Northgate Hall Community
BOARD UPDATE - SEPTEMBER 2015
Minutes: Board of Directors Meeting
Date: September 29, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM
Place: Remax Office Building 9414 Belair Road
Attendees: S. Bevans, A. Chesser, T. DeHart, R. Dunn, J. Lee, P. Lee, C. Marks, B. Stallings, J. Wiggins
Absent: C. Donnelly, J. Dulny, L. Meyer, E. Stylc
Invited Guest: David Marks, Baltimore County Councilman District 5
Meeting called to order by President Jerome Lee at approximately 7:05 P.M.
The open space cutting season is almost complete and there haven't been any major complaints with the work that has been done by SK Lawn and Landscaping, our community landscaper. Any minor issues were addressed with the contractor. As such, a one year contract extension will be drawn up for 2016.
- A large branch from a tree on open space fell across the fence at 9103 Bowline Road; fortunately the fence was not damaged. President Lee contacted the community landscaper who came out on a Sunday to assess the situation. The following day, the tree was trimmed back and overgrown brush was cut away from the property creating about a 5 foot clearance. The bill was $750.00-Paid 9/8/15
- Discussion on clearing out overgrowth on the open space; currently vegetation is converging from the stream area to the area behind Bowline, Kilbride, and Vicky Roads. This will be a major undertaking and may be done in phases. Will revisit this item in the spring 2016.
- Request for solar panel installation from homeowner on Kilbride Road. Approval letter sent 10/7/15.
- Board has been aggressive in pursuing realtors\title companies\property managers for back payment of H.O.A. mandatory assessments. Contact has been made for abandoned properties on Galley and Variation Roads. Clearance letter will be withheld until arrearages have been satisfied.
- Legal action pending on the lone homeowner for failure to pay the assessment for 2015. Court costs are mounting and will be passed on to the homeowner.
- Currently there are 15 rental properties in our community: 12 townhomes and 3 single family homes. As a reminder rental properties must be registered with the county every 2 years.
- A quorum was met at this meeting and by a unanimous vote it was agreed that all checks drawn to conduct business on behalf of the association would require two signatures.
New checks will be requested bearing the address of our P.O. Box.
- Request was made by the President to purchase reasonable office supplies such as computer ink, paper, stamps, and envelopes to conduct association business. Permission granted.
Some other items discussed at the board meeting:
- Once again this is one of the biggest complaints we receive. It's fine to walk a pet on a leash, but please be prepared to clean up your pet's waste. We can't think of anything more disrespectful than allowing your pet to soil another person's property or adjoining easement without addressing the issue of removing the resulting waste and while the open space is an ideal place to walk and play with your pet, the same mandate to clean up after them applies. Some residents object to a dog urinating on their lawns and connecting easements, which they maintain, as the urine tends to kill and "spot" the grass. What your pet does in your yard is your business, but please remember there are health codes in Baltimore County. Do not allow the pet waste to accumulate in your yard and please be respectful of other neighbors' lawns and adjoining easements. As a homeowner you have every right to contact Baltimore County Code Enforcement (410-887-3351) and report repeat offenders. This can be done anonymously. If you observe it, confront the pet owner in a rational manner and let your displeasure be known. Some offenders do not live in our community.
Use of Fireworks
- Concern was expressed for the use of illegal fireworks in our community. The use of fireworks is illegal in Maryland unless part of a public display which the State Fire Marshall has granted a permit. Basically, any hand-held or ground based device that creates an explosion, detonation, loud noise, that launches a projectile or moves along the ground under their own power is illegal in Baltimore County. Apparently our open space was used as a launching site for fireworks over the July 4th holiday and debris was left on the open space. This is not an authorized use of open space and can pose a fire hazard to homes in the nearby area. Please refrain from this conduct.
- Lack of police response was also discussed.
Disposal of Lawn Clippings and Leaves
- Although we have had a fairly mild fall to date you are reminded of the following:
Under Section 18-3-109 of the Baltimore County Code that:
A person may not place, dispose, cast, throw on or into any road, street, sidewalk, lane, bridge or drain in the county:
-Any metal, wood, glass, nails, grass clippings, leaves or any other object or article; or
-Any dead animal, garbage, ashes, fruit, dirt, filth, obnoxious fluid or substance; or refuse of any kind
The Director of Public Works is charged with the responsibility of enforcement of this Article. Such unlawful acts may result in fines being issued.
Grass cuttings thrown into the street after lawn mowing are not only unsightly, but create hazardous conditions during rainy periods for traffic. Eventually these clippings find their way into the Chesapeake Bay Environmental System.
Please be considerate and take the time to sweep up any grass cuttings that land in the street and dispose of them properly. Also rake and bag up leaves and dispose of them on the designated yard waste pick up days.
- Also and just as important during the winter season, snow must be cleared from your sidewalk and thrown on your grassy areas-NOT the street, no later than 24 hours after the last snowflake.
This is laid out in the Baltimore County Code of Ordinances, "Roads, Bridges and Sidewalks, 18-3-107 Removal of Snow and Ice." Baltimore County relies on reports from the public when sidewalks have not been cleared. A letter is sent out by the Department of Public Works after a complaint has been received. If a citation is made, it comes with a $25 fine. If you are unable to shovel your sidewalks, plan ahead and arrange for the work to be performed for you. It is not an option….it is the law. Violators will be reported to Baltimore County Code Enforcement. SK Lawn and Landscaping said they are available for snow removal. Contact: Nirie at 443-415-2690 if interested
Sell of Homes within the Association
- When a property is sold within the Northgate Hall Community the seller is required, under Maryland law, to provide the buyer with a current and complete copy of the H.O.A. documents and financials BEFORE property settlement.
Reference: Maryland Homeowners Association Act 11B-105 (b)
Lately these documents have been requested on a "rush" basis; sometimes requested the day before settlement. Because our organization is a self-managed H.O.A., providing the documents, without sufficient lead time, cannot always be accomplished when requested.
- In the future, all such requests must be made at least two weeks before the property settlement; along with a check to cover the Association costs in processing the request. Please do not hold up your property settlement! Request the documents once a valid contract exists between you and your buyer.
Overgrown Trees and Shrubs
- The Board has received a number of complaints concerning trees (low hanging limbs) and shrubs that over shadow the public pavements. To be more specific, the Board has noted that there are over 60 homes in our H.O.A. where pedestrians cannot use the pavements (sidewalks) unencumbered because of tree limbs lower than 6 feet; and overgrown shrubs\plants blocking partial access, in violation of Baltimore County requirements.
- The Board would encourage all homeowners to visually inspect their property and take corrective measures to insure that tree limbs and shrubbery do not impede foot traffic. This also applies to easement areas as applicable.
- During the spring walkthrough in 2016, the Board will revisit every noted instance to insure compliance.
- Scheduled for June 4, 2016. The county has informed us if we fail to fill the requested three cans, the number will be reduced in the future or cancelled all together. This has been a successful endeavor in the past and we would like to see it continue. Please plan to take advantage of this opportunity. The Association can request this free service once a year. We put in our request in early September and their calendar was already filling up for 2016. Specific information will be disseminated closer to the date.
Councilman David Marks
At approximately 7:40 P.M., Councilman Marks arrived and the board meeting was suspended to allow the councilman to address the board. He was asked to attend the meeting primarily as a follow up to concerns posed at the general meeting on May 19, 2015. President Lee contacted Scott Porter (DEPRM) in reference to the erosion of the concrete storm water culvert. The board maintains that storm water from other streets outside of our community boundaries flows through the culvert to the storm water management pond. As such we should not have to solely absorb the cost of repair.
David said he would investigate our concerns.
Councilman Marks also discussed school rezoning in our area, lack of air conditioning in two schools, new school construction in 2018, and repaving of Honeygo Blvd in the next two years.
He vows to fight to control development in Perry Hall until the infrastructure and school issues are addressed. He discussed projects for land behind the White Marsh Police precinct, corner of Belair and Honeygo, and reducing the number of homes to be built on land between Kahl Ave and Joppa Road. The Outlet proposition was also discussed in length; pros and cons expressed.
Once again concern was expressed for the truck traffic (over ¾ ton) on Ebenezer Road. Suggest a sign be placed on Honeygo Blvd before the left turn onto Ebenezer alerting truck drivers of the weight limitation. We are also asking for a targeted enforcement on Ebenezer Road.
In response to the firework complaint and lack of police response, it was suggested we contact the Community Outreach Police Officer and invite him to our next board meeting if necessary and certainly to the 2016 General Meeting.
Our appreciation to Councilman Marks for taking the time to address the board. We thank him for his continued efforts to assist our community.
On occasion we have received inquiries regarding home improvement contractors. This is one we found in our community.
Holiday Light Judging - December 19, 2015
2016 Assessment - due March 1, 2016 (Invoice to be mailed to all homeowners the last week of January 2016)
Dumpster Day – June 4, 2016
Meeting adjourned at approximately 9:10 P.M.
The board would like to thank Auggie Chesser for her hospitality and refreshments.