Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Message from the President of Lakeport Cluster

By Mary M. Sapp

I hope everyone was able to take advantage of Lakeport’s beautiful location by stopping by the dock to enjoy the fall colors reflected in Lake Thoreau. As we move through the final months of 2019, Lakeport is continuing to focus on enhancing the beauty of our cluster through landscape enhancements, making home repairs easier for owners by revising architectural standards, and building a sense of community through various events that allow owners and residents to get to know one another better.

Trees, trees, and more trees: We’re using funds that had originally been designated for the replacement hedge near Safeway (redesigned somewhat and postponed to next spring) to do some additional tree work. Blade Runners removed five hazard trees earlier this fall, and surplus funds will be used to remove a sixth hazard tree and to rent an all-access crawler to trim dead wood (which can pose a safety hazard) from as many large trees as possible along Lakeport Way and Lakespray Way; Blade Runners will also provide more clearance for tall trucks on our roads. In addition, Paul Renard and other volunteers removed 45 trees and trimmed a number of others during the recent Fall Workday. Thanks to these residents who not only helped beautify our community but also saved Lakeport an estimated $5000 that we otherwise would have had to spend on tree maintenance! As we remove dead trees, RA guidelines require that we replace them to maintain privacy, muffle sound, and provide shade and beauty. This fall Blade Runners will plant two white fringe trees (a Virginia native) and two hollies, and they will also plant native ferns where invasive English ivy had been removed earlier. In addition, large logs were removed from the section of the wooded area between Lakeport and Lakespray near Safeway, more river rock will be added next to the Lakeport dock, and planning continues for storm-water mitigation.

Four updated architectural standards were approved or drafted this fall. RA’s Design Review Board (DRB) approved a new version of Lakeport’s Windows standard, and a revised “Summary of Colors in Lakeport Standards” was also posted on our web site. A new standard for House Numbers was completed, incorporating feedback from owners, and will be reviewed by the DRB in December. In addition, revisions for our Deck standard are in process. These updates are intended to make it easier and less expensive for owners to repair and update their homes. Another way the Board is trying to help owners maintain their homes is a relatively new feature of Ripples, Lakeport’s Quarterly Maintenance Checklist, which provides a list of small things that you can do now to avoid larger maintenance problems in the future. On a related note, if you are still working on remediating inspection items from last summer, please let us know the current status by emailing me at msapp@miami.edu, and if you haven’t informed the Board that your work has been completed, please let me know so we can have SCS abate your violation in their system.

This time of year is also a time to strengthen relationships with neighbors. Owners gathered in September for Lakeport’s 2019 Annual Meeting (see the PowerPoint at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1akXriKQMW6EsAMc_asWQWrpEkEqieHu2/view). In October we had planned two social events: Alison and Paul Yeloushan hosted a successful TGIF (see photos of residents enjoying their time together in the TGIF report), but unfortunately the tornado watch on Halloween canceled three planned Lakeport firepits where residents were going to gather to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters. On December 13, Stephen and I will host the winter TGIF at 1919 Lakeport Way. The Fall Workday also provided a great opportunity for residents to get to know one another better while helping their community—please consider volunteering for the 2020 Spring Workday when it is announced.

At Lakeport’s Annual Meeting, owners voted to approve a referendum that made administrative expenses associated with collecting late assessment payments the financial responsibility of the delinquent owner (instead of having assessment fees from all owners used for these costs). As a result, the Board modified a resolution that describes the process for dealing with delinquent assessments to reflect this change (see the new version of Appendix A of Lakeport’s Handbook at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UkIOfTOI2A6DC3e_JDzdSxsDcku2kfej/view and the associated Table of Charges listing 2019 assessments, late fee, and administrative charges at http://www.lakeportcluster.org/p/residents.html).

The Board elections at the Annual meeting also mean we welcome two new members to the Board: Kathy Powers (two-year term) and Barbara Khan (one-year term). Kevin Burke and I were re-elected to another two-year term, and Paul Renard will serve the second year of his term.

Finally, the Board continues to monitor issues outside our cluster that impact owners and residents. Most recently we’ve been passing on updates about the status of plans to repair and “reimagine” our Lake Thoreau pool. In response to ongoing development projects near us, Kevin Burke has another installment of his Reston Development Update series in Ripples, this one dealing with the Campus Commons expansion and its plan to install a new stoplight at Upper Lakes Drive. We also sent a request to Fairfax County Police Department asking that their motor units not stop cars near the speed bump at the entrance to Lakeport, and I then spoke directly with the two motorcycle officers who work there routinely. They will ask motorists to park their cars at the bottom of the hill while tickets are being written, but it’s still wise to exercise extreme caution when ticketing is going on. Although an inconvenience for us, the speed trap does slow drivers speeding along Sunrise Valley, and it always helps to have a visible police presence associated with our community.

I hope everyone continues to enjoy the last of our fall weather and has a Happy Thanksgiving!

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