October 2019 Hickory Farms Newsletter
The HFCA Yard Sale - Editor, Chuck Stewart (Still Meadow Rd)
Hickory Farms Board Calendar
- Oct. 29 - Annual HFCA Board Meeting (Green Acres, Cafeteria)
- Nov. 12 - Board of Directors Meeting
Social Calendar 2019
- Dec. 15 - 18 - Holiday Decorating Contest, Voting & Awards, All Ages
Annual HFCA Board Meeting
On Tuesday, October 29, 2019, 7:30 - 9:40 PM, in the Green Acres cafeteria, 4401 Sideburn Rd., Fairfax, VA 22030, the Hickory Farms Community Association 2019 Annual Board Meet-ing will take place.
The Board members will give reports on their activities during 2019 and an-swer your questions. See page 10 for the agenda.
If you are unable to attend, please use the proxy ballot. The ballot has instructions for returning your proxy ballot by mail, Email, or asking an attending neighbor to bring it to the meeting.
See you at the meeting!
2020 Budget Information
Under the Hickory Farms Bylaws and the Virginia Property Owners Association Act, the Board of Directors must approve a budget and set an annual assessment for the forthcoming year. The Hickory Farms Board of Directors reviewed the 2020 budget and concluded a $250 annual assessment was needed. This assessment increase is needed to avoid additional budget deficits and replenish the Capital Reserve Fund.
It addition, on September 09, 2019, the Board approved a revision to our Rules and Regulations authorizing it to assess a fee for the preparation and delivery of a disclosure packet each time a home is sold. The Board also approved a fee of $146.71 for the disclosure packet, which is the amount authorized by the Common Interest Community Board in Richmond, to take effect on January 1. The budget includes an estimated $881 to be collected during 2020. On October 8, 2019, the Board approved a few ministerial revisions to the Rules and Regulations by removing obsolete section numbers – but not the substantive text – referencing the Virginia Property Owners Association Act. As specified in the Rules and Regulations, the Board is asking the members to affirm these decisions at the October 29 Annual Meeting.
For more information, see the HFCA 2020 Budget below or come to the HFCA annual meeting.
Deteriorating Conditions in the Rabbit Run Common Areas
A significant portion of the Hickory Farms Common Areas runs along Rabbit Run creek, behind homes on Country Squire Lane and portions of Cotton Farm Road and Harvester Farm Lane. The creek and a buffer on each side are considered a Resource Protection Area which restricts what can be done in the area (The backyards of some lots are included in the RPA). While the Rabbit Run area has eroded gradually over the years, the erosion in the past year has been dramatic. In some places, as much as two feet of creek bed has been exposed in just a few months! New home construction nearby and the diversion of storm water from the Burke Station Road area have led to significantly more storm water runoff making its way into Rabbit Run. Severe erosion has resulted, so much so that large trees along the banks of the creek have fallen, posing danger to hikers and bikers (Believe it or not, Rabbit Run is actually identified on the Fairfax County web site as a bicycle trail).
The Board of Directors engaged the services of an engi-neering firm to evaluate the Rabbit Run area. The Civil Engineer’s assessment was that the trail on the east bank of Rabbit Run as well as three of the five footbridges were in imminent safety danger and should be shut down immediately. Shortly afterwards, volunteer homeowners removed the three bridges. The Board agreed with the engi-neer that the two remaining bridges should also be removed in light of the fact that they did not have handrails and were erected without being approved by from Fairfax County. The two remaining bridges will be removed in the coming weeks. If you can assist, please contact any HFCA Board member at email@example.com. The Board will also consult with our attorneys as well as insurance agent in order to protect the Association in case per-sons injure themselves in the area. The attorneys and insurance agents will advise the Board as to signage for the area to alert Hickory Farms residents as well as our neighbors about the poor conditions in the area.
We will be organizing a subcommittee to a advise the Board of Directors on Rabbit Run issues. If you can help, please email a HFCA Board member at the above ad-dress. The Board has also been in contact with Fairfax County officials to see if Rabbit Run remediation qualifies for assistance. While the area is a “mess,” believe it or not there are worse among the 7,000+ miles of creeks, rivers, and lakes in Fairfax County.
Thank you for your assistance and patience while the Board evaluates how to move forward regarding the Rabbit Run area. We will keep you apprised with new developments through the Newsletter and email Listserv.
Annual Nominating Committee
The annual nomination process for HFCA Board Members and Officers is now underway. HFCA-ACC Chairperson and Board member, Pam Barrett, is the 2020 Nominations Committee Chairper-son. If you would like to serve with Pam, please contact her at 703-978-2132 or Pam1026@aol.com.
If you would like to nominate yourself or a neighbor for a Board position, please contact Pam so she can include the candidate’s name on the nominations slate to be voted on at our Annual Meeting on October 29th. Nominations will also be accepted from the floor at the Annual Meeting. To see who is currently on the Board of Directors, please click here. Please Note: Some of these volunteers may not be running for reelection.
Dozens of volunteers have stepped forward over the past 43 years to make Hickory Farms the wonderful place it is today. Please consider volunteering this year as a member of the Board of Directors and continue our record of great community service.
Monster Mash was a Hickory Farms Smash!
An unstoppable parade of super heroes stormed the Upper Common and took the castle on the hill. Pizza and treats were consumed by the victors. Afterwards, all enjoyed the Halloween games.
Special thanks to the Social Committee!
Neighborhood Watch Schedule
Early Fall 2019 Common Areas Update
It is hard to believe that summer has passed and we are a third of the way through fall! While I’m excited that cooler (wet) weather and beautiful fall leaf color is coming soon, it also signals that it is time to wrap up the yard maintenance to do list and get ready to bunker down for the winter months.
Below are some summer/early fall highlights & updates below in regards to the Common Areas below.
Common Areas Flowers & Large Trees
This summer and early fall was a scorcher, with unfortunately very little rain. We were very lucky that a large majority of our dry loving meadow plantings were planted at just the right time in spring. They were able to soak up the spring rain and establishing a good root system, prior to the dry weather showing up.
In regards to the trees, we only lost 2 of the 15 large 5 ft. to 6 ft. trees planted. These trees each required 20 gallons of water a week and I was giving them at a minimum 15 gallons per tree, per week. I want to thank the following home-owners for their generosity in donating their water: Sean & Claire Coleman, Lauren and Bryan Crabtree, EeLin & Brian Roethlisberger and Janis Wise. Without them, these trees would not have made it…..nor would have I…having to lug 3, water heavy, 5 gallon jugs to and from my home.
Here is some background about the mowing area of our property. We have 5.5 acres of grass to cut and maintain within our common areas, which includes the entrance acreage to our neighborhood. Many people assume that the entrance acreage is ours, but it is actually VDOT’s and their responsibility to cut. Since they typically do only three cuts a year, the board has for many years, maintained the grass in this area to avoid having a shaggy appear-ance driving into our neighborhood.
Our 2019 maintenance company, Image Works, did a fabulous job mowing weekly, as well as, keeping the Japanese stilt grass along the edges of the tree groves trimmed down to the ground.
Tru Green applied a summer fertilizer, crab grass control and pre – emergence weed preventer application to our lawn, to help tame down current & future weed growth. Also, since there was so much volunteer work this year, we were able to have enough money in the budget to have TruGreen use an aeravator to aerate and over seed the bare spots in our Upper and Lower Commons. The goal with this application, is that it will help minimize the amount of weeds and Japa-nese stilt grass we have in our common areas, break up soil compaction and encourage deeper grass root growth, which will help keep erosion down.
At the beginning of October, we decided to take down the “do not harvest bamboo shoots” signs on the Main Island of the Upper Commons. Besides one stubborn, very small hand size patch, the .75 acres of previous bamboo on the Main Island within the Upper Common, has been successfully (nearly) eradicated.
The Lower Commons sledding hill and the small island behind the homes intersecting Still Meadow Rd. & Cot-ton Farm Rd. received 15 yards of compost leaf mulch. This leaf mulch will help suppress weed growth, assist in in-creasing water retention and also provide the soil some much needed nutrients that it lacks. In addition, 10 yards of double shredded mulch was applied to the path within the Main Island of the Lower Commons. This mulch will provide a weed barrier to the Japanese still grass that is loving that area, as well as, help prevent further erosion.
A big thank you to Sean Coleman, who took some time out of his busy morning to help move a couple of yards of mulch. Also thank you to the Crabtree family for weeding a small area, so Jarrett and I can put mulch down on the island behind their home.
Since the 25 yards of mulch was moved by volunteers, it saved $973.37 additional expense to the budget. Volunteering does make a difference!
Now that being said, we will be using the money that we saved in moving the Lower Commons mulch with volunteers, to have a professional company blow 25 yards of mulch in the meadow section of the Upper Commons Main Island. The mulch will be applied in the beginning half of November.
Hand Weeding the Islands
It is amazing how many weeds can quickly grow in a matter of a week. HFCA volunteers have spent nearly 150+ hours hand weeding 2 acres of islands. If we were to have Image Works weed our islands, we would be charged $45 per worker, per hour. This hourly rate includes them traveling to our site, bags & disposal. That means our HFCA volunteers have saved the Common Areas budget at minimum $6,750. Wow!
Thank you for all of those neighbors that joined me or joined during their own time to help keep the weeds to a minimum. Next year…. additional meadow flowers and mulch, should help suppress a majority of the weeds.
Front Entrance Flowers
Our summer entrance flowers took a hit with the lack of water this year. Our fall/spring flow-ers planted earlier this month, plus mother nature’s rain, should make up for the lack of summer color.
At the beginning of October, Bob Cosgriff, Angie Chong and Nancy Bernhardt helped me plant both entrances with a total of 420 pansies and 70 daffodil bulbs (210 pansies per entrance & 35 bulbs). 2 yellow mums at the Roberts Rd entrance and mulch will be added prior to the end of October.
More updates about new bluebird houses, sledding hill straw bales & volunteer opportunities, Image Works fall clean-up and the Common Areas Committee will be provided in November’s Hickory Farms newsletter issue.
Common Areas Coordinator
Adopted 2020 Budget
|Annual Assessment - 2020 Year
|Annual Assessment - Pre-Paid
|Interest - Checking
|VPOAA Disclosure Package Fees
|Common Grounds Maintenance
|Common Grounds Improvement
|Common Grounds Remediation
|Management Liability Insurance
|Commercial Crime Insurance
|General Liability Insurance
|Taxes & Government Charges/Fees
|Net Income or (Loss)
- $25,180.80 Reserve Fund as of 9/11/2019 – It is HFCA policy to maintain a reserve fund invested in low risk financial instruments.
- The 2020 budget and setting of the 2020 annual assessment were approved by the HFCA Board of Direc-tors on September 09, 2019. The 2020 annual assessment is $250.00. Under the Hickory Farms Bylaws and the Virginia Property Owners Association Act, the Board of Directors must approve a budget and set an annual assessment for the forthcoming year.
- On September 9, 2019, the Board approved a revision to our Rules and Regulations authorizing it to as-sess a fee for the preparation and delivery of a disclosure packet each time a home is sold. The Board also approved a fee of $146.71, which is the amount authorized by the Common Interest Community Board in Richmond, to take effect on January 1.
HFCA Annual Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, October 29, 2019; TIME: 7:30 – 9:30 PM
Green Acres (in cafeteria),
4401 Sideburn Rd., Fairfax, VA 22030
- Opening, Welcome and Introductions
- Quorum Verification
- Volunteer Recruitment
- 2020 Board of Directors Election (Note: Starts after Quorum Verification)
- Approve 2019 Annual Meeting Minutes
- 2019 Actual vs. Budget, and 2020 Budget
- Vote to affirm 2020 Assessment Amount of $250
- 2019 Review:
- Architectural Control Committee
- Common Areas
- Neighborhood Watch
- On September 9, 2019, the Board approved a revision to our Rules and Regulations authorizing it to assess a fee for the preparation and delivery of a disclosure packet each time a home is sold. The Board also approved a fee of $146.71, which is the amount authorized by the Common Interest Community Board in Richmond, to take effect on January 1. The Board seeks affirmation of the members for these actions.
- Deed of Dedication and Declaration Changes
- North Path
- Social Committee
- Strategic Plan
- 2020 Initiatives:
- Strategic Common Area Plan
- Open Floor Discussion
- Volunteer Recognition
- Adjournment (9:40 PM)
- Room closes at 10:00 PM
PayPal is Coming to Hickory Farms
Electronic Payment are coming to Hickory Farms! You will now be able to pay your annual due electronically. Additional information will be provided at the Annual Meeting and in the next Newsletter.
Student Yellow Pages
If you wish to offer services such as shoveling snow, raking leaves, lawn mowing, babysitting, general home maintenance, etc., email firstname.lastname@example.org
|Bridgette Buchanan (15)
|Babysitting and dog sitting
|Britney Mulliner (17)
|Babysitting (6 years experi-ence including newborns) dog sitting.
|Cody Dempster (16)
|Yard work (raking leaves, lawn mowing, etc.) snow shoveling, housework
|Dominic Cannata (17)
|Lawn mowing, shovel snow, cleaning, mulching, any odd job.
|Dylan Mehrman (16)
|Erika Maaseide (16)
|Babysitting; has experience with Special Needs children
|George Codding (13)
|Kent Codding (17)
|Paul Cannata (18)
|Lawn mowing, shovel snow, cleaning, mulching, any odd job.
|Xavier Gilmer (15)
|Shovel snow; lawn mowing
- Annual HFCA Board Meeting
- 2020 Budget Information
- Deteriorating Conditions in the Rabbit Run Common Areas
- Annual Nominating Committee
- Monster Mash was a Hickory Farms Smash!
- Neighborhood Watch Schedule
- Early Fall 2019 Common Areas Update
- Adopted 2020 Budget
- HFCA Annual Meeting Agenda
- PayPal is Coming to Hickory Farms
- Student Yellow Pages
- February 2024
- January 2024
- December 2023
- November 2023
- October 2023
- September 2023
- August 2023
- June 2023
- May 2023
- April 2023
- March 2023
- February 2023