Fall 2021 Issue of Ripples


From the Editor – Stephen Sapp

Lakeport News 

Helpful Information


From the Editor

By Stephen Sapp


The leaves are turning, the temperatures are dropping, we have enjoyed wonderful Halloween happenings, another election has passed, Daylight Saving Time has ended, and we are gearing up for the major holiday season. Ah, yes, major changes are upon us once again.

One of these changes is that Lakeport Cluster has a new Board of Directors, led by long-time resident Chuck Foster, who replaces Mary Sapp as President after five years of her able leadership (yes, I know she’s my wife, but I am able to be completely objective here!). Chuck brings a wealth of experience and a great many skills and talents to the job, and Lakeport will continue to hum along smoothly under his guidance. Barbara Khan and Paul Renard remain on the Board, with Barbara replacing Kevin Burke as Treasurer (thanks, Kevin!) while Paul stays on ably overseeing maintenance projects. They are joined by Board newcomers Pamela Graulich and Jennifer Walter. If you don’t know any of these fine folks, please make it a point to meet them, thank them for their service, and offer any ideas you have to make our community an even better place to live, work, and play.

As always, if you have comments and/or would like to submit an item for the next issue, Winter 2022 (yes, another major change as the calendar soon rolls over to a new year!), please email me at ssapp@miami.edu.

Message from Lakeport President

By Chuck Foster


On October 25, we had our first meeting of the new Board. The first order of business was to decide our roles. I remember being ready to volunteer for treasurer, secretary, or vice president, anything other than president. But, for some reason, after the discussion was over, I was president. Well, as I like to say about jobs like this, somebody has to do it and, for now, it is me. You should know that I am coming into this role cold. I have not served on the Board for over ten years so I face a long and steep learning curve. Fortunately, I have three things working for me. First, the new Board comprises a great group of people. I am confident these fine folks will skillfully and wisely assist me in carrying out my duties. Second, the outgoing and carryover Board members have been very helpful in this transition, and I expect to receive their ongoing support. Third, we have a great community spirit that motivates lots of folks to volunteer their time and talent to support various committees, projects, and activities. 

I have a few preferences to share. First, I believe strongly in prioritization. For the time being, I will be focused on trying to get the big stuff right. Until I am confident the Board is handling the major priorities well, other matters may have to wait. Second, I believe strongly in OPEN, DIRECT, and RESPECTFUL communication. If you have ideas or concerns, please, please, please share them with the Board. Of course, we cannot pursue every opportunity or address every concern, but we can try. And, of course, our decisions may not always please you. Importantly, if you have a problem with me or the Board, please share it. All I ask is that you remember that the Board is composed of community volunteers that you elected to office.  

I cannot overstate the accomplishments of the outgoing Board. The list is long and really impressive. It took tremendous effort, skill, dedication, and collaboration to deliver the major projects managed by the former Board. And, it is particularly important to recognize the personal contributions of Mary Sapp, the outgoing president. Her contribution can only be considered herculean. I consider Mary to be a once-in-a-generation president. I am very grateful for the high level of stewardship by Mary and the outgoing Board. 

In contrast to Mary, I don’t know everyone who lives in the cluster. I see lots of people outdoors, but I’m not always sure who is a resident and who is someone just passing through. If you see me (usually with Devin!) walking in the community, and you are so inclined, please introduce yourself if we haven’t already met. My job is to serve our community so it will help if I know the community!                                                         


Architectural Standards

Lakeport continues to modify our Architectural Standards to reduce the number of situations in which owners are required to submit applications to Reston Association’s Design Review Board (DRB) and to expand approved options for major home repairs. This fall, the DRB approved updates to four standards, which are now posted on Lakeport’s web site. Two of these were appealed (one is still pending a decision), and two additional updates to standards are in the process of being reviewed. 

Lights: Most of the changes in the standard for decorative and security lights are finalized. The original builder decorative lights and colors (what most of us still have) are now considered compliant, and the list of products for replacement lights was expanded to include black and gray (in addition to bronze in the prior standard). Furthermore, new standards for security lights were added that specify LED, 1000 lumens, 3000 Kelvin, shielded, and pointed down. An appeal relating to whether security lights can be located on the front of a home as well as the back and side has been scheduled for the DRB meeting later this week. Regardless of the outcome, existing security lights will not need to be brought into conformance until they are replaced or the home is sold.

Decks: After the DRB failed to approve our original request for wider latitude in deck colors, Lakeport appealed, with the result that no DRB application is needed if a new deck uses pressure-treated wood or any composite (including a composite not previously approved) that is a very close match to one of the eight approved colors in the current table in Lakeport’s standard. Although this decision means owners already are less likely to have to file an application, we recently submitted a request to expand the number of approved colors, making it even easier for owners to find a match for the composite or paint color they like. As before, no application is needed if the deck is just being repaired. The recently approved standard also added color guidelines for horizontal fascia boards and posts for balconies and decks (trim boards painted to match trim are recommended).

Windows: A DRB application is being scheduled for review that, if approved, would add three new brands/materials and over four times as many pre-approved window options as the current standard has, meaning owners would be more likely to find a window that fits their need and price range without having to submit a DRB application. 

Gutters, downspouts, and downspout extensions: This approved new standard allows downspout extensions currently in use at many homes that would otherwise have been a violation of RA guidelines. In particular, the new standard allows corrugated pipe on driveways and does not require that it be buried in the back if it is screened by landscaping or a fence. It also permits metal gutter extensions that match the existing downspout exactly, white PVC connected to an underground drain, splash blocks that are kept clean, and rain barrels. Important: No new white gutters are allowed (although existing ones do not need to be painted to match the trim), and when gutters are replaced they cannot be attached to a party wall shared with the neighboring home. 

Doors: The approved standard now allows any number of full-length vertical lites on the front door (to accommodate the option for a single lite, such as shown to the right). In addition, Lakeport requirements for storm doors (self-storing or full length on front and back) were added to allow a close match to the trim or entry door so that the factory finish doesn’t need to be painted an exact match. 

Finally, anyone purchasing an electric car should read RA’s newly created Guideline for Electric  Vehicle Charging Stations that the DRB just approved. It requires owners to submit a DRB application prior to installing a charging station, even on their own property.  


Landscape Committee

By Mary Sapp

Landscape improvements in the fall focused on replenishing trees and other landscape plants on common property that had died or were removed by arborists over the summer. 

Meadows Farms recently planted a sweet bay magnolia (beside 2007 Lakeport Way), an American holly (near the Sunrise Valley fence behind 1938 Lakeport Way), and two redbuds (one behind 11121 Lakespray and the other behind 1954 Lakeport Way) to replace four live trees removed in July because they were deemed a hazard by the arborist (leaning toward a structure and for some, having very noticeable damage or dying). See photos at the bottom. They also replaced an arborvitae across from 1911 that died but was still under warranty (photo above). 

In addition, three Christmas ferns and five callicarpa (beauty berries) were planted on the hill between Sunrise Valley Drive and the RA path leading to the pool, replacing warrantied plants that had died there. Four dead holly bushes near the Safeway sidewalk (see photo to the right) and a dead juniper ground cover near the dock, all under warranty, were also replaced. 

Lakeport’s Fall Workday included adding additional plants to common areas. Two donated azaleas (see photo on left) were planted near Triangle Park, three small rescued holly trees (see photo on right) were planted in the natural area near the Safeway access road, and another small evergreen (photo below right) was planted next to the turnaround at the end of Lakespray way. 

One last landscape project is planned for the fall. Thanks to the generosity of Elizabeth Pan, the two jade butterfly ginkgos shown to the left, which are dwarf varieties of the ginkgo tree  (described as “‘undoubtedly one of the most distinct and beautiful of all deciduous trees”) will be planted next the RA path leading from Triangle Park to South Lakes Village. 

As described in the “Thanks to Volunteers” article, volunteers were identified to water all of these trees and plants. Because these plants are new (and some like the one on Lakespray, shown to the right, are small), please try to avoid walking (or letting your dog walk) near them. Thanks.

Finally, efforts to mitigate storm water damage continue. The landscape committee is working with NoVA Soil & Water Conservation District to develop a proposal that will qualify for a Conservation Assistance Program grant to install infiltration steps to supplement the capture of runoff in the rain garden and conservation landscaping installed in 2020

















Maintenance Committee

By Paul Renard

During Lakeport’s Fall Workday, volunteers cleaned out 20 feet of silted drain tile and exposed river rock that had been covered with dirt deposited during heavy rains. In addition they moved over a ton of newly delivered river rocks down to the dock area and put these new rocks along the whole landward side of the dock. 

Our volunteers also built a rock swale uphill in a section of the landscaped area that had been eroding and sending dirt down to the dock’s drain tile. See the Ripples article on Volunteers for names of volunteers.





The plan to install attractive HDU signs as replacements for aging metal signs is in process. Redundant signs will be removed.

Fall Maintenance Checklist

Important note: If you are addressing issues with the exterior of your home, please consult the Lakeport Design Standards and remember that you may have to seek approval from Reston Association’s Design Review Board.


Homes in Lakeport Cluster, which are now more than 30 years old, are unique in several ways. This checklist is designed with Lakeport homes in mind, and these suggestions may help to reduce major repairs in the future. If you think you have a problem, however, we urge you to seek advice from a licensed and insured contractor or other service professional.


Outdoor Checklist

  • Although the cluster’s landscaping contractor takes care of common areas, our own driveways, yards, and other areas are our responsibility. Residents should not dump what they collect into the wooded common areas. Instead, they should dispose of leaves and other debris from yards (e.g., fallen branches, dead outdoor potted annuals), patios, driveways, decks, and entranceways by placing them in large compostable paper yard-waste bags available at home improvement stores and Costco. Pickup for yard waste is Thursdays.
  • Turn off the valves of the water lines to outdoor spigots. Typically (but not always), the valves are located in the same room as the hot water heater. After turning off the water, open the outdoor spigot to drain the line so that there is no water in the line to freeze over the winter.
  • Fire-retardant plywood roof sheathing must be replaced if the material degrades due to high attic temperatures, which can cause it to fail to retard the spread of fire.
  • Check wood siding and trim for signs of splintering, deterioration, softness, green mildew, or other discoloration. These are indicative of potential wood damage. Replace damaged siding and trim following Cluster standards for material and color. In the case of mildew or discoloration, ask a home improvement provider to suggest the appropriate cleaner to preserve the wood.
  • Gutters, particularly those that are beneath a tree, may experience two problems: In the fall especially, the gutters easily become clogged, and/or any time of year, the spikes that attach them to the house may be pulling away. When a gutter is not working properly, you’ll often see staining on the vertical wall below the gutter. Fixing the first problem is easy – have your gutters cleaned. Even if you don’t have a tree nearby and even if you have something like Gutter Helmet or a strainer screen over them, gutters can still fill up with cinders washed down from your shingles over time.

Gutters that are not slanted properly toward the downspout can put a lot of weight on the gutter, leading to the second problem. If you see gutter spikes coming loose, you can just drive them back in, which may hold for a while. However, there’s a better, longer-term, inexpensive solution. Home Depot sells long gutter screws that can replace failing gutter spikes. They go through a ferrule (a sleeve that keeps the screw from compressing the gutter itself) and screw into the wood behind the gutter. These are far more secure in the long run.


Indoor Checklist

  • Homeowners should check and if necessary replace gasket/pressure regulators in bathtubs and showers (including the overflow) to avoid flooding from a leak.
  • Be sure to replace or clean your HVAC filter regularly.
  • Periodically remove screens and tighten the four Phillips screws for casement windows shown in the photo. This keeps windows operating well, especially if they don’t seem to close all the way from time to time. 


Social Committee

Halloween was another big hit this year and created a needed lift after Covid-induced isolation. It started with creative pre-Halloween decorations.

Then, on October 30, Tiffany and Adam Wilczewski hosted a Pre-Halloween Hot Dog Happening…

…that included a pumpkin-carving contest, with prizes (it was hard to choose the best).


Trick or treating on Halloween began with a parade of costumed kids and adults at the dock…



 … and went into the night as neighbors gathered around five Lakeport fire pits. 


Earlier in the fall, the final Lake Thoreau Concert of the season took place from the lake side of the home of new Lakeport president Chuck Foster, featuring  “Close Enough," a band that includes Chuck. Lakeport residents, as well others from neighboring communities aroud Lake Thoreau, enjoyed the music into the evening. 

Book Club

By Barbara Khan, Coordinator

Want to join some of your neighbors and talk about a good book? Lakeport has an informal book club that is always open to new members. No master’s degree in literature required (not even a bachelor’s!), and no grades given. Just read the assigned book (or not, if you don’t have time!) and show up for a lively, lighthearted discussion. We usually meet monthly on the third Monday evening from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00-ish, rotating among members’ homes.

We are taking a break for the holidays and will not be meeting in December, but we will be underway again full steam in 2022 on January 17 with the following book:

Book: The Lincoln Highway: A Novel

Author: Amor Towles

In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the juvenile work farm where he has just served fifteen months for involuntary manslaughter. His mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett's intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother, Billy, and head to California where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden's car. Together, they have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmett's future, one that will take them all on a fateful journey in the opposite direction—to the city of New York. Spanning just ten days and told from multiple points of view, Towles's third novel will satisfy fans of his multi-layered literary styling while providing them an array of new and richly imagined settings, characters, and themes.

Please contact Barbara Khan at bskhan@att.net for the January meeting location.  


Thanks to Our Volunteers


Please be sure to thank your neighbors for their efforts to make Lakeport a better place for all of us to live. If you want to volunteer, let the Board or a committee chair know—it’s a great way to get to meet your neighbors and to contribute to your community.


Landscape Projects 

  • Mary Sapp, Steven Browning, Don Nagley, and Elizabeth Pan – serving on the Landscape Committee 
  • Elizabeth Pan – donating two ginkgos and their installation next to the RA path  
  • Elizabeth Pan and Steven Browning – planting azaleas, removing volunteer crepe myrtles, and clearing debris from holly bushes during the Fall Workday
  • Jeff Warrington, Tod Vollrath, and Mary Sapp – planting four small trees during the Fall Workday 
  • Barbara Khan, Rosemary Welch, and Mary Sapp – pulling English ivy during an “extension” of the Fall Workday
  • Jerry Beiter, Steven Browning, Marilyn Bursch, Kelly and Alex Driscoll, Adam Ho, Elizabeth Pan, Stephen Sapp, and Rosemary Welch – watering new trees and plants installed by landscapers and during the Fall Workday

Social

  • Michelle Simoneau – chairing the Social Committee
  • Tiffany and Adam Wilczewski – hosting the Pre-Halloween Hot Dog Happening
  • Carol Leos – welcoming new residents

Maintenance

  • Paul Renard – chairing the Maintenance Committee and overseeing the project to identify signs to remove and to order and install new signs
  • Paul Renard, Jerry Beiter, Matt Callan, Terrill Evon, Tod Vollrath, and Rosemary Welch – digging up and restoring rocks by the dock buried by erosion and adding a cubic yard of new rocks (around 2,600 pounds) during the Fall Workday
  • Linda Rosenberg – cleaning mailboxes during the Fall Workday
  • Annabelle Hammer and Paul Renard – keeping our dock clean
  • Annabelle Hammer – restocking doggie-bag stations

Standards

  • Kelly Driscoll – for his past service chairing the Standards Committee

Other 

  • Barbara Khan – coordinating the Lakeport Book Club 
  • James Pan – chairing Neighborhood Watch
  • Tom Barnett – maintaining Lakeport’s online directory and listserv for announcements and posting Ripples
  • Stephen Sapp – editing Ripples

Neighborhood Watch

By James Pan


Lakeport residents have expressed ongoing concern about the behavior of some students from Langston Hughes Middle School and South Lakes High School who congregate in Triangle Park, at our community dock, and elsewhere on Lakeport property. Guests are always welcome, but sometimes they are “colorful” in ways that do not set a good example for Lakeport’s young kids.

I have several thoughts in response. First, young teens will be young teens, and many are still learning appropriate norms for behavior in civil society. Often a polite reminder that younger children are in the vicinity (or that you are troubled by their language and/or behavior) is all that is needed.

Note that the RA path, which is very close to Triangle Park, is not Lakeport property. If there is an issue on the pathway, we need to contact RA. Although Triangle Park is private property belonging to Lakeport, I believe that most of the kids think that both the pathway and Triangle Park are public property. Keep in mind also that sometimes the kids hanging out there are guests of Lakeport children. 

If a polite request does not work or if you are dealing with a belligerent person or a repeat offender, take some photos in an unobtrusive manner. There is no need to “brandish” the camera in a threatening manner. We can then present the photos to the School Resource Officers at Langston Hughes and South Lakes for identification. If the students are identified, we will ask the SRO to contact the parents of the problem person(s), which we have done in the past with success. I'm sure we all agree that involving the parents should be the first attempt to solve the problem.  

If this approach fails, we can follow a process that includes summoning the police and, if necessary, formally banning someone from the property, but this is a cumbersome process that we would like to avoid if possible.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please get in touch with me at jpamco@gmail.com


Reminders

Improve Lighting in Lakeport: As the days continue to grow shorter, it is increasingly important to turn on your outdoor lights at night, and if they are on timers, to adjust the time they come on. 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 exterior lights on at night, especially those in units with post lights, which according to long-time Lakeport residents used to be standard practice. This is of course voluntary but doing this one 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 any other 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 James Pan at jpamco@gmail.com. Please pay special attention to suspicious activity or sounds near the Lakeport dock, in the woods, or at night.

Drive Slowly: Neighborhood kids continue to be outside even as the weather turns colder, playing on sidewalks and in the streets. Please remember to drive slowly and keep your eyes out for children (and other pedestrians).

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 nature in Lakeport (and elsewhere).

Never Again Be Late Paying Your Quarterly Assessment: If you’ve been contacted by the Board for not paying your assessment as the end of the month nears (or even if you haven’t), please consider paying your quarterly assessments by direct 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 forgot to make the payment (currently $25 plus the charge from SCS for sending the letter). Alternatively, you can pay the entire assessment at the beginning of the year ($1400 for 2021). Either way, you save the Board time spent reminding people who haven’t paid shortly before the late fee would be incurred, as well as extra costs to the Association for processing and mailing quarterly statements (last year we paid around $600 to have statements sent to owners who had not prepaid or set up 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

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








Lakeport Governance/Management

 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

President - Chuck Foster Vice President - Paul Renard Vice President - Jennifer Walter Secretary - Pamela Graulich Treasurer - Barbara Khan

Contact the board via email ID:  Board@lakeportcluster.org


What Residents and Board Can Expect

 


COMMITTEE CHAIRS


Landscape Committee – Mary Sapp

Maintenance Committee – Paul Renard

Neighborhood Watch Committee – James Pan

Social Committee – Michelle Simoneau, Carol Leos

Standards Committee – Kelly Driscoll

 


VOLUNTEERS

Webmaster and Listserv Administrator – Tom Barnett

Editor for Ripples, community newsletter – Stephen Sapp

Book Club Coordinator – Barbara Khan

Fill doggie-bag stations - Annabelle Hammer

Keep community dock clean – Annabelle Hammer and Paul Renard



SELECT COMMUNITY SERVICES


Portfolio Manager: Alexandra "Ali" Long

Email: along@scs-management.com    

Direct: (703) 230-8725

Fax: (703) 266-2804

PO Box 221350

Chantilly, VA  20153  

Hours: Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.mm, Friday 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Website: https://app.townsq.io/login 

 


RESTON ASSOCIATION 

Vern James

Covenants Advisor

Reston Association

vern@reston.org 

phone: 703-435-6506

Ripples Recipe — Cherry Lime Bread

By Kathy Babbitt

Prep 15 minutes ∙ Cook 1 hour ∙ Yield 2 loaves

INGREDIENTS

For the bread:
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
2 limes, zested (save juice)
1½ cups sour cream
1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling

For the glaze:
3 cups powdered sugar
3 limes, juiced
1 lime, zested
1 tsp granulated sugar

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla and add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lime zest. Slowly beat in sour cream.

Grease two 9-inch loaf pans generously. Spoon half the batter evenly into each pan. Divide pie filling evenly between pans, spooning it over the batter. Top with the remaining batter. It's okay if it doesn't cover the cherry filling completely.

Bake in a 350° oven for 60-70 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then remove from pan and cool completely before adding glaze.

For the glaze, whisk the powdered sugar with lime juice until smooth. Pour over tops of loaves. In a small bowl, combine the lime zest with granulated sugar until crumbly. Sprinkle over glaze. Allow to set about 15-20 minutes before wrapping. ENJOY.

Summer 2021 Issue of Ripples

From the Editor – Stephen Sapp

Lakeport News 

News from Outside Lakeport

Helpful Information


From the Editor

By Stephen Sapp

In these times of continuing uncertainty in our lives, I am drawn to a theme I articulated in one of early columns I wrote after I became Editor of Ripples: the importance of community, perhaps even more so today than then.

In that column, I pointed out that the derivation of our word “community” ultimately traces back to the Latin  prefix cum (“with”) and the root munis (“obligatory service” or “duty”) through the compound communis, meaning “shared by all or many.” In short, our community is a group that shares, especially duties, obligations, and services. This specific understanding is still alive and well in smaller groups (think, e.g., of families, sports team, and military units), but it’s safe to say it is rapidly slipping away today in the divisiveness and individualism we see at the societal level (some would say it has already been largely lost).

It is impossible for me to cite specifics without being seen as “political,” but I’m sure we can all think of clear examples today of individuals who have set aside their sense of duty and obligation to the larger group that constitutes their community in favor of their own desires. The question, then, seems to be simple one: How can we have a “community” in any meaningful sense of the word if each of us is unwilling to modify his or her own inclinations and preferences—at least to some extent—for the common good?

For sure, this question is not a new one—it goes back at least as far as Plato’s discussion of the problem of “the one and the many” (or, if you are so inclined, all the way back to the Garden of Eden!)—and I don’t propose to solve it here. But I will nonetheless conclude by quoting my earlier column: “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could think of our Lakeport community . . . as a group of people who are willing to share the responsibilities and tasks that are necessary to have the highest quality of communal life possible?” And, I am very happy to say, my experience here has been that on the whole we come close to fulfilling that wish! 

I like to think that Ripples provides a medium for fostering Lakeport’s sense of community and helping us to know and appreciate the many ways our residents take seriously our shared duties and obligations. If you have comments and/or would like to submit an item for the Fall issue, please email me at ssapp@miami.edu.

Message from Lakeport President

By Mary M. Sapp

This past quarter saw the completion of two major projects affecting the appearance and value of Lakeport Cluster: the opening of the Kids’ Garden and the paving of Lakeport streets. All agree the Kids’ Garden is lovely, and the Little Free Library is clearly getting a lot of use. The paving project vastly improved the appearance of Lakeport roads, and on top of that it ended up costing under $84,000, much less than the $156,000 approved by owners last year. This saving has allowed the Board to redirect budgeted contributions to reserves to other areas. Support from Lakeport residents was important to the success of both projects. Check out the “Landscape Committee” and “Thanks to Volunteers” articles for more information about those who made the Kids’ Garden and the Little Free Library such a success. And the preparation for the paving went smoothly thanks to the cooperation of residents who moved their cars (no towing needed 😊). 

Other activities these last few months included a very successful Pre-Fourth-of-July TGIF, the submission of four new/revised standards for DRB review, architectural inspections conducted by SCS (if you received a notice of violations, the deadline for addressing them to avoid being turned over to RA is September 23), and myriad maintenance projects (electrical work; treating the dock; and repairing retaining walls, rock walls, a fence, and benches in Triangle Park). The Board is currently considering whether to replace metal signs with more attractive HDU ones, using funds freed up due to savings in the cost of paving.

Lakeport’s Annual Meeting is September 28 via Zoom. Please submit your proxy for the meeting and also your vote on two proposed Bylaws amendments (we need 42 votes for them to pass; not submitting your ballot is the same as voting “no”). Lakeport is fortunate to have two great Board members continue on the Board and three talented new members join it.

In my previous Ripples messages, I’ve highlighted accomplishments in the previous quarter and alerted owners and residents to upcoming projects. Because I’ll be leaving the Board this fall, let me close with a reminder of what’s happened in the last five years I’ve served Lakeport as President. 

  • Community Building (a primary goal I had when I became president): Increased Lakeport-sponsored social events included TGIFs, a community-wide dock party, a Halloween parade with candy handed out by neighbors around fire pits, the Easter Egg Hunt, the Book Club, and a number of smaller “local” get-togethers of neighbors (including at the new gathering place at the foot of the Lakespray hill, progressive dinners, and driveway parties). Owners of six new homes were formally welcomed. Communications increased via a revived Ripples sent electronically, more frequent announcements, and timely responses to many individual emails from owners.
  • Capital Projects: In the last five years, we have spent reserve funds to repave the streets, repair concrete, replace the dock, repair the bulkhead next to the dock, install biologs and landscaping where part of the old dock was removed to mitigate soil erosion along the shoreline, and add landscaping near the dock. We also used reserve funds for the following: replaced all the bollard lights beside the path (and added two more lights going down from the entrance for safety), replaced two timber retaining walls, arranged for interim paving in 2018 to remove three tripping hazards caused by tree roots, and commissioned the required five-year update of our reserve study. Because of this work, the good news is that after completing all of these projects, the Reserve Study shows only one (not very expensive) project in the next three years, and the current reserve balance alone is sufficient to fund scheduled Reserve projects for the next six years. 
  • Home Maintenance and Architectural Standards: We reinstated annual architectural inspections (except for last year because of Covid) so owners can avoid a long list of violations in a single year. Although no one wants to get these notices, they do help prevent further damage and more costly repairs in the future, and well-maintained homes help keep everyone’s property values high. In addition, we updated ten of Lakeport’s eleven architectural design standards (some several times) so that owners can use new products that make maintenance easier and to reduce the number of RA Design Review Board approvals needed to replace or repair part of a home.
  • Landscaping Projects: New landscaping included the Kids’ Garden/Little Free Library; perennials at the entrance; bushes next to the Safeway wall; landscaping in several locations on Lakespray Way; native plants between the RA path to the pool and Sunrise Valley Drive; grasses, ferns, and junipers planted at other locations; storm-water mitigation; installation of new sections of fence; and a great deal of tree work to deal with our aging trees (plus new trees to replace live trees removed). Lakeport’s landscaping has also benefitted from contributions by volunteers during fall and spring workdays. Please plan on participating in these—they are a great way to meet people.
  • Maintenance: Contractors and volunteers have made sure that our lights work; the dock was treated; roads, retaining walls, and railings were repaired; and mailboxes, signs, the dock, and doggie-bag containers were cleaned. 
  • Governance: The Board updated Lakeport’s Bylaws (twice) and Handbook (multiple times), approved resolutions and committee charters, created maintenance checklists and other owner resources, reorganized the website, and kept it up to date. Several committees were reactivated or started (Social, Neighborhood Watch, Maintenance, and Disaster Recovery). Submission of ballots and proxies using neighborhood “ballot boxes” in addition to email has helped increase participation in voting (please be sure to submit your vote on Bylaws amendments and your proxy). 
  • Operating Savings: In the interest of fiscal responsibility, the Board took advantage of the availability of outside revenue and instituted a variety of cost-saving measures. Outside funding was obtained from the County for the rain garden and conservation landscaping ($7,000) and for landscaping on the slope next to the RA path to the pool that was damaged during the construction of the sidewalk along Sunrise Valley Drive ($2820), and coir logs were donated by RA for shoreline restoration. Volunteers saved Lakeport thousands of dollars, especially for tree work, watering plants, and workday projects. In addition, the Board generated hundreds of dollars in refunds by monitoring financial reports on a regular basis. Fortunately, delinquencies in paying assessments have not been an issue, contrary to experiences of other HOAs (part of this is due to monthly follow-ups with owners who just forgot; so let me urge you to set up direct deposit so you don’t have to worry about writing a check—instructions are on the Residents tab on the website—and so Board members don’t need to contact you). The result is a strong financial situation, with around $30,000 in operating reserves (in addition to $68,000 in Replacement Reserves).
  • Activities outside Lakeport are now being shared with the community (e.g., status of the Lake Thoreau pool, proposed changes to zoning and density in Reston, and changes at South Lakes Village). 

All of these actions contributed to Lakeport’s being named 2019 “Community Association of the Year” by the Washington Metropolitan Chapter of Community Associations Institute (CAI) in the Small Community category, a designation that has been used by realtors to help with the sale of Lakeport homes in the past couple of years. It also affirms what we all know: that Lakeport is a special place to live.

None of these accomplishments would have been possible without the contributions of many wonderful owners and residents, in particular, current and former Board members and committee chairs, our irreplaceable webmaster Tom Barnett, and Ripples editor and counselor to the president Stephen Sapp. Serving as president has allowed me to get to know my neighbors better (the reason I joined the Board), learn a lot, and appreciate Lakeport more. Thank you for the opportunity.

Annual Meeting and Amendments to Bylaws

Lakeport’s Annual Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 28, 2021, and will be conducted using Zoom, as allowed by Lakeport’s Bylaws. The official start time is 7:00 p.m., but we will begin admitting owners to the meeting at 6:30 p.m., and it will be helpful if you join early and visit with your neighbors before the meeting officially begins to avoid a bottleneck right before we start. SCS will mail a packet in early September with the meeting notice and a proxy form. 

IMPORTANT: The Annual Meeting packet that SCS will send will include a ballot for two proposed amendments to the Lakeport Bylaws:

  1. The first is to allow the Board to meet virtually (e.g., via Zoom) even if no formal state of emergency has been declared. When the original Bylaws amendment was adopted last year, the Virginia legislature allowed virtual Board meetings only during a state of emergency, but it has since removed that restriction. We would like to change the Lakeport Bylaws to match and are asking that a majority of owners vote in favor so the Board can avoid having to meet in person during the current Covid surge. 
  2. The second amendment is simply an editorial change to make the spelling of “email” consistent by changing four instances of “e-mail” to “email.”

Because our Bylaws require that amendments be adopted only “by the signed assent of a majority of all members” (emphasis added), we will not vote at the Annual Meeting on these amendments because it will be conducted via Zoom. Therefore we need more than 42 owners (whether attending the meeting or not) to return ballots for the amendments by signing, dating, and submitting the ballot either via email (you can just take a photo if you don’t have a scanner) or by dropping the paper ballot in one of the three collection boxes that will be available in Lakeport. Note that not submitting your ballot has the same impact as voting “No” on each amendment. While you’re at it, please submit your proxy at the same time so we can be ensured of having a quorum for the Annual Meeting. 

The main action item of this year’s Annual Meeting is for owners to elect three members to the Association’s Board of Directors for terms of two years. In addition, the Board will provide a report on finances and updates on projects completed, in progress, and under consideration.

The packet from SCS will contain the official notice of the Annual Meeting, the proxy for voting for Board members, and the ballot to vote on the two amendments described above. You should have already received an email with the Zoom link to attend the meeting (and of course you will get the link in follow-ups). The Lakeport Annual Meeting website at http://www.lakeportcluster.org/2021/08/lakeport-annual-meeting-to-be-held.html contains the following material (the first three are included in the mailed packet):

  1. Meeting notice.
  2. A proxy form to allow you to vote for Board members even if you can’t attend the Annual Meeting.
  3. A ballot for the two Bylaws amendments (not for action at the Annual Meeting but also included with the annual meeting packet mailed by SCS and which can be submitted in the same way as proxies). 
  4. A candidate statement form for those who wish to run for the Board. 
  5. Statements already submitted by three candidates who have decided to run (Chuck Foster, Pamela Graulich, and Jennifer Walter).
  6. Minutes from the 2020 Annual Meeting.
  7. Agenda for the 2021 Annual Meeting (to be added later). 
  8. Summary of the procedures for the virtual meeting and tips for using Zoom.

For those attending the Annual Meeting, votes will be cast anonymously using Zoom’s polling feature. Alternatively, any eligible voter (Lakeport homeowner) who does not attend the meeting may designate how they want to vote by filling out the Proxy Form (with instructions on the back), which is included in the packet from SCS and also online. Please fill out and submit the Proxy Form whether or not you plan to attend the Annual Meeting because your proxy counts toward a quorum, which is needed to start the meeting. You can use the Proxy Form to designate how you want to vote for Board candidates. If you do not attend the meeting, your Proxy votes will be counted. If you do attend the meeting, your proxy votes will be discarded, and you will actively cast your votes at the meeting. Voting is done anonymously using Zoom’s polling feature. 

If you have not used Zoom before or would like more information about what to expect in a Lakeport Zoom meeting, please email msapp@miami.edu

If you are interested in serving on the Board, please fill out the Candidate Statement Form (if you submit it by September 1, it can be included on the proxy form mailed by SCS as well as the Zoom ballot). Three owners who have already submitted their candidate statements for the Board (Chuck Foster, Pamela Graulich, and Jen Walter) are listed on the Proxy and their candidate statements are available at the web site listed above. Please read their Candidate Statements before the Annual Meeting. Also, please review the minutes from last year’s meeting, which will need to be approved at this meeting, and the agenda once it is available. 

We encourage owners to attend the Annual Meeting, and we ask that every eligible owner complete and return the ballot for amendments and the proxy indicating their vote for Board members, even if they plan to attend the September 28 Annual Meeting.