Opinions

In 1999 my wife and I visited Lake Monticello as a possible retirement location. We were won over by the beauty of the area, and the amenities offered to residents – a lake, pool, marina, beaches, a golf course, playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts and a main clubhouse. Homeowner association dues were a new thing for us, as I’m sure they were for many who moved here, but dues aid to offset some of the cost of amenities for the community – the whole community. Some of these amenities have seen repair or replacement in past years. The lake dam, the marina boat slips, the pool area, #5 beach, and the golf course have all made a dramatic comeback, but many improvements are still needed. A previous architectural review of the Ashlawn and the Pro Shop/Eagles Nest verified this. To accomplish this goal the Lake Monticello Owners’ Association board has presented a renovation and replacement project proposal to all community members.
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There is a great deal of misinformation with regard to the Lake Monticello Owners’ Association Renovations and Replacements project. The letter “Golfers Should Pay” in a recent issue of the Fluvanna Review is illustrative. It speaks of a golf clubhouse, persons who belong to the golf clubhouse, and, members of the golf club. There is not now, nor will there be, either a golf clubhouse or a golf club. The course is open to any who wish to play and there is no membership required. Less than one-quarter of the space in the new building is for golfers. Even this small portion of the space is open to all. The pro shop carries many Lake Monticello items that are not golf specific and the restrooms are open to folks using the other amenities (such as the picnic pavilion) in the area.
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Back in 2003, my wife and I moved to Lake Monticello from Northern Virginia. We were looking for a place to live that had a sense of community. We were tired of being around people who were not interested in doing things together, but happy that they had gotten theirs and the rest of you can go take a hike. Lake Monticello was one of those communities and we were welcomed by people of diverse interests. There were those who played golf; those who boated on the Lake; those who played tennis; those who fished; those who used the playgrounds; and those who socialized at the main clubhouse for dinner, Newcomers Club, and the many seasonal get-togethers. There was an interest in the common good and looking out for each other. In the past, when things looked like they needed repairing, it got done mostly by volunteers. Well our amenities have gotten beyond the band aid repair stage and we need to come together as a community to get them upgraded to 2015 standards. We need to get our heads out of the sand.
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A letter from the April 16 Fluvanna Review notes that the upcoming vote on Lake Monticello improvements is important… but it is important to all of the residents, not just the “1 percent.”
The proposal is the “Lake Monticello Renovation and Replacement Project,” not the “Lake Monticello Golf Building Replacement and Improvement Plan.” The earlier letter noted that not enough consideration was given to common clubhouse needs, and too much to the golf facility. The opposite is true. The largest part is improvement of the Ashlawn Clubhouse, adding space for meetings, administrative spaces, a greatly improved Ashlawn Grille, and compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) safety requirements. These improvements make up the bulk of the cost ($5 million of the planned $7 million), and would result in a facility that would serve the entire community.

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I am a longtime resident of Lake Monticello (1985) and find it disturbing to read letters from residents who do not support the Lake Monticello Owners’ Association initiative of updating/repairing our facilities. The Pro Shop was built sometime in the 1970s and needs to be replaced and the clubhouse certainly needs repairs. When we moved here I did not play golf but learned how to because there was a beautiful course and lots of neat people to meet. My husband loves the lake, teaches boating safety, works with the Water Activities Group, sails a Sunfish on occasion but never plays golf. We do not use the pool, tennis courts, walking trail, or play in the playgrounds. We are a gated community that offers amenities to one and all to use, or not. However, on buying a home here you bought into the whole package and should want “the package” to remain updated and safe for all residents. My husband and I support the improvements recommended and will vote yes!

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