Hickory Farms

May 2019 Hickory Farms Newsletter

Spring is Finally Here! - Editor, Chuck Stewart (Still Meadow Rd)

Hickory Farms Board Calendar

  • June 11, 2019 - Board of Directors Meeting

Saturday Social Calendar 2019

Come Join Us in the Upper Commons!

  • May 27 - Neighborhood Fiesta, All Ages, 4-6pm
  • June 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.

ACC Walk Thru

The ACC is planning a community walk thru to keep our community a “Jewel” and preserve property values. And siding mold is a major issue. Take a few minutes to walk around the exterior of your house and look items that need repair. Siding mold and roof moss are ACC issues.

Indoor mold is a well know health hazard that has been written about by the EPA and the CDC (Center for Disease Control.) So why would you allow it on the outside of your house? There are number of simple fixes: Pressure Washing as written below or using a number of do-it-yourself spray products available at a hardware store. The ACC News article on page 8 discusses some fixes that Pam has used. I use both pressure washing and mold/moss/algae cleaner on my siding.


Clean Your Slimy, Moldy House Siding Through This Group Purchase

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 pressure-washed. 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.

Rob has three tiered pricing, depending upon how much siding your house has: small = $180, medium = $195, and large = $210. Note that they do not wash aluminum siding. It is too risky to pressure wash 40+ year old aluminum siding since it could remove the paint.

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

Kirk Randall
Country Squire Ln

Help Spruce Up Hickory Farms by Removing Leaves in the Curbs in Front of Your House

The significant winds we have experienced this winter have blown leaves off our yards and into the streets, where they accumulate in the curbs. Since this is prime season for house sales, we want to make a good impression (i.e., higher sales prices!) when shoppers check out our community. Please take a few minutes to rake leaves that have accumulated on the street in front of your house into a small pile and, using snow shovel, scoop them up and drop them into your trash can.

Note! Our neighbors in nearby Fairfax City are fortunate to have city employees who vacuum up curbside leaves. We are not so lucky here in Fairfax County. Since the Virginia Department of Highways isn’t about to vacuum up leaves that clutter our streets, every HF homeowner needs to clean up just a small amount of leaves that have accumulated on the street in front of their house.

Thanks for helping to class up our neighborhood! Every bit of effort to beautify our community leads to higher home values.

Deed & Declaration Change – Wrapping Up in June 2019!!!

To date, of 198 (100%) property owners in Hickory Farms, 88 (44%) have signed the Deed & Declaration Amendment Form. A total of 12 (6%) have responded NO to the proposed amendments. For the remaining 98 (49%) property owners who have not responded YES or NO, individual HFCA Board Members will be reaching out to contact property owners in June to obtain a deci-sion one way or the other. The Board is looking to complete all Amendment contacts by June 30th!!! In order to become effec-tive, 150 or more property owners must sign the Amendment Form. In order for the proposed Amendments to be defeated, 50 or more property owners must indicate a NO position.

If you have not already responded, please send your signed Amendment Form (copy provided in this HFCA Newsletter) to: HFCA, P.O. Box 2239, Fairfax, VA 22031. If you would like to register a NO decision, please email hfca@hickoryfarms.org. If you have any questions regarding the Amendments, please call me at 703-989-0751.

Several homeowners have expressed concern that the Amendments will provide too much power to the HFCA Board regarding penalties for non-compliance with enforcement of HFCA Restrictive Covenants. For the record, for almost 25 years (1975-2010) HFCA had the powers included in the Amendments. During that time, HFCA did not abuse or overuse the penalty provisions. Due to Virginia court decisions, HFCA has not been able to issue fines for non-compliance. Prior to the court decisions, HFCA applied the penalty provisions in very limited, extreme non-compliance cases. The current Board is committed to continuing that approach. We are not the kind of Association that is over zealous and oppressive. Our primary engagement approach is always to work with property owners to correct non-compliance situations in a reasonable fashion. Without the Amendment, if a homeowner unreasonably refuses to act to resolve issues, the only option left will be court action. All HFCA property owners then share the cost of legal proceedings. That will create upward pressure on the Annual Assessment Charge. No one wants to live next to or across from a property that is run down, overgrown, mold covered and looking dilapidated. The Amendments will help us address those very rare cases. The HFCA Board respectfully asks each property owner to sign the Amendment Form and help keep our community the valued place it is to live!

Bruce Bernhardt
Neighbor, HFCA Board Member and VP

North Path Survey and Repair Underway!

A Virginia licensed surveyor completed surveying the North side of our Northern Path. The property line between HFCA (in Fairfax County) and our northern neighbors (Fairfax City) has now been identified and staked from Roberts Road all the way into Rabbits Run RPA wooded area. In addition, we have contracted with an asphalt and construction company to address water run-off and major cracks in the Northern Path. Construction is scheduled for mid-June 2019. A new drainage pipe under the Northern Path will be added and an existing drainage pipe will be cleared to direct water to an existing Fairfax County storm drain. Five major portions of the path will be repaired and smaller cracks in the asphalt will be filled. As construction date approaches, we will send out notices by email and HFCA ListServe. Funding for this project will come out of the HFCA Reserve Fund, which is dedicated funding for capital improvements. Take a walk on the Northern Path and let us know how the improvements are coming!

Architectural Control Committee News

It was a very busy first quarter for ACC. We had a number of HFCA homeowners seek approval for exterior home improvement projects. In spite of the wet weather, we have seen several of these projects under way or completed in the last few weeks.

In June, the ACC plans to have another walk around inspection of our HFCA homes to see that all is going well re-garding home maintenance and rules compliance. Our objective is to assure a good quality of life for all homeown-ers in our community and ultimately deliver the financial rewards of good property values.

We have had double the average rainfall in Fairfax this year, and that presents some challenges for home mainte-nance when it comes to keeping siding and decks in shape.

As chair of ACC, I (Pam Barrett) do get questions on maintenance issues. Below are some of the tips about cleaning siding and decks that I have shared in the past. I have experimented with the two of the products listed here, but not the Costco product.

I have a north facing wall that eventually turns green every few years and I spray it with a product called Spray and Forget. Mix according to directions in a home garden sprayer – one with a good reach. It is completely non-toxic and will not harm plants, pets or even your bare skin - although it does recommend that you use gloves. I have done it in sandals several times and just rinsed well with water after finishing the work.

You will not see instant results, but over time the moss is dissolved and stays away for a few years. It also works on your roof and deck. I have had great success with it. I attached the link below.

This one is called Mold Armor House Wash. You connect this product to a regular garden water hose and follow the directions. It takes more work, but it does get rid of mold, algae, etc. I feel the problem returns sooner with this product, so it must be done annually.

There is a Costco special buy on Wet and Forget, which came out after Spray and Forget. I believe it is not the same formula, but sort of a ‘marketing knock off’ and not as well reviewed. Wet & Forget Moss, Mold, Mildew & Algae Stain Remover 0.75-gallon, 2-pack.

Happy Spring Cleaning!
Pam Barrett
ACC Chair

Tip: Ask the sales clerk for help and read the instructions carefully before you purchase. The product precautions vary greatly. There are new anti-mold products being added the store shelves all the time.

The Birds of Hickory Farms

A neighbor recently asked me if I was seeing birds arriving earlier than usual due to climate change. The short answer is “no.” Based on my admittedly limited amount of data (seven years of arrival dates by species), we are seeing migratory birds arrive here within the average window of time this year as compared to previous years. For example, we saw our first Gray Catbird on the same date (4/16) this year as last year. As a counter-example, field ornithologist friends of ours in the Finger Lake region of upstate New York reported their first Hermit Thrush in early April, about two weeks earlier than their 33-year average. That’s a much better data set. But it is important to remember that these are just single birds of different species arriving in one specific place. Migration does not occur at a point, but across a wide front over an extended period of time, and there are a great many variables involved. So the long answer is, well, a very long an-swer indeed.

There is much that we do not yet know about the relationship between what is termed climate change and bird migration. There is considerable ongoing research in both fields, but it will take many years, if not decades, to observe and quantify changes in bird migratory behavior. Stay tuned!

As for Hickory Farms and this year’s Spring migration, it was a good year. As of 21 May, our backyard tally was 63 species, tying the 2018 total for the entire year. There were several highlights, as indicated in the following list:

  • Three 1st-ever yard sightings: Pine Warbler (4/5), Broad-winged Hawk(4/24), Blue-headed Vireo (5/1) (all three birds had been seen in previous years in the neighborhood)
  • Three 2nd-ever yard sightings: Eastern White-crowned Sparrow (5/1), Cape May Warbler (5/4), Great-crested Flycatcher (5/9)
  • One 3rd-ever yard sighting: Tennessee Warbler (5/13)
  • 11 warbler species total
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeaks stayed for an unprecedented two-week period

Other backyard/neighborhood highlights include Hermit Thrush, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Brown Creeper, Fox Sparrow, Brown Thrasher, Purple Finch, four hawk species (Red-tailed, Red-Shouldered, Cooper’s, Broad-winged), Baltimore Oriole, and Barred Owl (heard by the creek).

As for the bluebird trail, one box in the lower common grounds produced three fledglings around 1 May. A second nesting occurred, with two eggs noted as of 5/18. There was one House Wren nest in the upper common grounds, but the attempt was unsuccessful due to predation (probably House Sparrow). Two Tree Swallows were seen investigating a box in the upper common grounds on 5/14, but apparently they did not select the box. As has been the case in the past few years, House Sparrows are a problem to which there does not seem to be an effective solution.

The peak of the migration has now passed, but many birds remain. You should see juveniles of such species as American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Cardinal, Downy Woodpecker and others over the next month or two. I encourage you to get out into the common grounds to enjoy the extensive new plantings of trees and flowers which are designed to attract birds and pollinators. There is much to see and hear right here in Hickory Farms.

Until next time, have a nice summer.

Bob Cosgriff
Cotton Farm Road

Hickory Farms Neighborhood Fiesta

Get a Great Workout

Get a great workout — practically in your own backyard — at any of the 3 George Mason University gyms listed below! Join your HFCA neighbors as a corporate member of Mason Fitness.

Membership rates for August 2019 - August 2020 are $450/member. You may separately purchase a parking pass for $15 upon activating your membership.

Mason’s corporate membership policy requires us to provide a roster with each member’s full name, address, and date of birth. Members must be residents of Hickory Farms.

Payment will be due no later than July 31, 2019. Please contact Jennifer Maloney at jmaloney57@gmail.com if you wish to renew your membership or become a new member.

Membership includes access to:

  1. Aquatic and Fitness Center, which has a variety of fitness programs, cardio and strength equipment, and aquatic amenities and programs https://recreation.gmu.edu/facilities/aquatic-and-fitness-center/
  2. Recreation and Athletic Center (the “RAC”) which has three gymnasiums, racquetball courts, squash courts, and a two story fitness gallery https://recreation.gmu.edu/facilities/rac/
  3. Skyline Fitness Center which features cardio, weight training/strength equipment and a basketball court. This gym is open 24 hrs during the fall and spring semesters https://recreation.gmu.edu/facilities/skyline-fitness/

Other features include:

  • Weight training/strength gallery
  • Cardio gallery
  • Cycle studio & multipurpose room
  • Olympic size pool
  • Recreational pool
  • Whirlpool & Sauna
  • Extensive group exercise program
  • Fitness & Aquatic programs
  • Dedicated room for stretching and light weight use
  • Men’s and women’s locker rooms
  • Family changing room

Neighborhood Watch Schedule

Day Date Person 1 Person 2
Fri May 24 Harry Herchert Ginny Herchert
Sat May 25 Debbi Buchanan Michelle Bush
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.