March 2023 Hickory Farms Newsletter
- Editor, Jennifer Maloney (Farm House Ln)
Seeking Volunteers for Our Community
By Ben Noviello
In order to maintain our common areas, support community-wide activities that enrich our lives, keep our development safe, and be responsive to the concerns of homeowners, Hickory Farms needs volunteers. We need people to join the board of the Homeowners Association, serve as block captains, participate in the social committee, and become members of the Architectural Control Committee.
Unlike many developments, Hickory Farms relies on volunteers. Without volunteers, we could be forced to hire an outside management service. Not only would this bring in people from outside our community who might not fully appreciate what makes Hickory Farms a special place, it could also double, or even triple, our annual fees.
Volunteering doesn’t need to take much time. You would be assisted and supported by an experienced group of motivated people. Much of the work can be done virtually.
If you are interested in volunteering, and by doing so help keep the Hickory Farms development a wonderful place to live, please contact the board by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
HFCA Board Meeting Notice
HFCA Board Meetings continue to be held via Zoom. Unless otherwise notified or due to an unforeseen change, HFCA Board Meetings will be held the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 7 pm.
To join a Board meeting, contact any HFCA Board Member or send a request to join to email@example.com. You will be provided with the Zoom meeting URL, meeting number and passcode.
Join the Listserv to Access Newsletters, Notices About Events and More!
All are encouraged to connect with Hickory Farms by joining the Hickory Farms Listserv! Hickory Farms utilizes Google Groups to manager our listserv. We chose this platform because it's simple, easy to use and free.
While any email address works with Google Groups, we highly recommend having a Gmail account because it is most neatly integrated with Google. If you don't have a Gmail account, you can sign up for one at http://www.gmail.com.
Once you have an account, visit https://groups.google.com/my-groups to sign into Google Groups. From there, you can go straight to http://groups.google.com/g/hickory-farms-hoa/ and click the "Ask to Join." In the Reason for Joining, please include your address, phone number, and own/rent status to include in the neighborhood directory.
Once your membership is approved, you'll receive emails when they are sent to the listserv. You can adjust your membership settings - like changing single emails to a weekly digest - in your Google Groups Settings.
Please don't forget to review the guidelines on the Hickory Farms website here: https://hickoryfarms.org/hickory-farms-listserv. There's also information on how to post to the listserv, manage your account and more.
Finally, if you need basic Google Groups help, visit: https://support.google.com/groups/answer/1067205?hl=en. You can always contact the admins of the listserv for help or questions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Residential Outdoor Lighting
Zoning Regulations Overview
To reduce unwanted glare, the Zoning Ordinance contains standards for outdoor lighting.
- Fixtures must be full cut-off and mounted horizontal to the ground. Full cut-of means that light is not emitted above the bottom of the fixture.
- Light bulbs must have a color temperature of 3,000K or less, except with an approved sports illumination plan. Check the package for this information.
- Spotlighting of flags, landscaping, or other similar objects must be aimed and shielded to confine the light to the object.
- On lots adjacent to residential, all lights bust have a setback based on their height or have additional shielding.
- Light poles 7ft high or less are allowed in any location; higher poles are subject to height and location standards.
- On all lots (including single family), sports fields/courts, including pools, over 10,000 square feet or with light poles that are 20ft high, are required to have an approved sports illumination plan.
- On lots with single family dwellings (including townhouses), lights do not need to be full cut-off or meet the setback/shielding requirement if:
- The light fixture has 1,500 lumens or less; or
- The light is motion-activated with 4,000 lumens or less, turns off within 5 minutes of motion ceasing, and the light is directed within the property.
- Check the package for this information.
- Holiday lighting.
- Depending on when the light was installed, it may be allowed to remain as is.
To report a possible violation, please contact the Department of Code Compliance of Code Compliance at 703.324.1300 (TTY 711) or send an email to: DCCCodeComplianceEemail@example.com
The Birds of Hickory Farms
By Bob Cosgriff
Greetings in the (not so) new year! Judy and I were traveling for most of January to visit family members in Texas and also to do some birding along the Gulf Coast. More of that later. We initiated our yearly yard species count on 1 January. The first bird of the year was White-throated Sparrow, which took those honors in 2021 as well. On New Year’s Day, we tallied 18 species, which turns out to be our average daily count for January. As of press time, we have seen 31 different species, which is about average for the first two months. Two special birds were Red-winged Blackbird (both male and female) and Brown Creeper, both seen on 10 February. Both are rather uncommon. We also added Eastern Towhee to our count. There are some no-shows that we are anxiously looking for, including Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, and any hawk. In previous years, these birds would have already made at least one appearance by now. But it just goes to demonstrate that when it comes to birding, you have to be patient, flexible, and willing to be surprised, both with unexpected birds showing up and with not seeing some species that are expected.
In March, we could add a couple more birds, such as Fox Sparrow and Purple Finch, to our count, but the real movement doesn’t start until April. It’s all about food sources. For insect-eating song birds, that means that it has to be warm to spur the growth of vegetation and leaves to support emerging insect larvae and insects themselves which in turn support the northbound birds.
April is also when bluebirds start nesting in the boxes in our common areas. We hope to improve on last year’s results. A key will be to find more ways to deter English Sparrows. This year, we hope our bluebirds will be joined by Purple Martins, our largest swallow species. They consume large amounts of mosquitoes and other irritating flying insects every day. Beautiful to watch and beneficial to man as well, they will add one more enhancement to our natural environment. Thanks to Melissa Stark and the HFCA board, we purchased an 18-unit martin colony late last year. With the considerable assistance of Mike Bishop, Coordinator of the Northern Virginia Purple Martin Initiative, and Jarrett Stark, the ground pole was set in place on Saturday, 19 February. On Tuesday, 21 February, after the concrete base had hardened and the ground pole was firmly in place, the 18 gourd-shaped nesting boxes were mounted on the pole by Mr. Bishop and his wife, Sheila. (Note: to avoid the potential of injury or possible damage to the pole or winch, we ask that no one handle the winch or stand under the array. The nearby bench provides a perfect viewing location!)
We were fortunate with the weather so that we could get this nesting colony installed prior to the northbound migration of the martins, which typically return to this area around 26 March. We are hopeful that they will find this new nesting location, which is only about one mile from two such colonies monitored by Mr. Bishop on the campus of George Mason University. He cautioned that sometimes it takes a while before a new colony is occupied. I’ll keep you posted. The array is at 2/3 height on the pole now. We will raise it all the way to the top of the pole prior to 1 April.
Last fall, we offered a bird outing for adults to the Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Woodbridge. A small, but enthusiastic group took advantage of a nice autumn day outdoors learning about birds. Judy and I are willing to lead a spring migration outing this year, probably in the first or second week of May at the peak of the spring migration. Potential sites include: Occoquan Bay NWR, Huntley Meadows, or Lake Mercer/South Run Park. We would hope to see several warbler and vireo species as well as beautiful neotropical migrants such as Baltimore Oriole, Scarlet Tanager, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. As we get closer to May, I’ll put further details on the Listserv and in future issues of the newsletter.
In closing, we saw some great birds on our trip south in January. The highlight was seeing 10 Whooping Cranes at the Aransas NWR in Texas. Whoopers are among our most endangered species. This was our second trip there and the birds were as impressive this time as the first time in 2016. We also saw both Brown and White Pelicans, Roseate Spoonbills, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, and numerous other waterfowl, waders, and shore birds. This trip demonstrated the rich diversity of habitats that are protected by our National Wildlife Refuges and state parks throughout the United States. Locally, we have some excellent parks for birding along the Delaware shore, around the Chesapeake Bay, and throughout coastal and Piedmont Virginia.
I would encourage everyone to go online and check out Virginia’s state parks at https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/ and national wildlife refuges at https://www.fws.gov/program/national-wildlife-refuge-system, Fairfax County parks at https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/ and Northern Virginia Regional parks at https://www.novaparks.com/parks/parks. Most parks are free, but some federal and state parks do have an admission fee. There are various yearly pass options that can save money. For those over 62, the National Park Service lifetime Senior Pass is one of the best bargains available anywhere. For a one-time cost of $80, you and your companions in one vehicle get free admission for life to any National Park and National Wildlife Refuge and discounts on camping and other fees. Active duty/Reserve/National Guard/Veterans can also get a card entitling them to free admission to national parks and refuges. While checking out what passes might work best for you, you can begin your 2023 outdoor adventures by merely taking a walk in our common areas to enjoy the ever-changing birds of Hickory Farms.
Student Yellow Pages
|Shannon Turner (17)||Angmturn@hotmail.com||Babysitting, Pet sitting|
|Nathan Turner (12)||Angmturn@hotmail.com||Dog walking, yard work and watering, leaf removal|
|Lilly Bucher (12)||firstname.lastname@example.org||Babysitting/mother's helper, Pet sitting|
|Kiera Stark (13)||email@example.com||Pet sitting|
|Greysen Berg (15)||210-428-5535||Yard work, leaf raking|
|Cedar Baltz (17)||571-398-1467||Dog walking, Dog sitting|
If you offer services such as raking leaves, lawn mowing, babysitting, pet sitting, dog walking, tutoring, etc., and wish to be included in future listings, please email the Newsletter Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newsletter Item Deadline and Distribution Notice
Newsletter items are due the 25th of the month, for the next month’s issue. Please send submissions to email@example.com.
Newsletters are distributed via the HFCA listserv and posted on the HFCA website. Unless as required by bylaws, paper versions of the newsletters are no longer delivered to households. All are encouraged to access the digital newsletter via the listserv or the HFCA website. See below for information on how to join the listserv. A limited number of hard copy newsletters will be available each month in the Little Free Libraries.
When is Animal Noise a Violation of the County's Ordinance?
- Sect. 108.1-4-1 of the Fairfax County Code (Noise Ordinance) establishes limitations on any owner or person in control of any animal that allows or otherwise permits any such animal to bark, howl, bay, meow, squawk, quack, crow or make such sound.
- Noise from animals is prohibited that is plainly audible and discernable:
- Between 10pm and 7am that is plainly audible in any other person's residential dwelling with doors and windows closed.
- Between 7am and 10pm when the sound is plainly audible across real property boundaries or through partitions common to residential dwellings AND can be heard for more than 5 consecutive or nonconsecutive minutes in any 10 minute period.
- The Provisions of this Ordinance shall not apply to any animal that, at the time of sound or sound generation, was responding to pain or injury or was protecting itself, its kennel, its offspring or a person from an actual threat. Additionally, it does not apply to police dogs that are engaged in the performance of its duties at the time of making the sound.
- Animals located in a dog park are not regulated between dusk and 7am. Sunday through Thursday OR between dusk and 8am Friday, Saturday, and the day before a Federal Holiday.
- There may be additional Zoning regulations on the keeping of certain kinds of animals.
To report a possible violation OR for more information contact:
Fairfax County Department of Code Compliance
12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Phone: 703-324-1300, TTY 711
For after hours noise concerns, please call the Non-Emergency Police 703-691-2131
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