June 16, 2003


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


Acting President Kathy Wyatt

Committee Member Rita Becker

Committee Member Dennis Zepp


Brian Zarchin


Playgrounds Harris Leonard, Chairperson

Newsletter Brian Zarchin

I. CALL TO ORDER: Meeting at Eileen’s home. Called to order 7:40 Pm. President requested meeting adjourn at 9 pm tonight regardless of unfinished business.

II PREVIOUS MINUTES: Minutes are posted and stored on website at least one week before meeting. After tonight’s meeting, all members of the board submitted email affirmations that they had read the minutes and that they knew of no changes, amendments or additions. Minutes unanimously approved.


ARC to Remain at Three: Per Article VIII, Section 2 of our Covenants – The ARC is appointed by the Board of Directors, and ARC "shall be composed of three or more members." Milt Martin has sold his home. Paul Andrew Hughes resigned last month. Board agreed to leave the current committee at three members.

New ARC President: Due to resignation of Paul Andrew Hughes, Kathy Wyatt (Acting President for eight months) is now ARC Chairperson.

Two Basketball Hoops in Townhomes in Violation of Covenants: ARC sent letters sent to 15738 and 15760 Cherry Blossom Lane to inform them that their basketball hoops were in violation of our covenants and to arrange for their removal

Chippendale Deck Rails:

No Law or Ordinance Prohibiting Chippendale Rails on Decks: The board contacted Peter Hrycak, Decks Inspector for Montgomery County Permit Office, County Office Building, 255 Rockville Pike. Peter advised us that contrary to rumors, there have not been, nor is there now, any restriction on Chippendale deck rails design in Montgomery County. 

Two Townhomes Vertical Deck Rails are Not Approved: Board researched minutes and ARC records for disposition of Architectural Change Requests to replace Chippendale with vertical rails at 7 Cherry Blossom Court and 15701 Cherry Blossom Lane. No evidence of any subsequent exception or approvals was found. Board will send owners a letter to inform them that unless they can provide evidence of prior approvals, their deck rails are not approved.

Reconsideration Denied; ARC Affirms Existing Chippendale Design Standard: All three members of ARC, each uniquely representing their neighbors in Non-Garaged townhomes, Garaged Townhomes, and Single Family Homes, tonight affirmed their position that existing Chippendale design standard remain for Garaged Townhomes in Orchard Knolls.

Townhome Awnings Rejected: Covenant’s Article VIII, Section 1, Paragraph 2, Line 4 specifically identifies awnings as a prohibited item, except through prior approval of the ARC. The ARC has been wrestling with an Architectural Change Request from 15713 Cherry Blossom Lane to install a deck awning. Neighbors and the ARC are very concerned that unless limiting and strict restrictions are imposed on townhome awnings (design, Color, attachment, upkeep and utilization) – overall aesthetic and appearance of the townhome community could be drastically and negatively changed. In addition, approval of one will become precedence for all. Tonight, the ARC voted to unanimously reject installation of awnings on any townhome.

Change Requests Processed:

8 Cherry Blossom Ct. Vertical Deck Rails Reconsideration Denied

15713 Cherry Blossom Lane Townhome Awning Denied

9 Citrus Grove Court Siding & Color Change Need more details

15614 Blackberry Drive Siding Approved


Newsletter (Orchard Knolls Flyer): Brian Zarchin surprised all with a professional and pleasing draft for the upcoming newsletter. Brian suggested the newsletter be entitled Orchard Knolls Flyer – but is open to rename in future issues. Board tentatively approved the name – open for future change. Brian included articles previously submitted by several members of the board and ARC, and added a color photo and several columns and topics of his own recommendation as well. Board agreed to have all future articles go directly to Brian for initial edit, subject to total Board review and approval before publication. Several adjustments were made to solidify a format for consistency in future publications. Decision was made to limit the publication to black and white to control cost. ABS will print and mail the Orchard Knolls Flyer to all owners in an envelope with copy of the proposed new Common Area Behavior Rule for comments.

39 Inspection Letters Mailed - Rick praised Eileen for a giant effort in coordinating and developing formats and typing all letters for our Fall 2002 and Spring 2003 community inspection results. Letters were mailed earlier this month. Some irate homeowners have already begun to respond, although most have a few questions or agreed to resolve problem areas. Rick asked Jerry to respond to several.

Playgrounds Upgrade Project:

Negotiation Meeting with Contractor Planned: Board authorized Rick to offer contractor several reduced combinations of contractor’s original proposals in an effort to get some of it done this year. Rick asked Jerry to set up a meeting with the lead contractor to evaluate our reduced work scope and reduce his price quote in an effort to meet our budget.

Potomac Garden Center Moved Trash Dumpsters Back to Property Line, Still Cutting Trees – Rick noted that PGC has returned dumpsters relocated as part of our agreement, back to our line again. In addition, PGC continues to cut trees and plant new trees behind their property along the line. Rick asked that Mohammad file a complaint about the dumpsters and find out why they are cutting trees that screen us from their business.

SHA Rt. 28: Missing Median and Sidewalk Trees and Intersection Lighting Rick and Jerry met onsite with Steve Ches, Sr Engineer, SHA Highway Division, and Brian Stephenson, (SHA’s landscaper contractor) of Stephenson & Good, Landscape Architecture. All parties walked areas in question including a trip to SHA's nearby Rt 124 median. SHA and Orchard Knolls HOA agreed to resolve the issues as follows:

Restored Sidewalk Trees; Rt 28 In Front of Development:

Westbound North Side will have sidewalk trees installed per plan. Eastbound South Side trees were forfeited in lieu of "Jughandle" by Homeowner Association May 10, 2001. Sidewalk trees cannot now be installed on this side due to overhead Utility lines.

Restored Median Trees to be Crepe Myrtle; Rt. 28 (Blackberry Dr, East to Tschiffely)

Dark Red flowering Crepe Myrtle 13 feet apart, initially 6-8 foot tall, to compliment existing purple flowering Plumb trees at entrance. Ground cover Juniper (or equivalent) in beds between trees, and sod grass along perimeter of median curb to retain mulch.

Center Island Trees; Blackberry Drive (North end):

Add one or two mature purple flowering Plumb trees to match existing. Retain tree spacing increment. Install sod grass in lieu of concrete in North extension.

Missing Intersection Lighting:

Blackberry Drive/Rt 28 Intersection has only one overhead light. As a result of SHA’s May 10, 2001 Public Information meeting at Quince Orchard High School, Orchard Knolls Homeowner Association was of the understanding that SHA/Pepco would install several new intersection light poles as part of Rt 28 project. It now appears this is not part of the current project. Steve will notify Traffic Engineering District Office (Mr. Lee Starkloff) of our concerns.

HOA Speed Limit Signs – Rick installed all but one of our 25-MPH signs on Blackberry Drive this month. We are waiting for new pole straps to install the last one along with a Children-at-Play sign at intersection of Blackberry Drive and Blackberry Terrace.

Crosswalk at Playground and Stop Sign at Blackberry Drive & Blackberry Terrace? Lisa will continue research with the county.

Rule 2003-1; Usage of Common Areas; Final Draft Ready for Community Comments – All members of the board have reviewed the rule for six months and submitted their revisions and changes. The final draft is ready for community review. Jerry read aloud the proposed text of our request for comments for the Newsletter and asked for changes. Content of the text requires board approval, because the rule is expected to be executed and adopted by the board of directors next month unless 15 or more responses in opposition are received (10% of Community). Board unanimously approved the text. Mailing is expected this month


Operating Funds Out of Money; Cash Flow Problem: Rick advised that earlier this month, ABS alerted him that they were out of money to pay operating expenses. This unusual situation is occurring due to a number of delinquent homeowners fees and a high degree of unbudgeted spring expenses such as sprinkler system consolidation, emergency removals of broken playground equipment, and the split-rail fencing project – all paid out of operating funds to preserve reserves. Rick advised the board that he authorized ABS to transfer funds from General Reserves equal to the sprinkler consolidation project into Operating funds. We could also transfer General Reserve funds equal to the Split Rail Fencing Project into Operating Funds, however that may jeopardize General Reserve for the playground upgrade.

Senior Center - Screening Trees - Steve Bernstein (New Owner) has responded to our complaints and revised their plans in our favor. New "Limit of Disturbance" stakes are in place which protect our trees except for 3 dying white pines and one other decorative tree on the bottom east side of the berm. The new plan still requires approval of Montgomery County. Other trees on their own property beyond our legal control, are still subject to be removed, however Steve assures us they will do all possible to preserve their own trees along our boundary.

Delayed Removal of Two White Fence Sections Perpendicular to RT 28 – Removal has been delayed due to discovery that posts are buried in four-feet of concrete. Continued wet weather has prevented removal.

Sprinkler System Shutoff: Due to continued record setting rainfall, G&G Landscape Contractor requested the system be shutoff to prevent soil erosion by mowers. Jerry reported he shut it off last month

Titus Trash Pickup Complaints: More complaints were received about incomplete trash pickup by Titus. Rick will call Titus again.

Delay: No Left Turn Traffic Pattern at Blackberry Drive to Rt 28; Due to record setting rainfall, SHA’s construction schedule for our intersection is now delayed to August/September.

HOA’s Contractor Hose Sold: Jerry sold the hose at a garage sale for $33. Proceeds were forwarded to our account at ABS.

Broken Playground Equipment Removed: Broken Spring-Horse units and old bus unit were removed along with their concrete foundations this month.

Replacement Tree Collection Letter Sent: Board sent a reminder for payment letter to owner of 15726 Cherry Blossom Lane for the replacement tree installed last year.

Water Collecting at Gazebo: Owner requested that BOD solve problem of rain water ponding at gazebo. Owner feels it will be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Jerry agreed to discuss with landscape contractor.

Low Hanging Limbs need Cutting: Several owners complain of low-hanging limbs over sidewalks and in Tot-Lots. Most of the problem is caused by record setting rainfall. However landscape contractor has plan to review total community for recommended tree trimming in July.


ABS’ May Financial Report:

Ongoing Assessment Delinquencies: We are owed over $4000 in accounts receivable for delinquent assessments. Three properties are in legal collection process. Jerry called for an increase in our $15 penalty fee for delinquent assessments and will investigate the procedure to do so. Rick suggested that board write letters to those who are continually behind, but could not find board consensus on that approach. Jerry noted that our By-Laws authorize the board to publish a list delinquent assessment owners on our property and suggested that this be published on our website. Board did not have consensus on that approach either.

Audit Underway: Mohammad received draft annual audit report. All seems in order; he will sign the form to proceed to finalize and publish the audit results.

State Farm Insurance; Received Hard-Copy of Policy, Declarations and Endorsements: Mohammad obtained package this month. Jerry noted that endorsement for Board Liability seems missing. Jerry requested review and will provide board with a report next month

  1. NOT ADDRESSED: (Board did not address following open issues at this meeting):

Pedestrian Bridge Twisting due to Creek Bank Erosion

Power Circuits and Transformer Upgrade

2001-2002 Storm Damage Insurance Reimbursement

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

Attorney Workload Meeting – Conducted in October 2002, Board has not reviewed results.

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

Arc Guidelines - Need Update from recent changes to standards

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

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

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

Upgrade Orchard Knolls Web Site to SQL

Dead Trees on Berm

HOA Has No Funding Methods for Proposed New Capital Asset Projects

Townhome Curb Parking Space Efficiency - "T" Boundary Painting


Duplicate Entrance Marquee on East Side After Rt. 28/Jughandle Construction

Upgrade Underground Circuits for Adding Center Island lighting.

Lighting in Entrance Center Island

Colonial Lamps to match Front at Townhome Entrance

Permanent Flagpoles at Front Entrance

Increase East Berm Height at Senior Housing Boundary

Security Lighting along Creek and Bike Path - Address after Tot-Lot Upgrade

Pressure Wash and Seal Rotting and Unsightly Retaining Walls

Pressure Wash and Seal Rotting and Unsightly Benches in Tot-Lots

Install Creek Bank Erosion Control at Pedestrian Bridge

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


Missing Rt. 28 Median and Street Trees, and Pepco Intersection Lighting

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

Senior Housing Center Property Boundary Trees Issues

HOA Vs 15726 Cherry Blossom Lane – Assessment for Tree

Delinquent Collections

X. ADJOURNMENT Monthly meeting adjourned at 9 Pm.

XI. NEXT MEETING - Monday, July 14, 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.