Kings Park West Community Association
May 18, 2010
President Joe Meyer called the meeting to order at: 7:32pm
A quorum of the membership is present, with 18 members in attendance and at least 88 proxies with the total coming to 106.
Joe introduced the Board, starting with Larry Velte; Jim Messinger- Treasurer; Armand Fournier -- Vice President; Linda Bufano; Mark Heppner; and Virginia Scattergood, Secretary.
Treasurer’s Report: Jim reviewed the proposed budget that had been sent out to the membership. He explained that last year we reduced the assessment to $25, due to the surplus that had been built up. However this past year the January 26 snowstorm did a lot of tree damage due to the snow being so heavy and wet. Over the past 5 years KPWCA spent about $3,000 total in tree maintenance. Yet for last year alone, over $8,000 was spent- it could have been more but for assistance from the state and county along Roberts Road.
The Board took a hard look at the budget, and anticipates spending $6,000 or more this year for trees. Last year we were hit with a double whammy- lowering the assessment plus an incredibly damaging storm, resulting in spending $15,000 in last 6 months primarily on tree maintenance. Because of this the Board has decided to raise the annual assessment to $40. This will help recover some of the cost of these expenses and help with continued tree maintenance.
The yearly audit results were received and were positive. Of major note is the fact that in 2011, no new liens were placed on households. Thanks to Jim’s hard work in developing a payment plan for those who have not paid in prior years, we went from 8 households owing a total of $4,000 to just 4 households owing less than $400.
Other line items to note in the budget: interest on CD’s has dropped significantly (line item 3); insurance went up 3% (line item 10); tax and audit prep saw an incremental increase.
Jim asked if there were questions from the membership: there were none.
Joe gave a huge thank you to Jim for the work he did for the payment program and working to get everyone paid up. It was an enormous amount of work.
Trees: Joe said that in the past when a tree fell from common ground onto a homeowner’s property, the Association has paid to have that tree removed. Recently we saw a court ruling from the Commonwealth of Virginia that declared when a tree falls, it is the problem of the owner of the property onto which it falls. So we have changed our policy to align with the change in law. The $6,700 in the budget is to take down the trees on common property that we think would be a danger. As long as the KPWCA takes a reasonable approach to ensure trees don’t fall, liability has lessened. The Board has surveyed all the trees on common ground, and recommended that 22 be cut down. The trees being cut down are rotten or leaning heavily towards someone’s property.
Question from a member: They wanted to clarify that if a tree on a homeowners’ property falls onto another’s it’s the other homeowner’s responsibility. Joe answered that it is at least for the portion on their property. Larry added that not every year we’ll have 22 trees to be taken down; this should ameliorate the problem for a few years. However with 45 acres of property, we are likely to need to remove trees in the future.
State of the Association: Over the last year, several things have been done.
Entrance signs at Commonwealth and Sideburn: These have been repaired; we received over $1,000 from the civic association collection, so it only cost the KPWCA about $500 over that. Some minor work was being done on Guinea and Commonwealth as well.
Curb damage: A member asked about repair. VDOT is going to take care of it and has recently issued a contract, but KPWCA doesn’t have a timeline. If you have damage you should call VDOT, your State Senator, or if you call Supervisor Cook’s office they likely have a liaison that can help.
Reserve Study: The KPWCA has a state requirement to review the infrastructure we own and plan ahead to pay for replacement and repair. These are things such as paths, sidewalks, and signs. Armand did the infrastructure review (known as a Reserve Study) for the Association and found a few items of note. First the entrance signs are KPWCA property. Currently the Association is paying one third for upkeep and the Civic Association is paying two-thirds. Second, there are stairs on Bessmer and Tapestry Court that are in disrepair. These lead into the area where the pipeline/creek runs through. They were repaired not too long ago, but are in need of repair again. To fully repair them it would be an extremely large amount of money. No complaints have been received about the stairs and they do not look as though they’ve been used. The Board has decided to post signs that we will not maintain these and people should use at their own risk. This reduces the amount the Board needs to save from $2,500 a year to $1,000 a year. The savings account that supports this infrastructure repair is mandated by the state and can only be used for fixing infrastructure. Larry further explained that the point of the savings account and Reserve Study is to prevent a large special assessment to membership because of crumbling infrastructure.
Crosswalk at Roberts and Collingham: A pedestrian/car accident at Roberts and Collingham happened earlier this year; fortunately the student hit is ok, and now the county is going to increase the lighting at that crosswalk. They will put up another light pole and double the brightness of the street lights at that intersection as well as along Roberts Road leading to Commonwealth.
Architectural Review: Joe wrote a letter to the one surviving member of the original architectural review committee (this dates back to the builders, Richmar Company). The bylaws state that only the current committee members can appoint their replacements. This original member relinquished his membership and appointed Joe, Armand and Larry to the review committee. So now we have a valid Architectural Review Committee.
Management Company: The Board looked around at other companies and found some with better prices but no client base. So we decided that it’s better to know what we have than have an unknown so will stay with RCS for another year. The amount spent works out to just over $1 per household per month paid to Management Company.
University mall renovation: The zoning was approved on April 26th; the site plan review will take 6 to 8 months. The county has to review to ensure compliance. Supervisor Cook’s office received 24 lbs. of documents that are available for review in his office.
County issues: Supervisor Cook and Fairfax County signed a Memorandum of Understanding with George Mason University (GMU) within the past year designed to improve their working relationship. A member reported that the state government has agreed to fund the GMU bypass to help with traffic issues at the Braddock Road/ 123 intersection.
Swim club: The Swim Club had tried to find alternative use for the property but was stymied at every turn by the county; since the board members resigned en masse the property is abandoned and is starting to look shabby. If it continues to go into disrepair, at some point the county will have to deal with it. A member asked why GMU won’t buy for parking. Joe said it’s a good idea but he doesn’t know because it’s not our property; residents were particular about what they wanted to see there. A member asked if graffiti there was gang related; another member replied that it was GMU related and the police believe they know who did it. Joe mentioned that it’s best not to try to help maintain the property; it’s the county’s issue.
Joe concluded his report.
Election of board members: Mark Heppner, the nominating committee, reported that there are two positions open for re-election. Both members, Virginia Scattergood and Linda Bufano, have agreed to run again. Joe asked for nominations from the floor; hearing none then he wanted to take a vote for the two positions. Joe asked for a vote of affirmation as opposed to ballot. A motion was received from the floor to vote by affirmation. Seconded. Unanimously approved.
Open Discussion: A member asked about the bridge behind the swim pool property; the county owns and maintains it so they can access their retention pond.
Hearing no other questions or business, the annual meeting concluded at 8:10 pm.