Archives for February 2014


Mark Your Calendar to Meet the Candidates

Posted February 24, 2014 at 11:35 AM
Meet the Candidates
Thursday, March 13, 2014
7:00 p.m.
Harbour Pointe Clubhouse

This is YOUR OPPORTUNITY to meet the BCA Board candidates and to ask them about their positions on important issues effecting Brandermill.

As in the past, we will take questions from meeting attendees, and each candidate will have an opportunity to talk about the issues and their reasons for wanting to serve on the Board of Directors.

Invite your neighbors and plan on joining us on Thursday, March 13 at 7 p.m., Harbour Pointe Clubhouse.

Highlights of February 3, 2014 BCA Board Meeting

Posted February 8, 2014 at 12:32 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 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.

Minutes from January 6, 2014 BCA Board meeting were not approved because, as was noted by Director Hillman, the minutes did not include the portion of the reconvened meeting held on January 28, 2014.

President's Report

President O'Hanley reported on the joint project "FEED23112" which is a collaboration of the area churches, schools and the Brandermill community. This initiative is sponsored by Diane Smith who has been a School Board representative and who is now the new Chairperson of the School Board. The FEED23112 project came out of an idea developed by Brandermill resident Ann Marie Luhmann to address the needs of people in the community who are in need of assistance to obtain food.

For months, people in the community have been donating non-perishable food items. The Pastor of Journey Christian Church secured a trailer and installed shelving to create a food distribution center. Another Brandermill resident is providing battery-powered lighting for the center which is located in the Clover Hill High School parking lot. The center will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. President O'Hanley encouraged Brandermill members to contact Judy Agee at the BCA office if they are aware of anyone needing food assistance.

President O'Hanley reported on significant changes to the Community Character Committee ("CCC"). She expressed her sadness that CCC Chair Diane Cardea and the rest of the Committee had resigned. She noted that Cardea's resignation letter is included in the board packet (pages 20-22). President O'Hanley then read an e-mail from Dr. Bob Friedel thanking Cardea for the many accomplishments of the CCC under her skilled and dedicated leadership. He noted that the CCC had taken an abstract concept of the BCA Board and created one of the most highly functional and committed BCA committees. Dr. Friedel went on to say that Cardea and the departing members of the CCC deserved the admiration and gratitude of all Brandermill residents. President O'Hanley thanked Cardea and the members of the CCC for their years of dedicated work and expressed her sorrow at their decision to resign.

President O'Hanley then noted that two BCA Board seats are opening up in April and that candidate packets are available at the BCA office. She noted that this is a major 3-year commitment of hard work that goes far beyond participation in the monthly board meetings. She considered any resident who has time and experience to consider becoming a candidate and help move Brandermill forward by serving on the BCA Board. She also noted that two packets have been picked up so far by prospective candidates.

Neighborhood Residents Council Election

Director Davis then made a motion to confirm the newly elected officers of the NRC (page 8) and also to appoint Mary Gregory as a Neighborhood Representative for Riverbirch Trace (page 9).

Director Hillman seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Treasurer's Report

Director Hillman presented the financial summary contained in the board packet (pages 10-11). She noted that $18,000 had been applied to the Reserve Fund from the previous year's Operating Fund. She noted that the BCA is in good financial condition.

President O'Hanley asked about item 3 in the Treasurer's report that is labeled "significant variances from the budget". Hillman explained that this item referred to income of $3,000 from the sale of logs from the tree management project.

Director Hillman also noted that one item significantly over budget by $15,000 was for maintenance of the website. She advised that Manager Bailey had renegotiated that maintenance cost down to about $7,500 for the current fiscal year. Directors asked and Manager Bailey agreed to check if the website maintenance costs could be reduced by BCA Staff/Committees doing the work.

Community Manager's Report

Manager Bailey discussed the changes that have been made to the community's monthly newspaper, The Village Mill. He noted that the paper has undergone an upgrade and that it is on whiter paper and is full-color cover-to-cover. He commented that advertisers will like the new full-color advertising. He also noted that all pictures will be in color. Manager Bailey reported that The Village Mill will be published earlier in the month. Normally it will be published on the first Monday of each month, rather than during the middle of the month as was previously done. He reported that, including the upgrade, the cost for the February edition had been reduced to $775 from the previous cost of $1,095, for a savings of $320 to produce The Village Mill this month. He noted that residents will be receiving more for less.

Manager Bailey then noted that the weekly Brandermill e-mail blast contains a link to Brandermill Online. He advised residents that clicking on this link in the weekly e-mail would connect them to a digital weekly newsletter. He noted that residents can zoom-in on articles contained in the weekly digital newsletter and that these weekly digital newsletters will build the monthly Village Mill, thus reducing the preparation time for paper. Manager Bailey noted that Ann Hunt in the BCA office is the person for community members to contact to make additions to the digital edition of the weekly newsletter.

Director Bettin then commented that he would like to see a stronger effort in marketing. He wondered how the community might leverage the connection between the hard copy of The Village Mill, the digital weekly newsletter and the BCA website which was recently re-launched. He urged the Association to seek ways to better "jump start" the marketing connected with these communication efforts. He noted that leveraging different marketing venues (i.e., website and paper) would also help to increase Village Mill advertising revenue.

Director Hillman asked about the community efforts to establish a Brandermill Facebook page. Manager Bailey said that a Facebook page has not yet been established. Director Hillman asked if a Facebook page was on the agenda, and the Manager responded that it was on the agenda to be established this year. He commented that the Staff is working to make sure the changes to The Village Mill and the weekly newsletter are working smoothly before adding more communication layers such as Facebook. President O'Hanley noted that the BCA does have a Twitter account. Director Hillman said that she wanted to make sure that the Finance Committee utilized all of these avenues to recruit new volunteers.

Community Manager Bailey then gave an update on the mailbox conversion. He noted that we have roughly 500 old mailboxes that still need to be converted to the new style. Director Hillman wanted to know how long it would take to get the 500+ violation notices issued. Manager Bailey indicated that the contractors installing new mailboxes are currently working at full capacity and that the remaining conversion would require months. Manager Bailey indicated that all of the violation notices will have gone out by the end of this month.

Director Bettin asked about the responses from residents upon receiving the violation notice. Manager Bailey apologized to some residents who have received or will receive inaccurate violation notices. He noted that the notices are being tweaked, that they are not just sending a blanket type of notice. Manager Bailey commented that the BCA is trying to be as accurate as possible on who is and is not in compliance and exactly why. Bailey also stated that the BCA is tracking call-ins by residents who have made the upgrade since January 1, 2014.

Manager Bailey next reported on the survey that had been mailed regarding home-based business, noting that it costs approximately $2,000. So far, 558 completed surveys have come in from Brandermill residents. Responses are being tabulated the next two Thursdays at 3 p.m. Manager Bailey explained that the use of a "blind survey" and the tabulation process to be utilized. He noted that residents are welcome as observers during the tabulation process. However, there is limited room in the BCA conference room. Manager Bailey noted that the surveys must be returned in the envelopes provided by the BCA in order to be valid. He also noted that comments received with survey responses will be compiled into one document. He advised that completed results of the survey will be released only after tabulation is complete.

Manager Bailey reported that the Chesterfield County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing at its Public Meeting Room on 1001 Iron Bridge Road on Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 6 p.m., regarding the Roberts application for a conditional use permit.

Committee Reports

NRC Chair Joe Herbst reported that the next meeting of the NRC will be held Monday, February 10, 2014 at 6 p.m. in the BCA conference room. He noted that it is a public meeting to develop the NRC's annual work plan and to begin planning for "Meet the Candidates Night" which has been scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 13, 2014 at Harbour Pointe Clubhouse.

Director Blom asked if there would be an effort to re-establish the Community Character Committee. President O'Hanley responded that the BCA Board would need to discuss what to do regarding the CCC. Director Hillman suggested that the BCA Board needed to handle the proposal regarding committee organization and structure. Manager Bailey asked when the BCA Board planned to discuss that proposal. Director Hillman noted that at this point all BCA committees should continue to move forward in their current forms, until new committees are established ... if new committees are established.

President O'Hanley noted that the NRC had decided to continue with business as usual until given new direction by the BCA Board, and she recommended that the other Brandermill committees also continue to move forward. Director Blom agreed that the committees should continue where volunteers are in place and stated that the BCA Board needs to meet with each of the committees to get their feedback before making any changes to the structure.

Member Voice

Cassandra Lacey (Timber Ridge) reported that as Director of The Swift Creek Academy for the Preforming Arts, she has been active with her academy since 1981. Lacey summarized her Academy's current activities regarding a music arts event, stating that the arts are an important component of community culture. She noted that last year they held a Spanish music event and that she is now exploring interest in a Chamber series.

The next Music Arts event is scheduled for Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 3 p.m. Lacey advised residents to see her advertisement in the current issue of The Village Mill for details. She noted that these are family-friendly events. A group called "Sonic Escape" will be playing at the March 16 event. She noted that "Sonic Escape" has a YouTube video that residents could view to get a preview of their music. Lacey noted that financially, the goal of this concert is to support the academy and two non-profits. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children.

Director Bettin commented that the YouTube video link needs to be included on the calendar on the BCA website, and Director Hillman said the event needs to be on the BCA website's calendar.

Joni Roberts (Planter's Wood) commented that she had concern with the questions on the current Brandermill survey. Roberts said that she had understood the purpose of the survey was to assess the opinion of the residents regarding home-based businesses located in Brandermill. She understood Brandermill's legal advisor to state that Robert's business was not in compliance with the current covenants regarding home-based businesses in Brandermill. Roberts emphasized that she had understood that the survey would be to assess the opinion of residents regarding home-based businesses in general, but instead, she feels singled out on the survey. She noted that the first three questions on the survey refer directly to home-based day care and emphasized her home-based business while de-emphasizing other home-based businesses. She reported that other day care operations in Brandermill have fewer than five children and are often unlicensed. She feels that the conditional use permit she is pursuing from the County should govern whether or not she is allowed to run her family daycare home with 12 children.

Manager Bailey responded that the survey was designed to get community feedback regarding Covenant changes in general, as they relate to daycare and non-daycare businesses including their impact on traffic, community standards, etc. Roberts said that she did not see the difference between her daycare operation and other home-based businesses. Manager Bailey stated the survey has three tiers: (1) above five kids, (2) five kids or less, and (3) all other home-based businesses.

Roberts expressed her intention to do everything possible to get her conditional use permit from the County and hopes that the BCA Board will "get onboard" with her desire to get the permit.

Manager Bailey responded by explaining that the 75% referenced by Roberts did not apply to the survey. He explained that a 75% vote of the residents would be required to change the language in the Covenants if the question was put to a vote by the residents in a community-wide referendum. Manager Bailey disagreed that the survey was specifically directed to her business only.

President O'Hanley pointed out that the BCA Board had taken the survey because Roberts had requested support from the BCA Board for her application for a variance and conditional use permit from the County. She thanked Mrs. Roberts for her comments.

BCA Annual Meeting and Board Elections

Director Leonard made a motion to set the date of the annual BCA meeting as April 21, 2014. Director Hillman seconded the motion. There was a question from Director Leonard regarding the planned location for the meeting. Manager Bailey advised that the Association would try to get use of the Brandermill Church for the annual meeting. This motion passed unanimously.

Landscape Services

President O'Hanley then moved to consider the RFP for landscape management services. Manager Bailey explained that the RFP, if approved, would go out February 4, 2014. Manager Bailey noted that the intent of the RFP is to have all landscape services supplied by one contractor. He covered the services to be provided, including all labor, supervision and materials to maintain the community landscaping through the contract period. He noted that the RFP included insurance and OSHA safety requirements as well as the landscape contractor having appropriate resources to include arborists, horticulturists and landscape designers. Manager Bailey explained that the RFP would cover lawn care, edging, weed and hardscape control, ornamental shrubs, maintenance of the annual beds including pruning, weed control and dead heading of flowers throughout the season and weekly watering. The RFP would also include tree care and leaf removal. Manager Bailey explained that all of the above requirements would be the basis for the proposal. He indicated that the RFP would also solicit pricing for optional services such as mulching of the plant beds and seasonal color. He noted that the board packet contained maps indicating the proposed areas for each of these two services (pages 28-37).

Director Leonard asked a question regarding the types of annual and perennials that would be included. Director Hillman discussed the types of plants that needed to be considered. Director Davis asked if it was necessary for the BCA Board to discuss the specific types of plants to be included. Director Hillman responded, "Yes, if we are going pay for landscaping, then we need to specify and receive plants that look good and return good value for the funds expended."

Director Hillman also stated that she noticed the RFP only calls for one weekly watering. She commented that this would be insufficient if we do not have a wet growing season. Manager Bailey responded that it included one weekly watering by the landscape contractor. He noted that the BCA Staff would water more frequently, if required. Manager Bailey stated the horticultural applications are new for Brandermill. This includes lime, aeration and seed, where needed in BCA common areas. Monument plantings are fully addressed in the RFP.

Director Davis questioned, based upon the questions that had been raised, if the RFP was ready to go out for bids. Manager Bailey asked if the mix of annuals and perennials should be reconsidered in the RFP in response to Director Hillman's concerns.

Manager Bailey indicated that 50 homes are signed up to have curbside leaf renewal done right now (this winter).

Director Blom stated he does not want leaf pickup to be a deal breaker in the landscape contract that will be awarded. He did not want the price quote on leaf removal to eliminate a company that was otherwise be the best choice.

Director Hillman stated that after this year the BCA should be in a better position to measure if there is broad-based participation by residents for this service which could determine whether it is ultimately built into Association's costs and assessments.

Director Bettin made a motion that the landscape RFP be released for bid as written taking into account the comments/advice of the Board. Director Blom seconded the motion. Director Leonard asked how many landscape companies are likely to bid.

Manager Bailey replied that there are at least four and maybe six. They are required to have a horticulturalist and arborist on staff.

Manager Bailey added that the timeline is: bids are to be received by February 21; during the week of February 24, a meeting will be held to discuss the bids; and a possible decision may be made in March.

The motion passed unanimously.

Forty Hands Project

President O'Hanley said that a form is available in The Village Mill for interested parties, and the initiative requires no BCA funds as it will be financed through donations. The project needs 20 people (40 hands) to help Brandermill residents needing help with exterior maintenance and maybe some interior housekeeping, etc. This initiative is listed in the Master Plan.


Highlights of January 28, 2014 Special BCA Board Meeting and Work Session

Posted February 8, 2014 at 12:32 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 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.

President O'Hanley asked Manager Bailey to lead the Directors through the pool projects being considered. Manager Bailey stated that there are two main topics to be considered. The first is an RFP for major maintenance of the pools. This is a contract proposal for re-plastering, coping, tile, demarcation tile and those types of maintenance items directly related to the pools or the "stuff in the water". Secondly, he noted that there is a second list of potential projects that the Manager submitted to the BCA Board in November (see pages 12-23 of November 4, 2013 Board packet). This second list of projects compiles a number of other possible repairs and maintenance items related to the pools.

Manager Bailey first took the group through the second list of potential items. He said that this list was broken down into projects by each individual pool and then further into projects relating to the pool exteriors, the pools, the pool support buildings, and lastly everything to do with the pool properties from the parking lot to the pool. He noted that the list was further broken down into items that could be handled by the BCA Staff and those that would need to be handled by contractors.

North Beach Pool - Suggested Repairs

Manager Bailey acknowledged the BCA Board's desire to place the highest priority on repairs and maintenance to the North Beach pool. He stated that he was looking for direction from the Directors in prioritizing items within the list. He commented that there was a certain amount of money in the Replacement Reserve Fund for fixing the pools, e.g., re-plastering the pools, fixing the bathrooms, etc. He stated that he had met with two general contractors concerning the list of projects submitted in November and noted that he had not yet received quotes from the contractors, although he had gotten ideas from them regarding necessary maintenance and repairs. He gave, as an example, the foundation wall in the pump room at the North Beach pool. He stated that this non-reinforced cinder block wall has buckled on one side. He stated that this wall needed to be repaired and would require contractor services, including engineering, excavation and inspection approval.

Director Malek asked if this was the wall in the bathroom at the North Beach pool. Manager Bailey stated the location of this wall was across from the bathrooms on the far side of the snack bar at the pool.

Director Hillman asked if this was not a normal repair type item; Manager Bailey responded that this was more significant than a normal maintenance item. Director Hillman asked if the repairs for this wall would be paid from the Reserve Fund, and Manager Bailey confirmed that they would. Manager Bailey noted that he was bringing this to the BCA Board's attention because it was be a repair that had to be accomplished and would have a significant cost. He noted that he had started with the repair on this wall because it had not been communicated on the list in November and because it would be a major cost item against the Reserve Fund.

Manager Bailey went on to discuss many of the items on the list of repairs for North Beach, such as cutting back the understory, replacing the gate, replacing signs at the entrance, etc., that would be covered by the Reserve Fund. He asked if the Directors might want to add the removal of the lower paved parking lot nearest the pool and having it replaced by gravel like the upper two lots. The Directors noted that this lower paved lot is severely deteriorated and was slated to be replaced in 2015 by the last Reserve Study (which was done in 2011). Manager Bailey asked if the Directors wanted to replace this lot in 2014 and have it paid out of the Reserve Fund.

Director Leonard asked Bailey to clarify why Brandermill would consider doing all of these repairs in 2014 before doing the work to improve the one pool at North Beach that the Directors had singled out for improvement.

Director Malek asked if it would not be less expensive to grind up the lower lot and replace it with stones as opposed to the cost of repaving the lot. Bailey responded that he was asking the BCA Board if they supported getting a quote to improve this lower lot in 2014.

President O'Hanley asked the BCA Board to indicate if they supported making any of the repairs suggested in November relative to the North Beach pool. After input from the Directors, President O'Hanley directed Manager Bailey to move ahead on any repair items on the November list which could be accomplished by the BCA Staff.

Director Leonard asked if this was money that would come out of the Operating Fund or the Reserve Fund. Manager Bailey responded that small items such as cutting back the understory at North Beach would be several hundred dollars and would come out of the Operating Fund. President O'Hanley asked for confirmation that the BCA Board supported performing all of the items that could be handled by the BCA Staff. The Directors indicated their support.

President O'Hanley then asked the Directors about their support for contractor repairs to the parking lots. Director Malek asked about the regrading of the top two parking lots at North Beach. Director Leonard asked for a projected dollar cost on this. Manager Bailey responded that the BCA Board needed to help him prioritize because he could not ask for bids on all possible repairs that we did not anticipate doing, or we could damage our relationship with the contractors, thus impacting our ability to get viable quotes in the future. Director Malek summarized for the BCA Board that the only agreement so far regarding the list of repair items proposed in November was for the items that could be accomplished by the BCA Staff.

President O'Hanley asked if there was support for replacing the metal fence at the North Beach pool. Manager Bailey asked the Directors to give him direction on the items for which they wanted quotes versus the items they don't care about repairing in 2014. President O'Hanley supported replacing the fence. A majority of the Directors supported getting a quote on replacing the fence.

Director Bettin stated that he would like to get a quote on repaving or replacing the lower lot at North Beach and regrading the top two lots. The other Directors also supported getting a quote for the repairs and regrading on the parking lots.

Manager Bailey asked the Directors for guidance on creating a new longer handicap access ramp to the pool. He noted that the slope on the current ramp is not ADA-compliant. The BCA Board indicated support for getting a quote to replace this ramp.

Manager Bailey asked the Directors for their agreement to get a contractor quote for gutting the bathroom at the North Beach pool. This would entail taking the existing bathroom down to the studs and completely remodeling. The BCA Board agreed to completely remodel the bathrooms at North Beach.

Manager Bailey then asked about the showers at North Beach. He suggested eliminating the indoor showers and putting in outdoor showers. Manager Bailey noted that his suggestion to eliminate the indoor showers would allow the addition of a toilet and urinal in the men's bathroom. He commented that there could be as many as 400 people using the facility during a swim meet. The Directors supported this suggestion.

Manager Bailey commented that there are no light switches in the bathrooms at North Beach. Lights currently needed to be turned on at the breaker box by the lifeguard. He recommended that the electrical be redone during the remodeling. He estimated that the bathroom remodeling at North Beach would probably cost about $40,000. He noted that total improvements to the support building will probably cost roughly $50,000. The BCA Board agreed to get a price quote for the work to bathroom and support building remodels. The BCA Board also decided to not consider replacing siding, HVAC or gutters this year.

Regarding exterior lighting around the pool, Manager Bailey noted that the posts holding the lights are wooden and needed to be replaced. He suggested getting a quote from the contractors to replace the exterior light posts.

Manager Bailey was asked to clarify the repairs to the fixed patio. He noted that the fixed patio already had a fan and a thermostat. He suggested only adding humidistats and noted that he could get a contractor quote for this work.

President O'Hanley commented that she was in favor of replacing the deck furniture at North Beach. Bailey noted that there was roughly $40,000 in the Reserve Fund for replacement of deck furniture. Director Bettin agreed with the replacement of the deck furniture.

Director Bettin also asked about the painting of the wood at North Beach with "Deck Restore". Manager Bailey recommended removing the wooden bench but not the bleachers.

St. Ledger's Pool - Suggested Repairs

Relative to the pool at St. Ledger's Pool, the BCA Board agreed to make all of the suggested repairs that could be accomplished by the BCA Staff. Manager Bailey suggested that the BCA Board also move ahead with the removal of the old electrical cable and light fixture from the tree at St. Ledger's. Director Bettin noted that he wanted the walkway at the entrance to look safe and clean. Manager Bailey replied that, regarding St. Ledger's and Harbour Pointe, "we want to put lipstick on the pig", indicating that we just want to make them look better but not at major cost.

Manager Bailey commented that there needs to be a railing along the top row of the concrete bleachers at St. Ledger's pool, since it's a safety hazard. The BCA Board agreed. Manager Bailey also commented that there are repairs that needed to be made inside the bathroom at St. Ledger's, noting areas in the bathroom that are open to the studs and areas that show mold. These need repairing. The Directors agreed.

Harbour Pointe Pool - Suggested Repairs

Manager Bailey indicated that the main item to be addressed at Harbour Pointe is the removal of the crepe myrtles that are inside and directly adjacent to the pool fence. These trees drop leaves and debris into the pools.

President O'Hanley asked if the Directors had decided to replace the pool furniture at St. Ledger's. Manager Bailey suggested that the BCA Board let him come back with a proposal to replace all of the pool furniture at all three pools. The Directors agreed.

Manager Bailey indicated that there was not much work needed at Harbour Pointe beyond removal of the crepe myrtles. The Directors agreed to the removal of these trees.

Manager Bailey suggested grinding out and regrading the parking lot at Harbour Pointe. He noted that the paved parking lot at Harbour Pointe was indicated for replacement in 2012 by the Reserve Study. The BCA Board agreed to get a quote to replace this parking lot. Manager Bailey also strongly suggested that something needed to be done about the ruts at the entrance of the parking lot, even if it meant just paving an additional 10 ft. to eliminate the muddy ruts. Director Bettin responded that this repair would be expensive and that he would like to see options.

Consideration of the Contract for Major Maintenance of the North Beach Pool

Manager Bailey clarified that the RFP went out to six different contractors in November. He stated that the notice was also published in The Village Mill. He went on to say that Brandermill had received bids in response from two contractors. One came from Douglas Aquatics, who helped Brandermill write the RFP. The second was from Swim Metro which currently manages the pools. Manager Bailey noted that one of the two quotes was roughly $100,000 less than the other.

Manager Bailey explained that the Pool Review Group consisted of himself, Director Bettin, Director Malek, Diane Cardea, Mel Burton and Bobby Joyner. All of the members of this group reviewed both proposals. Since there were two proposals, the members of the Pool Review Group then met with each contractor for over an hour to get more insight into their expertise and background into the cost difference of the two quotes.

Manager Bailey noted that one company included contingency funds in their quote, while the other did not. However, even allowing for the contingency, there was a significant difference in the two quotes. He noted that the members talked to both contractors about their qualifications and contacted references. The pool review group reached the conclusion that either of the two contractors would do a good job. Additionally, one of the references noted that Brandermill had received quotes from the best two companies. Manager Bailey also noted that Diane Cardea did research into the licensing of the subcontractors. The recommendation from the Pool Review Group was unanimous to go with the proposal from Swim Metro.

Director Hillman asked if the proposal from Swim Metro would form the basis of the final contract. Manager Bailey advised that, in fact, it would. The contract, he noted, had been sent to legal for review.

Manager Bailey noted that the contract contained some funding for work that was not part of the original RFP. He noted that part of the discussion that the Pool Review Group had with the contractors was to ask if there was anything else that the contractors recommended as a "need to be done at this time". As part of the discussion about repairing the tile and the plastering at the other two pools (St. Ledger's and Harbour Pointe), Manager Bailey noted that they had not included replacing the coping (the top edge which caps the pool shell wall) at those pools. Manager Bailey noted that both contractors had suggested replacing the coping if we repair the tile and the plaster. Director Bettin noted that Swim Metro's bid with all coping, tile and plaster work was less than Douglas Aquatics' original bid which did not include the coping work on all three pools. Director Bettin also noted that both contractors advised that, in not replacing the coping, tile and plaster all at the same time, we could compromise the pools later when we did replace the coping.

Director Hillman made a motion to authorize Manager Bailey to enter into a contract with Swim Metro for major repairs to the pools, not to exceed the $203,000 of the original RFP plus $75,000 to replace the coping on all three pools. Director Blom seconded the motion.

Director Leonard noted that the BCA Board had agreed to focus on one pool. He suggested therefore, that the BCA Board not do the tile and coping on the other two pools this year. Manager Bailey responded that the original RFP did call for the re-plastering of all three pools as necessary at this time and noted that it is the re-plastering which prompted the recommendation by the contractors to replace the coping at the same time.

Director Blom also noted that when the BCA Board received the recommendation from the Pool Committee ("PARC"), they had passed a series of motions. One of the motions that passed was that the Association maintain three pools for the foreseeable future. He went on to say that, of course, that doesn't mean forever, but it does mean for the next several years.

President O'Hanley asked for Member Voice regarding the pools.

Joe Herbst (Harbourwood) asked for clarification on the amount of the original RFP. It was clarified as being $203,000.

President O'Hanley called for a vote on the motion. It passed by a vote of 5:1 with Director Leonard opposing and Director Davis absent.


January 6, 2014 BCA Board Meeting Reconvened

Posted February 8, 2014 at 12:32 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 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.

This meeting is a reconvened session of the January 6, 20143 BCA Board meeting. The BCA Board met with the Architectural Review Board ("ARB") to discuss proposed changes to language regarding vegetable and fruit gardens contained in Sections 9.7.1 and 9.7.2 of the Residential Design Standards.

Director Malek stated that the meeting was to discuss the merger of two documents: proposed language from the ARB (see pages 8-9 of December 2, 2013 Board Packet) and the latest version from the BCA Board (below).

ARB Chair Andy Wyman commented that because one resident did not going through the ARB review process, the community is now asked to review the language in the Residential Design Standards. He noted that there are no other community associations in the area that permit front yard vegetable gardens. He suggested that the BCA Board and the ARB review the two documents with proposed language changes for the regulation of vegetable gardens.

The BCA Board proposed the following changes to Sections 9.7.1 and 9.7.2 of the current Residential Design Standards (pages 46-47) (indicated in purple below).
 
9.7.1 General Landscaping: Landscaping of individual lots is required as defined in this section. The ARB does not review minor landscaping decisions of the homeowner.
 
Minor landscaping shall be defined broadly to include but not be limited to adding plants, planting grass, using ground cover materials, or pruning and grubbing of existing plant material.

Major landscaping decisions that affect the character of the lot must be approved by the ARB. These include but are not limited to:
 
a. General clearing of vegetation for structures, driveways, yards, decks and patios, or any other larger use. Clearing of existing trees shall be regulated by paragraph 4.3.3.
b. Construction of landscape structures such as fences, walls, trellises, arbors, gazebos, sheds, etc.
c. Implementation of any landscape plan requiring replacement of existing vegetation with new play areas or planting beds.
d. Any earthwork creating changes in topography, site drainage or creation of ponds, pools or other water features.
 
9.7.2 Minimum Landscape Specifications: The following specifications apply to all improved lots in Brandermill:
 
a. All cleared areas shall be mulched, seeded or sodded, or planted with an approved ground cover.
b. Foundation planting is required along street facing facades of houses (at a minimum) per "Appendix D".
c. All foundation planting beds and all other planting beds shall be mulched.
d. Any landscaping required to restore a buffer improperly cleared, or to provide a buffer in cases where privacy between lots would otherwise be severely compromised, will be in addition to the minimum allowance required.
e. Where nursery trees are required as part of landscape requirements they shall be correct in form for their species, have normal growth habit, have well developed branches, densely foliated, and be planted with the proper space to allow growth to maturity. Emphasis on scarcely wooded lots shall be on placement of street trees directly along street frontage. On heavily wooded lots where adequate trees exist, emphasis should be placed on accent trees located to highlight building entry zones or architectural elements of the house. All trees shall be adequately planted and staked. (See Harbour Ridge in the NEIGHBORHOOD MATRIX.)
f. No new landscaping shall commence until all trash, stones, gravel, branches, weeds, and construction debris have been removed from the lot.
g. Property owners desiring a vegetable garden in excess of 90 square feet should consider renting a plot at Heritage Farms and should contact the BCA for further information and availability.
 
h. Fruit & Vegetable Gardens
Landscape plans that include fruit and vegetable plants must be approved by the ARB. Gardens shall be limited to the rear yard; however, consideration will be given to planting gardens in side yards or front yards if there are proven growing condition limitations for a particular property. All gardens must be regularly maintained (mulched and weeded throughout the year and cleared at the end of the growing season). Individual plants shall not exceed 48” in height when used in side or front yards.

Side Yard Gardens: If rear yard conditions are proven to have growing condition limitations, then the next location for consideration of a garden is the Side Yard. Side Yard Gardens shall not exceed 90 square feet and shall be no closer than 5 feet from the side lot line.

Front Yard Gardens: If rear and side yard conditions are proven to have growing condition limitations, then and only then can consideration be given for a garden in the Front Yard. Front Yard Gardens shall not exceed 90 square feet and shall be no closer than 10 feet from the front lot line.
 
i. Artificial vegetation is prohibited.
j. Any earthwork creating changes in topography, site drainage, or creation of ponds, pools, or other water features must be approved by the ARB. Exterior fountains and ponds are not permitted in front yards unless approved by the ARB.

Chair Wyman asserted that vegetable gardens should not be located in the front yard and that the community should have oversight on any vegetable garden in the back yard. He pointed out that even gardens in the back yard could affect properties adjoining the back yard and would need oversight. He also asserted that, as a real estate professional, he believes the community needs to think about the community’s property values as we consider revising the Standards. He stated that the ARB’s proposal stressed that there should be no front yard vegetable gardens, that vegetable gardens located in the side yard should be screened from view and that even vegetable gardens in the back yard needed to be regulated as to size and location.

Director Malek responded that the BCA Board had already decided that gardens are to be permitted in the front and side yards.

President O'Hanley noted that she had seen the Gilson property yesterday and that it looked better than others in that neighborhood. She commented that it was not just the Gilson property that the BCA Board was considering, noting that 60% of all properties are heavily ladened with trees, much more than what is found in other communities. She felt that only a handful of people will want to plant vegetable gardens in the front yard and that the BCA Board and the ARB were almost at an impasse. She asked that the ARB’s comments be specific with regards to the BCA Board’s proposed language changes. She agreed with Director Malek that the BCA Board had already voted at a BCA Board meeting to allow front yard and side yard vegetable gardens under certain circumstances.

ARB member Sherry Blom encouraged the BCA Board to go back and listen to the audio tape of their BCA Board meeting. She maintained that the Directors had voted to allow a vegetable garden in the front yard of the Gilson property through the end of 2013. She noted that the BCA Board’s previous decision was not to institute a broad change to the language of the Residential Design Standards for all of Brandermill.

Director Malek responded that his position was well known and "that was then and this is now."

ARB member Nanette Parsons asserted that the BCA Board had never voted on the ARB's first submission of suggested language changes (pages 8-9, December 2, 2013 Board packet). She commented that the BCA Board had only voted on their own recommended changes, which begged the question of “Why is the ARB here?”

Manager Bailey then noted that clearly there were major differences between the positions of the ARB and the BCA Board. He suggested that they hold a discussion of the specifics. He suggested that the board and the ARB go through the proposed language changes and identify areas where they could agree.

The Directors and the ARB members agreed that the language in the BCA Board’s proposed changes relative to "Minor Landscaping" and "Major Landscaping" in Section 9.7.1 was acceptable to both.

The Directors and the ARB members then considered the proposed language in Section 9.7.1.c regarding implementation of any landscape plan requiring the replacement of existing vegetation.

Manager Bailey asked for clarification regarding the definition of a “planting bed”. He asked if it needed to be defined. President O'Hanley asked if that was a box or if that was a bed for planting flowers or other vegetation which is usually mulched. The ARB responded that it could be either, that it indicated an area for planting flowers or shrubs which is generally mulched. It was agreed that this section was also acceptable.

The Directors and the ARB moved on to consider the proposed change to Section 9.7.2.g. Parsons noted that she felt it could be incorporated into the proposed change under Section 9.7.2.h; the participants agreed to this.

The BCA Board moved to discuss Section 9.7.2.h ("Fruit and Vegetable Gardens"). Manager Bailey asked for clarification, commenting that he understood the ARB wanted to authorize vegetable gardens located in the back yard. He asked if that was correct. President O'Hanley asked if that is currently the case.

Director Malek also asked for clarification. He asked if the ARB was suggesting that the planting of 4¬5 tomato plants in the back yard would require approval by the ARB. Chair Wyman responded that a “garden” could be interpreted by some as the entire rear yard. Director Leonard pointed out that there are many properties with back yards that adjoin the golf course and the lake. He also noted that some regulation over the back yards was necessary because those areas could be seen from other properties. Director Malek responded that the proposed change limited vegetable gardens to 90 sq.ft. He suggested that that could be reduced. Leonard responded that the size of the proposed back yard vegetable garden was not the issue, but rather that the ARB still needed to approve the proposed landscape plans to the back yards as well as the front and side yards.

Chair Wyman asked if the assumption was that a vegetable garden could never be larger than 90 sq.ft. Director Malek responded that the Directors working on the proposed language changes had arrived at that number as the maximum size and also stated that his intent was to have any garden, regardless of location, to not exceed 90 sq.ft. Manager Bailey asked if the BCA Board and the ARB were in agreement to limit the size of back yard gardens to 90 sq.ft. He also clarified how the Directors had arrived at that number, noting that the plots at the Heritage Farm community gardens were 100 sq.ft. so that anyone wanting a larger garden could request a plot at the community garden location.

Chair Wyman stated that he was comfortable with 90 sq.ft. as the maximum size of a back yard garden. He noted that Woodlake’s standards also required that the garden be located behind the plane or sight line of the house. Manager Bailey asked if the BCA Board would want to add that condition. Discussion followed regarding the definition of the side yard versus the back yard.

ARB member Chuck Rayfield noted that the conditions needed to address the possibilities because everything that might happen will happen at some point. He noted that it is important to control both the size and the location of a back yard garden.

Director Malek commented that there are many people who put in a few (4-5) tomato plants every year. He asked if these all need to be reviewed by the ARB for approval. The ARB responded that a few plants would fall under the "minor landscape" change and would not require approval.

Manager Bailey then suggested that Section 9.7.2.h be changed to read: "Minor landscape plans that include fruit and vegetable gardens shall be limited to the rear yard."

ARB member Rayfield asked if there was any need to define what minor meant if the maximum size was limited to 90 sq.ft.

ARB member Sherry Blom asked if minor landscaping plans needed to be addressed twice, in both Sections 9.7.1 and 9.7.2.

The board and the ARB moved to consider the phrase: "however, consideration will be given to planting gardens in side yards or front yards if there are proven growing condition limitations for a particular property."

Manager Bailey noted that the BCA Board and the ARB differed specifically on the language in the above phrase “or front yards”. (Several Directors maintain that consideration should be given to language allowing front yard vegetable gardens. The ARB opposed to any language allowing front yard vegetable gardens.)

The BCA Board moved to consider of the language requiring regular maintenance of vegetable gardens, including weeding and mulching. Assistant Manager Al Raimo asked for clarification on language regarding clearing of the gardens at the end of the growing season. He pointed out that Hampton Park’s standards allowed the use of mesh fencing around vegetable gardens during the growing season. He asked if the BCA Board needed to consider these points and to define the growing season. ARB member Parsons responded that there are many winter crops that people might want to plant and did not feel that these limitations were needed. The Directors decided to accept this language.

The BCA Board moved to the discussion of the proposed maximum height of 48” for vegetable plants. ARB member Rayfield asked if everyone had a mental picture of a 4’ high vegetable garden in the front yard. There was additional discussion regarding the BCA Board’s difference with the ARB regarding vegetable gardens in the front yard. Manager Bailey noted that the BCA Board would vote on that issue and asked the group to focus on the maximum allowable height for vegetable plants.

Director Blom commented that he did not think a majority of the BCA Board would support 48” vegetable plants in the front yard. Director Malek noted that it was clearly not unanimous. Director Blom suggested that if they truly wanted to develop compromise language, the Directors could take a vote to determine if the majority of the BCA Board supported front yard gardens and 48” as the maximum height for vegetable plants in the front yard.

Director Bettin asked for clarification regarding the ARB’s authority to approve major landscaping changes, including the possible location of a vegetable garden in the front yard. He asked if the BCA Board would not still have the authority to review and authorize or reject a plan to put in 48” tall vegetable plants in the front yard. He said he understood that the ARB would retain the responsibility of reviewing any major landscaping changes, including the planting of a front yard garden.

Chair Wyman responded that the ARB would retain the responsibility to approve major landscaping changes including front yard gardens and could then control the maximum height of plants. He went on to say that the intent of the current proposed changes was to establish more objectivity and specificity into the Standards regarding what would be allowed relative to vegetable gardens. He stated that objectivity in applying the Standards would not be a problem relative to rear or side gardens. However, he noted the difficulty in applying a similar Standard to the front yards of homes. Someone would always be unhappy if we allow three plants in one yard and six in another. He asked, again, why Brandermill would allow front yard vegetable gardens under any circumstances when none of the other community associations in the area do, specifically because it’s too difficult to control. He pointed out that Brandermill had not allowed any front yard vegetable gardens for at least the last 15 years.

Director Blom again suggested that the board take a vote on whether or not to allow front yard vegetable gardens under any circumstances. Director Malek responded that it would not be appropriate since one board member was absent.

Manager Bailey suggested that the BCA Board finish the discussion of the language and came back to the matter of 48” as the maximum allowable height for vegetable plants.

Director Hillman asked what was wrong with allowing the ARB to approve all gardens, regardless of location. It was then suggested that the language front and side be eliminated and the language in the proposed changes be changed to “All gardens must be approved by the ARB.” Director Malek responded that specific language was needed and suggested that "minor" needed to be defined. He suggested that language could possibly be inserted to define a minor garden as 50 sq.ft. or less, with anything larger requiring ARB approval.

ARB member Nanette Parsons then offered some thoughts on how to define "minor". She noted that Director Malek’s example of several tomato plants were part of an already existing garden which is not solely fruit and vegetables. She suggested that the Association might need to define vegetable gardens as gardens containing only fruits and vegetables.

Manager Bailey noted that Parsons’ suggestion tied into the question of whether something was a “garden” or a “landscape plan”.

ARB member Rayfield suggested that he could see “minor” being defined as a 36 or 50 sq.ft. vegetable garden within the rear plane of the house. He suggested this might not need approval because it could be considered “minor”. Anything else in front or side would not be considered minor.

Director Blom suggested language saying that "Fruit and vegetable gardens that meet the definition of major landscaping must be approved by the ARB."

Chair Wyman noted that the discussion illustrated the difficulty of the approval process. He again made the point that if the Gilson’s had gone through the process and submitted an application for their front yard vegetable garden, they would have been denied approval. He stated again that the Association was discussing the topic because someone had not "gone through the process".

Director Malek noted that he thought Chair Wyman’s remarks oversimplified the situation.

Chair Wyman suggested that the confusion was allowed because the current standards only say that changes to landscaping require ARB approval. He noted that a repeat of the Gilson situation could only be avoided if the standards were clarified to say "absolutely no front yard gardens."

Director Malek again responded that the BCA Board’s goal was to make the language in the Standards as specific as possible.

ARB member Rayfield suggested that the BCA Board should consult with other community associations, noting that he had consulted with such people who had told him that they do not allow front yard vegetable gardens because it is "not manageable".

Director Malek responded that Brandermill is a "unique" community. He reminded those present that the Gilson’s had no other location other than the front yard in which they could grow vegetables.

Manager Bailey asked if the group was still defining minor gardens.

Chair Wyman responded that everyone was in agreement on side and back yards.

Manager Bailey moved the group to discuss the language pertaining to side yard gardens. ARB members noted that some language would need to be inserted that would prohibit side yard gardens from facing the street.

ARB member Rayfield referred to the language in the proposed changes that conditions front or side yard gardens only upon “proven growing conditions”. He asked where the Association was going to get the funding for the soil analysis needed to prove appropriate growing conditions. He asked also what the Standard would be for the necessary hours of sunlight. Manager Bailey responded that the burden of proof would be upon the homeowner.

There was more discussion about the allowable dimensions for the gardens and the allowable position for the garden relative to the lot line.

ARB member Henderson suggested that if front yard gardens were to be allowed that the size of gardens located in the front should be limited to 20 sq.ft. He noted again that the ARB did not want to see front yard gardens allowed under any circumstances, so this represented his suggestion for compromise language for front yard gardens.

Director Blom suggested language that linked exact dimensions to the size of the property and that approval of garden size would be determined by the ARB. This way, he noted, a homeowner would not assume that he had automatic approval for 90 sq.ft.

Director Malek stated that he could agree with language of that nature.

Others suggested that such language would be acceptable but should also include a maximum allowable size, e.g., 90 sq.ft., that could never be exceeded regardless of the size or shape of the property.

Chair Wyman noted that such language would leave discretion with the ARB, and the ARB would then continue to be the whipping boy on a controversial issue. He again stated that the only way to avoid this was to never allow a vegetable garden in the front yard.

Manager Bailey brought the BCA Board’s attention to the need to create draft language to put into the March edition of The Village Mill in order to receive comments back from the community. This timing would allow the BCA Board to vote on finalized changes to the language in April, so the revised Standards would be ready for the growing season beginning in April. He noted that that gave the BCA Board only about 3½ weeks to come up with language to put into The Village Mill.

In response, Director Blom noted that the BCA Board had asked the ARB to submit suggested changes to the language; therefore, he felt the language to be published for public comment should come from the ARB. He noted that the BCA Board could then vote to make changes to the proposed language, but that the proposed language should originate with the ARB.

ARB Member Russek said that the ARB would be happy to submit language to be published in The Village Mill for public review and comment. She noted that the language being discussed at this meeting had not originated with the ARB.

Chair Wyman noted that the process of the ARB submitting language for a Director vote had not been followed. Instead, the BCA Board had developed language and said this is what the ARB should propose.

Director Hillman commented that she had assumed that the language currently under discussion had originated with the ARB because it was included in the board packet.

Director Blom noted that the ARB has now gotten input from the Directors and that the process calls for the ARB to give the BCA Board suggested language changes regarding the vegetable gardens. He stated that the BCA Board could then either pass, reject or overhaul the ARB’s suggested language.

Manager Bailey stated that the deadline for the ARB to submit their proposed language changes would be driven by the publication deadline for the March issue of The Village Mill (last week in February).

Director Bettin added that he felt the ARB needed to add some definition of "minor changes".

Manager Bailey asked the Directors to confirm the process going forward. He stated that his understanding was that the ARB would take the discussion from the current meeting, develop suggested language for the BCA Board and that the ARB’s proposed language would then be published in The Village Mill.

Director Malek objected, asking why it would be the ARB language that was published. Director Blom responded that the BCA Board had asked the ARB to develop the proposed language. Manager Bailey responded that he recommended that the ARB’s language be published prior to the BCA Board’s vote.

Director Malek stated that the BCA Board had the authority to look at the proposed language from the ARB. He objected to the ARB’s proposed language being published in The Village Mill for public comment prior to the BCA Board’s final vote on the language. President O'Hanley decided that the BCA Board would talk later about the ARB’s proposed language being published in The Village Mill prior to a Board vote.

ARB member Rayfield asked for a point of order. He asked about Director Blom being told that the BCA Board could not take a vote because a director was absent. Director Blom clarified that he was only asking for a “straw vote” to determine the BCA Board's position regarding front yard vegetable gardens. Director Hillman asserted that the BCA Board could take a vote even with a director absent because the meeting is an official Board meeting.

Manager Bailey agreed that if a motion were made, the Directors could take a vote. Rayfield agreed that Director Blom had only been asking for a vote to determine the BCA Board’s position and that he had not understood why that might be prohibited just because a director was absent.

ARB member Sherry Blom asked the Directors to think about landscaping. She noted that most good landscaping used undulating lines. She asked the BCA Board to think about a vegetable garden with straight borders. She noted that a vegetable garden of this shape (a rectangular or square shape) would stick out "like a sore thumb".

Chair Wyman commented that we don’t yet have clarity on the process. He asked for clarification on who was going to produce the proposed changes. Director Malek stated that everyone agreed that the ARB would generate the proposed changes in language for the BCA Board’s review.

Manager Bailey clarified that it was not yet decided if the ARB’s proposed changes would be published in The Village Mill prior to the BCA Board’s vote, or if the ARB’s proposed changes would go directly to the BCA Board for their review or that the BCA Board’s final accepted version of the proposed changes would then be published.

Director Blom suggested that the ARB develop the proposed changes in the language and submit that document to the BCA Board. The Directors could then vote to publish the proposed changes in The Village Mill. Manager Bailey noted that this timing would mean that the proposed revised language would not be published for community review until April.

ARB member Russek asked that the ARB have until the end of February to develop the proposed language.

Director Blom then clarified that the BCA Board would then act upon the proposed language to determine what would be published in The Village Mill.

This meeting was then adjourned by vote of the Directors.