October 2015 Minutes

University Square Homeowners Association (USHA)
October 7, 2015 General Meeting Notes
Fairfax Villa School


Call to Order (8:00PM):

At 8:00PM, Peter McClintock, President, called the meeting to order and reviewed the agenda. It was noted that 19 owners were present, representing 19 lots, representing a quorum. Board Members present were:

  • Peter McClintock, President
  • Drew Pershing, Vice President
  • PJ Kennedy, Treasurer
  • Caitlin Kaprove, Secretary
  • Oscar Merida, member
  • Christine Taylor, member

Treasurer’s Report:

  • Checking Account: $58,000
  • Money Market: $33,000
  • CDs: $20,100 (reserve for Common Property Tree Removal)
  • Total Funds: $111,100
  • Total Dues Collected: Approximately $29,000
  • 48 properties have not yet made this year’s payment, although not yet overdue.
  • Four lots are the only remaining lots that have been delinquent for more than one year.

External Archetictural Review Committee (EARC) Report:

Patrick Tomlinson will soon be stepping down as EARC Chair.

Some applications for consideration have been coming in to the EARC.

Question: “Are concrete driveways permitted?”
Pete responded that he had reviewed the prior records and didn’t see anything that prohibited concrete driveways in either the 2007 or 2015 External Architectural Guidelines and Restrictions (EAG&R).

Question: “I have some concerns about the EARC committee’s use of its authority. I have heard that the EARC committee blocked the sale of a house in our neighborhood.”
Patrick responded that the EARC had raised the issue in question as a violation, but did not block the sale of the home. Patrick added that the EARC had asked for a small concession in design to bring the addition in line with EARC guidelines.

EARC member Patricia Garcia gave comments on the complexities of EARC work and the care with which EARC committee members exercise their duties.

Comment: “When I was on the EARC committee (note – that was in the early formation stages of the USHA in the mid-1980’s), we would pull together proposed changes, etc., for a community vote. I suggest ERAC do this.”
Peter noted that the By-Laws now give authority to amend the EAG&R to the Board of Directors.

Neighborhood Watch:

Nita Chapuran kindly volunteered to be an administrative point of contact for the relationship between USHA and the Fairfax County Neighborhood Watch program, but noted that she would not be interested in attending numerous meetings and hosting large events, such as National Night Out. She agreed to contact the County and submit her name as the contact and if it involves meetings etc, she would so report that to the Board.

Election of Board Members

Patrick and Peter were re-elected to the Board.

  • Total votes submitted – 30
  • (Votes that were cast by the secretary as a proxy – 6)
  • Patrick “PJ” Kennedy (Lot 21) – 28
  • Peter McClintock (Lot 70) – 29
  • One write in for “Peter McClintock” – counted toward his general votes

Consultations with Attorney:

Based on Attorney recommendations, the Board recently amended EAG&R, effective September 1, 2015 (including changes to deck material provisions, provisions on business signs, provisions on treating wood fences, provisions on colors for decks and trims, addition of provision on broken shingles, etc. – see prior minutes)

Amended disclosure notice based on attorney recommendations.

Proposed amendment to the bylaws – deletion of sentence in Article XI  (“also, a delinquency fee of $30 shall be assessed at each billing period if the account is unpaid after 30 days”. Amendement was passed unanimously by those present.

Question: “Do we necessarily want to publicize the possible limitation on the Board’s ability to enforce monetary fee against owners who violate ERAC guidelines?” led to a discussion of the USHA Declaration.

Discussion of amending the USHA declaration. The attorney also recommended reissuing the Declaration to update it, provide clearer authority to enforce the EAG&R by authorizing the assessment of fees for violations, and eliminate discrepancies between the interest rates contained in the 2 versions of the Declaration that exist for the association. This will take agreement by 75% of the owners. Most attendees were in favor of this.

From The Floor:

Common property – our two CDs in the bank are now considered reserve funds for tree removal.

Caitlin Kaprove tendered her resignation as secretary of the USHA Board, and encouraged others to take up the position, which carries a Board vote.

Patricia Garcia noted that she had received an anonymous, intimidating letter, likely from a neighbor, relating to placing lawn trimmings at the curb side. She said we should be respectful of our neighbors and an anonymous letter was not respectful.

Next General Meeting:

March 2016