Court Rejects Suit Seeking to Stop Golf Club Deal

In an odd trwist, the Oakmont Golf Club had profitable weekends after it reopened the West course to weekend play thanks to warm weather and skeleton staffing.

While that may not be a formula for long-term success, OGC Vice President Susan Chauncy said it did help the club sustaiin itself while waiting for the pending sale to the OVA to close.

That could be sometime next month. Oakmont Village Association President Steve Spanier announced that directors have secured a loan committment letter from Mutual of Omaha Bank that will keep homeowner dues within the $23 a month increase overwhelmingly approved  by voters in August. Terms of the pending loan arrangement were not disclosed.

The presidents of the OVA and Golf Club signed a $3.6 million purchases and sale agreement Nov.10. Seperately, OVA signed a 20-year agreement with Advance Golf Partners to lease the golf and restaurant facilities and share profits with OVA.

Initial discussions called for AGP to contribute $1 million up front, but AGP was unable to secure a satisfactory loan, forcing the OVA to agree to advance the money to remodel and upgrade the Quail Inn restaurant. But AGP agreed, among other things, to reduce its guaranteed sharse of profit from $200,000 to $100,000 and pay 50 percent of annual income over that into a reserve fund.

“The arrangement with AGP has indeed changed,” Spanier said in a Jan. 3 community message. “Like you, we wish it hadn’t. However, we believe the current arrangement is only sligfhtly less agreeable. And, most importantly, Oakmont will soon forever control the fate of the land presently owned by the Oakmont Golf Club.” (See president’s message on this website.)

In a golf-related development, an attempt by former OVA President Ellen Leznik to block Oakmont’s purchase of the OGC has been rejected by a court, which also turned down Leznik’s request for financkal penalties.

The ruling by Judge Allan D. Hardcastle of Sonoma County Small Claims Court turned aside Leznik’s challenges to OVA’s conduct of the election ending Aug. 8 in which 73 percent of those voting supported raising dues to buy the golf club.

Leznik had sought an injunction stopping the sale, along with a ruling that OVA violated state laws in how it conducted the vote, and asked $3,150 in penalties for alleged violations of state law plus $2,793 to cover her costs. She later withdrew her request for legal fees.

In his brief ruling in favor of OVA Monday, Dec. 30, Judge Hardcastle made no comment beyond saying OVA “does not owe plaintiff any money.”

​”This is the outcome we expected,” said OVA President Steve Spanier.

​“Throughout the election, we took care to do things fairly and according to the law, consulting our lawyers at every turn. It’s unfortunate we needed to spend the association’s money defending ourselves, since that increases everyone’s dues, but we’re pleased with this outcome. Now, we will finalize purchase of the golf club and get this new decade started on a good note.”

​Spanier and OVA General Manager Kevin Hubred appeared before Hardcastle to defend against the suit. Leznik did not respond to an email requesting comment.