Archives for September 2008


September 23, 2008 NRC Minutes

Posted September 23, 2008 at 1:07 PM
Neighborhood Residents Council
September 23, 2008
OPEN MEETING MINUTES

CALL MEMBERSHIP MEETING TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by John Hughes, chair of NRC, on September 23, 2008 at 7:05 p.m. in the meeting room at Harbour Pointe Clubhouse, Midlothian, Virginia 23112.

MEMBERS PRESENT

Richard Kury - Cove Ridge
Marie Stella - Cove Ridge
Joseph Flynn – Fox Chase
Theo Collins – Harbour Ridge
Frances Hillman – Huntgate Woods
Susan Schoemmell - Litchfield Bluff
Beverly Bell – McTyres Cove
Grant Miller - McTyres Cove
John Hughes - Muirfield Cove
Elizabeth Jones – Old Fox Trail
Mamie McNeal - Planter's Wood
Kevin Healy - Riverbirch Trace
Forrest & Betty Clapp - Shallowford Trace
Andrea Epps – Steeple Chase
Gerald & Christine Barnes – Sterling’s Bridge
Joel Bradner – Stoney Ridge
Karen Gammons – Two Notch
Marni Pilafian - Winterberry Ridge
Ed & Alice Rivas – Rockport Landing
Julane Johndrow – Long Shadow
Nancy Boraks – Long Shadow
Mary Pfosich – Woodbridge Crossings
Bob & Sue Kirksey – Birnam Woods
Chris Schwartz – Whispering Woods
Bobby Joyner – Whispering Woods
Helen Flanagan – Cove Ridge
Ralph Guiser – Turtle Hill
Bill Trooper – Five Springs
Peggy Healy – Riverbirch Terrace
John & Marci Borden – Bayport Landing
Marjorie Clarke – Promontory Pointe
Wayne & Pattie Moyer – Cove Ridge
Jane Clute – Harbour Bluff
Mike Chupka – Stoney Ridge
Theo Collins – Harbour Ridge
Lolly Stevens – Spring Gate
Teresa Day – McTyres Cove
William Pope – Winterberry Ridge
Adrienne May – Winterberry Ridge
Joseph Flynn – Quail Hill
Dick Cope – Quail Hill
Paul Brandt – Five Springs
Judy Holland –Cove Ridge
Dorothy Shpil – Cove Ridge
Courtney & Chris Glaze – Woodbridge Crossing
Charles Sandford – Promontory Pointe
Alan & Beverly Redstone – Millcrest
Mark Smith – Cove Ridge
Bob & Sue Eastep – Millcrest

MEMBER VOICE

Richard Kury (Cove Ridge) stated he has been a resident for 17 years and has seen changes in community managers and numerous boards. In observing the BCA Board in the last few months, it appears the directors do not have the best interest of the community at heart, e.g., personal agendas and trying to spend money so Brandermill has no tax consequences. It also appears there was an RFP for a master plan for which only one person was responsible. After much discussion, the Board voted to spend $60,000, and the motion passed 4-2. Mr. Kury added that no one was against a master plan and that he knew the value of one.

He further noted that the universal pool access was now being deferred until the master plan was finished. Mr. Kury thought the process of how the master plan (from the RFP process to the concluding negotiation of a contract) came about was disturbing. Although the Neighborhood Residents Council has no authority, it does have a responsibility to communicate resident concerns. Hence, Mr. Kury proposed the following motion.
MOTION: Representative Kury (Cove Ridge) moved that the NRC ask the BCA Board of Directors, in the spirit of better relations, to: (1) try and improve cooperation among the directors, (2) improve communications and openness, (3) come to meetings better prepared to openly discuss issues to make well-thought out recommendations and decisions, (4) expect probing questions by other board members, and (5) not to personalize disagreements. The NRC asks that the Board work toward resolution of problems and to remember that Brandermill is a diversified community where one-size solutions don’t always fit all. Finally, the NRC asks for improved internal and external communications for all Brandermill residents. We at the Brandermill Neighborhood Residents Council look forward to your future success and outstanding community leadership.
MOTION SECONDED: Andrea Epps
MOTION PASSED: Unanimously
Marni Pilafian (Winterberry Ridge) expressed concern about the late hours of The Boathouse and the potential for drunk driving on the roads late at night. She asked if The Boathouse had been granted a county permit. Director Epps said they were still in talks concerning this. There was discussion about the potential drunk driving and noise concerns.
MOTION: Representative Pilafian (Winterberry Ridge) moved that the NRC send a letter to Chesterfield County in opposition about granting a permit to The Boathouse to stay open until 2:00 a.m.
MOTION SECONDED: Representative Gammonds (Two Notch).
MOTION DISCUSSION: Kevin Healy owner of The Boathouse explained the difference between night club and restaurant permits as defined by the County since 1989. He stated that the primary difference between the two permits was that the night club permit allowed patrons to dance before live music bands. He concluded that the change in interpretation allowed Chesterfield County to consider wedding functions as a night club activity.
MOTION FAILED:
Another motion was brought forward along with much discussion.
MOTION: Representative Pilafian (Winterberry Ridge) moved to request that the BCA not support The Boathouse in the Garden staying open until 2:00 AM due to noise and drunken driving.
MOTION SECONDED: No second.
MOTION FAILED: Lack of a second.
CHAIR’S REPORT

Chair Hughes informed the meeting attendees of the impending changes which would make the NRC conform more to other BCA committees. He reported that the proposed charter was distributed to the Neighborhood Representatives for feedback and that there had been about 20 responses. A revised version of the charter was submitted to the board at its September 15, 2008 board meeting. The NRC is presently a waiting on a decision by the board.

Director Bradner said the new charters were presented to the board by one of its directors. Approval of charters was tabled at the September 15 board meeting, as they were sent back for revision. The director targeted all of the committees, not just the NRC. The charters have been several months in the works. Chair Hughes asked if there would be a vote at the October 6 board meeting. Director Bradner said it depended on how quickly they can review the documents. Director Hughes asked for reasonableness in this process. Representative Kury asked several question to try to better understand the charter process that is currently underway. Attendees were told that to send comments to Communications Chair McNeal and that all feedback would be considered.

Chair Hughes announced that the November NRC meeting was slated for nominating new officers. Any and all input/suggestions are welcomed.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Membership Committee: It was announced that Marie Stella who is serving as acting membership chair is responsible for gathering member information and making sure that we have quorum for votes.

Communications Committee: Mamie McNeal reported that the NRC web site was launched in April of this year. Since that time, the site has had increasing numbers of hits: 1,085 in July; 1,597 in August 1,597; and 2,547 hits in September – our highest month yet. The NRC is glad to see that residents are visiting the NRC web site to obtain information and looks forward to receiving feedback from the residents to communicate to the board.

Neighborhood Watch: Richard Kury reported on the process that the neighborhoods need to go through and the benefits of having the program. He said there was a meeting at the Brandermill Church on the September 30 for Cove Ridge residents.

OLD BUSINESS

There was no old business discussed at this meeting.

OPEN DISCUSSION/TOPICS

Director Hughes introduced Director Andrea Epps, First Vice President of the BCA Board. Director Epps updated the group of why our evaluation of road conditions is important and how Brandermill got to where it is today. The road evaluations will be sent back to VDOT so they can prioritize the roads that need to be repaved. Director Epps thanked Mamie McNeal of the NRC for all her hard work in putting the road packets together. Director Epps asked for volunteers to sign up for a road packet which will guide them in the process of evaluating specific neighborhood roads. Director Epps went through a packet so it would be familiar to the volunteers. The packets are to be returned to the BCA office in the next several weeks. Several questions were raised concerning curbs, sinking roads, retaining walls, etc. Woodbridge Crossings, Spinnaker Cove, and Glen Eagles are included in the project. When the information is completed, Director Epps will forward the findings to Communications Chair McNeal for uploading onto the NRC web site, making the road evaluations available for residents to view.

Director Jason Livingston gave a PowerPoint presentation on universal pool access (UPA). He gave an excellent history concerning the pools and what has happened over the past several years. He stated the UPA referendum was postponed until the master plan has been developed, of which the pools will probably be a part. UPA means every resident will be able to attend and use the pool facilities; the cost of UPA will be added to the regular assessment.

The following Q&A ensued.

Representative Kury: Did the commercial members skew the cost figures?

Director Livingston: Maybe but we don’t know that.

Representative Kury: It appears we didn’t know we had damaged pools when they were purchased. Did the board make a poor business decision?

Director Livingston: That is not the way to look at it, if you are in the public service business.

Mike Chupka (Stoney Ridge): What percentage will be considered a majority in the UPA referendum?

Director Livingston: It would be a simple majority. Households get four votes per household and commercial residents get one vote per $100 assessment.

Resident from Winterberry Ridge: I would like to know what the pools will be costing down the road.

Director Livingston: Obviously job costing would help to identify this. What I do know is that you are paying for it, whatever the cost. The $80 per year will likely go up approximately 3%-5% per year.

Resident from Turtle Hill: What percentage of the population resides in Harbour Pointe? There appears to be an imbalanced among the other pools and residences.

Director Livingston: There originally were four pools; one was in Sunday Park which was dismantled years ago. The pools appear to have been strategically placed.

Chair Hughes stated there are 245 residences in Harbour Pointe. Discussion took place on what happened on the original vote to purchase the pools and why the board purchased the pools, even when the residents did not vote to do so.

Director Livingston: The board felt it was best to purchase to purchase the pools and not allow the 15 acres of open space to be used for other development.

Director Livingston said he was not going to speculate on what the board was thinking at that time. He said the boards of which he has been a part were exceptional, and they spend hundreds of hours trying to do what is best for the community, looking at the larger picture.

Director Livingston: We elect them to make the decisions for us. It would be impossible to get everyone together every two weeks to make decisions. They are doing the best they can.

Resident from Woodbridge Crossing: As a young resident, my family and I are the future of Brandermill. What are we doing to keep me here? Is there adult-only pool uses being considered?

Director Livingston: That is an operational question. There are still questions and legal concerns for the commercial members and how they will or will not be accessed.

Jerry Barnes (Sterling’s Bridge) was concerned the board has covered up the UPA situation by rolling it into the master plan.

Marie Stella (Cove Ridge) wanted to know where it stated that the board could make the decision on the UPA without getting a vote from the residents. She also asked how she could get a copy of the RFP for the master plan.

Joel Bradner, President of the BCA Board, said the master plan will be whatever Brandermill members decide it should be. There will be hundreds of things included, and the master plan will be developed with the residents. He encouraged each resident to participate and said the residents will vote. There were several questions presented in writing.

E-mailed question from resident: Because of many Brandermill residents have different perceptions of UPA, please define who the potential pool users are. Will access include or exclude all Brandermill residents? How will it handle blended families? Residents with adult family members? Grandchildren of residents? Property renters? Employees of Brandermill commercial businesses?

Director Livingston: The total capacity of the three pools is 740.

E-mailed question from resident: Because the numbers of families who will have access increased from approximately 500 families to 3,700 families, what capacity were each of the three pools designed to handle and what is the maximum safe capacity of each pool (Harbour Pointe, North Beach and St. Ledgers)?

Director Livingston: There is a 740 capacity for all three pools.

E-mailed question from resident: What is the current vehicle parking lot capacity at each of the pool site?

Director Livingston: Don’t know right now, but we can determine that. E-mailed question from resident: What is the useful life of each pool as carried on the BCA accounting books or anticipated maintenance replacement schedule?

Director Livingston: They are included in the reserve fund ($80,000 per year), but you don’t replace each year.

E-mailed question from resident: The universal pool concept had been defeated before. The Board of Directors ignored the residents’ vote and purchased the three remaining pools and told residents that these pools would be self-sustaining through pool membership fees. So, are the current pools membership funds adequate for the operation and pool maintenance requirements?

Director Livingston: Yes, however I disagree with every premise of the original question.

E-mailed question from resident: If the current membership funding is adequate, then UPA’s additional $20-$25 quarterly assessment will generate a revenue surplus of approximately $71,000 to $145,000. How will these surplus funds be used?

Director Livingston: That question has a fundamental misunderstanding about universal pool access. UPA would have not surplus, only what is necessary to cover the operating costs.

E-mailed question from resident: Will any Brandermill group or groups have priority or exclusive pool use or time privileges, e.g., children, families, adults, seniors, swim team, swim meets, swim lessons, pool parties, etc.?

Director Livingston: That is an operational question.

E-mailed question from resident: Will the staff and employees of the Brandermill universal pools be budgeted as part of the BCA personnel employee pool or as outside contractors? How many staff members are estimated? What is the approximate wage/salary/ contract budget amount? Will expenses be budgeted for benefit packages, payroll taxes, health insurance, etc.

Director Livingston: Good question. This is also an operational question.

E-mailed question from resident: What effect will this have on our insurance?

Director Livingston: There will be no effect on insurance.

E-mailed question from resident: What about all the foreclosed homes and the people that will not be paying the assessment?

Director Livingston: Good question. We do not have that accounting information at this time.

ADJOURNMENT

As there was no further business, a motion to adjourn the meeting was made, seconded and unanimously carried. The meeting was adjourned at 9:40 p.m., September 23, 2008.

Respectfully submitted,

Frances Hillman, Secretary
Neighborhood Residents Council

John Hughes, Chair
Neighborhood Residents Council

Universal Pool Access Referendum Cancelled

Posted September 19, 2008 at 12:53 PM
The 2008 Universal Pool Access Referendum Cancelled, Pools to Be Considered in Brandermill's New Master Plan: BCA Board Director Jason Livingston will present the topic of Universal Pool Access to our community. The universal pool access referendum originally slated for a community vote later this fall has been cancelled as the BCA Board works on Brandermill's new Master Plan. The master plan process has begun; the Board has accepted the proposal from designforum, Inc. in response to its RFP. Director Andrea Epps spearheads this initiative.

Road Maintenance in Brandermill

Posted September 19, 2008 at 12:52 PM
Help Brandermill get its share of highway $'s: BCA Director Andrea Epps will present the need for residents to help VDOT establish priorities for road maintenance in Brandermill. VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED IMMEDIATELY to evaluate road conditions within our community. Contact NRC project representative Mamie McNeal or Director Andrea Epps to volunteer now!

New NRC Charter

Posted September 19, 2008 at 12:50 PM
New NRC Charter: The BCA Board is presently working on a new charter for the NRC, including a name change to Neighborhood Residents Committee. Inasmuch as the Board requested feedback, the NRC officers ask that you download and review the following documents:
1.   New Charter (Word document),
2.   Current Charter and By-Laws (pdf document), and
3.   Proposed Changes to NRC Charter (pdf document).

Please send any comments regarding the charters to NRCinfo@brandermillNRC.com. Thank you for your time and consideration.


NRC Open Residents Meeting

Posted September 19, 2008 at 12:46 PM
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 7 p.m.
Harbour Pointe Clubhouse

Agenda now available for downloading. All residents are encouraged to attend. If you are not able to attend but have questions or concerns, please contact your Neighborhood Representative or send your questions to NRCinfo@BrandermillNRC.com. Your questions will be asked during the meeting's Q&A session.

Minutes of the July 22, 2008 NRC meeting, featuring the cell tower presentation and Q&A session, are now available for download: NRC-Minutes-20080722.pdf.