Northgate Hall Community

P.O. Box 44375
Nottingham, Maryland 21236-6375
info@northgatehall.com
(443) 826-2877

Northgate Hall Community
NEWS UPDATE - MAY 2016

Alert, Alert!

We have received several e-mails concerning a group of individuals on ATVs along with a green Dodge Durango (license number unknown) using our open space as a playground.  As you can imagine this is causing great damage. Damage, which must be repaired and paid for by us. Again, this vandalism will cause the unnecessary use of community funds.

These incidents have been reported to Baltimore County Police, but we ask those of you who live on Vicky Court and the odd numbered side of Vicky Road to be especially vigilant and please report any commotion to police at 410-887-5000. It seems that these vandals are entering our open space via Kahl Avenue.

We ask and the saying goes "if you see something, say something" and remember turning a blind eye to the goings on in the surrounding open space is only costing all of us money.

We need your help so, Please be Vigilant!

Thank you,
Board of Directors,
Northgate Hall Community Association, Inc.


Minutes: General Meeting Northgate Hall Community Association
Date:  May 17, 2016
Time:  6:45 PM
Place: Perry Hall Library

Board Members: T. DeHart, J. Dulny, R. Dunn, J. Lee, C. Marks, B. Stallings, E. Stylc, J. Wiggins 
Absent:  A. Chesser, L. Meyer

Invited speakers: 
David Marks, Baltimore County Councilman Fifth District
MD State Senator Kathy Klausmeier, 8th Legislative District
MD House of Delegates Christian Miele, Legislative District 8
Baltimore County Police Community Outreach Officer Fred Reynolds

The annual general meeting for the Northgate Hall Community Association was held on Tuesday,
May 17, 2016, in the meeting room of the Perry Hall library. Because of the number of speakers anticipated, the start time was pushed back to 6:45 PM; the library reservation stipulates the room must be vacated at 8:30 PM. On April 13, 2016, notices were sent to ALL homeowners with the date, location, and earlier start time. While we had a decent turnout, we encourage our homeowners to share your voice in YOUR community. We thank those who took the time to attend and show an interest in their community. Some may have been in attendance but failed to sign in. The purpose of the sign in sheet is to gauge attendance so that we can plan accordingly for the next general meeting and ensure we have a meeting place that will accommodate all.
The general meeting is the perfect opportunity to let your voice be heard and to make suggestions as to what you would like to see happen in Northgate Hall.

The meeting was called to order at approximately 6:50 PM by President Jerome Lee. A brief introduction was made of all board members as well as those in attendance. He asked that all electronic devices be turned off so as not to interrupt the meeting.

FINANCES AND ASSESSMENTS

  • As Joe Dulny only recently agreed to serve as interim treasurer, President Lee presented a financial report of expenditures and monies received for 2015. By approval of the board at an earlier meeting in February, President Lee explained the use of a Quicken program that would help manage our finances; accounting for every penny as well as categorizing how the funds were spent. This information is downloaded from the Bank of America into a spreadsheet format, is password protected, and similar to what many people already use, except ours is a business model. We're taking advantage of technology that is available. He had copies available for any interested homeowner. Motion was made and seconded to accept the financial report.
  • Two hundred forty three homeowners or roughly 98% paid their assessment on time.                  On April 14, 2016, President Lee submitted the names of six residents for non-payment to the community attorney. J. Carroll Holzer sent out letters to the six homeowners with a due date of May 3, 2016. They were instructed to pay the original assessment as well as the corresponding attorney fees; all complied.
  • In addition to the maintenance of the open space (grass cutting, weeding, spraying noxious plants, and mulching some trees), a brief breakdown was given on other projects completed by the community landscaper. This included finishing the stonework behind the 9100 block Deviation Road (even side) and building a small bridge to allow the owners on the lower end (even side) of Variation Road to transverse from the rear of their dwelling to the front. This was necessary due to the continued drainage problem which caused erosion at the end of the street. Many residents commented on the excellent work and successful remedy for their problem and elimination of a potential safety hazard.
  • Due to vandalism, the chain link fence at the end of Deviation Road near 9113 had to be replaced. The purpose of the barrier is to prevent vehicular traffic on our open space. Evidence suggests someone was taking a truck or some other type of vehicle around the back. This puts ruts in the ground and can pose a liability issue for the landscaper. This was the third occasion and as a result the board has decided to restrict vehicular traffic to emergency vehicles only. No private vehicle may access the open space.
  • Along the same line, we continue to find our residents dumping leaves, large branches, and grass clippings on open space even though there are signs posted. This creates extra work and expense (your assessment money) to have them removed. Additionally, community open space may not be used as your personal storage area. Please take care of the open space as you do your own property.

OLD BUSINESS

  • As brought up at last year's general meeting, the problem of over- size trucks on Ebenezer Road was addressed with the county. A number of well written emails between board member Tom DeHart and Greg Carski, Chief, of the Bureau of Traffic Engineering and Transportation Planning resulted in the weight limit signs being placed on the median further south on Honeygo Boulevard. These signs alert truck drivers of the weight limitation on Ebenezer before they commit to making the left turn from Honeygo Boulevard. We have asked for selected enforcement by Baltimore County Police.
  • The topic of architectural changes seems to be addressed at every general meeting. Once again the reasoning behind the requirement and process to follow was explained in detail. This is not to stifle the desires of our homeowners to make improvements to their dwelling, but rather to maintain continuity in our community and ensure property values remain as high as the market allows.
  • Once again this is one of the biggest complaints, particularly this time of year when the weather is more conducive to being outside. 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 grass 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.
  • In the latter part of 2015, President Lee began an aggressive campaign to ask the county to shoulder the cost of repairing the erosion to our open space caused from the runoff of water from county roads, through our open space to the county owned storm water management pond. In some places it was approximately 6 feet wide and 5 feet deep. Obviously this created a safety\liability issue for us, but would also be very costly to every homeowner to repair. Initially our request was denied due to lack of funding; particularly with the repeal of the so called "rain tax". On behalf of the community, Mr. Lee attended the County Planning Board meeting in October 2015, to present our case, and made phone calls, sent emails, and provided photos of the deteriorating conditions to a number of high level county departments. He enlisted the help of Councilman David Marks, Vincent Gardina, LEED AP, Director, Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Stability and Sheldon Epstein, P.E. Chief, Storm Drains Design to navigate through the quagmire. With their assistance and our persistence we were able to get a go ahead for this project to take place in late spring 2016.The contractor assured us that any damage caused by the need for heavy equipment would be repaired. This county funded project saved our community over $100,000.  We sincerely appreciate the effort and assistance of Messrs. Marks, Gardina, and Epstein, as well as others who were part of the process/ solution.

            UPDATE: The project is now complete.

NEW BUSINESS

  • There are two trees on community property leaning over the fences on Variation Road (odd side). Homeowners would like the board to investigate and address before any damage can be done. Some trees in our development are subject to breaking limbs on very windy days or when severe weather happens. (Remember the derecho!)
  • We have received correspondence from no less than five homeowners relative to the toxic conditions on the open space from "geese droppings". We strongly discourage our residents from feeding the waterfowl as this only encourages them to take up residence and can interrupt their migratory path. As the number increases so does the fecal matter left behind. Many have said it is unsanitary, poses a health hazard, and not fit to walk on, much less allow children to play in the area. Help us keep the open space clean.
  • Also some have reported a growing number of feral cats in the pond area; again probably due to someone feeding them, as the evidence suggests. Homeowners have complained that the feral cats are tearing up their flower beds and using the beds for a "litter box". Though intentions may be pure, the unintended effect is problematic for some.
  • With the resignation of Skip Bevans and one additional vacant position, we welcome two new board members and look forward to working with Debra Graber and Sylwia Michno.
  • The Association has renewed the request for a banner representing our community (similar to what we now have) and hope to have it placed at the corner of Deviation and Ebenezer Roads.

Invited Guests

After introducing himself and providing some personal career information, Baltimore County Community Outreach Officer Fred Reynolds gave a brief status report of reported crimes in our area (not necessarily within the boundaries of our association). It was an interesting presentation and he gave some background of specific crimes: gun found outside an adult daycare. The owner was tracked down and the gun had been given away in 1970! Another incident recalled was the robbery of an intoxicated man along Ebenezer Road who was jumped by two individuals. Largely the focus was theft from autos. Thieves are targeting unlocked vehicles on the street and also at Honeygo Run Parks. Remove all valuables and make sure your vehicle is locked. Take inventory of your surroundings when exiting your vehicle. When working in your yard, make sure doors that are not in your eyesight are locked. Some common sense tips!

Officer Reynolds addressed the use of fireworks and said individuals are responsible for knowing what is legal or not. A citation can be issued for setting off illegal fireworks. He said to call 410-887-2222. This call will go to the 911 dispatcher, but to the non-emergency side. An officer will respond to the stated address; the caller may remain anonymous.

The definition of commercial vehicles and legality of parking on county roads was discussed as well as the time frame to park a boat and trailer on public streets. A homeowner mentioned the school buses that sometime idle on Ebenezer Road behind Variation Road. Not only is it noisy, but drivers are outside of the bus smoking and discard their butts in the woods behind Variation Road. Officer Reynolds suggested we take down the bus number and contact the appropriate school. You can also call 410-887-5035 for truck traffic concerns.

At approximately 7:35PM, Councilman David Marks 5th District took the floor and gave a brief background of his ties to Perry Hall; lifelong resident and his political career. He opened with the zoning process and some of the concerns that surfaced at the various planning meetings held around the county. One was held in our area on March 22, 2016, at Perry Hall High School. Councilman Marks once again reconfirmed his commitment to managing development, downzoning land use around Northgate Hall, reducing school overcrowding, creating green open space. He stated a new elementary school has been fully funded and should be open in 2018. The school to be built in the area of Chapel and Joppa Roads would help to alleviate overcrowding at Perry Hall, Chapel, and Gunpowder Elementary Schools. He stated it was too costly to build a new high school at this time. The four new parks should enhance the quality of life in our area. Considerable time was spent on the Baltimore County Conciliation Agreement which was unknown to most of the attendees. Although multi-faceted, simply stated it is a framework to break up concentrated low income areas and relocate to more thriving communities.

Due to time constraints we had to limit the allotted time for State Senator Klausmeier and House Delegate Miele who took the floor at 7:53PM. Both briefly presented accomplishments from their respective legislative bodies during the 2016 session.

Most notably was the passage of FY 2017 Operating Budget with investment in K-12 education and, workforce development programs to name a few. If you would like to contact Delegate Miele his email address is Christian.Miele@house.state.md.us.

Senator Klausmeier also mentioned the passing of the budget and funds to fight heroin addiction and for treatment programs. She also mentioned prescription drug monitoring. Prescription drugs have led to the death of some notable celebrities as well as average citizens who accidentally overdose. Perry Hall is not immune from the epidemic which is plaguing our nation and she recounted some stories of drug activity in our area. If you would like to contact State Senator Klausmeier her email address is
Katherine.klausmeier@senate.state.md.us

We sincerely appreciate and thank Fred, David, Christian, and Kathy for their time and for taking an interest in our community. We are happy to have valuable resources for assistance in navigating some community issues.

COMMUNITY NOTES

  • In an effort to entice more members to attend the general meeting, this is the fourth year for a chance to win a $25.00 Visa gift card for attendance. Congratulations to Frank Barlow whose name was drawn.
  • By unanimous consent all current board members up for election remain in effect.
  • The Board of Directors presented Outback gift cards to Jerome and Patricia Lee in appreciation for their dedication and hard work on behalf of the community association.

Meeting adjourned at approximately 8:32 PM.

Questions? Please contact us at www.northgatehall.com.

HAVE A GREAT SUMMER!