Archives for September 2014

County Hosts Community Meeting Regarding Pet Pig Conditional Use Application

Posted September 19, 2014 at 11:36 AM
September 30, 2014
7:00 p.m.
Clover Hill High School
This meeting is an important opportunity for interested residents to hear about the application for a conditional use permit to keep a pet pig at a residence in Brandermill’s Timber Ridge neighborhood. Residents of the county are invited to attend to learn more about this application and to share their views with our Planning Commissioner.

Important Dates for Pet Pig Conditional Use Permit Application

The proffered conditions of the conditional use permit is available for download.

  • 9/30/2014 - Community Meeting, 7-9 p.m., Clover Hill High School in "Forum" meeting room. This meeting will be chaired by Mr. Russell J. Gulley, Planning Commissioner for Chesterfield County’s Clover Hill District.
  • 10/21/2014 – Planning Commission Meeting, 6 p.m. at the Chesterfield County Public Meeting Room, 10001 Iron Bridge Road, Chesterfield, VA 23832.
  • 10/22/2014 – Board of Supervisors Meeting, 6:30 p.m. at the Chesterfield County Public Meeting Room.

Pet Pig Information

A Brandermill resident has applied for a conditional use permit to keep a pet pig in their home. The Brandermill Board has issued the following statement regarding the case.
The governing documents of the Brandermill Community Association are silent with respect to pigs and pig ownership. In our view this is a proper issue for the county with respect to conditional use Permits because of the precedent setting nature of any decision. What the County decides on this particular case will have an impact on all communities within the county. In addition to concerns expressed by County Animal Control, there is certainly the health issue attendant to animal waste. And, given the absence of any restrictions by our covenants, what would the decision be on a request for a cow, a horse, or another farm animal inside a traditional recognized residential setting. Accordingly, we look to the Chesterfield County Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors for the broader perspective and decision.
Important information regarding the conditional use permit application:

Owner’s information and perspective regarding the pet pig is available for downloading.

  • The pet pig is currently living at the residence in Brandermill.
  • It is a violation of County zoning ordinances to keep a livestock animal in a residential neighborhood in Chesterfield County.
  • An anonymous complaint caused the owners to file for a conditional use permit with Chesterfield County in order to keep the pet pig in a residential neighborhood of the county.
  • As noted in the statement by the Brandermill Board of Directors there is a precedent setting aspect to the decision by the County regarding this conditional use permit.
  • The County has never granted a conditional use permit to keep a livestock animal in a neighborhood that is zoned as residential.
  • The pet pig, according to the owner, is currently about 155 lbs.
  • The pet pig is primarily kept indoors. When outside it is kept in a fenced backyard or on a leash.
  • The pet pig is a Kunekune pig. This breed of pig originated in New Zealand and is smaller than most other pig breeds. The Kunekune breed has a variety of uses and is sometimes kept as a pet due to its intelligence and temperament.
The NRC encourages all interested Brandermill members to attend the community meeting on September 30th.

Highlights of September 8, 2014 BCA Board Meeting

Posted September 12, 2014 at 3:35 PM
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 for BCA Board Meetings of July 31, 2014 and August 4, 2014

Since Joe Herbst, Kathy Cantrell and George Lawson all spoke as individual residents and not as NRC officers during the Member Voice sessions of the above two meetings, Director Hillman moved that their NRC titles be omitted from the above cited minutes to reflect such. The motion, seconded by Director Leonard, was unanimously passed.

First Vice President's Report

Director Pearson moved and Director Hillman seconded that Vicki Pavlova (see page 8 of the September 8, 2014 Board information packet) be approved to join the Finance Committee. This motion was passed unanimously.

Treasurer's Report

Based on the "Budget Variances including Year to Date for Operating from July 1,2014 to July 31, 2014" report (see pages 9-11 of September 8, 2014 Board information packet), Treasurer Hillman reported that pool revenues appear to be about the same as last year and continue to be under-budget year-to-date. Bank/Credit Card Charges are over-budget year-to-date as are Bad Debts and Irrigation Repairs.

Irrigation systems are located in the areas of Brandermill Parkway and Genito Road, and Millridge Parkway and Old Hundred Road. Manager Bailey noted that the Maintenance Department is presently documenting "where we have stuff". As Maintenance staff discovers undocumented "stuff" owned by the BCA that have fallen to disarray, they are repairing them and adding them to a maintenance schedule. These repairs should benefit Brandermill with reduced costs in watering, water trucks and loss of plant life.

Director Malek asked if the BCA had ever considered putting in an irrigation sprinkler at each of the neighborhood entrances. Manager Bailey said that he was not aware of such past consideration. President Davis noted that it would be an expensive proposition for 78 neighborhoods, and Director Malek concurred. Director Hillman noted that the landscape contract included watering of the plants at the entrances.

President Davis asked for clarification on how some of the irrigation systems got "lost". Manager Bailey replied that some BCA assets have not been documented, and as an example, cited the entrance area of Market Square (Millridge Parkway and Old Hundred Road) and the surrounding three triangular islands contained undocumented irrigation systems, which were in disarray and have now been repaired.

Director Pearson asked about actual pool revenues being under-budget. Treasurer Hillman responded that it is anticipated that pool revenues will match last year's actual revenue, but that amount will still be less than the budgeted amount. Director Pearson commented that there were actually more memberships sold this year than last and wondered if the problem might have been that there were not enough Daily Pool Passes sold this year. Manager Bailey replied that it was a combination of over-estimating 2014 pool revenue (which reflected an approximate $10,000 decrease from the 2013 budgeted amount) and testing the effectiveness of changes made in pool membership pricing.

Director Pearson asked if the Violation Charges of approximately $4,600 was written off, since it showed as a negative amount in the income section of the Variance report. Treasurer Hillman said that she would check on that.

Manager's Report

Manager Bailey stated that the pools are now closed for the season, but there is still some contract work to be done before winterization of the pools is complete. This work included replacement of coping and depth tiles, deck repairs and general clean-up. Work (using Capital and Operating funds) to be performed this winter include replacement of pump room wall, parking lots, storage areas and other repairs.

As of September 8, 2014 2013 (approximate) 2014 (approximate)
Pool revenue $216,960 $220,130
Pool attendance 26,000 29,000
Pool membership 513 886
Daily pool passes N/A 2,950 residents
956 non-resident guests
Resident family memberships N/A 596
Resident single memberships N/A 71
Resident caregiver memberships N/A 58

Total resident pool participation represented approximately 19.2% of the total community (not including daily pool passes).

Director Pearson noted that there were 373 more memberships this year, but there were only about 3,000 more pool visits. Manager Bailey reiterated that the daily pool pass attendance was not included in that number.

Manager Bailey reviewed the Property Management report (page 12 of the September 8, 2014 Board information packet) and stated that the Property Management staff is now using tablets to report their findings. These tablets are working well to reduce staff time. 360o inspections in Turtle Hill, Deer Meadow, Barnes Springs, Watkins Glen and Cradle Hill have been or will be conducted during August and September.

Manager Bailey also reviewed the Mailbox Transition report (page 13 of the September 8, 2014 Board information packet). All the mailbox cluster units have now been replaced.

For the first time ever, the Hearing Panel has submitted a synopsis (page 23 of the September 8, 2014 Board information packet) of covenant violations which have been referred for legal proceedings. Manager Bailey noted that of the 15 cases that were presented to the Hearing Panel in August, seven of those issues have been resolved.

NRC Committee Report

NRC Chair Joe Herbst presented a summary of the NRC meeting held August 26, 2014. Two specific items presented to the BCA Board reflected two NRC votes at that meeting: (1) creation of a NRC task force to gather information on home-based businesses, and (2) request that the BCA Board take a stronger position on the pet pig ownership issue.

President Davis asked about the number of Brandermill households represented when the NRC votes on its motions. Chair Herbst replied that there were 14 NRC Reps representing 14 Brandermill neighborhoods at the August 26, 2014 NRC meeting. President Davis asked if the 14 Reps at that meeting had conducted a survey of their neighborhoods to get neighborhood consensus. Chair Herbst noted the Reps had talked to their neighbors about the issues, but no official survey was done.

Director Blom stated:
The Board recently adopted its statement regarding Covenant 2A after spending considerable time reviewing the alternatives available to the Board and what we believed would be the implications of pursing each alternative.

In reviewing the alternatives the Board considered many factors including the history of complaints by members of the community over the years relative to Covenant 2a, the sentiment of the community relative to residence based businesses as expressed in the Board’s survey of the community earlier this year, costs and practicalities that would be associated with enforcement of 2A, and advice of counsel regarding the options available to the Board.

The statement ultimately adopted was that “With respect to in-home businesses, and specifically regarding Section 2A of the Restrictive Covenants, the Board will continue to monitor the situation and react as necessary.”

It would be inconsistent with that Board action and the Board’s position on Covenant 2A for the Board, the staff, or any Board committee to initiate any further action regarding Covenant 2A.

With that in mind (and being mindful of a vote taken by the NRC at its most recent meeting), I move that the Board direct the NRC to refrain from holding neighborhood meetings regarding home-based businesses or to take any other actions or activities relative to Covenant 2A.
Director Hillman seconded the motion.

Director Leonard felt that this motion eliminated response from the community with regards to this issue. He acknowledged that the Directors had tried to garner community input through it survey. He felt the NRC was trying to help the BCA Board determine how far it should go with Covenant 2a. The community might well give the Directors some ideas on the subject.

Director Pearson felt that this motion "straddled the fence", which invites questions. He does not want to dissuade public discussion. He hoped that the NRC could continue with its task force so that it could possibly provide community feedback on what other alternatives the BCA Board might consider with regards to Covenant 2a.

President Davis asked what percentage of the community responded to the Board's survey. Manager Bailey believed it was close to 50% of the community. Director Hillman commented that the Directors had considered the results of the survey at the time it voted to "continue monitoring the situation and react as necessary".

President Davis commented that people could still provide input, but based on a resolution adopted by the BCA Board, he did not feel that a legal/official entity of the BCA should pursue this matter any further, unless current circumstances changed.

Director Blom believes that the survey results supported home-based businesses, but there probably wasn't enough support to change the covenants. This would leave the BCA Board "between a rock and a hard place". President Davis agreed.

Director Leonard seemed to remember that Director Blom testified the survey wasn't "worth a hill of beans". Director Blom denied testifying to that effect and clarified that he had concerns about certain questions on the survey. He felt that the 71% voting in-favor for home-based businesses was a very good response. Director Blom noted that the Directors had also gotten legal advice on this issue.

Director Pearson expressed his concern that the Directors might be setting precedence that whenever the BCA Board doesn't like something the NRC might want to do, it would squelch it. He feels it's a bad precedence.

President Davis stated that the NRC's chartered role was one of being an information conduit. It is not a policy-making group.

Director Leonard felt that the suggested task force would simply be gathering information, and the the BCA Board would make the final decision. Director Pearson added that he felt the NRC to be an advisory group.

Director Blom stated that he felt it appropriate in most cases, but in this particular issue of home-based businesses, the Directors had spent a lot of time considering the issue. He felt it was time for the BCA Board to move on.

Director Malek commented that residents could speak to the Directors on any subject matter at any of the BCA Board meetings. He felt that the 14 Reps attending the August 26, 2014 NRC meeting did not represent the community.

President Davis called the question, and the motion was passed 4:2, with President Davis, Directors Blom, Hillman and Malek voting "for" and Directors Pearson and Leonard voting "against".

Member Voice

Dennis Lacey (Timber Ridge) distributed photos of utility boxes located in Brandermill as well as utility boxes located in other areas. A particular photo of a utility box located in Canada depicted one which depicted a floral scene. Lacey emphasized the dilapidated conditions of some of the utility boxes and asked that the BCA contact the utility companies to rectify this. Director Hillman recalled that the Community Character Committee had make a recommendation to plant shrubbery in front of some of these boxes to hide them from public view. Manager Bailey commented that shrubbery could not be planted around all the boxes because of where they were situated and what they serviced. President Davis asked that the BCA contact the utility companies to see what may be done about the situation.

President Davis rhetorically asked Lacey if it was more difficult to sell real estate today or to protect the President of the United States. Lacey responded with "sell real estate".

Consideration of BCA Committee Restructuring

Director Blom moved and President Davis seconded the motion to accept the General Policies for Committee Operations (see pages 25-35 of the September 8, 2014 Board information packet). Note: The Policies included in this packet reflect changes made by the BCA Board during its September 3, 2014 Work Session.

The Directors agreed to vote on all committee changes at the end of this discussion.

Director Leonard suggested that under Item #8 (Board Liaison), strict designation of the First Vice President of the Board to serve as liaison to the ARB created an additional burden on the position. He enumerated the various duties already assigned to that position in BCA documents and suggested that the ARB liaison be appointed by President and it not necessarily be the First Vice President. Designation of the Second Vice President is already specified in other BCA documents and therefore need not be specified in these general committee policies. President Davis suggested that those two lines be eliminated from the proposed general committee policies. General discussion of this issue indicated agreement to delete the two added sentences in Item #8 on page 27 of the September 8, 2014 Board information packet.

Director Pearson corrected Item #2 (Definitions) to read: "Board" or "Board of Directors" refers to the Brandermill Community Association Board of Directors. General discussion of this issue indicated agreement to correct the text in Item #2 on page 25 of the September 8, 2014 Board information packet.

Director Pearson questioned the creation of a Planning Committee. Director Blom commented that the Planning Committee was designed to be the successor to the Master Plan Oversight Committee ("MPOC") and is the only committee designed to look at broad, long-range planning strategies for the BCA Board. Director Blom feels that it is an important committee and is the only one which will have two Directors serving on it. Director Hillman concurred that the Planning Committee was important to have Brandermill going forward.

Manager Bailey further noted one of the objectives of the Planning Committee will be to plan for New Capital and Replacement expenditures within the BCA budget. The committee would work closely with the Finance Committee and would consider expenditure requests originating from other committees as well as residents.

President Davis emphasized the availability of BCA members to present their ideas to the Directors during the member voice sections of each BCA Board meeting. He felt that the ideas come from the membership, and given that, he wondered if the Planning Committee needed to be a standing committee. Director Malek queried if having 7-member standing committees was viable. General discussion of this issue indicated agreement to create a Planning Committee.

Director Blom addressed Item #7 (Size of Committees - Members, Alternates, and Advisory) when he said he thought the BCA Board's September 3, 2014 work session decided to not include committee size specifications in the general committee policies. Director Hillman concurred by saying that the committee sizes would be designated in the respective charters. General discussion of this issue indicated agreement to replace the first sentence of Item #7 located on page 26 of the September 8, 2014 Board information packet with one which reflected the size of a committee will be designated in their charters.

With regards to Item #15 (Appointment of Committee Members), Director Blom asked the sentence, "First Vice-President of the Board of Directors, who will then review the application." be removed for clarity. The word "furthermore" should also be deleted from the sentence where it presently starts the sentence. General discussion of this issue indicated agreement to remove the first sentence of the fourth paragraph on page 30 of the September 8, 2014 Board information packet.

Director Leonard proposed that the Board liaison and committee chair who might interview the committee applicant, the information should be shared with the First Vice President who will present the applicant to the BCA Board.

Director Pearson suggested that the Board liaison to a committee also be allowed to present applicants for that committee. General discussion of this issue indicated agreement with Director Pearson's suggestion.

Director Blom reiterated the Board's decision that existing members of current committees would be invited to participate in the newly formed respective committees, and that existing committee members would not have to complete the application form. Manager Bailey concurred that this is what would happen, although an application form will be initiated for the sole purpose of documenting a member's term of service on a committee. Director Blom commented that he did not want existing committee members to feel like they were applying for that committee membership.

Director Hillman sought clarification on the Proposed Committee Structure document (see pages 32-35 of the September 8, 2014 Board information packet). She noted that the document needed to be amended to reflect changes made to the General Policies on Committee Operations. Director Blom indicated that the General Policies on Committee Operations would rule, and Manager Bailey described the Proposed Committee Structure document as being more descriptive of committee transition. President Davis asked Manager Bailey to update the Proposed Committee Structure document to properly reflect changes made to the General Policies on Committee Operations.

Director Pearson asked if Item #13 (Eligibility, page 29 of the September 8, 2014 Board information packet) indicated that a renter who is not a member of the Association could not serve on a committee. Manager Bailey replied in the affirmative. Director Hillman indicated that the renter could be an advisory member of the committee but not a voting committee member. Director Leonard noted that renters could have voting rights if permissioned by the homeowner and felt that those renters should be allowed to be voting members. General discussion of this issue indicated agreement to allow renters who do not have voting rights as permissioned by the homeowner to serve as advisory committee members only.

Director Pearson questioned if the BCA Board wanted to impose term limits as suggested in Item #14 (Terms of Service, page 29 of the September 8, 2014 Board information packet). He felt that the terms of service should be decided by the committees. President Davis and Director Malek felt that term limits were necessary. Director Pearson expressed his concern for member participation on the committees. Director Leonard shared his concern that some committee members may have expertise that is not easily replaceable. Manager Bailey encouraged the Directors to speak positively about filling the committees, adding that in a 13,000+ member community and with existing committee members wishing to continue serving on committees, that Brandermill could fill 54 committee seats by the end of the year. He stated the committees could be filled, but it required the full support of the Directors. He concluded with "Let's just do it" and challenged each of the seven Directors to recommend two members to serve on committees.

Director Leonard asked if the charters should have been previously reviewed. Manager Bailey and Director Hillman both agreed that the "meat" of the charters was in place, although there might be some tweaking required.

Director Pearson asked for some editorial changes to be made to the application form itself.

The Directors voted unanimously to approve the General Policies on Committee Operations as amended.

Information Packet for September 8, 2014 BCA Board Meeting

Posted September 5, 2014 at 4:08 PM
The information packet for the upcoming BCA Board meeting is now available for downloading.

Consideration of BCA Committee restructuring is the main agenda item.

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, please read the agenda located on the first page of the Board Packet.