The Villages at Ocean Hill Spring Membership Meeting
Saturday, April 11, 2015
Corolla Library Meeting Room
Board Members Present: Stephen Hill, Dave Halla, Kent Ellis, Fran Hamilton Absent: Linda Flannery
Management Company Present: Bryan Smith, Christine Hawes
The meeting began at 10:01 am with a welcome from Stephen Hill. He gave an overview of the upcoming Phase 2 roadwork and the new VOH Beach Valet Service.
Officers and Committee Reports:
Kent Ellis gave the Treasurer’s Report that Vicki Garvey had finalized the 2014 bookkeeping and all materials are at the accountant for review/audit.
Bryan Smith gave the following Manager’s Report:
• Fitness Center refurbishment (paint & floor) complete; one additional piece of equipment on order. Second phone line installed for Management office putting utility expenses over budget.
• Welcome packet for renters revised and redesigned; about ½ the cost of previous
• Assessment collection going well; to-date there are 8 outstanding vs. 16 in 2014 (not including those in legal).
• Capital Projects for 2015:
- Paving of Phase 2 areas to begin April 13; quote for this phase is under budget
- Playground equipment removed due to unsafe conditions and being replaced for 2015 season
- Bissell performed a civil engineering study on Sandcastle Dr. to determine best course of action for standing water issues; drainage improvements to take place prior to that phase of paving
• AED purchased for the Fitness Center; training of staff and interested community members will be provided
• Sports court has severe cracking which is expensive to repair; researching options for future use; issue to be revisited at Fall Membership Meeting
Kent Ellis referred back to the Sandcastle Dr. drainage project and gave some additional details. The additional research required to properly assess the drainage situation caused a delay in paving Sandcastle Dr. (it was supposed to be paved first). However, if the drainage problem is corrected in Fall 2015, Sandcastle could be paved in 2016.
Beth Lutton gave the Landscape Committee report. Of the $62,500 budget, $54,000 is allocated to Leah’s Landscaping (plus fuel surcharge provision). Major projects for 2014 included extensive pruning of the Russian Olives along the east side of the Sports Court. Volunteers pruned those along Route 12. A question was asked about Leah’s mowing schedule. Beth
explained that his crew has a set schedule for the summer that cannot be altered by grass growing conditions due to rain or lack of rain.
Dave Halla presented the Environmental Committee report. He spoke about the restructuring of the committee last year (one board member, one community member, one community manager). He noted that Christine reformatted the Environmental Policy & Procedure document and new color palette selections will be available by the end of this year. There are plans to revise this document to include relevant county regulations (ex. lot coverage) for consistency and to avoid conflicts. This year’s Home Inspection Violation letters included photos of exterior deficiencies and proved useful as many exterior and landscaping upgrades are evident, particularly on Sandcastle Dr. Previously, these inspections were done in the Fall and Spring, but going forward they will only be done in the Fall to allow homeowners more time to address prior to the rental season. A question was asked about night time lights and if they are regulated by EC guidelines.
The SAGA Construction homes were discussed next. SAGA will begin another home soon and no two homes built by this company will be alike. There will not be a fence without a pool on the new homes, and the current model home will have the fence removed if the new owner does not install a pool. A question was asked about the permanent SAGA sign on Route 12 and Dave Halla indicated that the sign was approved. When all SAGA homes are constructed it should be removed. Another homeowner asked if they could use a larger sign or open house flags to advertise the sale of their home. One homeowner expressed concerns about SAGA “spec” houses, as well as sand erosion resulting from the clearing of lots, and the “cookie cutter” nature of SAGA homes (“cookie cutter” homes prohibited by EC, “spec” homes are not). Stephen Hill explained that a previous VOH Board worked hard to get SAGA to understand and comply with VOH guidelines. Other concerns included the hardship on current VOH homeowners competing with SAGA to sell their homes. Stephen Hill defended the Association in regard to a comment that the Board has rolled over to SAGA in their construction process. Another homeowner noted that construction trucks use Lakeside Dr. to access construction sites. Dave Halla indicated that he would work hard to oversee SAGA projects.
The next topic for the Environmental Committee was the new Phase 6C project off of Windance Lane. The utilities are in place and a new cul-de-sac (Tailwind Ct.) with three homes will eventually be built there.
The Lot #194 fence issue was discussed. The Association had the area surveyed and the new fence is within the setback guidelines. This area is a 20’ public access easement on private property and not common property. Currituck County has been asked to provide VOH with an official explanation of the purpose of the easement, who is responsible for maintaining it, etc. and the Association will comply accordingly. Several homeowners gave background information on the history of the easement.
A question was asked as to whether the Environmental Committee will allow the community to vote on any changes to its Policies and Procedures. Stephen Hill explained it is more of a “housekeeping” task to clean-up inconsistencies; Bryan explained that the Association is required to present changes to the membership.
The next item of business was the proposed expansion of Sharky’s Snack Bar. 56% of members responded to the survey with 94 “yes” votes and 52 “no” votes. Comments accompanying the “no” votes primarily cited concerns with the sale of alcohol and the impact that commercial vending would have on the family atmosphere in the community. Concerns were raised regarding zoning, public access, and consideration of adjacent homes. Stephen Hill said we would do an informal usage study at the oceanfront pool this summer and revisit the issue at the Fall Membership Meeting.
Next, Christine reminded homeowners of the benefit of the Renter’s Advantage Program (RAP), for which $500 a year provides six renters per rental week with free access to the VOH Fitness Center. Questions arose regarding the effectiveness of the program and if/how data is tracked to give owners feedback on renter usage. One homeowner suggested that all rental-home owners be required to pay this for their guests. Discussion ensued on the issue and Christine provided details about the number of owners sent letters for 2015 (28) and the current number returned (24). There are approximately 145 rental homes in VOH. Stephen Hill requested that Christine track usage for one home to start. The conversation ended with a question about how much Associate Members (those outside of the community) pay to join the Fitness Center.
The Question & Answer period was the final agenda item. One owner wondered where the 15 mph signs with the community had gone. Another suggested that we form a committee to determine how to cut down on fees within the next five years. Stephen Hill explained that the current incremental increases had been determined by the Board to be a better alternative than assessments every few years to meet budget demands. A second owner suggested that we discuss a five-year outlook for VOH at the Fall Membership Meeting. An owner, who also owns a property in Whalehead, complimented the Association on its management. The VOH website was discussed with one participant suggesting that we use paid advertisers for the site going forward, which will be considered once the site has been upgraded. There was a request to post the community regulations online. In response to another question, Christine noted that PDF versions of VOH’s Governing Documents are now available on the website.
The meeting ended at Noon with Stephen complimenting Bryan and Christine on a very good job done since January and the meeting attendees giving management a round of applause.
Date for the Fall Membership Meeting is TBA; either Saturday, October 10, 2015 from 9am – 12 pm OR Sunday, October 11, 2015 from 10 am – 1 pm.