Snowshoe property owners suggest amendments to resort area district petition
At their meeting Tuesday night, the Pocahontas County Commission will act on the petition to establish a Resort Area District [RAD] at Snowshoe Mountain Resort. Four months ago, the resort filed the petition to create the RAD, which would encompass Snowshoe Mountain and Silver Creek resorts. If it’s approved, the RAD would give the resulting 7-member board the ability to charge a 2% “resort service fee” on goods and services to keep up the assets maintained by the existing Mountain Top Assessment (MTA).
AMR reporter Megan Moriarty spoke with Snowshoe CEO Frank DeBerry about the petition and how it will affect the resort and the county. In this story DeBerry discusses some of the proposals put forth by resort homeowners concerning the RAD.
[Megan] Some property owners and residents are proposing changes to the RAD or amendments to it. Could you just talk a little bit about what proposed changes those are and how you might go about those changes into action.
“Sure, and at this point in the process the county has the petition in their hands and it truly is up to the county commission to make any amendments to the petition,” said DeBerry. “I’m not allowed to simply just go in and amend the petition. The way the statute is written, the county has that right, so what we’ve tried to do is work together with the county and with the homeowners that requested those amendments and try to come up with solutions that the county could then propose as amendments and that we would not object to and therefore achieve everybody’s goals.”
DeBerry said there are two primary amendment proposals under consideration. The first one would shut down the operations of the RAD if homeowners believe it’s not living up to the standards set for it.
“So we’ve proposed some language, it would essentially say that if there was a protest of 25% of homeowners that said we want to see the resort area district shuttered, then it would go to a referendum vote of the membership, and if 51% of the members said we want to shutter this, then it would be shut down,” he said. “And could only be restarted the issues were addressed and the membership then voted to restart the district.”
DeBerry said the other possible amendment has to do with district voting, saying some homeowners have approached him about voting rights within homeowner groups on the mountain.
“The idea there being that if you broke down homeowner representation into various like-minded ownership groups like single family lots, village and other town homes or something like that or found different districts to use to set up the voting, that that would be a good check, that it would be more representation [sic] of everybody’s interest,” he said. “There are also homeowners who think no, the best candidate should be allowed to run. And my stance on that has been that I don’t believe that’s something that the county should try to decide, I don’t believe it’s something that I should try to decide and I don’t think an amendment to do so would be the right thing.”
DeBerry said it’s a known issue and if the RAD is approved, it should be left up to the first board of the new district to decide. He said whether or not homeowners want district voting or at large representation should be left up to the homeowners when they vote for the three representatives who will sit on the 7 member board. The other four positions will be held by Snowshoe representatives.
“Snowshoe has no dog in that hunt,” said DeBerry. “We don’t really have a position ourselves and therefore we would listen to the lead of the homeowner elected representatives during the bylaws process and we’d move forward in that way. To create an amendment to the petition based on the wishes of a dozen homeowners out of 1800 property owners is giving the vocal minority far too much say in how this goes.”
“They many insist on it, the county, and if they do we’ll have to work through that issue, but I don’t think it’s the right thing to do.”
The Pocahontas county commission is expected to take action on the RAD petition at their meeting on Tuesday, Aug 19th. The discussion is scheduled for 6:45pm.