Hickory Farms

HFCA Board Meeting Minutes

September 14, 2016

Time: 7:48 – 9:45pm


  • Bruce Bernhardt, President
  • Chuck Stewart, Vice President
  • Brian Roethlisberger, Architectural Control Committee Chairperson
  • Don Lobeda, Community Grounds, Paths, and Woods
  • Brenda Denny, Treasurer
  • Dante Gilmer, Member at Large
  • Kirk Randall, Member at Large
  • Bryan Crabtree, Webmaster
  • Ed Wagner, Secretary

Old Business


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

Appointment of new officer

  • A motion to appoint Bryan Crabtree, the HFCA webmaster as an Officer of the board was made, seconded and passed.


  • Chuck is working on obtaining additional information.
  • Currently, the HFCA’s insurance does not provide coverage for any type of breach of information.
  • Chuck will provide a summary of the options, costs, risks and benefits at the next meeting.


  • Kirk is resigning as the editor of the HFCA newsletter effective following the October 2016 edition.
  • No one has yet volunteered to take on this role.
  • The newsletter provides a key venue for communicating information to the community, in addition to providing some additional revenue through advertisements.  Kirk noted that there is a significant balance in pre-paid advertising that may need to be refunded if the Newsletter ceases publication.

Community Grounds, Paths, and Woods

  • Mowing services continue to meet requirements; contractor returned promptly to mow a couple of areas that had been missed.
  • Considering some additional clean up during the fall.
    • Need to clear encroachment of woods and undergrowth from the path on the lower common grounds; plan to cut back on a wider path to fix the problem.
    • Plan to get a cost estimate to clear out some of the thicket.
  • HFCA Property Encroachment – have identified two instances of improper use of community property.
    • Homeowner from an adjacent community has planted bushes on HFCA property.
    • Another homeowner is storing his boat on HFCA property.
    • A motion to have the HFCA president follow up with our lawyer to obtain guidance on a letter that will be sent to the homeowners involved was made, seconded and passed. 

Garden Club

  • The club has finished work on the landscaping for three of the four corners at the entrances to Hickory Farms.
  • Still need to pressure wash the sign at the Burke Station entrance.
  • Plan some additional planting for the fall.

Architectural Control Committee (ACC)

  • Carole Rogers has resigned from the committee after nearly eight years of service; Brian is working on identifying a volunteer to replace her.
  • Properties not in compliance with HFCA covenants and regulations
    • The ACC chair and president attempted to hand deliver letters to the owners of two properties whose homes have significant compliance issues.
    • A certified letter was sent to the property owner who was not home at the time of their visit.
    • Results:
      • One owner has initiated clean up work, although at the time of the meeting, not all of the issues had been resolved.
      • As of the date of the meeting, no response had been received from the second homeowner; ACC Chair drafting a follow up letter.
      • The board is working to determine best available options if homeowners do not respond to requests to bring their properties into compliance.
  • Option for using outside firm to conduct survey homes for compliance issues
    • Consideration of this option was mentioned in the September newsletter.
    • The board recognizes that this approach has both risks and benefits.
    • The board agreed that the next step is to define the scope and process for conducting these types of reviews, recognizing that the outside firm would be limited to identifying issues, while the Board and ACC would have responsibility for determining the appropriate follow up actions.
    • Bruce and Brian will draft a process and presentation, which the board will review with the community members at the next annual meeting.

Nominating Committee

  • No new volunteers have been identified.
  • The Secretary notified the Board that he will not continue as a member in 2017.

New Business

Solar Panels

  • Virginia law prohibits homeowner associations from preventing the installation of solar panels; however the associations can restrict the appearance and location of the equipment.
  • Brian and Kirk have drafted some proposed additions to the HFCA Rules and Regulations, which will be distributed to the board for review


  • The board approved Bryan’s request to reach out to the community to obtain input on how the website is used and recommendations for improvements

College Students

  • The board discussed the issues that have arisen with a different home that has been rented to George Mason students, including trash strewn about the property, rowdiness, etc.
  • The board is sending a letter to the property owner outlining these issues and expectations for their resolution


  • Provided the board with a proposed budget for 2017, which the board will review and discuss at the next meeting.
  • A motion to move the capital fund into a savings account was made, seconded and passed.

Annual Meeting Raffle

  • The board has decided that it will not conduct a raffle at this year’s annual meeting.

October Newsletter

  • Articles for inclusion in this newsletter should be sent to Kirk by October 3, 2016.

Next meeting

  • The next Board meeting is October 5, 2016.