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Old 05-08-2010, 03:10 PM
 
4 posts, read 30,387 times
Reputation: 16

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We have finally sold our house in the former Sudden Valley private recreational community and are looking for a community that is similar to what Sudden Valley was before it changed to become a social welfare organization.

A little history might help explain what we are searching for in a community: We moved to Sudden Valley because we are very active and enjoy the outdoors and being a part of a private community dedicated to recreational opportunities. We also wanted covenants, rules and regulations that would not only be adhered to but also promote the aesthetic attributes of living in a private recreational community.

We moved to Sudden Valley in 1992 and it was all that and much more. We had many wonderful years and then about 2003-2004 things started changing. Two of the recreational amenities (the campground and ice rink) were closed. Then "use fees" were instituted for people to use the recreational facilities. This in turn created a situation in which many people who would have otherwise used the facilities did not. Soon the "use fees" became ridiculously high while at the same time the swimming pool would be closed intermittently, the recreation center was shut down in the middle barn and turned in to a health club that charged even more fees, the previously free health club was closed, the tennis courts no longer were maintained, the parks were no longer properly maintained, the once beautiful marina beach became a dog pooping area where few people picked up after their dogs and it became difficult to access without getting dog feces on your feet (not a good place for kids to play either). Also Sudden Valley lost its General manager and a new GM came in with a desire to get rid of nearly the entire staff which was very experienced and knowledgeable which he accomplished rather quickly. Sudden Valley lost an exceptional ACC manager in Craig Ostrom who would have made an outstanding GM if given the opportunity in my opinion. From there the downhill slide really took hold and quickly accelerated. Dues were increased 38% and community members received less and less in return. A small group of people who took over the board were now in full control and changing the community quickly for the worse although they would say otherwise. Next thing to go is the community newspaper which was turned into a propaganda tool to spread lies and false information. The Sudden Valley channel 10 also goes away and member's can no longer keep abreast of what the board is doing unless they attend meetings and even then everything becomes very covert. Eventually, without the approval of the Sudden Valley Community member's, Sudden Valley changes it's designation from a "private recreational community" to a "501(c)4 social welfare organization" which required the community members to give up all the property once owned by the same community members to the everyone and anyone. It was no longer the members private parks, trails and other recreational lands. In addition members were required to pay for upgrades to the bathrooms and marina in order to make them ADA compliant etc. because they now must be open to the public. The once great Sudden Valley had become a pile of ... and was longer a desirable place to live. Property values have plummeted and will definitely continue to do so as residents continue to look for brighter skies.

We are looking for a private recreational community on the west coast that affords many recreational opportunities. It must be the reason and purpose of the community and similar to what Sudden Valley once was. We would prefer it to be in Washington State but as I said we would consider anywhere on the west coast. Please offer any suggestions or recomendations. I greatly appreciate any input you may offer and opologize for the long post.
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Old 05-08-2010, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Between Seattle and Portland
1,266 posts, read 2,743,097 times
Reputation: 1480
We lived lakeside in Sudden Valley from 1991 to 1998, and your post perfectly captured the major reasons we moved, as we saw the downward spiral earlier. Cliques, infighting, selective enforcement of the covenants and restrictions, declining infrastructure...well, I just thought you might like to know you're not alone in what you're feeling. (Also, there are at least two threads I remember on here about Sudden Valley with additional comments about the loss of quality of life.)

Our experience soured us forever on HOAs and any community with restrictive covenants. We decided to take our chances in an unregulated neighborhood and have been very happy with the results. (California) However, that's a thread hijack, as HOAs also have their own threads running here.

I've heard good things from a "friend of a friend" who moved to Suncadia:

"Suncadia is a 6,300-acre resort community adjacent to the city of Roslyn and the Wenatchee National Forest in western Washington state, easily accessible via Interstate 90. Its amenities will include three 18-hole, championship golf courses, a boutique Inn, a condominium lodge and a central village of shops and galleries—plus an array of sporting and recreational activities in an unspoiled mountain environment."

Suncadia Four-Season Resort & Golf Community, Roslyn, Washington (http://www.golfcoursehome.net/doc/communities/Community-Suncadiawa.htm - broken link)

Looks worth checking out... Good luck in your search.
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Old 05-08-2010, 11:17 PM
 
4 posts, read 30,387 times
Reputation: 16
Stonecypher5413, thank you so much for your response!

I was not sure if I even posted in the correct place, so I was pleasantly surprised to see your response.

My wife and I both spent some time looking at the Suncadia web site and just booked a room for 2 nights and 2 rounds of golf (the staynplay2010 promotion). The web site is truely amazing and if the place looks anything like the pictures it may be a possibility for us.
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Old 05-09-2010, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Between Seattle and Portland
1,266 posts, read 2,743,097 times
Reputation: 1480
You might want to start a thread about Suncadia after your trip there, to elicit further comments from others in the know.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if it turns out to be exactly what you're looking for! At least now, after your experience with Sudden Valley, you know what questions to ask before buying.
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:48 AM
 
Location: WA
338 posts, read 784,572 times
Reputation: 336
Have you looked at Salemtown, OR?
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Old 10-09-2010, 01:40 PM
 
34 posts, read 63,700 times
Reputation: 25
Thanks for your information on Sudden Valley. We live in Viera, FL, and are fortunately renting in a 55+ community (thank God), so can relocate anywhere. I get treated ugly by the other women because I am 49y.o., and many here are northeasterners. We have considered buying into one of these planned communities with HOA restrictions, but the restrictions we want are not included. Have tried these types of neighborhoods, and always problematic - especially when they don't enforce rules that are in the covenants. you have no other choice than to sue the homeowners' association - which is not fun. They seem to restrict so much, but have overlooked the fact that our neighborhoods here are now badly polluted with scented laundry products. The house next door, and probably others on our street, spew out this terrible smelling stuff from their dryer vents, that we have to constantly breathe every time we walk out the door. It has now infiltrated our new, nice, rental house. We are ready to run. Interesting that you can pollute the neighborhood with toxic chemicals, but you can't hang your laundry out to dry on a line.
We are looking at Washington state because of a child living there, and saw a rental house in Sudden Valley. Thanks so much for your commentary. We have experienced this HOA thing, and again, never seems to restrict neighbors from smoking and spewing out toxic fragrance, that affects others.
Does anyone have ideas about rural areas that are nice, close to Bellingham?
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Old 10-13-2010, 06:32 PM
 
2,767 posts, read 3,453,112 times
Reputation: 2118
Outside Lynden might work.
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Old 10-14-2010, 02:14 PM
 
2,767 posts, read 3,453,112 times
Reputation: 2118
Or near Birch Bay or in northern Skagit county.
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