ORCHARD KNOLLS HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATION (OK-HOA)

WWW.ORCHARDKNOLLS.ORG

MONTHLY BOARD MEETING MINUTES

October 14, 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:

    CHAIRPERSON Paul Andrew Hughes 301-990-7261 hughs-p@lycos.com

    MEMBER Kathy Wyatt

GUESTS:

    Officer Herb Emerson, Montgomery County Police, Animal Services

    Rita Becker, Homeowner

 

  1. CALL TO ORDER Meeting held in Eileen’s home, called to order 7:30 Pm. President noted that there would be a change to the order of business beginning tonight. ARC reviews will take place as the first order of business after Approval of Minutes.
  2.  

  3. GUEST PRESENTATIONS: (Guests first).

Background: Ongoing homeowner complaints from neighbors allowing their dogs out of control, not cleaning up, and continuous barking. Mohammed Homaitabar invited Officer Herb Emerson to advise this board on how to enforce existing animal control regulations.

Dog Control/Cleanup: Herb advised that geographical responsibility for Orchard Knolls is assigned to Officer Wayne Kuster (240-773-5938). Herb gave a brief description of animal control laws in Montgomery County and provided some civil law enforcement tools for our neighbors and Homeowners Association. Herb advised that there is a Montgomery County Chapter 5 Codes law requiring dog owners to maintain control of their animals at all times. Herb provided Department of Police "Affidavit" forms to be submitted by citizens in the event of Dogs at Large, Dog Defecation or Damage, Dogs on Private Property, and Dogs Barking. Herb advised that a photo of the dog in act of violation usually result in a conviction. Submission results in owner court appearances and fines. First Offense is $100, Second is $500, and Third is $750.

Unlicensed, Unvaccinated Dogs/Cats: Herb provided a handout identifying a related new county law "Executive Regulation 5-01" addressing many dog related matters. County Executive Doug Duncan June 25, 2002 signed the new law. Lastly, Herb discussed the lawful requirement for dog and cat registration and rabies vaccinations. There is a $100 fine for an unlicensed dog or cat, and a $500 fine for unvaccinated dog or cat. Herb provided registration materials.

III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES - Minutes are posted on web-site at least one week before board meeting. President called for changes or amendments.

Rick noted that last month’s topic: "Dog Waste Signs" should be corrected to read: "Citrus Grove Rd. Cul-de-sac" (not Pineapple Grove Ct). September 9, 2002 minutes are amended as noted. There were no further changes or amendments. Motion made to accept. Seconded. Carried.

 

IV. ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW COMMITTEE:

Letters Missing: Rick noted that he had not seen letters to owners from last month. Jerry noted he had not received copies to place in property files. ARC Chairperson Paul Andrew Hughes noted that he called each owner, but had not sent letters yet. Paul agreed to double up this month and get letters to Rick. (Rick provides copies to Jerry for property files).

ARC Requests Processed: ARC Chair will notify owners of action taken:

15604 Blackberry Drive Gutters Approved subject to same size and color
15602 Blackberry Drive Door Color Approved subject to not same as neighbors
15602 Blackberry Drive Deck Approved

Validity of ARC Change Application – The form currently on the web is accurate and current. There was some concern that the current form had changes associated with unapproved revised guidelines that would be misleading. Jerry compared and reviewed the on-line form currently on our web page to our approved master form – often called the "purple" form. The form on the web is current and relates to our valid Guidelines.

 

V. OLD BUSINESS

Unapproved Siding - 12009 Pineapple Grove Dr., (Rossiter) – Rick sent a revised letter to Rossiters noting that board and ARC are aware that contractor ignored owner’s request to replace the siding with "like kind". All correspondence will be placed in property file for 12009 PG Drive.

Dog Control Violations – 15744 Cherry Blossom Lane - Multiple complaints have been received by the board regarding owner of the black poodle at this residence. Complaints center around the dog running loose, jumping on people, causing owners of leashed dogs to lose control of their dogs, and not cleaning up the feces. Board sent dog owner a letter requesting they walk their dog on a leash. If more complaints are received, Board will utilize the Affidavit tool provided by Officer Emerson.

Replacement Trees / Lee’s Tree Service Dropped –The trees have finally been planted. Board hired two other more reliable contractors. Nearby owners have been requested to regularly provide water. Lees Tree Service has been dropped as a reliable contractor to Orchard Knolls.

Behavior Problems; 12011 Cherry Blossom Place – Our attorney has informed us that current tenants have been served notice to vacate effective October 31, 2002. However, our attorney also notes that tenant may appeal the vacate notice. Attorney requests further evidence of problems that have occurred since May 1st. Rita Becker and Dennis Zepp will document recent related events and transmit them to President Schinner for our attorney.

Potomac Garden Center- The 8-Foot fence is up. Mohammed will accomplish an inspection of compliance with the agreement and report to the board for next meeting.

TML Construction Statement – Jerry requests that the following statement be placed in minutes: TML Construction is a licensed and insured local exterior construction business. The business specializes in exterior construction such as home additions, decks, fencing etc. TML has tooling and heavy equipment to accomplish exterior on-grade work, and between larger jobs, is available to accomplish similar maintenance work. TML Construction is a sole proprietorship of his son. As a member of the board, Jerry is a contractor contact for the board and simultaneously an advisor to TML. There is no known conflict of interest. Jerry receives no fees or benefits from TML, and abstains from voting issues related to releasing work to TML. TML is engaged by board officers other than himself to accomplish maintenance and other work for Orchard Knolls Homeowner Association. Several other similar contractors also accomplish maintenance for Orchard Knolls.

Tot-Lot Repairs – President and Secretary inspected tot-lot equipment for needed repairs. All equipment is 11 years old, worn and faded but serviceable. North tot-lot seems ok. East tot-Lot has already had several repairs, removal of damaged and unsafe equipment, and replacement of the merry-go-round. Swings have been repaired. The integrated pressure treated wood swing/slide set in the Blackberry Drive Lot needs major repairs. The set needs replacement of several, split, pressure treated beams, repair of broken firehouse pole, replacement of several missing and loose barrier beams and steel pipes. The seesaw needs paint.

TML Construction provided a quote to make temporary repairs to the swing/slide set, or to completely remove and dispose of it at the dump. The cost to temporarily repair was a few dollars less than removing it. There is an agenda item for the upcoming annual meeting to discuss completely upgrading all tot-lots. Anticipating upgrades in the near future, Board voted to remove and dispose of the unit, and repaint the seesaw. The seesaw will be painted green.

Cherry Blossom Place Sign Relocation – Miss Utility cleared the new location. It will be relocated in the next few weeks. The Black and White Parking sign will also be relocated to the street sign.

Gazebo Retaining Wall Upgrade – Two 8-Inch diameter flowering cherry trees on top of the corner retaining wall have large roots exposed because the soil is washing downward off the retaining wall. They will soon die unless the roots are covered and erosion stopped. An initial solution is to add two levels of 6-Inch by 6-Inch Pressure Treated retaining wall beams to the corner and back fill with topsoil and mulch. If that does not stop the erosion, another level can be added in the future. TML provided a proposal to accomplish the initial work, with cost of soil and mulch passed through at cost. Board voted to approve the initial level of work.

Tot-Lot Upgrade Committee: - Eileen Solomon noted that Mr. Leonard, 15713 Cherry Blossom Lane is very busy but has agreed to chair the committee. This agreement is contingent upon help to form the committee and do the legwork. That project was earlier deferred to our upcoming annual meeting for floor discussions. Kathy Wyatt (ARC) agreed to be Administrator on the committee, and Rita Becker agreed to be on the committee. Others will be necessary as this project progresses.

Dog Waste Signs Complete– President reported that his sign contractor replaced the stolen sign on Citrus Grove with vandal proof bolts and will install the last two signs this month.

SHA – Entrance Construction Information Mailed – Rick arranged for an informative flyer to be mailed to all owners. The flyer dated October 1 – provides current information, an email address (to the board) for concerns, and the address for our web site for ongoing related information.

SHA - Underground Entrance Conduits at Blackberry Drive & Center Island Not Installed – SHA failed to install the promised underground empty conduits for us. Rick reports that apparently due to a communication failure between Frank Hartman (SHA) and Concrete General (Paving Contractor), the conduits were not installed before they paved over our entrance. Frank now assures us that they will install the conduits in the near future by "boring under the road". The conduits are necessary for our desired projects to install a streetlight in our new center island, and to consolidate our separate east-west sprinkler systems.

Speed and Playground Signs – County workers installed two playground signs on Blackberry Drive this month. They have still not installed a 25MPH speed limit sign. However, they threatened to remove all our privately installed signs, so we removed them and placed them in storage until county completes their obligation.

Non-Garaged Siding Standards Error Corrected: A corrected flyer, dated September 9, 2002 was mailed to all 19 Non-Garaged Townhome owners.

Cherry Blossom Ct Access to North Potomac Seniors Housing Rejected – Our attorney had received word from attorneys of North Potomac Seniors Housing, LLC (in response to our letter of September 17, 2002) – that they have no interest in a second entrance or vehicle connection to Orchard Knolls. Further, they wish to remain an independent community and would object to any similar future proposals.

Poor Maintenance - 15715 Cherry Blossom Lane, Board Intervention – Owner now has the property for sale (by owner). Owner has cleaned weeds and trimmed shrubs in the front and side of the property. The only open item is replacement of the Postlight to our standard fixture. Jerry met the owner on site who agreed to replace the fixture this week.

 

VI. NEW BUSINESS

New Treasurer: Mohammed Homaitabar has agreed to takeTreasurer responsibilities.

New Web-Master – New Payment Plan: Rick Schinner will control our web-site. Ali Rad will continue to provide consulting and backup support as needed. Apparently, payment for the site is delinquent. Rick recommends changing payment plan to annual. Board made a motion, seconded, passed. Rick will coordinate with Treasurer and ABS to implement annual billing for our website.

Treasurer’s Report

????? Cherry Blossom Lane - Tree Cost Delinquent- Owner has still not paid for the replacement tree – Board instructed Treasurer to inform ABS to deduct tree from assessments and notify owner of delinquent assessment.

?? Cherry Blossom Court 3 Qtrs Assessment Delinquent. No response from attorney demand letter. Board instructed Treasurer to inform ABS to file suit.

2003 Budget Preparation– ABS advises that any increase in 2003 assessment must be in their hands no later than November 20. Related, President Schinner requests that the board conduct an interim budget preparation meeting very soon. Rick will pull this meeting together.

Excessive Reserves – Rick and Jerry are concerned that the $110K reserves are excessive in relation to our projected emergency asset needs and useful-life chart. Jerry noted that adjustments to allocations to reserve funds could reduce quarterly assessments for the community, or, increase the operating budget to improve landscaping line items. Both are desirable and will be considered in budget preparation for 2003.

Compensation for Service – Mohammed requested board consider a proposal to the community to include compensation for members of the Board of Directors and Architectural Review Committee for compensatory service. The objective is to reach community members with an incentive to volunteer and serve. Reduction or elimination of assessment fees is requested. However, some board members feel compensation would increase obligation to demanding owners – already a problem. Board asked Mohammed to contact our attorney asking what measures are allowed/prohibited. After reviewing that information – board may consider opening the issue to the annual meeting.

Satellite Dish Rule 2001-3 – Our attorney filed the executed rule in the Homeowner’s Depository in Circuit Court for Montgomery County.

Winterize Sprinkler Systems – Unity has informed us they will winterize our system last week in October.

Approved Townhome Trim Vinyl-Wrap Color and Materials Standards: Contractors are offering Aluminum Clad Vinyl-Wrap product offerings for those that wish to "wrap" their townhome trim in vinyl. If a townhome owner wishes to do this, the resulting appearance must match the existing color and style standards for the building unit – No Townhome trim color changes will be approved by ARC. See Ryan Townhome color standards on our web site. Jerry presented the board with samples of two matching Aluminum Clad Vinyl-Wrap materials that can be used as equivalent standards for our townhome building units. They are: Variform’s "Island Pearl" for our McCormick lighter "Sea Shell" trim color, and, "Desert Mesa" for our McCormick’s darker "Trade-Winds" trim color. Board approved the plain samples as standards but rejected the patterned sample. The approved standard will be added to our Ryan Townhome Trim Color Chart on our web site.

Tree Limb Will Remain Down: Large tree limb down behind and between 12007 and 12005 Cherry Blossom Place is still connected at the top and the other end is on the ground. It appears stable and secure. It will be soon removed by construction and landscaping of the new Senior Center.

Mosquito Control - Eileen and Dennis contacted county and state agencies to identify possible treatments. State of Maryland Agriculture is responsible but cannot inspect our area until spring. Eileen will contact Stormwater Management in regard to mosquito control around our creek areas.

Proposal to Extend Community Split Rail Fencing: Several owners have requested that existing tot-lot fencing be extended and tot-lot access walks be fenced to encourage young children to remain inside boundaries of the lot and access areas. Some outer boundary areas on the south tot-lots are already fenced in split rail. Existing split rail fencing is already installed on the West Side of Blackberry - along the north side of the creek. Board is proposing to extend the West Blackberry split rail to the sidewalk, then south and west to delineate and confine the creek area trees. It is also felt that split rail fencing will enhance the natural boundaries of our common areas along Blackberry between the townhomes and the single-family homes, with breaks for access to the tot-lots. Board reviewed sketches of the proposed areas and voted to obtain quotes.

Poor Quality Community Lawn Areas – Jerry asked the board to consider replacing community grass with soil and sod adjacent to his townhome on the corner. All end-unit townhomes appear to own the entire corner lot, however they actually only own 4 feet from the side of their building unit. After that, contiguous land belongs to the community. Most end-unit owners try to maintain the entire lot for the community. Jerry’s (community) lot will not grow grass regardless of soil additives or fertilizers and needs community landscape and resodding. It is a very small area, but highly visible to the community. Rick agreed to have his own lawn service contractor look at Jerry’s (community) lot and other poor community grass areas – to provide a recommendation to the board.

Abandoned Black Honda (VIN 2HGEJ2120RH540893) to be towed: Jerry reported that he "posted" the abandoned (no plates) black Honda sedan parked in the visitors’ lot on North-West Cherry Blossom lane to be towed. In addition, Jerry filed an "Abandoned Vehicle" form 582 with Montgomery County Police on behalf of Orchard Knolls for this vehicle.

Plate-Switching Green Mitsubishi 3000 (VIN JA3XF74C9NY064381) Reported to Police: The owner of the Green Mitsubishi 3000 parks his unregistered vehicle in several visitors spaces as well as Cherry Blossom Place and continuously switches plates. Since July, owner has had 3 expired plates on the vehicle. Jerry reported that vehicle to Montgomery County Police.

Annual Property Inspection Scheduled - Single-Family Homes - Board scheduled this inspection for Sunday October 27 at 3pm. All members of the board and ARC should attend.

 

VII. NOT ADDRESSED: (Board has considered, but declined to discuss the following issues at this time).

Hoa Attorney Workload – At Board’s request, Jerry met with our attorney at his office in Rockville to discuss issues identified in August minutes. A separate report of findings was provided to each board member.

Hoa "Code Of Conduct" - Behavior expectations with enforcement and penalties for abuse.

Arc Chair Apparently Out Of Step with Article Viii, Unwarranted Accusations

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

Base Arc Guidelines Need Addition of Latest Current Standards:

Siding Standards

Townhome Trim Paint and Front Door/Shutter Color Standards

Garaged Townhome Deck Rails And Step Rails – Conditional Vertical balusters.

Non-Garage Townhomes Decks and Rails – Same as Garaged except Vertical balusters allowed.

1999 Maintenance Rule: Combine with Code of Conduct?

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

BOD Liability Bond - Is coverage current?

Relocate Marble Benches From Under Trees in Tot-Lot

Storm Damaged Trees Insurance Reimbursement

 

VIII. POSSIBLE FUTURE PROJECTS FOR CONSIDERATION:

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

Consolidate East/West Sprinkler Systems – SHA to install underground conduit.

Purchase and Install Streetlamp in Entrance Center Island. SHA to install underground conduit.

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

Purchase and Install Noise Barrier Fencing On Top Of Berm – SHA may pay.

Upgrade playground equipment at all Tot-Lots – Review at Annual Meeting

Continue Split-Rail Fencing around Tot-Lots some common areas. – Out for Quote

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

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

Pressure Wash and Seal Rotting and Unsightly Community Retaining Walls – Quoted in 2001.

IX. ANNUAL MEETING:

Annual Meeting Date Set: January 27, 2003 at 7:30 Pm. Jerry made the arrangements at Quince Orchard High School and paid for the cafeteria to reserve the night. Previous week (20th) was not available due to MLK holiday.

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

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

Security Lighting - Along creek bike path?

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

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

 

X. ADJOURNMENT

Board targeted adjournment at 9pm tonight. Several issues were not addressed (See above). The monthly meeting of BOD of OKHOA was adjourned at 9:45Pm.

Next meeting of the Board of Directors will be Monday, November 11, 7:30 Pm, location to be determined. Call any board member for location. All property owners welcome. Input by letter or email welcome.