February 2009 Board Meeting Minutes

Rhondda Homeowner's Association
Minutes of Board Meeting
  February 16, 2009

In attendance:  
Sue Patt, Tom McCandless,Todd McFarland, Sally Burmeister, Frank Cetera, David Dunn, and Angelina Reyes. Joyce Fedora and Jon Wilson were unable to attend.  Dianne O'Melia and Scott Leidy were in attendance.

President Sue Patt called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m.

Minutes: Dianne O'Melia asked that the December Minutes be corrected to read that Dave Bova resigned from the Board due to personal reasons, and that the January Minutes be corrected to read that the township curfew is 11 p.m. Angelina Reyes made a motion to approve the minutes and Tom McCandless seconded.

Maintenance Report:
Repair of the wall in the Board room is in progress, but it is a complicated procedure due to the age of the building. The interior repairs will not be finished until it is clear that the source of the damage has been addressed successfully.

The heating coil for the pipes in the Hankin Center is being installed; the installation is taking longer than anticipated because safe installation requires the removal of the surrounding insulation. This requires cutting through the wall board to reach some of the insulation.

Scott stated that he would like to move ahead with further brush clearing. Land between N/S Snowden Courts and Woodlark Farms requires surveying to avoid any encroachment on property that does not belong to the Association.  Estimates need to be secured from a surveyor in order to begin the project. Residents John Zaprala and Dan Shallow, both professional landscapers, were at the meeting to represent the newly formed Landscape Committee and to makes plans to meet with Scott. The committee mandate is to come up with a detailed plan for completing the clearing projects already in progress on Bausman Road across from Towyn Court and along the trail between Rhondda and Woodlark, and to put in place a plan for maintaining cleared areas before moving on to new clearing. Scott clarified that he took his directive from the former Board to clear all brush areas in Rhondda with the purpose of saving trees from overgrowth that damages them. Scott passed out the specifications that he developed for completing the clearing. Scott agreed to meet with the Committee to look at what needs to be done. John Zaprala pointed out that there are other means of controlling vegetation without spraying chemicals. He will share that information with Scott and the Board once a meeting has occurred. 

Property Manager's Report:
The report included action taken on items from the January meeting related to approval given for window installation at the Coleman home on Penwyllt Court and letters sent to the residents of Towyn Court who had sanctions related to approval/cedar maintenance lifted at the January meeting. 

Major accomplishments included providing the necessary documentation the accountants needed to prepare the tax return and financial statements, preparation and mailing of W2's and 1099's, and the Volunteer Appreciation Brunch held in January. There was positive feedback supporting the decision to hold the brunch at America Bar & Grill. 

Topics to focus on in the next month include preparing pool guest passes for community volunteers, completing data entry allowing email of the Roster to residents who have requested that form of delivery, planning for the Rhondda Easter Egg Hunt, and entries for the March Roster. 

There was further discussion about the Easter Egg Hunt to be held on March 21st (rain date March 28th). The deadline for publishing information in the March Roster is February 23rd. The event will be held from 1-3 p.m. and a decision to cancel due to inclement weather must be made by 11 a.m. Angelina Reyes is organizing the event which draws about 80 children and their parents. 

Treasurer's Report:
Statements of aged receivables, expenditures, and the Capital Reserve Fund were distributed with the minutes. Expenditures for January totaled $23,990.76. Angelina Reyes volunteered to copy the reports on a color printer so that they will be easier to read.

Old Business:
Architectural Committee: Debbie Dainis reported in the absence of Joyce Fedora and Adri Recio. The committee met on 2/9/09 and welcomed new members and provided an overview of the committee functions. Maintenance and architectural guidelines need further review; the checklist from prior years needs to be compared to the new checklist developed by David Dunn in order to ensure that the list is complete.

Barbara Guenst reported on efforts she is making to engage representatives from MAB and Sherwin Williams for their expertise in developing possible new color schemes for the townhouses with cedar. She expects to have "palettes" prepared by the next meeting. She met with the painting contractor who had been consulted previously, and has the option of paying a color specialist $50/hour for services if the free services from MAB and Sherwin Williams fall through. 

There was a suggestion that the maintenance checklist be utilized for a "snapshot based on today" in regard to color compliance to be able to hand a written evaluation to each homeowner. The focus should be on educating homeowners on the ingredients of good maintenance. The goal is to have the final form of the checklist done by Monday, February 23rd, and to begin walkthroughs in two weeks with an announcement of the plan at the Quarterly Homeowners Meeting on March 10th. Best practice is to set aside a window of time when inspections will be done in the individual courts so that homeowners may be present to talk to those performing the walkthrough. Twenty percent of Rhondda homes are investor owned; they too should be notified of the walkthrough and given an explanation of the plan. There is concern that absentee owners will not/do not comply with the guidelines. The Board/Committee should be able to address these concerns via investor relations. Ultimately, the landlord has responsibility for the condition of their rental unit.

A resident brought up the concern that the real problem is that residents make their homes presentable in regard to yard litter, garbage cans, etc. at the time of the walkthrough, but do not consistently maintain their property. Another resident has concerns about the idea of changing the colors of the courts but will keep and open mind. Sue Patt said that she hopes that at least 75% of residents in each court vote for their choice of exterior colors with a response of 90% from the cedar courts as a whole.  

Tennis Courts: Todd McFarland distributed an estimate from one company to address the deteriorating tennis courts. There are improvements that can be made for either a tennis court or a basketball court, but it may just be a "band-aid" if the underlying problem of sinking is not addressed. Permits are not needed for resurfacing. The impact of converting an area for tennis into basketball courts must be considered; residents whose homes back up to the area might object to the increased noise of a basketball court and/or to the loss of use for tennis. A change in use would require security lighting and posting that the courts close at dusk. In the past, tennis lessons were an option for children in the community and that could be reinstated. There are funds that have been budgeted for repairs to the tennis courts. Funds that have not been used accrue in the Capital Reserve Fund. $5,000 was budgeted but not used last year and additional funds are allotted in future years. 

Website: There will be a web page for each committee with a variety of functions, and allowing emails from prospective volunteers to be tagged and sent to the respective committee chairmen. The website is still in progress but new functions are being activated; it is now possible for a homeowner to send a comment to a particular Board member.

There was discussion regarding an article about websites that Dianne distributed to members. Committee members are exploring options for protecting privacy. Password protected access might discourage use by residents, but it is necessary and there may be a way to do it that is simple enough not to discourage users. Certain areas of the website must be private, including the Roster (especially pictures) and meeting minutes, An effort must be made to allow access by investor owners. A big effort should be made to "launch" the website at the quarterly meeting.

New Business:
Committees - the list of committees new and existing includes Finance (meets only to establish the annual budget), Architectural (ongoing), Social (to oversee parties/events), Election (convenes to facilitate nominations and the election), Safety (Neighborhood Watch/security), Website, and Landscape (common ground).

Safety Committee: Mark Gallant, Chairman and Todd McFarland, Board Liaison. 
Sue Patt spoke with Sgt. Fortmann of the Uwchlan PD on February 9th. He prefers the Neighborhood Watch concept over Town Watch. In regard to youth issues, the YMCA may be able to offer some assistance. His advice is to start slowly and build from there. He will be happy to meet with residents if an agenda of topics is presented. Current concerns are car vandalism, and graffiti on the playground, in addition to avoiding the severe damage caused by vandals at the pool in 2008. There is a group of people going around the courts asking homeowners about windows and saying they will be doing work in the area; they do not have a permit and there is a no solicitation policy in Rhondda. Residents are advised to call the police and to refrain from giving out information. Issues that the committee could address are signage, security. and emergency preparedness. Ideas for community involvement include having a "Kid Day" for safety and fingerprinting and a "Safety Corner" on the website with tips for a safe home and community.

: John Zaprala Chairman, Sally Burmeister Board Liaison. The committee will meet with Scott Leidy to go over the brush clearing project and John will submit a list of ideas for "how to" clinics in time for the Quarterly Homeowners Meeting on March 10th.

 Board member Jon Wilson would like to create this committee. One function would be to establish an exercise course on the bike path that would involve painting, but no obstacles that could be a liability.

Agenda for Quarterly Homeowners Meeting:
The meeting will be held in the Farmhouse on Tuesday, March 10th. Items for the agenda include the website, the new evaluation document/draft of checklist for the walkthrough, and an explanation of the plan for cedar choices. The Hankin Center is not available for the meeting and should be reserved in advance for future meetings. The accountant has asked Dianne for a tally of usage of the Hankin Center. 

Nonresident Participation in HOA Events:
There was discussion about establishing a fee for attendees who are clearly not residents of the community nor related to residents of the community, but it would be unfair to charge grandparents or others who wish to bring a grandchild or niece/nephew when they pay the same dues as residents who participate with their children. The final decision was not to establish any fees. However, it is a goal of the Board to encourage more residents to participate in planning and running the events. 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m. 
The next meeting will be on Wednesday, March 18th.

Respectfully submitted,

Sally Burmeister