ORCHARD KNOLLS HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATION, INC (HOA)

PO Box 4225, North Potomac, Maryland  20885

 

Incorporated 1989 - A Self-Managed, Volunteer Community

 

WWW.ORCHARDKNOLLS.ORG

 

Our Bookkeeping:                Association Bookkeeping Services, 811 Russell Ave, Suite 301, Gaithersburg, Md.  20879-3505

Our Resident Agent:           Attorney David Gardner, 600 Jefferson Plaza, Rockville, Maryland 20852

Our Auditors & CPA:          Ahlberg & Company, P.C.. 6733 Curren Street, McLean, Virginia  22101-3804

Our Web Master:                 Interland, Inc – Richard Schinner, President, Orchard Knolls HOA

 

Minutes – Monthly Board Meeting

 

December 13, 2004

 

                                                                                                  Term

BOARD OF DIRECTORS (BOD) - 3 Year Term - Elected by Membership at Annual Meetings              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 2004 *

Secretary

Jerry Way

301-977-0523

jerway@comcast.net

Nov 2005

* Insufficient quorum to vote at 2004 annual meeting.  Position term extended one year by unanimous vote of BOD.                                                                          

ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW COMMITTEE (ARC) – 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

 

NOMINATING COMMITTEE:      Volunteers, Appointed As Needed

 

QUANTITY AND TYPES OF 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

 

                                               

BOD/ARC ABSENT TONIGHT :    Rita Becker, Kathy Wyatt, Mohammad Homaitabar

 

GUESTS:                                  None    

 

CALL TO ORDER:                     7:00 p.m.  Eileen’s Home (Thank You Eileen and Dennis!)

           

AGENDA:

1.  Administrative Matters - Minutes Review and Approval

 

2.  Scheduled Hearings and Guest Presentations (If Any)

 

3.  Treasurer’s Report and Financial Business

 

4.  ARC and Property Maintenance Business

 

5.  BOD Unfinished Business

 

6.  BOD New Business

 

7.  Deferred and Tabled Business (May Not Be Addressed)

 

8.  Adjournment

                                               

1.  ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS, MINUTES REVIEW AND APPROVAL: 

 

Officer Position Changes:  Last month was Annual Meeting.  After each annual meeting, usually with election of new officers, BOD opens officer positions for desired changes.  President called for any desired changes.  There were none.

 

Minutes:  Minutes were posted to web site several weeks ahead of meeting.  A printed copy was also placed on the table for review and access.  Tonight – there are two sets of minutes; October 11 Board Meeting, and November 8 Annual Meeting.  President called for changes. After some discussion, there were no changes to either set of minutes.  Motion made to accept both sets of minutes without change.  Motion was 2nd, and passed unanimously.

 

2.  SCHEDULED  HEARINGS  AND GUEST PRESENTATIONS (IF ANY):

Property Maintenance  - (Article VIII & XIII)                       None

Common Area  - (Rule 2003-1)                                        None

Guest Presentations:                                                     None

 

3.  TREASURER’S REPORT – FINANCES AND BOOKKEEPING:           

 

Treasurer was absent tonight.  However he provided copies of ABS’ November HOA Financial Statement to secretary.  Secretary mailed copies to all board members.                   

 

Operating Funds For December (Actual):

Cash in Checkbook                                            $9,880 (Balance Sheet)

Fixed Monthly Commitments (Approximate):       -4,333

Variable Commitments (Approximate):

New Streetlights (CB Place)                                 -3,500

Clean out Blocked Creek Bed                                 -450 

Attorney Fees - Property Violations                        -700  Estimate

EOY Administrative                                                 -200  Estimate

Surplus  (Shortfall):                                             $  697  Surplus

 

Townhome Streets-Replacement Reserve Fund:

Required End of Year:                70,300  (From TH Streets Replacement Plan)

Actual This Month:                     -69,836  (Balance Sheet)                       

Remaining Contributions to EOY  -   464  ($463.75/Mo x1  Months)

Surplus or (Shortfall)                         (-0-)

 

General Assets-Replacement Reserve Fund (All Other Community Assets):

Required End of Year:                61,200  (From All Other Assets Replacement Plan

Actual This Month:                     -44,248  (Balance Sheet)

Remaining Contributions to EOY   -  388  ($387.75/Mo x 1 Months)

Surplus or (Shortfall)                   (16,564)  (See Note)

 

Operating Reserve Fund:                0  (A New Fund for 2005 = 2% of Previous Year Operating Budget)

Required End of Year:

Remaining Contributions to EOY:

Surplus or (Shortfall)

 

Note:  General Reserve is an optional account focused on timely replacement of community’s aging assets. The fund’s end-of-year requirement target is based on a formula to forecast and track increasing replacement values. The fund is also used for interest-free loans to purchase new capitalized assets.

 

Since the fund is optional, it may occasionally operate in deficit as measured by the projected end-of-year requirement. EOY fund requirement is a key budget item.  Monthly income deposits are made to the fund before operating expenses.  It is identified in “Assets Replacement Plan”.  Current deficit is due to: 1) Unexpected higher costs of Tot-Lot equipment in 2003, 2) 2004 transfer of about $6,000 to fully fund Townhome Streets Reserve,  3) 2004 transfer of $3,550 to Operating Funds for bridge repair.

 

2005 budget includes accelerated contributions to General Reserve with a goal to eliminate the deficit by end of year.


 

Budget Variances:                  November 1 thru 30

For the Month:                           ($      486) - Negative

Year-to-Date:                             ($ 10,469) – Negative – See Note Below:

 

Note:  These negative variances are temporary. They result from unwarranted measurement of unbudgeted, increased spending from July to December, produced by a revised increased assessment approved by membership June 21, 2004.  The variances do not account for increased 3rd and 4th quarter ex-budget adjustments.  Negative variances should be resolved as the approved revised full budget for one year is implemented effective January 1, 2005.

 

Late Fees and Assessment Delinquencies  = $847 - Only 1 delinquency greater than 1 qtr.  Will reevaluate in January

 

Received 2003 Final Auditor’s Report – Complete and Made available at annual meeting November 8th.

 

Audit and Tax Preparation Contract Expired:  Our 2-year contract with Ahlberg & Company expired in November.  Treasurer will call Ahlberg and determine current status.

 

NSF Law Suit - Owner Avoiding Serving Order - Attorney reports that owner is avoiding serving of court order including using employees to shield him from the serving.  Our attorney has petitioned the court for “Alternative Process”

with District Court.  This involves posting notices at the residential address and await a ruling from the court.

 

Transfer 2004 Surplus Net Income (If Any) to General Reserves; At request of Associated Bookkeeping, a decision needed to be made regarding potential surplus net income accumulated due to the incremental assessment increase effective July 1, 2004.  BOD voted (via email) to transfer any significant surplus net income into General Reserves to help reduce the deficit in that fund.  A motion was made to do so, seconded and passed unanimously.  This adjustment will only be accomplished after accounting for accrual of 2004’s un-invoiced completed work and expenses.

 

Accruals: Treasurer will work with ABS last week of the year in regard to completed but un-invoiced work or purchases to accrue.  We know of 3 that will be complete but have not been invoiced...

 

Power Systems Electric - $3550 - Two new Streetlights

Landscape Innovations - $450 - Clean Debris from Creekbed.

Secretary Administrative Expenses - Estimate about $200

 

Cash Flow:  If we find ourselves in a December cash flow – the Power Systems Electric new streetlight’s invoice for $3,550 can be paid from General Reserves because it is a capitalized project.  However, if there is surplus operating cash we prefer to not disturb General Reserves.

 

Pending Sprinkler/Lighting Enclosure Purchase May be Delayed to 2005:  There is a $1,805 pending purchase of a replacement sprinkler and lighting enclosure unit from "Cedarshed Industries" to be ordered early 2005 (See New Business). Board of directors approved the purchase in December meeting but are delaying because we do not want a 2004 cash flow problem.  If end-of-year funds allow, we will make the purchase from surplus operating income. That purchase could also be paid from General Reserves but we prefer not to disturb General Reserves

 

4. ARCHITECTURAL CONTROL AND PROPERTY MAINTENANCE ENFORCEMENT:

 

Dennis Zepp is acting ARC chairperson tonight.

 

Table of Private Property Maintenance and ARC Guidelines Violations:  Located at end of these minutes.

 

Architectural Change Request (ACR) Applications Received This Month:

 

12000 Citrus Grove Road – Extension of Existing Deck, Addition of Screened in Gazebo on Deck, Construction of Masonry Walls Under Deck, Landscaping.


 

Some board and ARC members had earlier reviewed the application and renditions, identifying concerns and providing feedback to owner.  Although absent, Kathy Wyatt (ARC) had already approved the application subject to review by remainder of ARC and BOD.  Rick reviewed the plans with the total board tonight including recent owner’s response to our concerns. All owner responses were acceptable.  However, because plans are not dimensioned they are considered only renditions. Owner has not submitted to Montgomery County for permit.  Therefore BOD and ARC are taking the position to only provide “Preliminary Approval Only”  - subject to final review after owner creates final plans and obtains county permit.  Rick will transmit the BOD and ARC position to owner.

 

ARC Chairperson Steps Down  -  Kathy Wyatt has done a superb job for ARC over the last two years reviewing Architectural Change Requests with other members of ARC, neighbors and BOD.  In addition, she has faithfully attended all BOD meetings to represent ARC issues and owner applications.  Kathy has agreed to remain on ARC as a member but needs relief from the chair responsibility.  BOD reluctantly agreed and offers a thank you from a grateful community.

 

BOD Recruiting 2 Additional Members to ARC – With Kathy Wyatt as member, the committee consists of 3.  There is another volunteer in the community considering joining ARC bringing total to 4.  Covenants require that ARC committee consist of an odd number.  Therefore, BOD desires to increase the committee to 5 members.

 

Lisa Goodman Accepts Acting ARC Chairperson – Lisa accepted appointment to chair ARC in an acting capacity until two more members can be recruited (increasing total from 3 to 5).  At that time, the committee will recommend it’s own chair for review and approval by BOD.

 

Semi-Annual Community Inspection Conducted:  Fall detached homes inspection was conducted early November with several members of BOD and ARC.  11 homes were identified with first-notice property maintenance problems.  Eleven first-notice letters were sent with corrections requested by next spring inspection.  One home was identified with 2-years of ongoing violations of trim color.  That home was turned over to our attorney to begin enforcement procedures.

 

Unresolved Property Maintenance - BOD Disposition:  (See Table at End of Minutes)

 

Proposed HOA Property Maintenance Control and Enforcement Rule:  (See previous minutes).  Secretary noted base document is still going through editing.  Initial BOD review of first-draft is scheduled for January BOD meeting.

 

Postlamp Violation – Letter Sent -  A garaged townhome owner has installed a black contemporary design postlamp fixture.  ARC Guidelines are very specific so that all fixtures in the community are fairly alike.  The guidelines are very specific with size and design details and locations for replacement purchase.   Generally they call for only polished brass and traditional design.  A letter was sent to the owner in November.

 

Owner Requests Security Floodlights on Townhome – Front and Back – ARC responded that an Architectural Change Request must be submitted for consideration.  ARC and BOD have concerns about impact on neighborhood for floodlights in front of close proximity town homes as well as neighbor impact in rear when erroneously activated. BOD was asked to think about the implications on neighbors etc – before next meeting when the issue will be put on the table.

 

5. OLD (UNFINISHED) BOD BUSINESS:

 

Re-Visited - Center Island Purple Plum Tree:  Burton’s nursery installed a tiny, immature purple plum on the bull nose of our Blackberry Drive Intersection to Rt 28.  SHA’s specifications call for a mature 2-1/2-Inch caliper tree.  In September, SHA was notified and requested to replace the tree.  BOD requested that secretary prod SHA to resolve the problem.

 

Closed:   Feral Creek Cats in Residential Areas – President was approached by one of the parties involved in this dispute after adjournment of the Annual Meeting regarding final disposition.  BOD considers this issue closed.

 

Complete:  Netting Added to Winter Pansies for Fall Entrance Flowers – A second application ($130 per application) of deer repellant failed to deter the deer.  The pansies were again eaten.  This time our landscaper installed netting over all pansies.  The pansies are returning in bloom and are not being eaten.

 

Thank You Landscape Innovations!  Landscape Innovations furnished the second chemical deer repellant and all the final netting over our winter pansies at no cost to Orchard Knolls.  Thank You!  It is rare to have a caring contractor.

 

Complete:  Cherry Blossom Lane Striped Parking Spaces Re-Labeled “Visitors Only” - HOA towing of parking violators is now legal from these spaces.

 

Newsletter Postponed – BOD deferred newsletter until 2005. 

 

Open Board Member Position Not Filled at Annual Meeting – Position Extended 1 Year by BOD Vote -  Apparently the community had insufficient interest in backfilling the open position by attending the November Annual Meeting.  The meeting was widely advertised with more than the required notice (See minutes of annual meeting).  There was insufficient quorum at Annual Meeting in November to back fill the open position or reelect the incumbent.  BOD voted to extend the existing Treasurer’s position for one year until next annual meeting.  Treasurer abstained.  Vote was unanimous to extend the position to November 2005.

 

Executed - 2005 Landscape Contract – Landscape Innovations provided a price-freeze contract.  BOD added only a few new requirements and signed the contract for 2005 season.  Payments to contractor will occur over 12 months instead of 10 months. 

 

Executed - 2004-2005 Snow Removal Contract -   Our previous contractor has moved out of state.  Landscape Innovations provided a reasonable contract with only a 10% increase over previous contractor prices,  while supplying additional services.  We signed the contract.  It is in force at this time.

 

Complete:  Blackberry Drive Concrete Sidewalk Aprons Replaced – SHA replaced both aprons at our request.

 

Closed:  Child Harassment in Cherry Blossom Place – See Previous Minutes.  President asked for additional information on this matter.  There was none.  Unless names are brought forward, this matter will be closed.

 

Closed:  Senior Center Construction Noise on Sunday:  Secretary spoke to one of the senior partners

at the site.  Senior Center claims they are not violating any state or county ordinances or laws on Sunday work.  If problem persists, HOA will contact our attorney and launch a legal complaint.

 

Closed:  School Bus Parked on Blackberry Drive:  BOD responded to owner that complained  - advising bus will be located further south on Blackberry Drive, bus was legally parked, and that driver has a county permit to park there.

 

Shelved:  Proposed Community Picnic Pavilion – (See Previous Minutes and Minutes of Annual Meeting).  Our previous HOA President Diane Quinn, representing herself as an owner, and representing Montgomery County Police, provided several cautions in context of managing after-hour use.  In addition, several adjacent neighbors were opposed. A straw poll at annual meeting indicates little overall interest in using such facility.   BOD considers this project shelved at this time.

 

Closed:  Preserve South West Tot-Lot Equipment – Neighbor requested South West Lot’s baby-swings and see-saw be preserved.  Because proposed Picnic Pavilion is now a shelved issue, BOD will take no action on these two remaining pieces of equipment unless safety issues are observed.  The equipment has exhausted it’s book-value useful life.

 

Unregistered Orchard Knolls Day Care Owner – Matter to be Turned Over to Attorney -  An Unregistered Orchard Knolls owner has been soliciting customers by hanging signs at the gazebo mailbox.  We telephoned the owner and asked for proof of Maryland State License and Insurance Certification.  Owner agreed to send us copies 12 weeks ago.  We have not seen the documents.  Board requested that secretary turn the matter over to our attorney.

 

Deferred to Spring 2005:  Replacement Trees – Some Funds in 2005 Budget - (See Location and Status List at End of Minutes).  All known dead and felled trees have been removed.  In some cases, a felled tree in a wooded common area will remain natural and not be removed.  There are 10 locations where decorative or shade trees have been removed and not replaced.  BOD deleted tree replacement costs from June 21 assessment increase budget to keep cap under 24%.

 

This month, we obtained a $3,020 quote to replace 8 key trees at more critical locations. The contractor was asked to hold the quote until spring 2005.  Contractor agreed to hold the prices to spring.

 

In 2006 Budget - Dead and Dying Trees – No Budgeted Funds for 2005 Annual Tree Care - (See Location and Status List at End of Minutes).  There are 4 identified dying flowering trees in our community. BOD deleted proposed budgeted annual tree care funds from June 21 assessment increase budget to keep cap under 24%.  We have identified this need as a line-item in the 2006 budget.


 

Contract Released:  Increase Safety - Two New Streetlights for Blackberry Drive Island  Our 2003 quote was revalidated by contractor to $3,550 to accomplish this project by bringing power through our conduit under Blackberry Drive from West side marque power source. The scope was increased to also provide a double-duplex outdoor outlet on the center island.  The work is to be complete by end of December this year.   This project is not included in the approved revised budget.  We expect it to be paid by surplus operating funds.  If there are not sufficient surplus operating funds, we will pay for it as a capital expense from General Reserves.

 

Approved:  Replace Outdoor Electronics Enclosure –  The enclosure is leaking and full of ant feces.  It will have to be covered with a vinyl tarp for winter until a new enclosure can be constructed in warm weather.  BOD approved the immediate $1,800 purchase of an earlier recommended all cedar unit (to prevent ants). “CedarShed Industries” makes an all red-cedar model with shake roof to match our homes. The 6 x 9-foot model will replace the existing ant-infested and leaking “Rubbermaid” unit which is causing deterioration in our electronic clock and digital controls for sprinkler and lighting systems. We have replaced two sets of controls due to ant infestation ($500 each).  Ants will not infest a cedar unit.  New unit will also provide storage for HOA owned equipment rusting in the Rubbermaid enclosure or stored in members garages.  Location is not negotiable because it must shelter a myriad of underground water valves and electrical connections currently emanating at west end of east side berm.  Height is six feet.  Unit is screened with shrubs. Volunteer labor.  Purchase will occur immediately if surplus operating funds can be found.  If not, unit will be purchased as a capitalized expense in January 2005 from General Reserves.

 

Complete:  Re-Graded Water Pooling Area at Gazebo; Eliminates Mosquito Breeding Ground - Owner requested that HOA regrade this area to eliminate water from pooling and risk of mosquitoes breeding.  Our landscape contractor regarded this area and added mulch to the top – at not expense to HOA.  Thank You Landscape Innovations!

 

Closed:  Inefficient Curb Parking - Spaces to be Outlined When Pavement is Re-Sealed Spring 2005  A few curb parking spaces are permitted by signs on North and West Cherry Blossom Lane.  However, individual spaces are not identified causing vehicles to park randomly creating inefficient use of the space.  BOD agreed to apply vehicle size “tic” marks to isolate each space.  The work will be done when the streets are re-sealed in 2005.

 

6.  NEW BOD BUSINESS

 

Potomac Garden Nursery Sale Pending – Possible Porten Homes Builder to Construct 45 Luxury Townhomes – Possible New Owner has contacted our president and discussed several issues of interest to both communities.  One issue is the opening of West Citrus Grove Road into the new development.  Initial BOD response is to decline due to potential higher traffic on Blackberry Drive.  There are several significant advantages and liabilities to Orchard Knolls in proposals to open this road.  One proposal is to terminate the existing Citrus Grove Road with one single family home, or a pool, or a management facility.  Apparently, there is a possibility of a swimming pool, naming the new community Orchard Knolls, and annexing or merging with our Association. The new development has access/egress problems from Rt 28 due to the divided island.  The high berm with it’s screening trees along our joint boundary is likely to remain high. Soil samples indicate it is natural, not fill as was suspected in earlier evaluations.  The new development will also have several Moderate Priced Dwelling Units (MPDUs). BOD informally discussed items of interest.  New owner would like to attend one of our board meetings after he has more information on his own project goals.  Construction is expected in 2005.

 

Johnson’s Nursery Relocating – President Rick has received advance written notice that Johnsons will soon relocate off the corner of Quince Orchard and Darnestown Road.  Apparently, they will relocate to larger property behind Safeway, however very little information was provided.  There is no available information as to what will occupy the current land.

 

Unlawfully Stored Commercial Truck in Cherry Blossom Place Cited – A white commercial truck with ladders on top has been parked without use or moving for several months.  In addition, the tags were expired.  We obtained owner information from MVA and sent owner in Cherry Blossom Place a towing warning letter.  The truck has been removed.

 

Creek Debris Blocking Pedestrian Bridge #2 – Removed  - A large pile of debris consisting of logs, branches, vines and flotsam had accumulated under the upstream side of bridge #2 – backing up the storm water creek in front of the bridge and overflowing on private and common areas.  The accumulation was the result of 2 large shrubs in the creekbed growing up and over the sides of the bridge on the upstream side.  Last summer, the two shrubs totally engulfed the bridge making passing nearly impossible.  BOD contracted to kill and remove the large shrubs and all associated debris allowing free flow of water under the bridge.  Cost was $450.  The work is complete.

 

Orchard Knolls Web Service Curtailed – Reinstated -  Interland, our web service provider, shut us down without notice early November.  After investigation, it was determined their annual billing was sent to wrong email address (their error).  The $100/year service was paid for the next 5 years and service was restored.  Billing was corrected to be sent to ABS.

 

New Illuminated Seasonal Wreath Added to Entrance Marque for Christmas Holidays – Volunteers installed a new commercial wreath with timed illumination.  BOD approved the purchase from Costco at $49.  The wreath will be stored and reused for future years. 

 

Entrance Lighting Fixture Damaged - Repaired – The left side florescent fixture was badly damaged and not operating most likely by deer hoofs when they were eating our winter pansies.  The Plexiglas cover and fluorescent bulb were smashed.  BOD approved the $22 purchase of lexan repair materials.  The unit was repaired and is back in use.

 

Complete:  Curb Parking Reduced – There were several vehicle accidents with cars parked along the west Cherry Blossom Lane curb last winter, and lingering difficulties negotiating vehicle access/egress in the area.  Neighbors requested that curb parking across from the striped visitor spaces on North Cherry Blossom Lane be curtailed by approximately 3 vehicle spaces.  BOD approved purchase of a new sign post to identify the reduced limits of approved parking.  Volunteers installed the new post this month reducing curb parking by 3 vehicles and overall visitor parking from 27 to 24 vehicles.  The abandoned curb area is now returned to a restricted Firelane and so posted.

 

Another Gazebo Mailbox Intrusion Issue – An owner picking up mail at gazebo found 23 pieces of mail belonging to 12014 Cherry Blossom Lane in the bushes and on the dirt beside the gazebo.  The mail was returned to correct owner who expressed complete surprise as to how that occurred. Owner was advised to notify postmaster.

 

Vandals Damage Seasonal Lights at Gazebo – Several days after the seasonal icicle lighting was installed at the gazebo (this is the 5th year) – someone intentionally removed the sockets from 13 of the lights across four sets.  The bulbs and sockets were found smashed on the concrete floor.  Volunteers repaired the lights.  At request of BOD, Eileen developed a letter of complaint in English and Spanish and posted it on the gazebo.  The letter stated that if the event occurred again, the seasonal lighting would be removed.

 

In a recent related development, one neighbor has come forward indicating they are somewhat confident they know who did the damage.  Since BOD desires to be 100% confident, no action will be taken at this time.  However, the information will be retained for future reference as necessary.

 

Complaint – Blackberry Drive Sidewalk Dangerously Dark in Front of Tot-Lot – BOD received an email complaint that the sidewalk along the split-rail fence in front of the Blackberry Drive Tot-Lot is dangerously dark for a significant distance.  This area is very remote from HOA electrical sources, therefore would be relatively expensive to illuminate.  A previous request to provide security lighting along one of the bike paths in the same area was quoted at $11,300 several years ago.  Perhaps solar lighting units could be provided.  BOD will consider the matter in 2005.

 

Unlawfully Stored Vehicle:  The owner of a black BMW Md. Plates K??-??? is again storing her vehicle ( “An Operative vehicle in same space longer than 30 days”).  She moved it from being stored in marked visitors spaces to parking along the West Cherry Blossom Lane curb.  It has been there for 5 weeks.  Eileen agreed to contact her again.

 

7.  DEFERRED BOD BUSINESS  -  NOT DISCUSSED:

 

Exposed Tree Stumps:  BOD Declines Removal Expense. No Budgeted Funds to Remove 9 Stumps:   (See Location and Status List at End of Minutes).  There are 9 large stumps in clear view above grade on common areas in our community.  Two members of the board visited them all this month.  Volunteers could remove a few of the smaller stumps.  HOA requested a quote to grind the 9 stumps below grade.  BOD declined to approve the $1,785 quote.  The list was revised and contractor asked to identify a lower cost solution.  BOD deleted proposed budgeted stump removal funds from June 21 assessment increase budget to keep cap under 24%.

 

Cost Reduced - 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.

 

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. 

 

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.

 

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.

Unregistered, Unlicensed, Multiple 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 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

 

On-Hold - Supplemental Community Landscape Upgrades – A proposal for upgraded colorful and creative flower bed designs for our east and west entrance marque and center island was submitted by our new lawn care contractor (Landscape Innovations, Inc). Total cost is $12,643 in addition to our new contract which already includes three times more flowers than were installed last year.  Rick reminded contractor that the flowers were already included.  Contractor agreed to make an adjustment.  Jerry reminded BOD that at annual meeting, we advised membership that we did not have funds for non-budgeted projects.  Project deferred to next meeting.

 

Duplicate Stone Marque at East Blackberry Drive Entrance –  This investment would accomplish more than any other to dramatically improve our entrance, image and community value.  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.  “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.

 

All Townhome Community Retaining Walls Unsightly – Need Pressure Wash and Stain. Townhome PT retaining walls require periodic maintenance.  They have not been serviced in 13 years.

 

All Wood Benches are Unsightly – Need Pressure Wash and Stain. These 6 PT benches require periodic maintenance.  They have not been serviced in 13 years.

 

Retaining Wall Behind West Berm Needs Repair – The large PT wall is bending and falling backward on the west end and may need significant repair soon.

 

Retaining Wall by Gazebo Covered with Mold and Decay - This dog-leg section of wall at the intersection of Cherry Blossom Lane and Cherry Blossom Place is highly visible and makes our community look poor.   All town home owners must pass it to retrieve their mail daily.  It needs pressure wash, stain and sealing.

 

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.

 

East Entrance Flower Bed Below Grade - Due to increased elevation of Blackberry Dr/Rt 28 East – flower bed is below grade of new sidewalk.

 

Delayed Upgrade – Underground Townhome Streetlight Circuit Fully Loaded - Capacity on this main streetlight circuit is needed for 3 future projects:  1) Additional uplights for center island, 2) Center island streetlights, 3) New colonial lamps at Townhome entrance. Circuit begins behind Cherry Blossom Ct, then North, West, and South along Cherry Blossom Lane.  Contractor tests concluded that further growth was not possible.  A new parallel circuit will be required.

 

Delayed Upgrade – Blackberry Drive Tot-Lot.  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 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 it 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.

 

Blackberry Drive Crosswalk at Playground - Lisa is working with Montgomery County to have this accomplished.

 

Blackberry Drive & Terrace Stop Sign to Replace Yield - Lisa is working with County to have this accomplished.

 

Neglect of Common Area Lawn Care Adjacent to End-Units - End unit townhome lawns deceptively appear to be owned by townhomes. They are not.  These lawns are 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 professional lawn care. Because of it’s prime location, that town home’s side lot receives HOA water sprinkling, HOA 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 8 end unit’s adjacent common area lawns.

 

Alleged Unlicensed Business in Cherry Blossom Place - Owner recently rented a townhome to ARC of Montgomery County:  According to our attorney, this County Service appears to be a family home for mentally challenged adults requiring adult assisted living.  Home is not allowed to exceed three adults.   A License to operate may be required.  HOA application and approval may be required. Rick obtained copy of lease for our files.   Our attorney is investigating.

 

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.  BOD decided to replace 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  - 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.  ADJOURNMENT AND NEXT MEETING - Monthly meeting adjourned at 9:00 Pm.  

 

Next regularly scheduled BOD meeting will be Monday, January 10th, 2005, 7:00 Pm, location to be determined. Call any board member for location.  Orchard Knolls owners and residents welcome.  Input by mail, email, or web page welcome.


 

TABLES OF MINUTES-RELATED INFORMATION:

 

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

 

Appearance - “Orchard Knolls” Stone Marque On East Side Of Blackberry Dr Entrance

Appearance - Bronze “Orchard Knolls Towns” Plaques On Existing Stone Columns

Appearance - Floral Upgrades Throughout Community

Appearance - Ground Cover East Boundary Hillside Facing Sr Center

Appearance - Ground Cover North Berm Hillside Erosion Areas

Appearance - Matching Colonial Lamps On Existing Stone Columns At Townhome Entrance

Appearance - Permanent Flagpoles With Uplighting At Front Entrance

Appearance - Pressure Wash And Seal Retaining Walls

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

Appearance - Townhome Street Sweep Service

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

Regrade Gazebo – Mosquitoes Breeding

Repair - Creek Bank Erosion Control

Repair - Overloaded Streetlight Power Circuit

Repair - Reroute Storm Water Flooding 15728 Cherry Blossom Lane

Safety - New Cherry Blossom Lane Streetlight Before Intersection To Blackberry Drive

Safety - Remove Existing Stumps Below Grade.

Safety - Speed Control Implementation (Private) on Blackberry Drive

Safety - Convert Cherry Blossom Lane – One-Way

Safety – Add Sidewalk Lighting Along Fence by Blackberry Drive Tot-Lot

Safety - Security Lighting Along Creek And Bike Path

Screening Trees  - North Berm, From Rt 28.

Screening Trees - North Cherry Blossom Court Townhomes From Rt 28

Screening Trees - Senior Center Boundary

Social – Annual Community Picnic

Social - Covered Picnic Pavilion  - South West Lot

Social - Volleyball Court - Cherry Blossom Lane Courtyard

Upgrade - Brick & Cedar-Shake Rain Cover (Open) at Entrance

Upgrade – Traditional Architecture Community Welcome Message Marque Unit at Entrance

Upgrade - Voice Mail for HOA


 

B.  MAINTENANCE OF PRIVATE PROPERTY AND LOTS:

 

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 the legal Board of Director’s 6-Step Procedure authorized by Article XIII to enforce correction to exterior property 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 4a              BOD Obtains Contractor Quote to Repair

Step 4b              BOD Review;  Resolution to Proceed, One Per Property – Requires Majority Vote

Step 4c              BOD Contracts to Enter Property, Resolve Violation.  Invoice to Owner – Payable Net 10 Days

Step 5               If Invoice Unpaid, ABS Deducts From Incoming Quarterly Assessment.

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

 

CURRENT PROPERTY MAINTENANCE AND ARCHITECTURAL GUIDELINE  VIOLATIONS:

 

TOWNHOME COMMUNITY:

 

Cherry Blossom Lane:

15??? – Vertical Deck Rails

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

 

15??? – Non Brass Post Lamp Fixture

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

 

15??? - 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

 

15??? – 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.

 

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?? – 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 16, 2004 – Turned over to Attorney

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

September 23, 2004 – Attorney Date Expired

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

 

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.  Letter from President 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

 

? - 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 COMMUNITY:

 

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?? – Trim and Shutters changed color.  Shutters same as trim.  No ACR request

November 18, 2004 – First Letter Requests submission of ACR for consideration.

November 21, 2004 – Owner response via email – Shutters were always same as trim.

 

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

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


 

120?? – Two Trim Colors – White Portico, Columns, Upper and Lower Rails Not Approved

June 10 2003 – First Letter Requesting Correction

November 17, 2003 – Second Letter Requesting Correction by April 2004 – Mailed Certified

January 11, 2004 – Email from owner – “Colors never changed”

January 11, 2004 – Secretary telephoned owner -  Owner claims “not white”, “some mystery changed colors”

January 12, 2004 – Board members visit home – confirm white and non standard two trim colors.

January 22, 2004 – Third Letter Confirming Visit – Details problem and required solution. Mailed Certified.

March 25, 2004 – Email from owner – “Will paint in April – still confused about color”

March 25, 2004 – Rick and Jerry visit owner – Owner agrees to paint all to match garage door.

November 7, 2004 – Annual Inspection – No painting done – no correction.

November 18, 2004 – Turned over to attorney.

 

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

 

Common Area Trees Removed – Not Replaced

2002 - Two Moderate Flowering Dogwood - Northwest Cherry Blossom Lane

2004 – Large Flowering Cherry – Across from 15740 Cherry Blossom Lane

2004 - Two, Moderate Pin-Oak –In Front of 12006 Cherry Blossom Place

2004 – Large Bradford Pear – Beside 15746 Cherry Blossom Lane

2004 – Moderate Flowering Dogwood – Beside 157601 Cherry Blossom Lane Side

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 - Three Holly Exceeding Wall Height – Blocking Light Fixtures – Entrance

2002 – 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.