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
If a tree falls, who removes it?
by the East Village Board of Directors
East Village has a lot of trees. And they fall down. Since February, several strong windstorms have swept through East Village and knocked down quite a few of our trees. After every storm, East Village Community Manager April Steward and the Brightview Landscaping manager immediately inspect the community looking for damage. They also respond to residents who report fallen trees.
When a tree comes down, residents sometimes ask who is responsible for its removal? It depends on who owns it.
In East Village, there are several possible property owners. Trees could be the responsibility of homeowners, East Homes Corporation or Montgomery Village Foundation, depending on which piece of land it is on. Trees are expensive to remove and can cause considerable damage, and each property owner has to follow the laws pertaining to property rights and responsibilities.
Following are some examples. If you have a tree on your property that falls down entirely within your property, you’re responsible for its removal (check with your Home Insurance Policy). However, if your tree falls on your neighbor’s property, you’re only responsible for the portion of the tree on your property. Your neighbor pays for the portion of your tree on their property. The same holds true if your neighbor’s tree falls on your property. You have to pay to remove what is over your property line. If there is property damage in any of the above situations, contact your insurance agent.
As property owners, East Village and MVF follow the same rules and laws. If a tree on East Village or MVF property falls on homeowner property, East Village or MVF is responsible for removing the part of the tree on the common property held by either entity, but not what falls on private property.
East Village conducts regular monthly inspections covering trees and many other items. If a tree is noted to have died or is leaning at a certain point that may cause damage, it’ll be removed after a joint maintenance committee agreement and decision. Homeowners sometimes request that trees next to their house, but on East Village property, be trimmed or removed. The maintenance committee looks at each situation and determines if a tree is unhealthy or has died or appears to be leaning and may fall. Limbs that are too close to roofs of homes will sometimes be trimmed back.
It should be noted that there is a tree trimming schedule, and each neighborhood has its trees trimmed on a three or four year cycle.
Annual Picnic in September
Come and meet your neighbors by attending the Annual East Village Picnic scheduled from1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22 at Lake Marion Community Center, 8821 East Village Avenue. We will be on the deck overlooking the lake, and food and refreshments will be provided. In the past, a DJ has rocked the deck with music with kids and adults joining in for fun dance contests. Face painting or other children’s activities have always been popular. Plus, many local and state elected officials have attended. It’s a chance to bend their ear and voice your concerns to EVHC board members as well.
Trash Should Be Sealed
Finally, a friendly reminder that all trash should be stored in tightly sealed containers, then put on the curbside on your collection day. It’s the law, so please follow it. Trash pickup is every Tuesday and Friday, while county recycling is every Friday; when there is a national or state recognized holiday during the week, recycling will slide one day and be picked up on Saturday.
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
Winter still hangs on!
by the Maryland Place Board of Directors
Sometimes in Maryland we get to experience what seems like three seasons in one week.
The winter has been no exception; snow on Monday, rain on Wednesday and 72 degrees and sunny on Saturday. Be patient—spring will be here soon!
You may have noticed last month our landscaping contractor went through the neighborhood and trimmed the trees on the community property. They also removed several trees that we will be replacing in the spring. Maintaining the trees is important to their health and keeps Maryland Place looking good.
We are still seeing a huge amount of speeding on neighborhood streets. We are monitoring this and are looking into solutions. Please do not speed on our neighborhood streets.
Our trash problem seems to be ongoing, with constant dumping of trash on community property. Residents are seen placing bags of trash, recycling, furniture, appliances, etc. on community property daily! Trash or recycling should never be placed on community property. Lately we seem to have a problem with residents leaving trash cans and recycling bins on the green spaces after pickup. This doesn’t make Maryland Place look welcoming to home buyers or visitors. Let’s do a better job by not placing trash or recycling on community property. If you see your trash or recycling bin on community property please return it to your backyard.
Maryland Place Trash and Recycling Info
Trash and recycling should be stored on your property in a sealed, vermin-proof container.
Trash containers should be placed at the rear of your property on Sunday and Wednesday nights after dark for collection on Monday and Thursday morning. 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.
Maryland Place Messages: for residents of Maryland Place.
Middle Village Voice
Kids at Play
by the Middle Village Board of Directors
Spring is here, and that means children will be out running and playing. Drive slowly through our community and keep an eye out for children crossing streets, playing in the parking lots, riding bicycles 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! 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, 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.
The current Middle Village Parking policy states:
"All vehicles parked overnight in the community are required to display a MVHC parking tag/permit or they are subject to immediate towing. For purposes of these Rules, overnight is defined as parking a vehicle in MV anytime between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m."
"Parking tag/permit must be clearly/properly displayed, on the driver’s side, facing the front windshield, on vehicles parked in a reserved parking space, or parked in the community overnight. Tags/permits can be hung from the rearview mirror or taped to the driver’s side dashboard or front windshield, front side facing toward the windshield."
"Failure to properly display the current year’s parking tag/permit will lead to immediate towing – even if vehicle is parked in the appropriate reserved parking space. No warnings or notifications will be issued."
“No commercial vehicles or trailers of any type, campers, or recreational vehicles shall be permitted to remain overnight on either the property of a private dwelling unit or on the community-owned property within Middle Village. For purposes of these rules, over-night is defined as parking a vehicle between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.”
“Commercial vehicles include vehicles with any type of writing or printing (let-ters, words, pictures, insignia, etc.) identifying a firm, organization, service, product, etc., of any kind, type or description. All vehicles carrying ladders, pipes, ladder racks, truck-loaded tools or truck-loaded tool boxes, etc., will be considered commercial. Vans used for delivering, storing or transporting goods or cargo are also considered to be commercial vehicles and are prohibited from remaining overnight in the community. Police vehicles are exempted.”
“No commercial vehicles (including commercial pickup trucks) shall be permitted to remain overnight in the community. Pickup trucks must not have ladder racks, truck-loaded tools or truck-loaded toolboxes. Further, pickup trucks may not park overnight in the community with any cargo, items or material of any kind in the truck bed (landscaping debris, tools, boxes, trash, equipment, etc.) that exceeds the height of the truck bed sides or that extends beyond the tailgate. Pickup trucks with cargo that meet this description will be considered commercial vehicles and are not permitted to park in the community overnight. Violations are subject to immediate towing.”
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.
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
The next Middle Village Homes Corporation board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 25. The remaining meeting dates for 2019 are Tuesdays, Aug. 27 and Oct. 22. All meetings are held at 7 p.m. at the Thomas Choice Clubhouse, 19401 Brassie Place, unless otherwise stated.
Middle Village Voice: for residents of Thomas Choice West and Clubside.
North Village View
Update on trash collection
by the North Village Board of Directors
We know there has been some confusion about Potomac Disposal’s holiday schedule for picking up your regular trash. Under their current contract, trash continues to be picked up Mondays and Thursdays; however, if a federal holiday falls on Monday or Thursday, the regular collection will be the next day. This delayed schedule for holidays is a change from the past. Bulk trash collection occurs on Thursdays, following arrangement by the homeowner.
Recycling collection is performed by Montgomery County on the county’s schedule. Our Wednesday regular pickup is delayed a day for major holidays that fall early in the week.
April board meeting
Our most recent meeting of the North Village Homes Corporation Board of Directors was held Thursday, April 18.
No residents spoke. President Claudette Lease called the meeting to order and the board approved the minutes of the February 21 regular meeting.
In the financial report, Treasurer Tom Wills reported that greenspace repair was over budget, largely attributable to storm clean up expenses. Site maintenance expenses also were over budget due to substantial drain cleaning required from increasing tree-related and other debris clogging them. Accounts receivable have been creeping up over the past year. He also noted that there was $49,000 due to our operating funds from our reserve fund accounts following payment of invoices for reserve expenditures. He moved to cancel the IOU since our operating cash is healthy without the repayment. The board approved cancelling the IOU and thereby increased our reserve fund balances.
In the maintenance report, Lease noted that BrightView was underway as our new landscape contractor and is busy cleaning up after the winter and regularly emptying the pet stations. In her recreation report, she noted the tot lot is in heavy use, but water retention by the slide needs attention. She noted Montgomery Village Foundation recently finished replacing the new playground in Hurley Park.
In her management report, Community Manager April Steward reported a problem with trash dumping in Picton. A flyer with the trash and recycling rules in English and Spanish has been distributed. She mentioned that we had applied for conservation landscaping through the county’s Rainscapes Program, which could add to our perennial garden areas on a cost reimbursed basis.
She noted a number of candidates for repair and replacement with reserve funds, including entry sign cleaning (already performed), curb painting, a retaining wall in Highland Hall area, and some concrete and asphalt replacement in a number of areas. The board discussed the slow progress of our path lighting project. Management is working with several vendors, but apparently very few fixtures exist that are appropriate to our needs.
Under new business, the board approved the 2018 audit report submitted by DeLeon & Stang and performed its annual review and approval of the community’s policies. At the recommendation of our community manager, two new polices were added: Dispute Resolution and Private Property Maintenance (PPM). These had existed previously but were not part of the official policy list in recent years. They are important to property violation enforcement.
The board approved a proposal from Busy Services for drain repair in the lower Chadburn area at a cost of $3,875 to be funded from reserves. Also approved were a proposal from BrightView for landscaping around the new Picton entry sign at a cost of $1,975, and a proposal for tree work by Elliott Tree Service in the amount of $18,690.
Your help is needed
The limited parking available in our townhouse communities is a major struggle for many residents. You can help by letting our community manager know if you see cars that haven’t moved week after week. They will be towed.
Do what you can to reduce littering by encouraging children to dispose of trash properly. Take a few seconds to pick up empty water bottles and other refuse you see as you walk around the community. Everyone will appreciate it.
The next North Village board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 20 in the North Creek Board Room, 20125 Arrowhead Road. If you have any questions or want to report any problems, call Community Manager April Steward at 240-243-2327.
North Village View: for residents of Essex Place, Highland Hall, McRory, Perry Place, Picton, Pleasant Ridge and Salem’s Grant.
Update on projects
by the Northgate Board of Directors
Howard Goldklang from Northgate’s auditing firm presented Northgate’s 2018 audit to the board at the May meeting. Mr. Goldklang gave the association a clean bill of health and noted we were under budget for FY2018.
Also at the May meeting, the board approved funds to repair the paths in The Points. We are working out some details with the contractor before the work can start.
McFall & Berry was awarded a contract to re-grade, re-sod and rip-rap an area along Maple Leaf Drive. The work will solve an erosion problem.
Mead Tree was awarded a contract to remove three rotting pines on Grazing Terrace.
On the subject of trees, Northgate has a substantial list of trees that must be removed. They are prioritized for removal by a certified arborist, not by the board, and not by our manager. If you have been told a tree will be removed, it will be. Please be patient. Every time there is a storm, the tree removal list changes in order to handle emergencies.
Northgate is not removing trees because someone does not like them. The association utilizes a professional to tell it the condition and status of community trees. Demanding removals outside the professional recommendations we receive is not helpful. Removing trees is very expensive and the board works within the budget.
The board is aware that the benches in Apple Ridge need replacing. The work will be done. We are working on options now. Thank you to those who keep us updated.
On to trash, our least favorite subject. Buy a trash can, put your bags of trash in it. Every household has two trash pickups each week, and residents can put out bulk trash on the last pickup day of the week.
Regular trash pickups for Overlea and The Points are on Mondays and Thursdays. All other sections have pickups on Tuesdays and Fridays (McKendree I & II, Apple Ridge, Shadow Oak, Dorsey's Regard and Williams Range).
If you need a bulk trash pickup, please place your items out on the following schedule:
Thursdays: Overlea and The Points
Fridays: Apple Ridge, Dorsey’s Regard, McKendree I & II, Shadow Oak and Williams Range.
Northgate News: for residents of Apple Ridge, Dorsey's Regard, McKendree I & II, Overlea, The Points, Shadow Oak and Williams Range.
Patton Ridge Report
New community manager
by the Patton Ridge Board of Directors
The Patton Ridge Board of Directors welcomes our new community manager, Erica Cowley. Erica joined the MVF Community Management staff on May 13 and brings a plethora of experience and information to the team. We all look forward to getting to know Erica and working with her.
We hope that you have noticed that the gazebo on Arrowhead Circle has been completely refurbished by our contractor Pro General Solutions. Now that gazebo and the one at the corner of Rothbury Drive and Arrowhead Road are “twins.” We expect the upgrades will prolong the life of the structures for many years.
The board approved management to hire an engineering firm to develop proposals for replacement of the retaining wall along the path behind Doolittle Street. The wall suffers from major deterioration and is need of near-term replacement. We hope to have the engineering proposals to review at the June 25 board meeting.
The board also approved the purchase of two additional pet waste stations from the county. One will be placed on Arrowhead Circle in proximity to the gazebo, and the second will be placed in Fairidge near Doolittle Court and Doolittle Street.
Finally, the board approved a project for Chamberlain to repair an area on Hickory View Place requiring sidewalk, curb and asphalt replacement.
The next Patton Ridge Homes Corporation meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 25 in the North Creek Board Room, 20125 Arrowhead Road. This will be a good opportunity to arrive at the meeting a few minutes early and greet our new community manager.
Patton Ridge Report: for residents of Arrowhead, Fairway Islands, Fairidge, Greentee I & II, Highfield and Partridge Place I & II.
South Village Scenes
by the South Village Board of Directors
Kids should be able to go outside and enjoy their neighborhoods, but not without knowing how to stay safe. Warmer weather and longer hours of daylight have the children of South Village wanting to go outside and enjoy themselves. Parents can help kids stay safe by going over some basic rules and safety tips. Please take the time to help your children understand what it takes to stay safe and play respectfully in all of the South Village neighborhoods.
South Village streets and county roads aren't playgrounds, and is not recommended that kids use them as such. The periods of greatest risk are the hours just before and after sunset. During these periods, visibility is limited and a driver's depth perception is reduced by low light levels. Encourage children to stay alert at all times and supervise your children while they play.
If you do allow your kids to play in the street, please follow a few of these common sense safety tips:
- Stop all play when a vehicle is spotted; move to the side of the road and resume play only after the vehicle has passed.
- All evening play clothes (especially jackets, coats and wind breakers) should have reflective cloth strips. So should bikes, helmets and backpacks.
- Bike riding should be specifically monitored, unless the bike has been equipped with reflectors, head lamps safety features. Supervise your children while they ride.
- Teach kids at an early age to look left, right and left again before crossing the street. Then remind them to continue looking until safely across.
- Supervise games with soccer balls, footballs and basketballs. These toys can damage cars, windows or even cause your child to dart into the street without looking.
It’s best to play on sidewalks, open grass areas or paths. Take care to cross at street corners, using crosswalks and children under 10 should cross the street with an adult.
You are responsible for the appropriate and adequate supervision of your minor children in the community. Let’s continue to work together and keep South Village an awesome place to live and grow up! Please continue to watch for cars and take care not to allow damage of your neighbor’s personal property. Residents and their children should respect and take care to preserve and protect all trees, shrubbery, landscaping and other portions of community property.
South Village Scenes: for residents of Center Stage, Dockside, Grover's Forge, Hamptons, Millrace, Nathan's Hill and Walker's Choice.
If parking matters to you, read this
by the Stedwick Board of Directors
Parking in the Stedwick community continues to be a significant problem. The Stedwick board hears from residents with complaints about the parking “situation” at each monthly meeting. Recently, in some of our neighborhoods, parking issues have risen to confrontational or violent situations which have demanded police intervention.
To address some of the problems, our security service has been more aggressive with the tagging of stored vehicles (those that remain unmoved in 14 days). There has been an increase in the number of vehicles towed from our streets for several types of violations. In addition, the maintenance staff is removing traffic cones and other items being used to improperly or illegally reserve parking spaces.
Given the increasingly difficult parking situation, the Stedwick board is considering more aggressive parking policies. For example, restricting each household to a maximum of two or three parking permits; denying parking permits to households in arrears on assessments; towing vehicles failing to display a permit; or charging a substantial payment for the replacement of "lost" permits.
We are also reviewing policies that have been implemented in other areas of Montgomery Village. The board is aware that several of the revised or additional policy alternatives and restrictions would likely result in additional administrative coordination and costs. Since there is potential inconvenience or distress to many of our residents, the board will be balancing the possible options carefully.
The Stedwick board is hopeful that the review and revision of our parking policies can be completed over the next few months. It is the intention of the board to keep the Stedwick community informed by continuing to request your active participation by speaking with us during residents time at the beginning of each of our monthly meetings (on the third Wednesday of each month), or by residents attending and participating in a planned community forum on the parking issue.
The Stedwick board invites your comments—either in writing or by presentation—during the residents time portion at the beginning of every monthly Stedwick Board meeting. Meetings begin at 7:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at Stedwick Community Center, 10401 Stedwick Road. The next meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19. 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.
What’s happening in Whetstone
by the Whetstone Board of Directors
Whetstone board members will be visiting residents who have not returned the Covenant Amendment signature letter. Signatures of all owners of record voting in favor of the amendment are being collected, as required by our HOA documents.
Diary Road parking issues were discussed during residents time. The majority of Diary Road residents favor removal of the signs on the west side. After considering the issues, the board voted to remove the “No Parking” signs. The installation of river rock will be considered as the budget allows.
The independent Audit Report for 2018 was reviewed with no deficiencies found for the fiscal year.
The application for replacement of the North Dock is in the permitting stage with Montgomery County. This process may require several more months to finalize. The grade at the end of the dock may need to be leveled to provide handicap accessibility.
The board approved a repair proposal for three sections of the lakeshore path which will involve applying milled asphalt to the worst sections of the path.
The maintenance committee will be inspecting community streets to identify areas in need of patching. Once completed, a schedule will be formulated.
The 2019 Welcome to Whetstone Guide replaces the 2017 edition updating important community information, including the recently amended General Vehicular Rules and Regulations and Towing Policy.
If you are interested in serving your community as a board member, please send an e-mail of intent to MVF Director of Community Management Karen Kodjanian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
Whetstone Watch: for residents of The Courts, Goshenside, Lakeside and the Ridges of Whetstone.