May 26, 2010
Kings Park West Community Association
President Joe Meyer called the meeting to order at: 7:35pm
A quorum of the membership is present, with over 25 members in attendance and at least 94 proxies.
Joe introduced the Board, starting with Larry Velte; Jim Messinger- Treasurer; Linda Fournier; Mary Hovland-Vice President; Linda Bufano; and Virginia Scattergood, Secretary.
Treasurer’s Report: Jim reviewed the proposed budget that had been sent out to the membership. He explained that we have been close to or on target for the past several years, and reviewed the back-up funds held as CDs and what those are typically used for.
The formal reserve study (a five year plan) looks at potential capital expenses in the out years. KPWCA owns certain property such as sidewalks, stairs, paths, the entrance signs, etc. Money has been put away each year, in accordance with Commonwealth law, for this “capital account” in anticipation of work needing to be done. It was noted that it is time to re-do the 5-year reserve study. Jim said according to our five-year plan, we are on target with our savings program.
Should something catastrophic happen, more may have to be taken from the reserves and in the future we may have to raise the annual assessment rather than reduce it, as the Board has proposed this year.
Larry Velte further explained that the reserve account is designed to prevent a situation where everything an HOA owns falls apart and we would not have to have a special assessment for several hundred dollars to cover these large expenses. There is also a general “rainy day fund” where you have a years’ operating expenses “just in case” (the aforementioned back-up CDs).
Jim asked if there were budget questions from the membership:
A member asked how many homes are in KPWCA- Jim answered that there are 580.
Another asked how many liens are outstanding. Right now 5 families have existing liens. We are still working on seven families to obtain 2009-10 payments. In this area, some legal costs in the budget have been reduced because of increase in payments from households, so less need to obtain liens.
A member asked about the curb damage from equipment removing snow after one of the large snowstorms- does the Board own that? Armand Fournier, who had done the reserve study, answered that curbs are V-DOT's responsibility. Linda Bufano said if there are damaged curbs you could call your supervisor’s office to let them know.
Another member asked what the term "fidelity bond" on the proposed budget was. Jim replied that it’s the insurance paid to ensure the membership is protected and that there’s no fraud by the Board.
State of the Association: Joe reported several things have occurred over the last year.
In the fall two former Board members were lost to cancer, Bernie Shinal and Tom Coldwell; the Board had observed a moment of silence in honor of them during a meeting last fall.
Property conditions: Joe said that the Board receives complaints about property conditions- parking of large vehicles, shutter colors (which is out of the Board’s jurisdiction). There have also been complaints about property maintenance, such as condition of a deck. That is also out of the Board’s purview- building safety is county jurisdiction.
Trees: 5 or 6 trees have come down over the year. No property damage thankfully but they took down other trees in some instances.
Grass length: Again it’s a county, not a board issue.
Roberts Road Dam: The dam was supposed to be done by May 7 but is ongoing. The rain gauge was installed so the county can monitor how much water is accumulating in the “valley” where the dam is. Jim mentioned that other areas in Fairfax County are going through the same type of dam rebuilding. The HOA owns most of the land on the West side of the road; Fairfax County owns what’s on the east side. Joe talked to the county Park Authorityabout taking over the land but county turned down the offer because the land is surrounded by homes and would have limited access, even though it’s part of the Pohick Stream valley.
Entrance signs at Commonwealth and Sideburn: There are large brick entrance signs on each side of this intersection. One was restored by the Civic association several years ago; the other needs repair. The timing didn’t work out to have maintenance done now, so it will be done in the fall. As part of its membership drive, the Civic Association had asked for donations for wall repair; they will send us the money collected to help repair the wall; the rest comes out of the reserve fund. However most of the cost will be covered by the civic association donations.
Snow removal: During the snowstorms this year, the snow removed from the road was piled at the corner of Roberts and Commonwealth on the path leading to Robinson. The KPWCA owns about a 1/3 of the path, Fairfax County owns a third, Robinson owns a third. Students were seen climbing over the snow bank to take the path to the school; neighbors, organized by the Civic Association, were nice enough to voluntarily remove the snow there. We are trying to find someone that we could call to clean that corner off after a snowstorm, since we technically own some of it.
Fairfax Family Cemetery plot: It had been recommended that the Community Association take over an old cemetery located on Richardson Ct. – but that is contrary to the board’s mandate of trying to get rid of property. A private citizen took over the property.
A member asked about what land the Board owns. The members present reviewed a large map showing the 47 acres owned by KPWCA.
Parking issues: Tapestry drive had many parking issues over the year, with lots of cars and congestion along Roberts Road. The Board supported the effort to get a restricted parking area. Jeff Root led the effort and Supervisor Cook helped establish a restricted parking district there. Normally you have to face the street but changes were made to accommodate townhomes. We were involved in the background only.
Tapestry pool: The Board has purposely shied away from the pool issues since the Kings Park Swim Club is a private corporation, and not part of KPWCA property. In the end what was left of the Swim Club board resigned en masse because no elections had been held and development discussions with the county went nowhere. They abandoned the property and notified the county of that. The Swim Club board has to “dispose” of the property as trustees- have tried for the last 5 years but every time they get close, county says a mistake was made, and eventually they realized they could not do anything.
The KPWCA passed a resolution at the 2006 annual meeting where we agreed as an organization to have a vote regarding accepting the unbuildable portion of that land. The concept at the time was townhomes were to be built and there would be small left over portions of the property bordering our land that we were willing to take. However, since it has been determined the land can’t be built on except to reopen the pool, we have to resurvey membership to see if we want to honor that resolution. Joe suggested revoking the decision made 4 years ago as circumstances have changed substantially. At the time, the agreement was not to accept the property outright, but just to hold a vote to see if the membership was willing to accept it.
The motion reads: May 24, 2006- In the event that the Kings West Swim Club, Inc. offers to deed the unbuildable portion of the property that it owns at nominal costs, then the board of the Community Association will undertake the procedures in the bylaws and/or covenants to put the question to the membership as to whether or not to accept the property as offered.
Since their resignation, there are now no KWSC Board members remaining to ask us, and the legal situation of the property is in question. If the KPWCA is forced to accept the land, all members would need to contribute, in order to bring the pool back up to county standards.
A member noted that even if we had to bring it to a vote, it would be expensive to get the process to a vote. Would have to continue to do it until 2/3 voted present or by proxy.
Another member mentioned the swim club needs help with maintenance.
A motion from the floor was made to revoke the aforementioned resolution. A second was received from the floor. Approved by a voice vote, with one nay.
A member from the floor explained how the county caused problems from the beginning with no mandatory fees and a substandard pool.
Joe concluded his report. He said we try to keep things as low key as possible- we do what we must and try not to get anyone involved in things that are beyond the scope of our limited HOA documents.
Election of board members: Mary Hovland, the nominating committee, reported that there are three positions open for re-election. One person has agreed to run again (Larry Velte). Mary and Linda Fournier are stepping down. Armand Fournier indicated he would like to run, as would Mark Heppner (who is new to the community). Mary asked for nominations from the floor; hearing none then she wanted to take a vote for the three positions. Joe asked for a vote of acclamation, as opposed to ballot. A motion was received from the floor to vote by acclamation. Seconded. Unanimously approved. Joe thanked Mary and Linda for their work over the last three years.
Open Discussion: A member asked why couldn’t the name to be changed to homeowners association since it can get confusing with the Civic association. Larry said we tried but the legal documents are set up as a community association and we couldn’t change it. Civic association came later and they can’t own property. We were stuck with the name we got. Would have to reincorporate and pay the legal fees to do so. A suggestion was made for a logo change. The Website says homeowners association, which helps.
Larry and Joe briefly went through the history of the Community Association and how we ended up as such. Mary described how the common land was originally transferred from the builder to the Community Association.
Hearing no other questions or business, a motion to adjourn was made from the floor; it was seconded. The annual meeting concluded at 8:20 pm.