April 14, 2003


BOARD MEMBERS (BOD) PRESENT:                                                                       

President                     Richard Schinner                    301-977-5196 evantage@aol.com                 Jan 06

VP S.F. Homes            Lisa Goodman                         301-963-3807 goodgrl@attglobl.net               Jan 06

VP Townhomes          Eileen Solomon                        301-330-2876 zeppsol@aol.com                   Jan 04

Treasurer                    Mohammed Homaitabar           301-318-8446 homaitabar@yahoo.com         Jan 05

Secretary                    Jerry Way                               301-977-0523 jerway@comcast.net             Jan 06



Committee Member                  Dennis Zepp



Townhome Owner                  Brian Zarchin              (See Newsletter Discussion) 


I.          CALL TO ORDER:      Meeting at Eileen’s home.   Called to order 7:30 Pm.


II          MINUTES:   Posted on web at least one week before meeting. Hard copy made available to all.  President asked if there were any changes.  There were none.  Motion made to accept.  Seconded.  Carried.


III.        ARC:


Change Requests Processed:  

12011 Pineapple Grove Drive Split-Rail Fence           Approved, Subject to additional ARC Signatures

15713 Cherry Blossom Lane              Fence                          Approved       

15713 Cherry Blossom Lane              Awning                       Returned to ARC for Review

12013 Cherry Blossom Place              Deck w/Stairs             Returned to ARC for Review




Newsletter:  Our neighbor and guest tonight, volunteered to head up development of our newsletter on a continuing basis.  Brian Zarchin has experience and skills in accomplishing similar publications.  Rick made arrangements for board members to input articles to Brian electronically.  Articles are to be in by end of May.  Brian will have a draft for June 9 Board Meeting.   Publication is scheduled end of June.  Thank you Brian!


2002 Single Family Homes Fall Inspection Letters -   Eileen will combine delayed 2002 letters with those to be prepared and mailed from the Townhome Inspection conducted yesterday.


Playgrounds Upgrade  No representatives from Upgrade Committee showed up  tonight.  The committee was to provide Information on potential to convey a playground area to Montgomery County.  The project is stalled until an acceptable funding plan is developed.


            A Compromise Plan -   Jerry suggested that a compromise plan could get most of the project done this year.  The compromise involves reducing  total work scope to fit within existing general reserves and operating funds while minimizing fiscal risk.  The compromise would fund the project from the General Reserves in a larger amount than currently allocated to playgrounds, but not deplete the fund.  This applies some risk to other aging assets in the community.  It could be accomplished within current powers of the Board of Directors. Our bookkeeping service, (ABS) could not meet with us tonight to discuss creative funding within  existing budget, however agreed to meet with us next month. 


The following Alternative Plans were discussed tonight:


            A.  Proceed with total $44,000 plan as proposed (Mostly Opposed)

            B.  Reduce Work Scope (Reduced cost to about $24,000)

- Remove new benches

- Remove new playground base materials

- Combine two south lots into one east lot. Grass over west lot for future development into a community picnic area.

            C.  Upgrade only East Lot.  West Lot remains empty. No upgrade for North Lot. (About $22,000)


A few neighbors near Blackberry Drive West Tot-Lot area have expressed concern for one of the proposed scope reduction plans (below) which converts the Blackberry Drive West tot-lot to a community picnic area.  They cited fears that older children or adults might congregate in the area for longer or later hours


Plan B Also Provides Outdoor Community Meeting and Picnic Area:  Plan B provides an overall playground upgrade option which reduces current costs and allows us to proceed.  It removes cost of added new benches and upgraded base materials, and converts the lot nearest Blackberry Drive to a grassed picnic area.  This approach saves about $20,000, reducing total project to about $24,000. The result would be two high-quality, first-class Tot-Lots; One on East Blackberry Drive and the other on North Cherry Blossom Lane. In addition, the Community would acquire an outdoor meeting area, central to the whole community, for picnics etc - a benefit we have never had. This approach has moderate board support. The board will examine this approach in more detail before next meeting.


Playgrounds Project Summary:   The project as presently defined by the Playground Upgrade Committee does not have the funds to move forward at this time.  Unresolved funding and work scope issues will continue to delay the project until the committee and community finds resolution.


Granite Benches Relocated:  The three granite benches located inside playground areas were in violation of Montgomery County playground safety standards.  The board hired a stone mason to relocate all three granite benches from inside the Tot-Lots to outside sitting areas.  This project slightly reduces the cost and scope of work associated with the proposed playground upgrade project and is now complete.


Screening Agreement, Potomac Garden Center – Rick and Mohammad will meet with PGC this month to confirm that this project is complete.


SHA Rt. 28 Construction:   Missing Trees and Lighting - Rt 28 Median Trees and Pepco lighting of our intersection seem to have disappeared from final design drawings and specifications.  Rick has asked our attorney to get involved.  Jerry will research notes of community meetings with SHA. 


Common Area and Tot-Lot Fencing Complete – All three Tot-Lots, East Blackberry Drive Creek Area, and West Blackberry Drive Playground Area are now delineated with our standard 3 level split rail fencing.  This project, long delayed by severe weather, is now complete.


HOA 25-MPH Speed Signs – The County has not responded.  Board agreed to re-install our own signs which we have in storage.  Rick will put them back up.  We will have to purchase some new mounts.


Crosswalk at Playground?  Lisa suggested that a crosswalk at the playground might slow speeders on Blackberry Drive.  Jerry noted that Blackberry Drive is a county road.Board members were favorable to implementing it if the county would proceed.  Lisa will research with the county.


Stop Sign at Blackberry Drive/Blackberry Terrace?  Lisa requested that the current Yield sign be changed to a Stop sign at this intersection.  Jerry noted that in the past, HOA requests for similar Stop signs were rejected county sign engineers because Stop requirement locations are critically monitored for legal purposes.  A citizen query might bring about the desired result.  Lisa will research with the county.


Draft of Rule 2003-1; Usage of Common Areas to be distributed to Community for Review:  – Rick asked members to get final mark-ups and questions to him before next board meeting.  The final draft will be distributed to the community for review and approval in June.




Sprinkler System Front Entrance Modifications and 2003 Startup planned this week:   Unity plans to be on-site this week to start up our system and begin disconnect from Ken and Beth Frank’s home.  This is a major re-construction project involving re routing and connecting our west-side system plumbing and electrical controls under Blackberry Drive to our current east side system.  In addition, Unity will prepare the plumbing and electrical controls for sprinkling our center island. The center island system will remain unfinished. It is expected that Unity will have to finish the center island job in June or July when State Highway is finished our entrance construction.


Alternative Lighting Plans for our Center Island.  Our tentative plan is to install two streetlights into our expanded center island to provide more safety at the entrance.  However, Unity (Sprinkler Contractor) has offered an alternative to “backlight” all trees on our center island from underground, providing the same or more illumination of the area at less cost than the streetlight plan.  The underground conduits are already in place under Blackberry Drive.  We have approved Unity to furnish and install all underground power cables now for either plan (the conduit excavation was open for the sprinkler modifications).  We will revisit this project when State Highway is finished our entrance construction in June or July.


Annual Community Inspection Conducted 4/13:  The Annual Walk-Through Inspection of the Townhome Community was conducted yesterday by the full board.  There were 41 specific problem areas cited.  Owners will receive letters to correct the maintenance problems on their property.


Unknown Survey Stakes on Berm - Several residents are concerned about many newly added survey stakes with white flags along the north, top and south sides of the east berm.  The stakes were added in the last month.  They also tag several trees and extend about 100 feet into the south area of the jughandle.  Rick and Jerry will visit SHA to identify the purpose.


Owners’ requests Fence Connections:  Owner at 15626 has requested that we add a short additional piece of our recently installed split rail fencing to connect with the same style old fencing along HOA’s south boundary of his property.  Our fencing contractor cannot return to our area until fall.  BOD approved fence connections for 15626, 15622 and 12011. 


New Landscape Contract Executed for 2003:  G&G Landscaping has been awarded our contract for 2003.  G&G agreed to sign for all terms of our contract (a first) with upgraded work scope and quality, in turn for granting G&G the separate services such as our seasonal entrance flowers and other previously separated budget items.  G&G is a reliable, multi-faceted lawn maintenance firm with partnerships in high quality turf, decorative shrubs, and tree maintenance.  They are interested in applying their knowledge base to our high quality appearance goals.


Board Declined Ground Cover for Berm Erosion - Landscape contractor proposed adding groundcover to an eroding area of the berm.  The berm is so steep at that point that mowers cannot mow it.  Cost would be about $1,200.  Board evaluated the current operating budget and determined that other priorities were more important.  Contractor has been advised.


Stolen Berm Trees:  Treasurer reports that two small Leland Cypress trees planted on the berm last year have been dug out and stolen.


PGC’s Norway Spruce Died:  One of two expensive Norway Spruce furnished and planted by PGC on our berm in 2001 has died.  The tree should be under warranty.  Mohammad will follow up with PGC to replace it.




Review of ABS’ Monthly Financial Report

 Board reviewed March Report.

            Jerry provided an estimate that sprinklers re-work may cost about $2,500.

15715 Cherry Blossom Lane has sold leaving a balance due ABS. – Status Unknown

            1 Cherry Blossom Court is in legal collection process – Status Unknown

Mohammad will obtain a collections progress status for next meeting.

Mohammad advises that we do not have funds to accomplish the berm ground cover proposal.

ABS will attend our next board meeting to advise on creative funding for Playground Upgrades.


No Hard-Copy Proof of HOA Insurance:  Jerry again requested a copy of our current policy and terms and conditions.  Mohammad will follow up with State Farm.


VII.          NOT ADDRESSED:  (Board did not discuss following open issues at this meeting):

2001-2002 Storm Damage Insurance Reimbursement

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

Attorney Workload Meeting – Conducted in October, Board has not reviewed results.

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 mail to “alternate” addresses for owners?

Poor quality community-owned lawn areas at end-unit Townhomes

Rt. 28 Berm Noise Attenuation / Hide Traffic, Fencing Project

Upgrade Orchard Knolls Web Site

Declaration of Covenants to be linked to Web Page

Dead Trees on Berm

HOA Has No Funding Methods for Proposed New Capital Asset Projects

Townhome Curb Parking Space Efficiency - “T” Boundary Painting



Current Financial Procedures do not provide a method to save funds for future community projects;

The following proposed projects are not funded:

Townhome Underground Circuits for Adding Street lights.

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

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 - Project quoted in 2001.

Duplicate Entrance Marquee on East Side - 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

Add 2 Mature Missing Red Maples at Entrance on each end of North-East Blackberry Drive



Missing Rt. 28 Median Trees and Pepco Intersection Lighting

Landscape Issues for Privately Owned Townhomes (Do Covenants Apply?)

Senior Housing Center Property Boundary Issues

HOA Vs 15726 Cherry Blossom Lane – Delinquent Tree Cost

1999 Maintenance Rule – Community Property Inspection and Maintenance Enforcement Plan.

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


X.         ADJOURNMENT The monthly meeting of BOD of OK HOA was adjourned at 9:Pm.


XI.        NEXT MEETING - Monday, May 12, 7:30 Pm, location to be determined. Call any board member for location.    All Orchard Knolls property owners welcome.  Input by letter, email, or webpage is welcome.