Stillaguamish Country Club

   A Slice of Heaven

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where is the club located?
A: 34827 State Route 530 NE

Q: What’s the club like?
A:The Stillaguamish Country Club is a club, located in the country.

The Stillaguamish Country Club was established in 1924 as a non-profit corporation and currently consists of approximately 95 acres located on Hwy 530, between Arlington and Darrington. The Club was created primarily for recreational and relaxation purposes. There are no physical amenities: no swimming pool, tennis courts, golf course or clubhouse.It is not a bedroom or retirement community and permanent residence is not strongly encouraged. Roughly half of the property is undeveloped forestland and the other half is divided into lots that are assigned to members. Over the years, members have built cabins, or ‘improvements” on their assigned lots, which vary in style and livability from very rustic with no plumbing to year-round residences.

An important aspect of the Club is that individual members DO NOT own the land on which their cabin sits. Members own ONLY the improvements, such as dwellings, sheds, septic tanks, etc. The Club owns the land; all members are part of the club that owns the land.

Q: How can I join?
There are two steps to joining.

First, prospective members have to locate a cabin, called “improvements”, for sale. Sale of the improvements is negotiated privately with the selling member.

It is important to note that because the sale is for only the improvements, NOT the land, it can be very difficult to get a mortgage. Most people who purchase improvements have cash, as from a retirement fund, inheritance, or sale or refinancing of a home. Other unsecured loans may be available, depending on an individual’s financial circumstances. Some sellers may be willing to carry a contract for at least a portion of the sale, but others are not. The club will NOT co-sign for a loan, nor approve an agreement in which a bank or corporation becomes the owner in case of default.

Next, the sale cannot be completed until the prospective buyer/member applies for and is approved for membership. When approval is granted, the sale proceeds, and the new members are welcomed to the Club. Once seller and buyer have agreed on a sale, there are several steps to applying for membership:

  1. Submitting an application. This includes finding 2 current members, not including the seller, to write a letter of reference. The seller can help identify members if needed.  The application process also includes a credit check and criminal background check.
  2. Two interviews will be held. First, applicants meet with the Membership Committee; the interview covers the basic rules and expectations of membership, and provides an opportunity for applicants and the club to answer questions and clarify expectations. Assuming the first interview is successful, applicants then meet with the Board of Directors at a regularly scheduled meeting. Depending on timing, this process can take two months.
  3. Once approved by both the Membership Committee and the Board, the applicant pays the required deposit.
  4. When these steps are completed, the seller and buyer finalize the sale, the seller/s surrender their membership certificate and the new member is issued a certificate of membership.

Q: How much does it cost?
A: The cost of the improvements is determined solely by the seller. Some selling prices are open to negotiation, solely at the discretion of the seller. In general, asking prices over the last few years have ranged from $65,000 to more than $200,000, though asking prices may be lower or higher.

Prospective buyers pay a non-refundable application fee of $100 when applying for membership.

A deposit of $1,500 is required before final membership is approved. This deposit is refunded to the buyer when the membership is relinquished, minus a transfer fee, (currently $25,) and minus payment of any outstanding dues, fees or fines. (The deposit amount is subject to change based on approval by the membership; $1500 is current as of December 2011.)

All members pay annual membership dues, currently $680 for a single lot and $1020 for a double lot. Dues can be raised no higher, without approval of the membership as a whole. Dues cover the operating costs of the Club, including land taxes, caretaker’s salary and upkeep costs.

Members are responsible for paying property taxes on their improvements, any utility and insurance costs, and for any further maintenance, improvements or upkeep.

Q: What can I do with my assigned lot?
A: You can enjoy it! You can landscape it. You can build an approved fire ring/barbecue (please refer to the burning rules document). You can build a new outbuilding, as long as it meets county code. You can repair or remodel the existing buildings. While the lot is not legally your property, you are responsible for its upkeep, including removal of invasive species and working with the club to identify and remove dangerous trees.

Q: What are the benefits of membership?
A: The benefits of membership include the opportunity to engage in rest and recreation in a bucolic, quiet, secure, beautiful setting that cannot be further developed; to enjoy a combination of retreat and community; access to several nearby outdoor recreational activities including fishing, hiking, biking, river and pond swimming, canoeing, rock climbing, birding and camping. If you have children or grandchildren in your life, they can find tadpoles, observe wildlife, watch baby salmon, eat wild berries, wade in the creek, throw rocks in water and generally enjoy an outdoor childhood experience becoming more and more rare.

Q: What are the responsibilities of membership?
A: Responsibilities include keeping current on dues and other expenses as required; understanding and following community rules; participating in the annual work and meeting days (alternatives to work day are available for those who cannot participate in the actual work); participate in the broader community by volunteering for one of many committees; be willing to run for and serve if elected to the board of directors after 2 years of membership; holding a non-elective office or committee chair; or other activities.

Q: What amenities does membership offer?
A: Besides the benefits already listed, amenities include a live-in caretaker with specific responsibilities; a security gate that is closed and locked from 10 pm to 6 am to which members have keys; approximately 2 miles of trails maintained by members; a private pond for swimming and water activities, which is part of a salmon habitat restoration project; private access to the north fork of the Stillaguamish River; about 45 acres of undeveloped second growth community land featuring second growth forest and several microclimates.

Q: Why should I join? Why shouldn’t I join?
A: Reasons to join include wanting to have access to club property for the purposes of rest, relaxation and enjoying the benefits of membership, and wanting to experience a balance of community and privacy in a natural environment.

Reasons NOT to join include a desire to develop a parcel or land; profit; desiring or needing income from the improvements; wanting complete seclusion; or wanting a vacation unit to be accessed only a few weeks per year

Q: Who can be a member?
A: Any single person or legally married couple can apply to be members. Under current by-laws, domestic partnerships, whether same sex or heterosexual, are not considered marriages.

This does not mean that unmarried couples are not welcome. In this instance, one member of the couple becomes the “member of record”; the other member of the couple signs in as a guest when unaccompanied by the member. There are unmarried couples enjoying the Club, following these guidelines.

Q: What does it take to be approved as a member?
A: You follow the process outlined above. In general, the club is looking for people who have an affinity for the purposes of the club; are willing to meet all responsibilities of membership; can meet all fiscal requirements; value stewardship of club property to ensure its preservation for future generations; and intend to participate in the club requirements and activities.

Q: Are my children welcome?
A: Children are very welcome. Children of members are expected to follow all rules and expectations, and are strongly encouraged to participate in club activities.Children may be present at annual meetings, if their behavior is appropriate to the occasion, though they may not participate. Occasionally, adult children may attend in order to assist a parent to participate.

Children 18 and younger do not have to sign in when coming with parents or another member; they should sign in if unaccompanied by parent/s or another member. Children over 18 must sign in even when accompanied by parent/s.

Q: Are there rules or covenants?
A: Yes. All rules and expectations are covered in the by-laws, ground rules and other documents that are provided for each membership.

Q: Is it handicapped accessible?
A: No. Some cabins may be wheelchair accessible. Most are not, having been initially built between 1924 and the mid-1950’s. The creek, river, pond and trails are not accessible by wheelchair, though some persons using wheelchairs have visited and enjoyed the club.

Membership in the club would NOT be denied because of a disability or handicap.

Q: Can I rent out my cabin? How can I make my cabin pay for itself? How can I grow my investment?
A: Cabins and membership are specifically NOT intended as a financial investment or source of income. Cabins and assigned lots cannot be rented. You can’t make your cabin pay for itself. It cannot be offered as a prize for an auction or raffle.

While members can improve their cabins, there’s no guarantee you can earn back the costs when selling. Plan to spend money, not earn it, by becoming a member of the Club.

Q: Can I remodel my cabin?
A: Yes, cabins can be remodeled, as long as all improvements meet Snohomish County zoning and building codes.

Q: Can I fish in the river?
A:Yes, you can fish in the river subject to Dept of Game and Wildlife rules and regulations. Fishing is also available in nearby rivers, notably the Sauk, and lakes.

No fishing is allowed in French Creek and Blue Pond.

Q: Can I bring my dog/have dogs?
A: Many members have dogs and cats, and bring them to the club. Specific rules apply to dogs in particular, including that dogs be under either voice control or on a leash at any time they are off the member’s lot. Dogs must not leave a member’s lot unaccompanied by a person able to control the dog; nor can dogs menace other members even while on their owner’s lot. Fines and other sanctions may be levied against members for failure to abide by rules pertaining to pets.

Q: Can I let friends use my cabin?
A: Friends and extended family may use your improvements, at your discretion, though you may not charge them for such use. All guests are expected to sign in and to follow all rules. If a guest wants or plans to stay longer than a week, prior permission from the Board of Directors is required.

Q: Can I have a wedding there?
A: There are no rental or other facilities available to the public. As a member, as long as all other Club rules are followed, you may choose to have a small wedding at your cabin on your assigned lot.

Q: If membership has to be approved, how can I leave my property to my children/grand children/family/other person?
A: “Legacy” memberships are handled like any other transfer of membership. All memberships must be approved, as described above. You may choose to transfer membership during your lifetime; in this case the person of your choice must follow the application process.

If your membership is active at the time of your death, the surviving spouse in a married couple is assumed to still be the member and does not have to apply for membership. If there is no surviving spouse, the executor of the estate is responsible for transferring the membership, either by sale or by application for membership by an heir. The estate must continue to pay for costs associated with membership, such as dues, fine, fees and taxes, until a new member is approved. Further information on this process is available from the club secretary.

Q: I’ve always wanted a goat/chickens. Can I raise animals?
A: Horses, cattle, goats, chickens and other livestock are not allowed at the Club. If you want to have a horse, pasturage and horse boarding is available nearby, at your own expense.


Additional Resources

Please contact the club President (listed in Contacts) with any questions.