Excellent turnout – 14 of 26 (54%) houses present, Quorum of 40% achieved. Cluster President Wilson called the meeting to order at 7:36PM.
- Brookshire Cluster Website updated on line with cluster documents, by-laws, minutes, guidelines for paint, trash removal etc. NEW LINK: www.brookshirecourt.org
- Click here for Calendar of Events:
- Click here for Cluster guidelines
- Mulch will be delivered by Meadows farms by mid-April with 3 cubic feet double-shredded hardwood mulch at $4.70 per bag. Please let us know how many bags you would like. As Meadows Farms will be delivering here, let us know if there any trees/plants you want to buy and throw on the truck.
- Gutter Cleaning will occur in late May, after the spring cat tails fall. Interior units will be $99, exterior units $125. Please let us know if you would like to schedule your gutters to be cleaned.
- AAA trash continues three pickups during the week:
- Monday morning: Trash and recycling. Let us know if you need a new recycling bin.
- Wednesday morning: Yard waste only (tied in string or in paper bags, no plastic bags allowed)
- Thursday morning: Trash only and any larger items that need to be removed.
- Hazardous waste: 1-66 Transfer station (on Reston parkway & i66 intersection) open daily until 4pm: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news2/we-want-your-household-hazardous-waste/. Options are as follows:
- Parking: Just a quick reminder of the parking rules for the cluster. Each home has one designed space and space permitting with the guest spots, can have one more guest spot. No more than 2 cars per home in the parking lot at any time. Guest parking is very limited and is based on an honor system so please be respectful of your neighbors’ parking needs and distance to walk from Mooring’s drive.
- Transitions: We bid farewell to Mike and Cathy Tenerowicz in 1542 and welcome Branden and Jessica Lawless. Brandon and Jessica introduced themselves at the assembly and were very warmly welcomed. We also bid farewell to Clarence Moran in 1551 and welcome Amanda Johnson and Charles Lincoln. We also welcome John and Lucy Fay back into the cluster and want to wish super neighbor Lauren Pedruzzi the best going forward.
- We will be completely re-paving the cluster parking lot in the beginning of April. We will notify you well in advance of the exact day(s) this will occur. While this is underway, we will ask homeowners to move their cars to Moorings Drive or the park behind our houses for a couple of days during the event to allow the asphalt to set properly. (re-paving area shown in green on the photo to the right). Note the company will take 2 days to repave and we need another day to set the pavement = 3+ days off the parking lot. Most likely, we will redirect trash pickup on the Thursday of that week to ONLY pick up at Moorings and not come into the cluster. We will cancel the Wednesday yard waste pickup.
- We will be replacing the sidewalk from Sherri’s to Mark & Leann’s house at the back of the cluster in late March. For this, the crew needs 20 feet perimeter around the sidewalk closed off while work is in progress so all cars will need to park in the guest spots or elsewhere during this time. It is shown in light blue on the photo. The area will be barricaded with cones and tape to allow time for the concrete to set. ** Note – may add other sections TBD.
- We will be adding new concrete curbs by the fire lane and the barberry hedge (brand new) to help contain the asphalt and stop it from splitting down center. This work also requires 20’ perimeter cleared. This will replace the railway ties on the right side and will be new under the barberry hedge on the left (shown in royal blue on the photo).
- All wheel stops will be repainted and re-positioned in the right spaces, and the relevant curbs repainted as fire lane yellow.
- The board hired a new Mosquito vendor for Brookshire with a minimum of 8 sprayings starting in April to cover the entire cluster. Weather pending, they will spray every two weeks. The board will notify you before each visit so you can keep animals inside during spraying. It will remove mosquito and gnat larvae, with roaches and ant removal as a side benefit.
- The Relay for Life event for 2018 is set for May 19th at South Lakes High School in Reston, which now serves Reston and Herndon. More details will be available from your host.
- Brookshire replacing its website domain with www.brookshirecourt.org
- Brookshire Clusters Articles of Incorporation and By-laws are available here.
- During the 2017-2018 winter, we had less than average snow removal. We kept the same vendor from the last two years as they showed up on time as needed.
- Reminder: On snow days, please do not park on the two guest spots on the back two guest spaces during a snow day – this is the designated snow-removal zone at the inside of the cluster property. Likewise, please do not park directly across from the opening of the cluster as the plow will move snow across the road from the cluster parkway.
2017 Social Activity Review:
Mick reviewed the prominent social events in 2017, including but not limited to:
- Halloween party at Mick & Jen’s – thank you for that.
- Impromptu social hour at LeAnn and Mark’s that included many previous residents – just lovely.
- Book club that meets on the 3rd Friday of each month. Byow.
2018 Social Activity Review:
Mick discussed ongoing options for social activities in 2018. Click here for full calendar of events
- Organize social event like a BBQ after the spring clean-up. This may or may not replace the summer picnic.
- Mick wanted to encourage everyone to host more impromptu events or let him know if there’s a specific event you want to host.
- Host a yard-sale day sometime in May and ensure that all cars move off the parking lot so guests can drive in. Mick to advertise at the local farmer’s market
- Pick a summer Picnic date for all cluster residents and friends
- Halloween party will be on Sat, Oct 27thlocation TBD.
- The cluster is not hosting a booth at the Reston relay for life on May 19th but contact Shari if you want to participate in any way.
2017 Landscape Review:
In Mark’s absence, Wilson recapped the year-in-review for landscaping. In the spring clean-up which went well, the cluster filled in some large perennials (day lilies and hellebore) in the front garden. The cluster members replanted the first garden on the right side on the way into the cluster, by the steps. The left side has yet to be done so we will arrange for a contractor to re-do the left garden behind the hand-rail, with special note to remove the spirea. We may need to repaint the railings during clear-up since they will be exposed.
2018 Landscape Discussion:
Wilson recommended that organized to-do lists really helped folks achieve work done in minimum time.
Wilson reviewed some options projects this year:
- Spring clean up is scheduled for Saturday, April 21st 9am- noon which is also earth day. We anticipate having a barbecue or social gathering post clean-up, weather pending. Rain date Sunday 22nd 9am- noon.
- Organize Fall Cluster clean-up for Sat Oct 20th – Rain date Sunday Oct 21st 9am- noon.
- Mulch order arrives the week of March 19th -23rd. If you ordered mulch, please pick it up by the Fire Lane area or other location if the fire lane area is being concreted at the time.
- Using the remaining balance for the ‘Grass and Special Projects’ budget, hire a contractor to complete the left side garden near the stairs with c clean hedge by the rail, flowering rose of sharon or crepe myrtle in the center and simple grass/mulch around it.
- Walk the perimeter of the cluster and note areas to be improved visually, including any areas that should be rebuilt or reseeded with grass.
- Create rock-garden or concept garden on either side of the steps by the tunnel. Expand on the idea of the tree arch and create something on either side that flows well with the arch, the landscape and has the added benefit of stopping soil runoff, and helps absorb the water that flows under the steps.
2017 Actuals vs Budget Review:
Income from dues went as planned in 2016 with all home owners paying on time by year end.
Income: with the dues all paid, interest on capital funds, no snow or mosquito payments, and lower tree repairs, the cluster ended up with a surplus net income of $1,618.47. We started 2017 with a $3,029.47 budget deficit to fund legal fees for the by-laws carried over from 2016. Combined, we ended up with a budget variance of $4,647.94. The surplus was added to the Capital Reserve fund bringing the capital reserve fund to $53,914.
Net Surplus Income: $ 1,618.47
Most expenses came in on or under budget.
Budgeted Expenses $32,904.34
Actual Expenses $28,423.46
Expense variation 2016 $4,647.94
|Detail of Expense variation||Description||Variance Over||Variance Under|
|Income||Late fees and Income increased||$167|
|Charges carried forward to ‘18||Legal Fees and agency dues||-$200|
|Tree/Grass Project (carryover from 2016 Budget)||$307.4|
|Repairs & maintenance||-$350|
|General assembly social||-$150|
|Electric, Trash, other fees||-$54.18|
|Total Expense Variation 2017||$4,647.94|
Capital: There are two forms of capital outlined on our budget:
- Reserve: Long term capital designated for asphalt and concrete repairs, stairs and supporting walls on common grounds. The capital reserve received the budgeted $4,500 plus interest plus the $4,647.94 variance so it closed year end at $53,914.
- Operating:Shorter term capital set aside for larger incidentals on any given year or for items not included on the normal budget or where no special assessment is levied for an event, like the legal fees. The operating reserve for 2017 started at $7,972.56, $3k went to legal fees, we added the remaining $227.44 to bring the balance in 2018 back to the target $5,200.
Most home owner dues were paid on time, the cluster made $300 in late payment fees.
2018 Budget Estimate discussion:
Special Reserve for trees/grass: The special trees/grass/landscaping budget started 2017 with $1,475. $307.40 was used for the right side garden to the entrance leaving the special trees/grass budget in 2018 at $1,168. This money will be spent to finish the same garden (left side of the steps) in early 2018.
Capital Reserve will start 2018 at $53,914. Of this, the concrete curb installation, sidewalk replacement, repaving the entire parking lot, painting fire lands and repositioning the wheel-stops are estimated at $40,450 leaving $13,464 in the reserve fund. After we add $4,245 from the 2018 budget, the Capital Reserve balance should close 2018 with $17,709.
Capital – Operating Reserve will start 2018 at $5,200 ($5,000 base + $200 carryover for legal fees).
With the Planned Budget for 2018, the cluster expects to:
Income: Maintain income from HOA dues, interest from the capital reserves and late payment fees.
Expense: Adjust 2018 Budgeted line item expenses to cover:
- Increase Landscaping to include aeration in 2016 from $9,550 to $9,921 (3.7%)
- Decrease snow removal budget from $2,775 to $2,235 in the hope snow will hold off.
- Lower capital reserve from $4,500 to $4,245 to cover all infrastructure items
- Maintain operating reserve at $5,200 (includes $200 for the remainder of the legal fees).
- Lower Tree service (maintenance) from $3,000 to $2,757
- Increase Mosquito spraying estimate to $2,800 for 8 sprayings.
- Remove General assembly budget of $150
- Estimated remainder of the legal fees for Article & By-law review $200
- With the repaving and concrete work, Brookshire will significantly reduce the capital reserve fund in 2018. It is in line with what was planned, but Ann outlines we need to build the reserves up again for large ticket items in the future. It is quite a feat that our cluster is able to cover the costs of both re-paving and replacing sidewalks without a special assessment. We applauded Ann for her foresight, planning and diligence on managing the budget so effectively. We all specifically thanked her that there is no special assessment for such huge projects. Way to go Ann!!
- Landscaping and mosquito spraying both went up in the 2018 budget, so Ann offset the increases by lowering snow removal and tree service budget, removing the GA budget and lowering the capital reserve contributions. With that, the board decided NOT to raise dues in 2018 but noted that we would most likely increase dues in 2019 to $300 per house/quarter to match inflation.
- The cluster was able to get an excellent rate to repair/replace concrete. If you want to replace your concrete, let us know what you would like to add. It will work out about $7.50 per square foot for basic sidewalk. Payment for your section will be processed through the cluster. Let us know if you want to add any of your own sidewalk to the list.
Legal Documentation for Cluster:
As mentioned, by-laws and Articles of Incorporation have been updated. Final, revised versions will be posted and published for you once they pass legal inspection and final approval.
As the number of cars per household increases within the cluster, we once again face the limited parking challenge. Please remember there is only one guaranteed space per house. The limited number of guest spaces are open to all on a first come, first served basis but no more than one guest spot can be used by a household. Those at the back of the cluster ask(ed) those in the front to park on Moorings as it’s a long walk to the back from Moorings Drive. Also discussed were extra long cars and trucks parking in the two snow-spaces at the back right of the cluster. Those two spaces are short – so it is easy to block in cars on either side of the two spaces. If your car is extra long, please avoid those two spaces if possible.
Following on that, it was requested that we ask the asphalt company to push those two spaces back a little during repaving.
Irene wondered if solar panels are an option in the cluster. Phil noted that we don’t have sufficient room on our roofs to support enough solar panels to charge a wall battery pack for a single house.
Following from that, Deirdre noted we could ask about pulling in natural gas piping to the cluster while we’re repaving as it would run up through the center of the cluster and be distributed to certain drop off points throughout. This would make for easier conversion of heating or other appliances (see https://www.washingtongas.com/home-owners/services/gas-conversion-process) More to follow…
- Electric lights faulty at the back of the cluster. Deirdre submitted ticket with Dominion to get them fixed.
- TOWING sign on entry to the cluster is broken. Deirdre to get replacement sign.
- During the re-paving, all cars need to be moved out of the cluster. Even with enough notice, we may need to hire a tow truck to remove last minute mistakes. This will be done at the owner’s expense. Deirdre to ask Fairfax county if they would be on standby to tow, or ask the gas station on the corner if they’re available to tow. Cars are requested to stay off the new asphalt for 48 hours to allow it time to set properly.
- 2nd (new) snow storm sign not set in the ground, needs to be set properly during cluster cleanup.
- Website hosting company changed names which triggered an issue with the domain name. new domain name is www.brookshirecourt.org
- Trash dues go up in Jan and July due to Fairfax county landfill rate hikes. Board to call AAA to re-negotiate contract and rates.
- Board to work on updating cluster guidelines where possible. RA unclear about scope of conformity guidelines and submit charges at random, case in point – architectural roofing on a house is not listed under any guideline yet became an issue for a recent sale.
- New granite entry sign with Brookshire engraved in italics discussed in detail.. .:)
Vote on board members:
- Wilson P was unanimously re-elected as president of the cluster for another year.
- Mark M stepped down as Landscape director. Scott and Allison were voted in in their absence. As all were not in attendance, Wilson was to check with Scott and Allison to make sure they are OK with the role. John Fay thankfully offered to help with the next Spring cleanup to help transition them to the role.
- Ann D – Unanimously re-elected as Treasurer.
- Mick and Jen were unanimously re-elected as our cluster Social Directors.
- Deirdre – unanimously re-elected as Secretary.
Meeting concluded at 9:42PM