HFCA Board Meeting Minutes
October 3, 2018
Bruce Bernhardt, Jim Bever, Debbi Buchanan, Dante Gilmer, John Kitzmiller, Melissa Stark, Chuck Stewart, Lauren Crabtree
The Board approved the September minutes, with minor changes.
New Business/Open Discussion
A homeowner presented a complaint regarding houses that had been rented to George Mason University students. The biggest problem was street parking. Although it was probable that only 4 names were on the lease, she was convinced that more than 4 people were living in the house. She noted that the road had been closed off while a number of couches were offloaded into the house. Residents claimed the couches were for a media room, but she was convinced that more people were living there than were on the lease. Added to those people were visitors, creating even more of a parking problem.
After hearing the homeowners complaint, the Board discussed the issue. Noting that it was very difficult to prove that there were more than 4 people living in the house, the Board resolved to explore the possibility of parking permits for Hickory Farms. The Board further resolved to contact the GMU Community Relations office to see what they could do. It was noted that in years past, GMU had been helpful in controlling the actions of a fraternity that had rented a house in Hickory Farms. However, the current problem wasn’t a fraternity, so GMU likely had less leverage.
Jim proposed the creation of “block captains” in Hickory Farms. The block captain would become familiar with his neighbors and serve as the point of contact of first resort for homeowners. Such a program had proven successful in his previous neighborhood. The Board thought such a program could be valuable and would explore it.
Standing Agenda Items
Melissa noted the had $2,900 left in the Common Grounds budget. She noted there was a locust tree that needed to be taken down. J&L had estimated the job would cost $350, and the Board approved having it taken down. She noted there were also 2 walnut trees that might need removing, but they could be looked at again in the spring.
She noted that aerating and seeding of the upper and lower common areas could be performed for $3,000, the lower area only for $1,300. On a motion made and seconded, the Board approved the aerating and seeding of the lower area only.
She added that the northern path remained a problem. Mud continued to flow after rains and would likely overtake any planting. Chuck noted that HFCA should be concerned with access to the path by those individuals covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). He suggested that, if a tree root was buckling the path, then perhaps the root could be cut from the tree.
It was noted that a Fairfax City homeowner and Fairfax City proper were both causing a problematic flow of water into Hickory Farms. Chuck and Bruce agreed to speak with Elli Codding, who worked for Fairfax County, hoping to find a solution.
Melissa advised that she was continuing to search for a new grounds crew. While CLS had done a great job, the owner of CLS did not want to renew the contract because of personal issues which had nothing to do with HFCA. Quotes from other vendors varied widely, from $400 to $1,200 per mowing.
She then showed copies of her slides for the annual meeting. It was suggested that the slides include fewer graphics and more photos. Chuck noted that slides were needed no later than Monday evening, October 10.
The Board reviewed year to date expenditures. It was noted that reserves were approximately $40,000, as had been directed at the Board’s September meeting.
Lauren reported that the Social Committee had scheduled a “Monster Mash Bash” on Saturday, October 20, at 4:30 pm. There would be a Halloween parade followed by a party with snacks.
Architectural Control Committee
Brian reported that he and Chuck had met with one homeowner in an effort to get the homeowner to comply with HFCA rules and regulations.
The Board noted the continuing need for a new chair for the ACC.
Debbi noted that there were currently 34 Neighborhood Watch volunteers, but efforts were continuing to increase these numbers.
Vice President’s Report
Bruce noted that 80 signatures had been collected supporting the change to the deed and declaration to empower HFCA to assess fines against homeowners that were not complying with HFCA covenants, rules, and regulations. He noted that only 3 homeowners had refused to sign, and only 69 more signatures were needed. In the effort to get more signatures, he agreed to provide to Board members a list of those homeowners that had signed (or refused to sign) so that they could meet face-to-face with homeowners and try to collect their signatures. He also agreed to write a brief explanation of the need for the change that could be used by Board members in their meetings with homeowners.
Chuck noted that the mapping project had been completed and vuegraphs were being prepared for exhibit at the annual meeting.
He added that the search for a newsletter editor continued.
The Hickory Farms Annual meeting was scheduled for October 11, 2018, at 8:00 pm at the Green Acres Community Center.
The next regularly scheduled Board meeting would be November 13, 2018, at Debbi Buchanan’s house.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:50 pm.
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