Brookshire Cluster General Assembly Minutes
Tuesday, Feb 7TH 2016 7:00PM
- 13 of 26 (50%) houses present, Quorum of 40% achieved. Cluster President Wilson called the meeting
to order at 7:27PM.
Mulch will be
delivered by Meadows farms on Thursday, April 6th 2017 with 3 cubic feet double-shredded hardwood mulch at
$4.70 per bag. Please let us know how many bags you would like. Note this is the first year Reston Lion’s
club is not delivering so we are going with Meadows farms instead.
Gutter Cleaning will
occur in late May, after the spring cat tails fall. Interior units will be $99,
exterior units $125. Please let us know
if you would like to schedule your gutters to be cleaned.
trash continues the extra Yard Waste Pickup each Wednesday
during the spring/summer and fall. If you have yard waste (only brush and vegetation)
– please bundle neatly for pickup on Wednesday mornings. Note: Starting
this summer, we cannot use plastic bags for yard waste. It has to be in a
recyclable bag or bundled with string. Recycle bins will also be provided free
of charge so just let us know if you need one or more recycle bins.
Sundays are no longer scheduled for select days, and are now
open daily for electronic waste and hazardous material every dayhttp://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/trash/disphhw.htm
Parking: Just a quick
reminder of the parking rules for the cluster.
Each home has one designed
space and space permitting
with the guest spots, can have onemore guest spot. No more than 2 cars per home in the parking lot at any time.
Guest parking is based on an honor system so please be respectful of your
neighbors’ parking needs.
Cluster Website updated on line with
cluster documents, by-laws, minutes, guidelines for paint, trash removal etc. – www.brookshirecluster.org
We bid farewell to Burkeman Black at 1550 and welcome Kristina
and Krager Sanders to the community. We
also bid farewell to Diane Boss and Joe, and welcome Scott and Allison Heider
We are delighted to welcome three new babies to the
Kason Thomas Paine, both July 19th 2016 to
Wilson and Rosa Paine
Riley Rose Jones, both August 9th 2016 to
Phil and Melissa Jones
Asher Stockton, born September 13th 2016 to
Susan & Joe Stockton
The Relay for Life event for 2017 is set for May 20,
2017 at South Lakes High School in Reston, or June 10th-11thin Herndon currently. More details will be available from your host.
Brookshire Clusters Articles of Incorporation and
By-laws are being processed by a legal team and should be complete early 2017.
The new documents will bring us up to code for this millennium.
Watt Hamlett wrote and Jill Vinson illustrated, and
published a wonderful children’s book, “Reston
A to Z”. It is available for purchase through the local shops,
Barnes and Noble and Amazon.
During the 2015-2016 winter, we maintained the same
vendor for Snow removal. This vendor showed up promptly when needed. We renewed
this vendor for 2017 and they showed up to pre-treat our area 3 times in
January. As there are minimums for each visit, Wilson agreed to confirm with
the vendor when treatment would be prudent and necessary going forward.
snow days, please do not park on the two guest spots on the back two guest
spaces during a snow day – this is the designated snow-removal zone at the
inside of the cluster property.
Likewise, please do not park directly across from the opening of the
cluster as the plow will move snow across the road from the cluster parkway.
Mick reviewed the prominent social events in 2016,
including but not limited to:
Social gathering after the Spring cluster clean up
Very successful holiday party at Julie and Watt’s home
There was no Halloween party this year for the 1st time
in 16 years
Book club continues to meet monthly
Jen and Mick discussed ongoing options for social
activities in 2017:
Organize social event like a BBQ after the spring clean-up.
Organize first Friday social gatherings or quarterly
social gatherings, on demand or on snow-days.
Continue Book club gathering – contact Jen for more
Host a yard-sale day on May 13th and ensure
that all cars move off the parking lot so guests can drive in. Mick to advertise at the local farmer’s market
Pick a summer Picnic date for all cluster residents and
Also in the line of supporting your local business,
Sherry encouraged teams of people to go to an organized evening out in Lake
Anne which was very popular. Drink a beer from the Brookshire tap in the
brewery, enjoy a good coffee at the coffee house, eat drunken noodles at the Thai
café etc. Every little bit helps keep
our community alive.
The cluster is not hosting a booth at the Herndonrelay for life on June 10th, Reston’s
is on May 20th.
In Mark’s absence, Wilson recapped the year-in-review
for landscaping. In the spring clean-up which went well, the cluster
re-organized the front garden and replanted some of the plants to even out the
flow. Some of the plants may not have
survived the replant as well as hoped. Ann noted that the front garden is part
of a design and asked that we are mindful of that design during the clean up
The tree planted for Delegate Plum also took a beating
in one of the storms. Thank you to all
who watch the tree and make sure it’s propped up OK. Chris and Irene donated a
beautiful dogwood to replace it, but was moved to replace a dead tree nearby
while Plum’s tree continues to live.
For the fall
cleanup, the cluster folks cleared up a lot of the area on the right side on
entry to the cluster. Well done!
Earlier this year near that area otherwise known as no-man’s land, a tree fell
down crossing into the Brookshire area near Moorings Drive. After some (heated)
debate with RA and Chatham on whose responsibility it was to clear the tree,
Wilson and team finally agreed for Brookshire to clear the tree on the condition
that the land between Chatham Colony and Brookshire Cluster becomes part of the
Brookshire terrain. They agreed on email, we removed the tree so now claim that
land as part of Brookshire Ct. More to
follow on finalizing the new boundary to our cluster lands. On this map, our
boundary is the light blue line.
On this map,
it’s a thin grey line. We will be
looking to get a formal site map from Fairfax.
2017 Landscape Discussion
Wilson recommended that organized to-do lists really
helped folks achieve work done in minimum time.
Wilson reviewed some options Mark has in mind for
projects this year:
Organize Spring Cluster clean-up for April 22nd – rain date Sunday 23rd 9am- noon.
Organize Fall Cluster clean-up for Sat Oct
21st - Rain date Sunday Oct 22nd 9am- noon.
Mulch order arrives on Sunday April 2nd. If
you ordered mulch, please pick it up by the Fire Lane area.
Once the weather improves, review the garden between
Sherri and Amanda, and in front of Carols, and in front of Clarence’s to see if
any require updates/enhancing
Enhance the side garden by the first set of steps close
to the entrance way. Keep the outline and plant consistent with the front
garden. The discussion here was for Cardinal Landscaping to renovate the garden
on either side to match the front garden.
Next garden will be up by the lamppost in the center of the parking
area. Wilson noted the ‘Grass and Special Projects’ budget still has $1,475.34
cash remaining and discussed the option that this would be spent restoring the
garden on the right by the steps close to the entrance way. This would be to create a similar look and
feel between the front garden and the first garden on the right – others to
follow. It will include the same plants
as are in the front garden containing:
Virginia Sweetspire 'Little.Henry'
Shenandoah Switch Grass
Aster – October skies
Iris - Caesars brother
Rose – knock out rose (may be harder to contain in such
a small area)
Walk the perimeter of the cluster and note areas to be
improved visually, including any areas that should be rebuilt or reseeded with
Create rock-garden or concept garden on either side of
the steps by the tunnel. Expand on the idea of the tree arch and create
something on either side that flows well with the arch, the landscape and has
the added benefit of stopping soil runoff, and helps absorb the water that
flows under the steps.
Actuals Budget Review:
from dues went as planned in 2016 with all home owners paying on time by year
end. Note: some dues payments were deposited early in 2017 so don’t show up in
the revenue from 2016.
Income: with the dues
all paid, interest on capital funds, late payment fees of $340 and other
income, the cluster ended up with a surplus net income of $1,390.08.
Net Surplus Income: $ 1,390.08
expenses came in on or under budget.
Budgeted Expenses $31,178
Actual Expenses $29,601.67
Expense variation 2016 $1,576. 33
Detail of Expense variation
carried forward to ‘17
Fees and agency dues
Trash, other fees
under paid in 2016
Capital: There are two
forms of capital outlined on our budget:
Reserve: Long term capital designated for asphalt and
concrete repairs, stairs and supporting walls on common grounds. The capital
reserve received $4500 from budget so it closed year end at $44,488.
term capital set aside for larger incidentals on any given year or for items
not included on the normal budget or where no special assessment is levied for
an event, like the legal fees. The operating reserve for 2016 was
$6,582.48. The net income of $ 1,390.08 was added to this bucket for 2017
bringing the operating reserve to $7,972.56.
Legal fees: The two
components on the legal fees of $2,475 are:
Annual registration of Brookshire. Normally we retain a
lawyer to process this form. Ann became an agent and submitted the forms saving
the cluster $125 in legal fees.
Home owners by-laws – originally estimated $2,350, the
actual for this in 2017 is $3,200 + fees (not reflected on the budget issued at
the General Assembly). These are the
legal fees to redo our Articles of Incorporation and by-laws written in 1965,
updated slightly in the 80’s. The legal
team was selected and hired this January so the monies set aside in the budget
carry through to this year so it appears as a loss on the actual vs. budget but
it is a straight pass-through. The
estimated fees in 2016 were $2,350 but the revised estimate in 2017 is $3,200.
All home owner dues were paid on time even if some deposits didn’t
occur until Jan 2017. The cluster also made $340 extra cash from late fees, and
$850.64 from contributions from cluster members and other sources.
Special Reserve for trees/grass: No monies
were spent on long-term landscaping projects in 2016, so the special
trees/grass/landscaping budget carries forward to 2017 at $1,475. This will be spent on the new
garden-by-the-steps in early 2017.
Capital – Operating Reserve will start 2017 at $7,972.56.
The estimated legal fees of $3,200 will be paid from this bucket, so the
budget for 2017 to bring the Operating reserve back to the $5,000 cap is
With the Planned Budget for 2017, the cluster expects to:
Income: Maintain income from HOA dues, interest from the capital reserves
and late payment fees.
Expense: Adjust line item expenses
Increase Landscaping to include
aeration in 2016 from $9,270 to $9,550
(3%) (update – actual contract is for
Increase snow removal
budget from $2,000 to $2,775 based on
contract cost increases
Maintain capital reserve of
$4,500 to cover all infrastructure items
Maintain operating reserve
at $5,000 after legal fees payment
Maintain Tree service
(maintenance) of $3,000 and Special Tree/Grass project of $400.
Estimated legal fees for
Article & By-law review of $3,200
On the 2017 Preliminary budget, planned expenses exceed income so
the Net Income shows a deficit of $3,029.47. This is because of the legal expenses budget
line item of $3,200 carried over from 2016.
The funds to support this are also carried over in the Reserve –
operation fund but are not counted as Income earned in 2017, hence the budget
shows a deficit for the year.
With the budget in a very healthy and well managed state, Ann
proposed no dues increase for 2017.
She put it to a vote and it was unanimously approved by all present. Dues
continue to be $285 per quarter/house – lower than the average for Reston.
On the option to issue invoices by email, to be paid by pay-pal or
through another credit card processing option online, Melissa said she would
work with Ann to setup easy-pay options for our cluster members to pay dues and
in sundry charges like mulch bags. More on that as it becomes available.
Legal Documentation for Cluster:
As mentioned, by-laws and Articles of Incorporation
have been updated. Final, revised versions will be posted and published for you
once they pass legal inspection and final approval.
Snow removal: Early in 2017 we had some icy days and
our snow vendor – who thankfully is prompt and efficient – pre-treated our cluster
entrance ways. With a hard minimum in
place for each event, the snow budget took a rapid hit. Wilson spoke with the
snow vendor and they agreed not to pre-treat unless we approve or request it,
and not to remove snow less than two inches deep.
Note – both spaces farthest in on the cluster are
reserved for snow drifts during heavier snow days. In addition, please try not to park directly
across from the entrance on Moorings Drive as that is also a designated
snow-drift area for our cluster. Neither
Fairfax nor VDOT supply (nor support) signs for no parking during snow days
over 2 inches.
Chris C noted that the concrete leading up to Chris
& Irene’s, and David/Shari’s home needed to be repaired. WE discussed
replacing the concrete, repairing it in patches or pumping the slabs up from
beneath. Wilson to find contractors to
review the concrete repair needs for the cluster in general. Amanda noted she
has contacts that would be licensed and bonded.
Sherry urged all present to support your local café,
restaurant and shop whenever possible. Sherry specifically noted those on Lake
Anne, like the new coffee & wine bar, the beer house with Brookshire beer
tap, the Thai restaurant, Reston Books and Mont Martre.
Wilson P was unanimously re-elected as president of the
cluster for another year.
Mark M - Unanimously re-elected as cluster Landscape
Ann D - Unanimously re-elected as Treasurer even though
she tried to talk her way out of it.
Mick and Jen were unanimously re-elected as our cluster
Deirdre – unanimously re-elected as Secretary.
All board members reelected unanimously.