Archives for November 2010


Community Meeting: The Landing Revitalization

Posted November 27, 2010 at 11:17 PM
You are invited to attend an informational meeting:

The Landing at Commodore Pointe
Revitalization: Phase One
presented by the BCA and Natural Resources Committee

This is your opportunity to ask questions, give input and view plans.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010
7:00-8:00 p.m.
Brandermill Church Sanctuary, 4500 Millridge Parkway


Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct for Committees

Posted November 27, 2010 at 1:12 PM
Attached is the Ethics document that Director Friedel has re-written for committees only, per the suggestion of the BCA legal counsel. This document will be on the December 6th agenda for BCA Board approval.

For your convenience, a copy of the NRC's feedback on the previous version is also attached. Please review the attached Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct document as soon as possible and send your comments to NRCInfo@BrandermillNRC.com. Thanks!

September 26, 2010 NRC Minutes

Posted November 10, 2010 at 1:36 PM
NEIGHBORHOOD RESIDENTS COUNCIL MEETING
Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 5:00p.m.
Harbour Pointe Clubhouse

MEETING CALLED TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by NRC Chair Mamie McNeal on September 26, 2010 at 5:22 p.m. in the Harbour Pointe Clubhouse, 5690 Promontory Pointe Road, Midlothian, Virginia 23112.

MEMBERS PRESENT

Herb Russakoff – Barnes Spring
Tracey & Stephen Coltrain – Chimney House
Charlie & Christine Davis – Commodore Point
Joseph Flynn – Fox Chase
Pete & Susan Andreoletti – Harbour Hill
Frances & Al Hillman – Huntgate Woods
Alex Lewis – Huntgate Woods
Tanya McGinniss – Huntgate Woods
When-Dee & Andy Morrison – Huntgate Woods
Kathy Cantrell – Huntsbridge
Kit Kavanagh – Huntsbridge
Warren Ragsdale – Huntsbridge
Beverly & Lee Bell – McTyre’s Cove
Dan Baker – North Pointe
Mamie McNeal – Planter’s Wood
Kelly Starbuck – Planter’s Wood
Carla Snyder – Riverbirch Trace
Laurie Van Cleve – Riverbirch Trace
John Frankovich – Rockpoint Landing
Clark Thomas – Spring Gate
Andrea Epps – Steeple Chase
Gerald & Christine Barnes – Sterling’s Bridge
Sandy & Jim Schrecengost – Timber Ridge
Karen Gammons – Two Notch
Wendy Carter – Watch Hill
Wendy Lively – Whispering Oaks
Chris & Courtney Glaze – Woodbridge Crossing

MEMBER VOICE

Gerald Barnes (Sterling’s Bridge) commented on the mailbox situation. As a member of the Community Character Committee (CCC), he was against this project from the beginning. He has looked into the details quite a bit. The ARB actually recommended cluster mailboxes. He reports that there were only about 100 mailbox violations in 2009 and feels that proof needs to back up the decision made by the BCA Board of Directors. He is also concerned about having only one vendor from which to buy the approved mailbox units.

Andrea Epps (Steeple Chase) mentioned that nowhere in the Master Plan does it say to replace the mailboxes, nor should the Master Plan take the hit for the decision made.

Warren Ragsdale (Huntsbridge) stated that the BCA could no longer say they have never lost a covenant case in court.

Jim Schrecengost (Timber Ridge) commented that he felt that the NRC representatives are a vehicle to take concerns to the Board and why is the voice not being heard?

Chair McNeal commented that the NRC reps at the September BCA Board meeting were representing their neighborhoods, not just themselves.

There was a consensus of gratitude for Board Director Frances Hillman for coming to the meeting. She was the only BCA Board Director in attendance.

Dan Baker (North Point) commented that the County feels the carp is starting to do its job, and growth of the hydrilla is being slowed. There is a status update on the Chesterfield County Utilities web site: http://www.chesterfield.gov/Utilities.aspx?id=16629&ekmensel=c580fa7b_310_0_16629_9.

CHAIR’S REPORT

  1. NRC By-Laws: The NRC By-Law changes have been approved by the BCA.
  2. Welcome Totes: Several NRC representatives have been delivering totes to new residents. She encouraged reps to sign-up for this as it was a great way to meet new neighbors. There was some discussion about knowing when new people moved into rental properties. If the property owners don’t notify the BCA office of new renters, they have no way of knowing of the new occupants.
  3. Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct: The overall consensus from volunteers is they objected to having to sign and agree to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct as presented.
  4. New Mailbox Design: The new mailbox design has been approved by the BCA Board of Directors, and the implementation process has been sent back to the MPOC which, in turn, has created a sub-committee to make recommendations for implementation. NRC Chair McNeal was appointed to this subcommittee.

    There are currently two concerns that Chair McNeal shared. First, if a resident had purchased a brown mailbox within the past year, then it would be replaced for free with the new design. The chronological definition of "past year" was a concern as it was originally defined as "a year from the date of design approval by the BCA Board". The subcommittee is now recommending that the chronological year be defined as a "year from date of implementation as approved by the BCA Board". Second was the issue of a single source vendor. She believes that legal counsel needs to be sought to determine if this creates an association liability, especially since MailboxbyAkins owns the design, and they are not willing to release the specifications to other vendors.

    Member Discussion

    Herb Russakoff (Barnes Spring) commented that he is against the new mailboxes but stated that the design could be reverse engineered. He also mentioned that all new mailbox units should be inspected, including those installed by MailboxbyAkins. He also felt that based on orders received, MailboxesbyAkins should replace the oldest mailboxes first. Leaning mailboxes have also been caused by Comcast and other utility entities while performing their work in the right-of way.

    Jim Schrecengost (Timber Ridge) added that he felt the look of the new mailboxes does not go with the streetscape of all the neighborhoods.

    Chair McNeal questioned those in attendance about their feelings towards the new mailbox units. Did the attendees object to the mailbox units themselves or was it the process in which the design was approved? After much discussion, NRC reps passed the motion below.
    MOTION: Gerald Barnes (Sterling's Bridge) moved that the process undertaken by the BCA Board of Directors to approve the new mailbox design should be reviewed.
    MOTION SECONDED: Andrea Epps (Steeple Chase).
    MOTION CARRIED: Unanimous.
    Kelly Starbuck (Planter’s Wood) commented that she felt the BCA Board knew residents were not in favor but ignored those views. She felt the BCA Board did not care what the residents wanted.

    Gerald Barnes (Sterling's Bridge) stated that mailboxes for the commercial properties have yet to be decided. He questioned why this would not go out to referendum first and also wanted to know how to get it to referendum.

    Christine Davis (Commodore Point) commented that brown mailboxes have been working for this long and that she is in favor for improvement, but is concerned, given the state of the economy, that many residents do not have the money for a new mailbox unit.

  5. MPOC PROJECTS: Chair McNeal wanted residents to view two landscape projects that were to be budgeted as 2011 master plan projects: (1) the front entrance at Hull Street and Old Hundred Road, down on Millridge to Court Ridge, and the back entrance at Brandermill Parkway and Old Hundred Road; and (2) The Landing. The Natural Resources Committee provided posterboard displays of what they had proposed at The Landing, and these were displayed at an exhibit table. The CCC provided color schematics of the proposed landscaping for the front and back entrances. All handouts were displayed at an exhibit table, as well as a copy of the Master Plan book, for attendees to view and comment.

    Member Discussion

    Bev Bell (McTyre’s Cove) commented that she understood the BCA Board to say at its September meeting that the landscaping project at the front entrance also included addressing drainage issues there. She wasn’t sure that she saw how that issue was going to be addressed from the color schematics provided by the CCC.

  6. 2011 Draft Budget: Chair McNeal commented that the BCA Board at its September 7, 2010 meeting agreed for the Finance Committee to prepare a draft budget with a 4% increase in assessments for 2011, specifically to allow budgeting for master plan projects and salary increases. She also stated that though she had requested a copy of the draft budget after the September BCA Board meeting several times, she was not able to obtain it. Instead, she was asked to wait for the draft 2011 budget which would be presented to the Board and the community at the October BCA Board meeting. Although she questions if refusal of her request is a violation of the VPOAA, her main concern is that residents will not sufficient time to study the proposed budget, should the BCA Board decide to vote on it at its October meeting.

    Member Discussion

    Warren Ragsdale (Huntsbridge) commented about the proposed budget including a full-time Assistant Community Manager. He questioned why an Assistant Community Manager is needed if the Community Manager was doing his/her job. He also commented that at least a year ago, he told a Board Director about the need to do a survey for resident feedback on staff performance satisfaction. If the residents are not happy with staff performance, then it should be communicated to the BCA Board of Directors.

    Christine Davis (Commodore Point) stated that she does not like the fact that we are paying over $80,000 to someone who does not live in Brandermill.

    Andrea Epps (Steeple Chase) commented that $22,700 is the budgeted cost for Phase 1 of renovating The Landing at Commodore Point: $11,500 for landscaping as proposed by the Natural Resources Committee, $2,500 for posts with roping, and $8,700 for replacing T-racks. Her concern is that if projects are done piecemeal, they will end up costing three times as much; and she fears that the total project will not be as good as what is presently being presented in the Master Plan. If residents want to change what is proposed in the Master Plan (which is the only rendition presently approved by the BCA Board), the design reflecting the desired changes need to be captured with a good design approved by the BCA Board. She also points out that the main value of having a town planner is that person’s knowledge of the planning process. The Assistant Community Manager presently only facilitates MPOC meetings.

ADJOURNMENT

Chair McNeal adjourned the meeting at 6:12 p.m. The “Let’s Get Acquainted” social followed.

Highlights of November 1, 2010 BCA Board Meeting*

Posted November 9, 2010 at 10:32 AM

*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 above 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
  • Sherry Blom (Promontory Pointe) seeks to install a post-mounted duplex outlet and stair access to her pontoon boat. After receiving approval from the BCA in July, the application was forwarded to the County. In August, the Bloms were informed by the County of a new process whereby they had to apply for a building permit. This permit has been approved by all concerned except the Department of Utilities which has taken the position that the BCA letter of approval is not sufficient and now requires an all-encompassing BCA resolution from the BCA Board before they will begin their review process. She urges the BCA Board to approve the Resolution to Approve Structures in the Waterfront Buffer Area (see page 45 of November 1, 2010 Board packet).
  • Susan Smith (Cove Ridge and Chair, Natural Resources Committee) asks that budget allocations for consultants not be reduced in the 2011 budget.
  • Andy Wyman (Walnut Creek and Chair, ARB) supports Susan Smith's statement above.
  • Elissa Mast (Winterberry Ridge and a 2003 BCA Board Director) states her concern about the Board over the last 24 months. She feels that the litigation against another Board member got out of hand and is concerned about the monies spent over this litigation, especially when there are other issues to be addressed, e.g., master plan and covenant enforcement. On the issue of the mailboxes, she is surprised that it was passed by the BCA Board, as she feels that the Board may have overstepped its authority and is now concerned about Association liability.
  • Warren Ragsdale (Huntsbridge) notes that we do value our employees, but times are tough. He notes that the maintenance staff (5-6 employees, earning $10-$12/hour) who worked so diligently last winter did get paid overtime. He also notes that the BCA supplies uniforms for its employees (about $800/year per employee), pays for health insurance, and contributes to their IRA. He suggests that employees consider carpooling to save on work travel expenses and that we should think "out of the box" to help our employees.
  • Mary Beth Hanifer (Shallowford Landing) thanks the Board for its service and appreciates the challenge to come up with ideas to improve the community. She does, however, have several questions on how the mailboxes were presented to our community. Why is there a rush to push this through, without allowing the community enough time to properly, sufficiently and fairly weigh-in on the pros and cons? What statistical proof is there that of all things that can improve home values changing the mailboxes would do it? What was the process in selecting a design and vendor? Weighing what is now considered to be "negative" ramifications on Brandermill, what is its impact on home values in Brandermill? The biggest question is why isn't the voice of our community being heard and respected? Why would residents want to volunteer for committees when it appears the Board isn't listening to what the community is saying?
  • Calvin Pletcher (Shallowford Landing) just returned from a 6-week bicycle ride and wonders how the BCA Board came to the decision to approve the mailbox unit design. From the September minutes, he counted 13 statements against and five for the mailboxes, and at this meeting, he notes an additional five members who voiced their opposition to the mailboxes. What is the Board's basis for its decision? An explanation would be appreciated.
  • Tom Doyle (Huntsbridge) reminds the Board that he raised the question of mailbox replacements based on the safety issue of how difficult it was for the closest fire station to find a home in Brandermill because of the location of the house numbers. He asked for the Board's position on that issue. As there was no response from the Board, Mr. Doyle states that he is now putting the BCA Board on legal notice that the question has been asked.
Motion to Approve October 11, 2010 Minutes

Director Hillman raised the question of a date discrepancy on page 2 of the October 11, 2010 minutes (see page 7 of the November 1, 2010 Board packet) and what was shown on the BCA web site. The minutes indicated "Residents who purchased a maibox between October 11, 2009 and October 10, 2010 can contact the vendor regarding a free mailbox" while the BCA web site indicated "Those who purchased a mailbox from October 11, 2009 to October 12, 2010 will receive a mailbox for free." She asks that the ending date be validated and denoted accordingly in both places.

Director McGinniss asked if any resident had installed a new brown mailbox since October 10, 2010. Community Manager Pritz stated says that no brown mailboxes have been installed since that time, but residents have purchased paint to paint their mailboxes brown.

The October 11, 2010 minutes are unanimously approved with a possible change in the ending date of when residents may obtain "free mailboxes".

President's Report

Art Warren has called the BCA regarding the Brandermill Inn. Although the BCA has tried to secure the building from theft and vandalism, the Inn continues to be vandalized. There are now broken windows on the second floor. The County Fire Department has told personnel and County Police to not enter the building due to mold problems in the building. The Inn is not presently considered blighted, but the County feels that if work is not done on the building by the end of this winter, the building may qualify as being blight.

Based on Board suggestions at the last County/BCA breakfast, several high school teachers have contacted President Rowe about a possible science project using the hydrilla.

Art Warren asked for BCA feedback on a possible electronic sign at South Shore. The BCA Board responded that it would not support such electronic signs. The request was not approved by the County Board of Supervisors.

The BCA Board passed a resolution to recognize Tommy P. Baer, Esquire for his contributions to Brandermill, Chesterfield County, the Virginia General Assembly, and the legal community. This motion was passed by all Directors except Director Livingston who abstained.

Directors' Reports

Director Livingston presented a motion that there be a moratorium on implementing the new mailboxes and that MPOC be charged to present more creative and specific implementation strategies. Director McLenagan seconded the motion.

Director Hillman questioned how a moratorium would affect residents who needed mailboxes now, e.g., residents just moving into a home in Brandermill or those who needed replacement mailboxes. Director Livingston notes that that is the point: There presently is no interim strategy.

Director Guthrie summarized the process presently in place by stating that those who need mailboxes immediately and/or those who simply want the new mailbox unit can order the new mailboxes now. The remaining implementation steps should be proposed by MPOC.

Director McGinniss stated that there should be very little confusion about the mailboxes. The BCA Board has approved the new mailbox unit design, and as a BCA Board member, he has chosen to purchase and install the new mailbox unit. He does not feel that there is anything the BCA can do to stop this, and hence a moratorium may not be enforceable. He sees the implementation plan addressing how residents with "fine" brown mailboxes will move forward with the new mailbox unit design.

Director McLenagan seeks implementation strategies to present options on how to move the community forward to the new mailbox unit design with consideration to alleviating potential financial burdens to the membership.

Director Guthrie and Community Manager Pritz stated that there are already several options available to the community, including a "do-it-yourself" approach where residents may pick up a mailbox unit spec sheet and build the unit themselves. Community Manager Pritz further stated that MPOC should be able to present additional strategies to move the community forward in a somewhat unified fashion. In the meanwhile, the BCA continues to sell brown paint because there is presently no BCA ruling that says residents cannot have brown mailboxes.

President Rowe acknowledged that MPOC has made several recommendations but has postponed a discussion on these recommendations as she wants to be sure that all members of MPOC have had adequate time to review and discuss various options. She does feel that those residents who need mailboxes immediately and those who want the new mailboxes should be able to acquire them.

Director Livingston asked if there is any possibility that the BCA Board would reconsider its decision of the approved mailbox design. A reconsideration could signal to the community that residents are being heard.

Director Guthrie reiterates that each director votes on issues based on whether he/she individually feels it is in the best interest of the community. Although resident feedback is important and appreciated, Directors should not vote based on appeasing the crowd.

Motion failed (FOR: Director Livingston; AGAINST: Directors Rowe, McLenagan, Friedel, McGinniss, Guthrie, Hillman).

Manager's Report

Jerry Wright, Esquire of Chadwick Washington (BCA's association attorney) and a lobbyist in the Commonwealth of Virginia, has asked President Rowe to participate in Virginia LAC. President Rowe has accepted and will now be our representative on Virginia LAC. She will participate in Virginia General Assembly discussions.

Director McGinniss complimented the BCA staff for their work in painting the street signs (see page 10 of November 1, 2010 Board packet).

Assistant Community Manager's Report

Al Raimo asked and the BCA Board approved Betsy Bolling and Jeanne White to serve on the Hearing Panel.

Director McGinniss applauded the efforts of the Natural Resources Committee in securing help from the Virginia Department of Conservation to conduct our own shoreline mapping.

BCA Communications Task Force

The Communications Task Force (consisting of Directors McGinniss and McLenagan, Community Manager Jane Pritz and Village Mill editor Wendy Parker) made the following recommendations: (1) tape and post audio recordings of BCA Board meetings on the BCA web site, (2) add "Hot Topics" section to the BCA web site, and (3) provide answers to frequently asked questions.

Director McGinniss made a motion to tape and post audio recordings of the BCA Board meetings (excluding executive sessions) on the BCA web site as soon as reasonably possible. It was seconded by Director Hillman.

Motion was passed unanimously.

Motion to Approve the 2011 Budget

Buddy Whitfield, Chair of the Finance Committee, recommends Option 1 (0% assessment) and 0% increase in salary pool increase (see pages 43-44 of November 1, 2010 Board packet) as it seemed to best suit the BCA Board's directives and the community's desire for a 0% assessment increase. The Finance Committee also recommended that the Community Manager put a program in place for 2011 to pay specific employees for significant contributions, when funds were available.

Director Guthrie made the motion to pass the proposed 2011 Budget at a 0% base assessment increase. Director Friedel seconded the motion.

Director McGinniss opposed the recommendation. He feels the BCA should budget for a salary increase pool. He feels that BCA employees deserve a raise, especially since they did not get one last year.

Director Guthrie shares Director McGinniss' feeling to support BCA staff but also feels that the Finance Committee has done an outstanding job in fulfilling the BCA Board's directives.

Director McGinniss asked if Director Friedel's recommendation to cut consultant allocations were included in the proposed budget. Director Guthrie responded that those allocations have not been cut.

Motion was passed (FOR: Rowe, McLenagan, Friedel, Livingston, Guthrie, Hillman; AGAINST: McGinnis).

Motion to Approve Structures in Waterfront Buffer

Director McGinniss is concerned about unintended consequences and is interested in hearing feedback from appropriate BCA committees.

Motion was amended to read "… prior approval from the Natural Resources Committee or ARB." Motion was passed as amended (FOR: Rowe, McLenagan, Friedel, Livingston, Guthrie, Hillman; AGAINST: McGinnis).

Community Improvement Grant Application from Gleneagles

As Gleneagles is a sub-association of the BCA and as the application does not address BCA common space, this application was denied.

NRC Meeting - November 9th

Posted November 6, 2010 at 10:11 AM
November 9, 2010
7:00 p.m.
Brandermill Woods


Tentatively items to be discussed include:
  • BCA Proposed Code of Ethics
  • BCA Board Approved 2011 Budget
  • NRC 2010 Nominating Committee Appointments