Hickory Farms

February 2019 Hickory Farms Newsletter

Early Spring? - Editor, Chuck Stewart (Still Meadow Rd)

Hickory Farms Calendar

  • March 12 - Board of Directors Meeting

Architectural Control Letters of Violation

There are several homeowners who have received ACC letters at least two years in a row and the recipients have taken no corrective action. Often the issue could be remedied quickly with materials from the hardware store and a few hours of labor. Board members have sometimes helped homeowners with raking, mowing, edging, driving debris to the dump and other tasks. However, there are a few who still have not taken action.

Because the HFCA Deed and Declaration changes are still pending, in situations like this the HFCA might need to involve a lawyer to enforce restrictive covenant compliance resulting in appropriate actions and/or repairs.

When the pending Deed and Declaration changes are approved, the HFCA could once again assess a homeowner $10 per day for a maximum of 90 days. Hopefully, repairs would be made within that time. For more information, see page 5 of this newsletter. https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacodepopularnames/property-owners-association-act/ [See paragraph § 55-513. Adoption and enforcement of rules. Item “D”]

Next steps for correction:

  • If you receive an ACC letter notifying you of violations please contact the ACC about correcting the problems.
  • If you are aging in place or have a disability, and are not able to make the repairs, Fairfax County has re-sources that may be of help. https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/familyservices/older-adults

For the most part, 98% to 99% of Hickory Farms property owners correct restrictive covenant violations without need for additional ACC actions or legal engagement. For those very, very few cases where property owners refuse to respond or work with the ACC, additional actions including attorney intervention may be required.

If you wish to know more about ACC policies or want to volunteer, please email Pam at acc@hickoryfarms.org.

Student services including snow shoveling for the next storm

Here is the latest version of the HF Newsletter Student Yellow Pages. If you wish to offer services such as snow removal, raking leaves, lawn mowing, babysitting, general home maintenance, etc., email kirk_randall@hotmail.com

Bridgette Buchanan (15)
Babysitting and dog sitting
Britney Mulliner (17)
Babysitting (6 years experience including newborns) dog sitting.
Cody Dempster (16)
(Home) 703-503-0561
(Text) 703-776-0101
Yard work (raking leaves, lawn mowing, etc.) snow shoveling, housework
Dominic Cannata (17)
Lawn mowing, shoveling, cleaning, mulching, any odd job.
Dylan Mehrman (16)
Lawn mowing
Erika Maaseide (16)
703 659-5321
Babysitting; has experience with Special Needs children
George Codding (13)
Shovel snow
Kent Codding (17)
Shovel snow
Paul Cannata (18)
Lawn mowing, shoveling, cleaning, mulching, any odd job.

Deed and Declaration Change Final Countdown Underway!

For the past year and a half, a proposal to amend our Deed and Declaration founding document have been circulating through our neighborhood. A change to the Deed and Declaration document requires 149 of our 198 property owners (75%), in writing to make the change. To date, 84 property owners have approved the changes by filling out the Deed and Declaration Amendment form. Also, 6 property owners have indicated that they disapprove of the changes. Thanks to those 90 property owners for responding! 108 property owners have not provided a position – for or against. We need to hear from the remaining 105 property owners! And we need to hear from you NOW!

The need for the amendments is driven by Virginia court decisions that now require an express authority in a Deed and Declaration document in order to assess charges for violations of the Homeowner Association Deed and Declaration Restrictive Covenants, Bylaws and Rules and Regulations. Our Deed and Declaration document, written in the mid-1970’s, does not have that express language. From our establishment in 1975 up until the court decisions, Hickory Farms established charges for non-compliance. The charges are defined in our Rules and Regulations document. As your volunteer Board of Directors, we previously had three options to deal with non-compliant property owners. First option, interact with a property owner directly to resolve the issue. On a positive note, this option works 98 to 99% of the time! Sec-ond option, after non-response from property owner, initiate charges for non-compliance. Third option, seek legal action for non-compliance. The first option in-volved volunteer actions and communications with individual property owners. The second option involved notice and then application of charges to the non-compliant property owner. The third option involves legal fees that the Association would need to extend until the legal case was decided, meaning our overall expenses would increase and put upward pressure on the Annual Assessment each Hickory Farms property owner pays (currently $200 per year). Without the Deed and Declaration amendments, we do not have option number 2. To enforce our Restrictive Cove-nants, Bylaws and Rules and Regulations, we would need to proceed directly from Option 1 interaction to Option 3 legal action, increase our legal expenses, which will result in higher Annual Assessment fees. The Board would like to avoid increasing the Annual Assessment fee and believes the Deed and Declaration amendments will assist in keeping the Annual Assessment as low as possible.

If you have already sent in your approval (or disapproval) thank you! If not, attached to this newsletter is the Deed and Declaration Amendment Form. Please fill it out completely at the bottom and return it to: HFCA, P.O. Box 2239, Fairfax, Virginia 22031. If you have any questions or if do not approve of the Deed and Declaration Amendments, please call or text me at 703-989-0751 or send an email to hfca@hickoryfarms.org noting your disapproval. We need to count every homeowner!

Please do not let this go another month for you to respond. In order to keep Hickory Farms as a great place to live, we need your participation and response!

Bruce Bernhardt
HFCA Director and Vice President

Mail Boxes

The rain and snow have pushed our mail boxes into interesting positions this winter. The USPS recommends placing your mailbox 41" to 45" from the road surface to the bottom of the mailbox or point of mail entry and 6" to 8" back from the curb. Source: https://www.usps.com/manage/mailboxes.htm

Mail Boxes can be gently shimmed straight and upright. Shelf cleaner spray can remove that layer of grim. Adhesive remover can remove stickers and tape. However, it might be smart to leave the small stars and dots affixed to your mailbox. These are used by newspaper delivery crews to identify who gets what.

Sidewalks, Gutters, and Street Damaged During the Winter?

If you see a broken sidewalk or curb or any problem with the streets, contact VDOT at 800-367-ROAD (7623) or visit http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/citizen.asp VDOT will add the item to its database and, if there are enough problems in our community that have been reported and VDOT has the money, they will fix the problem. They have been quick to respond in recent years.

Neighborhood Watch Schedule

Day Date Person 1 Person 2
Fri Feb 15 David Tropiano Sarah Tropiano
Sat Feb 16 Tom Barrett Pam Barrett
Fri Feb 22 John Coyne Linda Coyne
Sat Feb 23 Jim Marshall Carol Marshall
Fri Mar 1 Pete Scala Rose Scala
Sat Mar 2 George Rozenkranz Bob Montgomery
Fri Mar 8 Jim Bever Barbara Bever
Sat Mar 9 Bruce Bernhardt Nancy Berhardt
Fri Mar 15 John Kitzmiller  
Sat Mar 16 Ron Arnold Charles Walters
Fri Mar 22 Dave Dempster Dawn Dempster
Sat Mar 23 Brenton Mulliner Susan Mulliner
Fri Mar 29 David Froberg Beverly Froberg
Sat Mar 30 Will Lunsford Mark Jean-Pierre

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.

Home Security Tips

  • Change your alarm code every once in a while.
  • Lock all interior doors leading to the main house. This includes basement and garage doors.
  • Trim bushes around windows.
  • Lock tool sheds (easy source of tools to gain entry to hour home).
  • Consider enhanced locking devices for sliding windows or patio doors (“pins” or “charley bars”).
  • If you think someone might be poking around your house, press the emergency button on your car’s remote. The noise should scare them off.

Personal Safety for Women Workshop, From Certified Crime Prevention Specialist Michael Stewart, West Springfield District

The Fairfax County Police Department will be hosting a Personal Safety for Women Workshop on February 28th, 2019 - 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm at 6140 Rolling Road, Springfield, VA 22152. The personal safety workshop is designed to introduce women to a variety of self-protective options in a short, non-physical, discussion format. The basic workshop covers prevention strategies, as well as the pros and cons of various options for ending an attack. Discussion is designed to help people identify their risks and evaluate their strengths, as well as explore their options. For more information see Nextdoor.