Archives for July 2010


Note from the NRC Board of Officers

Posted July 31, 2010 at 9:25 AM
Due to circumstances beyond our control, the previously announced on-line survey for this weekend has been postponed. It is the hope of the NRC Board of Officers to execute this technology soon. We thank all NRC Reps for their forbearance and continued hard work.

Information Packet for August 2, 2010 BCA Board Meeting

Posted July 31, 2010 at 9:19 AM
As the information packet for this meeting is quite large, it has been scanned as four smaller files for ease of downloading:

20100802-Part1-Board-Packet.pdf contains:
  • Agenda
  • Board of Directors Meeting Minutes, July 6, 2010
  • Board of Directors Strategic Plan Workshop Minutes, July 10, 2010
20100802-Part2-Board-Packet.pdf contains:
  • 2010 Financial Statements for the Six Months Ending June 30, 2010 (Preliminary)
  • Community Manager's Report
20100802-Part3-Board-Packet.pdf contains:
  • Community Character Committee Report
  • Facilities Committee Report
  • Finance Committee Report
20100802-Part4-Board-Packet.pdf contains:
  • Natural Resources Committee Report
  • NRC Report
  • Annual Assessment Billing
    Note: BCA Board has requested Member Comments on this topic.
  • Capital Improvement Fee Increase
  • Updated Mailbox Design
  • "FYI Documents" received by the BCA from Chesterfield County

We encourage residents to attend BCA Board meetings to learn of Brandermill "happenings". For a quick snapshot of what the BCA Board will be discussing, download the packet and read the agenda on page 1.

News and Updates from the NRC

Posted July 27, 2010 at 3:34 PM
As mentioned at the July BCA Board meeting and discussed at our last NRC meeting, several topics of interest require resident feedback. Please take the time now to canvas your neighborhood with regards to the appropriate issues below. Over the weekend, the NRC will be sending all reps an electronic survey in which they can compile your neighborhood findings. Completion of the survey should take approximately 10 minutes.

Many of you have already done this canvassing work, in which case all you need do is complete the electronic survey this weekend. The BCA Board meets next on Monday, August 2 at 7:00 p.m., Brandermill Woods so if we get your polling results by end of day of Sunday, August 1, the NRC will be able to include your findings in its report to the BCA Board then.

Questions Requiring Resident Feedback
  1. BCA Assessments
    Four times a year, the BCA mails quarterly assessment bills to all Brandermill residents. As an operational cost-savings measure ($4,283 savings per year), it has been proposed that the BCA send only one assessment mailing per year and in that mailing, supply four payment coupons. Residents would then use the coupons to pay their assessments in a timely manner.

    Are you in favor of changing the assessment billing process from billing four times a year to only one time year?
    Possible responses offered on the survey would be "Yes, No, Maybe".
  2. "Community Spirit Day"
    The BCA Board has asked that NRC reps coordinate the activities of "Community Spirit Day". This event would reflect three activities:

    NRC reps will need to inform and motivate their neighbors to clean up their neighborhoods and organize a social neighborhood gathering on a specified day.

    In the morning of the event, neighbors would clean up their neighborhoods, especially their yards and surrounding open spaces, and take such debris to large trash bins strategically located in Brandermill for disposal.

    In the evening of the event, the NRC rep would facilitate a neighborhood social gathering for all clean-up participants.

    A. Would you as a NRC rep be willing to participating in organizing such a neighborhood event?
    Possible responses offered on the survey would be "Yes, No, Maybe"

    B. Approximately what percentage of your neighbors do you think would participate?
    Possible responses offered on survey would be: Less than 25%, 25%-50%, 51%-75%, 76%-100%

    C. The trash bins are presently designated for yard debris only. Adding trash bins to accommodate more than just yard debris would require additional funding from the BCA. Would your neighbors be more likely to participate in this event if additional trash bins were made available to accommodate more than just yard debris?
    Possible responses on the survey would be "Yes, No, Maybe"

    D. Residents will need to take the debris to designated Brandermill areas containing the trash bins. Having the debris picked up from designated neighborhood areas would require additional funding from the BCA. Would your neighbors be more likely to participate in this event if the debris were picked up from designated neighborhood areas?
    Possible responses on the survey would be: "Yes, No, Maybe"

  3. New Mailbox Units for Brandermill
    As a "revitalizing Brandermill" initiative, it has been proposed that Brandermill update all of its mailbox units, i.e., mailbox and posts. Additional information about this initiative can be gleaned from the CCC's e-mail message of July 24, 2010.

    Do you think it's time for Brandermill to update the look of its mailboxes?
    Possible responses on the survey would be: "Yes, No, Maybe"

Questions Requiring NRC Rep Feedback
  1. How many neighbors were you able to poll for this survey?
    You would enter your response to this question.
  2. Delivering Welcome Packets to New Residents
    The BCA is currently delivering welcome packets to new Brandermill residents. The welcome packet is a tote bag with an imprinted BCA logo. Attached to the bag is a boater's key ring, and contents of the tote bag include all of the BCA information. If the BCA staff continues to assemble the welcome packets, would you, as a NRC rep, like to deliver these packets to new residents in your neighborhood?
    Possible responses on the survey would be: "Yes, No, Maybe"
  3. Hosting Political Debate/Town Hall Meeting for Congressional Candidates
    As a Brandermill marketing initiative, the BCA Board has asked the NRC to organize and host a political debate/townhall meeting for the upcoming Congressional election. This event would be held at a county facility such as the new Clover Hill High School and would be open to the Chesterfield County residents.

    Would you volunteer to help with event?
    Possible responses on the survey would be: "Yes, No, Maybe"

THANK YOU for taking the time to poll your neighbors on the above issues and completing our upcoming survey. A copy of Questions 1-3 have been forwarded to residents as topics opened for discussion. To facilitate your polling, we have asked residents to contact you with their feedback.

Message from CCC regarding New Mailbox Units

Posted July 24, 2010 at 3:44 PM
The issue of new mailbox units has recently been a topic of discussion by many residents. Below is a message from the Community Character Committee ("CCC") about the proposed mailbox units.

Why New Mailbox Units?

The issue of replacement of the mailbox units came to the attention of the CCC because of its mention in our category in the Master Plan. We began our work by traveling through the neighborhoods to assess the problems with the existing units.

The problems we addressed were as follows:
  • Jumbo brown mailboxes are no longer manufactured. We proposed changing to jumbo black boxes.
  • We asked for all treated lumber and/or lumber that was manufactured for outdoor use.
  • We asked for a cap on top of the post to prevent water from seeping and causing early deterioration.
  • We asked for a brace under the paper shoot to prevent the mailbox from drooping.
  • We asked that the mailboxes be set in concrete and be set the correct number of inches from the bottom curb to meet USPS requirements.

And, finally, and most importantly, we addressed the issue of security. We spoke to emergency personnel (fire, EMS and police). They all have concerns when coming to Brandermill because (especially at night) they have difficulty finding the house numbers. The numbers are on the front of the post and cannot be seen until they are on top of the driveway; many numbers cannot be seen at all because of plantings or the fact the post has settled too deeply into the ground. The CCC has asked for reflective numbers on the paper shoot box.

The pricing for the mailbox unit includes all of the above. All of the information was presented to the ARB. The ARB made their decision based on the different prototypes they had requested from the vendor. The CCC has no objection to the ARB's final choice, and thus sends this project to the BCA Board for its review.

How We Decided on a Vendor

The CCC worked for months to obtain pricing and designs for the resident mailboxes. CCC members traveled through neighborhoods taking pictures and collecting information on the supplier. Another CCC member searched the internet for possible sources.

I contacted local manufacturers: Mailboxes by Akins and Sign & Engraving Technologies. Mr. Akins of Mailboxes by Adkins provides the post and boxes for several neighborhoods including Brandermill. Sign & Engraving Technologies provided the boxes for Summerlake and River's Bend. While the latter company initially provided some help and ideas, they were not competitive with pricing.

We were also in contact with Mailboxixchange, a national company which carries Whitehall products. Their mailbox and post were of metal and very nice looking. However, they were more expensive (even with a sizeable discount), and an additional cost had to be added for putting the unit together and for installation. We also contacted Whitehall directly, but they would not even meet Mailboxixchange's price. We submitted the information and pictures to the ARB. However, they were apprehensive, as was the CCC, about the future availability of the product, and the fact that long distance orders would need to be placed. They did not feel the sample fit the landscape of Brandermill.

Mr. Akins stepped forward to supply us with all the prototypes we requested. He supplied three different colors of post with mailboxes attached and different types of accessories. The ARB then asked him to return with two additional prototypes: one with the Brandermill green color post and one with a black post; both were to have the accessories the ARB had chosen. He brought the two samples back for their meeting on July 13. At that time, the ARB chose the Brandermill green post with the black mailbox. Very nice-looking reflective numbers will be attached to each side of the paper box.

In an effort to satisfy the concerns for names on the mailbox unit, CCC chair Cardea asked Mr. Akins to make up a wider paper shoot sample board. The board had to be 9" in order to hold both the numbers and name. This changed the placement of the bracket and the look of clean lines in the original sample. The whole unit appeared massive. The ARB rejected the sample and proposed idea of putting the name down the post.

The proposed mailbox and post is clean and modern-looking. If the boxes become damaged, the replacement mailboxes can be bought from Lowe's or Home Depot, and the paper box panel does not have to be changed for a new owner. The CCC would like to request the Board give residents three years to comply with the new mailbox unit.

The cost is $155 for all orders placed within the first year; the price later goes to $170. Mr. Akins will offer a credit card payment option, and he is more than willing to sign a contract for the work.

Additional Information on the Work of the CCC

The CCC began its work in the community as the BCA Covenant Task Force; tasked with the responsibility with improving both the covenant enforcement process and communication between the residents and the Standards Personnel. We have addressed these issues by having neighborhood meetings since last fall (November 2009) to allow residents to express their concerns about the covenant enforcement process. We continue to hold meetings and encourage residents to contact us.

The CCC has investigated and chosen an item for the Master Plan Oversight Committee (MPOC). We worked with a landscape architect and a landscape company. The plan has been presented to the Board and the Finance Committee. We hope to have approval and funding to improve the appearance of the main entrance to Brandermill from Hull Street. The scope of the project will include the area from the top of Hull Street, down to the turn area and up the island on Millridge to Court Ridge.

The CCC continues to work with the staff on a change in the method of billing assessments. We devised a plan that would save on the expense of having to mail each quarter and also save hours of staff time. The plan has been proposed to the Board, and they have it on the agenda for consideration.

The CCC makes an effort to keep the residents informed through our articles in The Village Mill. We ask for your e-mail addresses so we can keep you apprised of future happenings as they relate to the revitalization of Brandermill.

Message courtesy of the Brandermill Community Character Committee

Upcoming Community Events

Posted July 21, 2010 at 3:50 PM
Thursday, July 22: Brandermill Green Market
3:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Sunday Park Overflow Lot


Support your favorite vendors!

Message courtesy of Brandermill Community Association

July 22: Riparian Stewardship Workshop
Chesterfield County Department of Environmental Engineering

Chesterfield County Department of Environmental Engineering is a hosting free workshop about buffer zones adjacent to waterways. This Riparian Stewardship workshop to promote the care and maintenance of healthy riparian buffers will be held on Thursday, July 22, 7:00-8:30 p.m. at Bailey Bridge Middle School Auditorium, 12501 Bailey Bridge Road.

The workshop topics include the importance of buffers, regulations regarding Chesapeake Bay Resource Protection Areas and managing viewsheds in buffer zones. Homeowners are encouraged to attend to learn how to enhance buffers on their property and how to apply for free native plants through the Better Backyard Buffers initiative.

Message courtesy of Brandermill Natural Resources Committee

July 19, 2010 NRC Minutes

Posted July 19, 2010 at 12:00 AM
Minutes of our July 19, 2010 meeting are now available for download.

Highlights of the July 6, 2010 BCA Board Meeting*

Posted July 18, 2010 at 10:09 PM

* The highlights below 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.

Country Club Tunnel Repair

Owner Mike Hatch discussed repair of the 14th hole tunnel and asked for an additional $5,000 from the BCA to help with unforeseen complexity of that tunnel's repairs. After much discussion, the Board approved the $5,000 to help with improvements to the 14th hole tunnel.

President's Report

In addition to her written President's Report (see page 9 of July 6, 2010 BCA Board Information Packet, Part 1), President Rowe talked about new ideas and events that emerged from the Board's Executive Committee meeting including spotlighting home improvements with "Most Improved" recognition; promoting "Brandermill Community Spirit" with a day devoted to cleaning up residential properties, followed by a celebration with neighbors at night via a block party, progressive dinner, etc.; identifying a "Volunteer of the Quarter"; hosting a Holiday Flotilla in December; sponsoring a political debate for the upcoming Congressional elections; and providing more recognition to community volunteers.

She and Director Freidel met with the NRC officers to discuss the NRC web site and blog. She also sent a letter to John McCracken regarding the immediate need of a traffic control device at the intersection of Brandermill Parkway and Old Hundred Road.

President Rowe noted that Director Livingston will no longer be able to act as liaison to the ARB due to time constraints. She and Director McLenagan will be filling in until a permanent liaison can be identified.

Directors' Reports

Crime Prevention

Director McLenagan noted that there were 10 neighborhoods that wanted to participate in the Crime Prevention Program as a result of the Crime Prevention Festival. Comprehensive Steering Committee: Director McGinniss presented a rough draft of how the Land Use and Transportation policies as being formulated in the County's Comprehensive Plan might have on Brandermill.

Manager's Report

In addition to her written Manager's Report (see pages 10-13 of July 6, 2010 BCA Board Information Packet, Part 1), Manager Pritz stated that there are 603 pool memberships, down $12,200 from last year's number of 637 memberships. However, due to the recent hot summer days, sale of guest passes have increased.

She attended the Reservoir Management Group meeting where Dr. Ken Wagner stated that there is less hydrilla in the lake now than in last fall, probably due to the cold weather this winter. He stated that if the carps start to do their job, the problem might not be as severe as last year.

Manager Pritz also brought to the attention of the Board a potential $4,283 savings if payment coupons were mailed once a year instead of the current assessment statements, which are sent quarterly. She recommended the Board agree to this change, and the Board has requested to have this item put on the agenda for the August meeting and to open it for community comments during the Member Voice.

She informed the Board that four docks have been built along the Brandermill shoreline without BCA approval. Resident Charlie Davis (Commodore Point) noted that the referenced "docks" were actually erosion control devices and were not located on BCA property. He also noted that he had gotten permission to build such a device from East West Partners (the entity owning the bottom of the lake) and that his erosion control device was comparable with those built by Woodlake residents.

After much discussion, the Board asked the ARB to create a standard for erosion control devices/docks along the Brandermill shoreline.

Community Character Committee

In addition to their extensive report (see pages 3-6 of July 6, 2010 of BCA Board Information Packet, Part 2), Chair Dianne Cardea presented a survey regarding the 4th of July fireworks for Board review.

She also stated the new mailbox designs have been proposed with help from Vern Akins (Mailboxes by Akins) that include a bracket for support under the paper shoot and house numbers on the side panels instead of names. A cap will also be placed on the top to help alleviate water seeping into the post. All wood will be primed and painted, and the color of the mailbox will be black. The ARB is now working with Mr. Akins to finalize a mailbox design, which will then be presented to the Board.

Hydrilla Update

Susan Smith reported that 60 of the bilingual informational signs have been ordered by the Chesterfield County Utilities Department and will be placed throughout the county by VDOT. She also included an in-depth hydrilla report from the meeting of the Reservoir Management Group on June 16, 2010 (see pages 7-9 of July 6, 2010 BCA Board Information Packet, Part 2).

NRC

Chair Mamie McNeal stated the NRC hosted a table at the 4th of July festivities and Membership Committee will be following up with those interested in becoming reps.

The migration of the NRC web site to the BCA server has begun. Chair McNeal also presented a detailed report of the proposed blog including the pros and cons of a private versus public blog, how a commenter logs in and posts comments, how articles are posted and moderated, and the NRC's final recommendations. The Board approved a private Brandermill blog that included residential validation as well as daily review by designated NRC officers. For more information, see pages 10-15 of July 6, 2010 BCA Board Information Packet, Part 2




News and Updates from the NRC

Posted July 17, 2010 at 3:53 PM
Reminder:

NRC Meeting: Monday, July 19, 2010
7:00 p.m.
Brandermill Woods

The agenda for the upcoming NRC meeting is now available for downloading: NRC-Agenda-20100719.pdf.

Please plan on attending as quorum is required to pass the proposed by-laws (NRC-ByLaws-20100520.pdf).

Topics for discussion include:
  • MPOC process revealed,
  • Annual assessment billing using payment coupons,
  • Possible NRC rep role in "Brandermill Community Spirit Day"
  • Welcoming new neighborhood residents, and
  • Possible sponsorship of political debate

Upcoming Community Events

Posted July 8, 2010 at 3:58 PM
Saturday, July 10: BCA Board
Strategic Budget Workshop

8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
Harbour Pointe Clubhouse


Tuesday, July 13, 2010: Congressman Cantor Hosts
Richmond Area Job Fair

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Deep Run High School, Commons 1 and 2
4801 Twin Hickory Drive, Glen Allen, 23059

For more information and to RSVP, visit http://cantor.house.gov/JobFair/

July 15 and 22: Riparian Stewardship Workshops
Chesterfield County Department of Environmental Engineering

Chesterfield County Department of Environmental Engineering is hosting free workshops about buffer zones adjacent to waterways. Two Riparian Stewardship workshops to promote the care and maintenance of healthy riparian buffers will be held at Bailey Bridge Middle School Auditorium, 12501 Bailey Bridge Road. The dates are: Thursday, July 15, 7:00-8:30 p.m. and Thursday, July 22, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

The workshop topics include the importance of buffers, regulations regarding Chesapeake Bay Resource Protection Areas and managing viewsheds in buffer zones. Homeowners are encouraged to attend to learn how to enhance buffers on their property and how to apply for free native plants through the Better Backyard Buffers initiative.

Speakers at the workshops include: Ralph White, Director of the James River Park System; Scott Flanigan, Water Quality Manager for Chesterfield County; and Adrienne Kotula from the Chesapeake Bay Local Assistance Division of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Both workshops are free to attend and registration is not required. For more information, contact Lorne Field at 748-1920 or e-mail fieldl@chesterfield.gov.

Message courtesy of Brandermill Natural Resources Committee

November 1: "Bringing Nature Home"
Doug Tallamy, Chair of Chesterfield County Extension Office

Reservation required

Chesterfield County Extension Office is sponsoring an exciting talk by Doug Tallamy, Chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware on November 1, 2010. Mr. Tallamy will present his talk on “Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens.”

This talk is open to everyone – including suburban and urban residents, educators, planners, volunteers, Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists. The talk will take place in the Multi-Purpose Room at John Tyler Community College in Midlothian at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., and is free. Reservations are required. Call 751-4401 to reserve seats. Last report was that the 2:00 p.m. session was almost full.

A great article on Mr. Tallamy can be found in the New York Times: www.nytimes.com/2008/03/06/garden/06garden.html?_r=1 and his web site is http://bringingnaturehome.net/.

Message courtesy of Brandermill Natural Resources Committee

Monday, July 19, 2010 - NRC Representatives Meeting

Posted July 6, 2010 at 2:02 PM

Discussion and Ratification of Proposed NRC By-Laws