The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m.
The Board approved the minutes of the April 2018 meeting.
The Board reviewed the Treasurer’s report. It was noted that the money market account had provided a modest income.
The continuing need for an Assistant Treasurer was noted.
A room was reserved for the HFCA Annual Meeting, scheduled for October 11, 2018, at the Green Acres Community Center. A projector would be required; Bryan Crabtree may be able to provide one.
Melissa said that she was negotiating a new contract with CLS, which had been very responsive to requests during 2018. Her intent was to continue mowing; drop the fixed schedule for herbicide application; and request a “menu” of services that could be performed on an as-needed basis.
She noted that it would be necessary to get rid of Japanese stilt grass that was growing throughout the common area, because its shallow root system wouldn’t prevent topsoil erosion.
She further noted that weed management and grass overseeding would be a major expense in the fall. Aeration would be performed on 8 ½ acres of common ground that were grass. CSL would aerate, HFCA would spread grass seed and topsoil.
There was a lengthy discussion on flooding from Fairfax City into HFCA property owners’ yards. There was a need for a meeting with Fairfax City and the Fairfax County water boards. Melissa suggested having those homeowners that had been affected at the meeting, and expressed the need for Bruce ??. Kirk urged the Board to contact Fairfax City homeowners and alert them regarding such a meeting.
A volunteer appreciation day was scheduled for September 8. 2018. All board members were urged to be present.
Brian Roethlesburger advised that 30 letters had been mailed to date to homeowners, advising of violations that needed to be corrected, and probably no more than 10 letters remained to be sent.
Two homes would require individual visits.
The proposal by a homeowner to install a propane tank with which to fuel a gas fireplace that had been rejected at the Board’s last meeting had been revised, re-submitted, and approved.
The ACC now is searching for a new Chair.
Debbie advised she was following up on Neighborhood Watch signs, which should already have been received. She added that Neighborhood Watch had one new volunteer.
Kirk had three recommendations for the annual meetings:
Also, the Board should strive to have a more orderly transition of documents from one year to the next.
HFCA cannot afford to hire the services of a CPA annually. Perhaps a committee could oversee the finances for several years at a time, after which a CPA could be retained for a year.
He raised the question of whether there was a need for Board members to sign any document in order to finalize changes to the Rules and Regulations. Board members were asked to submit comments no later than close of business Sunday, August 12, 2018.
The question of charging homeowners to participate in official community yard sales was raised, and it was agreed that HFCA would pay for advertising, rather than charging homeowners.
It was noted that the search for an editor for the newsletter continued.
The question of how to get the streets in Hickory Farms paved was raised. Kirk offered to draft a request to be sent to VDOT.
Telah suggested a meeting in September specifically to address the Mission Statement and Vision Statement. She noted the importance of getting homeowners feedback via survey. Perhaps one could be prepared in time to be distributed at the Annual Meeting. Melissa suggested the use of “Survey Monkey.”
Telah said she would circulate draft statements via e-mail. A meeting would be held September 19 at 7:30 to discuss these statements.
The Board’s September meeting would be September 11 at Debbi Buchanan’s house.
The Board’s October meeting would be October 2.
The HFCA Annual Meeting would be October 11 at the Green Acres Community Center.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 pm.
Location: 4301 Still Meadow Rd
Time: 7:30 PM (Thanks Bruce)
Board members Present: Charles Stewart, Dante Gilmer, Bruce Bernhardt, Kirk Randall, Melissa Stark, Brian Roethlisberger, Telah Jackson
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m.
The Board approved the minutes of the January and February 2018 meetings.
Patrick Tomlin presented a proposal for a “Little Free Library” project, which he would use as his Eagle Scout project. He proposed to build two library boxes and install them in Hickory Farms (along with a third on the Fairfax pool property), without cost to HFCA. He proposed to place one box near the intersection of Cotton Farm Lane and Farmhouse Road and the other in the upper common area. During discussion, it was asked that a box for HFCA newsletters be added to the boxes ad that brick be used to surround the posts supporting the boxes so that the grass around them could be mowed readily. The Board approved his proposal.
Bob Cosgriff presented a summary of what was being done to the NoVa Training Center property. (See Kirk Randall’s article in the most recent HFCA newsletter). Bob noted that the county had created a task force to assess needs that could be satisfied by the property, and published a report in January 2018. A community meeting was scheduled in April 2018 to gather comment, the Fairfax Planning Commission planned to address the property used at its June 2018 meeting, and a staff report was due in the fall of 2018. Rezoning the property would require approval by the Board of Supervisors.
Dante reported that all assessments had been collected for 2018, without requiring that any be referred for collection. The HFCA post office box was renewed for another year, corporate income taxes were being prepared.
It had been determined that HFCA was required to complete a 1099 form, “Miscellaneous Income,” for any contractor that HFCA paid $600 or more during the year. The CPA used by HFCA offered to handle all 1099 forms needed for an additional $100 per year; the Board approved this expenditure.
It was noted that CLS had been paid $4,000 to spray herbicide on invasive growth. Concern was expressed over the use of herbicide; however, Melissa advised that the spraying was targeted, not broadcast.
She added that there had been some storm damage in the lower common area, but not a significant amount.
Also, there was a walk scheduled for April 7 along the Northern Path and Rabbit Run to identify problem areas.
The Board approved a planting project proposed by the Girl Scouts.
Debbi noted that the NW bag with spotlight and notebook was missing, but it was expected to turn up again.
Kirk offered to back up Stefan Schwartz in running the listserv.
It was noted that some neighbors had suggested that use of a listserv was antiquated. Telah suggested that the community use Facebook to communicate, and offered to set up a page for HFCA. Bruce noted that any social media would require maintenance.
The Board discussed the form a strategic plan should take, noting that, whatever form it took, it must be in harmony with existing restrictive documents. It was agreed that a meeting would be held April 3 at Telah’s house to begin crafting the plan.
Bruce noted that the weather was finally getting nice enough that Board members could go door-to-door to seek approval of the proposed change to the deed and declaration.
Chuck noted that his daughter would be mapping easements, cable television lines, telephone lines, etc., for a college project.
Chuck highlighted the need for additional articles for the newsletter, especially since a new editor had not yet been determined. Chuck offered to edit the May 2018 newsletter while the search continued. Given what HFCA had experienced with the wind storm, he asked Debbi to provide an article on emergency preparedness.
The next meeting of the HFCA Board was scheduled for April 24, 2018, at the home of Debbi Buchanan.
John advised that the minutes of the HFCA Board meeting of January 9, 2018, were not yet drafted.
A committee comprising Tom, Bruce, Dante, and Kirk reviewed the 2017 HFCA accounts and confirmed their accuracy.
Kirk noted that younger owners were complaining about the need for checks with which to pay the annual assessment. He asked whether the Board would consider establishing an online payment system. Chuck noted that the Board would need to be certain that cyber insurance would protect the HFCA in the event of fraud.
Dante noted that only 3 homeowners had not yet paid the assessment for 2018. He planned on giving one more warning before submitting the bills to collection. He added that he had the date to provide the CPA in Manassas that did the HFCA income tax filing. In addition, the net loss for the year was about $5,700, larger than originally anticipated due to additional landscaping that was approved by the Board.
A need to follow up with newsletter advertisers was noted, to explain and perhaps remedy a decline in advertising revenue was noted.
The budget compared with actual 2017 numbers would be posted in the newsletter in a summary form. Dante asked how much should be taken from the capital fund and added to checking. It was noted that the Board wanted to increase the money market account to $39.5 thousand, equal to one year of assessments, over the coming years.
Moving the money from the SunTrust money market account to American Express was discussed, where the monies could earn more interest. However, it was determined that there was more value in the nearby presence of the bank than in the small amount of interest to be earned.
Melissa advised that mowing was to start at the end of March.
Most of the bamboo is dead.
She and her husband will try to remove dead vines.
They would also mark dead trees for removal.
She raised the idea of installing a water spigot in the upper common area, with which new vegetation could be watered, at a cost of roughly $2,800. The Board took the proposal under advisement. A later check with Fairfax Water revealed that water service to the upper common area could cost significantly more.
Brian noted that there had been only 2 approvals in the last 3 months. He reminded the Board that annual inspections would take place in April, and he would need volunteers. A notice would be posted on the listserv. He added that last year’s inspection form may need some revisions.
Debbi advised she had drafted new rules for the Neighborhood Watch, that were posted on the HFCA website.
Telah asked if the Board had goals and objectives, in the form of 3- or 5-year strategic plans, and posited that plans were necessary to keep up with the times and to make the neighborhood more friendly. Among possible goals were more community activities, better entrances to Hickory Farms, and better street lighting. Chuck asked Telah to provide an outline of the process for establishing such a strategic plan. A brainstorming session was proposed for the April and May Board meetings.
Kirk offered to look into solar-powered lights to illuminate the entrances to Hickory Farms.
Chuck said he would send a calendar of HFCA events to Board members.
Kirk noted that the Commonwealth of Virginia had entered into an agreement with Erickson Living to buy the 78-acre campus of the training center on Roberts Road, which could be developed into an age-restricted retirement community.
It was noted that HFCA was still recruiting a newsletter editor. The next issue of the newsletter was scheduled for publication in April.
The next meeting of the HFCA Board was scheduled for March 20, 2018, at the home of Debbi Buchanan.
The minutes of the HFCA Board meeting of November 21, 2018, were approved.
Board members were asked to send HFCA schedule items to Chuck for inclusion on a Hickory Farms calendar.
Tom advised that the 2017 closeout had been mailed out.
Tom noted that all but eight of the assessments had been received on time and were deposited to the money market account. Of the eight remaining, half were homeowners and half were nonresident landlords. He added that this year’s collection of assessments has never been more timely.
He noted that the HFCA had spent about $5,800 over budget for the year 2017, which was not a surprise. He asked that Board members submit bills to him on a timely basis, and that all bills be submitted to him by mid-December, if possible.
Melissa advised that the common areas signs she had ordered in November had been received, but were of such poor quality that they needed replacing before they could be installed.
The bamboo that had been cut back and sprayed with an herbicide was dying.
She said she would wait for warmer weather before announcing a grounds-cleanup day. She wanted to clean out the boxwood grove in the upper common grounds.
Chuck explained that state regulations require that Resource Protection Areas (RPAs) be designated around all water bodies with flowing water. RPAs extended 100 feet on either side of such bodies, which means that a number of properties within 100 feet of Rabbit Run are considered RPAs. Any modifications to the grounds that would affect the flow of, or into, RPAs would need prior approval from Fairfax County.
He noted two issues that remained of concern:
Debbi is still trying to increase the number of teams.