Whittier Community Associates HOA, Inc.
Regular Meeting Minutes
April 25, 2017
The Board of Directors of Whittier Community Association met at the Somerford House, Frederick, Maryland on April 25, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.
Paul Zimnik, President
Bernarda Jackson, Treasurer, left at 9:43 pm
John Arkoian, Secretary
Bill Watt, Vice-President, arrived at 7:23 and left at 9:15 pm
Susan Miller, Director
Roger Franks, Director
Nancy Sweet, Director
Bill Ryan, Director
Eric Struntz, Director
Nancy Keen, Vanguard Management, Community Representative
Liz Van Brunt, Recording Secretary
Dave, Classic Landscaping
- CALL TO ORDER
Paul Zimnik, President of Whittier Community HOA called the regular meeting to order at 7:01 pm with a quorum present.
The Board discussed the March 28, 2017 minutes and made corrections.
- to accept the minutes as amended. Jackson/Sweet Vote: 7/0/0
- HOMEOWNER & GUEST FORUM
There were no Homeowners present to address the Board.
Dave Geis of Classic Landscaping spoke about wanting to know if there is anyone who has a particular interest in being the point person for the community on landscaping items. It’s not necessary but very helpful. This person could meet with Dave now and then and go over ideas and issues.
He shared the contract summary and recommends being proactive against particular insects and weeds. The monument beds will be refreshed as will the islands. Fertilization and broad leaf weed control will start in the next two weeks. There are some trees that need trimmed, particularly the ash trees. Some plum trees are split and sapping. This happens near the end of their lifespan. Flowering ornamentals have a shorter lifespan of about 20 years. There is a lifecycle for landscaping, eventually everything needs replaced. A program can be implemented so there is even replacement over the years rather than a mass removal. There is a lot to be considered in a replacement plan. Some discussion of the various options and timeframes. Some trees will have the dead branches removed rather than take the whole tree at this point.
Dave also shared some possibilities for work in the juniper beds and a beautification plan for some mailboxes that never received plantings. The board will review this information once Dave adds page numbers and sends the document out to the board electronically. The board commented that when the Classic trucks park on the hill at Tuscanney it makes it difficult to see around them. The board commented that Classic is very responsive. Some discussion of the amount of watering that is deemed necessary.
- board brought up the issue that a commercial owner cut many trees down illegally behind the front entrance monument years ago.
- MANAGEMENT REPORT
- Dead Pine Removal
There is a large dead pine behind 2236 Wetherburne Way. Classic submitted a proposal to have the stump ground and a new tree installed.
- to accept the proposal to remove the pine at 2236 Wetherburne Way and have the stump ground, but not to replace it. Miller/Franks Vote: 7/0/0
- Swim Team Practice and Meet Schedule
The schedule of the swim team meets and practices was shared. It is basically the same as last year.
- to accept the swim team practice and meet schedule as presented. Jackson/Miller Vote: 7/0/0
- Shade Structure at Greenleaf Pool
This was tabled last month. A proposal for $8,777.80 for two Post Hip shade structures was reviewed. The budget for capital improvement is $6,000. Only one homeowner complained about the lack of shade. The other pools will probably want an awning too. Not all pools have space for one. Some discussion of bushes inside the pool area at one pool. These were originally planted by the builder. They take up pool deck space. There have not been complaints. The pool company will be asked to check the pool lift mechanics monthly this season.
Tabled until there is a reason to reconsider a shade structure.
- Reserve Investments
Management recommends investing $50,000 of the Morgan Stanley MM Reserve account into a 2020 CD and $50,000 into a 2021 CD to continue laddering funds. It was questioned whether a different fund could be considered such as Northwest. Morgan Stanley can purchase CDs from a large variety of banks to find the best rates.
- to accept the recommendation to reinvest the reserve funds. Jackson/Franks Vote: 7/0/0
V. COMMITTEE REPORTS
A. ACC: a variance request was presented to the board to be discussed.
B. Pool Committee: A resident may have forged a pool pass and bragged about it. There is a cost to address this. A new pass could possibly be created if this becomes a pervasive problem.
C. Townhouse Committee: none
D. Condo Committee: There are some dead ash trees that need removed at the condos. They will be replaced with sugar maples and some other trees. An oak will be trimmed. Some roots will be cut to keep them from going into buildings. One condo has termites which will be treated and other buildings will be inspected.
E. Landscaping Committee: none
F. Website Committee: none
G. Treasurer’s Report: none
H. Social Committee: For the Lakeside Festival/National Night Out, a survey was put on the Facebook page recently and of the 30 respondents all chose the Lakeside Festival instead of National Night Out. The festival provides food and activities for residents only. National Night Out is open to the whole community. When either event was held there were always around 1,000 attendees. The city provides some items for National Night Out. The cost for food has been the same for either event. National Night Out is to foster good relations with the police force and the communities in Frederick. The police help organize the event so the cost isn’t all on the community. Leadership is needed for either event and many board members said they would help. There is no rain date for these events. The board discussed many ideas. It was suggested to inquire with the city whether Whittier can host a National Night Out the first Tuesday in August from 6-8 pm.
- to authorize the inquiry with the city about the possibility of joining the Lakeside Festival with National Night Out. Jackson/Franks Vote: 6/1/0
- OLD BUSINESS
There was no old business discussed.
- NEW BUSINESS
Some discussion of various recent break-ins and that it is important to know your neighbors. Some discussion of providing advice that could be shared by a newsletter or website such as improving lighting, locking car doors, reaching out to neighbors and other encouragement. There is a list of items on the police department website that could be shared. Block captains could be encouraged. Roger can write up a short article that explains what he has done to get to know his neighbors to share with the community.
A report of graffiti on the ground at the bench along the lake was given to Vanguard.
- EXECUTIVE SESSION
- Variance Request for Storage Unit/Shed ****
The request is to build a shed out of concrete and was denied by the ACC. They intend to dig out the hill and place the shed inside therefore it needs to be made out of concrete. The location is ok; it’s a matter of construction materials. A suggestion was that if a shed is made out of materials that look nicer than a wooden shed, and it matches the house siding, then a variance should be approved or the guidelines be changed. The suggested change would allow two shed options. A shed could be out of wood or out of concrete (that is then sided to match the house). There are not specific ACC guidelines for a house addition. Some discussion of other guideline modifications due to multiple requests and product changes over the years.
With the suggested guideline modification this particular shed would still need a variance for the unique placement. Nothing is stated in the guidelines about a building being underground. There is a square footage limitation. Some discussion of various underground possibilities. The roof could be a patio or the roof could be grassed.
- to modify the ACC guidelines so that a shed can also be made of concrete as long as the siding and appearance mirror the house. Watt/Franks Vote: 6/0/1 Jackson abstained
Action: The language for the guidelines will be given to the ACC for final insertion into the guidelines.
Motion to grant the variance request to build a subterranean structure as proposed for ***** Miller/Franks Vote: 4/1/0
- Collection Decision
****– the home foreclosed on 8/6/14 and the board wrote off $4,059.70 to bad debt on 9/24/15. The previous homeowner would like to pay off the original judgment of $2,231.59 minus the interest of $352.59 for a total lump payment of $1,861.
- to accept the proposed settlement of judgment **** with a lump payment of $1,861. Jackson/Miller Vote: 6/0/0
- Collection Decision
***** is requesting to reduce their collection amount from $928.39 to $618. The amount requested to be dropped is composed of hard costs.
Motion to deny the request to waive the hard costs Jackson/Franks Vote: 6/0/0
There being no additional business for the Board to conduct the Board meeting adjourned at 9:50 p.m.
Motion to close the meeting at 9:50 pm. Miller/Franks Vote: 5/0/0
Respectfully,Liz Van Brunt