May 20, 2008 NRC Minutes

Posted May 20, 2008 at 12:46 PM

Neighborhood Residents Council
May 20, 2008


The meeting was called to order by John Hughes, chair of NRC, on May 20, 2008 at 7:05 p.m. in the meeting room of Brandermill Woods, 14311 Brandermill Woods Trail, Midlothian, Virginia 23112.

Kurt Johnson – Poplar Grove, Visitor
Hans Josephsen – Ridge Creek
John Hughes – Muirfield Green
Kevin Healy – Riverbirch Trace
Paul Hynes – Spinnaker Cove
Joyce Rowe – Timber Ridge, BCA liaison
Joseph Flynn – Fox Chase
Andy Wyman – Walnut Creek
Ernest Mendel – Northwich
Bob Malek – Regatta Pointe
Charlie Davis – Commodore Point
Doug Camp – Barne’s Springs
Elizabeth Jones – Old Fox Trail
Ed Applequist – Winterberry Ridge
Richard English – Winterberry Ridge
Rusty Gilfillan – Poplar Grove
Theo Collins – Harbour Ridge
Doug Wayne – Rockport Landing
Katie Nastanovich – Commodore Point
Susan Schoemmell – Litchfield Bluff
Jeanne White – Fortune’s Ridge
Frances Hillman – Huntgate Woods
Betsy Bolling – Fortune’s Ridge
Grant Miller – McTyre’s Cove


Joyce Rowe representing the BCA Board stated the board had a couple of problems with the NRC.
  1. The board wanted to remind the NRC that a 10-day notice of meetings needed to be sent, along with flyers and message boards to publicize the meeting.
  2. The NRC has developed a website, and the BCA Board has been advised by legal counsel that it is legally liable for its contents. Thus, the board cannot allow a website that is totally individual. Board members want the NRC to have a website, but it was their impression that the website would be under the umbrella of the Brandermill website. Director Rowe said that the NRC could have its own web page, but that it needed to be a part of the BCA site. She stated that the board did not want to control the website but because the BCA Board and each of its board members are legally liable, the board did not feel that the NRC could have an individual website. Director Rowe suggested that the NRC have a hyperlink from the BCA site to the NRC site; however, all web content would still have to be pre-approved by the BCA Board.

Chair Hughes asked that Director Rowe formalize this request in writing by forwarding the letter from legal counsel advising that NRC could not have a website. He stated that the NRC does not want to communicate illegally but that the need to communicate in a timely manner was important to the effectiveness of the NRC.

There was also a discussion about giving notice of meetings in The Village Mill and the Brandermill message boards. Chair Hughes stated that going forward, The Village Mill will be used to give notice of meetings. He asked Director Rowe if a meeting has been announced well in advance of a meeting, if the NRC still needed to contact the BCA office to post the meeting on the reader boards. Director Rowe responded that the NRC still needed to contact the BCA office.


Secretary Frances Hillman presented the minutes from the meeting on March 11, 2008. Chair Hughes asked if there were any changes or amendments to the minutes. There were none.
MOTION: Officer Miller moved that the minutes be approved as read.
MOTION PASSED: Unanimously.

Chair Hughes acknowledged receipt of the BCA Board’s last meeting packet. He distributed a copy of a letter dated May 15, 2008 (copy attached) to meeting attendees from Director Bradner to the Chesterfield County officials, which designated official representatives on behalf of Brandermill.

Chair Hughes cautioned Brandermill residents to continue monitoring the rezoning of the Cheatham Property and Old Hundred Road, as it will forever affect the entrance of Brandermill on Route 360 and Market Square. The BCA Board has already met with Chesterfield County officials, and there is a final study underway to evaluate the impact of the rezoning and who will be responsible for paying for potential changes.


Membership Committee: Chair Hughes thanked Membership Committee Co-chairs Betsy Bolling and Jeanne White for their dedication and endless hours of work to help promote enthusiasm and neighborhood representation/participation in the NRC.

Membership Committee Co-chair Jeanne White reported that Brandermill presently has 70 neighborhoods but that only 30 of them had Neighborhood Representatives. In an effort to recruit more representatives, the committee has talked to the BCA about the possibility of setting up tables to solicit additional Neighborhood Reps. She also suggested that it was a good idea to have more than one representative from a neighborhood to ensure that neighborhoods would be represented at NRC meetings. She asked attending representatives to find other Brandermill residents to serve as neighborhood representatives.

Membership Committee Co-chair Betsy Bolling said that she would continue to call Brandermill residents to participate. She discussed the information packet that was available to all meeting attendees, which included the responsibilities of Neighborhood Reps. Bolling urged representatives to send substitutes if they were not able to attend.

Rep. Elizabeth Hart Jones (new member) wanted to know how often the NRC meets. Chair Hughes discussed some of the challenges in the past and hopes to find a better solution for the future, along with better communication tools.

Rep. Rusty Gilfillan asked if we could send the minutes electronically and get approval so they could be communicated in a timely manner. Chair Hughes explained that all NRC minutes had to be approved by the BCA Board prior to publication. Director Rowe explained that since the NRC operates under the auspices of the BCA Board, the board had to approve any materials that are published.

Communications Committee: Communications Committee Chair Mamie McNeal was not able to attend due to a prior business obligation but left Chair Hughes some notes. Chair Hughes decided to bypass her report for now and try to comply with BCA Board’s wishes.


Marketing of Brandermill: Representatives Grant Miller and Kevin Healy have met with Gary Fenchuck at East West Partners. Rep. Healy reported that Mr. Fenchuck expressed his willingness to lend his staff for whatever Brandermill needed to move forward with this. Director Rowe said that the BCA already has a long range plan, and Director Andrea Epps, who heads the marketing segment of the five-year strategic plan, has a $28,000 budget for marketing Brandermill. Director Rowe said that the five-year strategic plan was published in The Village Mill last July and is presently on the Brandermill website and that the BCA would love to have people from the NRC get involved with the plan. In the current five-year strategic plan, focus for this year will be the marketing of Brandermill, and there will be an all-day workshop in July to update the five-year plan. Another part of the five-year strategic plan is the implementation of a Neighborhood Watch program by the end of 2009.

Director Rowe also explained that the existing five-year strategic plan was based on a sampling of 150 Brandermill residents who shared their feelings on how to prioritize the list of strategic items that was presented by the BCA Board. All agreed that the sampling was relatively small, considering there are 15,000 residents in Brandermill.

Reps. Healy and Bolling asked how the NRC could help. Director Rowe suggested that the NRC contact Director Epps. She also said that the BCA Board had discussed what marketing firms could be hired to help market Brandermill during its May 19, 2008 meeting.

It was suggested that perhaps Director Epps should temporarily halt discussions of hiring a marketing firm until she, Rep. Healy and Rep. Miller have had a chance to meet. The primary reason for such a halt would be that East West Partners has volunteered marketing services for little-cost or for free. Director Rowe agreed but said that the BCA Board had no idea of such an opportunity until now. She also said that someone at the May 19 Board meeting had volunteered to steer the long range committee.

Chair Hughes suggested that it was important to include the residents. Rep. Healy reported that Mr. Fenchuck is very interested in and excited about seeing Brandermill succeed. Reps. Miller and Healy are going to contact Director Epps about the marketing plan.

Selection of 2008 Meeting Dates: After much discussion among attendees, the following dates were established for NRC meetings: July 22, September 23, October 28 and November 25. Unless announced 10days prior to the meeting date, meetings will be held at 7p.m., Brandermill Woods, 14311 Brandermill Woods Trail, Midlothian, Virginia 23112.


Adopt-A-Highway Proposal by Rep. Jonathan Grenier: Chair Hughes said that a resident had expressed concern that median the on Genito and Old Hundred Roads (at Charter Colony) was not being maintained. Maintenance of the medians is the responsibility of VDOT and that the NRC could pursue this issue by writing a letter to the VDOT, Chesterfield County officials, and the BCA Board.

Director Rowe said that VDOT, with its reduced budget, will only trim the medians two times a year. Chesterfield County cannot help. Last year the BCA did it and may have to handle the maintenance again.

There was discussion among the attendees about getting sponsorship from surrounding businesses to support this maintenance function so that the total cost of maintaining medians would not be solely on Brandermill.

Rep. Grenier proposed that the NRC institute a program to adopt medians. The upkeep of medians is the responsibility of VDOT, but the BCA has been taking care of them. Rep. Bolling asked if the NRC could form a committee to look into this. Rep. Grenier has written a proposal to "adopt a highway" within Brandermill, and the NRC will try to move this forward by finding some others that feel the same way.

Rep. Ed Applequist stated he would like to have some good road/street signage. Someone asked about Brandermill capital funds and their usage. Director Rowe stated that one of the ways to market a community is through its amenities, and as a result of that, work will be done on the Harbour Pointe clubhouse to remedy termite and roofing problems. It was mentioned that the community is aging, and work needs to be done on a lot of things.

Director Rowe commented that the really bad news was the county employees used to come out and sweep the streets. They will no longer do this. The BCA looked into buying a street sweeper, and it will cost $182,000. It is now looking at renting a unit and perhaps getting the neighborhood streets swept four times a year. The county is also reducing its services and what is to be done?

Genito Road Lighting: Chair Hughes thought this was a good idea and asked for some help in drafting a letter to Art Warren of the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors and John McCracken of Chesterfield County Transportation about the viability of establishing lighting on Genito Road. He said Mr. McCracken did not think that this lighting project was a big deal.

Old Hundred Road Crossing: Chair Hughes said that residents need a way to get to the new high school without driving. A discussion about a tunnel for pedestrians ensued, with the comment that Chesterfield County did this at Charter Colony. Chair Hughes said that we needed to voice our opinion to county officials as soon as feasible, as construction of the high school has already begun. The NRC has the information and the address if anyone wishes to write a letter.

Long Range Planning: Chair Hughes said the subject has been beaten to death, but asked if anyone had anything else.
MOTION: Rep. Healy will ask the BCA Board to include the NRC in updating the long- term strategic plan.
MOTION SECONDED: Secretary Hillman.
MOTION CARRIED: Unanimously.
Director Rowe said the BCA Board will be meeting in July and if it could meet with the NRC before that meeting and get input, it would be great.

Cheatham Property: Director Rowe said on the May 28 there is a Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors meeting, and the county has a survey to be completed concerning the traffic around the Cheatham project. The BCA Board asked that the county defer the Cheatham decision until after the survey.
MOTION: Rep. Healy proposed that he write a letter on behalf of the NRC in support of the BCA position, i.e., that the NRC agrees that the Cheatham property decision be deferred until the survey can be completed.
MOTION CARRIED: Unanimously.
Street Lighting in Brandermill: Rep. Gilifillan asked about the Acorn lighting within Brandermill and if there were any plans to replace these. Chair Hughes explained that the county was responsible for replacing the lighting but that Brandermill paid the electrical bill.

Arts in the Park: Chair Hughes asked if anyone was interested in the Arts in the Parks. Rep. Bolling said to concentrate on what has already been presented.

Virginia Chapter of Communication Associations: Chair Hughes wanted to know if anyone would be interested in training given by the Virginia Chapter of Community Association. This helps people understand their responsibilities as representatives for a community. It has some great training opportunities. The information may be attached to the NRC website if people were interested.

Brandermill Inn: Rep. Healy asked about the Brandermill Inn. Director Rowe said there is someone who wants to purchase Brandermill Inn. The sale depends upon rezoning so that the purchaser may build townhomes. Hopefully, there will be some type of development soon so the BCA does not have to continue to maintain that site.


A motion to adjourn the meeting was made, seconded and unanimously carried. The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m., May 20, 2008.

Respectfully submitted,

Frances Hillman, Secretary
Neighborhood Residents Council

John Hughes, Chair
Neighborhood Residents Council