Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Autumn Walk Annual Meeting Notes 10/29/18

·         Agenda 10/29/18
o   7:00      Quorum Established
o   7:01      Call to Order and Introductions
o   7:02      Adoption of the 2017 Annual Meeting Minutes
o   7:05      Financial Review
§  2019 Budget Overview/Formal Board Adoption
§  Grounds Contract 2019
o   7:20      President’s Report
§  Yearly Overview
§  Community Gatherings/Events
§  Misc
o   7:30      Election – one open position
o   7:45      Open Forum for Community Concerns
o   8:00      Meeting Adjourned
·         Quorum Established (12 needed)

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Autumn Walk 2018 Annual Meeting and Elections (Oct. 29)

The Autumn Walk Annual Meeting and Elections will be held on Monday, October 29, 2018 at 7 PM in the Emerson Clubhouse.


  • FY2019 Budget
  • Landscaping Contract
    • Competitive bidding
    • Expanded services
  • Elections
    • One new Board Member needed
  • Resident Open Forum
We need 12 houses to reach quorum for the results to be valid, so please attend or submit your signed proxies. Hope to see you there!

Howard County Focus on the Route 1 Corridor

Savage County Association (SCA) and Howard County Citizens Association (HCCA) are hosting all of the candidates for Howard County Council in Districts 1 and 2, as well as our District 3, in an open forum to discuss the revitalization of the Route 1 Corridor.

Date: Monday, Oct. 22, 2018
Time: 7 PM
Location: Carroll Baldwin Hall, 9035 Baltimore St., Savage, MD 20763

Expected attendees are:
  • District 1: Raj Kathuria, Liz Walsh
  • District 2: Opel Jones, John Liao
  • District 3: Christiana Rigby
You can get reminders and updates by clicking the "Interested" button on the Facebook event:
Howard County has awarded a $300K contract to RKG Associates, a DC-based consultancy, to assist in revising the Master Plan for the Route 1 Corridor (which the Department of Planning and Zoning considers to be the part of Howard County east of I-95).

To see the scope of the work envisioned by DPZ, you can read the RFP for this contract:

A summary of the RFP's goals:

Thursday, October 4, 2018

RSVP: 2018 Autumn Walk Halloween Block Party & Chili Cookoff

Allie will once again be hosting the 6th Annual Autumn Walk Halloween Block Party and Chili Cook-Off!

Because Halloween falls on a Wednesday, the main event will occur on Saturday, October 27th.

Everyone is welcome to attend, spend some time with the neighbors, and judge a little chili.

To sign up to enter a vegetarian or meat chili go to the SignUpGenius page or send Allie an email at amehok01@yahoo.com:

The schedule (full information at the signup link above):
  • Friday, Oct. 26, 2018 (5 pm): Pumpkin Carving in the common area behind 9830-9840 row
  • Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018 (6 pm - 8 pm):
    • Chili Cookoff (vegetarian and meat categories)
    • Halloween Block Party
    • If you will not be attending the annual meeting on Mon. Oct. 29, please bring your signed proxies to the Halloween Block Party so we can achieve quorum

2018 Autumn Walk Picnic

After weeks of rain, the weather for the 2018 Autumn Walk Picnic was unbelievably beautiful: sunny, mild, and with low humidity.

The HOA provided a wide variety of pizzas and the community furnished drinks, beer, side dishes, desserts, and most importantly - themselves!

Thanks go out to Melody and Jim for hosting the event in their garage and parking pad, as well as providing tents, tables, drinks, food, and even TV and music.

We had at least 18 houses participate in some form or another, with almost 50 adults and kids stopping by at some point during the day to chat or just to snag some pizza.

And the weather was so perfect that an event scheduled from 1 pm - 4 pm lasted well into the evening, with Jim and Melody breaking out the fire pit after sunset. Jim's drone was also a hit with both the big kids and the little kids!

For a full album, go the Facebook page, and we hope to see you all at the next event (probably the Halloween Block Party on Sat. Oct. 27th unless someone throws an impromptu Flaming Friday in between)!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Emerson Food Truck Fridays

*** Update: A dinner truck has been added for Friday, October 5th! ***

Emerson's first Food Truck Friday on Sept. 7th was a big success, with The Taco Bar serving up 72 lunches in a 3 hour span!

That success means that plans are underway to expand Food Truck Fridays by adding evening dinner hours and perhaps more days. Stay tuned for details!

In the meantime, two more trucks have already been scheduled:

Thursday, September 20, 2018

2018 Autumn Walk Picnic (and Halloween)

The 2018 Autumn Walk Picnic will be a pizza party and potluck, with our HOA providing pizza, on Saturday of next week (September 29th), at the end of the big cul-de-sac.

Note that the starting time has been corrected to 1 PM.

Please RSVP at the site:

With this late start, we're more concerned about getting a head count for pizza than any potluck so please respond by Wednesday evening (Sept. 26) if you can

You should be able to edit your response if you set up an account, or you can always mail us corrections at autumnwalkhoa@gmail.com.

We hope everyone will come out to meet the neighbors! We know we have a number of new residents so we hope everyone is able to attend.

This event is rain or shine since if the weather doesn't cooperate, we'll just go into the garages.

Finally, Allie will once again be hosting the Halloween Block Party at 9832 with a Chili Cook-Off and Pumpkin Carving contest. The exact date is still to be determined since Halloween falls in the middle of the week.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Maryland Shop Tax Free Week (plus Scholarships!)

Maryland's Shop Tax Free Week is Sunday, August 12th to Saturday, August 18th.

Various items of clothing and certain backpacks can be bought with no Maryland sales tax this week (though most sports equipment is excluded).

In addition, Maryland has announced an easy scholarship contest.

College students can win either a $2500 or $1500 scholarship to any Maryland college or trade school, by taking a picture with a "Maryland" theme, adding a catchy caption, and posting it to social media (Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram) with the hashtag #shopMDtaxfree.

Autumn Walk Picnic - Volunteers Needed

We are looking for volunteers to organize and/or host a pizza party or picnic in September.

This has traditionally been a potluck event with Autumn Walk HOA providing a small budget for drinks and a main course.

Contact someone on the Board or send an email to autumnwalkhoa@gmail.com if you are interested in helping out!

Flamingo Friday Farewell - Take 2 (Friday, Aug. 17th)

The Farewell Flamingo Friday for Daphna, Sam, and Seth has been rescheduled for this Friday, August 17th!

Please join hosts Allie and Joe at 9832 as we wish a fond farewell to the family that brought Flamingo Friday to Autumn Walk.

Everyone is invited to come over early at 6 PM. The event will be held in back by their patio in the open common area behind that row, but if it rains it will be moved into the garage and basement.

As always everyone is welcome and the most important thing to bring is yourselves!

Flamingo Friday Farewell
Date: Friday, August 17, 2018
Time: 6 PM
Location: Behind 9832 in the common area
In Case of Rain: The event will be held rain or shine, but will move into the garage or basement if it rains

Emerson Annual Inspections Begin Aug. 13th

Emerson's Annual Inspections begin on Monday, August 13, 2018 and will continue on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis until completed.

This process usually takes a few weeks to complete the 1100 homes within the community.

Only the exterior is inspected, so homeowners do not need to be present. If an issue is noted, the Emerson Community Manager will send a notification with a timeframe for addressing the issue.

The checklist provided to the teams is as follows:

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Basketball Backboards Not Permitted in Townhomes

Emerson's bylaws do not permit basketball hoops in townhome communities at all, even if they are put away in the evenings. 

From the Emerson HOA Bylaws, certain types are permitted in single family homes but not townhomes:


A. General Considerations

1. Basketball backboards (both permanent and portable) must be located so as to minimize the impact of their appearance and noise on neighboring properties.

2. When locating basketball backboards, the size of the property, relationship to adjacent residences, and screening provided by existing and proposed structures and/or vegetation are important.

3. Pole-mounted backboards are recommended rather than building-mounted backboards.

4. Any addition of paving material also requires review and approval.

5. Townhomes: Basketball Backboards are not permitted in Townhome Communities due to the close proximity of units, and the potential negative acoustical impact.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Flamingo Farewell (Postponed)

*** Update 6/22/18: The Flamingo Farewell is being postponed because the weather is not cooperating for an outdoor event. Allie & Joe will let everyone know when a make-up date has been decided. Please help spread the word! ***

Please come out this Friday for a Flamingo Friday Farewell to Sam, Daphna, and Seth!

As many of you know, they were the ones who brought the concept of Flamingo Fridays to Autumn Walk, which has helped to create the friendly, welcoming atmosphere on our street.

The event will be hosted by Allie and Joe at 9832 on the patio behind their house. With the long summer days, Allie invites everyone to come over early starting at 6 PM.

As always, the hosts will provide refreshments and while you should feel free to bring some food or drink, please attend regardless to meet the neighbors and say farewell to the original Flamingoers!

Date: Friday, June 22, 2018
Time: 6 PM (starts early!)
Location: Patio behind 9832 (look for the Flamingo)

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Flamingo Friday!

Our new neighbors Jim and Melody hosted the first Flamingo Friday of the season last night!

The weather was so beautiful that they told people to come over any time after 6 PM and a nice group was already assembled by the usual starting time of 7 PM.

Melody also made a pitcher of mojitos with home-grown mint, which is going above-and-beyond but which didn't elicit any complaints!

For a few pictures, see the album on Facebook:

Thursday, April 12, 2018

No Front Footage Fees!

What's a front footage fee, and why should we be glad we don't have one in Autumn Walk?

What Are Front Footage Fees?
When new communities are built, often water and sewer lines have to be extended to the new homes.

In some cases the cost of this infrastructure is just incorporated into the cost of the property when it's sold to the homeowner, without additional charges -- as is the case with our street, Garden Ranges!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Autumn Walk Spring Clean-Up

The Annual Spring Clean-Up was finished today!

The Autumn Walk Spring Clean-Up is a valued benefit of our landscaping contract. In 2013 we extended the contract for maintaining the Common Areas to cover our private yards as well.

Although this resulted in our HOA fees rising by $15/month, we have been able to keep dues stable for the past 5 years even as the cost of the contract has risen slightly with inflation each year, while still practicing sound financial management.

As a reminder, the contract now covers mowing and trimming of our yards throughout the Summer, as well as a one-time Clean-Up of all houses in the late Winter and early Spring, and three leaf removals in the Fall.

(The rest of the year we are all responsible for pulling weeds in our front yards, trimming our bushes, and other maintenance.)

This year, the schedule of services for the Clean-Up has been:

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

New Autumn Walk Entrance Sign

Autumn Walk has a new entrance sign!

At the Annual Meeting on October 30, 2017 the Board selected a design similar to the other signs in Emerson because the price was the most reasonable and the area was deemed too small for a wall.

The sign vendor included the quill pen in the Emerson logo (which hearkens back to Emerson's namesake, the writer Ralph Waldo Emerson) even though we had omitted it because it was supposed to cost extra as a custom design, so that was an unexpected bonus. The stone accent at the bottom was also a free option.

Our HOA is presently trying to decide how to landscape the area around the base and expect to have that area repaired and cleaned up within a few weeks.

The total price exceeded the target budget slightly once bids were received and permit fees were included, but our HOA is still very healthy financially, with reserves ahead of schedule for our major future expenses.

And the relative lack of snow this winter means our snow removal budget was largely untapped (though weather is so unpredictable a future winter could always exceed its budget).

For those interested, the pictures below show the entrance monument sign in various stages of construction:

Monday, March 26, 2018

Emerson HOA Board Meeting 3/26/18

  1. Emerson Board: 
    • Nancy Tucker (Howard Hughes Corp.)
    • Erica Root-Cikanek
    • Feleke Eshete
    • Unable to attend: 
      • Knott Realty Representative
      • Narsimha Doma
  1. CMC Management:
    • Steffanie Felder Nollie
    • Heather McGreevy
  1. Residents: Approx. 7 in attendance
  • Resident Forum: dog waste stations, commercial vehicles
  • Committees need volunteers, especially Safety
  • Swimming Pool to open full-time May 26 (there will be no early opening dates)
  • Clubhouse Renovation Update
  • Emerson Finances very healthy, intend to lower assessment rate again
  • Yoga Class approved for Clubhouse (10 weeks)
  • Draft FY19 Budget to be prepared by 4/22/18, approved 5/21/18
  • Emerson wants to revitalize Committees
    • Possible Committee Night
    • Also potentially seek an intern to update web site

Meeting Details:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Forest Conservation Easements

One of the distinguishing characteristics of Howard County is the extensive 2600 acres set aside as green open space that supports a wide variety of wildlife and also plays a critical role in floodwater management.

(According to Howard County, soil beneath a mature forest can absorb 14 times the stormwater of a mowed grass lawn.)

Reforestation Areas
Since the 1970s new developments in Howard County have been required to set a certain percentage of their land area aside for open space.

Included within that preserved land are forest conservation easements managed by Howard County Recreation and Parks, though this only directly affects a few of our houses in Autumn Walk.

Sometimes also called reforestation areas, these tree-filled lands are embedded within our communities, but as a rule neither homeowners nor HOAs are permitted to alter them.

Storm Damage (Maintenance of Reforestation Areas)
Last month Winter Storm Riley's highly unusual sustained winds of over 30 mph (with gusts over 70 mph) toppled trees in the rain-softened ground throughout the region, as well as taking off shingles, siding, and other exterior items.

The question arose prior to the storm of who can address storm-related issues in the reforestation areas:

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Autumn Walk (Early) Spring Update

80-degree days in February make it feel like Spring has already arrived, so here's a quick (Early) Spring 2018 Update:
  • Autumn Walk Welcome Committee
  • Spring Clean-Up
  • Autumn Walk Entrance Sign Construction
  • Stephens Road Bridge Project
If you have any other ideas or see issues that need to be addressed, please contact us at autumnwalkhoa@gmail.com.

1. Welcome Committee

The new Autumn Walk Welcome Committee put together a lovely basket for our newest neighbors Melody and Jim, to make sure they are welcomed to our community.