ORCHARD KNOLLS HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATION, INC (HOA)

PO Box 4225, North Potomac, Maryland 20885

Incorporated 1989 - A Self-Managed, Volunteer Community

Soliciting on HOA Property is Prohibited by Covenants

WWW.ORCHARDKNOLLS.ORG

Minutes – Monthly Board Meeting

February 21, 2005

TYPICAL BOARD MEETING AGENDA (Owners Welcome, Others by Appointment)

1. Administrative Matters

2. Scheduled Hearings and Guest Presentations (If Any)

3. Treasurer’s Report and Financial Business

4. ARC and Property Maintenance Business

5. Unfinished Business

6. New Business

7. Unresolved Business (May Not be Addressed)

8. Business Deferred to Next Annual Membership Meeting

CONTRACTED SERVICES:

Auditors & Taxes Preparation:

Ahlberg & Company, P.C.

Paving/Striping:

American Paving and Striping

Attorney and Legal Consultant:

David Gardner

Resident Agent:

Attorney David Gardner

Bookkeeping & Collections:

Association Bookkeeping Svcs

Sprinkler Systems:

Unity Environmental Systems

Street Lighting and Electrical:

Power Systems Electric

Signage:

The Sign Store

Copy and Stationary:

Kinkos & Rockville Printing

Towing:

G&G Towing Services

Lawncare, Landscape & Snow Removal:

Landscape Innovations Inc.

Web Master:

Interland, Inc.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS (BOD) - Volunteers Elected by Annual Membership Meeting – 3 Year Term, Expires

President

Richard Schinner

301-977-5196

evantage@comcast.net

Nov 2005

VP Detached Homes

Lisa Goodman

301-963-3807

goodgrl@verizon.net

Nov 2005

VP Town Homes

Eileen Solomon

301-330-2876

betamax14@comcast.net

Nov 2007

Treasurer

Mohammad Homaitabar

301-318-8446

homaitabar@yahoo.com

Nov 2005

Secretary

Jerry Way

301-977-0523

jerway@comcast.net

Nov 2005

ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW COMMITTEE (ARC) - Volunteers Appointed by BOD – Indefinite Terms

Member – 1

Kathy Wyatt

Representing Detached Homes

Member – 2

Rita Becker

Representing Non-Garaged Town Homes, HOC & MHP

Member – 3

Dennis Zepp

Representing Garaged Town Homes

Member - 4

Lisa Goodman

ARC Chairperson (Acting)

Member - 5

Open

 

Members of Board of Directors are absentia members of Architectural Review Committee

ORCHARD KNOLLS HOMES:

Detached Homes:

83

55%

Garaged Town Homes:

48

32%

Privately Owned Non-Garaged Town Homes:

12

8%

County Owned Non-Garaged Townhomes:

7

5%

Total Homes:

150

 

 

1. ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS:

Call To Order: 7:00 p.m. 12014 Cherry Blossom Lane

 

Absent BOD/ARC Members: Mohammad Homaitabar, Rita Becker, Kathy Wyatt

 

Guests: Ray Sobrino, Porten Homes, Executive Vice President

Yum Yu Cheng, Linowes and Blocher, Attorneys at Law

Minutes Review: Minutes were posted to our website several weeks ahead of meeting. A printed copy was also placed on the table for review and access. President asked if there were any changes. There were none. Motion made to accept minutes without further change. Motion was 2nd, and passed unanimously.

2. SCHEDULED HEARINGS OR GUEST PRESENTATIONS:

Property Maintenance Hearings - (Article VIII & XIII) None

Common Area Hearings - (HOA Rule 2003-1) None

Guest Presentations: Porten Homes

Porten Homes to Acquire and Develop PGC Nursery Property:

Presentation: Porten Homes (Porten) representatives attended tonight to present current perspective on their proposed plans to acquire Potomac Garden Nursery. Mr. Ray Sobrino and Ms. Yum Yu Cheng (See "Guests") presented a 3 x 4 color, architectural rendition, of their proposed townhome layout on PGC property. They also provided a duplicate black and white print of same for HOA file. They will provide Rick with an 8-1/2 x 11 color rendition in .PDF format for upload to our website and community review. Mr. Sobrino notes that he is also a licensed Architect.

Herein after, all comments from either Mr. Sobrino or Ms Cheng will be referred to as "Porten", and comments from board members will be referred to as "HOA" or " BOD". PGC = Potomac Garden Center. Porten requested the rendition be labeled "proposed". After acquisition, they plan to develop and construct approximately 43 luxury town homes on the property. All planning is in proposal and rendition form No engineering will start until after zoning approvals. The soils study and earthworks study is complete. Soils study results indicate natural soils (not fill) so the berms will remain and construction will more than likely occur on current elevations.

Content: The presentation and subsequent Q&A took over an hour. Porten objective tonight was to share their current plans and obtain BOD reaction, comment and feedback. In interest of brevity, this documentation will be limited to discussions pertinent only to issues that may ultimately be of significance to the two corporate parties; Porten and Orchard Knolls. For example, discussion of Porten home sales, product, interiors etc., is excluded from these minutes. At the request of our Landscape Contractor – BOD presented Porten with business cards for Landscape Innovations, Inc with endorsement and recommendation for landscape, lawn care and snow removal. BOD feels there may be synergies and real cost savings for both parties to use Landscape Innovations.

Zoning: Porten has applied for zoning change from current R200 (Residential Detached Homes) to Residential Townhomes. PGC has a temporary zoning exception to R200 allowing them to operated as a nursery. The PGC exception is void if the property is sold, hence it will revert to residential detached home zoning. Porten has no interest in the property with that zoning. The initial Planning Board hearing is scheduled for March; the Zoning Public Hearing is scheduled for April 29. The current Porten acquisition is a contingent contract. The contingencies are generally county zoning and plan approvals. Porten is a design-build company. If they fail to achieve RT zoning, they do not expect to purchase. The property will revert to PGC disposition. Porten plans to obtain the zoning, acquire the property, develop the land, and construct improvements themselves.

Town Homes and MPDUs: They plan to build 43 luxury all brick townhomes - all with 2-Car garages including additional 2 car parking in driveway for every unit. Garage driveway access will be front only. There will be limited or no parking for visitors. The all brick 23 x 44, four level town homes will approximate 4500 total square feet. They expect to market in the mid $700K range about 2008. Porten has no plans to accommodate Moderately Priced Dwelling Units (MPDUs) at this time. Porten is evaluating county requirements driven by density and bonus density formulas before final determination is made. If MPDUs are required (30-50 homes =12.5%), Porten does not know where they will be located. All streets and street-related will be private (not owned or maintained by Montgomery County). Expected zoning/plans approval 2005, development 2006, home construction 2007, occupancy 2008.

Vehicle Access/Egress: Porten plans will forever terminate HOA’s Citrus Grove Road. Porten has no interest in opening Citrus Grove Road into their development. Md State Highway has affirmed that no change will be allowed to PGC’s current entrance off Rt 28. (Right-in, Right out).

Town home Layout and Storm Water: The town homes are intensely focused in the south and west quadrants of the PGC lot. A large triangle portion of their North-East lot (West of North West Blackberry Drive) accommodates the main storm water creek and is protected from development by Montgomery County as "Watershed Conservation Land". Lot development includes construction of a storm water management pond in Northwest corner near the fire station.

Annexation with Orchard Knolls: Porten has no current HOA management plan. Current development plans includes only one Tot-Lot - likely to be deemed insufficient for Montgomery County approval. Porten feels their posture going into zoning review would be improved if there were possibilities of merger or annexation with Orchard Knolls HOA. Porten homes has expressed an interest in annexation with several variations regarding management and a common development name. Difficult density issues and insufficient Tot-Lot space is one reason Porten Homes is interested in annexation. Another reason Porten is interested in annexation with Orchard Knolls is future HOA management and site maintenance. Porten desires advance Orchard Knolls support in application for Montgomery County Zoning and plans approval.

Orchard Knolls has NINE Significant Concerns:

  1. Re-zoning From Detached Homes to Town Homes Not in Community Interest: Although 43 Townhomes is not the worst conversion proposal for this property, we feel that retaining current Detached Homes Zoning would best serve, not only Orchard Knolls, but the entire North Potomac community. Even though Porten Corporation offers luxury single family homes, they seem reluctant to build them on this property.  To reinforce this reluctance, Porten informed our board that they would back out of the offer to PGC if the land was not re-zoned to townhomes.

2. Citrus Grove Road - Final Termination Landscape Not Addressed: This Porten proposal forever closes this Montgomery County road, situated inside common area of Orchard Knolls HOA. Montgomery County original master plan identifies Citrus Grove Road connection into and across PGC property to Rt 28 as alternate access for Orchard Knolls. Recent County Fire Station and Library negated other access/egress options. Owners on Citrus Grove Road have depended on future PGC property developers to resolve the poor aesthetic in which the current road terminates at PGC property. It is approximately 50 feet of unusable paved spur with steel barrier, ugly berm, and poor landscape in the midst of million dollar homes. (See Lots 190 and 10 on Porten rendition). If the Porten proposal forever negates continuation of this road, Porten needs to address the road-termination, and consequential useless land issue. Current Porten plans leave the paved spur dead-end, an eyesore and forever unusable. This Porten avoidance is unacceptable to HOA. Conversion to green space has advantages to Porten. The small spur should now be converted to usable green space for both parties. HOA proposes that Porten and Montgomery County jointly install new curb on the curve of existing Citrus Grove Road, remove the short pavement, landscape the joint parcel and convert it to green space - useful to both communities.

3. Annex with Orchard Knolls – No Gain - Maybe Losses for Orchard Knolls: Current HOA self-management cannot accommodate further effort or responsibility. Porten community will require extensive street-related reserve funding and volunteer management effort, or a contracted management firm. A proposal to jointly contract management will only drastically increase Orchard Knolls’ current monthly assessments. Current mindset of BOD (without vote) is negative to annexation and use of Orchard Knolls name. We see no gain. It is unlikely that Orchard Knolls could put a positive slant on that issue with all the Porten unknowns.

4. Extreme Height of Townhome Elevations and Peaks: Porten is trying to preserve our west boundary berm. That is of benefit to Blackberry Drive owners only if the townhomes were to be on grade at that bottom of the berm on the PGC side. However, the current Porten plan does not lower the grade on the PGC side of the berm This precipitates a much higher grade elevation than is necessary for construction of Porten proposed townhomes. Recent construction of the new enormous Senior Center mansion building on our east boundary, with it’s overpowering height, has blighted dozens of our owners along that boundary. Porten proposed Town home height approximates 40-ft grade-to-peak, with grade already 30-50 feet above Blackberry Drive’s elevation at Cherry Blossom Lane intersection. The implication is that peak of these townhomes will approximate 100 feet or more, above grade as measured at the intersection of Cherry Blossom Lane and Blackberry Drive. This extreme townhome height with very short townhome setbacks and small buffer zones to our detached homes on Citrus Grove Road, and across Blackberry Drive from Cherry Blossom Lane, is a major concern along our south and west boundaries. The option to excavate behind the berm and lower the grade on the PGC side needs to be explored. The option of removing the berm completely, thus lowering the overall townhome elevation height - also needs further exploration. HOA wishes to view a scaled depiction of TH height in perspective to homes on our boundaries.

5. Short Setbacks , Small Buffer Zones, No Protection of Existing Boundary Trees: Already a concern in regard to townhome height (Item 3), HOA is very concerned for our owners along our west and south boundary. We may have to initiate legal investigation into the extreme close proximity of Porten townhomes to our detached homes. Porten buffer zones identified on the current rendition are unacceptably small. Porten forestry plans show no protection for existing perimeter and boundary trees with Orchard Knolls.

6. MPDU Requirement Remains Open – Requirement, quantity, and location needs to be solidified. It is a significant issue in respect to our boundary. The problems we have experienced with MPDUs dictates that we must have concrete facts on this issue, before we endorse the Porten homes proposal.

7. Any Additional Storm Water Runoff Could Flood Orchard Knolls West Blackberry Drive Homes: Without even considering 100-year flood volume or time, our own storm water creek continues to seriously erode its banks and overflow onto east Blackberry Drive common areas during general heavy rains. In a more ominous warning, it completely fills both current concrete culverts under Blackberry Drive coming from PGC property within hours of a general heavy rain. This full-culvert condition indicates that no further capacity is available on the upstream west side to cross under Blackberry Drive from the PGC property. It already backs up on the west side in heavy rain. This observed condition concludes the system is already at capacity in heavy rain. It will not accommodate further runoff. Orchard Knolls requires an impact study to alleviate our concern on this matter.

8. No Cedar-Shake Roofing. BOD expressed dismay that Porten is not using cedar-shake roofing in an area where the majority of housing is cedar shake. Kentlands and Orchard Knolls are Cedar-shake including many of our neighbor communities. Our covenants require cedar-shake on all construction including sheds. Further, the proposed height of these townhomes would be enhanced by cedar shake aesthetic architecture. Even our MPDUs are cedar-shake. (Senior Center was planned for cedar-shake, but reneged at last minute). BOD encouraged Porten to re-evaluate and apply cedar-shake to the entire development.

9. March and April Hearings - Insufficient Time to Resolve Open Issues. We were not aware until tonight of the Planning Board hearings in March. We were already planning to be represented at the Zoning Board hearing April 29. However, it is unlikely that Porten will resolve the open issues identified in our concerns before those hearings take place. We will be forced to express those concerns at the hearings.

BOD agreed to document tonight’s session and forward a copy to Ray Sobrino. BOD notified Porten that board members or our attorney will represent Orchard Knolls at the Zoning Hearings. Porten will notify President Rick of key development and planning updates, including hearing dates and times for the upcoming Planning Board hearing in March.

Secretary requested copies of all key documentation be mailed to HOA Post office box.

3. TREASURER’S REPORT – FINANCES AND BOOKKEEPING:

Operating Funds : (Cash Flow)

 

Cash in Checkbook:

$18,778 From Balance Sheet

Fixed Monthly Commitments:

-3,000 Approximate

Variable Completed Commitments:

 

2 New Streetlights (Blackberry Drive Island)

-3,550 Quote

Attorney Fees

-700 Estimate

Snow Removal (December-January)

-4,700 Estimate

Snow Removal (February)

-1,800 Estimate

Fully Fund New Operating Savings Account

-1,340 Operating Reserve Below

Surplus (Shortfall):

$ 3,688 Surplus

 

 

 

Reserve Funds: (As of January 31)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Townhome Street-Related Replacement Reserve

 

 

Required End of Year:

$ 78,200 (From TH Streets Replacement Plan)

 

Actual This Month:

-70,953 (Balance Sheet)

 

Contributions to EOY:

-7,242 ($7,900 Annual / 12 Mo) x 11 Mo)

 

Surplus or (Shortfall):

(5) (Shortfall)

 

 

 

 

 

General Replacement Reserve (All Other Assets):

 

 

Required End of Year:

$ 75.900 (From All Other Assets Replacement Plan)

 

Actual This Month:

-44,056 (Balance Sheet)

 

Contributions to EOY:

-13,475 ($14,700 Annual / 12 Mo) x 11 Mo)

 

Surplus or (Shortfall):

(18,369) (Shortfall - See Note)

 

 

 

 

 

Operating Reserve

 

 

Required End of Year:

$1,340 (2% of Previous Year Operating Budget)

 

Actual This Month:

-1,340 (Paid in Advance to Open Account)

 

Contributions to EOY:

0

 

Surplus or (Shortfall) :

0

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Current General Replacement Reserves Deficit is due to:

1) Additional $ 7,000 cost (incremental over plan) to replace S/E Tot-Lot equipment in 2003

2) Adjustment transfer to TH Reserve of about $6,000 in 2004 to account for insufficient contributions)

3) Emergency transfer of $3,600 to operating funds for pedestrian bridge upgrade and repair.

4) Additional $1,600 cost (incremental over plan) in 2005 to replace Electronics Controls Enclosure Unit

Budget Variances:

For the Month:

$ (1,316)

Year-to-Date:

$ (1,316) Negative due to unexpectedly high snow removal costs

Late Fees and Delinquencies = $3,004 Eleven are only one month late. (Includes $406 previous owner NSF)

Renewal: Audit and Tax Preparation Contract: President Rick signed new 2-year contract renewal this month. Treasurer will contact auditor to begin 2004 audit and taxes preparation.

Previous Owner (Diaz) Vs HOA - NSF Law Suit - Nothing New to Report. Secretary will send inquiry to our attorney.

4. ARCHITECTURAL CONTROL & PROPERTY MAINTENANCE:

Lisa Goodman is Acting Chairperson of Architectural Review Committee.

Unresolved Property Maintenance and ARC Guidelines Violations: (Table located at end of minutes)

Owner Refuses Maintenance Compliance - 15738 Cherry Blossom Lane: (Rotting garage door, Broken glass in garage door window). Rick will attempt contact with owner this week.

Architectural Change Request (ACR) Applications Received This Month:

15746 Cherry Blossom Lane Satellite Dish Turned over to ARC for review

BOD Recruiting 2 Additional ARC Members – No Progress

Proposed Rule: HOA Property Maintenance Control and Enforcement - Secretary noted draft legal document is still going through editing. Initial BOD review of first-draft is scheduled for March BOD meeting.

5. OLD UNFINISHED BUSINESS - (See Previous Minutes):

Improper HOC Tenant Behavior and Unlawful Business Operation – In early December, BOD received two separate complaints from owner neighbors of HOC tenants at 12001 Cherry Blossom Place. Complaints involved: Operating a prohibited business from the residence, Refusing to park in assigned space, Unlawfully directing customers to park in assigned spaces of others, Placing trash out for pickup days ahead of schedule. Tenant refuses to answer the door for neighbor or BOD discussion on the issue. BOD sent a certified letter to HOC on December 27 requesting response by January 7th. No response has been received. There have been no further complaints from neighbors.

HOC Responds – We received a confirmation letter from HOC indicating they are investigating and that the issues will be resolved " in the very near future." Meanwhile, two neighbors indicate the business is still in operation, but not as obvious. The trash situation has improved. BOD agreed to wait further action from HOC.

Arrived: Replacement Enclosure – Sprinkler/Lighting Controls - The unit in kit form arrived this month and is stored in Jerry’s driveway until warm weather. Volunteers will assemble it over the old unit.

Complete: Two New Blackberry Drive Island Streetlights - Increased Safety - The streetlight project completed this month. Our entire center island is now brightly lit during all hours of darkness dramatically improving safety to vehicles entering and leaving, as well as pedestrians crossing. Also included is a new outdoor duplex receptacle on the island itself. The lights blend so naturally – few owners have noticed.

 

New Safety Lighting Proposal: Blackberry Drive Sidewalk Dangerously Dark in Front of Tot-Lot – Lighting contractor visited the site this month, made several recommendations which were discussed with board tonight. The lease cost is to install a matching streetlight on HOA property at the middle entrance to the Blackberry Drive Tot-Lot area. This will illuminate about 60 feet of the dark Blackberry Drive sidewalk without having to involve Montgomery County, and solve majority of the problem. All other lighting alternatives would expose the fixtures to vandalism. Contractor will send a proposal and quote.

Closed: Unregistered Day Care Owner – Owner provided a current copy of license and Insurance.

Seasonal Lighting Removed – We removed and stored the entrance wreath and gazebo lights at end of January

6. NEW BUSINESS

Improper Behavior – Tenants of ARC of Montgomery County – Owner at 12 0?? Cherry Blossom Lane rents a townhome to ARC of Montgomery County: According to our attorney, this County Service is a family home for mentally challenged adults requiring adult assisted living. Home is not allowed to exceed three adults.

New allegations of improper behavior on HOA common area, emanating from this home, surfaced this month when neighbors reported additional recent events of tenants in ARC of Montgomery Home chasing and hitting neighborhood children and screaming profanity and foul language directed at children and parents, while on HOA common area. A neighbor, responding to the event, knocked on the door and was verbally abused. The verbal abuse of screaming profanity and uncontrolled physical demeanor, progressed to the front lawn common areas. The neighbor became afraid and went home, later contacting a member of the board of directors. Similar events were reported to BOD last fall – See Minutes. In addition, another neighbor recently come forward noting two other events… in the first, an infant baby apparently from within the home – outside without supervision. This resulted in calling 911. In the second, a third neighbor confirms similar chasing and hitting of her daughter last fall. Lastly, there are reports of ARC transportation services arriving at the home and "blowing-the-horn" at unreasonable hours and length of time.

BOD wrote a letter to owner of the home this month identifying each of the complaints. The owner investigated with ARC and provided a written response (to the owner) from Mr. Chuck Perso of ARC which was shared with board members tonight. The written response noted ARC’s mission with mental retardation occupants, and included an apology to neighbors. The letter also identified that investigations had taken place, that staff and occupants of the home had been involved in discussions concerning these specific matters. The letter reinforced that the home is required to be staffed at all times, however, the occupants are allowed to answer the door and phone themselves. The letter identified that the ARC mission also includes protecting the "rights of the occupants". There was no explanation, defense, or remedy identified in the letter for the chasing, hitting or foul language. Three was no explanation regarding the unsupervised infant. The letter identified the current supervisor by name and telephone number. BOD concluded that next complaint will require escalation to legal intervention to remove occupants and/or tenant from that address.

Proposal Received - Sprinkler Systems Annual Maintenance Contract – Unity Environmental Systems (Our sprinkler systems contractor) has submitted first draft of an annual contract for 2005 work. Some apparent work scope changes are needed. It has been returned for adjustments. Secretary will review the contract with board members at March meeting.

Snow Removal Costs Become 2005 Budget Buster – Will Limit Tree Spending in 2005. Total costs for snow removal thus far are $4,700. Our entire budget for 2005 is only $1,800. Our analysis indicates contractor misunderstood our scope of work. Although he was exuberant and did a superb job of clearing and melting, he cleared snow and chemically treated many sidewalks that are not in the contract. In addition, we do not chemically treat any sidewalks - except in front of gazebo mailbox. Lastly, we have found that cost of chemical treatment far exceeds snow removal costs. Jerry and Rick met with contractor to review, and adjust scope of work. All sidewalk clearing was removed - except east Blackberry Drive from Cherry Blossom Lane to Rt 28, and Gazebo mailbox access sidewalks. We will have to forego other budgeted tree activity to pay this large snow removal bill.

New Proposal Requested - Additional Streetlight at Intersection of Cherry Blossom Lane at Blackberry Drive – This area is very dark. It does not have a streetlight on the Cherry Blossom Lane side (area of the Stop sign). This area is regularly prone to black ice in winter. Further, this intersection has had two vehicle accidents and one pedestrian accident. Neighbors have requested additional safety lighting. The opposite end of Cherry Blossom Lane in both directions has a streetlight – this end does not. We have asked our lighting contractor for a proposal and quote to install a matching streetlight at this intersection.

 

New Proposal Requested - Upgrade & Replace Marque Florescent Lighting: In the 2003 annual meeting survey of most requested projects by the community – this request finished in the top 5 of over 40 projects. Both of the existing 14-year old florescent lights are damaged – one nearly beyond repair. The scope involves replacing the old florescent lights with newer, brighter high-pressure-sodium lighting (same amber color as our streetlights) for the "Orchard Knolls" marque stone tablet. This is the lighting behind the shrubs – not the colonial lamps on top of the wall. Our lighting contractor will provide a proposal and quote.

New Proposal Requested: Construct Stone Marque at East Blackberry Drive Entrance – This project, more than any other investment, would dramatically improve our entrance, image and community value. We have requested that our landscape contractor, Landscape Innovations, prepare an artist rendition for community review, followed by a proposal to act as General Contractor and a budgetary estimate of cost. Earlier in 2004, Jerry met with "Maryland Cast Stone" on Southlawn Drive, original builder of our west side stone marque. Artwork and mold are gone – however they do same work. Another "Orchard Knolls" tablet would cost $1,600 today and can be done in 2 months. Cost for matching blue stone for the marque wall is unknown but we know it was acquired from "Stoneyhurst" quarry. Stone mason is "Stoneworks" in Gaithersburg. Labor cost is unknown. Black colonial lanterns are $600 each without labor. Total is estimated between $10 – 12K. Our auditor advised that we could add a line item to the budget to allocate funds annually for 3 years. Landscape Innovations will research the proposed project and provide feedback on his company’s level of interest.

7. UNRESOLVED BUSINESS – DEFERRED TO NEXT MEETING - (NOT DISCUSSED)

Suspicious Mailbox Behavior – BOD has received information from an owner that the Cherry Blossom Place tenant that was evicted over a year ago, occasionally returns and sits in a parked vehicle in Cherry Blossom Place – apparently waiting for the mail to arrive at the gazebo. What precisely happens once the mail arrives is unknown. There is reason to believe that this behavior may be linked to the 2004 attempted break-in(s) at the gazebo mailbox units. There is no violation of law that we know of at this time. We have asked the owner to report any related events.

Deferred BOD Business – Members to Write "Opinions". In an effort to reduce backlog of deferred issues (See Item 7 below), secretary will assign them to volunteer board members this month for each member to evaluate and write an opinion of recommended disposition for next month’s meeting.

Suspicious Black Camaro / Teen Activity on Blackberry Drive Near Tot-Lot – BOD has received a complaint by a homeowner walking their dog along Blackberry Drive near the Tot-Lot. The complaint involved a suspicious vehicle, after dark, unlawfully parked in the wrong direction against the left curb in the oncoming lane. One teen was in the vehicle, when suddenly another teen came out from nearby bushes. After being discovered, the teen in the bushes pretended to be calling a dog. The teen then jumped into the vehicle and both left the site. A few nights later, same owner identified the vehicle parked in the same unlawful manner and same location as a black Camaro but did not get the tag number. Homeowner is unwilling to call the police at this time, but will attempt to get a tag number next time.

Suspicious Vehicle, Virginia Tags, on Citrus Grove Road – BOD has received complaint of a late model BMW sedan parked for long periods of time against the curb between homes. There is no apparent activity to or from the vehicle. This is a Montgomery County Road. BOD advised homeowner to call the non-emergency police telephone and report it as abandoned.

Relocating: Johnson’s Nursery – No additional information.

Newsletter Postponed – BOD deferred newsletter until 2005.

Common Area Floods 15728 Cherry Blossom Lane Side Yard – We received quote for $1,970 from Landscape Innovations (our lawn care contractor) to install a French Drain and pipe the runoff to the street. (Adjacent neighbor’s down Spouts flood the common area) – Owner requested help at 2003 and again at 2004 Annual Meeting. Area of concern is between 15728 & 15732. Down spout runoff from 15732 and 15734 floods common area and this owner’s property with constant water/mud. Re-bid/Re-Design reduced cost to $1, 470. Contractor was asked to rebid with a less expensive design. New design dumps water into a drywell instead of piping it to the street. BOD declined the bid – requesting another look at design and cost. Secretary will notify contractor.

.

Establish Entrance Committee: A suggestion was made at last Annual Meeting to develop a volunteer "Entrance Landscape Committee" to take design and implementation responsibility for the landscape and floral upkeep of our entrance at Blackberry Drive. The committee would be made up of an equal number of townhome vs. single family home members, and would be granted the entire budget currently in place for the annual entrance maintenance.

Hire HOA Maintenance Person: A suggestion was made at last Annual Meeting for Orchard Knolls to hire a part time maintenance person or contractor to accomplish routine non-major repair and upgrade tasks such as sign maintenance, minor painting, light bulb replacement etc. Responsibilities and a fee schedule could be identified in advance.

Multiple Unregistered, Unlicensed Day Care Operations – BOD has received complaints of high traffic baby and small children "pick-ups" and "drop-offs" particularly in the townhome community. Complaints are centered around a significant traffic increase in am and pm with observations of a myriad of non owner/tenant children being dropped off and picked up. Jerry noted that our records indicate there are no registered Day Care Operations in Orchard Knolls at this time. Owner observations indicate otherwise. BOD again decided to table the matter until a less busy time.

Gazebo Mailbox - Attempted Break-In and Damage – Secretary sent letter to Postmaster documenting the events – requesting assistance in securing the area and the unit. There has been no response.

Value Recovery for Damaged Rt. 28 Sprinkler System - Attorney notified SHA. SHA evaluated site and agreed to repair the damaged section themselves – no money. Damaged section is no longer grass or sod and of no value to HOA. HOA wants remedy for lost value. BOD requested that secretary convey to SHA (via our attorney) our desire to settle for a few screening trees along the berm where SHA did the damage. Secretary advised SHA. There has been no response.

Storage for Archived HOA Records: ABS wants to discard all HOA records older than 7 years. If we want/need to save them, we must make arrangements for other storage. We asked ABS to provide a cost to store those records in a suitable facility. We have not heard back. Treasurer will discuss with ABS

Directory Update - Rick has begun steps to produce a new directory. He will contact Lisa Goodman and Rita Becker to arrange and schedule remaining logistics, reproduction and distribution work.

Neglect of Lawn Care on Common Areas Adjacent to End-Units - End unit townhome side-lawns deceptively appear to be owned by townhomes. They are not. All side-lawn property is owned by HOA. End units only own 4-feet from side of brickwork. Remaining lawn to the street is HOA responsibility. HOA lawn care is neglecting to weed, feed and trim these areas for 8 of 9 end unit town homes. Most have become eyesores. Yet, the one end unit with it’s lawn adjacent to Blackberry Drive is receiving outstanding HOA lawn care. Because of it’s prime location, that town home’s side lot receives HOA sprinkling, contracted trimming, fertilization, weeding, insecticide, reseeding, thatch removal, and lawn cutting. HOA should treat all common areas adjacent to townhome properties alike. The issue is favoritism of one unit due to it’s exposure to Blackberry Drive while neglecting the other eight similar HOA side-lawn properties.

Dog Waste Sign Intentionally Smashed - Citrus Grove Cul-de-sac - Sign has been intentionally beat, split and wrapped around steel pole. Some members of board wanted to remove it.

HOA Mail (Distributed by ABS) to Owner’s Alternate Addresses - Some owners have "blind" addresses for actual residence. Their assessment is mailed to another responsible agent. Should HOA mail prepared by ABS be mailed to owner’s "alternate" address? Should it be duplicated for resident’s HOA property?

HOA Mail Does not go to Tenants of Remote Owners - Due to lack of volunteers, several years ago, BOD discontinued door-to-door delivery of HOA information. Instead, all such distributions are accomplished via US mail - addressed only to owners at record-of-assessment address. Neighbors ask BOD to distribute HOA informative mail to all homes to include tenants.

Annoying Home Alarm - Cherry Blossom Lane owner wants BOD to take action - Alleges that a loud, continuous, and obnoxious exterior alarm in Cherry Blossom Ct. goes off frequently (at least once a month)... alarm continues all day and does not get shut off until occupant comes home at 5pm.  Says he visited owner who explained that it is an interior alarm therefore no county law applies.  Cherry Blossom Lane owner alleges that alarm device is exterior mounted above rear kitchen door and very loud.

8. BUSINESS DEFERRED TO NEXT ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING

Upstream Bank Erosion Continues to Exposes Bridge: During celebratory discussions that the bridge upgrade is finally complete - secretary pointed out risk of bridge wash-out (again) in a heavy storm is diminished but not gone. Because BOD continues to ignore erosion control on the upstream side of the creek banks, there is no assurance the bridge will remain in place during or after severe flooding conditions.

 

Blackberry Drive Tot-Lot Upgrade. The scheduled 2003 upgrade did not materialize due to surprisingly high cost of equipment, and straw polls that indicate little use and little demand for this lot. The swing set and the see-saw remain – all other equipment was removed due to unsafe condition of the equipment itself. BOD decided to limit the 2003-4 upgrade to the East Tot-Lot only. There are several alternative use proposals for the area. Under consideration is a community picnic pavilion and eliminate the tot-lot, completely grassing the area over. Eliminating it could save approximately $12,000 in General Reserves, reduce annual maintenance and liability, and lower the general assessment

ADJOURNMENT - Monthly meeting adjourned by call of the President at 9:00 Pm

NEXT MEETING -. March 14, 2005 – 7pm Call any board member for location. Orchard Knolls owners and residents welcome. Non-owners and guests by invitation only. Input by US mail, email, or web page.

 

TABLES OF MINUTES-RELATED INFORMATION

 

A. UNFUNDED PROJECTS AND COMMUNITY REQUESTS – (NOT IN 2005 BUDGET)

Appearance:

Add Missing "Orchard Knolls" Stone Marque On East Side Of Blackberry Dr Entrance

Add Bronze "Orchard Knolls Towns" Plaques On Existing Stone Columns

Supplemental Floral Upgrades Throughout Community (Landscape Innovations)

Ground Cover East Boundary Hillside Facing Sr Center

Ground Cover North Berm Hillside Erosion Areas

Matching Colonial Lamps On Existing Stone Columns At Townhome Entrance

Permanent Flagpoles With Uplighting At Front Entrance

Pressure Wash And Seal Mold and Decay from TH Retaining Walls

Replace 2 Missing N/E Blackberry Drive Norway Maples at CBL And Rt 28.

Townhome Street Sweep Service

Tree Maintenance Service (Removals, Fertilization, Replacement, Trim, Shape)

Elevate East Entrance Flower Bed Grade

Retaining Wall by Gazebo Covered with Mold and Decay

All Wood Benches are Covered with Mold and Decay

Remove 9 Exposed Tree Stumps in Common Areas

Repairs:

Regrade Gazebo – Mosquitoes Breeding

Creek Bank Erosion Control

Overloaded Streetlight Power Circuit

Reroute Storm Water Flooding 15728 Cherry Blossom Lane

West end of Retaining Wall Behind West Berm Leaning Over

Improve Safety:

Blackberry Drive/Terrace Stop Sign to Replace Yield

Blackberry Drive Crosswalk at Playground

Remove 9 Existing Common Area Stumps Below Grade.

Speed Control Implementation (Private) on Blackberry Drive

Convert Cherry Blossom Lane – One-Way

Security Lighting Along Creek And Bike Path

Screening:

Trees - North Berm, From Rt 28.

Trees - North Cherry Blossom Court Townhomes From Rt 28

Trees - Senior Center Boundary

Improve Community Social Facilities

Annual Community Picnic

Facilities & Equipment Additions

Brick & Cedar-Shake Weather Cover (Open Architecture) at Rt 28/Blackberry Drive Entrance

Community Welcome-Message Marque Unit on Center Island

Voice Mail for HOA

Covered Picnic Pavilion - South West Lot

Volleyball Court - Cherry Blossom Lane Courtyard

 

B. UNRESOLVED PROPERTY MAINTENANCE /ARCHITECTURAL GUIDELINE VIOLATIONS:

Board of Directors is obligated by Article VIII and XIII of our Declaration of Covenants to enforce proper private property maintenance of homes and lots. Architectural Guidelines is a lawful extension of the Covenants created by authority of Article VIII and executed by majority vote of Board of Directors. Spring and fall, on the day after we change clocks, members of the Architectural Review Committee and/or Board of Directors can be seen accomplishing a walk-through of our community, noting unacceptable exterior conditions in violation of Covenants or Architectural Guidelines. Noted below is Board of Director’s 6-Step Notice and Enforcement Procedure authorized by Article XIII to remedy correction to exterior property maintenance violations.

Procedures for Post Semi-Annual ARC/BOD Community Inspection Follow Up:

Step 1 First Notice Letter (90 – 180 Days)

Step 2 Second Notice Letter (90 – 180 Days) – Sent Via Certified Mail.

Step 3 Attorney 30 Day Warning Letter (Includes first two letters) – Sent Via Certified Mail.

Step 3a Proposed: Montgomery County Codes Enforcement Rule – Requires Board Hearing before next step.

Step 4 BOD Obtains Contractor Quote to Repair

BOD Quote Review; Resolution to Proceed, One Per Property – Requires Majority Vote

BOD Contract to Enter Property, Resolve Violation. Invoice to Owner – Payable Net 10 Days

Step 5 If Unpaid, ABS Deducts From Incoming Assessment.

Step 6 If Assessment Becomes Delinquent, Attorney Applies Lien On Property – Including Legal Fees

TOWNHOME COMMUNITY:

Cherry Blossom Lane:

157?? – Vertical Deck Rails

July 1, 2003 – Disclosure Letter - Deck Rails Not Approved - Violation of Architectural Guidelines

157?? – Non Brass Post Lamp Fixture

November 10, 2004 – First Letter – Post Lamp Fixture Not Approved – Violation of Architectural Guidelines

157?? - Torn Dormer Screens

November 17, 2003 - First Letter Requesting Repairs, First Class US Mail

June 2004 - Second Letter, Request Repairs Complete by April 4, 2004, Mailed Certified

157?? – Unpainted Deck Rails, White Box Deck Frame – Violates ACR Application and Architectural Guidelines

August 16, 2004 – First Letter, Request Corrections before onset of winter.

September, 2004 – Telcon – Will paint rails soon. Owner requests white frame correction advice from BOD.

October 13, 2004 – Second Letter – Provided 3 Alternatives, Correct before May 2005.

November 2004 – Email from owner confirms intent to resolve all issues before/near time of next inspection.

157?? - Chipped/Peeling Paint On Deck Rails and Rear Roof Rake Trim.

July 2003 - First Letter Requesting Repairs, First Class US Mail

November 17, 2003 - Second Letter, Request Repairs Complete by April 4, 2004, Mailed Certified

157?? Severe Peeling Paint – South Side Roof-Rake Trim Boards.

December 1, 2004 – First Letter Requesting Repairs.

157?? – Green Storm Door Does not Match Trim – Violates Architectural Guidelines

June 1998 – First Letter Request Correction to Color

August 31 1998 Second Letter Request Correction to Storm Door and Several Maintenance Items

July 3, 2002 – Third Letter – Correct Door Color, or Submit Architectural Change Request

 

157?? – Garage Window Broken, Garage Door Bottom Badly Rotted, Post Lamp Missing Cross-Bar

June 6, 2003 – First Letter Requesting Repairs, First Class US Mail

November 17, 2003 – Second Letter, Request Repairs Complete by April 4, 2004, Mailed Certified

August 23, 2004 – Attorney Letter Warning of HOA Intervention in 30 Days, Mailed Certified

November 3, 2004 – Attorney Letter Informing of Potential Law Suit to Correct Conditions. Mailed Certified.

November 10, 2004 – Attorney Letter Providing Hard Copy of HOA Rights to Enter and Repair Conditions

December 22, 2004 – Attorney Letter – Next Step is CCOC or Legal Action - Will Include Legal Fees.

January 26, 2005 – Confirm Cross Bar and Window Replaced, Rotted Door Remains Rotted.

Cherry Blossom Place

120?? - Paint Peeling on Roof Rake Trim

June 2004 - First Letter Requesting Repairs, First Class US Mail

120?? – Paint Peeling on Roof Rake Trim

120?? - Paint Peeling on Rear Windows and Roof Rake Trim

June 2004 - First Letter Requesting Repairs, First Class US Mail

120?? – Paint Peeling on Roof Rake Trim

120?? – Paint Peeling on Roof Rake Trim

120?? – Painted Dark Red Deck, Rails and Support Structure & Vertical Rails Violate Architectural Guidelines

August 12, 1995 – Vertical Rails Waived – ARC Error. Waiver Letter from President to Owner in file.

July 2, 2002 - Legal order requires re-paint to match townhome trim before re-sale and/or as color fades.

120?? - Paint Peeling on Rear Top Windows Trim

June 2004 - First Letter Requesting Repairs, First Class US Mail

Cherry Blossom Court

?? - Roof Rake Peeling Paint. Post Light Falling Over

June 2004 - First Letter Requesting Repairs, First Class US Mail

?? - Trim Around Garage Door Rotting and Peeling.

June 2004 - First Letter Requesting Repairs, First Class US Mail

?? - Vertical Deck Rails

July 1, 2003 – Disclosure Letter - Deck Rails Not Approved - Violation of Architectural Guidelines

?? – Rear Fence - Several Smashed and Damaged Boards on Gazebo Side

DETACHED HOMES:

Blackberry Drive:

156?? – Mailbox post is rotting and peeling paint.

November 18, 2004 – First Letter Requests correction by May 2005

156?? – Roof Rake Trim Boards Peeling Paint

November 18, 2004 – First Letter Requests correction by May 2005

156?? – Bottom of Garage Door Rotting - Unsightly

November 18, 2004 – First Letter Requests correction by May 2005

Blackberry Terrace

120?? – Portico above door rotted, damaged, and needs paint

November 18, 2004 – First Letter Requests correction by May 2005

120?? – Peeling paint on many areas of home trim.

November 18, 2004 – First Letter Requests correction by May 2005

120?? – Dormer trim rotted, shutters faded – needs painting.

November 18, 2004 – First Letter Requests Correction by May 2005

Pineapple Grove Drive

120?? – Storm Door Not Full View - Violates Architectural Guidelines

November 17, 2003 – Disclosure Letter, Temporary Waiver, Current Owner Only (Certified Mail)

120?? – Storm Door Not Full View - Violates Architectural Guidelines

November 17, 2003 – Disclosure Letter, Temporary Waiver, Current Owner Only (Certified Mail)

Citrus Grove Court

?? – White Storm Door Does Not Match Trim – Violates Architectural Guidelines

November 17, 2003 - First Letter Requesting Repairs, First Class US Mail

June 18, 2004 - Second Letter, Request Repairs Complete in 30 days, Mailed Certified

?? – Portico above door is rotted and peeling paint – unsightly

November 18, 2004 – First Letter Requests correction by May 2005

Citrus Grove Road

120?? – Bottom of Garage Door rotting and unsightly

November 18, 2004 – First Letter Requests correction by May 2005

120?? – Dormers rotted, Garage Door broken, Siding on garage side damaged

November 18, 2004 – First Letter Requests correction by May 2005

121?? – Roof Rake trim boards peeling paint on Blackberry Drive side

November 18, 2004 – First Letter Requests correction by May 2005

 

C. UNRESOLVED TREE, SHRUB AND STUMP ISSUES:

Dangerous – None

Down – Not Dangerous

2004 - 2 Behind 12022 Citrus Grove Road.

Dead & Dying

2003 – Flowering Cherry Trees Along Berm Turning Yellow – Sparse Foliage.

2004 – Dead Large Diameter, Flowering Cherry Tree behind Townhomes

2004 – Flowering Cherry – Upper Tot-Lot Near Blackberry Drive

Leaning Heavily – None

HOA Trees – Adjacent to Private Homes – Removed Not Replaced

2002 - Two Moderate Flowering Dogwood - Northwest Corner Cherry Blossom Lane

2004 – Large Flowering Cherry – Across from 15734 Cherry Blossom Lane

2004 – Two Flowering Cherry – In Front of 12006 Cherry Blossom Place

2004 – Large Bradford Pear – Beside 15746 Cherry Blossom Lane

2004 – Moderate Flowering Dogwood – Beside 15701 Cherry Blossom Lane Side

HOA Trees in Common Areas Removed – Removed Not Replaced

2004 – Moderate Flowering Cherry - Upper Tot-Lot Near Blackberry Drive

2004 – Large Shade Maple at Tot-Lot

2004 – Large Shade Willow at Tot-Lot

Stumps Cut Off Above Grade

2001 – 1 Pin-Oak – In Front of 12006 Cherry Blossom Place

2002 - 1 White Pine - South Side Of N/W Berm – Beside 16030 Blackberry Drive

2003 - 1 Flowering Cherry – Across from 15740 Cherry Blossom Lane

2003 - 1 Leyland Cypress - Between 15722 - 15726 Blackberry Drive

2004 - 1 Blue Spruce – Adjacent N/E Tot-Lot – Right Side

2004 - 1 Leyland Cypress – Behind South Cherry Blossom Lane TH(S) Near Bike Path

2004 - 1 Bradford Pear - 15746 Cherry Blossom Lane

2004 – 1 Flowering Cherry - Upper Tot-Lot Near Blackberry Drive

2004 – 1 Flowering Dogwood – 157601 Cherry Blossom Lane Side

Severely Overgrown – Need Pruning:

2002 – Hedges at Front Entrance – Nearly Covering Stone Wall

2002 - Dangerous Limbs Overhanging Striped Parking – South Cherry Blossom Lane

2003 - Long Dead Tree Limb – Between 15707 - 15709 Cherry Blossom Lane

2004 – Shrubs in front of Gazebo.

Community Common Area Trees Have Never Been Professionally Shaped, Groomed or Fertilized.