Hickory Farms

HFCA Board Meeting Minutes

March 16, 2016

Time: 7:53 – 9:25 pm


  • Bruce Bernhardt, President
  • Don Lobeda, Community Grounds, Paths, and Woods                                                 
  • Vanessa Franck, Neighborhood Watch
  • Kirk Randall, Member at Large, Newsletter Editor
  • Brian Roethlisberger, Architectural Control Committee Chairperson
  • Dante Gilmer, Assistant Treasurer
  • Ed Wagner, Secretary, Member at Large

Old Business


  • A motion was made to approve the prior Board meeting minutes.

Board Actions since Last Meeting

  • No actions were approved during the time period between the HFCA Board Meetings that occurred on January 13 and March 16, 2016.

Review By-Laws change with HFCA Attorney:

  • Bruce has not had a chance to complete this action; he will schedule a call with the attorney
  • It was noted that the attorney charges a minimum of 10 - 15 minutes for phone calls.

Treasurer Responsibilities:

  • The Board discussed the distribution of responsibilities to assist the treasurer given her work and school schedule.
    • The Board agreed to have Dante take on the role as a liaison with the attorney, which would include reviewing any bills received.
      • The treasurer recently received a bill for $96 from the community association’s attorney for work on a lien.
      • Review of these attorney charges had previously defaulted to the treasurer.
      • With this agreement, we will request that Brenda forward all legal bills or documents to Dante
    • Common Interest Community Board
      • Participation in this Board has annual dues of $24, along with the requirement that the community association be in compliance with regulations
      • Board provides a process for dealing with appeals
      • Agreed to have this responsibility stay with the treasurer

Annual Fees

  • The community association has only one homeowner who has not paid their fees this year.
  • Treasure will show this on the books as an account receivable for $200 until we receive payment; will track over multiple years if necessary

Community Concerns

  • Board has received complaints about a poorly maintained property; Bruce will contact the homeowner about taking the appropriate actions
  • One home with 4-6 college students continues to be a problem for some of their neighbors (parties, etc.)  The Board understands that the home will be getting new tenants in the spring.
  • One home in the community is apparently is rented by a local business owner and appears to be used as boarding house for workers at the business.
    • It appears that between 6 – 11 people are living in the house at any one time.
    • The Board has received five complaints; however, the 1) the HFCA does not have jurisdiction over the number of persons who may occupy a house, and 2) the homeowner has informed a member of the Board  that all the residents claim to be related. 
    • This issue has been raised by one Board member with Supervisor Cook’s office as well as the absentee homeowner.
  • Supervisor Cook’s recent newsletter mentioned a proposal to convert a house in the local area (not Hickory Farms) to a congregate housing facility for 6 foreign students with one adult supervisor.
    • The primary concern is about establishment of this congregate housing as setting a precedent for our community, which could possibly lead to similar boarding houses being established in Hickory Farms.
    • Supervisor Cook is opposed to the application for establishing this congregate facility
    • This topic will be discussed by the Board of Supervisors in May 2016.
    • Kirk will check with Supervisor Cook to see if he wants support at the Board of Supervisors meeting against this proposal.

Review of "Rules and Standards of Etiquette for Hickory Farms Email Service"

  • Stefan, Mike, and Kirk reviewed the rules and procedures that were written eight (8) years ago.
  • One issue that prompted a review of the rules and procedures was the need to revise the wording that the Lesser manager’s decisions were not reviewable by the Board of Directors.  The document has been changed so that the Board can provide the appropriate checks and balances as is its responsibility for all community activities.
  • A motion was made, seconded, and approved to adopt the revised rules and procedures.
  • Kirk will include the updated rules and procedures in the community newsletter and post them on the HF web page.

Neighborhood Walkthrough Results & Letters Status:

  • The walkthrough identified two properties that are not consistent with requirements in the community association’s covenants.
  • The Board and ACC will issue letters to both property owners about the specific issues identified and corrective actions required.
  • The project coordinator, Vanessa, will use the same style of letters used in previous years for these types of issues; letters will indicate the specific part of the Covenants or Rules and Regulations that is being violated.
  • Based on the walkthrough, thirty seven (37) properties had one or more violations.  The Board agreed to issue two different letters based on the seriousness of the violation with encouragement for the homeowners to make the corrections as part of their spring clean-up efforts. Hold off on trashcan violations for now.  The walkthrough noted a lot of algae stains; plan to arrange a group purchase of pressure washing services (Kirk did this in April).

Past Collection Account Actions

  • The Board agreed to reestablish the lien on one property that will expire.
  • As part of this follow up, the Board plans to talk with the attorney about their process of following up; especially with respect to legal costs being the responsibility of the homeowner whose property has a lien due to non-payment of annual fees, not the Association.

Volunteer Clean-up of property in disrepair

  • Volunteers removed around five (5) truckloads of debris; however some additional work is necessary.
  • The resident of this property was appreciative of the assistance.
  • Kirk noted that some volunteer organizations may be willing to provide additional help.

Cloud processing and storage options status:

  • Was not discussed due to Brand’s absence.
  • Distributed a spreadsheet for use by Board members to document recommendations on specific documentation retention requirements. 
  • The Board agreed to pick up discussion of document retention at the next meeting.
  • Vanessa will provide some recommendations on electronic storage solutions for the Board’s consideration.
  • This solution should focus on providing basic storage and search capabilities at reasonable cost to the Association.

Speeding within HF and Traffic Calming Options:

  • Kirk spoke with Ann Sharp from Supervisor Cook’s office.  We have sent an official request for tracking speed within Hickory Farms by the County police.

New Business


  • 2015 Budget & Actual Cost Report –  Final report was published in the January newsletter.
  • 2016 Budget & Actual Cost Report – The Association is in good shape from a financial perspective; costs to date are within budgeted amounts.
  • Certificates of Deposit (CD) renewal options:
    • The Board authorized the treasurer to move the CDs to SunTrust; she has requested Kirk’s assistance in accomplishing this.
    • Kirk will follow up with Capital One about the process for moving these

   Common Grounds, Woods and Paths

  • Don received a call about contract renewals; Board has agreed to continue to use the same grounds maintenance service, whose offer involves no increase in cost for 2016.
  • Don has obtained two bids on sign cleaning; also need to remove the bushes at the Burke Station Road entrance, which have grown too large.
  • Tree removal update: Don
    • As of this date, no problem trees have been identified.
    • Will need to spend about $300 to clean up debris in the common area to allow for mowing.
  • Boy Scout Service Project:
    • A Boy Scout from Hickory Farms approached Don about doing a service project.
    • Don identified three (3) preferred projects; which are:
      • Shrub and bush remediation at the boxwoods in the upper common ground;
      • Dig out some portion of the overgrown bamboo; and
      • Repair or replace footbridges across Rabbit Run.
    • The preferred project is to repair or replace the footbridges, but the Board needs to check with the attorney on the association’s liability, if any, and the value of adding signs about using the bridge at your own risk to limit liability.
    • If the Board decides to proceed, it will cover the costs of any materials.

Neighborhood Watch: Vanessa

  • The reports from Neighborhood Watch have indicated that things have been quiet.
  • The Board is continuing its efforts to increase the number of volunteers participating.

Architecture Control Committee

  • The recent months have been very quiet, with the last application received in January.
  • Conducted one home sale inspection with another four (4) to five (5) homes on the market.

Garden Committee

  • Six (6) people have joined the committee.
  • The committee will start with how to improve the two entrances; will require removing some bushes rather than just cutting them back.

40th Anniversary Celebration Options

  • The Board had discussed the idea of having a contest for developing a new logo for the community at the last Board meeting, and decided at this meeting not to pursue it.

Potential Capital Improvements in 2016

  • Constructing two (2) additional matching brick & stone signs at the Burke Station and Roberts Road entrances.
  • Making improvements to Northern Path, which is in need of repair due to tree roots, erosion, etc.

Open Discussion

  • The idea of establishing a “Community Free Library” within Hickory Farms, which involves creating a small weather-protected container for the storage of donated books.
  • Vanessa will provide some examples from other communities.
  • The Board discussed the possibility of focusing on children’s books, if this library is approved.

Next meeting

The next Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 7:45 pm