Local News

Lochmere residents mixed on HOA purchase of swim, tennis facilities

Posted May 26, 2010 5:13 p.m. EDT
Updated May 26, 2010 6:18 p.m. EDT

— The Lochmere Homeowners’ Association in Cary is considering a plan to purchase the swim and tennis facilities by the same name.

Although the facilities and the HOA share a name and location, homeowners who want to use the club pay an additional membership fee to the privately owned, non-profit corporation that runs the club

When financial pressures moved the corporation to close the facilities, the HOA proposed raising dues to take it over.

The three pools, ten tennis courts and two clubhouses are located on Lochmere Drive and in the Lochmere Highlands subdivision.

“The swim and tennis club is a core element of most communities in the south and it’s really about securing that as part of the portfolio of amenities,” HOA board member Jim Davis said Wednesday.

Membership has seen a dip after many families who once used the pool are now empty-nesters and new fitness clubs with pools have opened nearby. The facility is also paying legal fees to fight noise lawsuits from a non-Lochmere resident.

To keep the club afloat, the HOA has proposed homeowners’ dues be raised by $260, bringing the total amount of HOA to $578 a year.

Ann Robinson, a real estate agent and a Lochmere resident, said the club is important for resale value.

“I do a lot of relocation in my real estate and I know families moving in really like to have a pool facility or common area,” she said.

But not all homeowners agree with the decision to raise dues to purchase the club.

“We don’t use it. We haven’t belonged to it in 10 years,” resident Len Castillo said.

Castillo doesn't think the club should be the responsibility of all homeowners.

“If the association wants to buy the club then the fees to run the club and the increase in fees ought to be paid by people using the club,” he said.

Robinson said she belongs to a local fitness center and country club, but still wants the swimming and tennis facilities open.

“It’s about property values and maintaining the integrity of the neighborhood,” she said.

The Lochmere Homeowners' Association is holding community meetings this month and next to provide details about the proposal.

Homeowners will make the final decision on whether the HOA purchases the club. Ballots will be sent in June and must be returned by July 20.

The proposal needs two-thirds of the vote to pass. If passed, the HOA could take ownership by the end of the year.