Whittier Community Associates HOA, Inc.
Regular Meeting Minutes
June 27, 2017
The Board of Directors of Whittier Community Association met at the Somerford House, Frederick, Maryland on June 27, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.
Paul Zimnik, President
Bill Watt, Vice-President
Bernarda Jackson, Treasurer
John Arkoian, Secretary
Nancy Sweet, Director
Roger Franks, Director
Eric Struntz, Director
Susan Miller, Director
Bill Ryan, Director
Nancy Keen, Vanguard Management, Community Representative
Liz Van Brunt, Recording Secretary
Dave Latch, ACC Committee
3 homeowners – see sign in sheet
- 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 May 23, 2017 minutes and made corrections.
- to accept the May 23, 2017 minutes as amended. Jackson/Sweet Vote: 8/0/0
- HOMEOWNER & GUEST FORUM
A homeowner spoke people who went door to door soliciting. They tried to get the name and company but were unsuccessful. There has been more soliciting recently and it seems like people casing the neighborhood – checking who is home. It was suggested to record the interaction and to call the police. Another suggestion was to have more No Soliciting signs or paint the sign post a brighter color than the green that it is. Another notice will be posted on the website about safety and no soliciting.
- MANAGEMENT REPORT
- ACC Appeal: *****The fence application at *****was denied. The homeowners explained there is a family of foxes that cross their yard frequently and just an invisible fence would not be safe for their dog. There is also a main sewer line that runs through their yard as well as two hills on their plat so there is a limit to the possible size of their fence. There are other yards where the fence does not go to the end of the property. There is a section of the neighborhood where the neighbors worked together to have a unified fence line that was less than the property line due to county pipelines. The goal is to balance aesthetics with practicality. The fence is going to be made out of the appropriate materials.
Motion to grant a variance for the ACC fence application at *****
Struntz/Miller Vote: 8/0/0
- Radon Remediation – ACC Committee Member Concern
A complaint was filed about a neighbor with radon pipe on the side of their house. More information would need to be gathered to know why the pipe was located where it was before guidelines could be drawn up. A homeowner suggested that this type remediation be considered an exterior change and require ACC approval. Such remediation is required by county code. In comparison to satellite dishes and solar panels, which can be installed but within limits, the remediation can’t be prohibited but could be installed within aesthetic limits. It was suggested that the pipe be painted the color of the house siding. A general statement could be put in the ACC guidelines such as “to the maximum extent possible, the piping should be put in the rear of the house”.
Action: The ACC committee will draft a general guideline and encourage the painting of such pipes the same color as the siding.
- Landscape Improvement Proposals
There are five proposals for the removal of dead or dangerously leaning trees – many are very large. Proposals received: $5,036 & $5,223 for various tree removals (no replacement due to crowding); Cobblestone Pool tree removal and replacement for $5,144; remove junipers and install new plants on roadside and walkway for $7,767; and remove juniper and replacement in island beds for $11,259. The total, including one other proposal for $4,235, is $38,665. It was suggested to get bids for removal from another company, especially for the job that is just removal. One comment was to not parcel out the various jobs to multiple companies. There is a $3,000 service credit with Classic. Another suggestion was to negotiate the current price down.
- to approve the six landscape improvement proposals as presented, if a discount is negotiated down to $35,000; not including the $3,000 voucher. Struntz/Watt Vote: 8/0/0
- Dunmore Court Common Area Tree Concerns
The four trees are not unhealthy but many homeowners have raised concern that they are too big and are causing damage to nearby properties. The trees could be pruned in the fall. The sidewalks are being affected and the homeowners are responsible for the sidewalk on their property. A solution for patching the sidewalk could be offered to the homeowners.
Action: Nancy will get costs to crown and prune the Dunmore Court common area trees and write a note to the homeowners explaining the potential plan.
- Code of Conduct for Board Members
Two examples of codes of conduct were shared. The board likes the generic code example most. Even with the code being signed there may not be a way to enforce the code. Attendance at meetings is already outlined in the board guidelines. Only the HOA members can remove a board member. It was suggested to review the examples and draw up a code. Any new members would have to sign the code to be elected. There is a self-policing ability within the code. The code is taking the next step of writing down what was formerly assumed for the board. It protects the spirit of the board and the fiduciary responsibilities. It is an acknowledgement of guidelines.
It was suggested to not have a code if it isn’t enforceable and the homeowners haven’t reviewed it. A section could say that the board member may be asked to resign if the code is not followed. It was suggested to call the document something other than Code of Conduct. A note can be added about the handling of confidential items.
Tabled until the August meeting.
V. COMMITTEE REPORTS
A. ACC: none
B. Pool Committee:
C. Townhouse Committee: none
D. Condo Committee: Still working on the termite issues.
E. Landscaping Committee: none
F. Website Committee: a homeowner sent a letter about various electronic notification options in other communities and inquired about a potential emergency notification system. Currently there is an active unofficial Facebook page and Twitter account that could be used. It could be possible to have the Twitter feed go to a static Facebook page that wouldn’t accept posts. This may not be necessary since the followers would be the same that people who already follow Facebook. The Twitter link is on the website already.
G. Treasurer’s Report: none
H. Social Committee: none
- OLD BUSINESS
More water needs to be added to the contract for landscaping.
Motion to allocate $600 more to landscape watering. Franks/Jackson Vote: 8/0/0
- NEW BUSINESS
Yard sale signs were posted and two signs were taken – probably because they weren’t picked up by Sunday evening.
There being no additional business for the Board to conduct, the Board meeting adjourned at 8:50 p.m.
Motion to close the meeting at 8:50 pm. Franks/Jackson Vote: 8/0/0
Liz Van Brunt