Whittier Community Associates HOA, Inc.
Regular Meeting Minutes
April 27, 2021
Paul Zimnik, President
Andrea Weaver, Vice President
Bernarda Jackson, Treasurer
Laura Ferguson, Secretary
Michael Brown, Director
Roger Franks, Director
Royle Kidwell, Director
Ronnie Lushbaugh, Director
Nancy Sweet, Director
Nancy Keen, Vanguard Management, Community Representative
Renee Henning, Recording Secretary
- CALL TO ORDER:
Paul Zimnik, President of Whittier Community HOA, called the regular meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. with a quorum present.
- REGULAR MINUTES: The Board discussed the March 23, 2021 minutes as presented and provided some edits.
Motion: To approve the March 23, 2021 minutes with the provided edits.
Sweet/Franks Vote: 9/0/0
- HOMEOWNER & GUEST FORUM:
- Pool Questions – COVID Restrictions: Homeowners asked questions regarding the capacity number and how that was determined. Management explained that there is not a set capacity limit by Frederick at this time, but the 50 capacity was determined based off Montgomery County’s capacity and the recommendations of Continental Pools regarding social distancing 6 feet and the measurements of the pool areas. Continental Pools had recommended a smaller capacity limit, but the Board and Management had decided to go with this limit. Homeowners also asked about mask regulations, and it was explained that the Guidelines will include this information. CDC recommendations will be monitored, and signs and communication will reflect those recommendations. Another Homeowner asked if people will be required to notify the Association if there was an exposure or positive case. Concern was expressed regarding HIPPA laws and privacy. Management ensured that people can anonymously share the exposure information and that HIPPA laws will be adhered to regarding communication of any cases.
- Pool Questions - Guests: Homeowners asked if guests would be allowed, which the Board explained that it would be discussed later in the meeting. Homeowners asked for the ability to have guests, some stating that it was one of the biggest reasons they go to the pool. The Board explained that there will be a new system utilized this year for pool passes. When Homeowners register for their pool passes, they will be signing a waiver regarding the Guidelines and COVID related regulations. This system, like the paper guest punch pass, does not track the actual individual guests. The Board discussed that maybe guests could sign in and sign the waiver when they enter. Management brought up the fact that most guests are often children, and their legal guardians and parents are the only ones that would be able to sign for them. A Homeowner suggested making the wavier available online for parents of child guests to print and sign in advance and then bring in with them. Some Board Members and Management explained that it would be a lot to expect the lifeguards to track those documents for guests, sanitize the pool areas regularly, and manage their regular responsibilities. With the system being online, all Homeowners that register for their pool passes will electronically be agreeing to the waiver and guidelines without any paper versions or need for the lifeguards to verify and track those documents. The lifeguards will only be responsible for checking people in and out through that system, not for verifying that people signed the waiver. If guests were allowed, there would be no way in the system to track who they are or to verify their information and that they signed the waiver electronically, depending completely on the lifeguards to capture all that information prior to entering the pools, and would require an additional process to track those documents and contact tracing if exposures were to occur.
- Pool Questions - Swim Team: A few Homeowners, who are also a part of the Riptide Swim Team’s leadership, raised their concerns regarding the effect on the team if the Association is not allowing guests or outside memberships. They noted that many of the families who participate in the swim team are not Whittier Homeowners but live in the surrounding neighborhoods and one of the main draws for them to join the team is to be able to obtain an outside membership to the pool and play with their friends outside of practice times. The Board clarified that the team practice hours will not be limited to just Whittier residents, but if outside memberships are voted against, then those who are a part of the team will not be able to utilize the pool outside of practice hours. The Homeowners asked if there could be an exception to the rule in allowing swim team families to get outside memberships. The Board said that they would discuss the outside memberships later in the meeting. The Homeowners mentioned that participating in the swim team does require a lot of time and effort for the families and they would like the Board to take that into consideration when discussing outside memberships. They are concerned that if outside memberships are not allowed, many families may not join the swim team and it would be hard for them since they already had a year off last year due to COVID. It is also their circle of socialization and would take away their ability to spend that time with their friends. One Homeowner mentioned that outside membership costs do help towards the pool expenses, which the Board said they would take into consideration.
- MANAGEMENT REPORT:
- Pool Opening Decisions & Procedures: At the March meeting, the Board decided to open the pools and follow State and County restrictions and regulations. The below were tabled procedures for the April meeting:
- Guests: Should homeowners/residents be allowed to bring guests to the pool this year, since the capacity will be limited? Also, guests will not be agreeing to the waiver.
- Outside Memberships: Should Outside Memberships be sold this year since capacity will be limited?
- Swim team Usage: The Board approved the Whittier Riptides use of the Greenleaf pool for evening practices 3-4 times/week after pool hours and for virtual meets. Numerous coaches that run the Riptides are outside residents.
- Pool Furniture: With only three (3) lifeguards at each pool, (two (2) in the guard chairs and one (1) at the desk), Continental Pools would not be able to clean the pool furniture between each use. Management previously supplied information by email regarding storing the furniture in PODS, the cost of the season was approx. $3,000.00. The Board could institute a “Bring Your Own Chair” policy and have the Association’s pool furniture stacked and stored in the baby pool area.
The Board discussed how utilizing the online system and app for membership registration could allow for guest passes and outside memberships at any later date if it was determined to do so, but it cannot be taken away if restrictions increased. The system does not have the ability to take away the guest passes and outside memberships later. The Board talked about the benefits of being more restrictive now in allowing guests and outside memberships, observing the capacity limit and potential exposures, and then later, if there seemed to be no issues, opening it up more later in the season.
Management explained that the guest passes in the system do not provide the waiver to be signed by those individuals since they will not be entered into the system in advance when registering the household. Guest email addresses and other point of communication will not have been tracked for any contact tracing needs. Management also noted that all other community pools in the area are not allowing guests or outside memberships this year, if opening their pools at all, due to COVID restrictions. Lastly, it was noted that it would not be a positive experience if Homeowners had to wait to get into a pool because they were full due to guests or outside memberships.
A Board Member noted that if it was just an issue with maintaining compliance with the capacity, they think that there are not usually 50 people at the pool at any given time. Management noted that the pools often had more than 50 people in attendance at a time. Management also noted that this year’s attendance cannot be predicted since last year it was closed. There could be a spike in use with traveling limitations, or people could be cautious and there be a decrease in attendance. Another Board Member noted that they were in attendance nearly every day at the pool and there was usually a high capacity at the pool. There are maybe 40-50 lawn chairs and those were all usually filled on a regular basis, not including the tables and the head counts in the pools themselves.
The Board debated if it would be easier to allow guests than outside memberships. The guest passes are not able to determine who the guests will be, the outside memberships would have to register and electronically sign the waivers. A Board Member mentioned how it would negatively impact the swim team if there weren’t outside memberships. Another Board Member stated that the swim team has never been a factor in determining the rules for the pools during public usage. The decisions made for the pools were always taking into consideration the 1600 Families, especially with COVID restrictions and their safety. There may be 60 to 100 on the team that will be impacted, but they should not determine the decision made for the whole community. Also, making an exception for the swim team to have outside memberships only would be discriminatory to the rest of the community, nor be able to be easily monitored. The swim team is not sponsored by the community. It was noted again that once outside memberships are given out, they cannot be taken back for the season. It would be better to allow them after it is determined that the 50 capacity is not going to be a problem. Management noted again that these pools are private and subject to making the choice for what is best for the community and not obligated to open to the outside community. Most other private pools are not considering outside memberships or guests at all for this season, if they are opening at all, to prevent any potential risks. It would be opening potential further risks by allowing outside of the community.
The Board discussed some of the uses of guest passes. It is not only adult guests, but more often children, whom members cannot sign the waiver on their behalf. Often babysitters, grandparents, and other childcare providers are the ones using the guest passes to bring the children to the pool in lieu of their parents while they are working. At the same time, COVID restrictions have redefined social activities for children and families. The system does not allow Homeowners to add anyone to their registry, like childcare providers, and they cannot sign on their behalf, but only their own family unit. Especially since babysitters can be underaged, they would need their legal guardian’s signature for the waiver.
Typically, there are usually a limit of 70-75 outside memberships in the past. The Board discussed if it would really impact the capacity of 50, some thinking it would not and some stating that it has in the past. Management noted that they have not heard of any pools, in multiple counties, that have allowed guests or outside memberships last year or this year. In fact, there are still pools not opening this year due to the risks and restrictions. It’s important to take into consideration the risks and be cautious. Unless the CDC and government regulations change over the summer, it is not advised to be laxer with the restrictions. Management does not know how it would even be possible to allow guests and be able to manage tracking them and having them sign the waiver. It could be a potential liability concern. The system, again, does not have a way to register a guest. It is like a virtual punch card with “Guest 1” instead of named and registered individuals. These people will not have signed the waiver beforehand or been tracked in the system like the members. There were suggestions of trying to do paper waivers or have them posted online to print and bring with them. It was again noted that that would be a lot to require the lifeguards to track by paper and verify the information was correctly marked. The current setup with the new system does not require the lifeguards to track anything since the wavier and pool guidelines will be electronically signed off on when registering.
Motion: At this time, to not allow guests passes, allowing to be readdressed later in season as needed.
Weaver/Sweet Vote 4/5/0
Management noted that they will need to seek out the advice of Management Leadership and Attorney to verify there is a way to ensure there will be no liability when allowing guests. The Board rediscussed the inability to utilize the system to register, track, and verify the waiver signed by guests prior to use of pools. They will just be an electronic punch of a guest pass and not able to track for contact tracing afterwards. Some Board Members were not aware or understood that information beforehand and that effected their understanding of how guests would be handled. Considering reevaluating the limitations of the system being able to track guests and have them sign the wavier, the Board decided to have a revote.
Motion: To not allow guests passes due to the inability to have guests sign the waiver and be tracked in the system.
Jackson/Weaver Vote 8/1/0
Motion: At this time, to not allow outside memberships be sold, allowing to be readdressed later in season as needed.
Brown/Weaver Vote 5/4/0
Swim team usage of pools was already approved. Management wanted to let the Board know that there are coaches and team members that are outside of regular membership. Granting the team access does not guarantee membership, but only to the practice hours, outside of public use hours.
Pool furniture was discussed again to decide regarding a no pool furniture policy, and if not using it this season, where it will be stored. To stay within regulations, the pool furniture would need to be sanitized and remain in appropriate social distances. The Board discussed how there is no way to guarantee that the furniture will remain where it is placed and stay sanitized between each use. A Board Member mentioned a solution could be having families wipe them down after using the furniture, like gyms. There would need to be chemicals and cleaning supplies made easily available and stocked often for the public use. Need to make sure the chemicals can be used by the public and will not damage the new furniture. The Board asked Management what other pools in the area are doing. Management explained that all are stacking and storing in their own storage areas on site or off site. The Board discussed keeping out the big umbrellas since they are freestanding and wouldn’t be touched.
Management researched the Pod option that was discussed in the last meeting and provide some more details for the storage of the furniture off site. Management does need to check and see if the pods are a set contract or prorated if later in the season it is decided to bring the furniture back out. A Board Member asked why the furniture couldn’t be stacked on site at the pools. Other Board Members brought up the concern about children climbing or playing on them, members taking them off the stack and using them. That would be another item for the lifeguards to monitor and enforce. A Board Member asked if the waiver covered the liability of using the furniture since it mentions equipment. Furniture is not pool equipment and would not be directly covered in the waiver. The waiver does not cover the Community’s liability of having materials that are not ensured will be sanitized. The requirements for gyms and other facilities are different under the CDC. The CDC requires a plan and protocol for pool furniture regarding sanitization. Stacking them off to the side would be a liability if someone were to get hurt around them.
Action: Management will ask other pools how they are storing their pool furniture off site and see if there is a better option.
Action: Management will check to see if the POD option is a set contract for the season or prorated and can be stopped sooner if needed.
Action: Management will check to see if the cost covers movers to load and unload the furniture, or just for the use and moving of the pods themselves. Will provide the finalized costs to the Board.
Motion: To not allow access to pool furniture at this time and instead approve the “bring your own chair” policy, making an exception for umbrellas that can be supported without a table, subject to change upon federal, state, and local guidelines and regulation changes.
Kidwell/Franks Vote 6/3/0
Motion: To approve the storage of the pool furniture in PODS, not to exceed $4,000.00 for the season. Above that will need to be approved separately by an email vote.
Franks/Weaver Vote 8/1/0
- Electronic Pool Pass System/Mailing: The Board participated in a Zoom presentation from the Cell Badge Pool Pass Program on Wednesday, April 7th. The Board approved the program by email. A draft of the electronic pool pass letter was provided for the Board to review for distribution to Homeowners. The Pool Guidelines were also provided for review. The Board discussed utilization of the Cell Badge Pool Pass Program, how Homeowners will register online, agreeing to the pool guidelines and waiver, and then using the app or their ID/name to check in and out at the pools. The lifeguards will be using the system to check people in and out. The system allows the capacity limit to be visible in the app for members to see how many are at each pool and be able to decide which pool they will go to without having to wait outside. The lifeguards will be able to take pictures upon first arrival for each member on the tablets for easier identification later.
The waiver was sent to the Board for discussion. The document was reviewed and provided by the Attorney to address potential liabilities with COVID. This document will have to be signed to complete registration online, and the Homeowner signing it will be signing on behalf of the Household. A Board Member noted that the waiver did not mention if they were exposed or positive that they are required to notify. Another Board Member noted that it would be a HIPPA violation if they were required to provide their name. Management stated that any positive cases or exposures can notify anonymously, and right now it is a courtesy to notify. They can verify with the Attorney if it should be added or how it should be worded differently if requiring notification.
Motion: To ratify the email approval of the electronic pool pass program, Cell Badge, and distribution.
Jackson/Ferguson Vote 9/0/0
Action: Management will correct the Pool Guidelines with the above changes and send out to the Board with all modifications for approval via email vote.
Motion: To approve the Waiver for distribution.
Weaver/Franks Vote 9/0/0
- Spring Opening Repairs: The spring repair proposals from Continental Pools to prepare the pools for opening were approved in the March meeting and are in the process. A few additional needed repairs were discovered while preparing the pools. The Board approved by email to replace the five underwater LED lights at the Wetherburne pool to be paid from Reserves. The Board President approved the needed repairs to pass inspection. This decision will also need to be ratified.
Motion: To ratify the email approval of the five underwater LED lights at the Wetherburne pool and repairing the handicap armchair lift to be paid from Reserves.
Franks/Royle Vote 6/3/0
- Homeowner Request/Fence Replacement Extension: This Homeowner’s leaning fence was noted on the spring maintenance re-inspections. The Homeowner has requested that the Board grant them an extension until next year, as the fence needs to be replaced and they currently do not have the funds. They would like to be able to receive pool passes this year.
Motion: To approve the request to extend the fence replacement to next year, allowing them to obtain pool passes for the season.
Royle/Ferguson Vote 8/1/0
- OLD BUSINESS:
- Food Truck: A Board Member mentioned that they were not opposed to the food truck, but they don’t think it should be stationed at the pools. Better to be near the lake area or off the curbs. Another Board Member reminded them that it was on a trial run to see how it goes the first time. They would like to revisit discussing the location and how it went to see if will continue to allow.
- NEW BUSINESS:
- New Landscaping Issues: A Board Member noted there are shrubs dying, 17 large bed sections on Christopher Crossing that would need to be remove and was verbally quoted that it would cost over $6,000.00. Thought that the pricing was high and should include other work in that quote. The junipers are dead, and they asked Ruppert Landscapes if they will throw those in with that work for free. Management mentioned that the soil is not good and is not aerated and seeded as often as some other communities. Some aerate and seed every year. Another Board Member noted that there were several locations of drainage issues that are needing attention and sent the request to the City.
Action: Management will ask Ruppert for pricing of the phases of work on the trees for the Board to decide to approve the whole project instead of phase by phase.
- Dandelions: A Board Member asked if they have sprayed for weeds on a grassy area that backs to the forest conservation on Longfellow Court. The forest conservation area does not permit for spraying.
Action: Management will check on the grassy area and see if it is allowed to be sprayed and if any treatments have occurred.
- Pool Planters: The Pool Committee bought the planters for the pools and already placed them. They need the approval of the Board to purchase the soil and flowers for the planters. They will plant them themselves. They asked for a budget of approximately $400.00 for everything for all the planters at each of the pools.
Motion: To approve the purchase of soil and flowers for the pool planters, not to exceed $400.00.
Franks/Brown Vote: 9/0/0
- COMMITTEE REPORTS:
- ACC Committee: Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the ACC Committee has been reviewing and approving applications by email.
- Pool Committee: See above item for discussion.
- Townhouse Committee: Nothing to report.
- Condo Committee: Nothing to report.
- Landscape Committee: See above item for discussion.
- Social Committee: Nothing to report.
- Treasurer’s Report: The Board reviewed the financial reports.
- ADJOURNMENT: There being no additional business for the Board to conduct, the meeting adjourned at 9:17 p.m.
Motion: To adjourn the regular meeting at 9:17 p.m.
Franks/Kidwell Vote: 9/0/0
Please note the next scheduled meeting is to be held on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 at 7:00pm via Zoom video call due to COVID-19 restrictions.