Minutes of HOA Annual Meeting on October 17, 2022

  1. Fairfax County Lee District Supervisor Rodney Lusk provided comments in advance of formal commencement
    1. INOVA hospital complex (Beulah and Fairfax County Parkway): will solely be a facility for INOVA health systems, 750K sq ft complex, with over 100 beds
    1. Belvoir Corporate Center on Loisdale Road: Two office buildings will be removed, will be replaced by a 240K sq. ft data center for Amazon
    1. Wish Center: Public/private partnership at the Hybla Valley Community Center, approx. 50K sq. ft community center to provide workforce innovation and skills training, building trades, med tech, green energy technologies; extend program into the Fairfax County Public Schools with all students allowed to participate along with other feeder school students
    1. Trash/Recycling service issues: Supervisor’s office has received a number of inquiries; whole industry (private and public) has been having issues retaining and hiring CDL drivers; need to be a lot more competitive; American Disposal was losing a number of their drivers which made it harder for them to do pickups. On 9/22, Board of Supervisors had a motion brought forward for the County Executive to look into the private haulers because of the number of complaints about trash not being picked up in a timely manner and rate changes, not receiving services as contracted; County Executive conducting study/analysis and will present findings to the board to determine if there are any remedies the county can take (legal or otherwise); expect to hear back by approximately November
      1. American Disposal has contacted the board: changed starting salaries from $22 to $30/hour which has stabilized the workers; they are changing their process for pickup/removal of trash, recycling, and yard waste; have made decision to aggregate drivers in a specific geography on a specific day; county is 400 sq miles; have had issues with people calling in sick when spread out around the county; will pick up each stream individually; protocol should help improve service predictability and consistency; new delivery approach just started about 2 weeks ago; will continue to monitor and evaluate complaints
      1. Community feedback: trash and recycling has improved over past couple weeks; yard waste still not being picked up
    1. Stone Mansion: Happy to talk to the director for Fairfax County Public School, they do have a desire to reactivate it, could be part of the preservation project; doesn’t know anything about River Farm School, but willing to ask Park Authority if that would be possible and connect Stephanie with the right contacts
    1. Huntley Meadows / Stormwater / Concrete Channel work which may impact our neighborhood and will be a subject of an upcoming community meeting. This is a follow-on from last year’s Vantage HOA meeting where Supervisor Lusk’s office took some questions to the Stormwater management division (work order #1976940). Our association has recently been in communication with project manager Ken Trinh.
      1. Stream Bed restoration project, roughly 4k linear feet to re-establish a culvert system (possibly to remove concrete and put in more natural elements) to make it more environmentally sensitive for Huntley Meadows; study underway regarding the scope of project and proposed improvements; expecting the results close to the end of the month; will host a community presentation to share project/scope/proposals/ask questions and get clarification on the project/address concerns
    1. HOA board has received some inquiries regarding the possibility of a traffic light at S Kings Hwy and Vantage or Lantern
      1. Fairfax County does not control the streets – done by VDOT; if interested in a streetlight, Supervisor’s office can commission a study at the request of the community to determine if a streetlight is warranted, will have to find funding, and then construct it
    1. With recent new large apartment buildings being constructed, some have interest in the zoning considerations and traffic impacts. Can more be done to limit or stop building more large apartment buildings in the immediate area? New growth should also reflect concerns of the impact on West Potomac High School and Groveton Elementary School.
      1. County did a very detailed plan in 2015 that looked at the redevelopment of the Route 1 corridor. Bus Rapid Transit (expected 2029 or 2030) dedicated bus service from Huntington Metro to Ft. Belvoir, with 9 stops, pre-cursor to the extension of metro rail; development will support the new transit system and reduce traffic once bus options are available. Developers are required to make contributions to the public school system and other county areas (parks, etc.) where they will have impact.
      1. Community discussion: county is allowing residential growth to outpace other infrastructure; County must acquire funds at the point construction starts and must show demand for the system; takes years to fund
    1. Route 1 vacant Safeway: trying to figure out how to adaptively use the space, things are changing as people work from home more; a lot of companies are re-evaluating their long-term telework policies, uncertainty about retail and office space; as businesses go away, we don’t necessarily have another retailer ready to take it; may convert some into residential space
    1. Car taxes went up for older, used vehicles this year: Supply chain impacts of Covid have made used cars appreciate and increased taxes; board reduced property taxes by $90M this year because they knew it would be a problem and are looking at it again this year; by State law, the county evaluates all real estate and property tax in the new year based on what happened in the last year to determine percentage increase for the next year
  • Commencement:  Meeting called to order at 7:56 p.m. with 35 homes directly represented and 14 represented by proxy, achieving quorum.  The meeting was conducted in person at Virginia Hills Center along with an online option for participation due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Welcome, orientation and introductions (Eric): Current board members introduced.
  • Recognition of Hal Allen: Board recognizes the life and contributions of Hal Allen after his passing in September 2022. Hal served on the HOA board in various roles for many years prior to becoming president in 1999.
  • Board member nominations and election (Eric): 3 expiring terms (Erika King, Eric Kerby, Elizabeth Loevner)
    • Eric Kerby and Elizabeth Loevner self-nominated to run again; Erika King chose not to re-run
    • Kerri Shilts, moved to the neighborhood in June, self-nominated from the floor
    • Eric Kerby, Elizabeth Loevner, and Kerri Shilts elected to the board
  • Year in Review (Eric)
    • Completed
      • Culvert cleaned
      • Merged common grounds and park committees
      • Swirly slide park maintenance: landscape fabric and mulch replacement and repairs to baby swings
      • New signs at entrance to neighborhood
      • Multiple issues of The Villager
      • Successful annual picnic: estimate of 150-200 attendees; open to do additional events if the community is interested in planning other events (dependent on volunteers)
      • Tickets processed in 2022
        • 22 disclosure packages
        • 20+ AC requests
        • 12+ complaints
        • Many other miscellaneous requests
      • Spring and fall yard sale events
      • Santa visit planned for December
  • Pending (Hunter)Planning for regular mulching for park going forwardAsphalt path in park: working to obtain new estimates to replace path around the parkCleaning park equipment is still a challenge due to lack of water supply; requesting homeowner near park volunteer water connections (will be reimbursed from the board)Community input: There was a water line inside the park for a fountain; line may still be there; Ed will try to locate and let board knowPrivate streets sign refresh; call for non-board member chairperson for committee (must live on private street)


  • Treasurer’s Report (Anna)
    • 2022 financial summary and statements presented
      • Income: HOA dues and disclosure packages; collected 2022 dues from all but 66 households; reminders sent out; will pursue liens for any not paid with second notice
      • Expenses: PayPal service charge (3% of payments processed online), updates/upgrades to playground, grass cutting, annual picnic, insurance, postage
    • 2023 budget overview; planned expenses include reserve study, new signs, asphalt replacement (not completed in 2022)
    • Postponing QuickBooks Self-Service Portal due to overhead and technical requirements to implement; need a simpler solution
  • Study of HOA-organized Trash/Recycling Service (Dan)
    • Taking pulse for community interest going to a single contract for the entire HOA; would result in consistent rates but no special hotline if pickups missed; current estimates are $30 per house per month, but would need to process payments from the community annually (as part of the dues) so as not to create an undue burden on the HOA board to collect monthly payments
      • Board does not have the resources with the current volunteer structure to manage a tiered participation or recurring payments
      • Would need to commit to it as a whole community to collect via dues or try to negotiate a contract for community members to opt-in and pay trash company directly; Board is not a customer service agency and is not postured to manage complaints for trash pickup
      • Community discussion: Some members do not have a current trash contract/take their trash directly to the dump and would not want to pay for this; concerns that Board-negotiated pickup would not resolve issues with consistency as the issues seem to be county-wide
      • Fairfax County is not accepting new communities for pickup
  • Stream Channel work for County’s Barnyard stream restoration project (Jim)
    • Fairfax County Stormwater Division is doing a study to determine how to protect the marsh restoration in Huntley Meadows; driven by requests from Vantage HOA members, will also evaluate the concrete swails/channels near Swirly Slide Park for potential removal and replacement with more natural drainage options
  1. Call for Adopt-a-Highway volunteers (Ed Boardman): weather permitting, pickup will be Saturday, October 22, 8:30 a.m.
    1. Adopt-a-Highway program formally began in our community in approx. 1994 by Norma and Fred Hoffman
    1. Complete pickup 4x/year; need approximately 8-10 people for each pickup which runs about 1 hour or less
  1. Architectural Control (AC) Guidelines Revisions (Eric)
    1. Postcards distributed for community comments over the summer: Approx. 25 households commented with approx. 112 individual comments; AC adjudicated the comments and submitted revised draft to the board; board reviewed comments in 2 special sessions and submitted draft for legal review; expecting to receive legal comments within next couple weeks and will determine the way forward from there based on legal counsel
    1. Community discussion:
      1. Some members did not receive the postcard/know about the community comment period/are not internet savvy
      1. Some members expressed concern that 25 households is an insufficient number of responses and could mean many homes did not receive notification; others commented that a lack of response could just as easily indicate agreement/no issue with the guidelines as written
      1. Some members did not like the format in which the changes were presented/did not feel they could easily identify what was being changed without comparing multiple documents
      1. Some members feel a community vote is warranted for a change in the AC guidelines; the Board sought legal counsel on this matter and has the precedent from the prior AC revisions to move forward with a board vote; however, the Board does want to hear from the community and requests specific examples from the those expressing concern as to how we could better seek their feedback
      1. Suggestions:
        1. letter (not postcard) to all homeowners explaining the changes from our current guidelines and rationale for each change
        1. a document with track changes so members can see specific changes
        1. request replies from all homeowners, even if they agree with everything as written, to ensure a reasonable number of the community are represented
        1. need to accommodate both hard copy and digital community
  1. Adjournment: 10:34 p.m.