The recent big news for Lakeport Cluster is our selection by the Washington Metropolitan Chapter of the Community Associations Institute (WMCCAI) to be their 2019 “Community Association of the Year” (in the small community association category). In meeting with CAI judges we learned that although following good practices for managing a community is a necessary element in being selected as CAI’s Community of the Year, providing “correct answers” to all of the questions in their application related to governance, facility and financial management, and risk control was not sufficient to win. It turns out that CAI puts a lot of emphasis on effective two-way communications with owners and also on a sense of community, something we actively try to build. Please read the Ripples article on this award to see more about what sets Lakeport apart from other communities. This tribute affirms what we all already know about what a great place Lakeport is. According to CAI, this honor also has the added practical benefit of increasing our property values.
Although good governance isn’t sufficient to win, it is still vital to supporting a great community. The Board therefore has been spending a lot of time on various aspects of governance, including the recent adoption of a Code of Ethics and a Statement of Rights and Responsibilities for Lakeport owners and Board members (linked under the Management tab at http://www.lakeportcluster.org/), as well as approving guidelines related to finances.
We have also been very busy updating Lakeport Standards, with seven of Lakeport’s nine standards (plus an updated Color Summary) approved in the last two years, and one more (removing the requirement that garage doors be an exact match to the trim color) was recently sent to owners to review before being submitted to the DRB. Fortunately we don’t think the remaining two standards will need to be updated any time soon. The changes to these eight standards were all generated by requests from one or more owners and are intended to make it less onerous for us to repair homes and to allow us to take advantage of new technology.
This updated set of standards will be especially important for the next architectural inspections, which will be conducted next fall by RA inspectors instead of by SCS. These inspections probably won’t be quite as detailed as RA’s pre-sale inspection, but the RA inspectors will try to spot existing maintenance issues before they become larger and more expensive problems, and they will also check for conformity with Lakeport and RA standards. So now is a good time to review Lakeport’s Cluster Standards to make sure the features of your home follow them and to make a thorough check of the outside of your home and take care of any maintenance issues you find. More information on the 2020 inspections is available in the Ripples article on “Reston Association to Conduct Inspections Next Fall.” Feel free to contact the Board if you have a question or a concern.
By the way, while you’re checking Lakeport’s online cluster standards, be sure to notice the new organization of information on our web site. It is now much easier to find Design Standards and Related Resources as well as other documents you’re looking for (just click on the Documents tab at the top). Also check the list of resources on the Residents tab, including a Directory with contact information in case you need to get in touch with someone in Lakeport. A huge thank you goes to Board member Barbara Khan for developing the design and to our wonderful webmaster, Tom Barnett, who implemented it so quickly.
Landscape enhancements continued at the end of last year despite the cold weather. You can read the “Landscape Enhancements” article for a list of projects completed and planned. In addition to work to improve things within Lakeport, Board members have been monitoring developments outside Lakeport that impact us. Kevin Burke continues to follow issues relating to density, most recently the proposal by new Supervisor Walter Alcorn to review the RA Comprehensive Plan, and Barbara Khan attended the recent meeting to discuss the Lake Thoreau Pool. See articles on these topics as well as one on nearby construction (the Sunrise Valley sidewalk, South Lakes Village, and the Silver Line).
Let me close with activities involving residents. The “Social Activities” article summarizes some of our fun events; the “Neighborhood Watch” article is a report from a group of your neighbors who enhance our safety; and “Thanks to Volunteers” describes contributions that Lakeport residents are making that help us be a Community of the Year. Although many volunteers are listed (as usual), I want to give a special thanks to Michelle Simoneau, who has agreed to chair Lakeport’s Social Committee; Gail Pitches and Melanie Clement, who will co-chair our Landscape Committee; and Paul Renard (VP), Kathy Powers (VP), Kevin Burke (Treasurer), and Barbara Khan (Secretary) for the many hours they contribute at but mostly between Board meetings.