News

Board Meeting – July 2015

University Square Homeowners Association (USHA)
July 8, 2015 Board Meeting Notes

Attendees:

  • Peter McClintock (President)
  • Andrew Pershing (Vice President)
  • PJ Kennedy (Treasurer)
  • Christine Taylor (Member)
  • Patrick Tomilson (Chair, ERAC)
  • Dennis Makurat (ERAC Member)
  • Oscar Merida (Webmaster)
  • Justin Ginsberg (Member)
  • Caitlin Kaprove (Secretary)
  • Patricia Garcia (Member)

Minutes:

    • Call to Order (8:06PM): At 8:06PM, Peter called the meeting to order.
    • ERAC Guidelines  (EAG&R) Changes: Peter noted that since the last (3 June) meeting, the Board had reviewed and tentatively approved the proposed changes to the ERAC Guidelines. However, before finalizing its approval, the Board unanimously agreed to make the following changes:
      • Appeals Process: The Board agreed to strike a paragraph that provided for a second-tier appeals process for ERAC violations.
      • Board Decision Delivery: The Board declined to change an existing provision whereby a Board decision on ERAC violations shall be delivered via registered mail.
      • Changes to Provisions on Mailboxes (Section 3): The Board agreed to adopt changes to permissible colors for mailbox posts (neutral tones).
      • Provisions on Decks (Section 10): The Board agreed on various changes to specifications on deck materials and colors.
      • Shingles (Section 13): The Board agreed to add a provision on broken, missing, curled, or crumbling shingles.
      • Exterior Color Changes (Section 14): The Board agreed to adopt new language in Section 14 governing permissible external color schemes for houses – notably, more specific language on what constitutes an earth tone.
      • Exterior Decorative Objects (Section 15): The Board declined to change an existing provision on portable furniture placement outside homes.
      • Fences (Section 17): The Board agreed to add a provision permitting owners to seal or stain their wood fences.
      • Freestanding Structures (Section 20): The Board agreed to add a provision linking permissible colors to those listed in Section 14.
      • Gutters and Downspouts (Section 21): The Board agreed to adopt a provision specifying that gutters shall be free of debris visible from below.
      • Landscaping (Section 23): The Board agreed to add language specifying what is meant by “neatly maintained”; the Board further agreed to split the first sentence of this Section into two sentences for clarity. The Board declined to change an existing provision mandating that front and front-visible side yards shall consist primarily of grass.
      • Maintenance Requirements (Section 24): The Board agreed to adopt a revision to the included website address.
      • Sidewalks and Pathways (Section 30): The Board agreed to delete existing language noting VDOT prohibitions, noting that VDOT requirements are beyond the scope of ERAC guidelines.
    • Word Document Copy of ERAC Guidelines: Peter agreed to contact the HOA’s external legal counsel to obtain the most recent copy of the ERAC Guidelines in Word document form (vice PDF). The Board unanimously agreed that, once edited, the revised ERAC Guidelines shall have an effective date of 1 September 2015.
    • ERAC Charter: The Board unanimously agreed to adopt a draft ERAC charter previously circulated among the Board members.
    • ERAC Walkaround: The Board agreed to schedule an ERAC neighborhood inspection in July, August, or September 2015; details forthcoming.
    • HOA Email Mailing List: PJ noted the utility of a community-wide e-mail mailing list, to be used in distributing information / announcements to University Square residents.
    • Disclosure Packet: In June 2015, PJ revised a new disclosure packet (provided by legal counsel) and circulated it to Board Members. The Board unanimously agreed on various minor changes to fee provisions included in the packet. The Board also agreed to include in the packet a reference to the approved Board meeting minutes on the HOA website (in lieu of including full minutes in each packet).
    • HOA Budget / Reserves for Common Areas: The Board agreed that the Association’s two certificates of deposit (CDs) will be its reserve for handling common area tree problems.
    • University Square Retention Ponds: Peter noted recent correspondence with Fairfax County personnel showing that maintenance of the dry water retention pond(s) is the County’s responsibility. PJ noted that there may be some question as to who is currently cutting the grass near our dry water retention pond.
    • Collection of Overdue Dues: Peter and PJ agreed to take steps to recover back dues from one property owner who is significantly in arrears.
    • National Night Out / Neighborhood Watch: Christine noted that the Board has $200 in the budget for this event, which will take place on August 4, 2015. Christine provided additional information on proposed activities, publicity, and invitees for the event. The Board unanimously agreed not to retain a live band this year, so as to instead make extra funds available for activities and food for the event. The Board further approved Christine’s plans to work with a local vendor to provide a prize for the event. Oscar suggested asking residents to provide their e-mail addresses (for the aforementioned listserv). Peter agreed to assist with distributing flyers for the event; Christine suggested having an HOA poster or other representation at the event, so as to disseminate information on recent changes to the ERAC Guidelines.
    • Website Changes: Oscar noted he will make certain revisions to the website, including (a) revisions to the stated dues amount (previously $366, now $310), (b) updates to the list of Board members, and (c) addition of recent minutes.
    • Common Area Tree Intrusions: PJ and Peter discussed various claims for debris and damage caused by recent tree-falls in the common wooded area. Peter and one other University Square resident both presented claims for such debris/damage, and PJ agreed to repay their claims from the HOA’s reserve budget for such repairs.
    • Upcoming Events / Meetings: PJ noted his plan to distribute the 2015-2016 budget for Board consideration in approximately mid-August 2015, for consideration, approval, and distribution in early September 2015. The Board agreed to tentatively schedule the next Board meeting for Wednesday, 9 September 2015, pending availability of meeting space at Villa Elementary School. The Board then agreed to tentatively schedule the next Association-wide meeting for Wednesday, 7 October 2015, also pending availability of meeting space at Villa Elementary School. PJ noted that the Board could post a draft of the bylaws with a revision removing the $30 late fee, and then hold a vote on that revision at the October Association-wide meeting.

Board Meeting – June 2015

University Square Homeowners Association (USHA)
June 3, 2015 Board Meeting Notes
Fairfax Villa School

Attendees:

  • Christine Taylor (Member)
  • PJ Kennedy (Treasurer)
  • Patrick Tomilson (Chair, ERAC)
  • Peter McClintock (President)
  • Oscar Merida (Webmaster)
  • Justin Ginsberg (Member)
  • Dennis Makurat (Member, ERAC)
  • Caitlin Kaprove (Secretary)

Absent:

  • Andrew Pershing (Vice President)
  • Patricia Garcia (Member, ERAC)

Minutes:

  • Call to Order (8:03PM): At 8:03PM, Peter called the meeting to order and reviewed the agenda.
  • Resignation of Jen Weigel / Election of Oscar Merida as Webmaster (8:04PM):
    The first order of business was the discussion of Jen Weigel’s recent resignation from the Board and the vacancy left by her departure. The Board voted unanimously to elect Oscar to fill the board position until the next election (October 2015).  Oscar volunteered to be Webmaster for USHA.
  • February 2015 Minutes Approved (8:15PM): The Board members who had attended the February 2015 minutes voted to approve the minutes from that meeting. Going forward, PJ suggested distributing minutes electronically following each meeting, for board approval, including biannual meetings; the Board agreed unanimously. Minutes could then be posted on the web site in a timely manner.
  • Treasurer’s Report (8:19PM): USHA’s total funds in various accounts come to just under $100,000. One of USHA’s CDs is coming due in July; PJ will investigate options going forward.  PJ also said he would produce a Treasurer’s report that would compare the budget with actual spending.
  • Discussion of Properties Delinquent on Dues (8:23PM): 14 properties haven’t made payments. 8 of those properties are due for half the year. 4 are behind by one year. PJ noted that there are 2 properties that are substantially delinquent.  One of those 2 had begun made a partial payment in April.
  • Delivering Electronic Disclosure Packet to Selling Owner(s) (8:25PM): Recent Virginia legislation allows electronic distribution of a disclosure packet, if the requester asks for it electronically.  If so, USHA must retain the request and a copy of the electronic packet provided.  The Board agreed that PJ could to deliver an electronic disclosure packet to an owner who is currently selling his or her property, if so requested.
  • Board Approved Paying Outstanding Legal Bills (8:34PM): The Board unanimously approved a motion to pay the Board’s outstanding legal bills (an additional $1,000, not to exceed $4,000).
  • Discussion of Legal Counsel Advice Re USHA Documents (8:37PM): The Board voted unanimously to approve the line edits provided by legal counsel for USHA External Architectural Guidelines and Restrictions (EAG&R) document. The Board also agreed to schedule a follow-up meeting to discuss other possible changes to the EAG&R and additional recommendations of counsel on the disclosure Document.  Particular items included the following:
    • ERAC Appeals Process: The Board agreed to preserve the ERAC appeals process already contemplated in the current bylaws.
    • Satellite Dishes / Flagpoles / Solar Panels: The Board discussed advice from legal counsel related to satellite dishes, flagpoles, and solar panels. Specifically, counsel pointed out that either Federal or State law prohibits Homeowner’s Associations from banning them, but we can impose reasonable restrictions on their size, placement, etc.  The Board also noted advice of legal counsel that the USHA disclosure packet needs to specifically address these provisions.
    • Amending the Declaration: The Board discussed advice of legal counsel related to the enforceability of fees and restrictions generally.  Legal counsel recommended revising the underlying USHA declaration so as to improve the enforceability of community restrictions;  to do that we need to get 75% of the community to agree.
    • Painted Decks: The Board discussed provisions in the USHA documents related to permissible deck colors and conditions. Ultimately, the Board agreed to schedule a follow-up meeting to discuss this and other items in greater depth.
    • Disclosure Packet: PJ volunteered to circulate (among the Board members) an electronic copy of the most recent disclosure packet with the proposed edits of legal counsel, for further review.
  • ERAC Discussions:
    • Letter on ERAC Violations (9:30PM): Peter gave the board members and ERAC members present, a copy of an anonymous letter with complaints regarding ERAC violations in the neighborhood.
    • Proposed Addition (9:33PM): Patrick and Dennis provided information on a proposed addition to a residence.
    • ERAC Walk-Through (9:40PM): Patrick agreed to draft a checklist for use during an ERAC walk-through. The Board unanimously agreed to plan an ERAC walk-through, with Board members reviewing their findings in teams.
  • Additional Business: Christine volunteered to look into next steps for National Night Out. Peter and PJ volunteered to attempt to hand deliver a letter to the property owner who is most delinquent on dues – and then, if necessary, consider using an attorney for subsequent communications. Peter and Oscar agreed to meet separately to discuss design changes to the USHA website.
  • Next Meeting on 8 July 2015: Peter volunteered to host the next meeting at his house, as the school will be unavailable at that point.

Semi Annual Meeting – March 2015

UNIVERSITY SQUARE HOMEONERS’ ASSOCIATION

MINUTES OF March 25, 2015 SEMI-ANNUAL MEETING

Fairfax Villa Elementary School

The meeting was called to order at 8:03 pm by President Peter McClintock.

Board Members present were:  PJ Kennedy, Christine Taylor, and Justin Ginsburg

The meeting was attended by 16 homeowners.

Approval of October 1, 2014 minutes: approved as presented

Treasurer’s Report:  PJ reported that the Association had about $96,000 in bank accounts and that there were several homeowners in arrears on their dues.  He reported that about 80% of the homeowners had paid all of their dues for the fiscal year.  Money was still being sent in.  There was discussion about collecting overdue dues.  PJ said he was seeking guidance from the law firm doing the legal review.

Old Business:

  1. HOA Documents   Legal Review – arrangements have been made and are in process for such a review.  PJ reported that we received comments on our Disclosure Packet and he was in discussions with a law firm, MercerTrigiana on the status of the remainder of the review.
  2. Streets – One neighbor reported that she had spoken with VDOT and that our streets were in much worse shape than originally anticipated so VDOT has to rebid the project.  Apparently, we are a high priority to have them repaved/repaired.   Again, It was suggested that owners begin to petition the appropriate elected officials in order to move this along.

New Business:

  1. Election of President – The Board elected Peter McClintock as USHA President.
  2. ERAC Vacancy – Patricia Garcia volunteered to fill the ERAC Vacancy.
  3. Board Vacancy – Caitlin Kaprove was appointed to the Board and will fulfill the secretary position.

From the Floor:  no further items were raised from the floor.

The meeting adjourned at 8:35 pm.

 

Board Minutes – February 2015.

February 4, 2015 Board Meeting Minutes

University Square Homeowners Association

Board Meeting – Feb, 4, 2015 at the Villa Elementary School – Call to Order 7:30pm

Board Members Present – Peter McClintock, president; PJ Kennedy, Treasurer; Justin Ginsburg, Member

Treasurer’s Report – Total funds in bank accounts – $104,000.   The Treasurer detailed those who are delinquent on dues.

Business:

– Frank Ruth, President of the USHA, had announced his intention to move and resign at a December 2014 meeting held at Frank’s house.  His move was dependent on the appraisal and settlement, which had not occurred at the time of the December meeting.  He subsequently announced his resignation by e-mail and has moved.  The Board expressed its sincere appreciation for Frank’s 17 years of service to the Association.  With Frank’s resignation, there is a vacancy of 1 position on the board.

– With Frank’s resignation, Peter McClintock, who was elected to the board in October, was elected President of the Association.  Andrew Pershing was re-elected as Vice President and PJ Kennedy was re-elected as Treasurer.

– Christine Taylor submitted her resignation as Secretary by e-mail, prior to the February meeting.  She intends to stay on the board.  With her resignation, we have a vacancy at the Secretary position.

– Treasurer PJ Kennedy had arranged to have a law firm (MercerTrigianni), which specializes in homeowner associations, review the USHA documents, including by-laws, covenants,  Articles of Incorporation, Architectural Guidelines & Restrictions, etc, to advise whether they need to be updated.  Peter McClintock signed an engagement letter with the firm.

– It was decided to hold the March semi-annual meeting on March 25 at 7:30 pm.  There will be a board meeting on March 4 to prepare the agenda for the meeting.

Adjourned: 8:30pm

Respectfully submitted,

Peter McClintock

Semi Annual Meeting – October 2014

UNIVERSITY SQUARE HOMEONERS’ ASSOCIATION

MINUTES OF OCT. 1, 2014 ANNUAL MEETING

The meeting was called to order at 8:13 pm by President Frank Ruth.

Board Members present were:  Andrew Pershing, PJ Kennedy, Christine Taylor, Justin Ginsburg, and Jen Weigel

Treasurer’s Report:  PJ reported that the Association had about $105,000 in bank accounts and that there were several homeowners in arrears on their dues.  As the bills had recently gone out, money was still being sent in.

Old Business:

  1. HOA Documents   Legal Review – arrangements were still in process for such a review.  PJ was in discussions with a law firm, MercerTrigiana.  No definitive action had been taken.
  2. Streets – Frank mentioned that VDOT had planned to resurface our streets but due to a lack of funding, this was postponed.  A lot owner who is original to the neighbor mentioned that the streets have never been repaved in the time the community has been here.  It was also noted that we seem to have grass growing from the seams.  It was suggested that owners begin to petition the appropriate elected officials in order to move this along.  Frank mentioned he has talked to our representatives, but nothing has moved forward.
  3. National Nite Out – A mighty thanks to Cheryl and Bridget for coordinating it.

New Business:

  1. Thanks for National Nite out – see above
  2. Election to the Board – The Election of the Board was unanimous for the four individuals on the ballot.  Welcome to Christine Taylor and Peter McClintock.
  3. Speed Bump – discussed, but no one believes it will come to pass based on all the requirements.  It also seems to not fix the real issue of getting folks to stop at the signs.
  4. HOA Sign – The discussion on the HOA sign did not result in any action as those in the room did not see a need for it as we are easily found off 123.

From the Floor:

  • Someone mentioned that the dues on the website are stated differently than what the notice said (old $366 vice new $310).
  • The owner of lot 19 offered to help with any lien filings on delinquent lots.
  • A lot owner mentioned the continued issues with moss on the sides of buildings.  It was noted that this can be done by a company, or one could rent/buy a pressure washer or simply buy something you attach to your hose.  It was suggested that the EARC provide a notice to the community about this.  It will likely be done in the Spring,

The meeting adjourned at 9:15 pm.

 

Board Meeting Notes – July 2014

University Square Homeowners Association

Monthly Meeting Notes

http://universitysquareha.com

face book: University Square Homeowners Association

Board Meeting

July 2, 2014 at the home of HOA President Frank Ruth

Call to Order 8:02pm

Minutes of last meeting approved

Treasurer’s Report:

·      Certified letters went out to 3 properties who have still owe this years dues

·      All other lots delinquent are incurring 6% interest on their accounts

·      An attorney has been retained to look over our bi-laws and council us on our collection procedure

Neighborhood Watch:

·      Neighborhood Watch Chair, Cheryl Lewis is moving temporarily to Ohio. She will continue to keep committee informed, and be available via email

·      National Night Out will be Tuesday August 5. We will need volunteers to work the event. We will have visits from: PD, Sheriff; Fire, Band, etc.

New Business

·      Thank you to Christine Taylor for volunteering to be our new Secretary. She was appointed by the Board- unanimous for  vote

·      Board member Ray Tolberthas resigned as he is going back to school Thank you Ray for your past service on the board

·      Thank you Peter McClintock who was appointed to be on the EARC committee.

·       University Drive residents: The Rooney family met with Fairfax County storm drainage staff due to the drainage  pond  that abuts their side  yard. They believe it has become a health hazard due to mosquitoes. The officials disagreed and said that the retaining pond was working as it should. The US Army Corps of Engineers is the real manager of the water shed and the pond. Their next step is letter to Braddock Supervisor Cook’s office.

·      Frank Ruth will check with The Villa Elementary School regarding a speed bump in front of the school and about their out of control grass growth around the back playing  field, which is a haven for rodents

·       The Board is looking for ideas and prices for a University Square sign to be posted on University Drive at the entrance to our homes

 

Board’s Next meeting will be the National Night Out event , Tuesday August 5, 2014 at                                           6:00pm

Adjourned: 9:00pm

 

Board members present:

President                        Frank Ruth (10/16)                         703-273-7641

Treasurer                        PJ Kennedy             (10/16)             703 359-4174

Secretary                        Cheryl Lewis (10/15)                        703-385-1041

Member                         Jen Weigel            (10/16)                703-309-7446

Member                         Justin Ginsberg(10/16)

New Secretary                Christine Taylor                                703-919-4669

Residents                        Mr. & Mrs. Rooney

 

Respectfully submitted,

Cheryl Lewis

7/3/2014

 

Board Minutes – February 2014

University Square Homeowners Association

Monthly Meeting Notes

http://universitysquareha.com

face book: University Square Homeowners Association

Board Meeting

February 5, 2014 at Fairfax Villa Elementary School

 

Call to Order 8:02pm

Minutes of last meeting approved

 

Treasurer’s Report:

·      Six lots are in arrears; one is severely over due

·      Lawyer to be retained to help make sure bi-laws are in compliance with new laws. Also will help in collection of dues

·      Current bank balance:  $97,140.00

           

Neighborhood Watch:

·      Neighborhood Watch Chair is moving temporarily to Ohio. She will continue to keep committee informed, and be available via email.

·      National Night Out will be August 5. We will need volunteers to work the event, and need a coordinator at the event. Chairperson will arrange for all of the visitors: PD, Sheriff; Fire, Band, etc

 

New Business

·      Secretary Cheryl Lewis is moving (temporally for 2 years); therefore we are In need of a new Secretary. Please see any board member if you can step up and help out. Time commitment is minimal.

 

Next meeting is semiannual on March 5, 2014 7:30pm At The Villa Elementary School Library

 

Adjourned: 8:30pm

 

Board members present:

President                        Frank Ruth (10/16)                                    703-273-7641

Treasurer                        PJ Kennedy   (10/16)                                703 359-4174

Secretary                        Cheryl Lewis (6/14)                                   703-385-1041

Member                        Ray Tolbert (10/16)                                     703-272-3450

Member                        Justin Ginsberg(10/16)

 

Respectfully submitted,

Cheryl Lewis

2/8/2014

 

Board Minutes – January 2014

University Square Homeowners Association

Monthly Meeting Notes

http://universitysquareha.com

face book: University Square Homeowners Association

Board Meeting

January 8, 2014 Home of President Frank Ruth

 

Call to Order 8:09pm

 

Treasurer’s Report:

·      Two lots have paid late, with out interest or late fee

·      It was agreed to waive the fees this time

           

EARC Report:

·      Discussion to change document to reflect the new law allowing home business

·      It was agreed that homeowners could hang an 8×11 ½ business sign from bottom of mail box

 

New Business

·      Discussion about hiring a good HOA attorney to help proof and make lawful changes to Bi-laws and EARC rules. Board members will seek names of attorneys for consideration

·      In need of a new Secretary. If interested, please let a board member know. It does not take up too much time.

 

Adjourned: 8:48pm

 

Board members present:

President                        Frank Ruth (10/16)                                    703-273-7641

Treasurer                        PJ Kennedy  (10/16)                                   703 359-4174

Secretary                        Cheryl Lewis (10/15)                                  703-385-1041

Member                        Ray Tolbert (10/16)                                     703-272-3450

 

Respectfully submitted,

Cheryl Lewis

1/14/2014

 

Member Meeting – October 2013

University Square Homeowner’s Association

Semi-Annual Meeting Minutes

http://universitysquareha.com

facebook: University Square HOA

October 2, 2013

 

Board Attendees: Frank Ruth, PJ Kennedy, Justin Ginsberg, Jen Weigel

Meeting called to order at 8:07 PM.

Treasurer’s report:

*   With the $30K received for dues this year, we have $93K in the bank.  This equates to 70K in reserve
*   44 properties have not made a payment for this year’s due as of this meeting  Treasurer will send out reminder notices in mid October
*   1 property continues to work off outstanding balance based on negotiations with the Treasurer
*   4 properties remain with outstanding dues.  One property is a foreclosure that we will likely not see anything on until after it is sold 

·      Treasurer is working on getting liens started on all of these properties
 

Neighborhood Watch:
Nothing to report, but thanks to Cheryl for the great work on NNO

General Business:
Deer are still an issue in the common area and the creek behind Santa Clara/University Dr.  They meander up the creek bed starting at 7-8AM and find their way to Providence Park.
 

We had some trees come down in the common area.  Our insurance provider told us to let the homeowner sue over this, as they should have insurance.  We are currently working to replace a shed that was destroyed beyond repair.  Some owners in attendance mentioned that homeowner’s insurance should cover these sorts of things.

ERAC would like to reprint the EAG&R documents and provide to all lots.  Treasurer Kennedy stated that there was a review of the existing document ongoing and we should be able to finalize that in the near future.  Dennis Makurat asked for a copy of the EAG&R to provide some inputs on changes to the document.  (Treasurer Kennedy sent via email on 10/9/13)

President noted that dues have been lowered, all at the meeting were happy to see this.

We noted that we have cleaned out a portion of the common area and are planning to do $2K worth every year to keep it maintained.  Bertha Mcclintockmentioned there are some dead trees behind her lot that should be monitored.

There was a short discussion about a sign for the HOA at the entrance.  There wasn’t much interest from those in attendance.

The floor nominated Frank and Justin for re-election.  It passed unanimously.

Meeting adjourned at 8:43PM. 

Board Minutes – November 2013

University Square Homeowner’s Association

Board Meeting Minutes

http://universitysquareha.com

facebook: University Square HOA

November 6, 2013

 

Board Attendees: Frank Ruth, Drew Pershing, PJ Kennedy, Cheryl Lewis

Meeting called to order at 8:11 PM

Treasurer’s report:

*   Total funds: $102,250.00

*   Delinquent notices went out on 10/4/13 to 10 property owners are late paying dues

*   Four owners have not made any payments and Treasurer is looking into collections and possible lien on properties, which will include late payment charges, Attorney fees, and any other fee’s that are incurred by the HOA

*   President Ruth will write a statement of facts regarding the fallen trees that destroyed a shed, and file an insurance claim. The insurance company informed Treasurer that our insurance rates will be increased next year; therefore it was agreed by the board to go ahead and file a claim

 

Neighborhood Watch:

Reminder to keep valuables out of parked cars

Old Business:

 

* Frank Ruth and Justin Ginsberg were re-elected to a three-year term

* Still looking for an HOA Secretary

Meeting adjourned at 8:36PM