make. It would seem that a $25-per-month increase in dues is a small price to pay to ensure the value of this important investment.

As a secondary consideration, the golf and country club is offering each homeowner access to its amenities for the $25 increase in dues. Access includes use of the private swimming pool; tennis court; spacious restaurant and lounge, both overlooking the open space of the golf course. These facilities can be used by TLHOA members and their families; their children, grandchildren, and accompanied guests. In addition, there are many other activities promoted throughout the year that all homeowners can enjoy. For those who do golf, use of the course is available to them, along with the putting green and driving range, all included in the $25 dues increase.

The restaurant has nightly specials, excellent food and a very friendly and professional staff. Recently, as a non-member, I received a coupon to try the restaurant. I was very surprised to see advertised a $4 steak night and another dinner featuring a $4.99 all-you-can-eat taco and fajita dinner. The restaurant benefit by itself is enough to justify the $25.

Those homeowners looking to sway the upcoming vote to the negative have made arguments that the HOA board are all golfing members of the country club and therefore have a vested interest in supporting the amenities measure. In fact, only two of the nine board members have golfing privileges.

The TLHOA board has done due diligence in its desire to gather important information concerning the amenities agreement: Consulted HOA attorneys; real-estate professionals; and the North Shore Golf Course Coalition, who are themselves fighting a proposed development of the North Shore Golf Course. They have some real horror stories about this fight that could be ours if the amenities agreement does not pass.

A financial audit of the golf course has been completed and a recovery plan is forthcoming. To participate in future activiites and decisions of the Twin Lakes Golf and Country Club, the homeowners association will hold two seats on its governing board.

The members of the Twin Lakes HOA Board of Trustees are all volunteers whose primary purpose is to uphold the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions and Rules and Regulations to help preserve the value of this community. Each of us in Twin Lakes protects our home values with esthetic and architectural reviews within these documents. Is not this amenitites measure doing the same with a much higher outcome?

The Twin Lakes Homeowners Board of Trustees recommends a "yes" vote on the upcoming measure on Dec. 10. I will cast my vote as recommended by the board and consider the $25 cheap insurance to preserve my home values.

Gary Duvall, Twin Lakes

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