Thursday, August 1, 2019

Summer 2019 Issue of Ripples




Alerts and Reminders

Annual Meeting: Lakeport’s Annual Owners Meeting will be held Wednesday, September 25, at the Reston Association Headquarters Conference Center, 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive. Please mark your calendars now and plan to attend. The meeting will start at 7:00 p.m. (registration will open at 6:30). A formal announcement and proxy will be sent via US mail and email.

Violation Letters: If you received a violation letter in June and haven’t provided the status of your projects to the Board, please email msapp@miami.edu with an update. Also send an email when the project is complete so we can notify SCS to abate the violation in their database.

Lake Thoreau End-of-Summer Party: Boat owners, save September 15th for the boat party on the lake (a bit later this year to avoid conflict with the Reston Triathlon). Turtle Recall will be back!!!

New SCS Property Manager for Lakeport: We have a new portfolio manager at Select Community Services (SCS), our property management company. Her name is Alexandra Long but she prefers to be called Ali. If you have a question for SCS, please contact Ali via email (along@scs-management.com) or call her at 703-230-8725. For Ali’s complete contact information, see the article titled “Lakeport Board, Committees, and SCS Contact.”

Questions for the Management Company: If you have a question about inspections, we ask that you start with the Lakeport Board (board@lakeportcluster.org) because we are apt to be more aware of your property and it saves a $10 charge for each phone call or email related to inspections. For questions about quarterly assessments or other questions for Select Community Services (SCS), contact Ali.

Never Again Be Late Paying Your Quarterly Assessment: Please consider paying your quarterly assessments by automatic debit through your bank instead of sending a check or paying online (which incurs an extra fee). If you decide to switch to automatic debit, it means that you never have to worry about incurring late fees because you might forget to make the payment (currently $25 a month for every 30 days the payment is late). In addition, you save the Board time spent reminding people who haven’t paid shortly before the end of the month, as well as extra costs to the Association for processing and mailing quarterly statements (we currently pay $800 a year to have these statements sent to owners who do not have direct debit). You can cancel the arrangement at any time. To take advantage of this convenient way to pay your Lakeport assessment fees, follow the instructions for filling out and mailing the form at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1U_9xgrDVzZlOBoUG04XT2vlxmWa99C6q/view. If you want to save the Cluster the cost of mailing you a statement but not set up a direct debit, you can make sure your payment arrives to SCS before the statements are mailed.

Update Your Contact Information: Please go to the Lakeport Directory (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1t3bYAGlA-u_NdjY2DxIbxm_nQqBBCX28/view) and check the contact information listed there for you. If a correction is needed, either send an email to webmaster@lakeportcluster.org or fill out the form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfFILfWGBoWIgWlBPSQmIKj4kIX0kPA7XsRjnsaOsNXuvVSkw/viewform. If your home has renters, please also ask them to fill out the form. Remember that if you need to contact a neighbor or just forget someone’s name, you can always check this directory.

Drive Slowly: Children are out of school for another month and will be out playing on sidewalks and in the streets. Please remember to drive slowly and keep your eyes out for children (and other pedestrians) in the street.

Reston Farmers Market Open Until December 7: The Fairfax County Farmers Markets provide access to locally grown foods to improve the health of Fairfax County citizens, support local food producers, and protect the environment. Farmers and producers all come from within a 125-mile radius of Fairfax County and must grow or make what they sell themselves. The Reston Farmer’s Market located next to the plaza at the Lake Anne Village Center (1609 Washington Plaza N, Reston), is open on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to noon. For more information, see https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/farmersmarkets/reston

Help Keep Our Community Clean and Beautiful: Please contribute to the appearance of our community by picking up trash anywhere you see it while you’re out walking and enjoying summer and early fall in Lakeport. Also, if you notice overflowing trash from the trash can in Triangle Park or the one at South Lakes Village, please take a photo and forward it to the Board so we can pass it on to Reston Association or the South Lakes Village management company.

Dog Waste: If you see a dog walker who fails to pick up the dog’s waste, please remind the person that doggie bags are available at two stations on the walking path in Lakeport and another on Lakespray Way.

Geese: We are experiencing problems with goose poop on our dock. Please don’t feed the geese (not only does that attract them, but it’s not healthy for them), but do feel free to shoo them off the dock (just be sure not to harm them or allow them to attack you—we just want to make their time on our dock unpleasant enough that they will choose to hang out somewhere else!). Thanks.

Regular Trash Collection: If your trash or recycling is not picked up by 2:00 p.m. on a scheduled collection day, please call ADS at 703-388-0500 (also imprinted on the outside of your trash bin if you forget the number).

Help Improve Lighting in Lakeport: A well-lit community is one of the most basic measures we can take to ensure the safety of our residents and the security of our property. One way to further the goal of safe lighting is for residents to leave their lights on at night, especially those in end units with short pole lights, which according to long-time Lakeport residents used to be standard practice. This is of course voluntary, but doing this small thing would be a gracious contribution to the overall safety and attractiveness of our community.

Report Suspicious Activity. If you see suspicious activity, don’t confront anybody but instead call the Fairfax County Police non-emergency number, 703-691-2131 (use this number also to report vandalism or another crime that has already occurred). The police request that even if you just have a “gut feeling” something is wrong, you notify them with as many details as possible. It is helpful if you can also take photos unobtrusively. Police will be dispatched (or you may be able to provide a report over the phone). Also notify Lakeport’s Neighborhood Watch coordinator Chuck Foster at chuckfost@aol.com. Please pay special attention to suspicious activity or sounds near the Lakeport dock, in the woods, or at night.

Group Projects: If you will be undertaking a major repair (e.g., new roof, new windows, siding replacement with HardiePlank, or resurfacing/sealing your driveway) and would be interested in investigating the possibility of a group rate from a contractor for multiple houses at the same time, let the Board know and we’ll share names of others doing similar work. For instance, two Lakeport owners received a discount for having their roofs done at the same time, and two others had HardiePlank installed at a discounted rate. In addition, we know of three owners who are investigating having work done on their driveways.

You Must Replace Any Tree You Remove. If you recently removed a tree (dead or alive) on your property, remember that RA requires that you replace it with another tree. Reston Association has several resources for finding a replacement tree: See the list of recommended small trees at https://www.reston.org/Parks,RecreationEvents/NatureEnvironmentalResources/EnvironmentalResources/RecommendedTrees/tabid/571/Default.aspx. In addition, you might want to review https://www.reston.org/Portals/3/2018%20PARKSREC/tree%20brcochure%20web%20FINAL%2018.pdf and https://www.reston.org/Parks,RecreationEvents/NatureEnvironmentalResources/NaturalResources/TreesinReston/TreesShrubGuidelines/tabid/569/Default.aspx

Lakeport Cluster Assessments to Be Increased

By Kevin Burke, Treasurer

After considerable deliberation and analysis, the Lakeport Board has decided to increase the HOA assessment by $45/quarter, beginning in 2020. The assessment would total $1,380 annually for each unit in Lakeport Cluster, which would produce additional revenue of $14,760. 

The Board is proposing this higher assessment, the first increase in five years, to be able to meet pending major expenses, especially repaving our roads and parking areas, as well as increasing demands for tree management as a number of our trees reach the end of their lifespan. The Board’s tight management of the Cluster’s resources means that there are no additional opportunities for significant savings if we are going to meet the current demands of the budget. We simply need additional revenue to maintain the Cluster in a way that enhances the property value of our homes and the community.

The Board projects this year’s budget will have a surplus of about $3,000, and if at the end of the year we still anticipate a surplus, we will redirect some of that to additional tree trimming in December (we’ve negotiated a 10-percent discount for this work if it is done in this off-season period).

Unfortunately, we had to replace our dock much earlier than originally planned, and Lakeport’s Reserve Study scheduled repaving our roads (the other $100K+ project) in 2020. Having these two major projects so close together creates a challenge for our reserve funds. The construction of our Cluster’s dock and the related replacement of our bollard path lights significantly dented these reserves. We have concluded that our roads are in good enough shape (with occasional patching done by some terrific Lakeport volunteers) to last an extra year so that paving can be postponed to 2021 (or perhaps even 2022). At the same time, we recognize that a repeat of last winter’s snow events and plowing could accelerate the deterioration of the pavement as well as place a greater burden on our operating budget. Each year we transfer $21,000 into Replacement Reserves, but at that rate we will not have sufficient funds to meet the costs of conducting a mandated study of reserve funds this year and repaving in spring/summer of 2021. In other words, we need to start transferring more into reserves to prepare for the repaving project. 

We also must deal with the trees in our neighborhood that are showing their age and could threaten the safety of residents and homes. It is expensive to remove or trim mature trees. For example, the removal of two pine trees on Cluster property along Sunrise Valley Drive last year cost $900 each, and removal of an oak scheduled for this year will be $1600. The Board spent $16,000 on tree management the last two years. Because of less flexibility in the budget this year (and the need to allocate funds to replace the hedge by Safeway), we have only $5,000 for tree management, but considerable work still remains.

Hardly any of the expenses in the Cluster’s budget are discretionary: Insurance, snow removal, trash removal, electric service, association management, audit, and landscape maintenance are contracted services; common-property repairs are unavoidable; legal advice is necessary to keep the Cluster in compliance with applicable rules and regulations; and we are legally required to make transfers to fund our Replacement Reserves. The only significant budget item that is discretionary is landscaping, and that is critical for the appearance and appeal of our Cluster.

The Board’s decision to increase the dues is also designed to help the Cluster catch up to maintenance that has been deferred and cover the inflationary increases that have built up over the last five years.

The Board has scheduled a briefing for Lakeport homeowners on Monday, August 26, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at 1919 Lakeport Way. Please notify the Board (Board@Lakeport.org) if you are interested in attending.

Book Club

By Barbara Khan, Coordinator

Want to join some of your neighbors and talk over a good book? Lakeport has an informal book club that is always open to new members. No master’s in literature is required, no homework assignments, just a lively, lighthearted discussion of the book the group reads.

Here is the upcoming selection:
 
Book: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Date: Monday, August 19, 7:00 PM

Place: Marcy’s house at 1999 Lakeport





Call Barbara Khan at 703-390-0506 or e-mail her at bskhan@att.net for further information.

Background Information on Proposed Changes in Governance to Be Voted on at Annual Meeting on September 25, 2019

The Board will be asking owners to vote on the following three changes to governance:

1. Earlier this year, the Lakeport Cluster Association Board agreed on wording for a replacement to a Resolution passed in 1995 that appears as Appendix B of the Lakeport Handbook. The proposed resolution would allow Lakeport to pass on to the owner any administrative fees associated with processing delinquency letters as well as attorney fees that are not charged up-front to the delinquent owner by the attorney (one year Lakeport had to pay several hundred dollars related to processing delinquencies). When we sent our proposed resolution to the attorneys for review, we were informed that if over half of Lakeport owners approved a referendum allowing the Association to recover these fees, we could make this resolution an official governance document. The referendum, with language approved by the attorney, will be mailed to you in a month as part of the packet for the Annual Meeting on September 25 at the Reston Association Headquarters. When you receive the referendum, please vote and sign and date the referendum and send it to SCS by September 23. See wording below (but wait for the letter to vote).

2. Our attorney also helped the Board prepare an amendment to the Lakeport Bylaws that authorizes the Board to arrange for architectural inspections. Wording for this proposed addition to the Bylaws appears below. Bylaw changes also require “signed assent of a majority of all members without regard to residency”; so a vote on this proposed change to the bylaw change will be included on the same form as the referendum described above.

3. At last fall’s Annual Meeting, an owner who does not reside in Lakeport and instead rents her unit was surprised to learn that she was not allowed to vote because Lakeport Bylaws state that only owners who reside in Lakeport may vote. She requested that this restriction on who can vote be removed from the Bylaws; so a vote on deleting the current requirement in the Bylaws that owners be residents to vote (see text below) will also be included along with the two items above. FYI, currently 11 of the 82 homes in Lakeport are not occupied by their owners.

Owners who do not return their signed votes on these items to SCS prior to the Annual Meeting will have the opportunity to submit them at the Annual Meeting, during which they will be discussed, and the final tabulation of votes made. The Board will also be happy to receive feedback and answer questions about these proposals at the meeting to discuss the increase in assessments (on Monday, August 26, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at 1919 Lakeport Way) or via email (Board@lakeportcluster.org). Because each of these governance items requires an affirmative vote from half of Lakeport owners to pass, we are urging all owners to send their votes to SCS before the Annual Meeting, to vote at the Annual Meeting, or to send their votes with a proxy.
 

1. Referendum (which will be mailed with packet for Annual Meeting)

Recovery of Collection Costs 
and Charges for Returned Checks

Description: If adopted, this referendum will permit the Lakeport Cluster to collect directly from any delinquent lot owner all actual costs associated with the owner’s assessment delinquency and any administrative charges related to returned checks. Under current state and federal laws, the current language in the Cluster documents is insufficient to recover all collection-related costs like the management fees associated with sending reminder letters to delinquent owners. These expenses prevent the Board from using your assessments for community-wide projects like improved landscaping, signage, and community events. This referendum is being proposed consistent with the language of Section V.5 of the First Amendment to the Deed of Amendment to the Deeds of Dedication of the Reston Association. This referendum requires the approval of 50% of all lot owners within Lakeport Cluster to be deemed approved. Once approved, actual costs associated with delinquent assessment accounts, as defined further below, will be considered a Limited Common Expense chargeable to the delinquent lot owner.

Personal Obligation for Assessments
and Costs of Collection and Returned Checks

Any annual or special assessment, together with late fees, interest, costs of collection, administrative charges, court costs, and actual attorney’s fees, shall be the personal obligation of the Owner of a Lot within the Lakeport Cluster at the time when the assessment fell due. Any administrative charge associated with returned checks shall be the obligation of the Owner at the time this charge is assessed. The personal obligation for delinquent assessments and for charges incurred by a returned check shall not pass to the owner’s successors in title unless expressly assumed by them. The Association may assess attorney fees, late fees, administrative charges, and court costs to the Owner of a Lot and declare such fees as a lien against the Lot and the personal obligation of the Lot Owner even if a lawsuit is not filed.

2. Proposed addition to Bylaws, Article V, Powers and Duties of the Board of Directors, Section 1. Powers:

Periodically arrange for inspections of the exterior of individual homes to ensure that Lots and structures are properly maintained in accordance with good property maintenance principles, including, but not limited to, issues relating to siding; trim; garage doors and carports; decks, patios, and entryways, including railings; fences; and gutters.  Owners shall be sent notices (including an expected completion date) for violations relating to needed maintenance and repairs, proper use of property, and where appropriate, violations of architectural design standards of Lakeport Cluster and Reston Association, in order to protect and enhance the value of homes and to maintain the community aesthetic in Lakeport Cluster.

3. Proposed deletion from Bylaws, ARTICLE II Members, Section 2. Voting Rights:

 (C) Only a member of the corporation residing in at least one of the dwelling units with respect to which he is entitled to vote, shall have the right to vote. For the purpose of this provision, an owner shall not be considered a resident of the dwelling unit if their driver’s license address differs from the unit address of a Lakeport Cluster unit which they own.

Reston Developments Update

By Kevin Burke

A new property development has been proposed for the Sunrise Valley Drive corridor that may affect Lakeport residents. Campus Commons, which is the property on the southeast corner of Wiehle Avenue and the Dulles Toll Road, is proposing to redevelop the site by adding a mid-rise and a high-rise building that will include about 630 residential units. The owner also proposes a new office building with ground-floor retail. The two office buildings currently on the site would be retained. In addition, the developer has offered to donate land for an additional westbound lane on Sunrise Valley Drive. However, a vote for approval at the July 15 meeting of the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee failed, with several reasons cited, among them concern about the pedestrian connection to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station (currently planned as an at-grade crosswalk) and lack of conversation with neighbors on Upper Lake drive. The developer has promised to reach out to concerned neighbors prior to another vote at the August meeting of the Planning and Zoning Committee. If the committee approves the project then, Campus Commons heads to the Fairfax County Planning Commission in September.

The area near the Reston Town Center Metro Station will see some major redevelopment. On June 25, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors gave final approval to the proposed Reston Crossing development on the parcel north of the Dulles Toll Road and adjacent to the Reston Town Center Metro Station. Two current office buildings will be replaced with two new ones and five residential towers. The development will add approximately 1200 residential units, 16 percent of which (191 units) will be dedicated to affordable housing. The seven buildings will be various heights from 5 to 22 stories. The site will include 3.7 acres dedicated to parks, and a pedestrian bridge to the Metro station will be added.

One of the major considerations in the growing building that Reston is experiencing is the need for affordable housing for individuals and families of low to moderate income. Fairfax County Supervisor (Hunter Mill District) Cathy Hudgins has an article in her most recent newsletter that discusses the importance of affordable housing and the reasons that county government is committed to requiring new development to take it into account. Her July-August newsletter can be found at https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/huntermill/



Design Standards

The Lakeport Standards Committee and the Board have been working through Lakeport’s design standards and revising them as needed. Here is an update on two of these standards.

Windows Standard: The DRB staff requested some changes to the version of the proposed new window standard that was sent to them earlier. The main changes are adding a template that RA requires be submitted along with the DRB application, including some of the RA language, and making it clearer to the DRB what the changes are between the current and proposed standard. The final version of the proposed new Windows Standard can be found at https://drive.google.com/file/d/11nUvHJGSvvvq8egTWUsq5VTnsTEc-GWD/view. Review by the DRB is scheduled for September 10.

House Numbers: A new standard for house numbers is being written, with the goal that all of the Cluster’s homes include house numbers that are clearly visible from the street and that are as consistent as possible in location and appearance for emergency personnel, as well as others. A recent email was sent describing the proposal (that information also appears below).

Please send feedback about the proposal for changes to the House Numbers Standard to Board@lakeportcluster.org by August 19. Feedback on the Windows Standard is also welcome.

Context: Lakeport’s current standard for House Numbers requires all Phase 2 houses (which are all homes other than 1944-46-48-50-52 and 1951-53-55-57-59 Lakeport Way) to have 4-inch black numbers “placed on top of the garage, attached to white trim board, centered over garage.” We have realized that only odd-numbered homes on Lakeport and even-numbered homes on Lakespray have this trim board (50 of the 72 Phase 2 homes). The remaining Phase 2 homes have metal plates on a brick wall at the front, and some also have 4-inch black numbers, but there is variation in location. See https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LGtbmWgUxeyWpV4VtEzc27vTcNyFmAcD/view.

Proposal: 

  • Attach 4-inch black house numbers in one of the following four locations:
1.  For Phase 1 homes with a carport (1951-53-55-57-59 Lakeport Way): centered on trim board over carports [no change-see photo to the right] 

2.  For all homes with odd numbers on Lakeport Way or even numbers on Lakespray Way: centered on the trim board over garage [see above - no change—see photo to the left of “Context”]

3.  For end homes with even numbers on Lakeport Way (1924, 1930, 1932, 1942, 1954, and 1966) or odd numbers on Lakespray Way (111121 and 111129): centered on top of garage-door frame since there is no trim board but the garage-door frame is 4 inches high [change from current trim board requirement to garage-door frame—see photo to left]

4.  For all Phase 1 homes with garages (1944-46-48-50-52), middle units with even numbers on Lakeport Way, and middle units with odd numbers on Lakespray: centered on trim board at bottom of balcony since there is no trim board over the garage and the garage-door frame is less than 4 inches high [change from current trim board requirement to bottom of balcony—see photo to right]
  • If a home has a metal plate and no trim board, 4-inch black numbers would no longer be required [a change from the current standard]. 

We are urging all owners to install these 4-inch numbers as a safety measure that affects everyone in the community. Each individual number costs less than $2 online or at Home Depot, and although it might be an inconvenience, the Board is willing to help install numbers for anyone who needs to add or move their house numbers. Once we have DRB approval for a new standard, we will announce a “House Number Installation Day” when we (and hopefully others in Lakeport) will be available to help our neighbors comply with the standard.

Disaster Preparedness

Fairfax County contacted Lakeport Cluster to request that we develop a Disaster Preparedness Plan for the community so that if a disaster affects the entire County, we will be able to take care of members of our cluster until the County can respond. Although we all like to think a major disaster won’t happen to us, fires, tornadoes, derechos, epic snows, earthquakes, and other natural disasters are a reality; for example, the photo on the left is from a tornado that struck Reston on April 19, 2019. Sadly, we also cannot rule out the risk of man-made events.

In response to this request, Lakeport now has a Disaster Preparedness web site and a Disaster Preparedness Committee, chaired by James Pan. Please go to the web site (https://www.lakeportcluster.org/p/disaster-preparedness-plan.html) and read the two documents that are linked there: a Disaster Preparedness Guide and items to include in Disaster Preparedness Kits. In addition, even if you choose not to prepare full-blown Disaster Kits, we recommend that you do at least the following:

  • store copies of important papers in a safe place out of your house 
  • make sure you have basic emergency items at your home (e.g., fire extinguisher, first-aid supplies, flashlight)
  • consider collecting in one place in your home those items that could be used in case of an emergency or disaster (see the document on disaster preparedness kits for a list)
  • keep basic emergency items in your car, including a paper copy of emergency contact phone numbers (in case you don’t have your charged cell phone with you)
  • have a comfortable pair of shoes and socks at work (in case you ever have to walk a long distance to get home)

The County recommends that communities prepare an inventory of skills and equipment available in case of a disaster. If you have any of the skills or resources indicated below and are willing to share them in the event of a disaster, please email James Pan (jpamco@gmail.com) or the Board (Board@lakeportcluster.org). Because this inventory will be used only in the case of a disaster, it will not be shared or posted on the web (only James and Board members will have copies).

  • Medical training (e.g., M.D. or nursing /physician assistant degree; experience/training with Emergency Response Team, Red Cross, military, public safety, medical care, first aid, counseling)
  • Repair skills (e.g., carpentry, electrical, plumbing, telephone, gas company) 
  • Source of power for charging electronics (e.g., solar or generator)
  • Equipment or supplies that might be helpful during or after a disaster (e.g., chain saw, snow blower, bicycle helmet or hard hat, vehicle with four-wheel drive)

If you have questions or feedback, please email James Pan (jpamco@gmail.com).

From the Editor

By Stephen Sapp

Welcome to the Summer 2019 edition of Ripples! I had originally anticipated that this issue would be a “light” one, given that things typically slow down in the summer, but as you can see from the Contents, it appears that Lakeport Cluster is truly a year-round operation! Thanks to all the contributors to this issue and all the others who do so much to make our cluster such a great place to live!

As we enter what for many people in Northern Virginia is a prime vacation month—with school and/or regular work schedules rapidly approaching—let’s take advantage of the many opportunities we have in and around Lakeport to enjoy the natural beauty of our area.

If you live on the lake and have a boat, I hope you get out frequently to soak up the tranquility and ever-changing scenery. If you’re not on the lake, our beautiful new community dock is a great place to take a relaxing break from your everyday routine and enjoy the view. Reston’s many miles of walking trails afford us the chance to get some exercise in close proximity to nature.

Have you been to Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, just 15 minutes away on Beulah Road near Wolf Trap (https://www.novaparks.com/parks/meadowlark-botanical-gardens)? It’s a great place to spend some time wandering, relaxing, and taking in the natural beauty.

And speaking of Wolf Trap, there is still time to take in one of the many wonderful performances there in a fantastic setting, or just to visit the park and walk around (https://www.nps.gov/wotr/index.htm). We are indeed fortunate to have the nation’s only national park for the performing arts so close to us and so easily accessible.

If you have a favorite place or activity nearby (especially for enjoyment in the fall), send it to me at ssapp@miami.edu and we’ll have an article in the Fall issue featuring Lakeportians’ suggestions!

In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the summer, and if you’re taking a road trip, safe travels.

Lakeport Board, Committees, and SCS Contact





Mary Sapp, President
Paul Renard, Vice President 
Kay Quam, Secretary
Kevin Burke, Treasurer 





AND VOLUNTEERS


Book Club – Barbara Khan, Coordinator
Disaster Preparedness Committee – James Pan, Chair
Landscape Committee – Carol Leos, Chair
Maintenance Committee – Paul Renard, Chair
Neighborhood Watch Committee – Chuck Foster, Chair
Social Committee – Diane Zoukis, Chair
Standards Committee – Kelly Driscoll, Chair
Welcome Committee – Carol Leos, Chair
Webmaster and Listserv Administrator – Tom Barnett
Editor for Ripples, our community newsletter – Stephen Sapp
Fill doggie-bag stations and keep community dock clean – Annabelle Hammer



Select Community Services (SCS)


Ali Long
Portfolio Manager
Alexandra Long <along@scs-management.com>    
Direct:  703-230-8725
Fax: 703-266-2804
Mailing Address:  
PO Box 221350
Chantilly, VA  20153  
Hours: Monday - Thursday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Friday: 9:00 am-2:00 pm

Landscape Committee

Lakeport’s major landscape enhancement this year is a new hedge by the path to South Lakes Village to replace the one removed last fall because of canker. We obtained an initial proposal from Blade Runners for ground cover only, but after receiving feedback from neighbors living nearby, we approved a revised proposal that includes an evergreen hedge of native inkberry bushes plus lilies. Thanks go to Gil Blankespoor, who has offered to water these new plants after they are installed in the fall, and to Lynda Dendtler, Sharon Corriveau, Marcy Foster, and Kathy Kelly, who have volunteered to provide Gil access to their water to help get the new plants established.

We also appreciate others who are watering plants on common property to help them make it through the hot summer days:

  • Dev Bhosale, Allan Ho, Kevin Burke, and Alison Yeloushan, who are watering the landscaping planted last spring on Lakespray 
  • Carol Leos, Phong Nguyen, and Don Nagley, who are watering plants in Triangle Park and near the corner of the dock 
  • Paul Renard, who is watering plants on the other side of the dock

In addition, participants in our Spring Workday included the following volunteers, who removed several bags of English ivy that had been damaging an owner’s back fence and also raked and cleaned up an area between Lakeport Way and Lakespray Way: Elena Simonenko, Terrill Evon, Rosemary Welch, and Mary Sapp. We have arranged for Blade Runners to finish the removal of the English ivy (plus nearby poison ivy they identified) and to plant some native ferns to stabilize the soil on the hill where the ivy is removed.

An unavoidable part of Lakeport’s landscape efforts each year for the foreseeable future will be removing dead and dying trees. Five trees have been identified for removal this year, including one of the white pines next to Sunrise Valley Drive and a second in a different location, both of which arborists have determined to be threats to nearby homes. Two other pines on Sunrise Valley died and were cut down last year, but unfortunately there are 15 others that are at the end of their lifespans and will need to be addressed in the future. White pines cost $850-$1000 each to remove, and large oak trees cost $1K-$1700 each. The price for the five trees on the list this year (even after being granted a discount for having the work done in an “off time”) is $5K; so you see why the Board is concerned about the impact of removing dead trees on future budgets. Each year, if there is a surplus at the end of the year, we use it to trim additional trees on the list so they won’t have to be done following year.

Lakeport has also recently been working on two efforts to help our lake:

  • Volunteers inserted 280 plant “plugs” into the coir logs that were installed last fall as the final step in Lakeport’s shoreline restoration project adjacent to the dock. Some of these new plants are already flowering, and they not only add beauty to the area but eventually will replace the coir logs as they decompose, thus stabilizing the shoreline. Thanks to Paul Renard for organizing this project and to Don Nagley, Andy Nagley, Andrew Powers, Mary Sapp, and Stephen Sapp for participating.
  • Planning also continues on how to retain storm-water runoff from common property so that it does not flow into the storm drain and out into Lake Thoreau.

Committee chair Carol Leos expresses her appreciation to all the neighbors who work together to keep Lakeport one of the best clusters in Reston.


Maintenance Committee

By Paul Renard

As the summer weather has gotten hotter, the maintenance committee has slowed down but not stopped. After last month’s workday, we’ve made some cosmetic repairs on the benches in Triangle Park, removed two dead laurel bushes, and watched our anti-erosion plantings near the dock thrive. Some ad hoc good citizens with brooms have also been keeping the new dock as free as possible from goose droppings—arguably the worst job in Lakeport. You may have noticed some new retaining walls around the neighborhood—landscape timbers and termites are a poor mix, so we’ll have more replacements needed in the future. No doubt you can look forward to another workday in the fall when the weather cools and vacations are over! We have about two dozen small dead trees marked for removal on Lakespray Way when we do more major tree work, so come out and help us clean up when we have a date set in the fall. E-mail prusa2000@netscape.net for further information.



Neighborhood Watch Update

By Chuck Foster

When we contemplate trends in crime and crime prevention, it can help to have context. The Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) recently published its annual report for 2018, which includes a lot of useful and interesting information. The report can be found at the following address: https://issuu.com/fcpd/docs/2018_fcpd_annual_report?e=33283523/69537047 

The report includes violent-crime survey data from the Major Cities Chiefs Association. The tables in the survey compare 2018 crime statistics for large police departments across the country. This presentation allows readers to view the number of reported crimes in Fairfax County and compare it to other large metropolitan areas. The results are quite enlightening.

The following table presents some, but not all, of the information in the FCPD report. The FCPD report does not include population size, which was added below for more effective comparisons.


Police Agency

Homicide

Rape

Robbery
Aggravated
Assault
Non-Fatal
Shootings
Approx
Population
Fairfax County
13
92
354
260
N/A
1,140,000
Montgomery County
20
507
597
777
24
1,059,000
Prince George’s Cty
60
127
926
363
162
913,000
Washington, DC
160
273
2,034
1,674
N/A
633,000
Baltimore
309
350
5,384
5,469
678
619,000







Atlanta
89
234
1,051
1,819
431
486,000
Boston
56
242
1,170
2,735
155
685,000
Chicago
564
1,815
9,685
15,309
2,943
2,716,000
Newark
69
165
712
1,638
236
285,000
Pittsburgh
51
93
703
922
269
302,000
Portland
26
442
1,072
1,972
N/A
648,000
Raleigh
17
153
562
894
100
465,000
Salt Lake City
10
219
418
690
N/A
201,000
San Diego
35
605
1,439
3,281
N/A
1,420,000
Wichita
44
439
600
2,489
140
391,000


What is striking is the significantly lower level of reported crime in our county compared to other local jurisdictions (and the population sizes for adjacent counties are not that different from our own). Consistent with these data, when the FCPD published crime statistics for 2017, they showed the lowest levels of reported crime since the county started providing data.   

What accounts for this outcome? As one travels the county (406 square miles), it is clear that the area is anything but homogeneous as measured by any number of criteria, including, among others, race, age, religion, income, job, housing density, and political party. For example, the FCPD report shows a county population breakdown of 52.5% White, 9.1% Black, 18.6% Asian/Pacific Islander, 15.9% Hispanic and 3.9% Other Non-Hispanic. In addition, the county has an unemployment rate of approximately 2.5%, which is quite a bit lower than the national average. Furthermore, the median household income in the county is $119,230 (2017), which is above adjacent jurisdictions.

Whatever the reasons, we are fortunate to live in a community that demonstrates a high level of cooperation, tolerance, respect, industry, and civility. Let’s all do our share to maintain the high quality of life we enjoy in Reston and Fairfax County!