By Mary M. Sapp
Covid-19 has forced all of us to make many changes in our lives, including Lakeport activities. We regret having to cancel the Easter Egg Hunt, the spring Dock Party, and TGIFs, but those were clearly the right decisions to keep everyone safe. The Board also decided that it would be prudent to hold our September Annual Meeting virtually instead of in person, hence the request to approve a change to the Bylaws to allow owner meetings to be held virtually. You will be receiving ballots in the mail shortly to approve amending Lakeport’s Bylaws to allow for virtual meetings for owners (and for the Board meetings as well), plus several other changes. One of our Ripples articles provides details, as does the Lakeport website (http://www.lakeportcluster.org/). If approved, in early September you will receive instructions for joining the Annual Meeting via Zoom, along with a ballot and other information about the meeting, scheduled for September 23 (please mark your calendars). By the way, Covid has also impacted regulations relating to the expiration of driver’s licenses, vehicle registrations, and safety inspections – see the Ripples Neighborhood Watch article for more information.
Another impact of Covid is on the timing of the home inspections that Reston Association (RA) was planning to conduct this fall. After consulting with RA, the Board has decided to postpone these inspections to the spring. This change allows owners more time to get things fixed before the RA visit (and take advantage of the desire of many businesses to do work right now and possibly at a discount). FYI, the focus will be on identifying maintenance issues, but because RA will check for violations of Lakeport and RA standards, it’s important that you review both sets of standards available at https://www.lakeportcluster.org/p/documents.html. See the article titled “RA Inspections Postponed” for more details, which includes the maintenance checklist RA will use. While you’re at it, you may want to review the Preventive Maintenance Checklist for Summer in this edition of Ripples.
Despite Covid, this June we were able to complete a major landscaping project: installation of a rain garden and associated conservation landscaping to reduce erosion and add beauty to Lakeport (and on top of that, the County is reimbursing 70% of our cost!). This month we will have tree work done and redirect downspouts near the dock to reduce erosion there. A few more landscaping projects are planned for the fall after the heat of the summer is over: erosion-control juniper near the dock, replacement of the hedge near Safeway, and liriope on the Lakespray hill. For more details, see the Ripples articles on Landscaping (including before and after photos of the rain garden area) and Maintenance.
We were also fortunate to have volunteers contribute to improving our landscaping by cutting down dead trees and trimming others, removing pokeweed and other unwanted plants, and watering the rain garden. Volunteers have also been performing maintenance by removing temporary fencing by the dock now that the plants are mature and safe from geese, re-mortaring stones on the wall in Triangle Park, and cleaning mailboxes and signs. The “Thank You to Volunteers” article lists the many ways you and your neighbors have been helping improve Lakeport these last few months.
This year turned into one where the Board updated various Lakeport documents. We started the year with a redesign of Lakeport’s web site. Next, we engaged Miller-Dodson to do a five-year update to Lakeport’s Reserve Study, as required by Virginia law. Then, at its May meeting, the Board approved revisions to Lakeport’s Handbook. Both updated documents are posted on our website, with links under the “Lakeport Governing Documents” and “Lakeport Regulations” headings at https://www.lakeportcluster.org/p/documents.htm. As mentioned above, proposals for amendments to the Bylaws were just mailed to owners for approval. The community owes a major debt of gratitude to Board Secretary Barbara Khan for her leadership and hard work in updating all of these documents.
Although the Board focuses on Lakeport issues, we also monitor things going on outside our community that may be of interest to owners and residents. For instance, we have heard from the South Lakes Village manager that the renovation of the South Lakes Village Plaza is going to start again this Thursday, and the project is expected to be completed by September. You can also check out the two options for the Lake Thoreau Pool renovation and send feedback to RA by this Friday’s deadline so your preferences are heard. In addition, there’s a Ripples article about the status of plans to extend Soapstone Drive across the Dulles Toll Road and for an overpass across Wiehle Avenue for the W&OD trail.
I, like everyone else, greatly regret the impact of Covid on Lakeport and our lives and look forward to gathering again as a community. At the same time, I continue to feel fortunate to be able to weather the pandemic in our beautiful and peaceful community, where I can get outdoors, walk around the lake or by our dock or elsewhere in Lakeport, chat with neighbors (masked and from a safe distance), and watch the local wildlife from our back window (in addition to the small birds, chipmunks, and squirrels that visit our bird feeder, we have seen a Cooper’s hawk land on our back railing twice!). I hope you feel the same way about the many advantages of living in Lakeport, especially now.