Minutes for Carriage Lawn HOA Annual Meeting of 28 January, 2010

[Note:  Several years ago the annual meeting was moved from December to January without reflecting the actual year the meeting was conducted.  That error is being corrected with this annual meeting of 2010.]

I.        Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm.

a.       GHA Community Manager, Reinaldo Salva, confirmed that sufficient members and proxies were available to constitute a quorum.

II.    Proof of Notice confirmed.

III. Introduction of board members:

a.       President, Mike Noonan

b.      Treasurer, Gay Ashley

c.       Member-at-large, Jim Ryan

d.      Member-at-large, Dave Armstrong

IV. Minutes of 2009 Annual Meeting approved by unanimous vote.

V.    State of the Association Reports

a.       President’s Report:

                                                  i.      Acknowledged board minutes were not current on the Carriage Lawn website (www.carriagelawn.org) and will work to bring them up to date.

                                                ii.      Board operated during past year with less than full membership and encouraged homeowners to consider Board and Architectural Review Board (ARB) membership.

                                              iii.      Continuing problem with some residents violating community regulations by parking their vehicles in visitor parking and parking commercial vehicles in public view.  Board will send letter to all homeowners reiterating parking regulations and intended enforcement actions by the Board.  [Board action required]

                                              iv.      Reported board actions and community repair work, including:

1.      Minor road and manhole repairs

2.      Tree trimming and tree removal

3.      Rebuilding of retaining wall behind homes on Royal Doulton

4.      Deferral of seasonal planting in order to plan and estimate cost for repairing irrigation system at community entrance.  Board also plans to plant perennials rather than annual flowers in order to reduce planting and maintenance costs.

5.      Board is considering relocating the playground to the exercise area at the community entrance in order to provide more shade for children and parents in summer months.  The board will solicit input from the community before making a decision on this issue.  [Board action required]

6.      Unsatisfactory service from the previous landscaping and snow removal contractor resulted in the board decision to drop that contractor and change to MowCow Lawn & Landscape for these services.  MowCow did snow removal during the late December snow storm with homeowners in attendance reported mixed reviews of how good a job they did.  The Board encouraged homeowners to use the Board or Directors e-mail address (CLBOD@carriagelawn.org) and the Community Manager (Reinaldo.Salva@ carriagelawn.com) to report problems.  The Community Manager is responsible for directing corrective action from our community’s contractors.

7.      A homeowner requested trimming of the trees behind the homes on the west side of Nipper Way.  [Board action required]

8.      Discussion of community clean-up day resulted in residents Mary Darab, Reva Fox and Lisa Colten volunteering to coordinate this activity.  This activity may be organized in conjunction with a community social event.  Board agreed to include the event in a forthcoming letter to homeowners.  [Board action required]

9.      Board has deferred curb painting until spring and will provide advance notice to homeowners before commencing this work.  [Board action required]

10.  Although no provision in bylaws, Board recognized that appropriate time to vote on HOA dues increases would be at the Annual Meeting and would plan to do so in the future.  [Board action required]

11.  Reported that, in accordance with Virginia law, the board selected a contractor to conduct a reserve study for determining future community maintenance requirements and project the adequacy of the community’s reserve funds.  The Board will report the results and recommendations when the study is completed.  [Board action required]

12.  Reported that the Architectural Review Board (ARB) had been overwhelmed with efforts to survey community compliance with the Design Guidelines and home maintenance requirements and encouraged homeowners to volunteer to serve on this board.

13.  President announced his 3-year term was expiring and that he would be stepping down from board membership.  He thanked the community, the Community Manager, and fellow board members for their support.

b.      Treasurer’s Report for 2009

                                                  i.      Income:     $148,780.00

                                                ii.      Expenses:  $138,883.28

                                              iii.      Net Income:  $9,478.52

                                              iv.      Board holds 13 CD’s, with staggered maturity dates, totaling $210,209.54

                                                v.      Discussion items:

1.      A few problems were reported with homeowner’s failing to make HOA payments, but it has not been a major problem.  The Board has requested our attorney to develop bylaw language that would automate the collection process of delinquent accounts.  (Board to Follow-Up with GHA Community Mgmt)

2.      In response to a homeowner query about whether all of the CD’s were held by a single bank, Treasurer advised that they were held by several banks in order to provide protection within FDIC limits.

3.      Several homeowners advised they had not received notice of the dues increase for 2010 while others advised they had received such notice.  (Board shall provide written Notice to residents)

4.      In response to a question from a homeowner, Treasurer reported that she was satisfied with the community’s current reserves, but noted that results of the reserve study would provide a more complete assessment of future maintenance requirements.

c.       Committee Reports

                                                  i.      Architectural Review Board (ARB)

1.      ARB Chairman reported a significant number of homes needed repairs, maintenance and correction of non-compliance issues.  The most common problems include incorrect paint and deck stain colors, maintenance of wrought iron railing, broken/defective lights, gutter and downspout problems, gate and fence deficiencies, and the need for re-caulking and painting bay windows.

2.      In response to a plea for additional ARB members, G’Ann Zieger volunteered to serve on the board.

                                                ii.      Grounds Committee is to fall under the jurisdiction of the ARB Chairperson.  Volunteers include Lisa Colten, Mary Darab, Reva Fox, Christin and Mayauk Patel.  Additional volunteers are desperately needed.

d.      New and Old Business/Resident Feedback

                                                  i.      A homeowner asked about a previous request to install lights at mailboxes.  Community Manager advised that this would be a significant expense due to need for underground electrical cabling.  The Board agreed to investigate a solar powered option.  [Board action required]

                                                ii.      A homeowner asked about a previous query concerning VDOT plans to expand Lee Highway and how this might impact our community.  The Board president responded that he had contacted our state senator and confirmed that the widening of Lee Highway was covering a relatively short section and would have no affect on our community’s property.

                                              iii.      In response to an open discussion for improving communications between the Board and homeowners, the Board recognized that the ideal method for sharing information with homeowners would be to establish an e-mail listserv.  In an effort to establish this service, the Board will include an item in a forthcoming letter to homeowners requesting that they provide their name, address, phone number, and e-mail address.  [Board action required]

                                              iv.      A homeowner asked if the community bylaws and covenants could be posted for downloading on the Carriage Lawn website.  Discussion ensued as to whether this might circumvent controls for the Community Manager to be advised of community home sales, notification of any HOA violations, and the requirement for a community sign-off at all closings.  The Board will work with our webmaster to load a version of these documents that are securely watermarked “Not for Re-Sale Purposes” to ensure that the seller completes the legally required HOA Resale Package Request from the community management company.  [Board action required]

                                                v.      A homeowner asked why there is only a single Carriage Lawn sign on the brick structures marking the entrance to the community.  The Board will consider this at a future meeting. [Board action required]

                                              vi.      A homeowner asked what the rules are regarding appropriate garbage containers.  The Board advised that the community covenants require a covered container, but that durable, well-sealed garbage bags are considered acceptable.  The Board reiterated it is the responsibility of homeowners to ensure their garbage is properly secured and that this is particularly important on windy days.  The board will include an item in a forthcoming letter to homeowners addressing this topic.  [Board action required]

                                            vii.      It was suggested that homeowners label their trash and recycling containers with their house number.  On windy days, when trash containers sometimes blow in the streets, this would permit neighbors to remove them from the street and place them in the proper yard.  The board will include this suggestion in a forthcoming letter to homeowners.  [Board action required]

                                          viii.      There was some discussion about neighborhood security, but little interest in starting a Neighborhood Watch program.  All homeowners are encouraged, however, to notify police if they observe any suspicious activity in the community.  The board will include this topic in a forthcoming community letter.  [Board action required]

                                              ix.      The board asked if there was any interest in organizing some sort of community social gathering, such as a cook-out.  It was suggested that it might be a good idea to combine this event with the community clean-up day.  [Action for the Board and the Community Clean-up Coordinator]

VI. Meeting was adjourned at 8:50 pm.

VII.          Executive Session (board members only)

a.       The following board and corporate officers were elected for 2010:

                                                  i.      President – Gay Ashley

                                                ii.      VP/Secretary – Dave Armstrong

                                              iii.      Treasurer – G’ann Zieger

                                              iv.      Member-at-Large/Chairman of ARB – Jim Ryan

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