Hickory Farms

HFCA Board Meeting Minutes

2019 Annual Meeting

Location: Green Acres Community Center
Date: October 29, 2019
Time: 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Opening, Welcome and Introductions

President Chuck Stewart welcomed the Members to the Annual Meeting and thanked them for attending.

The members of the Board of Directors  introduced themselves:
Bruce Bernhardt, Vice President
Jim Bever, Treasurer
John Kitzmiller, Secretary
Melissa Stark, Common Areas
Debbi Buchanan, Neighborhood Watch
Brian Roethlisberger, Architectural Control Committee (ACC) Chair
Dante Gilmer, Member at Large
Kirk Randall, Member at Large
Pam Barrett, Member at Large

Mr. Stewart extended thanks from the community to all those who had volunteered in various capacities throughout the year, and encouraged those who had not yet volunteered to do so.

Quorum Verification

The Treasurer and Secretary confirmed that a quorum was present, including attendees and proxies.

Treasurer’s Report

Mr. Bever presented a comparison of the 2018  budget, the 2019 budget year to date, and the proposed 2020 budget. He reminded attendees that HFCA had run a deficit in 2019 deliberately. However, the Board planned on overcoming the deficit, hopefully in 2020, but by no later than 2021.

He noted that Common Grounds accounted for 65 – 80 percent of annual expenses, with insurance accounting for a significant share of other expenses.

He also noted that two new line items had been added for the budget in 2020, one for Strategic Projects and another for Replenishing Reserves.

Mr. Bever noted that the Board had approved an increase in the annual assessment for 2020, from $200 per year to $250 per year, and asked for meeting attendees to affirm this increase. On a motion duly made, seconded, and passed, with two “nay” votes, the increase was affirmed.

Nominating Committee

Ms. Barrett, chairing the Nominating Committee, asked if there were any nominations from the floor. Hearing none, she noted that one nominee had been made by proxy, but that neither the nominee nor the person that had nominated this person were present.

Voting was done in two tranches.

For the first 9 names presented by the Nominating Committee, all current members of the Board, the vast majority of those present voted in favor of having them serve again in 2020.

For the individual nominated by proxy, John Amos, there were no ayes, a dozen nays, and a dozen abstentions.

Architectural Control Committee

As chair of the Architectural Control Committee (ACC), Ms. Barrett explained the actions of the ACC in 2019.

Annual inspections were performed for the third consecutive year. There were 22 properties with moderate problems and 4 with severe or extensive problems. All either had been corrected or were in the process of being corrected.

The ACC performed 10 VPOAA inspections in 2019 for home sales.

Common Areas

Ms. Stark advised that 5 ½ acres of the common area were subject to being mowed each year.

In 2019, the Little Free Libraries were replaced, and over 1,000 flowers and countless trees were planted.

Bamboo was eradicated in 2019.

Much of the savings in the Common Grounds budget was the result of volunteer efforts.

Neighborhood Watch

Ms. Buchanan expressed her thanks to current Neighborhood Watch volunteers, and announced she hoped to get an additional 10 volunteers at the meeting.


The Board had voted to remove references in the HFCA Rules and Regulations to numbered sections of the VPOAA, and asked for approval by the homeowners. On a motion made, seconded, and carried, the membership agreed to remove the references.

Disclosure Package

It was noted that HFCA used to charge for the disclosure package for the sale of a home. When most of the disclosure package was put on the Internet, HFCA ceased charging for the package.

Recent changes to the VPOAA permitted homeowners associations to charge up to $146.71 for disclosure packages. Given the need to generate additional income, the Board agreed to begin charging that amount for disclosure packages beginning January 1, 2020.

Deed and Declaration

Mr. Bernhardt explained how the Board had hoped to gather enough signatures to change the Deed and Declarations to permit the assessment of fines for violations of rules and regulations. Despite best efforts, the Board was unable to convince enough homeowners to approve the change in policy. There were 102 signatures collected in favor of the change and 22 opposed, with 73 abstentions. Given the lack of the support, the Board would drop efforts to make the change.

The result was that the only recourse to get a recalcitrant homeowner to correct violations would be to file suit in court. It was noted that there were no outstanding cases against homeowners.

North Path

It was explained that the border with Fairfax City along the North Path had been professionally surveyed, and property posts installed.

Sections of the path had been repaved in 2019, so the path is now compliant with American Disabilities Act.

Social Committee

The Chair of the Social Committee was unable to attend the meeting; however, a report on committee activities was distributed.

Strategic Projects

Ms. Jackson reported that a strategic committee had been formed and a survey of homeowners taken to determine the direction that strategic projects should take. Findings of the survey showed that most valuable community assets were determined to be the common grounds; walking trails, open fields, the convenient location of the community; and access to the Woodson public school pyramid.

A study to determine an appropriate amount of funds to keep “in reserve” was being explored.

Also being explored was a way for homeowners to pay their annual assessment via PayPal, rather than writing paper checks.

Ms. Jackson asked for volunteers to work on a Strategic Common Area Plan. Among the issues to be addressed in such a plan would be management of the “snow hill” in the lower common area, leaf removal for the Northern Path, and surveying and marking the property lines surrounding Rabbit Run.

Other Business

Questions were raised on the status of the Rabbit Run path.

Erosion resulting from homebuilding in the area was washing away the ground underneath the path. As a result, warning signs were posted, and the footbridges had been removed. It was noted that Rabbit Run and its surroundings had been declared a Resource Protection Area. As a result, the HFCA now needs permits to plant, to remove dead trees, or to replace the footbridges.

Fairfax County has an erosion repair program. Should the County be granted an easement, it could begin repairing the erosion problem as soon as 2021. The likely outcome would be raising the level of the stream, then lining the streambed with stone to allay future erosion.

Bob Cosgriff recognized the efforts the Board was making, particularly for developing a strategic plan for the community and for amending the HFCA by-laws.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:35 p.m.