A Self-Managed, Volunteer Community



Minutes – Monthly Board Meeting


September 13, 2004  - (No August Meeting)



BOARD OF DIRECTORS (BOD):                                                                                                    Expires


Richard Schinner



Nov 2005

VP Detached Homes

Lisa Goodman


Nov 2005

VP Town Homes

Eileen Solomon



Nov 2007


Mohammad Homaitabar



Nov 2004


Jerry Way



Nov 2005




Kathy Wyatt


Rita Becker


Dennis Zepp


ARC & BOD ABSENT:  Lisa Goodman, Rita Becker       


GUESTS:                                  Mary Haas; Orchard Knolls Home Owner


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


EXPECTED AGENDA:                1.  Previous Minutes Review and Approval

                                                2.  Appeals and/or Hearings if Any

                                                3.  Guest Presentations if Any

                                                4.  ARC Business

                                                5.  Financial and Treasurers Business

                                                6.  BOD Unfinished Business

                                                7.  BOD New Business

                                                8.  BOD Deferred Business (May Not Be Addressed)

                                                9.  Adjournment


1.  PREVIOUS MEETING MINUTES -  REVIEW AND APPROVAL:  Minutes are posted on web site several weeks ahead of meeting.  In addition, unless noted herein, a  printed copy was also made available tonight.


President called for changes. Secretary noted following change:  “Unfinished Business”:  Item:  “Approved $600 Repair of Split Rail Fencing”.  Change to read:  Motion made, seconded and passed, to accept the TML proposal….”  No other changes or amendments.   Motion made to accept the correction and minutes.  Motion was 2nd and passed unanimously.




Property Maintenance Violation Appeals  - (Article VIII & XIII)         None

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


3.  GUEST PRESENTATIONS:                                        None




Architectural Change Request Submissions (ACR):                 None


Old ARC Records Turned Over:  Chairperson turned over old ARC records to BOD secretary  - (mainly Tot-Lot Upgrade Committee) to be stored in HOA archived files.


Additions to Architectural Guidelines: Over the last year, owners requested clarification in several areas of concern that are not addressed in Guidelines.  To address this need, addition of five draft  “Standards” were submitted to ARC Chairperson for review, editing and approval by the committee:



Gutters and Downspouts



Garage Doors


Financial Responsibility for Damages to Common Area - “Architectural Change Request” -  Several owners, or contractors, accomplishing approved construction, have carelessly damaged common area sod, turf, trees, shrubs etc.  Owners have always been liable for this damage, however, BOD has not prosecuted until now.  Effective immediately, BOD will obtain witnesses, photograph the damage, call for a hearing, and bill the owner for damages under provisions of “Common Area Rule 2003-1”.  ARC and BOD have approved a financial responsibility clause to be added to the “Architectural Change Request” application currently resident on our web page.


Duron Revised Townhome Paint Color Labels – Changes Approved for Architectural Guidelines:  In fall 2003 - ARC and BOD began an investigating reports that some Duron colors published in Architectural Guidelines had new names – or were no longer available.  ARC and BOD tonight approved the new labels for the standard six colors as follows:


Duron Generic Color

Old Color Name

New Color Name

Bright Red

Farmhouse Red

Cardinal Red

Dark Red

Old Colonial Red



Georgetown Green


Light Blue

Carolina Slate Blue

Faded Jeans Blue


Earth Brown

Chestnut Brown

Dark Blue

Night Navy

Carolina Slate Blue


Fines for Violation of Published Orchard Knolls Property Maintenance Standards – Attorney has been asked to investigate precedence and procedure to implement fines to owners that refuse to maintain their property as measured by Covenants and Architectural Guidelines.


White Deck Support Structure Violates Guidelines – A newly installed townhome deck at 157?? Cherry Blossom Lane was installed with white artificial wood material around face of the decking support structure. Also rails are not painted.  Board members discussed the appearance and sent a letter to owners to correct the problems.  In preparation for tonight’s meeting, Secretary telephoned owner about the issue.


The owner pointed out that they were surprised with our letter because the support material is integrated into the decking  - already approved by ARC in the Architectural Change Request.  Apparently this was missed by all reviewers.  Secretary discussed alternatives such as covering the white simulated wood with natural wood, or painting the white simulated wood to appear natural.  The owner agreed to work with ARC and BOD to solve this aesthetic problem.  The owner is particularly open to finding a way to paint the white to a natural wood color. He also noted that he is following his contractor’s recommendation to allow the new PT rails to dry for several months.  They intend on painting the rails by spring of 2005.   ARC Chairperson had to leave early tonight and another ARC member was absent. This item will be deferred to “Unfinished BOD Business” to be addressed in next month’s meeting.




Period Covered:                                  August 1 thru 31, 2004


Budget Variances at End of Month:

For the Month:                                       ($3,618) - Negative

Year-to-Date:                                         ( 7,957) – Negative


Note – These budget variances numbers are from our 2004 budget created in 2003 – not from the revised 2004 budget for 3rd and 4th quarter 2004 – approved by membership on June 21, 2004.  Negative budget variance numbers indicate BOD has approved spending on items not in the budget – usually emergency conditions such as fallen trees, or unusual legal support and resulting fees.  This condition will be resolved as the revised (increased) budget is implemented for 2005.


Operating Funds For Next Month:

Cash                                                     $11,396 (Balance Sheet)

Fixed Commitments:                                -4,333

Variable Commitments:

Repair Bridge     (Incremental)                   -1,970  ($5,520, less $3,550 From Reserves

Repair Fence                                           -   600

Tree Removal     (Tot-Lot Red Maple)          -1,000

Repair Streetlight Post CB Ct                    -   840

PGC Lot Line Upgrade                              -   100

Screen Transformers CB Pl                     -    842

Add New Streetlight CB Pl                        -1,050

Surplus  (Shortfall):                                $    688


Reserve Funds:


Operating Reserve:                         None - CD Cashed April 2004


Note:  A new operating reserve fund was created by the revised budget approved by membership June 21 2004.  The fund will accumulate monies with a cap at 2% of previous year budgeted operating expenses.


Townhome Streets Reserve:

Required End of Year:                70,300

Actual This Month:                     -68,419 (From Balance Sheet)                

Monthly Contributions to EOY       -1,855

Surplus or (Shortfall)                       ( 26)  (Negative)


General (All Other Assets) Reserve:

Required End of Year:                61,200

Actual This Month:                     -46,602 (From Balance Sheet)                

Monthly Contributions to EOY       -1,551

Surplus or (Shortfall)                   (13,047) (Negative)


Note:  General Reserve is an optional account and is allowed to operate negative with a deficit as measured against targeted needs in the “Assets Replacement Plan.  This deficit occurred due to unexpected higher costs of Tot-Lot equipment in 2003, and the 2004 approved transfer of about $6000 to Townhome Streets Reserve.  The Townhome Streets Reserve is required by covenants to be fully funded.  The 2005 budget includes accelerated contributions into the General Reserve.  The deficit should be resolved by end of year 2005.


Incorrect “Tax” Bills Were New Montgomery County Storm Water Fees on HOAs – BOD turned over the confusing documents to our attorney.  After two months research and wrestling with Montgomery County  - it turns out, the tax bills are actually another new annual county fee -  implemented as law in 2002 on Home Owner Associations to fund upkeep of Storm Water Facilities in the county.  Our liability will be about $400 annually.  Our attorney advised that this will be an annual bill and there are no appeals.  Attorney corrected county address records so that future bills will go directly to our bookkeeper.  There is no budget item for this amount – 2005 operating funds will be reduced


Owner Requests 2nd Quarter Assessment Late Fee Waived – BOD received written letter requesting waive of a late fee for cause.  Owner demonstrated that the assessment was mailed on time in the correct amount, however the check was included in a batch of mail lost by the post office.  Owner re-issued the check immediately upon notice from ABS.  Owner has never missed an assessment payment date.  BOD granted the waiver.


3rd Quarter Late Fees and Growing Assessment Delinquencies -   Board discussed the (15) growing number of delinquencies but noted they were mostly due to unpaid late fines and most likely due to possible confusion as a result of the recent assessment increase – a first  in six years.  Board decided to evaluate September data from ABS before attempting to address the problem.


Attorney Files “Financial Recovery Suit” against Previous Owner for NSF Check – Attorney has filed a law suit against previous owner of 157?? Cherry Blossom Lane for bounced check.  Recovery will include original amount, a punitive amount, and attorney fees


2005 Budget Preparation The proposed 2005 budget must be displayed to membership at the upcoming Annual Meeting November 8th.  If assessments are to change, the final proposed budget is required to ABS by November 15th.  BOD is not planning any changes from the June 21st approved revised budget.  There are some internal adjustments due to recently added taxes etc, however the assessments will not change.  Secretary will have a draft for next meeting. 


Town Home Reserves Now Fully Funded as Required by Covenants:  In a follow up item discussed with membership in our June 21 Assessment Increase meeting,  we recently transferred  $6,370 (Six-thousand, three-hundred and seventy) dollars from the General Fund to the Town Home Fund.  There is no impact on assessment or budget.  That deficit problem is now solved.


Funding Bridge Upgrade – Another Non-Budgeted Expense - As noted in previous minutes, BOD agreed to substantially fund this project from General Replacement Reserves. Our “Orchard Knolls Assets Replacement Plan, Annual Reserve Funds Budget” allocates $7,100 at end of year 2004 for both bridges.  Therefore, $3,550 (all of the monies to-date allocated for one bridge) will be transferred from General Replacement Reserves to Operating Funds to assist paying this large unbudgeted expense.


Bridge Value and Useful Life Changed - Replacement Reserve Funds Adjusted – Impacts 2005 Budget -  The recent bridge repairs and upgrade revealed the true value of the bridges in current terms.  Also, about 50% of this bridge remains old materials.  It is anticipated that this bridge will only last 10 years - about ½ a new bridge’s useful life of 20 years.  Anytime value of an existing asset in our community changes, or an asset is added or removed, our end of year reserve fund requirement must be adjusted. This change increases or decreases the budgeted annual contribution amount into reserve funds - which has an inverse impact on available operating funds for that year.


BOD reviewed options to reduce negative impact on the fund – noting several alternatives to adjust future fund-accumulation for this bridge.  Decision was made to split the current single entry for 2-bridges into two separate bridges.  The undisturbed bridge’s 20 year life cycle entry will not be adjusted.  However it’s original value of $4,000 will be revised to a more accurate replacement value of $6,000.  The upgraded bridge replacement value will also be adjusted to $6,000 but it’s life cycle will be reduced to 10 years because about ½ the materials are from the old bridge.  These reserve and budget adjustments will be effective in 2005.


Calendar Year 2003 Auditor’s Report Handed Out – Treasurer handed out draft copies of our most recent 2003 Independent Auditors Report to all board members. Treasurer advised BOD there were no negative items or surprises.  This was first occasion to review an audit after their reporting status was changed from ABS to BOD.  No review time was taken tonight.  Board members will review during the month.  Secretary questioned why the report remains in draft status.  Treasurer will contact auditor.




Dangerous Maple Tree Near Tot-Lot Finally Taken Down - Lees’ Tree Service completely removed the tree, ground the stump below grade, removed all wood and all branches.  In addition, Lees’ removed the wood from another nearby large tree taken down in June under emergency conditions, and ground the stump below grade for that tree also.


Major Savings:  In a last minute negotiated session with Lee’s Tree Service, HOA saved nearly $1,400 off previously quoted prices by Meade Tree Service, and gained several other benefits in the negotiation process.


Non-Budgeted Expense:  There is no budget item for tree removals – cost must be paid by sacrifices in other operating areas.


Pedestrian Bridge Restored -  $5,520 Upgrade Complete – Contractor completed construction, cleaned up and planted grass in damaged areas today.  Secretary handed out before/after photos of the bridge complex showing the significant height increase and relocation onto more solid ground.  All posts are two feet or more into solid turf and embedded in concrete.


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.  See previous minutes on this subject.


Annual Property Maintenance Inspection Status and BOD Disposition:  (See Table at End of Minutes)


BOD Procedure for Post Inspection Follow Up:

Step 1               First HOA Notice Letter

Step 2               Second HOA Notice Letter – Sent Certified Mail. 

Step 3               Attorney Warning (Includes first two letters) – Also Certified Mail.

Step 4               BOD contracts to enter property and resolve violation.  HOA bill sent to owner net 10 days.

Step 5               If Unpaid, ABS deducts from incoming quarterly assessment income.

Step 6               If Assessment becomes delinquent, Attorney applies lien on property – including legal fees


Step 3 Attorney Warning Letter Status:

Resolved Before Attorney Letter:                         1

Resolved After Attorney Letter:                                        5 (Includes 3 HOC Units)

Attorney Letter Sent – In Waiting Period:                         2

Attorney Warning Expired -  No Response from Owner:     2 (Requires BOD Resolution)


Step 4 - Two Property Maintenance Contracts Let - BOD Passes Required Resolutions  -  In accordance with requirements of Declaration of Covenants – Article XIII – all identified steps to notify and warn owners of outstanding property maintenance violations have been exhausted.  BOD is required to vote and pass a resolution to contract to enter exterior premises to remedy the violations.


Communication To Date:   Secretary displayed HOA’s June 2003 Warning Letter, HOA’s November 2003 Certified Warning Letter, and Attorney’s August  2004 Certified Warning Letter for each property including a recent photo of the specific property maintenance violations.  Secretary informed BOD that each owner was advised by the attorney to respond by August 21st.  That date expired three weeks ago.  Attorney has no response from either property.  Secretary pointed out that attorney letter includes a warning that no further communication will take place after August 21st before HOA contracts for the work to be done.


Further Communication with Owner:  In response to questions regarding further contact with owners – secretary pointed out that after nearly 2 years of exhausting all reasonable efforts to encourage owner to maintain the property – with no response - BOD turned the matter over to attorney – therefore all communication must take place between owner and attorney – not BOD and owner.


Parties to the Contract - Contract work scope to resolve the property maintenance violations is limited to only the violation itself and terms are restricted to a single relationship between BOD and Contractor only.  It does not involve the owner.  Secretary displayed new written quotes from Mullin Painting LLC to remedy the property violations.  Mullin Painting LLC, is a qualified, licensed and insured local painting contractor.  Mullin Painting LLC has independently contracted for residential house painting on three residences in Orchard Knolls for which the owners have reported high quality and satisfactory business transactions.  In addition, Orchard Knolls HOA  has contracted with Mullin Painting LLC for successful painting the Gazebo in 2004.  Secretary noted that contract is between HOA and Mullin Painting.


Funding -  Discussions centered around provisions of Article XIII which declare that owner has 10 days after receiving bill from HOA to pay costs plus reasonable attorney and administrative fees – after which the debt is assigned against the property at Associated Bookkeeping Services.  Incoming assessment fees are applied to the debt for two quarters during which assessment becomes delinquent.  After two quarters of delinquent assessment – HOA petitions attorney to apply a financial lien against the property.  Contractor payment will initially be borrowed from the General Reserves Fund.


Step 4 Resolution 1 Passed:  The following motion was made:  “In regard to continuing property maintenance violation occurring at 120?? Cherry Blossom Place,  BOD hereby approves and signs an HOA contract for the application of one prime and two finish coats of trim paint on the rear deck rails at that address as identified in a quote from Mullin Painting LLC dated 9/8/2004 to be accomplished within next 30 days at contractor discretion  Motion was 2nd and passed unanimously.


Step 4 Resolution 2 Passed:  The following motion was made:  “In regard to continuing property maintenance violations occurring at ? Cherry Blossom Court,  BOD hereby approves and signs an HOA contract for the application of one prime and two finish coats of trim paint on the rear deck rails, and, to sand, prepare and paint one coat on the rear roof rake board at that address as identified in a quote from Mullin Painting LLC dated 9/8/2004 to be accomplished within next 30 days at contractor discretion”  Motion was 2nd and passed unanimously.


President directed that secretary sign the two contracts and notify the contractor to start at first good weather.


Split Rail Fencing at Tot-Lot  Repaired – Three sections of fence including posts were replaced.  Some damaged and defective rails were also replaced.  The project is complete.


Cherry Blossom Ct.  Damaged Streetlight Post  Replaced; Added New Steel Barrier – The light post has been replaced.  A new steel and concrete barrier has been installed in front of it to prevent reoccurrence of vehicle damage.  The project is complete. 


Owners Pleased with Web Address Decorative Post at Entrance -  Many community members have advised they are pleased with the new decorative post and sign.  One negative email was received.  BOD requested that a hanging basket with a fall motif be added.  Secretary will purchase and install it.


Snow Removal Negotiations Underway – J&L, our previous snow removal contractor is no longer in the area.  A contractor recommended by J&L was contacted, but was not suitable.  Our Lawn care contractor (Landscape Innovations) requested to be considered and responded to our snow removal RFP.  Prices are about 10% higher than 2003.  However, the quoted prices are contingent upon HOA executing another summer season lawn care contract.  Rick will arrange a negotiations meeting.  Board authorized Rick to negotiate a combined lawn care/snow-removal contract within next two weeks.


Two New Streetlights for Blackberry Drive Island – Again On Hold – A 2003 quote was received for $2,750 to accomplish this project by bringing power through our conduit under Blackberry Drive from West side marque power source.  This project is not included in the approved revised budget and can only be paid by surplus operating funds.  There are no surplus funds this month.


BOD Closes Issue of Feral Creek Cats in Residential Areas – (See Previous Minutes) – Our attorney sent a letter to single family home owner that has been feeding the feral cats to cease and desist that practice.  Letter was circulated through BOD members tonight.  BOD focused on this matter as a neighbor dispute, and has taken legal action to protect HOA as a community.  Owner has responded with a letter agreeing to stop feeding the cats.  That letter attempts to make HOA responsible for feral cat population.  BOD considers this issue closed.


SHA’s New Crepe Myrtle Trees for Rt 28 Median Being Installed This Week - SHA has begun to install crepe myrtles every 13 feet in Rt 28 Median - Blackberry Drive to Sr Center.


SHA’s New Plum Trees for Center Island Still Approved, But Will be Delayed - SHA agreed to install a mature purple plum tree in center island.  When the Crepe Myrtle Trees were aligned up for installation this week – the Purple Plum was missing.  We contacted SHA.  SHA has since responded noting it was an oversight.  They agreed to honor their commitment and will install the Purple Plum in the near future.   (Editorial Comment – this activity took place after the BOD meeting before minutes were published).


Attorney Provides Document:  “HOA Not Liable” - Common Area Tree Damage to Any Private Property – Our attorney researched Maryland State and Montgomery County law in this matter.  He determined that HOA is not responsible for damage to private property grounds, homes or vehicles from HOA trees that fall as a result of “Act of God”.  Owners must obtain recovery from private insurance.  Further, owners are financially responsible for cleanup of common area trees that fall on their property.  Attorney provided a letter for our file in that regard.  Secretary circulated the letter to all board members tonight.


Project Cost Reduced - Common Area Floods Property at 157?? Cherry Blossom Lane – 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 reduces 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.


Inefficient Townhome Curb Parking  - Individual Spaces to be Outlined in 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.


PGC Completes Minor Landscape Work at PGC/Orchard Knolls West Boundary – Near Rt 28 – PGC completed significant landscape of their frontal property along Rt 28.  In the process, they regarded our lot line and installed a storm water drain to prevent flooding our property.  They were authorized up to $100 for materials but have not applied sod or seeding as we asked.  Our area is not satisfactory.  This area will require fill and sod.  They have not billed us to date.


Missing Community Trees  – No Budgeted Funds to Replace 10 Trees:   (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 proposed budgeted tree replacement funds from June 21 assessment increase budget to keep cap under 24%.


Dying Trees – No Budgeted Funds for 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%.


Tree Stumps Visited:  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%.




Annual Meeting Scheduled November 8th; One BOD Position Available for Nomination:   Secretary advised that Quince Orchard High School has been booked for our upcoming Annual Meeting 7:30 pm on November 8th.  Registration fees have been paid.  Mohammad Homaitabar’s position on the board is up for renewal.  He has not decided whether to run for re-election.  Either way, nominations will be available from the floor for the one position.


Added Streetlight for Cherry Blossom Place Ordered – The June 21, 2004 approved revised budget includes one new streetlight for the non garaged townhome parking lot. Non garaged townhomes do not have post lamps.  Center of the parking area is dark at night.  One added matching streetlight will be installed at the south end of the court yard near the center of the parking area.  This added light requested by neighbors should do much to reduce vandalism to the street trees and parked automobiles.  Cost is $1050 and paid for by the townhome streets assessment.


Landscape Screening Ordered - Cherry Blossom Place Pepco Transformers - The June 21, 2004 approved revised budget included Landscape Screening Plants around the Pepco transformers and power meter in the courtyard.  This upgrade was requested by neighbors over several years.  The item was an all-out effort specifically added to the proposed budget revision by several non-garaged townhome owners  - before the budget went to the “Special Meeting for Assessment Increase” in June.  It was approved as part of the budget.  Cost is $842 and paid for by the townhome streets assessment.


Winter Pansies for Fall Entrance Flowers – Deer Repellant Approved – Although our contract allows for other choices for fall flowers -  our landscaper advised that winter Pansies provide the longest lasting “color” and are the hardiest for our area.  Several years ago, deer ate our entire crop of spring pansies in our entrance.  Our landscaper provided cost quotations for deer netting (expensive,  unattractive, and not always effective), and chemical repellant ($130 per 3-week applications).  After much discussion tonight, BOD agreed to pay $130 for initial chemical application of deer repellant and observe the results before making further decisions on the matter.  The flowers will be installed 2nd week in October


Another Townhome Illegally Disposes of Paint  - Severely Damages HOA Property:  (See last months minutes – damaged streets were repaired) - A contractor unexplainably dumped a large amount of waste paint into shrubs on owners property.  A heavy rain surfaced the paint.  It flowed down the driveway, into Cherry Blossom Lane, into and across Cherry Blossom Place parking lot -  severely damaging all paved surfaces, storm drain, and rocks in our storm water creek.  HOA notified owner that we were taking legal action within 10 days unless all damaged areas were totally restored.  Owner engaged a restoration contractor to restore all community property at significant expense to owner. 


Third Culprit Dumps Waste Paint into Townhome Storm Water Drain – The steel mesh storm water

drain located in the grass courtyard behind the South Garaged Townhome complex – is dramatically stained with white paint that has obviously been illegally and improperly dumped into the sewer.  HOA is determined to prosecute if the culprit is identified.


Fourth Illegal  Disposal of Paint into Titus Trash Spills onto Cherry Blossom Lane.  Someone again put liquid paint into trash pickup.  The paint spilled out of the trash truck and stained Cherry Blossom Lane at the entrance  – then tracked around the entire complex as vehicles drive over the spills.  HOA is determined to prosecute if the culprit is identified.


Unregistered Orchard Knolls Day Care Owner responds to Telephone Query -   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 4 weeks ago.  We have not seen the documents.  Board deferred the matter to next meeting.


Vehicle with Flat Tire and No Tags Towed Away.  Due to written complaints from Cherry Blossom Place owners, this vehicle was reported to Montgomery County Police and towed away in August.


Vehicle with Invalid Tags Towed Away.  Due to written complaints from Cherry Blossom Place owners, this vehicle had invalid tags (no stickers) was reported to Montgomery County Police and towed away in August.


Garaged Townhome Owner (157?? CB Lane) has 4 Vehicles - Stored 3 Vehicles in Cherry Blossom Lane Visitors Spaces, Left the Area, Driveway Empty.  Owner has a garage and driveway. They have 4 vehicles.  HOA could not get an answer at door or telephone for 3 weeks.  Board sent certified letter to owner identifying violation of parking covenants and warning of pending tow.  Post Office attempted delivery on 8/16, 8/ 24, and 8/31.  Letter went unclaimed.  Owner returned from vacation and apologized. Owner advised they will sell one vehicle soon.  Owner is still occupying three Visitors spaces by “rotating three vehicles” through the spaces.


Garaged Townhome Owner (157?? CB Lane) Stored Inoperative Vehicle, Expired Tags, in Visitor’s Space for Non-Garaged Townhomes.  Owner has a garage and driveway.  This vehicle has been parked for several months adjacent to the parking rules sign which clearly prohibits this owner from parking in Cherry Blossom Place.  The vehicle never moves.  Due to written complaints from Cherry Blossom Place owners, this vehicle with expired tags was reported to Montgomery County Police.  Police applied an abandoned vehicle sticker to the vehicle and added a citation.  Police identified the owner at 157?? Cherry Blossom Lane.  On the day it was to be towed away, owner revalidated the tags – preventing police from towing it.  Owner did not move the vehicle.  We applied our own warnings and sent a certified letter.  No response.


Garaged Townhome Owner Finally Responds - Relocates Illegally Parked Vehicle Into a Cherry Blossom Lane Visitors Space.  Vehicle Remains Illegally Parked In a Different Visitors Space - Empty Driveway.   Once HOA identified the owner, we applied several more warnings and sent another certified letter.  Owner validated the Tags but did not move the vehicle.  HOA hand carried another final letter to the door and provided final tow warning. No answer.  Again, the day before it was to be towed by HOA, owner responded to the HOA web page email address -  indicating the battery was dead and asked for a week’s extension.  On the last day, owner moved the vehicle into a Cherry Blossom Lane visitors space -  where it has been stored (does not move) for last 3 weeks.  Most of board agrees to tow it away.  Eileen requested permission to visit the owner and have a discussion toward preventing a tow away.  Board agreed.


No Available Visitors Parking in Evening Hours.  Ongoing Parking Space Abuse – There is evidence that 80% of visitors spaces are occupied by multiple vehicles of garaged townhome owner vehicles while their garages and driveways remain empty.  Our covenants limit all townhomes to only two vehicle spaces.  The covenants also require that garaged townhome owners park in their garage or driveway only.  Many vehicles are being stored in visitor spaces.  There are no parking spaces for visitors in evening hours.  Unfamiliar visitors are parking on sidewalks and firelanes.  A new (2002) Montgomery County Code requires HOA’s to mark visitors spaces as such before towing.  If not marked, a sever financial penalty is charged to the HOA. 


Motion Passed:  All Unmarked Parking Spaces to be Marked “Visitors Only”  After much discussion, the following motion was made: Add “Visitors Only” supplemental signs (same size, material, and color as existing) above the top of existing North and West Cherry Blossom Lane curbside Permitted Parking signs, and, arrange to have the curb itself painted “Visitors Only” at the end of each striped space on West Cherry Blossom Lane.  The curbs will be marked in white letters with black background like the home address numbers on Blackberry Drive.  The motion was seconded.  The motion passed a BOD majority with 3-Yes, 1 No.   Mohammad and Jerry will make the arrangements.  (BOD discussed election of “Guests Only” but chose “Visitors Only”).


Consolidated “Tow Away Warning” Notices Provided to Townhome Board Members – At direction of president, secretary ordered printing of warning signs to be applied as needed to windshields of any vehicle violating any parking rule. The one sign consolidates and contains all the rules and who to call if towed.  The bright red warnings were handed out tonight to Townhome Board Members.  They will apply the warnings randomly and periodically.


Covered Community Picnic Pavilion Proposed for Unused Tot-Lot on Blackberry Drive -   Many members have suggested that the unused S/W Tot-Lot be used for an architecturally attractive 20 X 30 Foot Covered Picnic Pavilion for family and social events for any resident.  The lot is 90% empty and has been primarily unused for nearly 3 years. Initial design suggestions include cedar shake roof to match our community with rustic post and beam construction.   Initially, the existing large bark in the old tot-lot would be retained underfoot.  Another suggestion was to construct the pavilion in one day using volunteer labor.  Cost would be significantly less than installing more  tot-lot equipment.  That project does not appear necessary now that the adjacent lot has been upgraded.


The location is ideal for families – it is fenced and adjacent to the newly upgraded tot-lot.  It is screened from neighbors on all sides and located in a pastoral setting. Centrally located in our community, it is the only available land in our community to locate a picnic pavilion. It would become another Orchard Knolls amenity, increasing home values and increasing attractiveness of our community. Pavilion could also be used for Fall Annual Meeting.  Issue was openly discussed with board of directors for first time tonight.  There was unanimous enthusiasm for the concept.  BOD will investigate feasibility and cost of various construction alternatives over the winter months.


Newsletter  – Community Garage Sale in October?  There seems to be much new information that needs communicating to our membership including upcoming Annual Meeting.  Suggestion was made to again publish a newsletter.  BOD deferred to next meeting – suggesting that a limited newsletter be published before the Annual Meeting.




Develop an Entrance Landscape 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.


Unregistered 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


Value Recovery for Damaged Rt. 28 Sprinkler System  -  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. 


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


Supplemental Community Flowers -   On Hold – 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.


Replace Outdoor Electronics Enclosure – On Hold -    “CedarShed Industries” makes a red cedar model with shake roof to match our homes. The 6 x 9-foot model could replace the existing ant-infested and leaking “Rubbermaid” unit 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 would also provide storage for HOA owned equipment rusting in the Rubbermaid enclosure or stored in members garages.  Location is not negotiable because it must cover 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.  Cost is $1800. Volunteer Labor.


Construct East Side Stone Marque at Entrance – It is past time to consider this capitalized investment.  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 (see previous minutes) 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 load tests concluded that further addition was not possible.  A new parallel circuit will be required.


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


Blackberry Drive & Terrace Stop Sign to Replace Yield - Lisa is working with Montgomery County in an effort to have this accomplished


HOA Neglect of Common Area Lawns Adjacent to End-Unit Townhomes - End unit townhome lawns appear to be owned by the corner townhome. However it is only a perception. End units only own 4-feet from the side of the townhome brickwork.  Remaining side lawn area to the street is community common area and community responsibility.  Community lawn care is neglecting the weeding, feeding and trimming of these areas.  Most have become eyesores.


HOA is taking excellent care of it’s common area abutting 15701 Cherry Blossom Lane parallel-to Blackberry Drive. That town home’s common area side lot receives HOA sprinkling, trimming, fertilization, weeding, insecticide and lawn cutting.  HOA should treat all their townhome abutting common area properties alike.  The issue is neglect of community trimming, fertilization, weeding, insecticide and lawn cutting for other townhome side lots owned by the community.


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 - In-ground sign has been intentionally smashed as if by a heavy hammer, beat, split and wrapped around the steel pole.  Some members of the 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 their actual residence.  Their assessment bill is mailed to and paid by another financially responsible agent.  ABS continues to ask BOD - 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 get 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 continue to 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. 


Water Pooling at Gazebo; Mosquito Breeding Ground - Owner requested that HOA regrade this area to eliminate water from pooling and risk of mosquitoes breeding.  .


Preserve South West Tot-Lot Equipment - Requesting South West Lot’s baby-swings and see-saw be preserved.


9.  ADJOURNMENT AND NEXT MEETING - Monthly meeting adjourned at 9:00  Pm.  


 Next meeting will be Monday, October 11th, 2004, 7:00 Pm, location to be determined.  Call any board member for location.  Orchard Knolls owners and residents welcome.  Input by US mail, email, or web page is welcome.


Approved and Funded Projects In 2005 Budget

Add 4-Ft Brick Walk at Gazebo to Reduce Mud

Early Spring – Pre-Mother’s Day Flowers at Entrance

Upgrade “Orchard Knolls” Marque Lettering to Black

Upgrade “Orchard Knolls” Marque Lighting at Entrance

Pressure Wash and Seal 6 Tot-Lot Benches

Add New Equipment to S/W Tot-Lot (Reserves) (Substitute Covered Picnic Pavilion)

Replace Northeast Tot-Lot Equipment (2005 Reserves)

Seal Townhome Streets & Re - Stripe Parking (2005 Reserves)

Water Cul-de-Sac Circles (2005 = 1/2 2004 Schedule)


Unfunded Community Requests – Not In Budget:

Replace Trees that have been Removed

Trim and Shape All Common Area Trees

Remove all common area stumps to below grade.

Annual Tree Care Contract

Add 2 Center Island Streetlights

Duplicate “Orchard Knolls” Stone Marque on East Side of Blackberry Dr Entrance

Matching Colonial Lamps on Existing Stone Columns at Townhome Entrance

Bronze “Orchard Knolls Towns” Plaques on Existing Stone Columns

Permanent Flagpoles with Uplighting at Front Entrance

Rt 28 Screening – Add Evergreen Trees to Berm

Security Lighting along Creek and Bike Path

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

Covered Picnic Pavilion over South West Lot

Townhome Street Sweep Service

Pressure Wash and Seal Retaining Walls

Pressure Wash and Seal Wood Benches

Floral Upgrades Throughout Community

Add Trees Along Senior Center Boundary

Screen North Cherry Blossom Court Townhomes from Rt 28

Add Volleyball Court in Cherry Blossom Lane Courtyard

Screen Rt 28 along top of Berm

Creek bank Erosion Control

HOA Digital Voice Mail

Replace Electrical/Sprinkler Enclosure Unit

Streetlight Power Circuit Upgrade

Regrade Gazebo – Mosquitoes Breeding - Reroute Storm water Flooding 15728 CBL

Add Ground Cover to North Berm Hillside Erosion Areas

Add Ground Cover to East Boundary Hillside facing Sr


Issues Transferred To Our Attorneys:

CB Place – ARC of Montgomery County

Townhome Landscape Issues (Do Covenants Apply?)

Delinquent Assessment Collections (ABS Attorney)

Blackberry Drive/Rt 28 Intersection Pepco Illumination

Financial Recovery – Rt 28 Sprinkler System Vs SHA

NSF Financial Recovery – Previous Owner 15715 CB Lane – NSF

Four TH Property(s) – Documented Long-Term Poor Property Maintenance


Status of Property Maintenance Inspections and BOD Disposition:


Cherry Blossom Lane

157?? - Missing House Number, Torn Dormer Screens, Rotting Front Rail Posts

Step 1 First Letter – November 2003

Step 2 Second Letter – Certified – June 2004


157?? - Torn Window Screens

Step 1 First Letter – June 2004


157?? - Peeling Paint on Roof Rake Trim.  Deck Rails Rotted

Step 1 - First Letter  - June 2003

Step 2 - Second Letter – Certified – November 2003

January 2004 – Email to Board – Agreed to Comply by July 2004

Step 3 – Attorney Letter August 2004


157?? - Trim Color Violation.  "White" Front Rails do not match trim of building unit.

Step 1 - First Letter – June 2004


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

Step 1 - First Letter – July 2003

Step 2 - Second Letter – Certified – June 2004


157?? - Incorrect Color On Trim, Rear Deck Rails Need Paint

Step 1 - First Letter - June 2003

Step 2 - Second Letter – Certified – November 2003

February 2004 – Email to Board – Agreed to Comply when weather clears.

Step 3 – Attorney Letter – August 2004


157?? - Fences both sides damaged. Owner's tree down - side of home. Side Yard Trash

Step 1 - First Letter – November 2003

Step 2 - Second Letter – Certified – June 2004

June 2004 Telcon to Secretary – Will Comply by August 2004


157?? - Lower Front Rails Rotted

Step 1 - First Letter – June 2004


157??  - Front Door and Shutters are Faded.

Step 1 - First Letter – June 2004


157?? - Deck Rails Rotted

Step 1 - First Letter – June 2004


Cherry Blossom Place

120?? - Paint Peeling on Roof Rake Trim

Step 1 - First Letter – June 2004


120?? - Paint Peeling on Roof Rake Trim

Step 1 - First Letter – June 2004


120?? - Paint Peeling on Roof Rake Trim

Step 1 - First Letter – June 2004


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

Step 1 - First Letter – June 2004


120?? - Paint Peeling on Rear Windows Trim

Step 1 - First Letter – June 2004


120?? - Deck Rails Still Not Painted to Match Trim

Step 1 - First Letter – June 2003

Step 2 - Second Letter – Certified – November 2003

Step 3 – Turned over to attorney - June 2004

Step 4 – HOA Contracts to Do Work – September 2004


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

Step 1 - First Letter – June 2004


120?? - Bottom of Front Window Trim is Peeling Paint. Paint Peeling on Rear Windows Trim

Step 1 - First Letter – June 2004


Cherry Blossom Court

?? - Deck Rails Never Painted. Dormers chipped and peeling paint

Step 1 - First Letter – June 2003

Step 2 - Second Letter - Mailed Certified November 2003

Step 3 – Turned over to attorney - June 2004

Step 4 – HOA Contracts to Do Work – September 2004


??  - Roof Rake is peeling paint. Post Light falling over

Step 1 - First Letter – June 2004


??  - Trim Around Garage door rotting and peeling.

Step 1 - First Letter – June 2004


Citrus Grove Court

?? Citrus Grove Court – Garage & Storm Door Do Not Match Trim.  Shutter Color Not Approved

Step 1 - First Letter – November 2003

Step 2 - Second Letter – Certified – June 2004


Citrus Grove Road

120?? Citrus Grove Road - Foundation Does Not Match Color of Siding

Step 1 - First Letter – November 2003

Step 2 - Second Letter – Certified – June 2004


Status of Known Trees, Shrubs and Stump Problems:


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

2002 – Cypress Leaning On Rt 28 White Vinyl Fence


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.