ORCHARD KNOLLS HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATION (OK-HOA)

WWW.ORCHARDKNOLLS.ORG

MONTHLY BOARD MEETING MINUTES

December 9, 2002

BOARD MEMBERS (BOD) PRESENT:

PRESIDENT Richard Schinner 301-977-5196 evantage@aol.com
SECRETARY Jerry Way 301-977-0523 jerswing@aol.com
TREASURER Mohammed Homaitabar 301-318-8446 homaitabar@yahoo.com
VP TOWNHOMES Eileen Solomon  301-330-2876  zeppsol@aol.com
VP S.F. HOMES Open


ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW COMMITTEE (ARC) PRESENT:

MEMBER Kathy Wyatt

GUESTS: (No Guests Present)

 

I. CALL TO ORDER: Meeting at Eileen’s home again (Thank You Eileen), called to order 7:35 Pm.

  1. GUEST PRESENTATIONS: None.

III. PREVIOUS MINUTES - Minutes are posted on web at least one week before meeting. President called for changes or amendments. Hard copy of last month minutes made available. Eileen noted that she was not the person that identified spray-paint vandalism to our sidewalks and paved areas. Board could not recall who identified the problem. It was noted that Rick and Jerry inspected five damaged areas this month.

Last months minutes will be corrected to remove Eileen’s name. No further changes or amendments. Motion made to accept. Seconded. Carried.

IV. ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW COMMITTEE (ARC):

Arc Chairperson: Rick visited with Paul Andrew Hughes this month.

Delinquent ARC Change Request Disposition Letters. Many disposition follow up letters to owners are delinquent or not sent at all. The 60-day wait-time has expired on some. Because other pressing problems are prohibiting Paul from accomplishing ARC responsibilities, he turned over all records, change requests, and delinquent communications to Rick.

New ARC Change Request DataBase: After meeting with Paul, Rick volunteered to help Paul get past some difficult times by researching backlogged letters, files etc. Rick created a database of 2002 backlogged ARC change requests, disposition letters and all other known change request submissions from 2001 to 1998. This information was matched with known disposition information. He then attempted to identify whether disposition had been communicated. Rick visited several property addresses and owners to identify current status of requested changes, and to provide closure where possible. Rick will maintain the database. Eileen volunteered to send follow up letters to provide closure on more recent activity

ARC Change Requests Processed:

7 Citrus Grove Ct Fence Approved (Revised Configuration Plan Received)
15612 Blackberry Dr  Deck In Process

  Fall Walk-Through Single Family Community Inspection Letters to be Mailed: Our summary list of owners with inspection-items-of-concern was matched against our new database of approved ARC Change Requests. Several items of concern were negated. Eileen will prepare letters to owners that still have items of concern.

V. OLD BUSINESS

12011 Cherry Blossom Place - Behavior Problems – Board deferred for another month.

12011 Cherry Blossom Place - Motorcycle on lawn Chained and Locked to Tree – Our letter to owner (from our attorney) demanding removal within 15 days has not brought response. Board decided to contract with towing company to cut the lock, tow and store the motorcycle. Due to alleged weapon on premises, board will arrange to have police protection at time of removal. Board deferred towing action for another month.

Potomac Garden Center; Agreement Items Not Complete – Board deferred for another month.

Potomac Garden Center; Abandoned House Complaint – Mohammed confirmed that this month Mr. Angell was advised that the board had no responsibility for this complaint.

Tot-Lots; Existing Play Areas – Contractor confirms he will paint SeeSaw final coat when weather permits.

Playground (Tot-Lots) Upgrade Project – Kathy Wyatt reports several committee meetings have already taken place. Alternative concepts are being considered for the three lots. One contractor submitted a proposal, another is in preparation. Jerry reports that equipment is only 10 years old and has not completed it’s 15 year Useful-Life. As a result, only $7.4K is available from Capital Reserves. A committee review meeting is scheduled for December 10 at Harris Leonard’s home (15713 CBL). This project is expected to evolve into a Proposal and Estimated Cost presentation for the Annual Meeting in January. .

SHA Rt. 28 Widening - Blackberry Drive & Center Island, Tree Preservation - SHA was able to preserve our front center island red maple tree. President will contact SHA to be sure new island extension consists of soil materials – not concrete. Concrete will prohibit us from installing our sprinkler scheme, and two new streetlights. Soil and grass will also beautify the immediate entrance. Rick will also look into adding night reflection to the new center island curbs. Jerry noted that Rt. 28 divider trees and our intersection lighting have been removed from SHA plans on display at their office. Rick and Jerry will investigate further. Mohammad asked that SHA be reminded that they agreed to provide street trees at the base of our berm along Rt. 28. Jerry noted that SHA excavation has not encroached nearly as far into the berm as was planned, and none of the planned berm tree removal has taken place or appears necessary. Unless plans change – this may provide a significant reduction in expected noise.

HOA 25-MPH Speed Signs – Deferred another month

Newsletter – Rick designed draft newsletter in a single page, color, and back to back document. The board was pleased with the result. Announcement of upcoming annual meeting, speed limit, Dog and other pet regulatory information, townhome postlights, website and other matters are covered. Although other subjects were considered for publication, it would force the newsletter into two pages. Board felt the upcoming annual meeting and a second newsletter could address those matters in the future. Board voted to release ABS to reproduce and immediately mail to all owners.

Parking Restrictions Signs Installed – Two new signs were installed this month to meet new Montgomery County Towing Laws (County Code, Part II Chapter 30C). Both signs are the same – summarizing Orchard Knolls parking restrictions. One is installed at the entrance/exit to the garaged townhomes, and the other at the entrance/exit to the non-garaged townhomes. This will allow us to legally tow vehicles violating our parking covenants and time limits.

VI. NEW BUSINESS

New Snow Removal Contract – Our long-term contractor John Owens was not competitive this year. Contract for winter 2002-2003 snow removal was released to low bidder J&L Landscape. In addition to being slightly lower for base snow pushing – J&L also provided common area sidewalk clearing for $75. Board asked Rick to upgrade the new contract to include shoveling Gazebo Mailboxes on every plowing event.

2003 Landscape RFP – Most board members are not satisfied with current contractor performance – as measured by community appearance. Discussion focused on why 5 of 6 contractors declined to bid last year. Jerry suggested that we visit each one with our RFP and be open to their suggestions - instead of just mailing it. Several board members expressed their desire to engage a first-class landscaper even if cost goes up. Jerry suggested we apply pressure to the contractor that does Kentlands. They are premium landscapers and always close by. Rick asked for volunteers to prepare re-bid documents and bid the upcoming requirements. Mohammad volunteered – Jerry will assist, as Mohammad needs help.

2003 Budget Preparation Meeting – A 2003 budget development meeting took place mid month at home of our treasurer. (Thank you Mohammad). President, Treasurer, and Secretary met with Cheryl Berger, President of Associated Bookkeeping Services to formulate a final budget for 2003. Variances from last year’s budget vs this year’s actuals were reviewed. Related adjustments were made for a new budget for 2003. Current and projected Operating cost requirements are growing faster than Assessment Income.

Capital Reserve Fund Exceeds Need. Secretary reviewed our "Orchard Knoll’s Streets, Roads and Other Community Assets - Reserve Allocation Forecast" charts with the board. This chart tracks a rolling forecast of cost and timing for required asset replacements funded by our capital reserves. The chart provides a basis for amortizing our reserve funds. It was noted that 2002 reserves are 120% of needs. It was determined that our incremental allocation to reserve funds is too high causing the fund to grow greater than need. To prevent increasing homeowner assessments in 2003 due to rising operating costs, a decision was made to reduce monthly reserve allocation allowing more funds for operating costs. Reserve allocation will be reduced by $3000 annually. This adjustment keeps homeowner assessment flat for 2003. Detailed budget variances will be reviewed and presented at the annual meeting.

Creek Erosion Control at Tot-Lot Bridge – No new information from contractor. Deferred to next month.

Community Split Rail Fencing – Rick reported that TML Construction priced the job for two-rail fencing in error. Three-rail will be an additional $900 in materials. TML Construction agreed to waive labor charges for three-rail. Board voted to accept the additional requirement. Jerry Way abstained. Passed unanimously.

End-of-year Completion date is slipping due to poor weather conditions. Contractor reports that due to recent snow and ice, common area accesses to areas to be fenced are now muddy. Driving the tractor with post-hole drilling augers across lawn areas may cause turf damage. Also "Miss Utility" markings accomplished last month for underground power, telephone, cable, gas and water markings have been washed away in some areas. They may have to be re-inspected.

Rt. 28 Berm Noise Attenuation / Hide Traffic, Fencing Project - Mohammad reports that his straw-vote among impacted owners is showing that owners and neighbors would screening-trees on the Rt. 28 berm in-lieu-of fencing to accomplish screening and attenuation. Mohammad will discuss at the Annual Meeting.

Marking Undesignated Townhome Parking Spaces as Visitor – Some townhome owners are complaining of lack of parking spaces – particularly for visitors in evenings and weekends. Many of our unmarked and undesignated street level visitor spaces are wrongfully being occupied regularly by owners - who are required by covenants to park in garage, driveway and assigned spaces. Some owners have more vehicles than allowed by their choice of home. Many are parking in visitor’s spaces for convenience. Because of recent changes in Montgomery County Law, Homeowner Associations can no longer tow vehicles from spaces that are not specifically identified as to use. All (each) 19 Non-Garaged units have 19 undesignated spaces within Cherry Blossom Place for visitors or for a 2nd vehicle. All 48 Garaged units have a combined total of 24 undesignated spaces within Cherry Blossom Lane for visitors or temporary parking. According to the new law, undesignated spaces must be marked for intended purpose if towing is to be implemented.

Board Declines to Mark Spaces; Rules Out Towing Parking Violations in Visitor Spaces - Jerry reports that our American Striping Contractor quotes $350 to mark our visitors spaces. In addition, contractor will also mark parking boundary "T" marks along curb spaces. After much discussion and significant dissension, most of the board continues to be reluctant to mark undesignated spaces as visitors. This inaction prohibits the board from towing any vehicle unlawfully parked in a visitor’s space except violations of Motor Vehicle Law. (editorial comment)

Townhome Curb Parking Space Efficiency - "T" Boundary Painting: Mohammad and Jerry volunteered to paint the needed "T" markings in spring 2003 after weather clears and streets are dry.

Red Fiat Stored in Visitor Space - 15704 Cherry Blossom Lane – It was reported that owner removed the covered red Fiat stored in visitor parking. However Jerry noted that same owner continues to park their other personal vehicles in visitor spaces instead of their garage or driveway as required by our covenants. Board declined to take further action.

Compensation for Board Service – Board unanimously decided not to pursue the matter.

January Board Meeting Vs Annual Meeting – Due to board’s heavy workload, board decided to proceed with a meeting in January. The annual meeting will substitute for the February board meeting.

Annual Meeting. Montgomery County raised the rent the room for our meeting. Jerry paid the additional $5.50 and will be reimbursed. QO High School called requesting a change in room location (same night) due to last minute request to use cafeteria by their football team. Board agreed. New location is a double classroom – room 232-237. Jerry will prepare a draft agenda for Rick to review at January board meeting. Jerry will obtain a current voting list from ABS for the meeting

Orchard Knolls Web Site: Rick described advantages to upgrade and relocate the site to a different company server. The upgrade will make it an ASP-database linked site including inter-active capability for our community. The additional cost is only $100/year. Board agreed. Rick will make the changes. Board also approved purchase of an attachment for our portable community announcement sign that identifies our web page URL. Jerry will make sign store arrangements and install on our sign before annual meeting.

VII. TREASURER’S REPORT

Monthly Financial Report – Treasurer did not receive report from ABS in time for meeting again this month. Treasurer informed board those publications of last two monthly reports have been out of synch with board meeting date. He expects this will be corrected in upcoming months.

Final 2003 Budget Adjustments – A few final minor operating cost adjustments were discussed and incorporated into the budget for 2003. Board approved final budget. It will be distributed at Annual Meeting.

BOD Liability Bond Dropped in Error; Now Re-instated – Treasurer reports that according to our State Farm Agent – they forwarded renewal forms to the board for several years, but they were never returned so coverage was dropped. State Farm requires $380 annually to execute the coverage for all members. Treasurer will inform State Farm to re-instate immediately. (2003 Budget will be adjusted to accommodate).

2001-2002 Storm Damage Insurance Reimbursement – State Farm requested groupings of our miscellaneous 2003 storm damage related invoices according to claim event – to be consistent with our deductibles. Treasurer will resubmit this month.

VIII. NOT ADDRESSED: (Board declined to discuss following issues at this time):

Vandalism Damage Repairs - Painted Profanity on streets, sidewalks and signs.

Attorney Workload Meeting

Poison Ivy & Trash between Non-Garaged Townhomes and Senior Living Center

Arc Guidelines Need Addition of Latest Current Standards:

Multiple Owner Addresses at ABS – Should ABS accept "alternate" addresses for owners?

Child Safety - Relocate Marble Benches From Under Tree Limbs in Tot-Lot

Poor Quality Townhome Community End-Unit Lawn Areas

IX. FUTURE COMMUNITY PROJECTS:

Upgrade Townhome Underground Streetlighting Power Circuit – now at maximum capacity.

Restore East Entrance Zone 1 Sprinkler System - After Rt. 28 Construction. SHA will pay.

Consolidate East and West Sprinkler Systems – Spring of 2003.

Install 2 Streetlights in Entrance Center Island - Spring 2003.

Install Colonial Lamps at Townhome Entrance - Lamps to match front entrance. Quoted in 2001.

Permanent Entrance Flagpoles Like Kentlands - Project quoted in 2001.

Duplicate East Side Entrance Marquee - After Rt. 28/Jughandle construction – Needs Quote

Increase East Berm Height at Senior Housing Boundary – SHA and Owner may provide.

Install Security Lighting along Creek and Bike Path – $11K Quote in August - Review at Annual Meeting

Pressure Wash and Seal Rotting and Unsightly Community Retaining WallsQuoted in 2001.

Install Erosion Control at Pedestrian Bridge – Summer 2003

X. ANNUAL MEETING:

Open Board Positions – 2-Positions for Board of Directors (Resignation of Ken Frank and Ali Rad)

Open ARC Positions – Do we need 3, 5, 7 members?

Tot-Lot Equipment – Replace all Tot-Lot equipment?

Security Lighting - Along creek bike path?

Plastic Bags for Trash: Should trash be allowed at curb in plastic bags?

Compensation for Service – Should volunteers for the Board/Arc be compensated?

Rt. 28 Berm Noise Attenuation / Hide Traffic – Fence or Trees? 2003 or 2004 Project?

Townhome Visitors Parking – Should they be marked? Pros/Cons

Integrate East/West Entrance Sprinkler Systems – 2002 Project?

Two streetlights for Center Island? 2002 Project?

 

XI. LEGAL REVIEW (Our Attorney(s) are addressing the following issues):

Senior Housing Center Property Boundary Matters

12012 Cherry Blossom Place – Owner Behavior and eviction

12012 Cherry Blossom Place – Motorcycle on front lawn.

Potomac Garden Center Maintenance Agreement

Townhomes – HOA Vs Personal Property Trees; 15726 Cherry Blossom Lane – Delinquent Tree Cost

HOA Community Behavior Rules

Compensation for (Board) Service

1999 Maintenance Rule

Delinquent Collections - 1 Cherry Blossom Court 3 Qtrs. Assessment; Suit Filed.

XII. ADJOURNMENT The monthly meeting of BOD of OKHOA was adjourned at 9:00Pm. Next meeting of the Board of Directors will be Monday, January 13, 7:30 Pm, location to be determined. Call any board member for location. All property owners welcome. Input by letter or email welcome.