Hickory Farms

April 2019 Hickory Farms Newsletter

Skunk Cabbage is Ready to Bloom - Editor, Chuck Stewart (Still Meadow Rd)

Hickory Farms Board Calendar

  • May 14, 2019 - Board of Directors Meeting
  • June 11, 2019 - Board of Directors Meeting

Saturday Social Calendar 2019

Come Join Us in the Upper Commons!

  • May 4 - Neighborhood Fiesta, All Ages, 4-6pm
  • May 25 - Cornhole Tournament, Adults Only
  • Sept. 21 - Fall Fest, All Ages
  • Oct. 19 - Monster Mash Party, All Ages
  • Dec. 15 - 18th, Holiday Decorating Contest, Voting & Awards, All Ages

Coming soon: Informal monthly play dates in the Upper and Lower Commons.

A Jewel

The Board asked a Realtor, Tracey Barrett, (others were invited, but declined) to explain, give ideas and provide insights how Hickory Farms could be improved as well as how to increase home owner value. The Board learned Hickory Farms is a Fairfax “Jewel” and in the sweet spot for those wanting moderate size homes, which is an
expanding trend. However, this is dependent on maintaining property curb appeal through out the community.

Tracey wrote a summary article for this Newsletter and it appears below. The Deed and Declaration Amendment will also help ensure the curb appeal throughout the our community.

Thank you very much, Tracey!
Thank you Telah for creating this opportunity!

Charles (Chuck) Stewart
HFCA President

Hickory Farms is a Fairfax Jewel

Each Spring my phone starts to ring with calls from military and state department service members who are bracing for yet another Permanent Change of Station (PCS) to, for example, Ft. Belvoir or the Pentagon. These individuals experience 10-18 moves in their career, many times with children in tow, and rely almost exclusively on the reputation of thirdparty resources and real estate agents for commuting times, school quality and neighborhood reputation. Some of these folks desire immediate integration into neighborhoods where they can build their support “village”, others want a break from base-housing and routines and live as civilians. Regardless of whether the service member has children or not, resale and/or lease opportunity is always a consideration.

Enter Hickory Farms into the picture. Located just south of Fairfax City, quietly tucked between Roberts Rd. and Burke Station Rd., is this wonderful neighborhood. It is a smaller enclave of 198 homes built between 1975 and 1983. Owners enjoy a low annual $200 HOA fee which serves to maintain 20+ acres of open and common spaces including Rabbit Run Trail and the North Trail. Although not specifically part of the HOA, residents can enjoy a membership with the Fairfax Swim Club, top-rated Fairfax County Public Schools: Woodson, Frost and Oak View, as well as proximity to George Mason University, Fairfax City amenities, and the VRE and major commuting routes.

In 2019 the Northern Virginia real estate market continues to maintain top-dollar prices commensurate with the age and size of homes. The Hickory Farms neighborhood is no exception. Hickory Farms properties continue to earn 99.3% of their asking price and average $312/sqft. This compared to surrounding, competing neighborhoods’ overall average of 99.6% and $322/sqft.

What is interesting and not commonly known, is how committed the Hickory Farms Community is in fostering a welcoming, clean, and overwhelming sense of community pride for its residents. The modest, self-managed, and very dedicated HOA Board members are actively involved with and connected to the County police, zoning, and other officials ensuring the best outcomes for the residents. There are neighborhood parties, a book exchange, and other community events to engage each household. There is a robust newsletter published online, hardcopy newsletter hand delivered to every home and emailed through the community, keeping the community at-large informed. Transparency for the community activity abounds at www.HickoryFarms.org.

So as a real estate agent who assists home buyers each year move into and out of our area, I cannot help but get excited when the timing works out for my clients to view a Hickory Farms property. The resale data supports a sound investment and the community meets so many of the clients’ desires. Hickory Farms is truly a Fairfax Jewel.

Tracey Barrett, REALTOR®
Century 21 Redwood Realty
10300 Eaton Pl, Suite 150 Fairfax, VA 22030
T: 571-218-2539
E: tbarrett@focusonnova.com

Deed and Declaration Change Status Update – Heading to the Finish Line!

To date, of 198 property owners in Hickory Farms, 88 (44%) have signed the Deed & Declaration
Amendment Form
. A total of 10 (5%) have responded NO to the proposed amendments. That leaves 100 (51%) remaining property owners who we need to contact and obtain a decision on the changes.

The list of undecided property owners has been divided up amount Board Members. Over the next few weeks, Board Members will be reaching out to personally contact the remaining 100 property owners. We need all property owners to make a decision!

In order for the amendments to become effective, 150 (75%) or more property owners are required to sign and return the Amendment Form. If you are one of the 100 undecided property owners, please sign the form and mail it back to: HFCA, P.O. Box 2239, Fairfax, VA 22031. If you do not agree with the proposed changes, please send an email reflecting your NO decision to hfca@hickoryfarms.org.

A copy of the Amendment form is included in this Newsletter. If your property is owned by one or more persons, please include all owner printed names, signatures and dates on the form. If your property is owned by a trust, please have the trustee sign the form and note their trustee status.

Background: At the Hickory Farms Community Association (HFCA) Annual Meeting in October 2017, the HFCA Board of Directors recommended and the general membership approved the direction to amend our Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions document. The changes are necessary to update our Deed & Declaration document (originally written in 1975) to align with recent Virginia court cases and Virginia Property Owners Association Act (VPOAA) recommended language. Without the amendments, HFCA will incur higher legal fees by having to proceed directly to court to seek compliance with our community wide restrictive covenants. This will place pressure on increasing our Annual Assessment, currently at $200.00.

If you have any questions about the change to the Deed and Declaration document, please call me at 703-989-0751 and leave a voice message. I will call you back. Please help us keep Hickory Farms a great place to live and invest in by signing and returning the Amendment Form!

Bruce Bernhardt
VP HFCA, Board Member and fellow homeowner!

North Path Repair and Survey

After consulting with a Licensed Professional Engineer, the Board of Directors, after discussion, voted to
survey the City of Fairfax property lines along the North Path and to repair the North Path drainage and
asphalt issues. The funding for this project will come out of the reserve fund. While some remedial
drainage work already was done, a more permanent solution is needed. We will keep you informed as the
project develops.

Group Purchase of Pressure Washing Services

It’s springtime, time to get those slimy algae stains and mold off your house siding. Rob Banks of Northern Virginia Pressure Washing Service has offered special pricing to Hickory Farms residents through group purchases in 2011, 2014, and 2016.

I was shocked to hear that some homeowners are paying more than $400 to have their homes pressurewashed. Rob and his crew can pressure wash most HF homes for less than half that. And, while they are at it, they can clean your deck, driveway, or sidewalk, many of which have turned gray or black because of the recent proliferation of mold.

I sent Rob some photos of our different model homes and he’s developed three tier pricing:
small = $180, medium = $195, and large = $210.

Here are a few tips: Ask the crew to keep the high pressure water stream away from double pane windows and doors. The water pressure can break the seal between the glass panes and, after a few months, they may fog up.

Also, some folks still have the original aluminum siding, which has become oxidized and worn over the years. I know from personal experience that one too many pressure washings can wear the paint down to bare metal. You might replace your old siding with another material (vinyl or Hardie Board) or paint the metal, as was done at 10008 Cotton Farm and 4313 Farm House.

Finally, take special care when cleaning concrete. Too much water pressure can tear up the surface of the concrete (“spalling”), leading to premature failure.

When you contact Northern Virginia Pressure Washing Service, please tell them that you are with Hickory Farms and that “Kirk sent me.” Call/text Rob at 202-330-9922 or email him at robmelisab@verizon.net

Kirk Randall
Country Squire Ln

Commons Maintenance and Cleanup

Starting mid-April 2019, Hickory Farms Community Association (HFCA) will be partnering with Image Works Landscaping to assist us in maintaining and cleaning up our 20+ acres of commons area.

Image Works Landscaping’s scope of work for 2019 will include the following:

  • 26 + cuts per season (front entrances, N. Path, Rabbit Run, Upper and Lower Commons) and a fall clean-up to remove leaves in November, as well as, December.
  • All common area turf and entrances will be mowed every Wednesday, unless there is a rain delay.
  • Height of 3-5” or as seasonal conditions dictate.
  • All common area sidewalks and curbs will be edged using a machine bladed edger at the time of each visit.
  • Contractor will remove minor debris, such as trash and tree branches, from all turf areas prior to mowing. Small sticks will be “green mulched” (broken into small pcs.) and placed in the tree groves. Large limbs will be placed in marked disposable areas and the Common Area Coordinator will dispose of them.
  • Blowing of resultant debris/clippings will occur from roadways, sidewalks and paths (Northern Path and Lower Commons) at the time of each mowing visit.
  • On path areas (N. Path and Lower Commons), a cutting on both sides of the walkway will be maintained.
  • All Common Area mulched beds and tree rings (groves and islands) will be string edged at the time of each visit.
  • Trimming around miscellaneous obstacles within the common areas turf will occur at the time of each mowing visit. Miscellaneous obstacles within the common areas turf are the following, but not limited to: benches, signs, bird feeders, cable boxes and flower gardens. Trimming areas shall exclude residence property lines.

Hickory Farms residents are responsible for trimming of their own property line that borders the commons area, which includes the residence’s fences, gates, trees, plants, hardscapes and built structures.

In addition to our lawn services, we have also partnered with TruGreen for 2 grass applications to the Upper and Lower Commons for the 2019 season. The first is in April for fertilization and crabgrass/weed control and the second will happen in June/July for fertilization, as well as, crabgrass/weed and stilt grass control.

All communication for the common areas will be sent via the Listserv and NextDoor. For any weather delays and last minute reschedules by Image Works Landscaping or TruGreen, please stay connected through NextDoor. The Listserv typically takes 24 hours to post my emails.

Save the Date!

Please join your neighbors for a celebration to kick off spring on Saturday, May 4th in the Upper Commons from 4:00 - 6:00pm.

Come out to enjoy the weather and meet some new people! We'll have food (a taco and burrito bar, plus desserts), beverages, a bike parade (with decor for kids to decorate their bikes!), and other games for kids and adults.

YOU CAN COME? PLEASE RSVP AT bit.ly/HickoryFarmsFiesta

We're looking forward to seeing you!

Neighborhood Watch Schedule

Day Date Person 1 Person 2
Fri April 26 Ron Arnold Charles Walters
Sat April 27 Dave Dempster Dawn Dempster
Fri May 3 Susan Mulliner Brenton Mulliner
Sat May 4 David Froberg Beverly Froberg
Fri May 10 David Cain  
Sat May 11 Will Lunsford Mark Jean-Pierre
Fri May 17 John Coyne Linda Coyne
Sat May 18 Rick Loranger Judy Loranger
Fri May 24 Harry Herchert Ginny Herchert
Sat May 25 Jason Zhao Laura Feng
Fri May 31 Matt Halligan Christine Halligan
Sat June 1 Daniel Turner Angela Turner
Fri June 7 Brian Roethlisberger Rob Mikula
Sat June 8 Wendy Chen Tony Dong
Fri June 14 David Tropiano Sarah Tropiano
Sat June 15 Pam Barrett Tom Barrett
Fri June 21 John Coyne Linda Coyne
Sat June 22 Jim Marshall Carol Marshall
Fri June 28 Pete Scala Rose Scala
Sat June 29 Kirk Randall Albert Chong

We are working to enlist 50 residents/teams on the roster! Contact Debbi Buchanan at 703.307.7323 or simplydebbi1@gmail.com for information or to be added to the roster.

Rabbit Run