Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Emerson HOA Notes 11/26/12

Highlights from the meeting of the Emerson Master HOA Board of Directors on 11/26/12:

  • Quorum was not achieved, so elections were delayed to Monday 1/28/13 (quorum will be established by whoever shows up at that time).
  • Murray Hill Middle School Jazz Band will perform outside Clubhouse at Emerson Holiday Open House on Sat. 12/8/12 (weather permitting). Deadline to RSVP for Holiday Open House is 11/30/12.
  • New Adults Games Night event scheduled for Saturday 1/12/13 from 4-8 pm in Clubhouse (cards, checkers, chess, TV, whatever people want). Email coming out soon to RSVP.
  • Next quarterly Safety Committee meeting Thursday 1/10/13 at 7 pm. Howard County Police have praised Emerson's program, urge residents to leave outside lights on, use alarms, close garage doors at night. Howard County Police have new iWatch app for iPhone/iPad/Android.
  • Three new pet waste stations to be installed on 12/5/12.
  • New pool policies regarding guests to be finalized at January meeting. Plan to solicit feedback prior.
  • Lengthy Q&A session:
    • How to be a Board candidate (nominations all closed, no write-ins allowed).
    • Services provided by Emerson
    • Snow removal responsibilities
    • Emerson budget and debt
    • Repairs and reforestation area, and demarcation of responsibilities

  1. Quorum was not met so Annual Meeting and Elections deferred till 1/28/13
    1. Quorum needed was 1/6th of Class A (Residential), or 168 homes, and 1/6th of Class C (Commercial), or 2 Commercial, members.
    2. Per the bylaws, quorum will be established at the January meeting by whoever is in attendance. Proxies carry over.
    3. Since only three candidates were nominated for three open positions, all will be elected. Two are returning Board members, one will be new.
    4. No further nominations are permitted. Mailing was incorrect; write-in candidates are not permitted. Candidates had 2 week window to submit application with 20 qualified member signatures.
  2. Numerous questions asked regarding services provided by Emerson versus sub-associations:
    1. 33% of Emerson is green area maintained by Emerson Master HOA.
    2. Includes plantings, monuments, Clubhouse, pool, tennis courts, storm water management, architectural control, tot lots, mowing and snow removal for those areas only. 
      1. Streets are maintained by the County; much of rest is maintained by sub-associations or individual homeowners.
      2. Emerson does not water grass unless there is dire need, prohibitively expensive. However planted beds are watered and some of the newer trees have water bags.
    3. Sub-associations are responsible for mowing of the individual neighborhoods and maintaining their infrastructure, and snow removal not covered by County or homeowners.
    4. Residential development is essentially complete. A few commercial parcels remain. Stephens Manor is in very bad shape and will probably be torn down. That parcel is zoned commercial.
  3. Emerson amenities and budget:
    1. Primary amenity is the Clubhouse and pool. Have considered adding services but there is no land to expand.
      1. Considered adding second story to Clubhouse. 
      2. Welcome all ideas.
    2. Why does the pool operate at a loss?
      1. When Emerson was established, Developer set up so that 50% was covered by fees, 50% by Community.
      2. Doesn't have to stay this way, but this is what is in place.
      3. In response to question, considered expanding pool, but very expensive.
      4. Swim team? Need someone to organize, hire coach, would need to add insurance.
    3. What is the debt, and the terms? Why were some commercial properties exempted from assessment?
      1. Developer loan paid for Clubhouse and other facilities when Emerson was established.
      2. Was just refinanced a year ago. Difficult to get a new loan because Emerson does not have any assets to be used as collateral.
      3. This past year they noticed an error in the mapping of properties, created an allonge to rectify. Net result was that principal on loan was reduced but some properties were exempted.
      4. Need a Finance Committee.
    4. Noted that delinquency rate continues to improve. Attributed to better enforcement and shift to monthly payments.
    5. CMC is getting mixed readings from residents of The Grove @ Emerson as to whether they want a tot lot. Point is moot as area has not been turned over to Emerson yet.
  4. Several residents asked about areas where ownership was unclear.
    1. Most significant is a tree that died during the storm. Unclear whether this is reforestation area (not allowed to touch), will follow up with CMC management company.
    2. Discussion of other repairs and maintenance including sidewalks, storm water management ponds, and what appears to be a storm drain.
  5. No new information on Wincopia Farms or the extension of Skylark Boulevard to MD-216.
  6. Resident of The Landings at Emerson asked when sub-association will be turned over by Builder to homeowners, since construction appears to be complete. Emerson will help them contact the Builder.
  7. During the closed business session, much discussion of potential new pool policies
    1. Board will clarify language, then present to community. 
    2. Primary issues center around reducing the number of guest passes per household per day, and changing pool hours. 
    3. Intend to adopt in January so they can be incorporated into planning for next year starting in February.

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