Kings Park West Community Association
Annual Membership Meeting
May 13, 2009
President Joe Meyer called the meeting to order at:† 7:32pm
A quorum of the membership is present, with over 20 members in attendance and at least 99 proxies.†
Joe introduced the Board, starting with Larry Velte; Jim Messinger- Treasurer; Linda Fournier; Mary Hovland-Vice President; Linda Bufano; and Virginia Scattergood, Secretary.
Treasurerís Report:† Jim started by referencing the proposed budget, which was sent out to the membership. Our expenses are about $2,000 under budget for 2009.† Legal expenses (primarily liens) have dropped to 13, and will continue to go down.† The tree service is also below budget, with only $1600 projected in tree costs for this year.† Because of these lower actuals, the budget came in under the projection.†
Jim explained that the overall budgetary goal is to maintain, and lower whenever possible, the annual assessment.† This year the Board predicts that the annual assessment will remain at $30. The annual meeting is held in May because the fiscal year runs from June through May.
Hearing no questions on the past fiscal year, Jim moved onto the proposed budget for 2010.† The project budget has gone from $21,000 up to $24,000.† The additional $3,000 will be going towards lawn service (line 9) and additional tree service.
Lawn Service: Larry explained the lawn service line item. In 2004 when the homeowners association was reinstated, the Civic Association, for many years, had a lawn service for various areas of the common land that actually belong to the Community Association.† The Civic Association agreed to continue to pay for mowing, in order for the Community Association to gain financial stability, otherwise the assessment would have been between $50 and $70 initially.† At that time, an agreement was signed that covered the lawn service, as well as a variety of other shared responsibilities.† The Board now believes that with its financial stability, the Community Association can begin to contribute back to lawn mowing. The Association attorneys were consulted, and said we are not able to just donate the money unrestricted to the Civic Association; the money has to benefit members of the Community Association. Therefore the Board decided to contribute to the cost of the lawn service, thus line item 9 for $2000 was added.† An amended agreement will be concluded specifying that the money is for lawn maintenance at the sites the Community Association owns.
Tree Service: The remaining $1,000 addition to the budget was allocated towards tree service in case of an unforeseen storm/problem in the future.†
A member asked what the tree service includes.† The Board responded if a homeowner backs up against common land and a tree is going to/or has fallen, the Community Association pays to have the tree removed. The costs are kept at a minimum, and not all trees are cut or hauled away; it depends on the location and condition of the tree.
Reserve Study: Another member asked why a balance thatís twice what is used per year has to be retained. Jim explained that 5 years ago a study was done looking at not just the land, but the walkways, handrails, steps, etc. on common land. This ďreserve studyĒ showed what items may require maintenance in the future, and what the cost projections for those expenses were; the Association has a responsibility to replace these items when needed.† According to the study, in approximately five more years, the Association will need $20,000-$25,000 to replace/fix-up some of these items.† A re-estimate will need to be done, but part of the Boardís job is to manage money for the future so there is no need to collect a special assessment. The ďreserve studyĒ money is being put in CDís and other interest generating funds so that additional money from homeowners wonít need to be assessed. State law requires that Associations with infrastructure have a study done and retain a reserve account for this exact purpose. Thereís one expense within the next two years that will cost between $7,000 and $10,000, which will come from the money currently set aside.
Jim thanked everyone in the Association for their support and payments.
Budget: Joe explained that the Board creates and votes on accepting the budget; but it is presented so the membership is aware of whatís going on.
State of the Association: Over the last year, several things have been done.†
Liens: When we send a lien, itís required to be done by certified mail, which costs an extra $5 in postage for each mailing.† This expense has now been added to the homeownerís account when the overdue assessment is collected.
Community Appearance: When Verizon put in the cable last fall, a portable bathroom was located in full view of the Roberts Road/Commonwealth Blvd. intersection; after much effort, it was finally moved.
Roberts Road: A few things are happening on Roberts Road between Commonwealth and Collingham. The Commonwealth of Virginia considers that section of Roberts Road to be a dam because the low area on the west side is a retention pond. The Commonwealth determined that all that brush and trees on the east and west side weakens the dam. Eventually, the trees and brush will be cleared out but itís not a total deforestation. A meeting with the adjacent neighbors occurred a few months ago; a second meeting may be in July.
†Another notice informed the Board that a rain gauge will be put in the Roberts Road area to determine when/if the retention pond will be filled up with rain. It will be almost unnoticeable; Joe warned them that a lot of high school students walk by there and may be curious as to what it is. The rain gauge will be located on county property.
Local Meetings: Joe attends the Braddock District Council quarterly meetings held with George Mason University (GMU). These are informative forums that discuss whatís going on in the University area, especially those projects that may impact on the KPW community. There is a new university hotel and conference center being built on Route 123, just north of Braddock. It was also noted that the intersection of Braddock and 123 is considered the ďmost failedĒ intersection in the county. With minimum funds, the county is doing what they can by extending the turn lanes. Future plans are to build an overpass to take Braddock Road over Route 123.
College Students in homes: GMU students occupy several homes in Kings Park West. There were various incidents with parties, and police have been called; the Civic Association has taken the lead to ensure things donít get out of hand.
Pipeline: There is a pipeline on Association property owned by Colonial Gas. After a heavy rain last fall the covering on the pipeline (behind Bessmer) came loose. Larry spoke with the inspector; itís not an immediate hazard to the pipeline, but they will be fixing it.
Common area trash: At the corner of Tapestry and Braddock Road trash was thrown into the common area woods. Others removed some of the trash; Joe removed the one remaining item on Dumpster Day.
Tapestry Pool: Joe invited Diane DiPietro from the Kings West Swim Club to brief the members on the current status of the Tapestry Pool and the efforts to dispose of the property. Joe reminded the membership that the Association does not have an obligation to the pool because it is not part of our Association.
Diane addressed the membership. The pool was set up as a private corporation similar to other pools in the KPW neighborhood. In 2005 there were not enough members for the pool to be kept operational so it was closed. In 2006 the KWSC officers began to work with the townhomes and Tapestry homeowners to figure out another idea for that property. It was agreed that having a common area or park would be most beneficial and most desired by the homeowners. However the land did not meet county requirements for a park. At the time the only other option was to find a builder who would clean up the area, build some townhomes, and turn some of it into green space; the KPW townhomes would take the new homes into their association.
A developer spent over $30,000 in engineering studies, based on county letters saying that the density, etc. was appropriate. However the county realized a mistake in density was made, so residences could not be built there. The parks department thought it would be too expensive to take over, and since the developer canít build on it, help was sought from Supervisor Bulovaís office. This was around the time of the elections, and Supervisor Cook took over.
Based on meetings and discussions, the Supervisorís office thinks the 5 townhomes are the optimal solution. However if the county denies the request for townhomes again, the property canít be built on. Supervisor Cook suggested pursuing a public-private partnership where his office would ask private companies for donations in exchange for putting a field, playground, etc. on that location.† It would cost $250,000 for demolition alone; more for grass, etc.† Once the land is turned into parkland, itís a good bet that the county parks service would accept it. There is also the issue that the neighbors have to agree, and some people may not want the additional traffic brought on by a field, playground, etc.†
Right now thereís a strong possibility that the volunteer swim club board can be held liable for anything that happens on that property.† The swim club board members are considered trustees in liquidation, so simply leaving the property there wonít work.† If nothing can be done, then they can sell it to someone with no control over what goes there. The swim club may ask the Association to act on a motion passed in 2006, which provides that the KPW Community Association Board will host a special meeting of the membership to determine if the unbuildable portion of the land will be accepted as common property. According to Diane, this is a last resort.
Larry asked about the density ruling. The area is only 8 acres, but it is included in a 150-acre tract thatís already at maximum density. The liability insurance is $861 per year for the general liability. The corporation dues are $50 a year, and directorís insurance $740 a year, which protects the directors.† The Kings Park West Townhomes have offered to pay half of the lawn mowing on the swim club area and KWSC will try to pull money together for insurance.†
A member asked about the specific location of the pool; Larry showed them on the map.
Another member asked what have they learned; thereís another pool, Kings Ridge, which is not doing well with membership. The discussion was to sell it out or fill it up. Diane answered that if the time comes to look at other options, they should give enough time and money to cover bills until a resolution can be found.
A member asked if these 5 members are now responsible if someone falls and gets hurt. Diane answered that the corporate status was not reinstated last year, so the corporation was terminated. The directors then become trustees, so youíre responsible for finishing out business. If they are unable to get rid of the property then it is their personal responsibility as directors. They would have to defend themselves in court if something happened. The liability insurance is still in force, so long as it can be paid.
A member asked about bankruptcy. Diane answered that over the next month they will have more details and they are looking at reinstating the corporation and if they could legally resign and therefore be protected.
Another member offered that it is a beautiful piece of property, so it would even be nice open space.
Another member wanted to know what the swim club members are asking us for. Diane said they want the Community Association membership to know what is going on, and eventually for support. Itís hard for people not in the surrounding neighborhood to make it a priority, but our support is requested.† There is no membership base; maintenance fees havenít been collected so there are no members. (maintenance fees are voluntary).
Election: Mary Hovland, head of the nominating committee reported that postcards were sent out requesting nominations; and an announcement was also in the Herald. No nominations or inquiries were received but two current members, Joe and Jim, volunteered to run for another three-year term. Mary asked for any nominations from the floor for the two positions. Hearing none, Mary considered the nominations closed. Mary called for discussion; Linda Bufano motioned to vote by acclamation; it was seconded from the audience; by a unanimous vote Joe and Jim were re-elected.
Open discussion: A member asked about a home next to him which he thought might be for lower income residents and he was concerned about how many people are living in the home.† Another member asked how to find out how to deal with a violation such as a second kitchen; it was suggested to contact the Braddock district Supervisorís office to report violations (i.e. several unrelated members living in the house) The member also asked about a commercial vehicle (taxi) parked on the street. If itís on a private lot, itís not allowed under the covenants. Under county code of commercial vehicles itís legal. No more than 4 unrelated people can live together; or no more than 2 boarders outside of family. The affected homeowner should call zoning enforcement.
Another member asked about parking along Roberts road.† Joe indicated that there has been a lot of effort by residents to rectify this. Former Supervisor Bulovaís office was contacted, police have been called out, but speeding remains a large problem. The no parking zone at corners has been moved back so people exiting Tapestry can see better, but with speeding cars and resident/student problems, itís tough to solve. Residential parking districts only work if a house faces the street, which at that intersection no home does. Thereís an effort for the county to change the code to allow and area based RRPD, but it has not gone anywhere.†
A motion to adjourn was made from the floor; it was seconded. The annual meeting concluded at 8:40 pm.