POA de­clines land sale of­fers

The Weekly Vista - - Front Page - LYNN ATKINS latkins@nwadg.com

A full au­di­ence in the board room and a live Face­book au­di­ence heard the POA board vote to de­cline two of­fers on un­de­vel­oped prop­erty.

The Ark-Mo land — 367 acres — was pur­chased in 2000 for $1.1 mil­lion. At the time, the Prop­erty Own­ers As­so­ci­a­tion golf cour­ses were crowded and the plan was to add one more course. Since then golf rounds have been steadily de­clin­ing and the land, which was paid off in 2007, has re­mained un­used.

In 2014, the land was ap­praised for $1.5 mil­lion, board chair­man Ron Strat­ton said. It was put on the mar­ket shortly there­after.

Last week, at a work ses­sion, the board lis­tened to an of­fer from Linda Lloyd, the prin­ci­pal bro­ker for Acorn Realty. Lloyd, who serves on the Bella Vista City Coun­cil, has de­vel­oped prop­erty be­fore. Her plan called for a mixed-use de­vel­op­ment with var­i­ous-sized lots, a small neigh­bor­hood of tiny houses, an eco-lodge, and a small de­vel­op­ment of co-hous­ing — de­fined as a group of sep­a­rate dwellings that share some ameni­ties like a gath­er­ing space or com­mer­cial kitchen.

The tract, which strad­dles the state line be­tween Arkansas and Mis­souri, is not com­mon prop­erty, so the new de­vel­op­ment would not be part of the Bella Vista POA.

Lloyd of­fered $1.1 mil­lion and asked that the POA fi­nance that amount for two years at 5 per­cent in­ter­est. She brought a Pow­erPoint pre­sen­ta­tion to the meet­ing to ex­plain her plans.

“This would set Bella Vista apart as an up-to-date and vi­sion­ary com­mu­nity,” she said about her plan. She said she would use green build­ing ma­te­ri­als.

Be­fore the sched­uled open fo­rum, POA gen­eral man­ager Tom Jud­son an­nounced that he had re­ceived a sec­ond of­fer on the prop­erty. The of­fer came with a re­quest for anonymity, he said, and he had no in­for­ma­tion on the planned use by the sec­ond po­ten­tial buyer. That of­fer was $1.2 mil­lion, with POA fi­nanc­ing at 5.25 per­cent.

Dur­ing the open fo­rum, sev­eral mem­bers had ques­tions about Lloyd’s ex­pe­ri­ence and the terms of the sale.

Stu Soren­son, who de­scribed him­self as a real es­tate agent, said

he be­lieved Lloyd’s plan of­fered the best use of the prop­erty.

Charles Flannery said the land should be kept in re­serve in case the planned hy­drol­ogy study re­flected bad news for the ex­ist­ing golf cour­ses, which have been re­peat­edly flooded.

The vote was unan­i­mous to de­cline both of­fers.

The board is not plan­ning to build a sev­enth golf course, Strat­ton said, but the flood­ing prob­lems on the ex­ist­ing cour­ses must be con­sid­ered.

At least two board mem­bers ex­pressed concern about fi­nanc­ing a land sale.

A vote to take the land off the mar­ket passed but was not unan­i­mous. Board mem­ber Josh Hart said he be­lieves the cur­rent of­fers are too low — but he would con­sider sell­ing for the right amount.

The hy­drol­ogy study for Lit­tle Sugar Creek, which has caused flood­ing prob­lems at the three golf cour­ses it flows through, was also a topic at Thurs­day’s meet­ing. The board heard about three bids for the study, all from en­gi­neer­ing firms in the re­gion. The board set­tled on a bid from Burns McDon­nell in Spring­dale. The study will be com­plete on Dec. 29. The city may share some costs, Jud­son said.

If the city ap­proves its share of the costs, the POA will pay $90,200. With­out the city, the cost will be $109,464. Jud­son asked the board to ap­prove the larger amount plus 5 per­cent for con­tin­gen­cies. The board agreed.

Also, a plan to move board meet­ings back one week to ac­com­mo­date some new ac­count­ing is­sues was ap­proved as a sec­ond read­ing. Begin­ning in Septem­ber, the board’s work ses­sion will be on the third Thurs­day, Sept. 21, and the reg­u­lar board meet­ing will be on the fourth Thurs­day, Sept. 28.

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