Friday, July 26, 2013

Emerson Master HOA Notes 7/22/13

Highlights of the Emerson Master HOA meeting held in the Clubhouse on 7/22/13:
  • School redistricting in October
  • Wincopia Farms
  • Sidewalks
  • Activities
  • Architectural reviews
  • Emerson map

  1. New plantings installed at Palace Hall to beautify the entrance.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Proxies: Autumn Walk Elections on 6/3/13

Please remember to turn in your proxies for the HOA Meeting on Monday, June 3rd!

We have a very high quorum level in this community and we need at least 12 households represented in order for the Elections to proceed.

Also, because no candidates were received nominations will be taken from the floor. We have at least one position to fill.

We also plan to discuss why you pay two HOA fees and the services you receive from Emerson and Autumn Walk HOAs, respectively.

Thanks, and we hope to see you at the Clubhouse @ 7 pm on 6/3/13!

Grub Control - Watering Your Lawn

We expect Brickman to apply the second of your two grub-control treatments on Tuesday, May 28th.

The following note explains that if we don't get any rain, homeowners will need to water their lawns. Thanks!
IMPORTANT:  We will be out on Tuesday May 28th. To do our grub control.   The product needs to be watered into the turf to be effective.  Therefore, should we not get any rain within 72 hours on the application, the homeowner will need to water the lawn area to receive the control for the grubs that are currently there.  There is rain in the forecast for the middle of next week, hopefully we will get this rain to activate the product.  


Friday, May 24, 2013

Trash Day Slides During Holiday Weeks

Due to the Memorial Day Holiday, the Howard County Trash Schedule will slide down one day next week:

  • Trash: Moved to Thursday, May 30
  • Recycling: Moved to Saturday, June 1

The next scheduled slide week is for Independence Day. 

Since July 4th falls on a Thursday, Trash Pickup will be Wednesday (July 3) as usual, but Recycling will shift to the Saturday of that week (July 6).

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Architectural Review and Landscaping Changes

We've received quite a few architectural inquiries from Autumn Walk residents in the past few weeks.
  • Landscaping Changes (private yards)
  • Covenant Enforcement
  • Common Area Changes
In summary, Emerson Master HOA is responsible for reviewing architectural changes and enforcing covenants.

Our Common Area, however, falls under the purview of the Autumn Walk Board.

Landscaping Changes

For changes to the landscaping in private yards (for example, the area in front of your home), we are deferring to Emerson Master HOA since as the bylaws are written, they are enforced by Emerson.

If you have a project that affects the exterior of your home, please review the bylaws to determine what is covered and the restrictions that are in place.

Garage Doors, BBQ Grills, and Emergency Numbers

Emerson's Safety Committee has passed along some guidance:

  • Make sure your garage doors are closed at night. Howard County Police advise that open garage doors attract opportunistic crime. Talk to your neighbors about closing each other's doors if you see them open late at night.
  • Some playgrounds have been vandalized in the Laurel area. Please keep a watch out.
  • As the summer grilling season heats up, please read the safety tips below. 
  • Please only call 911 if you have an emergency that requires the immediate dispatch of public safety personnel (Police, Sheriff's Deputies, Fire/EMS/Ambulance). 
  • For Non-Emergency situations please call 410-313-2200 (for example, for loud music, public disturbances, property damage, recent property theft, vandalism when the suspect is gone, vehicle blocking a driveway or street).
  • Both numbers go to the same call center (the Howard County Public Safety Communications 911 Center). But please don't block 911 with non-essential calls -- someone may need to get through with a life-threatening situation.

Fire Safety Tips for Barbecue Grills

Emerson: Pool Party and HOA Meeting

Two Emerson events are coming up in the next few weeks:
  • Tuesday, May 28th @ 7 pm: Emerson HOA Meeting in the Clubhouse
  • Saturday, June 8th @ 1 pm - 4 pm: Emerson Pool Party and Picnic (RSVP by June 3rd)

Emerson Pool Party/Picnic
Saturday, June 8, 2013
Emerson Clubhouse/Pool

A fun filled summer Community Event for the whole family which will be catered by Puttin’ on the Ritz. There will be a D.J., moon bounces, clowns and the Jazz Band from Murray Middle School will perform. Come and join in. This is a great time to meet neighbors, possibly win prizes, see familiar faces and let someone else do the cooking!!

You DO NOT need a pool membership to participate. This event is for Emerson residents ONLY – no guests permitted.

You must RSVP to Emerson no later than June 3rd. Be sure to include your name, property address, total number of adults, and total number of children along with their ages. 

The food is ordered for the number of people that RSVP, you must display a wrist band in order to get food, and you will receive the wristband at check-in ONLY if you RSVP.

Due to safety concerns, there is no parking at the Clubhouse while the event is taking place.  Please adhere to the No Parking Signs.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Flamingo Has Landed!

The Flamingo Has Landed...and you know what that means: Friday Night (May 10th) from 7 pm to 9 pm!

For details, read the Flamingo Fridays! post.

You may have noticed, though, that the Flamingo is also wet:

Hopefully the forecast is correct and Friday will be warm and sunny!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Autumn Walk HOA Annual Meeting & Elections

Update 5/27/13: Please turn in your proxies!

We need to have at least 12 households represented at this meeting or else the elections cannot proceed. We also do not have any submitted candidates at this time so nominations will be taken from the floor.

The 2013 Autumn Walk Annual Meeting & Elections will be held on Monday, June 3, 2013 @ 7 pm in the Clubhouse. Please watch your mail for the official notice and nomination forms for candidates.

  • We will vote first on a proposal to expand the Board from 3 officers to 5. If approved, the Board will consist of a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Member-At-Large.
  • After the expansion vote, either one or three vacant positions will be elected to 2-year terms.
  • A quorum of 25% (12 owners) is required, so please attend or submit your proxies.

The quality of our community is very much dependent on volunteers! And this contributes directly toward maintaining your property values.

Though CAS does a great job as our community manager, we cannot afford full-time management so the Board must play an independent role in creating and monitoring the budget, overseeing the maintenance of the property, and taking a leading role in communications and social activities.

Thank you all for making this a great place to live, and we hope to see you at the Elections!

Flamingo Fridays!

(Updated 7/25/14 with the Optional Auxiliary Flamingo)

Daphna & Sam are hosting the first "Flamingo Friday" on May 10th at 7 pm (weather permitting).

Keep an eye peeled for the first appearance of The Pink Plastic Flamingo (aka PPF)!

Each week, if you see a Pink Plastic Flamingo perched in a yard in Autumn Walk, wander over to that neighbor’s house on Friday night between 7 pm and 9 pm for a couple of hours of casual socializing! You can bring the kids too.

If You Want to Host A Flamingo Friday:
  • Simply contact the Flamingo Keepers (Daphna or Allie) to borrow the bird. (See the newsletter, coming soon, for contact information.)
  • Plant it in your front yard by Tuesday of that week 
    • Note that you can now also get a second bird, the Optional Auxiliary Flamingo, to place closer to the entrance of the community to ensure that everyone knows to look for the Primary Flamingo in front of your house
  • The host provides soda, ice, glasses, silverware, napkins 
  • Return the bird within a few days of your Flamingo Friday event

Things to Keep in Mind If You’re A Guest:
  • Bring an appetizer if you can, but don’t worry if you can’t 
  • Bring your own beer & wine, the host will only provide soda 
  • The evening will be canceled if it’s raining from 6:30 pm on 
  • Circle the block at least once during the week to see if the PPF is out. 
  • If it is, be sure to tell your neighbors so they know there will be a Flamingo Friday in Autumn Walk!

Help establish a new community tradition by attending or hosting a Flamingo Friday...and most importantly, by having fun!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Emerson Yard Sale (Sat. 5/4/13)

Updated 4/25/13: The annual Emerson Community Yard Sale will be held on Saturday, May 4th from 8 am - 12 pm in the parking lot of the Emerson Clubhouse/Pool (8400 Upper Sky Way, Laurel, MD 20723).

The event is being advertised in local newspapers and will be held rain or shine.

Selling of items is open to residents of Emerson and if you wish to participate, the coordinator (Robyn) asks that you come out between 7 am - 7:30 am to help set up. (She requests that everything be ready when the event starts rather than trying to set up after the shoppers arrive.)

There are a few tables but if you have your own please bring it.

From the organizer, Robyn (4/25/13): 
  • After you have unloaded your cars, please park your vehicles along the side by the tennis courts. I am anticipating a lot of participants, both sellers and buyers. 
  • Advertisements have been placed with the Patuxent Publishing (Columbia Flier, Laurel Leader, Howard Co Times), the banner will be up in front of the Clubhouse, and signs will be placed at the major intersections into /around Emerson. The event will also be listed on Craigslist, as usual. 
  •  Please feel free to spread the word to any organizations you may belong to, more shoppers-- more the merrier. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. 
Some suggestions: 
  • Bring plenty of change and might want to bring plastic/shopping bags for buyers. 
  • We will be shutting down the event promptly at noon on Sat. so please make arrangements to pack your items, should they not they not sell.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mowing Has Started in Autumn Walk

Brickman has started routine maintenance of Autumn Walk for the 2013 season, with the first mowing and trimming conducted today.

The contract is supposed to include mowing and trimming of the fenced backyards too, if you leave your gate unlocked, and you don't have pets in the yard. Please lock it and post a sign if you have a temporary reason that you don't want the service performed.

Also, most of you probably saw that they applied pesticide a couple of weeks ago. We added this service to the contract in order to cover grub infestation, since it has to be applied to the entire property to be effective.

Please help us and the contractor and let us know if you see anything that got missed. Keeping our neighborhood clean, tidy, and clear of pet waste and trash has a large effect on maintaining our property values and quality of life!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Konterra Development News

Some of you may know that a developer has been planning for many years to build a high-end mall at the intersection of I-95 and MD-200 (the Intercounty Connector, or ICC) as part of an ambitious mixed-use (office, residential, and retail) project called Konterra.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sell It, Shred It, Give It Away

A couple of opportunities are coming up over the next month to get rid of things you no longer want or need:

  • Howard County Greenfest (Saturday 4/13/13) - paper shredding, recycling of electronics/bikes/sewing machines/denim, charitable donations
  • Emerson Yard Sale (Saturday 5/4/13)


Friday, March 22, 2013

Please Watch Out for Children at Play

As the weather starts turning warmer, all of us will be outdoors more, and the layout of our street means we will see many children playing outside. Please remember to moderate your speed and ask your guests to do so as well.

As you all know by now, the speed limit was reduced to 15 mph last Fall, and The Green Guy continues to make special appearances:

Our cul-de-sac allows parents to monitor their children at play in front of their houses, but even with the best of intentions, there are times when kids will be in the street when a car comes through, so we ask that parents and drivers all work together to keep the kids safe! 

Playground @ Palace Hall?

Note that some of our neighboring communities have asked Emerson Master HOA to put a playground or park on Palace Hall (about one-third of Emerson lives along Palace Hall). Emerson initially stated that they do not own the land to do so but the conversation is continuing.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Emerson Board Meeting - Monday

The next meeting of the Emerson Board of Directors will be Monday, March 25 @ 7 pm in the Clubhouse. This will be the first official public meeting of the Board since the election of the new slate of Directors.

Emerson has also announced that they will have a guest speaker from American Pool to discuss the upcoming pool season.

Please stay tuned to this space as we will be addressing issues important to Autumn Walk and Emerson. We likely will call a special meeting for Autumn Walk in April and expect our own elections to be in May or June.

The 2013 calendar of events will be updated soon:

2013 Emerson Calendar of Events

Thursday, March 14, 2013

All Your Streets Are Belong to Us

I talked to Howard County this week to find out when they plan to take over maintenance of the street, also known as "dedicating" the street. We had been told that this would happen in February.

As you know our Builder (Miller & Smith) picked up the cost of snow removal this past winter, and perhaps even more fortunately we received virtually no snow.

Howard County's Real Estate Services Division told me we will probably be on the June 2013 agenda. For those interested in the details, read on:

Monday, March 11, 2013

2013 Landscaping Contract (Autumn Walk)

Update 5/16/13: Brickman has clarified that the two fenced yards with gates are grandfathered into the service only for the length of the contract (through 2015) and that new fenced areas will not be included. 

Update: Please note that the community-wide mulching is only in the Spring. Any other mulching outside of the Common Areas is your responsibility.

You may have noticed that Brickman is in the process of tending all of the mulched beds throughout Autumn Walk.

We asked every one of you individually last year for permission to contract for full maintenance, but since we're getting a little more than we expected, this seems like a good time to discuss what is covered under the 2013 contract.

Note that opting out does not reduce your Autumn Walk dues, but we can ask the contractor to skip your lot. This service is costing you $30/month ($360/year) total, including the maintenance of the Common Areas which we are obligated to take care of regardless.

If you have any concerns please let us know immediately. 

Hopefully you will agree this is an incredible bargain for this community, and has the added benefit of keeping the entire street looking trim and well-kept!

Items included in the service are listed in detail below.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Emerson HOA Election Results

Three Board members were chosen at the Emerson elections on 2/20/13. The candidates selected were:
  • John Jurgensen (new to Board)
  • Erica Root Cikanek (new to Board)
  • De Von Saunders (current Board President)

The rest of the meeting consisted of an open forum to ask questions of the prior Board while the results were tallied.
  • Fire lane issue: parked cars block fire trucks and hydrants
  • Howard County Councilwoman Jen Terrasa to be at NLCC on Thursday, 2/21/13 (info updated below 2/22/13 - this was a North Laurel Civic Association meeting to discuss Zoning issues)
  • Maintenance issues
  • Financial Questions
  • Request to establish a process for sub-HOAs to propose architectural changes
  • Neighborhood Composition
  • Elections


Monday, February 18, 2013

Heating Company Offer

Update 3/19/13: Notes are now posted on Facebook in our Warranties & Repairs page. The summary is: 
  • Your HVAC systems are warrantied for 1 year parts/labor from the date of settlement. 
  • Major parts are warrantied by the manufacturer for 5 years, but you can use any licensed dealer for repair. 
  • ARS is offering discounts to any residents in Emerson of 10%-15% on service plans and installations.
  • Otherwise, Aprilaire is recommending either the Model 600 (evaporative bypass) or Model 800 (steam) humidifiers. The latter costs about 4 times as much and also requires a 240VAC line.
Once again, Autumn Walk is not endorsing these services, these are personal notes presenting the information at the request of several homeowners. Thanks again to Jenny in 9847 for hosting!

The company that installed our Heating, Ventilation, and Cooling (HVAC) systems and is responsible for warranty repair in the first year, ARS, has offered to provide a presentation in a group setting in which Autumn Walk homeowners can ask questions.

This is in response to a large number of inquiries from residents on how to adjust the systems to warm up cold basements and address a lack of humidity in the winter months.

While Autumn Walk HOA is not endorsing ARS' services, we agreed to pass on their offer to residents. If there is sufficient interest, we will try to schedule a session. Possible topics:

  • How to maintain and adjust our heating/cooling systems
  • What service capabilities ARS provides
  • Possible presentation by Aprilaire (whole-house humidifier company)

If you are interested (or want to volunteer to coordinate this interaction) please reply to the HOA email or post on our Facebook page. Other topics and questions can also be passed along.

Emerson HOA Meeting Notes 1/28/2013

Notes from the Emerson Master HOA Meeting on 1/28/13:
  • Elections - Restart 2/20/13
  • Activities 
  • Safety Committee 
  • Closed Session: Financials, Architectural Covenants, Manager's Report, Pool (changes to operating hours and guest pass policies)


Howard County Officials: Visit to Emerson HOA on Jan. 28

Howard County officials were special guests at the last Emerson HOA meeting on 1/28/13 and answered questions from the community, mostly about traffic. Though Howard County Council Member Jen Terrasa was scheduled to attend, she was represented by members of her staff due to a late-running meeting.

Guests included Jo Ann Maxfield (Special Assistant to Ms. Terrasa) and Diane Schwarzman (Chief of Traffic Engineering and the County’s sole traffic engineer).

  • Extension of Skylark Blvd to MD-216 
  • Straightening Gorman Road 
  • Schools (including rezoning) 
  • Emerson Property Issues 
  • Sidewalks 


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Emerson News: New BoD Nominations; Yard Waste

  • Nominations have Re-Opened for Emerson Board
  • Elections Postponed Till February
  • Last Chance for Christmas Trees: This Week
  • Possible Snow

1. In case you missed it, Emerson has re-opened the nomination process for Board of Director positions. If you or anyone else wants to run for one of the three open positions, you must submit your nomination form with signatures from 20 households in Emerson by Wednesday, 1/23/13.

During the cancelled November 26th election, the three candidates were running unopposed.

2. The Elections have been postponed to Wednesday, 2/20/13.

3. Finally, in unrelated news, this is the last week that Howard County will pick up yard waste at the curb -- in particular, Christmas trees (which must be stripped of tinsel and decorations).
  • Note that the yard waste truck is separate from the regular recycling truck and may come at a different time.
  • After the third week in January, it's possible you can still take your trees yourself to the Howard County landfill on Marriottsville Road.
4. The forecast calls for light snow Thursday evening, perhaps up to 2" of accumulation. The Autumn Walk Board signed a contract to clear the sidewalks by the parking spaces and mailboxes. All other walks and driveways are the responsibility of individual homeowners. Miller & Smith is responsible for plowing the street one last season.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Howard County: Restaurant Weeks, Tax-Free Appliances

Two events are coming up in the next month that can save you a little money:

Howard County Restaurant Weeks:

Every year, Howard County has a pair of 15-day Restaurant Weeks, during which many of the better dining establishments agree to have special prix-fixe menus at greatly reduced prices for lunch and dinner (from $10.13 to $40.13, with the latter usually applying to a three-course dinner).

This is a great opportunity to sample some of the many very good restaurants that now reside in Howard County at roughly half the usual cost.

In 2013, the Winter Restaurant Week will be January 14-28 (the Summer event is usually in July).

Maryland Sales Tax Holiday for Energy Star Appliances

The State of Maryland also typically has a 6% sales tax holiday on President's Day Weekend (February 16-18) for Energy Star Rated Appliances with some surprising items on the list:
  • air conditioner, furnace or heat pump
  • clothes washer or dryer
  • standard size refrigerator
  • compact fluorescent light bulb
  • dehumidifier
  • programmable thermostat