During the first quarter, your new Board has been very busy working hard on several key initiatives that we outlined as top priorities in the 2014 organizational announcement distributed to homeowners back in January. We have an excellent start and we are making great progress.
Some of the 1Q highlights include:
- The Board has completed our due diligence and we are very close to finalizing the decision and agreement regarding the management company services supporting our community.
- The website has had extensive back-end improvements made to allow for new communications capabilities to help the Board improve communications with homeowners. As a first order of business, can you ALL PLEASE LOGIN TO THE WWW.RASPBERRYFALLS.ORG WEBSITE, UPDATE YOUR INFORMATION AND PROVIDE YOUR CELL PHONE NUMBERS FOR “EMERGENCY USE ONLY” COMMUNICATION? This list will NEVER be shared or sold, and only the Board will have access to this sensitive data.
- The new street pole and signage project was approved and is on-track for implementation this Spring.
- A Request For Proposal (RFP) to develop a Master Landscaping Plan will be completed in March. Only qualified landscape architect firms with strong design-build capabilities are being sourced to participate in the bid process. New landscape installations will be prioritized for Spring and Fall plantings, largely based on the expertise and recommendations of the new landscape architect firm once selected.
- Letters from Community Inspection Services (CIS) were distributed to homeowners with maintenance only related repairs needed.
Consistent with our goals to preserve and enhance property values, most would agree how important it is to address deferred home maintenance items for the benefit of the homeowner and to maintain the property values in the community.
We know it is never ideal to receive one of these letters. For everyone who may have received a letter in the mail about an inspection item(s), we sincerely do appreciate your cooperation, support and understanding in addressing these items. If you have an issue with the findings, disagree with the report, or need clarification, the process for responding and inquiring about any items are noted in the letter you received. Using the online system, a written response enables the inspection company (CIS) and the Board to properly track and report on the progress, concerns or requests homeowners may have. We ask and encourage homeowners to utilize CIS’s online inspection management response system.
Also consistent with our goals to listen and collaborate with neighbors in the community, we can now share a live example of the Board “walking the talk”. A few Board members had an impromptu opportunity to meet with several homeowners to discuss their primary concerns over the inspection letters.
During the meeting, we learned that there were two items included in some of the letters that were not maintenance related, warranting the immediate suspension of these two items for further HOA Board review. If you received a letter with one or both of these two items, please make note of this in your on-line response to CIS. At the Board’s direction, the inspection records with CIS have already been updated to reflect this “suspended” status on these two items. The two items are:
- Replace mailbox not to community standard
- Painting of flues (chimney, vents, etc.)
The Board wants to work fairly with homeowners to complete the maintenance items. We extended the time period to ~60 days to accommodate the weather conditions and provide sufficient time for everyone to complete the repairs. The new Board really desires to create an environment in the Raspberry Falls community where we are working together for a mutually desirable outcome.
If there are homeowners who have legitimate constraints limiting their ability to complete the repairs by April 30th, please utilize the CIS on-line response process to submit an “extension” request for consideration. Any approved extensions accommodated will be important to factor in during the follow-up inspections by CIS in early May.
We recognize we still have a lot of work to do in keeping Raspberry Falls the best golf course community to live in Northern Virginia. We will continue to remain focused on executing on our 2014 priorities and work hard to effect positive changes for an enhanced homeowner experience.
Raspberry Falls HOA rebid the Trash/Recycling Contract that began on 1 March and are at the same rates as last year. However, we put in some Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to better the service to the community. Trash and Recycling will be picked up between 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. We will be reimbursed $1 per household for any pickup after 2 p.m. Please contact the property management company if your trash/recycling isn’t picked up before 2 p.m. Also, when a holiday falls on a Monday or Thursday; trash/recycling will be picked up the following day. For example, Thanksgiving always falls on a Thursday so trash/recycling will be picked up on Friday. If there is no service due to weather, as occurred earlier this month, we will be reimbursed $500 for service not being performed and able to put those costs we previously paid back into the community for other purposes.