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New KCSA Officers
28 September 2017: The KCSA Board voted this afternoon to appoint a new slate of Officers. There were two nominations for the position of President: Ron Lynde and John Hilker. All four elected Directors voted for Ron Lynde as President, while all five appointed Directors voted for John Hilker as President. The other three Officers were elected unanimously:
20 September 2017: A serious power surge occurred in Kingsmill this afternoon, causing fires in several homes, and destroying equipment in many other homes. The James City County Board of Supervisors questioned the Director of Dominion Power’s Regional Operations Center about the causes of the surge, which lasted from 3:39pm until around 6:00pm, and you can view a video of that work session.
Kingsmill residents who suffered damage from the surge are recommended to file a claim with their home insurance company at first, and to seek reimbursement from Dominion for any deductible that they have to pay against their claim.
11 September 2017: At this evening’s election for two vacancies on the KCSA Board of Directors, the winning candidates were Andrew Lloyd-Williams and Ron Lynde. Congratulations to the winners!
A total of 2,157 votes were cast, 1,263 of which were Class ‘A’ votes indicating a turnout of approximately 27% of all eligible class ‘A’ (owner) votes*:
* – There are 2,366 dues-paying lots, each of which is allowed two ‘A’ votes – one for each vacancy. Some voters marked only one candidate, so the actual turnout of ‘A’ voters may have been higher than 27%.
17 August 2017: All three of the candidates for the upcoming KCSA Board of Directors election spoke at the Meet the Candidates night this evening to KCSA members in front of an audience of about 30 KCSA members.
Each of the candidates gave an opening statement, followed by answers to eight questions posed by members of the audience and read out by moderator, Ed Connors, and ending with a closing statement.
Meet The Candidates
Three candidates have submitted petitions for the September 11, 2017 election for the KCSA Board of Directors. They are, in alphabetical order:
- Andrew Lloyd-Williams
- Ronald Lynde
- Tommy Niles
You can read the biographies that each candidate has submitted by clicking here.
At the September 11 election, all homeowners will be able to cast “Class A” votes for any one or two candidates. Similarly, all “occupants” will be able to cast “Class B” votes for any one or two candidates. (An “occupant” being a homeowner who “occupies” his own home, or a renter with an initial lease period of at least twelve months).
Most residents both own and occupy their home so will be able to cast both “Class A” and “Class B” votes. In that case, they can cast their “Class A” and “Class B” votes for the same candidate(s) or, if they choose, can vote their “Class A” votes for one or two candidates and their “Class B” votes for different candidate(s).
If you will be unable to attend the election, which will be held at 7:00pm on September 11 at the Mounts Bay Recreation Center, or if you prefer not to attend, you can vote by proxy — by just returning the proxy forms that you should receive in the mail on or around August 5. The proxy forms will each have the letter A for the “Class A” votes or the letter B for the “Class B” votes in the top right corner. You only need to mark each form with your selected vote or votes (not more than two on each form) and have each owner sign and date the forms.
You do not need to enter anything where it says "[IF YOU DO NOT WISH CAROLINE LAUR TO VOTE YOUR PROXY, WRITE IN NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE KCSA MEMBER TO WHOM YOU ARE GIVING THE PROXY]" unless you want to appoint another KCSA Member, a friend or a neighbor in good standing, as your Proxy.
But please note the sentence lower down on the proxy forms: “If no boxes are marked such that this proxy is left uninstructed, the proxy may cast the votes in his or her discretion”. If many Members return their proxy forms without marking any boxes and without appointing another KCSA Member to be their Proxy, Caroline Laur, as the default Proxy, could be empowered to cast enough votes to change the outcome of the election, thereby nullifying the votes of all other KCSA Members! It may only take a few dozen Members to do this with A and B proxy forms to make our election meaningless. So please mark at least one box on each proxy form to show that you care!
Return the completed forms to KCSA in the envelope provided or hand them in to the KCSA office. If you think you should have received the proxy forms but did not, please call the KCSA Office at (757) 645-3454.
If you would like to know more about the candidates, please join us for the “Meet the Candidates Evening” on Thursday August 17, 2017 at 7:00pm at the Mounts Bay Recreation Center.
Update on The Country Road
The work by HRSD (Hampton Roads Sanitation District) to replace ±7,000 linear feet of sanitary sewer force main located between the Wareham’s Pond Recreation Center in Kingsmill and HRSD’s Williamsburg Treatment Plant began in 2015 after approval by the James City County Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors in February 2015.
The work seems to have ended several months ago, but piles of debris remained to the east of Wareham’s Pond Rec Center until a few weeks ago, and pipes and other detritus remain to the west of the Rec Center. The restoration is clearly not complete but, even where it appears to have been completed, it is far from satisfactory.
The promised "plan is to restore this area to pre-land disturbing conditions" required by the Board of Supervisors resolution authorizing the work has not been met and the Country Road is all but impassable in places.
Click here for a more detailed report, or watch the video to the right – drone footage from June 2017.
Articles of Incorporation Amendment Passes:
15 June 2017: At the KCSA Special Membership meeting held tonight at 7pm at Mounts Bay Recreation Center, the Amendment to the KCSA Articles of Incorporation passed. According to the written proxy:
“The proposed amendment, which tracks the language from the court order and is recommended by the Board, is as follows:
The Board of Directors shall consist of nine (9) persons. As long as the Class C membership exists, no more than five (5) of the directors shall be appointed by the Class C member (the developer) and no less than four (4) of the directors shall be elected by the vote of Class A and Class B members of KCSA. The formula contained in the third paragraph of Article VI(a) of the Articles of Incorporation remains unchanged other than as expressly set forth herein.
So the amended Article VI(a) of KCSA’s Articles of Incorporation now reads:
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Proposed Amendment Updated:
5 May 2017: The letter sent out to all KCSA Members today, along with proxy voting forms, presents a different version of the amendment to that outlined on the KCSA website, and in emails sent out by KCSA. And, if anything, the content is even more questionable than that in the previous version at the right (and see news article below). Click the image to enlarge→
Exactly which version did the Board of Directors approve at their March 23, 2017 meeting (the minutes of the meeting provide no detail), and exactly what does the word "herein" at the end of the amended text refer to??
With the version outlined in today’s letter from KCSA, the amended Article VI(a) will read:
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Even if no other changes are made, the wording of this proposed amendment should be changed to replace the language: "as expressly set forth herein" with "as expressly set forth in the court decree dated 8 July, 2016".
The Proposed Amendment:
If the proposed amendment to the KCSA Articles of Incorporation passes, then the amended Article VI(a) will read:
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
(Amended text, copied from the KCSA website, shown in italics)
But, more to the point, this amendment enshrines the Class C member’s commitment since 1990 to "permanently and irrevocably waive the right to appoint one (1) of the directors allotted to it in the Articles of Incorporation". It does this by changing the minimum number of elected directors from three to four.
But, once the formula in the third paragraph results in four elected directors (when we reach 4,501 Class A and B votes), that "permanent and irrevocable waiver" effectively disappears – there will still be only four elected directors.
It is likely that the Class A and B votes will reach 4,501 with the new construction underway in Kingsmill, but there is no way that we will ever reach the 6,001 votes that would be required to achieve a homeowner elected majority on the KCSA Board of Directors under this proposed amendment.
Time for homeowner control of our HOA?
23 March 2017: The KCSA Board of Directors this afternoon approved an amendment to Article VI(a) of KCSA’s Articles of Incorporation, pertaining to the Term and Composition of the Board itself, and that proposed amendment must now be presented to the KCSA Membership for a vote at a Special Membership Meeting. KCSA President, Christine Rose, described the amendment as merely housekeeping although, on July 8, 2016, the Williamsburg/James City County Circuit Court ordered that the amendment should be presented to the KCSA Membership for a vote as soon as reasonably possible.
This “housekeeping” amendment is actually more than 26 years overdue as KCSA has been following a practice since 1990 that does not conform to its Articles of Incorporation.
Virginia State Law § 13.1-886 requires that the proposed amendment be voted on by Members at a Special Meeting at which a quorum of one tenth of all Members in each voting group must be present and the amendment must be approved by more than two-thirds of all the votes cast by each voting group. In KCSA’s case, voting groups are Class A (Owners), Class B (Occupants — owners or lessees) and Class C (the Developer) Members.
Given that the Kingsmill Resort has recently come under new ownership and that, even with the proposed amendment, the homeowner-elected directors will still be in a minority on our Homeowner Association Board, we have to question whether this might be a good time for the Developer, now Escalante Golf, to cede majority control of the KCSA Board to the homeowners. It is hard to find any examples over the past 7 years when the previous Developer, Xanterra, was able to use their majority on the Board to their advantage, and it doesn’t bode well for the relationship between the Developer and the homeowners when the Developer still maintains control of our Homeowners’ Association after more than forty years!
As KCSA must hold a Special Meeting of Members anyway, might this not be a good time for Escalante Golf to make a goodwill gesture to the homeowners?
Town Hall Meetings
22 March 2017: The new owners of the Kingsmill Resort, Escalante Golf, held a series of Town Hall meetings to introduce their management team to Kingsmill residents on March 20 and 21. Five members of the Escalante team (David Matheson – providing the introduction, John Hilker* – the new COO for Kingsmill Resort, David MacDonald – President of Escalante Golf, Elcio Silva and Robert Silva – both founding members of Escalante Golf) took the stage along with two members of Hart Howerton – "A New York and San Francisco firm providing full interdisciplinary architectural, interior design, land planning, and landscape architecture services" (Jim Tinson and Nicole Emmons). Numerous other members of the Escalante team were also in attendance (Jeff Goodsell, Ryan MacDonald*, Marshall Kerns, Bruce Rehkop, Greg Marquart*, and Jonathon Haack*). David Matheson stated that “half of our team is here today; the other half is in Houston prepping for the Shell Houston Open”.
A general introduction of Escalante Golf, founded by David MacDonald, Elcio Silva and Robert Silva in 1991 was given. The company now has 16 properties in 9 states. They describe their key role as being one of “stewardship” and they plan to be here “for a long time”. As of now, the Escalante team doesn’t claim to have a lot of answers, but are looking for input from Kingsmill residents “to make sure that they don’t go down the wrong road”.This introduction was followed by a vision of potential future architecture and land planning provided by Jim Tinson. Escalante will bring Hart Howerton on board to advise on ways to enhance the future experience for members and resort guests.
The presentation included a slide show with statements about Escalante’s visions for Kingsmill:
This vision starts tonight and will grow through a collaboration of the myriad stakeholders in the success of Kingsmill – ourselves, individual condo owners, homeowners & residents, Club members, and the greater Williamsburg community. We have a deep appreciation for the importance of community, a sense of belonging, and the need to partner with you as we shape this vision.
To help us materialize our concepts, we have retained one of the country’s most acclaimed architectural and design firms – Hart Howerton – to breathe new life into the physical environment of Kingsmill Resort, encompassing everything from the sense of arrival, signage, landscaping, and architecture."
Social: We are re-introducing this category so that every resident within the Kingsmill community will have access to the resort. This includes the restaurants, spa, marina, and the River Pool pool complex, in addition to a 20 percent discount on all dining, spa treatments and retail purchases."
By bringing half of their management team to Kingsmill for the meetings, Escalante seemed to be showing a strong commitment to the future of the Resort, and their answers to numerous questions posed were generally well received by the audience.
Xanterra Out / Escalante In
1 March 2017: In a message sent to Members of the Kingsmill Club today, David McDonald, President of Fort Worth-based Escalante Golf, wrote:
As you may have heard, Escalante Golf successfully acquired all of the assets of Kingsmill Resort from Xanterra Kingsmill, LLC., including the Realty office and all remaining real estate. We are extremely honored and excited to be stewards of a property with such an iconic legacy created by Anheuser Busch more than 45 years ago.
We have a bold vision for the resort. While we will honor and preservthe history of Kingsmill Resort, our vision rests on a deeply-rooted conviction that the best days of the property are ahead. We believe Kingsmill Resort has the potential to become the most sought-after leisure destination on the eastern seaboard.
Our entire team from the home office will be spending quite a bit of time at Kingsmill Resort over the next few weeks meeting the team and getting to know the members and residents. We will be scheduling a series of town hall meetings in the coming weeks so that we can share our vision with you. We also want to come and listen, learn and understand your thoughts on the future of Kingsmill Resort. We have a deep appreciation for the importance of partnering with our members and residents to make sure you have a platform to help guide our decision making.
To those we have already met here at Kingsmill Resort, thank you for the incredibly warm welcome. To those we have not yet met, we look forward to getting to know you. Again, we are all incredibly excited to be here and look forward to a terrific future together.
Escalante Golf, Inc."
Further details are in the respective Escalante and Kingsmill news releases. And, according to Richmond BizSense, "Escalante has been interested in Kingsmill for some time. In 2010, it tried to buy the resort from Anheuser-Busch but was outbid by Xanterra".
On becoming the "Developer" (according to the 1973 Kingsmill Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions, Article 1.3), Escalante has taken the opportunity to make a clean sweep of the Developer-appointed members of the KCSA Board. Outgoing Board members: Shane Harvey, Charlotte Jones, Kevin Kolda, Tom Mernin and Mike Shannon have been replaced by new KCSA Board members:
- Ms. Ryan McDonald
- Mr. John Hilker (Chief Operations Officer)
- Mr. Jonathon Haack
- Mr. Wayne Nooe
- Mr. Greg Marquart
The new appointees join recently elected KCSA Board members John Hudson and Rick Thompson, along with members whose terms expired in September 2015: Ron Lynde and Christine Rose.
Escalante vs The Crosby HOA
The Crosby at Rancho Santa Fe is a private, gated community, northeast of the Rancho Santa Fe Village along Del Dios Highway, north of San Diego. It has approximately 420 single family homes, and also includes the Crosby National Golf Club and its 18-hole course.
The luxury residential community and its golf facilities were built in the early 2000s by Starwood Development. In 2009, Escalante Golf, a Texas-based company, bought the golf course, clubhouse and other golf club facilities.
At the time of the purchase, the golf club was in poor financial shape, but Escalante turned things around, stabilizing the club’s finances through “aggressive expense management and event sales”. For the next three years, the HOA board was controlled by Starwood (the original developer), and “the club received no complaints about its events from the residents or the county of San Diego”.
But things changed in 2012 when Starwood turned over control of the HOA to elected resident representatives, who found such events “distasteful and a nuisance”. In 2013, a lawsuit was filed by the HOA because residents felt the private nature of the community was being disturbed by “frequent” events held at the golf club facilities. Attendees of the events caused traffic jams getting into and out of the community; they parked on private streets and the community became “inundated with hundreds of members of the general public who wander throughout [the community]”. Residents who lived near the club also were disturbed by noise from events.
The club spent more than $2 million on legal fees, which drained its resources and caused it to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2015. In March 2016, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Margaret Margaret Mann ruled in favor of The Crosby HOA. “The court ruled that the golf club ownership cannot sponsor events, that the use of the club facilities are for the members and their guests; it is a private club and can’t be rented out to the public“. The HOA is also seeking reimbursement for attorney fees and court costs from the golf club.
[With attribution to the Rancho Santa Fe Review]
Kingsmill Sold to Escalante Golf?
9 January 2017: From early December 2016, there have been numerous reports about the potential sale of the Kingsmill Resort to Escalante Golf (see Mr. Williamsburg and others), and we have been looking for reliable sources to confirm the sale.
Perhaps the most reliable indicator is the fact that, according to the Virginia State Corporation Commission, Escalante Golf registered a new Virginia corporation on December 3, 2016:
- S6508669 Escalante KingsMill, LLC
and then registered three more new Virginia corporations on January 3, 2017:
- S6554424 Escalante KingsMill Beverage, LLC
- S6554481 Escalante KingsMill Resort, LLC
- S6554515 Escalante Kingsmill Development, LLC
All four corporations have an effective date of January 3, 2017 and, in each case, the registered agent was Stephen D. Lentz of Virginia Beach, a 1975 graduate of the William & Mary Marshall Wythe Law School.
The formation of all four new corporations may suggest that Escalante Golf is planning to purchase all of Xanterra’s Kingsmill assets and, perhaps, also the residual Kingsmill assets of Busch Properties.
The Importance of Information
No reasonable person likes “Fake News” even if the resulting misunderstanding may be to their benefit. Fake News can arise from intentional misinformation, or from misguided rumors.
This site never intentionally publishes incorrect information and will always retract errors when notified. We always seek reliable sources for information to be published rather than relying on pure rumor. But rumor flourishes when interested parties are denied timely information.
The president of the Kingsmill Community Services Association Board of Directors has requested that the domain name of this site be changed to avoid confusion with the official site, kingsmillcommunity.org. Visitors to this site come here of their own free will and we never trick anyone into visiting this site. It isn’t clear who would benefit from a change in this site’s domain name. And what would we change it to? If you can think of a better domain name for this site, we would like to hear from you.
The heading at the top of this page includes: “An unofficial digest of news for Members of Kingsmill Community Services Association”. Those who visit the site tell us that that do so because it provides information that isn’t available on the official kingsmillcommunity.org site. Perhaps one good effect of this site continuing to publish information of interest to KCSA Members will be to encourage KCSA to be more forthcoming with timely announcements on the official website.
As an example, the KCSA Board president complained about this site’s publication, on October 27, 2016, of news that 2017 Trash Collections would be reduced to once per week. The publication of this news followed a decision made at the Board of Directors’ meeting earlier that day. She said that we should have waited until KCSA had time to put together their own announcement. But a decision made at an open meeting of the KCSA Board of Directors should surely be available to all KCSA Members from that moment. In this case, KCSA had several days in which to prepare their own announcement, which could have been posted to the official website immediately following the decision.
Back in September 2014, we announced that: “this temporary, unofficial website is intended to fill some of the gaps in the current site and, at the same time, provide some ideas that could be incorporated into the new community website“.
We are still waiting . . .
Happy New Year!
VERY HAPPY AND
HEALTHY 2017 TO
ALL MEMBERS OF
THE KINGSMILL COMMUNITY.