Northgate Hall Community

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

Northgate Hall Community
NEWS UPDATE - JUNE 2017

Minutes: General Meeting Northgate Hall Community Association
Date:     June 8, 2017
Time:     6:45 PM
Place:    Perry Hall Library 9685 Honeygo Blvd. Perry Hall MD 21128

Board Members: J. Dulny, R. Dunn, D. Graber, J. Lee, C. Marks, B. Stallings

Absent: A. Chesser, T. DeHart, L. Meyer, S. Michno, E. Stylc, J. Wiggins

Invited speakers: David Marks, Baltimore County Councilman Fifth District Fred Reynolds, Baltimore County Community Outreach Officer White Marsh Precinct Amy Young, Gunpowder Valley Conservancy

The annual general meeting for the Northgate Hall Community Association was held on Thursday,
June 8, 2017, in the meeting room of the Perry Hall library. The scheduled date was a little later than we would have liked but that was the earliest we could book the meeting room. Bookings can only be made 90 days in advance and they fill up fast. Consequently, this conflicted with many end of year school activities for some of the board members, as well as other obligations. Notice announcing the General Meeting and Dumpster Day May 20th was mailed to all homeowners on April 28, 2017, and a subsequent reminder was posted to the community website and electronically sent to all subscribers. The sparse attendance was disappointing; 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 6:47 PM by President Jerome Lee. Because of other scheduled commitments for Councilman Marks, we altered our agenda to allow him to address the members first, followed by other invited guests.

Invited Guests

Councilman David Marks
Fifth District Councilman David Marks took the floor and gave a brief background of his ties to Perry Hall; lifelong resident and his political career. His parents still reside in Northgate Hall and his father serves as one of our board members. Last year there were several zoning meetings held throughout the county. One was held in our area on March 22, 2016, at Perry Hall High School. He stated the zoning process had been completed in the council and he had initiated over 180 zoning issues for his rather large district. Councilman Marks once again reconfirmed his commitment to managing development, downzoning land use around Northgate Hall, reducing school overcrowding, and creating green open space. Although some development projects were approved 10-12 years ago, he has advocated new development potential to be a D1 category or one house per acre, thus preserving open space and preventing a burden on current infrastructures and schools. He further stated there would be no development behind Variation and Deviation Roads. There was concern expressed for a parcel of land that is still owned by Richmond America behind the even side of Variation Road. He wants to keep Northgate Hall a vibrant community.

Speaking of schools, the overcrowding issue has fueled the establishment for three new schools. Construction has begun for the new elementary school off of Joppa Road. If you're coming from our community traveling on Joppa Road, entrance is on the left side before Chapel Road and just past Kahl Avenue. The 720 seat school is slated to open in 2018. Additionally, another elementary school is to be built at Rossville and a new 1500 seat middle school is scheduled for 2021. The new elementary school will relieve overcrowding in our surrounding elementary schools (Chapel, Perry Hall, Gunpowder) and he believes students from Northgate will most likely attend the new elementary school. There are obvious road considerations to accommodate the new school; specifically the widening of Joppa Road. David said there would be no foot traffic by students, strictly all busing.

In keeping with green space, Councilman Marks stated four new parks have opened in our area since 2010. Angel Park, which is located next to the Perry Hall library, has been very successful in providing activities for both adults and children and ensuring a safe play area for our younger residents. It is so convenient to take your children to the library to stimulate their minds and then to Angel Park to release pent up energy. You are encouraged to take advantage of the open space opportunities in Perry Hall.

At the end of his remarks there was a brief question and answer period.

  1. One resident brought up the presence of rats behind Ebenezer Road; others spoke of sightings behind Transoms, Deviation and Variation roads. Councilman Marks stated the county can initiate action if a request is submitted by the community association. He prefers warnings to residents to clean up their property versus fines. There are common sense actions each homeowner can practice: containerize trash in sturdy cans versus plastic bags, refrain from leaving pet food\treats outside, monitor bird feeders and clean up excess seed that may have fallen on the ground, refrain from feeding feral animals, remove fallen limbs, wood, and debris in your yard which can serve as a nesting place.
  2. Speeding on our residential streets and commercial truck traffic on Ebenezer and Silver Spring Roads. David said the use of police enforcement, radar board or speed humps could serve to slow traffic, particularly on Ebenezer road. He also stated raised crosswalk markings are to be placed in front of Perry Hall High and Perry Hall Middle schools which should help to reduce the speeding. We also asked for increased police enforcement to address tractor trailer drivers who operate on Ebenezer Road in spite of a three quarter ton restriction.
  3. Another resident reported even with the speed humps, drivers still speed on Kilbride Road. In the past, the Association has paid to have "Children at Play" signs posted at the front and back end of Vicky Road and the intersection of Ballygar and Deviation in an effort to warn drivers. If you see repeat offenders try to get the license plate number and report them or have a civil discussion with your offending neighbor. The speed limit on residential streets is 25 MPH.
  4. Speaking of community streets, David stated that all roads had been repaved in the last 5 years with the exception of Bowline and Galley Roads.
  5. Councilman Marks also briefly touched on the development at Cowenton and Philadelphia Roads which was approved under his predecessor. Councilman Marks and Councilwoman Bevins Sixth District want the developer to pay for improved road infrastructure at that intersection.
  6. In response to a question posed about the outlets, David stated the proposed developer had declared bankruptcy and there was no further action of bringing the outlets to the property behind Lowe's. He said he would have preferred retail establishments as opposed to residential development (apartments\condos) which would increase traffic and school overcrowding.

We finally had to curtail questions for Councilman Marks to allow him to get to his other engagement. However you can contact our councilman at www.councilmandavidmarks.comCouncil5@baltimorecountymd.gov, or 410-887-3384. We sincerely appreciate David for taking the time to address our membership. He is always informative an up to date on issues for Perry Hall.

Baltimore County Community Outreach Officer Fred Reynolds
Officer Reynolds gave a brief status report of reported crimes in our area (not necessarily within the boundaries of our association). Many times we hear of crime (robbery, burglary, assault, breaking & entering, etc.) and it is reported as White Marsh. This only means it is handled within the White Marsh Precinct jurisdiction. Criminal activity reported across Belair Road in the Seven Courts vicinity for example is handled by the Parkville Precinct. Officer Reynolds said there was no major crime reported in our area. He stated the biggest focus was theft from autos. Thieves are targeting unlocked vehicles on the street, in driveways 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. Be vigilant while in shopping centers, at the Mall or on the Avenue. When working in your yard, make sure doors that are not in your eyesight are locked. Some common sense tips!

Officer Reynolds further addressed the truck and speeding issue brought before Councilman Marks. He said to call the Traffic Team at 410-887-5035 or 5036. You can also click on iWatch on the Baltimore county website and report complaints\concerns anonymously.

What is iWatch Baltimore County?
iWatch Baltimore County is a neighborhood awareness program created to encourage citizens to be vigilant in identifying and reporting suspicious behaviors that may have connections to crime and security threats. The Baltimore County Police Department has initiated this community partnership to help local neighborhoods stay safe from crime and possible terrorist activities. Together we can make our streets safe for our families and children, and prevent our communities from being the target of terrorist attacks.

Do you see or know of something suspicious? BCoPD asks you to partner with them by submitting tips about suspicious activity through the iWatch Baltimore County tip form. Send your tips any day any time or email your tip to iWatch@baltimorecountymd.gov.

Report emergencies and crimes in progress by calling 911 immediately.

Amy Young, Gunpowder Valley Conservancy
Ms. Young introduced herself as a Volunteer/Outreach Coordinator for the Clear Creeks Project, a special program of the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy. She presented some opportunities that might benefit our community and stated the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy currently has grant money to work with residential communities to make their landscaping more environmentally friendly. Of particular interest was a way to combat the erosion behind the end of Deviation Road; we refer to it as the "washout". A rain garden could be a consideration to control erosion and filter stormwater pollutants before they reach Honeygo Run. A few of the board members plan to meet with Amy and her supervisors to discuss a possible solution to the washout problem. She also stated the organization could provide FREE native trees, volunteer and free labor to install trees (working under trained tree crew supervisors) and free tree maintenance for three years after planting.

She also mentioned the use of rain barrels to help reduce stormwater runoff that carry pollutants to our creeks and bay, and they help conserve water. Water you save can be used for gardens or washing your car and more! A free Rain Barrel Decoration Workshop is being held on Saturday, July 8, 2017, from 10 am to 1 pm at the MD State Game & Fish Protective Assoc. 8735 Honeygo Blvd. Perry Hall. Advanced registration is required by July 5th as space is limited to 20 participants. Barrels cost $30.00 (current promotion for those living in designated watershed areas) which includes assembly kit and decoration materials.

For more information on these initiatives contact Amy at ayoung@gunpowdervc.org or 410-404-4748.
We thank Ms. Young for taking her time to enlighten our members. She stayed for the duration of our meeting and from the response she received and questions asked, her presentation certainly piqued the interest of some.

President Lee thanked all invited speakers and then made some opening remarks to continue the general meeting. He acknowledged the passing of Vernon "Skip" Bevans, a long time vocal advocate for the community, former board member and past president of the community association. Flowers were sent on behalf of Northgate Hall Community Association.

FINANCES & ASSESSMENTS
Joe Dulny provided a financial report of expenditures and monies received for 2016\2017, and a recap of our funds on hand. A motion was made to accept and seconded and unanimously agreed to by attendees. Our income is derived from the annual assessment and sale of HOA documents required for property resale. He stated that approximately 80% of our income is used for the maintenance of our open space: grass cutting and weeding, spraying noxious weeds, pruning trees or removal of fallen or dead branches\trees and insurance on common areas. Other expenditures include miscellaneous office supplies, computer paper, envelopes, and postage, etc.

Two hundred forty two homeowners or roughly 97.2% paid their assessment on time. On April 20, 2017, President Lee submitted the names of seven residents for non-payment to the community attorney.
J. Carroll Holzer sent out letters to the seven homeowners with a due date of May 1, 2017. They were instructed to pay the original assessment as well as the corresponding attorney fees; all complied.

Rental properties will be reviewed to determine if they are duly registered with Baltimore County.

OLD BUSINESS
Due to vandalism the association had to spend $2250.00 to repair damage caused by ATVs driven across our open space. Since it was determined they most likely entered off of Kahl Avenue we spent another $1700.00 to fortify the opening off of Kahl Avenue. We were not able to identify the vandals, but we appreciate the vigilance of our homeowners who reported activity on our open space.

Even though we have repeatedly asked our homeowners to refrain from dumping on open space and have posted signs around the neighborhood we spent $250.00 to remove bush debris left on open space. We are mandated to maintain the open space and this includes addressing these types of situations. Cleaning up after these irresponsible homeowners costs everyone including the offender!

As mentioned in the Minutes from the Board of Directors meeting November, 17, 2016, stone work will be completed on the easement behind the remaining homes on the even side Deviation Road; finishing the project from 9022 through 9036.

NEW BUSINESS 
As a result of damage done to the chain link fence at the end of Deviation Road, the community paid $350.00 to reinforce the poles; a police report was made. Through a little investigative work, we were able to identify the individual responsible and full restitution was made.

In view of the many complaints we have received and the numerous signs posted on front doors (especially in the town houses) the Board of Directors have put forth a resolution designating our community as a "NO SOLICITING COMMUNITY". We have inquired about the legality of this resolution and this is a legal designation. To enforce this, No Soliciting signs will be posted at key entry points to our community and once in place they must be honored.

Should you disagree with this resolution, please respond via this website "Contact US" on or before August 31, 2017.

COMMUNITY NOTES - SPRING\SUMMER

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 easements.

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 a number of 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 blocking partial access, in violation of Baltimore County requirements. The Board would encourage all homeowners to check out their property and take corrective measures to insure that tree limbs and shrubbery do not impede foot traffic. This also applies to limbs hanging over easement areas as applicable. Please inspect your property and correct any violations.

ARCHITECTURAL CHANGES
This subject is discussed at every general meeting and correspondence regarding the same has been sent to every homeowner repeatedly. All homeowners are reminded to comply; the verbiage in Article V is quite clear.

ARTICLE V
ARCHITECTURAL CONTROL
No building, fence, wall or other structure shall be commenced, erected or maintained upon the properties, nor shall any exterior addition to or change or alteration therein be made until the plans and specifications showing the nature, kind, shape, height, materials, and location of the same shall have been submitted to and approved in writing as to harmony of external design and location in relation to surrounding structures and topography by the Board of Directors of the Association, or by an architectural committee composed of three (3) or more representatives appointed by the Board. In the event said Board, or its designated committee, fail to approve or disapprove such design and location within thirty (30) days after said plans and specifications have been submitted to it, approval will not be required and this Article will be deemed to have been fully complied with. (Excerpt from Northgate Hall Community Association Covenants)

Any work begun, even if a permit has been granted by the County, is subject to denial by the Committee if it does not satisfy the requirement of Article V, and the Board will enforce its decision within the legal framework provided.

The purpose of the Architectural Committee is not to deny any H.O.A. member the right to make modifications to their property; and reasonable requests that are in concert with the overall character of the association are normally granted. Requests for architectural changes should be sent to:
Architectural Control Committee
Northgate Hall Community Association
P.O. Box 44375
Nottingham, MD 21236-6375

ELECTIONS
By unanimous consent all current board members up for re-election remain in effect:

  • President, Jerome Lee
  • Vice President, Chuck Marks
  • Secretary, Julie Wiggins
  • Board Member, Debra Graber
  • Board Member, Linda Meyer
  • Board Member, Bob Stallings

In an effort to entice more members to attend the general meeting, this is the fifth year for a chance to win a $25.00 Visa gift card for attendance. Congratulations to Ruth Russell whose name was drawn.

  • 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 8:17 PM.

Questions? Please contact us.

HAVE A GREAT SUMMER!