Hickory Farms

HFCA Board Meeting Minutes

April 9, 2019

Location: 10110 Round Top Ct
Time: 7:30 – 9:45 PM


Pam Barrett, Bruce Bernhardt, Jim Bever, Debbi Buchanan, Tela Jackson, John Kitzmiller, Kirk Randall, Melissa Stark, Chuck Stewart.

New Business/Open Discussion

North Path

Bruce reported that the Board had received two estimates for repairing the North Path:

  • $12,200 to repair the stonework, fix root damage, and place a drain pipe
  • $17,000 to fix and seal the entire path.

Also received was an estimate of $2,600 for surveying the property line between Fairfax City homeowners and the HFCA common ground containing the North Path. He noted that, if the Board approved the first estimate and the cost of the survey, that the vendor would provide a $1,000 discount.

Bruce proposed to fund the North Path repairs from HFCA reserves.

He added that the cost of Common Grounds maintenance could be reduced by about $3,000, leading to a zero sum budget for 2019, rather than a deficit, which had been planned.

Discussion ensued on what had caused the erosion/water runoff problem. Bruce advised that the civil engineer he had consulted said the runoff problem was due to 1) more rain, 2) the slope of the ground in Fairfax City adjoining the common grounds was shifting, and 3) the path itself was causing problems by preventing rain from running down the slope towards Rabbit Run.

The topic of suing the Fairfax City homeowner from whose property the runoff descended was raised. Chuck suggested it would be less expensive for HFCA to fix the problem, rather than suing the homeowner.

Pam noted that the Fairfax County Parks and Recreation map seemed to suggest that the North Path was part of the Fairfax County path system.

Bruce noted that Fairfax City homeowners were encroaching on Hickory Farms property, and unless HFCA exercised its ownership of the property, it might lose it through “adverse possession.”

The discussion then passed to how to restore the reserves, if they were reduced by the spending for the North Path.

Bruce moved that the Board authorize spending up to $15,000 for the survey, the drain pipe, and repairs to the North Path. Kirk seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Jim then moved that the Board will perform a study to determine the appropriate level of reserves. Bruce seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Standing Agenda Items


Jim distributed copies of the checking account statements and the balance sheet. He also distributed an adjusted budget for 2019. The adjusted budget reflected a reduction in the Common Grounds Maintenance line and an increase in the cost of printing. These adjustments led to a balanced budget for 2019 of $55,662, which included $14,850 for surveying and North Path runoff repairs to be paid for by a withdrawal from the capital (reserve) fund.

He added that their tax preparation company had filed a request for an extension for filing annual taxes.

Jim advised Dante Gilmer and he would review the spreadsheet in preparation for each monthly Board meeting in the future. He added that a new volunteer had offered to help.

Common Grounds

Melissa noted that the Little Libraries needed completing. She had spent $428 to date repairing them.

She noted that she and her family had walked through the Common Area, picking up sticks and saving $900 by not requiring the vendor to perform such work. She further noted that she planned a cleanup of the northern path area and along Roberts Road.

Social Committee

Melissa noted that the Social Committee had sent out a calendar of events for the year. The next event scheduled was a fiesta on May 4.

Neighborhood Watch

No report.

Architectural Control Committee

Pam advised that three new applications had been received, with two being approved and another pending.

Vice President

Bruce noted that 87 properties had voted in favor of the change to the deed and declarations to allow the imposition of fines on those homeowners that did not comply with community rules and by-laws. He said he would send the updated spreadsheet with responses to the deed and declaration by street address, and asked that board members contact their neighbors and try to get them to vote one way or the other, to resolve the issue by the 2019 annual meeting. He highlighted that 50 “no” votes would be enough to forestall the change.

At Large - Block Captains

It was agreed to hold off on the Block Captain program until the deed/declarations effort was finished.

At Large - Strategic Plan

Telah and others met with a realtor to discuss how to promote Hickory Farms as a desirable neighborhood. The realtor had recommended establishing a “brand,” a theme of images and colors that would make Hickory Farms stand out. In addition, the realtor recommended establishing a presence in social media. Finally, the realtor had recommended two community inspections per year by a third party.

Jim noted the need to plan how to implement the Strategic Plan and the recommendations of the realtor. Chuck offered to draft a 2-page summary by the next meeting, aiming towards introducing such a plan at the Annual Meeting.


The next regularly scheduled Board meeting was scheduled for May 14, 2019, at Debbi Buchanan’s house.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 p.m