Thursday, November 15, 2012

Let It Snow, Let It Snow

The Winter Season is approaching us -- we've seen freak snowstorms in early November before -- so even though we haven't made out our holiday shopping lists yet, Autumn Walk HOA has started to think about how we'll handle snow, which is the biggest unknown variable in our budget.

Last year, snow was the builder's responsibility and we had an extraordinarily mild winter.

The forecast this year is for normal to heavy snow, so who will be responsible for clearing the roads and sidewalks?
  1. The builder is in the process of "dedicating" the streets to Howard County (transferring maintenance to the County). You may have seen the surveyor stakes in the ground, but until this handover happens, snow removal is the responsibility of Miller & Smith. (Though you are always responsible for clearing your own driveway and sidewalks.)
  2. Once the County has accepted the public streets:
    1. Howard County will plow the main street.
    2. Homeowners are responsible for shoveling their sidewalks within 48 hours. (You will want to avoid de-icing agents with salts that can damage the concrete and kill your plants.)
    3. The HOA will be responsible for the guest parking spaces and the sidewalks adjacent to common areas. We have decided we will only shovel the walks.
After this first year we'll find out if this plan is adequate!

For those who wish to check the condition of the County roads, Howard County has a
Snowplow Tracker web site that shows the status of roads during snow events (untreated, salted, plowed, plowed-and-salted). 

The Snowplow Tracker is not always accurate, and one initial concern is that we will need to monitor this first year that our street shows up on the County grid. I think we've all had the experience where delivery drivers can't find our street using their GPS or maps!

P.S.: The pictures are from Snowmageddon in 2010 and are not necessarily representative of a typical Maryland winter. :)

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