Farmington Woods Condo Owners Defeat Proposal To Sink Millions Of Dollars Into Golf Course Improvements

By overwhelming votes, owners of condos at Farmington Woods in Avon defeated two proposals that would have raised their condo fees by about 18 percent to pay for improvement to a money-losing golf course used by just a minority of the residents.

Lee Lagasse, a unit owner one of the leaders of the anti tax increase movement, reported that the $2 million golf course irrigation system proposal was defeated by a 684 to 337 vote taken Thursday.

The $2 million  proposed upgrade for the golf course clubhouse was defeated by a vote of 826 to 194.

“As far as I can see, this was a referendum on what defines Farmington Woods, the community or the golf club,” Lagasse said today.

“Now that we know what we want to be, the real work of getting that accomplished through the political process is just beginning. Hopefully the board gets the message that was sent them: that the residents want the residents to be the #1 priority at Farmington Woods and that the golf club needs to find a way to be “self-sustaining” as we were all told when we bought into this condominium. Keep watching, as it will get even more interesting as we move forward.”

This latest battle started several weeks prior to yesterday’s referendum at the  giant Farmington Woods Condo complex.

Lagasse is Chairman of FW Resident for Fiscal Responsibility and blogs about this issue at www.farmingtonwoodsinsider.blogspot.com.

On May 10, 2012 residents of Farmington Woods Condominium in Avon voted on an issue that has this quiet village of 2000 buzzing. After nearly 40 years of defining itself as a golf community, that very definition has them in a quandary: do they continue to support that identity by investing $4M into a golf/clubhouse operation that has made a profit one year in the last ten, has lost $1.3M over the last six and is already projected to lose $125K next year?

After holding Focus Groups in 2011 where residents stated that they “overwhelmingly want the golf operation to be self-supporting”, the board, at a Public Hearing in February of this year, presented residents with a plan to float $4M in bonds to replace the irrigation system on a forty-year old golf course and upgrade the clubhouse with a new entrance, elevator and horse shoe bar. The bonds would increase district taxes 18%.

It was at that hearing that a group, Farmington Woods Residents for Fiscal Responsibility, formed to prevent this 20 year debt sentence from being imposed on residents without the benefit of a long term business plan, cost/benefit analysis or evaluation done to see if the $4M was even worth spending. Instead the board took the liberty of spending $43K on lawyers, architects and a bond broker to design and plan what they wanted: upgrades to a course where 89 resident golfers out of 2000 residents actually take advantage of the amenity that the board says defines this community.

To read the background on this fight check these stories written by Lagasse.

  • Farmington Woods Condo Budget Battle: Golfers Versus Non Golfers
  • Giant Avon Condo Complex Has Curious Rule: Finances Are Kept Secret From Condo Owners Who Pay The Fees
  • Farmington Woods: A Tale Of What Happens When Chicago Politics Takes Control Of A Ct Condo Association
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