Highlights of December 2, 2013 BCA Board Meeting

Posted December 7, 2013 at 7:54 AM, Filed Under: News, NRC Email

Important Note: The below highlights are reported based on unofficial notes taken by NRC representatives who attended the above BCA meeting. Although we believe the below reporting is reliable and strive for accuracy, we cannot assure 100% accuracy. It is recommended to all readers that they read the approved BCA Board Meeting minutes when published.

President's Report

On behalf of the BCA Board, President O'Hanley offered sincere condolences to the family and friends of Betsy Bolling, adding that Bolling loved her neighborhood Fortune's Ridge and was a champion of Brandermill. President O'Hanley recognized Bolling's many hours of volunteer work in Brandermill, her most recent position as a member of the Hearing Panel and her volunteer service in guiding the walkabout through Fortune's Ridge earlier this fall.

President O'Hanley commented on the landscaping work done in Harbour Pointe by Valley Crest Landscaping, noting that the work (which included plantings and trimming) looks very good.

President O'Hanley reminded residents of the Brandermill Christmas Tree lighting event scheduled for Tuesday, December 3 at 7:00 p.m. She thanked Jennifer Strader, the Activities Committee and Janice of "Designs by Janice" (located in Market Square) for their efforts to decorate the tree. Special thanks go to the Brandermill Regional Men's Club who donated money for the tree itself. The Swift Creek Elementary Choir will sing Christmas carols, and hot chocolate and cookies will be served. She also noted that Manager Bailey would be present as Santa Claus.

Lastly, President O'Hanley reminded all Brandermill members that 2014 meetings will be held at the Harbour Pointe Clubhouse, as Brandermill Woods begins its renovations in January.

Manager's Report

Manager Bailey stated that the application for self-maintained status, received from one of the commercial members, will be discussed at a later date because of the research that needed to be done. This research, which includes review of past BCA Board minutes to determine how these types of applications were handled in the past, would provide BCA attorneys with criteria for a legal opinion.

Director Bettin asked about "Commercial Property Self-Maintenance Criteria" document that the Directors had received in their information packet. Director Davis asked if this document indicated minimal maintenance requirements by commercial members who desired self-maintained status. Manager Bailey indicated that the document was the only such policy document found in the BCA files relating to this issue and that it needed to be updated. He noted that among the questions that needed to be addressed is: "Are assessments tied to the level of maintenance provided?" He also noted that the outcome of this research and decision could have a big impact on the total value of commercial assessments and the number of votes to which commercial members are entitled (as the number of votes are based on per-$100 assessment paid).

Manager Bailey stated that the ARB received 57 applications in November of which 39 were approved as submitted, nine were approved with limiting conditions, one was denied and six required ARB consultant assistance to advise. He also noted that 17 covenant violations were issued in November, only one has been resolved, and seven cases have been referred for legal action. There were also nine tree removal applications in November (all nine were approved) and 10 disclosure requests.

With regards to the work being done along Genito Road (see page 12 of the December 2, 2013 BCA Board Packet), Manager Bailey advised that street lights and sidewalks are currently being installed in the area.

Director Hillman acknowledged John Hughes (past BCA Board Director/President and past NRC Chair) for starting this process with the County back in 2008.

President O'Hanley asked if the contractor was installing globes on the street lights that would match our existing lights. Manager Bailey responded that he will check on that and added that tree management work has been done in Harbour Pointe during November.

Manager Bailey talked about the approaching deadline to install new mailboxes (December 31, 2013). He stated that a letter has gone out to all residents who have not already installed the new mailbox; the letter describes the non-compliant covenant process to be taken.

After January 6, 2014, violation notices will go out to members who still have the old brown mailboxes. Manager Bailey advised that currently there are approximately 750 brown mailboxes still to be replaced. He stated that in lieu of the actual new mailbox being installed by January 1, 2014, the BCA will accept a signed contract for mailbox installation or receipts for purchase of materials from "do-it-yourself" members who plan to construct new mailboxes as a means for residents to avoid receiving covenant violation notices. The Hearing Panel will hear mailbox violation cases in February, which will initiate a $10/day fine to those non-compliant residents, and legal action may be taken in May for covenant enforcement, if necessary.

Manager Bailey mentioned that about 100 new e-mail addresses had been added to the community's list of members to receive Brandermill e-mail blasts (now approximately 1,800 in total size). He also noted that the BCA has hired two part-time persons to work on covenant enforcement within the Property Management/Standards Department. These new hires will begin work in January 2014.

Manager Bailey noted that the BCA has begun to pick up leaves that have fallen into the streets. He advised residents to NOT blow leaves into the street, as Brandermill maintenance crews will go around piles of leaves that have been blown into the street from yards. Leaf pick-up from the roads began on Monday, December 2 in Planter's Wood.

Manager Bailey reminded members that the Holiday House judging is coming soon and reminded residents wishing to participate to "hurry up and finish their decorating". President O'Hanley also noted that two new Brandermill homes have been added to the Richmond Tacky Light Tour.

Director Hillman asked why the Board packet posted for the membership differed from the version distributed to the BCA Directors. Manager Bailey asked if there was something in particular that she noticed had been omitted. She responded with an example of a letter from the Manager and information from Director Bettin that was in the Directors' packets but not in members' downloadable packet. Director Hillman noted the importance of transparency and felt that the members' posted packets, with the exception of Executive Session materials, should contain the same information as distributed to the BCA Directors. Manager Bailey agreed to maintain transparency.

Director Malek asked about the possibility of Brandermill establishing a private contract for residents who wished to have curbside leaf removal. Director Bettin noted that Woodlake had established a contract of $65 per resident who wished to have leaves removed by a private contractor.

Member Voice

Dennis Lacey (Timber Ridge) thanked the BCA Board for their good work. He commented that clearing the understory along the parkways looks really nice. Being in involved in real estate, Lacey advised the BCA Board to continue this work, adding that understory clearing makes Brandermill look much better groomed. He stated that details matter in achieving a good impression. Lacey suggested that the BCA Board work with the power company to paint and otherwise maintain their metal boxes. This, too, Lacey concluded, would add to Brandermill looking well-groomed.

Joe Herbst (Harbourwood) discussed the proposed reorganization and re-chartering of the Brandermill committees. He expressed his belief that the NRC filled an important role in encouraging member participation and enhancing communication between members and the BCA Board. He also noted that he believes the NRC plays an important role in ensuring transparency on the discussions and decisions of the BCA Board by producing and communicating detailed meeting notes of each BCA Board meeting. He encouraged the BCA Board to ensure that these important NRC functions are continued under the proposed reorganization.

Presentation: Zoning Request of Joni Roberts (Planters Wood)

Joni Roberts (Planters Wood) made a presentation to the BCA Board regarding her application for a conditional use permit as required by Chesterfield County to renew her license to operate a family day home in Brandermill at 13304 Farm Crest Court. As owner and director of Roberts' Home Away from Home, Joni Roberts made this presentation to obtain the support of the BCA Board for the approval of her application. Her main points included the following information:
  • Roberts' Home Away From Home is a family day home in Brandermill.
  • Roberts' Home Away From Home has been in business for 17 years and has been licensed by the Virginia Department of Social Services for 12 years.
  • Roberts' Home Away From Home, as a family day home, is and has been licensed to provide daycare for up to 12 children, not including family members.
  • As a family day home, Roberts' Home Away From Home differs from child daycare centers (licensed to provide care for 10+ children) by providing a home setting, rather than a facility setting, for the care of children.
  • Brandermill covenants (written in 1974) predate the current licensing requirements for the day care of children.
  • Demographics of parents with children under age 12 have also changed a great deal since 1974, revealing a need for day care to support working parents and to "care, protect and provide guidance" to children.
  • There are families who have purchased homes in Brandermill specifically to be near Roberts' Home Away From Home, noting the quality child care Roberts' provides (see pages 13-22 of December 2, 2013 Board Packet).
  • Roberts' Home Away From Home is currently the only State-licensed family day home option in Brandermill.
  • Based on 2010 Chesterfield County Community Indicators report, there are 492 non-home-based businesses and 566 home-based businesses licensed in Brandermill.
Stacy Rogers (Court Ridge) spoke in support of Roberts' application. He noted that he is an officer on the Richmond Police Department. He advised the BCA Board that he has two children currently receiving care at Roberts' Home Away From Home and that Roberts' day home care was key to his family moving to Brandermill.

Community Manager Bailey provided some context to the BCA Board:
  1. Joni Roberts has applied for a conditional use permit (R-15 zoning) from the County. Manager Bailey noted that Part II. Restrictions, Section 2(a) of the Brandermill Covenants (page 15) states that all residential lots are for residential use only and would therefore require Roberts' application for conditional use be denied.
  2. Manager Bailey also notes that Article VIII. General Provisions, Section 6. Interpretation of the Brandermill Covenants (page 59) states that the BCA Board shall have the right to interpret the covenants.
Director Bettin asked about the timing of this request. Roberts responded that the request for a conditional mixed use permit has been necessitated by changes to the regulatory standard under a recent zoning amendment. She stated that in renewing her license, it was required that she go to the County for a conditional mixed use permit. Roberts added that she presently has 7-8 client families and does not intend to increase that number.

Members were advised that there will be a community meeting regarding this matter on Tuesday, December 4, 2013 at 6:30 p.m., Harbour Pointe Clubhouse. It is anticipated that the County Planning Commission will review the application in January, and the Board of Supervisors will act on the application for a conditional use permit in February 2014.

Director Davis asked if the 566 home-based businesses located in Brandermill had business licenses. Roberts answered in the affirmative.

Director Hillman asked if those home-based businesses had "in and out" traffic. Roberts and President O'Hanley replied that no one really knows.

Director Bettin noted that the covenant's use of the term "traffic" was somewhat nebulous. He questioned whether one car or two cars represented "traffic" and asked Roberts how many cars went to her home (to and from) each day. Roberts responded that it is four cars per day, with two of those cars belonging to Brandermill residents.

Director Davis asked if the BCA Board were to approve Roberts' application for residential mixed use (R-15 zoning), would the BCA Board be able to refuse, for example, their next door neighbor from getting R-15 zoning. Roberts felt that getting the conditional use permit would be on a case-by-case basis and that it would be unlikely that one of her neighbors would also apply to become a family day home.

Director Davis asked if there are any special safety or fire safety requirements. Roberts responded affirmatively, saying it is a requirement of the residential conditional use permit and the home is required to have fire extinguishers on all floors at all times. Roberts also noted that the back yard is fenced to provide safety for the children. She further indicated that this fencing was provided by a County grant because she cares for special needs children. Director Davis asked about the height of the fence, and she responded that it is 6-ft. high.

Two other meeting attendees spoke in support of Roberts' application. One noted that he has two sons who are now 19 and 17 who had both received day care from Roberts' Home Away From Home. He stated that he has also been Mrs. Roberts' neighbor for 21 years and feels that her care of his children was instrumental in their success. He also said that to-and-from traffic was staggered, as parents don't always work 9-5 jobs, and that the Roberts' driveway could handle 6-8 cars at a time. He and the other residents present at the meeting asserted that there are no traffic concerns.

Another of the meeting attendees stated that she moved to Brandermill because of the excellent care Roberts provided her child.

Manager Bailey noted that the BCA office had not received any comments about traffic until after the County Zoning Amendment signs were put up. Mamie McNeal, speaking as NRC Rep for Planter's Wood, said that the fear of additional traffic on the part of some residents dealt with possible future growth of the family day home.

The BCA Board tabled action on this matter until its January meeting.

Consideration of Issuance of Request for Proposals ("RFP") Regarding the North Beach Pool

Director Bettin moved and Director Blom seconded a motion to issue the RFP for improvements to the North Beach Pool as well as several specific maintenance items to St. Ledgers and Harbour Pointe pools. The BCA Board voted 5 (for):0 (against):1 (abstained) to proceed with the amended RFP.