Hickory Farms

HFCA Board Meeting Minutes

July 12, 2016

Time: 7:55 – 9:36 pm


  • Bruce Bernhardt, President
  • Chuck Stewart, Vice President
  • Vanessa Franck, Neighborhood Watch
  • Brian Roethlisberger. Architectural Control Committee Chairperson
  • Brenda Denny, Treasurer
  • Ed Wagner, Secretary

Old Business


  • A motion to approve the minutes from the previous board meeting was made, seconded and passed.

Meeting with lawyer

  • Previous board instructed lawyer to only use liens on properties for non-payment of annual fees
  • Board must pay attorney up front; will be reimbursed if and when home owner pays fees necessary to have the lien removed.
  • Bruce will send an email with a summary of the discussion with the lawyer to the board; will include a description of a potential change to add use of personal liens, which unlike property liens would NOT expire after three years.


  • Current agent for HFCA is located in Maryland, however efforts to engage other local agents local in Virginia were not successful.  Agents appear to be unwilling to transfer our Travelers insurance to their agency, which may require that we consider other insurance companies that are willing to take on a non-profit association.
  • The board discussed options for changing insurance coverage and associated costs, including considering:
    • Purchasing insurance that protects us from electronic crime issues by adding coverage for cyber-crime, which could involve theft of funds; and
    • Increasing the amount of coverage to ensure that association’s total financial assets are covered.
  • Chuck will email the board the various options for review for a future vote.
  • Board Member Attendance
    • The board has tried different nights and time to optimize members’ attendance but has experienced some difficulties in optimizing participation due to a variety of work-related and other issues.
    • Bruce will follow up with board members in an effort to determine whether we can identify a day, week, and time that works for the largest number of members.


  • With Kirk’s resignation after many years, an opportunity exists for a new volunteer to undertake the leadership for the community newsletter.

Garden Club

  • Last meeting board authorized $1 thousand; only spent $530
  • Able to cut back bushes on Burke Station Road; can now see sign
  • Fixed the original fence, planted perennials
  • About 10% of plants are annuals to add color
  • After the summer; will power wash the Burke Station Road entrance sign
  • Have before and after pictures for the newsletter

Board Action Items

  • Approved contract to clear out overgrowth on northern path; the contractor did a good job with the cleanup.
  • All the association’s certificates of deposit have been moved to SunTrust, the bank now being used for the association; the board moved to SunTrust to eliminate the penalties assessed by the previous bank for exceeding the number of monthly transactions necessary to deposit annual fees.
  • Country Squire Lane property that had been occupied by George Mason students
    • Bruce spoke with the property owner about the issues and future plans; had a good discussion on what was needed to fit into the community.
    • The owner indicated that he is
      • Making improvements to the property to repair damage from the students
      • Pursuing renting to a family;
      • Plans to move back into the residence in 2017. 
    • Once the owner has rented the property, members of the board may need to meet with the renters to discuss how to fit into the neighborhood.
  • Neighborhood Walkthrough Results:
    • Board plans to issue letters to the homeowners of two properties that have significant maintenance issues that are in violation of the requirements of the covenants.
    • Dante and Chuck or Bruce visit the homeowners to make a personal appeal about the maintenance needed; and
    • Will both mail and hand deliver the letter by hand that documents that specific maintenance issues that need to be addressed to bring the property into compliance.
    • The board agreed that it needs to get a sense of our community about the enforcement of standards in maintaining properties, which is important for preserving property values. 
    • This will help the board determine the appropriate actions for different maintenance issues.
    • This discussion will include whether the association should use our lawyers for purposes of getting the necessary improvements made, including the associated incurrence of associated legal fees.
    • Include an article in the newsletter about the plan to discuss this topic, including the input that we need from the community.
    • Sometime in the future, the board will discuss the use of a professional service to conduct this type of review of properties for maintenance issues do this for the future.

New Business

Nominating Committee

  • As required by our founding documents, the nominating committee must be formed to identify community members interested in being considered for the board.
  • Chuck will chair this committee.


  • This year, members of the community will be elected as board members with each individual’s specific position to be determined at the first board meeting following the annual meeting.
  • Plan to include this information in an upcoming newsletter about the elections so that community members understand what is involved if they are interested in running for the board.

Upcoming Events

  • Vanessa will work on pulling together information about the annual meeting for dissemination to the community via the distribution list and possibly as verbiage on the homepage.


  • Annual spending is within the planned budget.
  • The board plans to discuss capital improvements at the next meeting; may use some of the funds from the Certificates of Deposit to cover the cost of this work.
  • The board plans to move the Certificate of Deposit funds into a savings account at SunTrust.

Neighborhood Watch

  • Vanessa has obtained the new signs, which are now in use for the watch.


  • Had about 6 applications for approval; none of the applications were for major changes or updates.

Capital Improvements

  • The board agreed to form a committee to determine what improvements should be made to the northern path.
  • For the short-term, repairs may be handled through patches.

Next meeting

  • The next Board meeting is in September with time and date to be determined.