Thursday, August 1, 2019

Message from the President of Lakeport Cluster

By Mary M. Sapp

In May volunteers completed the final portion of Lakeport’s dock project by inserting 280 plant “plugs” into the bio-logs installed last fall in conjunction with the new dock. Not only will the new plants stabilize the shoreline to prevent erosion and minimize tree loss along the water’s edge, but these flowers and ferns are already adding to the beauty of this key feature of our Lakeport community. It’s nice to see so many people enjoying the dock, whether by launching paddle boards and kayaks, fishing, or just sitting on the new benches or admiring the view as they walk by (we would just as soon, however, not have our friendly neighborhood geese using the dock; so please feel free to shoo them away any time you see them there!)

Landscaping in other areas and ongoing maintenance are also critical to enhancing the attractiveness of our community. Recently, we focused on identifying new plants to go next to the path leading to South Lakes Village to replace the hedge that was removed last fall because of canker. We continue to pay attention to our trees (one of the big challenges facing Lakeport in the foreseeable future) and have contracted to remove and trim more later this year. In addition, we used Reserve Funds to replace two badly deteriorated retaining walls, and volunteers also addressed various smaller repairs as described in the Maintenance Committee article. Thanks to other volunteers who helped spruce up Lakeport during the spring workday. 

Another factor that affects the appearance of the community and the value of our property is maintenance of homes by owners. Thank you to those who have already corrected the violations identified in June letters—that information has been passed on to SCS so they can abate the violations in their database. We also appreciate hearing from others who are still working on repairs. If you haven’t already done so, please let the Board know the status of your violations by emailing msapp@miami.edu (we have found it more effective—and it avoids charges from SCS—if you work through the Board with questions and status reports). By the way, the Quarterly Maintenance Checklist, a new feature of Ripples, provides a list of small things that you can do to improve your safety and avoid larger maintenance problems in the future.

Of course, the appeal of Lakeport is more than just our physical environment—it’s also the people who live here. One of the rewards of serving on the Board is getting to know our neighbors—there are many wonderful and very talented and interesting people who live here. Lakeport’s Social Committee continues to plan events that allow everyone to get to know your neighbors better and that build a sense of community in Lakeport. Another successful TGIF was held recently, and a community-wide block party on the dock is being planned for September. In addition, on August 14 you’ll have the opportunity to gather with neighbors (and also gain a better appreciation of the area where we live) by attending the showing of a documentary about Reston and Robert E. Simon. See the article by the Social Committee for more details. I also urge you to look at the Neighborhood Watch article—crime statistics reported there may surprise you (they did me)—as well as the Density article describing some major planned building projects near us.

Because we no longer had to spend time dealing with dock construction and bollards this year, the Board has shifted its attention to “behind-the-scenes” projects that needed to be addressed, starting with an in-depth study of finances (be sure to read the article about the increase in assessment fees and attend the meeting on August 26 or email if you have questions). In addition, after consulting with our attorney, we will be asking owners to vote on several updates to governing documents at the Annual Meeting; we have continued making needed updates to Lakeport standards; and in response to a request from Fairfax County, we created a new Disaster Preparedness site. See articles on all three of these topics elsewhere in this issue of Ripples.

We want to let everyone know that Lakeport has a new SCS Portfolio Manager, Alexandra Long, who has replaced Alvaro Guerra as our contact at SCS. Ali can be reached at along@scs-management.com or 703-230-8725. 

On September 25, Lakeport will hold its Annual Meeting, at which three Board members will be elected for two-year terms and one for a one-year term due to an open position. Kevin Burke and I will be running again, and we’re happy to let you know that we already have a candidate for the third two-year term: Barbara Khan. Paul Renard will be continuing in the second year of his term. Please read the article on “Why You Should Consider Joining the Lakeport Board,” talk to one of the current Board members, and let us know if you’d be willing to join the Board. I have found my participation on the Board rewarding for several reasons: I feel like I’m contributing to the community where I live, I’m learning lots of interesting information (landscaping, new ways to deal with storm water runoff, electrical, and even construction—while we were working on the dock project, Google started popping up ads for large excavators on my browser!), and I’ve had the chance to work closely and build friendships with some great Board members and Lakeport residents. So please consider joining us.


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