By Bob Poliquin, Managing Editor ~
A few years back, the Sun City Carolina Lakes Board of Directors tasked a group of residents to come up with a strategic vision for the community. They called the project Vision 2027. The essential questions were “Where are we now?” and “Where do we want to be ten years from now?”
The working group, however, had little guidance as to the particulars of their purpose, so they examined every aspect of everything in Sun City, which isn’t much of an exaggeration if you look at their voluminous report. But one takeaway is both astonishing and encouraging: 89.6% of Sun City Carolina Lakes residents are satisfied with their SCCL lifestyle. It’s astonishing that, in these turbulent days, 90% of any group can agree on anything, and it’s encouraging that the agreement is positive.
For residents of Sun City, it’s a little distressing that off-campus folks (and potential home buyers who visit Sun City) think of SCCL as a “retirement community.” Although the average age of residents has increased a little since the first home was sold over a decade ago, nearly half of the residents still work, a number that has not changed much over the years. In addition, SCCL was never intended to be a retirement community. It is an active adult community of more than 5000 residents in over 3200 homes, with an equal emphasis on both words – Active + Adult.
And now, three years after the last builder home was sold and the community has resident control of their Board, SCCL is addressing the idea of lifestyle in a deliberate way. In fact, they have recently formed a Lifestyle Advisory Council (LAC) to function as a liaison between the Board of Directors and the various Clubs, Interest Groups, Neighborhoods, and HOA Lifestyle Director.
One of the first tasks of the group is to define “Lifestyle,” an undertaking they are discovering is difficult in itself but essential to their purpose as a group. One definition suggested by the Vision 2027 working group is “Lifestyle is everything that happens when a SCCL resident walks out the door of their home.” And although some members of the LAC leadership group like that definition, others find it too amorphous to work with. Therefore, item 1 on the agenda for the LAC: Define “lifestyle.”
But here is the bottom line on Sun City Carolina Lakes – 89.6% of the 5000+ residents, all age 55 or over, agree that their “lifestyle,” whatever that means, is satisfying. When residents decided to purchase a home in Sun City, obviously they bought much more than a brick and mortar structure; they bought a lifestyle.
*Photo by Ben Hershey