Homes corporation and condominium association articles are provided by representatives or board members from the corporations and associations. The information and opinions provided within these articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the Montgomery Village Foundation, its Board of Directors, representatives or staff. Residents with specific questions or concerns about the information contained in these articles should contact their community manager or the author of the article.
East Village Echo
East Village community picnic
by the East Village Board of Directors
All East Village residents are cordially invited to attend the East Village Homes Corporation (EVHC) Picnic scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 24 at Lake Marion Community Center, 8821 East Village Avenue. At the picnic residents can meet EVHC board members and share input for a better community. Children can watch a magic show, get their faces painted and receive a balloon animal. All residents are invited to enjoy great picnic fare. We hope to see you there!
East Village Echo: for residents of The Downs, The Reach, The Estates, Essex Place II, Candle Ridge, Gablefield, Glenbrooke, Meadowgate, Ashford, Holly Pointe and Wethersfield.
Maryland Place Messages
Welcome back to school, students!
by the Maryland Place Board of Directors
Wow, it's school time again! With that being said, we hope that everyone had a great summer. Please be on the lookout for children in the mornings and afternoon hours.
We are sure by now you have noticed the speed humps and speed bumps along Thomas Farm and Transhire roads. We have received mostly positive feedback from residents. Some have said they have been suggesting speed bumps for 38 years. We have seen a dramatic reduction of speeding on these roads. On the downside, we have seen a dramatic increase of speeding in areas that do not have speed bumps. The board is monitoring this and will install speed bumps in other areas if needed.
The board is still looking into improvements to the Maryland Place sign and lighting throughout the community. When more information is available, we will pass it on to you.
Trash and recycling continue to be huge problems in Maryland Place. Residents are seen placing bags of trash, recycling, furniture, appliances, etc. on community property every day! Trash should never be placed on community property. We have rats and other rodents that are feeding on this trash and are here because we are providing them with a buffet of food. Not only is this unsightly and unsanitary, it’s also against Montgomery County law and the Maryland Place by-laws. All trash and recycling is to be stored on your property in a sealed, vermin-proof container. Trash is to be placed (in said vermin-proof container) at the rear of your property on Sunday and Wednesday nights, after dark, for collection on Monday and Thursday mornings. Recycling is to be placed in the front of your property on Wednesday night after dark for collection on Thursday morning. At no time should trash or recycling ever be placed on community property.
Remember, the Stedwick Pool is open for another few weeks, so get out and enjoy it. We hope to see you at our next board meeting in September.
Have a great start to the school year!
Maryland Place Messages: for residents of Maryland Place.
Middle Village Voice
by the Middle Village Board of Directors
Recycling is collected in Middle Village on Wednesdays.
What goes in a recycling bin?
- Aluminum foil products
- Cans: aluminum, steel, bi-metal
- Glass bottles and jars
- Plastic bottles, containers, tubs and lids
- Paper items: break down boxes and bundle your paper items separately
Is your recycling bin overflowing? You can order new recycling bins (limit of five bins per calendar year) free of charge from Montgomery County and they will be delivered to your home by county recycling staff (not the recycling collection crew).
To order a new bin(s), visit www2.montgomerycountymd.gov/depwebstore/items.aspx?subcatalog_id=11. For more information or questions, call the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection using the 311 system.
Remember to place household trash or recycling out after 6 p.m. the evening before pickup or on the morning of pickup. Any other time is a violation of the community trash policy and is subject to fines.
Note: If it does not fit into the blue recycling container, it is not recycling. If it does not fit into the 35-gallon trash can previously provided, it is not normal household trash. If it is yard waste, it must be in a paper bag or bundled and placed out with recycling.
Did you know…
All vehicles parked in unreserved parking spaces, whether covered or uncovered, must be moved at least every 30 days. If the vehicle is not relocated, a violation sticker/tag will be attached to the vehicle and the vehicle will be subject to towing—at the vehicle owner’s expense—48 to 72 hours after the sticker is attached.
School is in session
The school year is back in full swing, which means children will be walking to and from school and activities. Drive slowly through our community and keep an eye out for children crossing streets, playing in the parking lots and running from between or behind cars. Safety is everyone’s responsibility.
There are numerous storm drains located along the curbs throughout the community. Please do not dispose of any items in the storm drains other than water! Placing an item such as a water bottle in the drain may seem harmless, but it can be the start of a very costly problem, which can translate into increased assessment fees. Remember, no bottles, paint cans or hazardous materials such as paint, oils, gasoline, etc. are ever to be placed in the storm drains. Help keep our community water system flowing efficiently and protect your property from flood damage.
We live in a community that requires every homeowner to pay assessment fees. Assessments are used to pay contractors for landscaping, snow removal, trash collection, collection of illegally dumped trash, lighting, repairs on community property, etc. If you are a homeowner, you were provided with this information during closing.
Reminder: Assessments are due to be paid monthly. Your payment must be received by ComSource on or before the 15th of the month to avoid late charges. Your regular payments allow us to continue providing services to our community.
Homeowners who are delinquent with their assessment payments must pay their past due balance in full or make arrangements to pay them. The first step to making payment arrangements is to contact Delphine Matthews at 301-924-7355 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Important Contact Phone Numbers
Security on Demand: 877-241-1265
Big Tow: 301-424-4869
Potomac Disposal: 301-294-9700
Montgomery County Police Non-emergency:301-279-8000
ComSource is our management company. If you have a comment or complaint, please include your name, address, phone number, location of issue/problem and specific details in your correspondence or when you are leaving a phone message for the property manager. Contact ComSource at 301-924-7355 or e-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board Meeting Schedule
Association meetings now occur every other month. The last meeting for 2018 is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Thomas Choice Clubhouse, 19401 Brassie Place. One of the parking permit distribution dates will be December 4 instead of a December meeting. All meetings are held at 7 p.m. in clubhouse unless otherwise stated.
Middle Village Voice: for residents of Thomas Choice West and Clubside.
North Village View
North Village 2019 budget
by the North Village Board of Directors
At its August 16 meeting, the North Village board approved its draft 2019 budget for publication, in preparation for a final vote at the Thursday, Oct. 18
meeting. The accompanying table provides a brief summary, and the corresponding assessment the board proposes for 2019.
At this time last year, our budget discussion centered on the slight decrease that we were able to provide to our homeowners, approximately 1.7% below the prior year. It was noted that a return to a prior security company enabled a significant decrease in security cost. The other factor was the incredibly low Consumer Price Index of only .7% which, according to the by-laws, limits the non security and trash budget increase. This year the Consumer Price Index sits at 2.5% which enables us more flexibility than available last year.
If you are reading this article you have an interest in understanding the budget for next year which is laudable. Hopefully you will find the information helpful
At a high level, maintenance costs are the largest part of the budget. Of the $217,505 we are budgeting for 2019, the fixed price landscape accounts for $106,605 of that. These funds will help ensure that the common area lawns are mowed and that the leaf collection will continue as well. This contract did come in at 3% higher than last year. Another large component of the maintenance category is the tree removal line item, budgeted at $45,900. We continue to see the need for these costs despite addressing them each year. This is the unfortunate part of being a Tree City USA.
Despite not having large snow storms last year, we still spent a significant amount of money. The small, but numerous, road endangering snows do cost money, and we feel it safest to maintain a budget the mirrors the budget from 2018.
We have two specialty contracts that account for approximately $100,000 in our budget. The security contract has increased ever so slightly over last year, slightly above a 1% increase. Our other specialty contract is the trash removal contract and we are budgeting $60,100 for 2019. This number is based on the actual information received from our trash removal company, represents a 3.6% increase in our budget from last year and can be attributed, in part, to recent employee related legislation.
The third category of our budget is the non maintenance portion and includes the Montgomery Village Foundation management fee, legal, bad debt and required expenses, such as audit, tax, and insurance expenses. The budget for 2019 is very consistent with the budget for 2018. Based on the year-to-date costs incurred through June 2018, we are able to keep this consistency as we see increases in some categories such as electric, which are offset by others like taxes. We do expect to incur some costs as we look to enforce existing by-laws.
The planned contribution to Capital Reserves for 2019 of $141,500 is an increase over 2018, but consistent with recommendations of our 2015 reserve study. We expect to incur costs related to that study that include some road repairs and some concrete repairs. We are looking to replace some entry signs as well.
We look forward to input from the residents on the 2019 budget. Please provide questions or comments to Community Manager April Steward at 240-243-2337, or e-mail email@example.com before the October board meeting. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18 in the North Creek Board Room, 20125 Arrowhead Road; plan to attend residents time at the beginning of the meeting.
North Village View: for residents of Essex Place, Highland Hall, McRory, Perry Place, Picton, Pleasant Ridge and Salem’s Grant.
Late summer update
by the Northgate Board of Directors
The McKendree courtyard project has been completed by Montgomery County, a project that has taken several years. The work has improved the appearance of the community.
Paving of the entrance to The Points will take place shortly, along with paving of Maple Leaf Court. The drainage issue at The Points entrance was addressed.
Busy Service was awarded a $7,115 contract to correct drainage issues between Maple Leaf Court and Maple Leaf Drive. The company also was awarded a contract to clean out storm drains in the McKendrees.
Shall’s Construction was awarded the contract to paint additional light poles at a cost of $3,600.
A number of trees were lost due to the storms and excessive rain. This has stressed the Northgate budget. Other problematic trees need to be removed, and bids are being solicited. Please do not request removal of trees you simply do not like. The budget is being severely tested by necessary tree work and storm damage. Please do report trees you believe are dead, dying or dangerous.
Trash dumping continues to be a problem. We urge residents to report dumping. You will remain anonymous. There are multiple ways to dispose of trash for free. Please share this information with neighbors who may not be aware:
Northgate provides ample resources to handle trash, including twice-weekly trash pickups and bulk pickups once-per-week as needed. The county provides once-per-week recycling. With few exceptions, that should cover every resident’s trash removal needs. Those exceptions can almost always be handled by taking the items to the Shady Grove Transfer Station, a short distance from Montgomery Village (MVA>Midcounty Highway>Shady Grove Road>Left on 355>almost immediate Left into Transfer Station).
The Points and Overlea have trash pickup on Mondays and Thursdays. Bulk pickups are Thursday. All the other neighborhoods: Apple Ridge, Dorsey’s Regard, the McKendrees, Shadow Oak and Williams Range have trash pickup on Tuesdays and Fridays. Bulk pickups are on Fridays. Do not put your trash out earlier than the evening before pickup!
Per Montgomery County Code, residents are responsible for providing containers with tight fitting lids for storage of solid waste in single-family houses and townhouses. All solid waste storage containers must be rigid plastic or metal, vermin-proof and equipped with tight fitting lids. The Division of Housing Code Enforcement enforces trash and debris on a property.
Northgate News: for residents of Apple Ridge, Dorsey's Regard, McKendree I & II, Overlea, The Points, Shadow Oak and Williams Range.
Patton Ridge Report
Patton Ridge board vacancies
by the Patton Ridge Board of Directors
The board says farewell to Steven Whitehead, who is stepping down after a term, and we thank him for his community service. The Patton Ridge board now has two vacancies. Interested residents should e-mail Community Manager Andrea Mandato at firstname.lastname@example.org stating their desire to serve the Patton Ridge community. To be considered for appointment to the board, you must include a written statement of qualifications, interests and reasons for wanting to serve. All candidates must be in good standing with the Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) and the Patton Ridge Homes Corporation. In addition, resident candidates must not be in violation of by-laws and covenants and must also be current in their payments of dues and assessments to both MVF and the Patton Ridge Homes Corporation.
The board will consider all candidates who meet the above criteria. New appointees shall be selected from among the interested residents based on several factors including, but not limited to, the following:
- Extent of previous participation in community activities (both within and outside Montgomery Village);
- Consideration for an equitable geographic representation on the board (i.e. varied representation within the Homes Corporation); and
- Professional or other qualifications related to the fields of fiscal management and property maintenance.
If appointed to the board, appointees agree to complete the Montgomery County required electronic board training immediately.
Next Board Meeting
There is no board meeting in August. The next Patton Ridge Homes Corporation Board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 25 in the North Creek Board Room, 20125 Arrowhead Road. Residents time is from 7 to 7:30 p.m.; please limit your remarks to no more than three minutes.
Patton Ridge Report: for residents of Arrowhead, Fairway Islands, Fairidge, Greentee I & II, Highfield and Partridge Place I & II.
South Village Scenes
South Village board updates
by the South Village Board of Directors
At the June 2018 meeting, the board approved changes to the community policies. Please refer to the meeting minutes available on the website for changes. The community handbook also has the updated policies.
Safety and Security
Speed bumps are installed throughout South Village, along with signs reminding drivers that children are playing. Remember to slow down and watch for pedestrians and bicyclists as well.
Warmer weather can create special safety issues. Check on elderly neighbors and pets and remember to check cars for pets and children.
Air conditioners are also often running longer. Have your air conditioner checked by a professional for line damage, including freezing, compressors and freon levels. Setting thermostats at a constant temperature saves energy and may potentially save money on energy bills.
Water play is fun, but make sure it’s safe. Follow lifeguard instructions at pools. Wear life vests and jackets in boats and canoes.
Helmets protect when bicycling and skateboarding. Remember to watch for cars when riding.
Fire lanes are not parking areas. Cars parked in fire lanes will be towed immediately.
Parking policies are enforced by community management through a contracted vendor. Questions and issues related to parking should be sent to the community management office.
Security is everyone’s responsibility. Locked vehicles, doors and windows at home help prevent theft.
Report suspicious activities to Montgomery County Police. Call the non-emergency number, 301-279-8000.
Budget Work Begins
The audit committee will meet in July to begin planning the 2019 budget. SVHC has operated in a positive cash flow relative to operations and reserve expenses. Increased costs for services, as well as new maintenance and reserve projects, will be important factors for the committee.
One of the major projects for the community is tree maintenance and replacement. During the wind storms in the early spring, several trees were either uprooted or damaged. Many of the trees had to be removed and some still have work that needs to be done. Community tree work will continue along with other landscaping projects.
Trash removal is another area where costs have increased. The amount of trash picked up in the community, as well as increased pricing from the contractor, are major considerations for the budget.
After committee recommendations, the board will publish the budget recommendation for review and comment. We look forward to your comments.
SVHC Community Event
The recreation committee is planning the 2018 SVHC Community Day event! There will be food, music, games and more! Stay tuned—the date will be announced soon.
South Village Cleanup Day
Despite the rain, we had a very successful day cleaning the creek on Saturday, June 23 near Royal Bonnet Circle at the Hamptons. We collected 200 pounds of trash and some recyclable items. Many thanks to our sponsor, Ana Arriaza, from the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, and the three volunteers who came and made it possible.
South Village Scenes: for residents of Center Stage, Dockside, Grover's Forge, Hamptons, Millrace, Nathan's Hill and Walker's Choice.
The new Stedwick website is here!
by Lauren Zack
September 1 saw the launch of the new Stedwick Homes Corporation website! The new website can be viewed at www.stedwickhc.com and has the latest information about our community (including the updated Reserved Parking Policy). As part of the new website, you can sign up for the monthly e-mail newsletter (Stedwick Signals), e-mail the board, submit photos of policy violations and more. The website contains copies of all the Stedwick policies, architectural criteria and a digital copy of the Resident’s Handbook. There is even a link to sign up to be notified of changes to the recycling pickup due to holidays. The new website also comes with a new board e-mail address, email@example.com.
Stedwick Homes Corporation also has an Instagram account—@stedwickhc. If you don’t have Instagram but would like to view the photos of our community, you can view them online at www.instagram.com/stedwickhc. If you would like to submit your photos of the community for publication on Instagram, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org along with a note giving your permission for publication.
The board welcomes feedback on the new website. Please e-mail your ideas and suggestions for what information would be most helpful to you to be able to access online to the e-mail address listed above.
The next maintenance inspection is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 11. If you know of any items, situations or conditions that need the Maintenance Committee’s attention, please inform the board prior to that date.
Finally, the board has begun preparing the budget for 2019 and invites your comments—either in writing or by presentation— during the residents time portion at the beginning of the September board meeting.
The next Stedwick board meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at Stedwick Community Center, 10401 Stedwick Road.
If you have suggestions, questions or concerns, please contact our Stedwick Homes Corporation community management team at 240-243-2326, e-mail email@example.com or consult our community website, www.stedwickhc.com.
Stedwick Signals: for residents of Club Hill, Clusters of Stedwick I, II, III, Forest Brooke, Frenchton Place, Ridges of Stedwick and The Heights.
Thomas Choice Condominium
Thomas Choice Condominium Multi-family Yard Sale
by the Thomas Choice Condominium Board of Directors
Village residents are invited to the Thomas Choice Condominium Annual Multi-family Yard Sale on Saturday, Sept. 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Come to shop for some new items or used treasures!
Limited parking will available on site.
Short-Term Rental ballot initiative
by the Whetstone Board of Directors
Another summer has flown by, and the kids are back in school. We hope that all Whetstone residents had a great summer enjoying distant vacation sites and/or the local amenities offered in Montgomery Village. Your Whetstone Homes Corporation (WHC) Board of Directors has been busy working on the Short-Term Rental ballot initiative, many maintenance items and increasing our Reserve account investment activities in the Electronically Traded Fund (ETF) Standard and Poor Index Fund.
The ballot initiative that you as a Whetstone homeowner can consider is the impact that short-term rentals might have on your property. No matter the size of your home, the house next door could be used as a short-term rental. So, make sure that your voice is heard by casting your ballot—the deadline is quickly approaching. Please sign the envelope, print your name and return your ballot no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 17. Be sure to mark your ballot “YES” (to prohibit short-term rentals) or “NO” (to allow short-term rentals). If you have any questions or have misplaced your ballot, contact Community Manager Andrea Mandato at 240-243-2326 or Director of Community Management Karen Kodjanian at 240-243-2347.
The WHC Maintenance Committee has met monthly to tour all of Whetstone, evaluating the community-owned assets in most need of attention. We have initiated the long-term process of repaving those streets and walking paths. We are also continuing the process of removing and replacing old, dying trees, grinding the stumps and replanting the disturbed area with grass seed. We ask those residents affected to kindly water the new grass areas and trees as needed to protect our investment.
Finally, the board has added $200,000 of our Reserve Account funds to our Investment Account. The Reserve Account has a balance of just over $2 million with $92,000 (4.6%) in cash, $1,572,000 (78.5%) in CDs and now $338,000 (16.9%) in the S&P 500 ETF. The rate of return to date on our CDs is 1.2% and our S&P ETF is 2.4%. The ETF return is relatively low because of the February market correction and the fact that we just invested the additional $200,000 on July 31.
In October, you will be asked to consider a modest increase in the Whetstone portion of the quarterly assessment. This initiative failed to pass last year. As we have all experienced in our household budgets, the cost of goods and services continues to increase. Without an increase to the operating budget, we cannot continue to operate as in prior years.
In an effort to communicate more effectively with our residents, the WHC board would like to update our board e-mail list. This allows you to receive meeting notices, agendas, emergency information, etc. This is not a neighborhood discussion forum. If you are not on the current list or have changed your provider, just send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whetstone Watch: for residents of The Courts, Goshenside, Lakeside and the Ridges of Whetstone.