I LOVE LAKEPORT DAY

Saturday, May 11

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.  Spring Workday
Triangle Park
Email Mary Sapp (msapp@miami.edu) for details


Saturday, May 25 (rescheduled)

6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Lakeport Dock Party
Community Dock
Use this link to sign up for what you want to bring.


Winter 2024 Issue of Ripples

Lakeport News

Helpful Information

From the Editor/President

By Stephen Sapp

In the previous issue of Ripples, I pointed out that this past fall was a time of transition, in both the seasons of the year and the governance of Lakeport. I want to report here on a few other changes since then, starting with several in this Winter issue of Lakeport’s e-newsletter: First, I have decided to combine “From the Editor” and “President’s Message” because—well—the same person holds those two positions. The combination of the two articles will make the organization of Ripples less cumbersome and will at least slightly reduce the workload of our dedicated Webmaster Tom Barnett, who works quietly behind the scenes to post the quarterly newsletter and, not incidentally, also to keep our online directory up to date (if any of your information has changed or you are not yet in the directory, please email corrections to Tom at webmaster@lakeportcluster.org).

Second, we have also decided to change the timing of the Maintenance Checklist in each issue. Instead of placing, say, the spring checklist in the Spring issue (where at least some of the items may be too late to be of use), that checklist will now be in the Winter issue in anticipation of its use in time to prepare for the arrival of spring. We will continue this pattern throughout the year. We hope these two changes will improve the readability and value of Ripples for you.

A third change is inclusion of an article by a guest columnist, Henry Pan, son of James and Holly Pan. Henry has offered a useful tip on looking for and claiming abandoned property—check it out. I didn’t find anything, but it takes only a minute and, who knows, you may be luckier! 

If you have comments about this issue of Ripples and/or would like to submit an item for our Spring issue, please email me at ssapp@miami.edu.

I move now from my role as Editor of Ripples to put on my hat as President of Lakeport Homeowners Association, and I have two more changes to share.

The Board voted last fall to hire Complete Landscaping to provide our landscape maintenance and snow removal after six years with Blade Runners. Fortunately, Complete communicates clearly and often when snow threatens, though the final decision on what to do is up to us. They were able to keep our roads clear during the combined heavy snows in January and then reduced the amount of salt applied for the most recent event, which turned out to be light and did not need plowing. Although Northern Virginia sometimes has a surprise late-season snow, it is likely that we have seen the last meaningful accumulation, with the accompanying major hit on our budget!

Another recent change at Lakeport is that the chair of Lakeport’s Social Committee, Shelby Friedel, had to resign because of the travel obligations of her job (thanks, Shelby, for your service!). I am very happy to announce that two long-time residents of our community have stepped up to accept this important responsibility: Sandy Laeser (1977 Lakeport Way) and Diane Zoukis (1909 Lakeport Way). They have even promised to “shake things up,” which sounds like fun! Welcome, Sandy and Diane! If you have ideas for social events, please let one of them know.

Changes have also been occurring at South Lakes Village (SLV). As you are probably aware, Truist Bank has announced that the SLV branch will be closing soon, a loss for those of us who have enjoyed the convenience of having a neighborhood branch (and it wasn’t that long ago that we even had a choice between two different banks there!). I’m sure we all agree that having the wide variety of essential stores and services available within an easy walk is a tremendous asset to Lakeport residents, not only with regard to our immediate quality of life but also, looking ahead, to our property values. So I encourage you to patronize all the establishments at SLV as often as possible to ensure that they continue to serve our neighborhood. If the center closes, apart from losing the convenience of such nearby shopping, who knows what will happen to that space (high-density housing is a very likely possibility)?

Let me repeat once more what I wrote in the last issue about quarterly assessment payments: If you have not set up Direct Deposit, I urge you to do so before the next quarterly assessment is due on April 1 (see Reminders elsewhere in this issue for how to do this). The main advantage is that you never have to worry about being late and incurring extra fees, but you also save the hassle and expense of mailing a check (or being charged a fee for using a credit card online). Some people have told me that they don’t like to use automated payments because they want to know how much their bills are, but unlike electricity or water, for example, you already do know exactly how much your quarterly assessment will be and when it will be deducted from your account! So please consider this time- and cost-saving way to pay your assessments.


As we anticipate the arrival of spring soon and the improvement in weather it brings, let’s all plan to get outside and enjoy the natural beauty we are fortunate to have all around us. Too often we fail to appreciate what is available to us and take it for granted. As troubled and stressful as these times may be in many ways, we can always decompress and reduce our stress by enjoying nature!

Your Board is committed to maintaining what we all know to be true of Lakeport: Our cluster is the best place to live in Reston (actually, in Northern Virginia!). If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, we will be happy to hear from you at board@lakeportcluster.org.


Landscape Committee

By Mary Sapp 

Late last fall and over the winter we did some final landscaping for 2023, transitioned to a new landscape maintenance provider, and started planning for 2024.

In December we planted an American holly in the woods at the end of Lakespray Way to help block the view and traffic noise from South Lakes Drive and to block the entrance from the Safeway access road to an “unofficial path” that has been worn through the woods beside Lakespray Way and to make that path less obvious. We also installed five iteas (deciduous shrubs with spring flowers and fall color) to the right of the parking area at the top of the Lakespray hill after adding topsoil to enhance the existing dirt. Finally, we added a small boulder in Triangle Park to try to protect plants from dog urine.

January saw a transition from Blade Runners to Complete Landscaping for both landscape maintenance and snow removal (which we needed for our three snow events in January and February). We have already scheduled a meeting with our new project manager to walk the Lakeport property and discuss property lines, point out areas that need special attention, and hear his suggestions for how to improve our landscaping.

We also have started on plans for 2024. The Landscape Committee has meetings scheduled with two arborists about needed tree work and will also set up a meeting soon with a landscape designer to hear her suggestions for enhancements we might wish to make over the coming months.

Meanwhile, Mother Nature is starting to bring to life landscape enhancements from previous years. So enjoy! 

By the way, despite the discussion of trillions of periodic cicadas emerging this spring, the DMV will be spared (our Brood X is not expected back until 2038, although we will hear some annual “dog day” cicadas over the summer). This year’s simultaneous arrival of the large broods XIII (every 17 years) and XIX (every 13 years), which occurs only once every 221 years, will be in the Midwest and some areas south of us.

Winter TGIF


















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. We meet monthly on the third Monday from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., rotating among members’ homes.  

So what has the Lakeport Book Club been reading recently?

Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, by James McBride

Oath and Honor, A Memoir and a Warning, by Liz Cheney

The Four Winds, by Kristin Hannah

If those books look interesting and you want to join the book club or have questions, contact Barbara Khan at bskhan@att.net

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 while also saving the HOA considerable money. If you want to volunteer, let the Board or a committee chair know—it’s a great way to meet your neighbors and contribute to your community.

Landscape 

  • Mary Sapp (chair), Steven Browning, Marjorie Myers, Don Nagley, Elizabeth Pan, Rosemary Welch – serving on the Landscape Committee
  • Peter Stone – removing vines that were killing trees in Lakespray woods
  • Steven Browning and Marjorie Myers–watering new plants on Lakespray Way

Social

  • Sandy Laeser and Diane Zoukis – chairing the Social Committee
  • Carol Leos – welcoming new residents
  • Mary and Stephen Sapp – hosting winter TGIF

Maintenance

  • Paul Renard – chairing the Maintenance Committee 
  • Eva and Ilana Collingham – cleaning goose poop off the dock

Standards

  • Rich Rosenberg – chairing the Standards Committee

Other 

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


Claim Abandoned Property

By Henry Pan

Are you interested in getting free money? Have you lived in Virginia for a substantial period of time? If your answers are “yes,” then this article is for you. My name is Henry Pan, and I am a high school student who has lived in Lakeport my entire life.

Right now, there is a possibility that you have abandoned property in Virginia, which could be claimed from the Unclaimed Property Act. Now, it’s not likely that you forgot your house or anything—most unclaimed properties are checks made out to you that went uncashed. They can be from utilities, banks, insurance companies, etc. This summer, my family recovered over $400!

Here's how it works:

  1. Go to the VA Unclaimed Property Site: https://www.vamoneysearch.gov
  2. Enter your personal details into the search boxes:
  3. Once you have identified your unclaimed property/properties, click the “Claim” button on the left-most column, then select “Continue to File Claim”:
  4. From there you will select the proper claimant relationship from the dropdown menu and fill out all relevant information so that your identity can be verified:

  5. After all of that, you will have to provide documentation (listed in the given form), as well as fill out a claim form, and submit both to the state.
  6. Once you have completed this process, you are good to go! You may track your claim’s progress through the Status page on the unclaimed property site. The transaction will not be immediate (it took us six months to receive everything), but who’s going to turn down free money just because it takes a little while?

Please consider donating 10% of your total claimed property value to the Reston Scholarship Fund. Happy Hunting!

 For any inquiries, contact henrybpan@gmail.com.

Reminders for Winter in Lakeport


Maintenance of the Exterior of Your Home:
As you think about maintenance and possible changes to the exterior of your home this spring, be sure to check Lakeport Standards, and if a relevant Lakeport standard doesn’t exist, you need to follow the relevant RA Guideline. Links to Lakeport and RA architectural requirements, the DRB application, discussion of RA’s counter-intuitive party-wall rules, and resources for landscaping and replacement trees (required by RA if you remove a tree) are all available in Section A at https://www.lakeportcluster.org/p/documents.html.

Maintenance Resources: Be sure to review the Preventive Maintenance Checklist in this issue for smaller maintenance projects that could save you major expenses and headaches in the future. And remember that RA has arranged with Sherwin-Williams for a discount of 30% to 40% off paints and stains (exterior and interior) and 15% off paint supplies at Sherwin-Williams store #3385, located at 495A Elden Street in Herndon (703-471-1484). If you want to take advantage of the discount, the code is 2214-8496-7. Washington Consumer Checkbook is a publication available online (www.checkbook.org) that offers a huge user-friendly database of reviews of many types of local service providers, along with high-quality advice about how to approach selecting and working with them.

You Must Replace Any Tree You Remove: If you plan to remove a live tree on your property, you need approval from Reston Association (RA). Furthermore, if you will remove or recently removed a tree (dead or alive), RA requires that you replace it with another tree, preferably a native. RA has several resources for finding a replacement tree. See https://drive.google.com/file/d/1a1epMYHN4gx8EB7l_K68ewk8bZnXnh1-/view

and https://www.dropbox.com/sh/f4ch21s6x062qsc/AABzwoLgm7q7-HL-WcrWbmCOa/Native%20and%20Invasive%20Species?dl=0&preview=Trees+in+Reston.pdf&subfolder_nav_tracking=1.    

Party Walls: Although sometimes counterintuitive, the RA Deeds make the repair of any architectural element that falls on the property line between two houses (e.g., wall, trim, fence) a joint responsibility. If you aren’t sure whose responsibility it is to pay for the repair or replacement of a shared wall or trim, please see https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxSpjzCTaI6Jd0xnbEZEcEhLT3NiWjRKODNlZDBtTWdRdTBJ/view for information relating to party walls. 

Improve Lighting in Lakeport: As the days grow longer, it is important to adjust the time your outdoor lights 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. 

Drive Slowly: Neighborhood kids will start to be outside more as the weather gets warmer, playing on sidewalks and in the streets. Please remember to drive slowly and keep your eyes out for children (and other pedestrians).

Lock your cars: If you park your car outside, be sure to lock it and do not leave valuables visible, especially at night. Also remind guests to do the same. 

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, please 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.

Visitors: If you have visitors whose car will be parked in common space for more than one night, put a note on the dashboard with your name and address and the dates they will be parked in Lakeport so their car is not towed.

Composting. If you are tired of smelly garbage cans and want to reduce the amount of garbage you send to the dump, consider signing up for the compost pickup service offered by Veteran Compost DC–From Combat to Compost, which will turn your food scraps into high-quality compost. The company provides a bin, which has a sealing mechanism that is effective at trapping odors inside and is picked up and replaced once a week with a clean bin (currently on Thursdays, meaning you can put everything curbside at the same time). The group rate for residents of Lakeport is $25 per month. For more information, see https://veterancompostindc.com/ or call (202) 556-3806. 

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).

Geese: We continue to experience problems with goose poop on our dock. Please don’t feed the geese (not only does this attract them, 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!). It would be appreciated if you could help sweep the dock (there’s a broom behind 1925 Lakeport Way that you are welcome to use). 

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 mailing a check or paying on TownSq (which incurs an extra fee). Doing so means that you never have to worry about incurring late fees because you forgot to make the payment (currently $25 plus the administrative charge from SCS for sending the letter). Alternatively, you can pay the entire assessment at the beginning of the year. Either approach means the Board does not have to spend time contacting you or pay SCS for mailing quarterly statements to owners who have not set up direct debit or prepaid. A third option for avoiding late fees (but you’ll still get a quarterly statement) is to use your bank’s electronic bill-pay option to set up recurring checks. For information about any of these three options and for mailing checks, go to https://www.lakeportcluster.org/p/hoa-fee-payments-lakeport-cluster-hoa.html

Update Your Contact Information: Please go to the Lakeport Directory https://drive.google.com/file/d/1C3GQPozt0_35XwbkLbTsc4F6zpkmKmjw/view (PW=lakespray) and check the contact information listed there for you. If a correction is needed, either 1) send an email to webmaster@lakeportcluster.org and copy along@scs-management.com or 2) 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 remember someone’s name you have forgotten, you can always check this directory.

Preventive Maintenance Checklist for Spring

Important note: If you are addressing issues with the exterior of your home, please consult the Lakeport Standards (https://www.lakeportcluster.org/p/cluster-standards.html) and remember that you may have to seek approval from Reston Association’s Design Review Board.


Homes in Lakeport Cluster, all of which are more than 30 years old and some over 40, are unique in several ways. This checklist is designed with Lakeport homes in mind. Your help in keeping this list current and relevant is essential. Please send suggestions to Board@LakeportCluster.org.

Outdoor Checklist (these items will also help you prepare for annual inspections)

  • Several Lakeport owners have had to replace their roofs because of damage from windstorms and aging of the roofing materials. If you have not accessed your attic to check for leaks, it’s a good idea to do so. You may avoid potential damage to the interior of your home.
  • Check for mildew, mold, and grime on exterior walls, garage doors, fences, decks, walkways, brick, roofs, etc., and power wash if needed.
  • Sand and paint rusted railings so the rust does not cause further damage.
  • Trim overgrown vegetation. 
  • A dark vertical line in the middle of your garage door is most likely caused by insufficient tension on the chain from your garage door opener to the front wall of your garage. Over time, the chain will slacken and start to drag on the door, which leaves that black mark and eventually will wear through the paint if left uncorrected. Most of these chains have a tensioner or turn­buckle that can be tightened to fix the problem. Once you have tightened the chain, the door can be cleaned with something like Scott’s Outdoor Cleaner (or whatever you prefer) and the gentle use of a scrubbing sponge from your kitchen.
  • For most Lakeport homes, make sure your home address numbers are properly positioned over your garage door or entry arch (see House Numbers standards). If you have a brick wall by the sidewalk, be sure that the brass number plate is glued tightly to the surface and that the numbers are legible from the street. This helps first responders find your house more easily in case of an emergency.
  • Inspect and repair any damaged fences or other outside boundaries. If you have a brick wall in common with your neighbor, examine it for mildew and mold. If there is staining from either, try removing the stains with a power washer.
  • Check the outside lighting around your house and replace bulbs and batteries that aren’t working.
  • If you have outdoor security cameras, make sure they have not been damaged by snow or harsh winter weather. Check that camera lenses are focused on the areas you want them to cover. Clean lenses with a microfiber cloth and tighten all camera mounts. As summer approaches, you may want to protect your cameras from spider webs and insects that can obscure the view. One suggestion is to attach a dryer sheet to the outside of your camera with a rubber band (just make sure not to cover the lens); the strong smell will keep bugs away. You can also try looping a flea collar around the camera.
  • Remove leaves and other debris that have collected over the winter and place in large paper yard bags available at home improvement stores. Check the current waste management company procedures for proper disposal.
  • Remove leaves from gutters and make sure gutters are still firmly anchored and properly connected to downspouts.
  • Take steps to protect wood on your decks, patios, and entrance walkways. These areas should be sealed every two to three years. The wood will hold up better with a sealant rather than with paint.
  • Check your siding for staining. If you see a problem, check with a home repair supplier for a suitable cleaning product.

Indoor Checklist

  • Replace batteries in smoke detectors.
  • If you have an alarm system, periodically change your access code and remove passcodes you have given out to contractors, cleaning people, babysitters, or guests who no longer need access to your home. Test your security systems regularly to ensure they are functioning properly and communicating with the central station.
  • Flooding is the single largest source of loss for homeowners; so it may be helpful to install water leak sensors in flood-prone areas (next to the water heater, under each sink and toilet, behind the refrigerator for water line for the ice maker). The sensors will detect accumulation of water caused by cracked or broken water pipes, loose pipe connections, inadequate drainage, or flooding. Some sensors connect to larger security systems, some work alone, and some connect to an app on your phone. If you have a wi-fi-enabled sensor, you can be alerted while you are away from home so you can ask a trusted neighbor with a key or code to investigate (you might want to search the internet for a video on how to set that up on your phone). 
  • Move boxes or other items at least 30 inches away from your furnace/heat pump and water heater; crowding either could lead to a fire.
  • Do a semi-annual check of the furnace/heat pump to assure that you have sufficient refrigerant for air conditioning. Follow manufacturer guidelines for replacing air filters (typically once per month or quarter). A clogged air filter places an unreasonable load on the HVAC system and will likely shorten its life.
  • Once it’s warm enough, be sure outdoor water spigots are closed on the outside and then turn on from inside the house. The valve is usually in a storage area or near the water heater or utility tub.
  • Inspect the firebrick panels inside your wood-burning fireplace for cracks and replace them if they are damaged. Have the fireplace cleaned if you use it frequently or haven’t used it in a long time. Remove all ash from your fireplaces and clean the grates. Additionally, schedule a chimney cleaner to inspect the flues once a year. 
  • Check all window and door locks. If any seem loose or faulty, tighten or replace them.
  • If cleaning your windows isn’t already part of your spring-cleaning routine, then add it. Clean windows will make your home brighter and improve your visibility of your surroundings.

Lakeport Governance/Management

   

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Stephen Sapp - President
Rich Rosenberg - Vice-President
Rich Kolko - Vice-President
Jeannette Malin-Berdel - Secretary
Tod Vollrath - Treasurer


Contact the board via email:  Board@lakeportcluster.org


What Residents and Board Can Expect

 


COMMITTEE CHAIRS

Architectural Standards Committee - Richard Rosenberg

Landscape Committee – Mary Sapp

Maintenance Committee – Paul Renard

Neighborhood Watch Committee – James Pan

Social Committee – Sandy Laeser and Diane Zoukis

 

OTHER VOLUNTEERS

Webmaster and Listserv Administrator – Tom Barnett

Editor for Ripples, community newsletter – Stephen Sapp

Book Club Coordinator – Barbara Khan

Fill doggie-bag stations – Kevin Burke and Steven Browning

Keep community dock clean – Eva and Ilana Collingham



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 

Barbara Carpenter

Covenants Advisor

phone: (703) 435-6529

bcarpenter@reston.org

https://www.reston.org/