Northgate Hall Community

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

Northgate Hall Community
NEWS UPDATE - JUNE 2015

Illegal Dumping on Our Open Space

To all Community Members!

During a recent community walkthrough it was observed that continued illegal dumping is still taking place on our open space. We have addressed this on numerous occasions via a newsletter sent to every homeowner, as well as posted this concern to our website as part of the minutes of both board and general meetings which have emphasized the cost of this continued dumping.

Over the years, this community association has spent several thousand dollars on maintaining the open space and keeping it as debris free as possible. However, there are some community members that tend to use our open space and nearby open space as their personal dumping grounds.

Let's explain it this way. Every time the community association is forced to use funds to clean up trash and debris from the open space, it is at a cost of $50 to $100 or more depending on the amount that must be removed.

The funds set aside to maintain our open space do not include monies to clean up after those who insist on violating this community standard and Baltimore County Law.

No one wants an increase in the yearly assessment, but at this rate there could be one in the future.

The Board of Directors again asks that this practice be discontinued immediately.

Thank you for your cooperation.

 

Minutes: General Meeting Northgate Hall Community Association
Date:    May 19, 2015
Time:   7:00 PM
Place:   Joppa View Elementary School Library

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

Invited speaker: David Marks, Baltimore County Councilman Fifth District

On Tuesday, May 19, 2015, the annual general meeting for the Northgate Hall Community Association was held in the library at Joppa View Elementary School. The attendance was sparse once again, but we thank those who took the time out of their busy day 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 7:05 PM by President Jerome Lee. At this time he informed the group that no electronic devices could be used to record the meeting proceedings.

FINANCES AND ASSESSMENTS

  • In the absence of the treasurer, President Lee presented a financial report of expenditures and monies received for 2014. As expected our biggest expense was the maintenance of open space areas which accounted for about 87% of the budget. This not only included the routine grass cutting, but also expenses to remove dead or damaged trees, brush removal and reseeding, eliminating of noxious plants (poison ivy) and the placement of stonework in the easements behind a group of townhomes, to name a few. The latter was done to minimize the muddy conditions in the easements and allow homeowners better access to bring trash receptacles or lawn mowers to the front of their property.
  • As part of our annual expenses, we also incurred legal fees in collecting assessments from delinquent homeowners, as well as associated costs with generating the invoices, postage, etc. While we do recover the assessment and community attorney fee there are some minimal costs associated with further legal action by a second attorney (lien placement) that we may not recover. The association was successful in collecting the back assessment plus some court costs for 2014 ($493.70) from one homeowner. The court decides what monies can be recouped by the Association so we try to be fiscally responsible in our pursuit to collect. A brief breakdown was given as to how our treasury money was spent for 2014. A motion was made to accept the financial report, seconded, and the membership affirmed to accept.
  • Sadly two of the 249 homes in our HOA are in foreclosure and we are in contact with the bank for one property and the management company of the other property advising both that the assessment is outstanding. Of the 247 homeowners, assessments were received timely from 242 or 98%. In mid April the names of the five homeowners who had not paid were submitted to the community attorney for collection. Mr. J. Carroll Holzer sent out letters dated April 23, 2015, advising homeowners to pay the initial $100.00 assessment plus attorney costs by May 13, 2015, to avoid further legal action. Four residents paid by the deadline. Additional legal action will be filed against the remaining homeowner.
  • An abbreviated explanation was given as to why the association does not send out second notices. Past history indicates they were not effective; and as a result a motion approved at a meeting on March 8, 2007, which stated the second notice would come from the community attorney with all associated costs passed on to the delinquent homeowner, is the current policy. As suggested at the last meeting, a disclaimer was printed on the invoices for 2015 stating "Please be aware that this is the only notice that will be sent by this community association." It was also highlighted in yellow on the original assessment notice.

Invited Guest

At approximately 7:17 P.M., Councilman David Marks walked into the library and the general meeting was interrupted to allow him to take the floor. He provided a brief personal history and reiterated he is a lifelong resident of Perry Hall and has been active as a past president of the Perry Hall Improvement Association. It was obvious from his remarks that he is passionate about maintaining and improving the quality of life for the entire Perry Hall area. As testament to his commitment to his constituents he gave out his email address, newsletter information, and passed out a fact sheet with contact information for various Baltimore County department services

We sincerely appreciate and thank David for his time, for taking an interest in our community and for his past assistance in navigating some county issues.

Councilman Marks spoke at length of his attempts to reign in development as much as possible and to ensure property surrounding Northgate Hall was developed as low as it could go. He spoke of two rezoning issues from 2012, downsizing North of Joppa Road and development of property next to the Perry Hall Library. He also mentioned a rezoning cycle coming up in 2016 which may include development at Kahl and Joppa Roads. The Association intends to file an application to have minimal impact at this location. Obvious our concern is our open space directly across the road and we don't want that to be misconstrued as a selling point for future home owners who see that as a play area.

The next big topic was the overcrowding of schools due to development and demographic changes and he discussed several locations considered for the building of a new elementary school. He also mentioned redistricting changes in 2018 which may affect Chapel Hill Elementary.  He is also asking for a residency audit for Perry Hall High School as too many kids may not actually reside in the zoned area. From his remarks Councilman Marks is a strong proponent for open space green areas and discussed the success of the added parks in our area along Honeygo Boulevard as well as the Soukoup Arena which provides services for the recreation council. He provided a brief breakdown of how money was allotted for each project as well as money that was raised.

Several community members mentioned the resurfacing of Deviation and Variation Roads; David stated they are resurfacing corridor roads first. We will continue to ask for this service. However, he stated Kilkenny Circle has ratings close to meeting the requirement for resurfacing (unknown to most we have two homes on Kilkenny Circle that are a part of our Association).

Mr. Marks was quite pleased with the "beautification" efforts of downtown Perry Hall along Belair, Ebenezer, and Joppa Roads. The banners have been a successful promotion; they improve the appearance and promote a good business climate. He also mentioned that the Perry Hall Shopping Center was about 90% occupied and that there are plans to develop Regester Square after Memorial Day. This would be a retail strip south of the 1st Mariner bank. Some other topics discussed were truck traffic along Ebenezer Road (will ask for a targeted enforcement), traffic signal at Honeygo and Cross, and future plans for development at Honeygo Blvd and Belair Road. David declared he would support a medical building, assisted living facility, but not in favor of a four story apartment building at that location.

He briefly touched on the proposed outlet mall on Nottingham Properties (behind Lowe's) even though this is no longer in his district.

We notified our community members well in advance of the general meeting date and that the Councilman was invited to be a guest speaker. If you failed to attend you missed a prime opportunity to hear first-hand what is happening in our area as well as proposed planned projects and an opportunity to ask questions of your elected official. After speaking for about 30 minutes, Councilman Marks left the library and the general meeting resumed at 7:47 P.M.

GENERAL DISCUSSION

  • It has come to our attention that some homeowners have failed to inform prospective buyers that there is an Association and an annual assessment. Licensed real estate agent Auggie Chesser gave a brief requirement with respect to this and advised that this information is required by the state to be divulged by the seller as well as providing HOA documents (Covenants & By-laws).
  • President Lee announced the award of our open space maintenance agreement to SK Lawn & Landscaping. The one year contract commenced April 1, 2015. So far feedback from residents has been very positive. It is our intent to use our landscaper for any additional work as necessary, thus insuring a "home" discount! Discussion on additional stonework behind 9010-9018 Deviation Road has been held and an estimate is forthcoming.
  • Joe Dulny gave a briefing on the work done at the end of Variation Road to alleviate the poor drainage problem.  He also discussed the requirement to garner approval for ANY architectural changes and the responsibility of the Association to respond within 30 days with a decision. Communication on this topic has been mailed to all homeowners on numerous occasions. We only ask that our homeowners comply with Article V of the Covenants and we thank those who have done so.
  • Dumpster Day held on May 16, 2015, was once again a success and we thank the following for monitoring the correct placement of items: J. Lee, P. Lee, R. Chesser, A. Chesser, S. Bevans, B. Stallings, L. Meyer, and J. Wiggins. Because of the high demand for use, we will try to secure a commitment sometime in August for the spring 2016.
  • The board will investigate a concern for a tree behind a property on Ebenezer Road which is top heavy and may pose a potential liability to the resident's home.
  • 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.
  • The Association has put up signs throughout the neighborhood to discourage the dumping of lawn waste, yet during our walk through we continue to see bags or piles of grass clippings, etc. on open space. This costs YOU. We ask that you take pride in your community and dispose of lawn waste through the normal channels. They should also not be blown into the street.
  • President Lee mentioned a situation that was brought to our attention in late summer 2014. This was in fact discussed at a board meeting held on September 16, 2014, and was a part of the minutes posted to the website in September 2014. The following is an excerpt from the minutes:

The Resident Agent for Northgate Hall received a letter from the law firm of Winegard, Hess, Friedman & Levitt, LLC in late August. This firm represents Richmond American Homes of Maryland, Inc., formerly known as Chesapeake Homes, Inc., the developer of our Northgate Hall Community. Attorney Lisa C. Heimlicher and Kevin H. Wingate, Land Development Manager, Richmond American Homes of Maryland requested an audience with the board.
Basically, Ms. Heimlicher stated the developer still owns some real property in our community and have been paying taxes on same for the last 38 years. The very narrow strips of land appear to be pathways between or behind the lots. There were a total of 13 paths identified with acreage of 1.13 acres, more or less. The HOA know these as easements and the areas in question are listed as HOA on the various plats for the community.
These areas should have been conveyed to the Association in the Deed dated November 26, 1976 by and between Chesapeake Homes and Northgate Hall Community Association. In order to correct this omission the law firm will prepare a Deed to the Association and have it duly recorded. The Association will not incur ANY cost of the fee simple transfer.

COMMUNITY NOTES

  • In an effort to entice more members to attend the general meeting, this is the third year for a chance to win a $25.00 Visa gift card for attendance. Congratulations to Deb Ashburn 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 8:35 PM.

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

HAVE A GREAT SUMMER!