MISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN

“Now is the time to understand more so that we may fear less.” — Marie Curie

Virginia Oaks faces a difficult decision. Opinions are strong on both sides. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but opinions are not facts.

There has been a campaign of misinformation waged by a small number of homeowners who oppose the purchase. This has resulted in multiple emails, posts on Facebook, and anonymous letters delivered to homeowners containing factual errors and/or statements with the potential to engender fear. The HOA Board has repeatedly requested homeowners rely on HOA Board-provided information rather than anonymous correspondence or correspondence that claims facts other than those provided by the HOA Board. Source documents released by the HOA Board are based on the work of professionals and subject matter experts who examined every possible aspect of purchase, operation, and long term maintenance costs. These were also independently verified by additional engineers and a Certified Public Accountant from outside the community. The HOA’s attorney is also watching to ensure that the best interest of all homeowners is being served.

As the HOA Board recently explained:

“We have utilized attorneys, county government agencies, engineers, contractors, financial experts and countless other experts in order to provide the best information available in order for our Community to have all the tools available to make their own individual decision regarding this transaction.”

Several anonymous letters have been delivered to all or most HOA residents in the past months. The most recent version (delivered on or about November 20, 2019), makes assertions such as: “The collateral for the loans is the board’s ability to assess each homeowner additional fees to cover any current or future underestimates or dues shortfalls. Something that has never occurred in Va. Oaks history.”

This statement is inaccurate. Future HOA fees are the collateral for the loan, just as they are for countless loans taken out by HOAs across the country. The type of loan that the HOA would be taken out is specifically created for that reason. Any increase in HOA fees greater than 10% requires specific approval from individual members of the HOA, which is what we are currently voting to approve. (See Voting, Question #2). Per our HOA government documents, the HOA Board has the ability to raise dues by 10% per year without a vote. (The HOA Board has previously increased dues by 10%. They did so in the 2019 budget.) But Board members are elected by the a simple majority of a quorum of members (10%) of the HOA. They can be removed or not re-elected if they can’t curb spending. Any assertion that we will have to increase fees by $720 now, and then 10% per year for four or more consecutive years until we are forced to sell property is categorically false (see FAQ #39).

The latest anonymous letter also states: “Keep in mind that the clubhouse repair and renovation cost details supporting the estimates have not been independently validated since they were declared “proprietary.” This statement is false. The construction cost estimate is (and has been) provided. Both the engineer who completed the independent 30-year maintenance reserve study and the independent Certified Public Accountant had those estimates at the time that they performed their professional reviews.

There are numerous other false assertions in that letter. See Official Board FAQ #43 for the correct information about the Maintenance Shed property that the HOA does not now, and never will, own. Individual homeowners will be welcome to oppose rezoning as individuals or as a group. With respect to use of the Clubhouse and cart paths, the Board does not know who a potential backup purchaser might be if the HOA does not purchase the property (see Official Board FAQ #16), but there were 5 other offers (see Official Board FAQ #15). No one can factually state that the HOA would be allowed to use the Clubhouse or cart paths if someone other than the HOA completes a purchase. Nor can they factually, unless they can produce estimates and plans to back it up, state that “we could build our own clubhouse on property we currently own for half the price.” Even if we could build a commercial structure for that price, the HOA would still require a loan, own 157.5 fewer acres of property, not own the cart paths, not be able to address the property behind individual homes, not have control of the commercial enterprise or development goes into the center of the neighborhood.

The Board can’t respond to every email, Facebook post, or anonymous letter that someone puts on to try to sway their neighbors. But the following is one of many statements already issued by the HOA Board:

“Please remember that we are all neighbors first and foremost. The Board discourages continued posting on social media that spreads defamatory accusations, degrades, or belittles any resident, group or the Board. As stated in an earlier e-blast, the Board also discourages residents from relying on Facebook posts and anonymous flyers concerning the potential golf course purchase that purport to be factual. Please rely on the Board for accurate information The Board is dedicated to providing this community with all the facts needed.”

Content for this website was provided and reviewed by numerous HOA volunteers and member(s) of the HOA Board in whole or in part. The entirety is based on, and agrees with, official information provided by the HOA Board. Assertions that this information should be disregarded because no list of names is attached to this website would have merit only if this website provided information that differed from official information. Currently, this website is the only place where homeowners can obtain official documents relating to the purchase. Unfortunately, those who spread false information may find it helpful if homeowners do not have access to real facts and sources.

The HOA Board is comprised of volunteers. The workload and intensity of effort required as a result of this potential purchase is beyond what has been faced by any previous Virginia Oaks HOA Board. The HOA Board has neither the time nor the resources available to put up a brand new website within the time required to keep up with a time-sensitive real estate transaction. Many hands make light work. That’s why this site was created. If you are concerned that any fact, elsewhere or on this website, that appears to contradict facts provided by the HOA Board, please contact the HOA Board for clarification at HOA@VirginiaOaks.com. Please urge your neighbors to do so too.

The HOA Board has also provided specific corrections to false information that was sent to 400+ members of the HOA’s Online Directory by email or posted online. This information may be circulating throughout the neighborhood, so it is critical that homeowners have access to the Board’s corrections.