Highlights of May 4, 2015 BCA Meeting

Posted May 9, 2015 at 6:00 AM, Filed Under: News, NRC Email

Important Note: The below highlights are reported based on unofficial notes taken by NRC representatives who attended the above BCA meeting. Although we believe the below reporting is reliable and strive for accuracy, we cannot assure 100% accuracy. It is recommended to all readers that they read the approved BCA Board Meeting minutes when published.

Member Voice

Warren Ragsdale (Huntsbridge) feels that the house numbers on the sides of the mailbox post posed a safety issue, as the numbers could not always be easily seen from the street. He asked the BCA Board to address this concern by allowing homes to display the house number on the front of the mailbox post.

Director Leonard commented that police and fire departments had advised him that they do not use the numbers on the mailboxes, but rather, they use GPS to locate specific homes when responding to emergency calls.

President Davis responded that the BCA Board will take this recommendation under advisement.

Ragsdale added that he was excited about the new Board.

George Lawson (Huntsbridge) stated his appreciation for Director Hillman’s service as Board Liaison to the Finance Committee and for her work as BCA Treasurer.

Linda Quackenbush (Walker’s Ferry) asked about progress on the Association’s initiative to establish preferred customer pricing for garbage collections.

Manager Bailey responded that the Association has received two proposals to-date and is waiting on a third. He commented that these proposals should be ready for discussion in June.

With regard to the accident on Ridge Creek Road where a car lost control and collided into a Brandermill home, Quackenbush advised the BCA Board that VDOT had not approved a guardrail at this location. She suggested that the Directors consider additional signage to improve safety.

President Davis responded that the Association can bring this safety issue to the attention of VDOT and the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors.

Director Pearson commented that VDOT has proven inflexible on road safety issues in the past and would probably claim that the road is navigable at the posted speed.

President Davis added that he would like to see more support from the County on using radar to enforce posted speed limits in Brandermill.

Director’s Report

Director Pearson reported that the Communications and Marketing Committee is working to come up with best creative marketing approaches for use in the Chesterfield Observer.

Treasurer’s Report

Director Hillman commented on the first quarter financial report (see pages 8-11 of the May 4, 2015 Board packet). Although the quarterly reports (January 1-March 31, 2015) indicate that pool memberships were lagging, she has learned that the revenue from pool memberships is now $4,000 ahead of the previous year on this same date.

Community Manager’s Report

Manager Bailey reported on the following:
  • The option to pay the association quarterly assessment via bank draft is now available.
  • Director Leonard suggested incentivizing residents to use the bank draft by charging a fee for credit card transactions.

    President Davis agreed that Brandermill should not subsidize credit card users and asked Director Leonard to look into further action.
  • Manager Bailey reported that he had met with VDOT regarding the planned bridge work on Genito Road which will occur in 2016.
  • The Association is looking into preferred service agreements for residential trash pickup.
  • A Brandermill advertisement will appear in the Chesterfield Observer later this month.
  • The County released 1,000 sterile carp in to the reservoir last week to combat the growth of the invasive aquatic hydrilla.
  • The brush pickup program is going very well, and residents are urged to not put their brush piles at the curb more than two weeks prior to their pickup week. Brush placed on the curb after 7 a.m. on the scheduled Monday will not be picked up after Maintenance has made their initial pickup in the area for the week.
  • Brandermill is working with the Holiday Corporation on a deed of easement and ways to improve the marina.

Appointments

Director Hillman proposed the appointment of John MacFarland (McTyre’s Cove) and Roby Monday (Walker’s Ferry) as members of the Maintenance and Ecology Committee. The BCA Board unanimously approved these candidates, but there was strong interest by President Davis and Director Friedel for future committee candidates to present themselves to the Directors when their candidacy is being considered.

Discussion of Possible Foreclosure Actions

In response to a motion to initiate foreclosure action on two abandoned Brandermill properties, Director Pearson commented that based upon the recent legal opinion received by the BCA Board (see pages 13-17 of the May 4, 2015 Board packet), he is undecided. He does not want the Directors to initiate foreclosure actions that might obligate the Association to purchase foreclosure properties and possibly assume outstanding debt on those properties. He noted that the BCA Board’s ultimate goal is not to own these properties, but rather to have them brought up to community standards. Director Pearson did note, however, that one benefit of the Association gaining ownership of the abandoned properties is that Brandermill could then have contractors enter the properties for inspection in order to receive estimates on the work necessary to bring them in to compliance.

Manager Bailey clarified that if Brandermill were to foreclose on a property, it would cost the Association about $3,000 to bring them to auction. He also noted that the legal advice received to-date would be for the Association to not bid at auction to purchase the property. If there are no qualified bids to purchase the property, there would be no change in the situation, and the Association would be out the $3,000 in fees.

Director Friedel offered that this is a financial issue that should go to the Finance Committee for review and recommendation.

President Davis asked that the foreclosure discussion be carried over to the June meeting or to executive session for further review and discussion.

Director Hillman asked if the Association could put pressure on the County to foreclose based on delinquent taxes. Director Pearson responded that the County could but chooses not to take foreclosure action.

President Davis stressed that the BCA Board is not giving up on addressing the issue of abandoned properties but better needs to understand the risks and benefits before proceeding.

Referendum Results

Manager Bailey reminded the BCA Board that Amendment #2 (increase the capital fee to new homebuyers for an amount not to exceed current annual assessments) and Amendment #3 (lower the percentage of votes required to affect Covenant changes) had not passed.

Manager Bailey briefed the Board about a new HOA law passed by the Virginia General Assembly and signed by the Governor (formerly House Bill 2100, see page 19 of May 4, 2015 Board packet). This law, which takes effect on July 1, 2015, could effect the initiation of Amendment #1 (registration of rental properties) which did passed.

The new state law prohibits the collection of a rental fee or approval fee in excess of $50 related to the registration or approval of rental property by an HOA. Any such fee must be allowed as a provision of the association’s governing documents. Since this charge is not covered by our governing documents and is not part of the recently passed Amendment, Brandermill cannot charge such a fee.

The association also cannot require the use of a lease approved by the association unless that authority is included in its covenants, nor can it require a security deposit be paid to the association.

Manager Bailey noted that the BCA Board could take certain actions under the new law apart from the recent Amendment requiring registration of rentals:
  1. Require a copy of the lease.
  2. Require contact information for the tenant or tenants.
  3. Require a statement whereby the tenant acknowledges and agrees to the Association’s governing documents, including its covenants and standards.
During discussion, Director Hillman encouraged the BCA Board to have the Association provide a copy of violation notices to the renter.

Director Pearson suggested that the BCA Board wait 30 days to allow for resident input.

The BCA Board instructed Manager Bailey to include all three of the above provisions in the draft form for registering rental properties.

Consideration of Additions to the Residential Design Standards (Vehicle Parking)

Director Leonard led the discussion on the proposed changes to the Residential Design Standards (see pages 20-22 of the May 4, 2015 Board packet). The intent of the proposed changes is to ensure public safety by enhancing emergency vehicles' ability to travel our roads. Director Leonard acknowledged that the BCA has no authority to address matters pertaining to the streets as they fall under the purview of VDOT.

President Davis agreed with the goals to increase street appeal and to easily allow emergency vehicles to travel our roads were good. He encouraged residents to not park on the street on a regular basis.

The BCA Board unanimously approved the motion to publish language regarding the proposed addition to the design standards and to get member input. The Board will consider voting on the change in policy at its July meeting.

Consideration of Contract for Reserve Study

Director Hillman moved to approve the contract submitted by Design Management Associates to perform Brandermill's 2015 Reserve Study. Director Malek seconded the motion.

Director Pearson asked who previously held the Reserve Study contract. Manager Bailey responded that it was Miller Dodson Associates, who has held the contract as far back as the 1990's.

Manager Bailey affirmed that a reserve study needed to be performed every five years as a mandate by State law (Property Owners Association Act). The proposed contract would be to conduct a Level 1 Reserve Study, indicating the vendor would not update the existing reserve study but rather begin a new reserve study from scratch.

Director Pearson asked if there were other vendors considered. Manager Bailey indicated that there was a total of three vendors responding to the RFP: Design Management Associates, Reserve Advisors and USI. In addition to price, other factors were also considered: experience with a comparable size HOA, ability to analyze and apply the recommendations of their strategies, method of compiling data, clarity of their report format, incorporating funding methods customized for the BCA, and time of work (when they would do the work and how long it would take them to do the work).

President Davis asked if BCA Board would have input into the final numbers generated by the reserve study. Manager Bailey stated that the Directors would be able to participate in a work session with the Reserve Advisor and the Finance Committee.

Manager Bailey described the reserve study process as follows:
  • The approved vendor will conduct the study with assistance from the BCA.
  • After the study is completed, the Reserve Advisor will meet with the Finance Committee and/or the Board of Directors.
  • A formal presentation by the vendor will be made to the BCA Board.
  • A community meeting will then be held to present the final reserve study.
The BCA Board unanimously approved Design Management Associates to conduct Brandermill's 2015 Reserve Study.