Homes corporation and condominium association articles are provided by representatives or board members from the corporations and associations. The information and opinions provided within these articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the Montgomery Village Foundation, its Board of Directors, representatives or staff. Residents with specific questions or concerns about the information contained in these articles should contact their community manager or the author of the article.
East Village Echo
If a tree falls, who removes it?
by the East Village Board of Directors
East Village has a lot of trees. And they fall down. Since February, several strong windstorms have swept through East Village and knocked down quite a few of our trees. After every storm, East Village Community Manager April Steward and the Brightview Landscaping manager immediately inspect the community looking for damage. They also respond to residents who report fallen trees.
When a tree comes down, residents sometimes ask who is responsible for its removal? It depends on who owns it.
In East Village, there are several possible property owners. Trees could be the responsibility of homeowners, East Homes Corporation or Montgomery Village Foundation, depending on which piece of land it is on. Trees are expensive to remove and can cause considerable damage, and each property owner has to follow the laws pertaining to property rights and responsibilities.
Following are some examples. If you have a tree on your property that falls down entirely within your property, you’re responsible for its removal (check with your Home Insurance Policy). However, if your tree falls on your neighbor’s property, you’re only responsible for the portion of the tree on your property. Your neighbor pays for the portion of your tree on their property. The same holds true if your neighbor’s tree falls on your property. You have to pay to remove what is over your property line. If there is property damage in any of the above situations, contact your insurance agent.
As property owners, East Village and MVF follow the same rules and laws. If a tree on East Village or MVF property falls on homeowner property, East Village or MVF is responsible for removing the part of the tree on the common property held by either entity, but not what falls on private property.
East Village conducts regular monthly inspections covering trees and many other items. If a tree is noted to have died or is leaning at a certain point that may cause damage, it’ll be removed after a joint maintenance committee agreement and decision. Homeowners sometimes request that trees next to their house, but on East Village property, be trimmed or removed. The maintenance committee looks at each situation and determines if a tree is unhealthy or has died or appears to be leaning and may fall. Limbs that are too close to roofs of homes will sometimes be trimmed back.
It should be noted that there is a tree trimming schedule, and each neighborhood has its trees trimmed on a three or four year cycle.
Annual Picnic in September
Come and meet your neighbors by attending the Annual East Village Picnic scheduled from1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22 at Lake Marion Community Center, 8821 East Village Avenue. We will be on the deck overlooking the lake, and food and refreshments will be provided. In the past, a DJ has rocked the deck with music with kids and adults joining in for fun dance contests. Face painting or other children’s activities have always been popular. Plus, many local and state elected officials have attended. It’s a chance to bend their ear and voice your concerns to EVHC board members as well.
Trash Should Be Sealed
Finally, a friendly reminder that all trash should be stored in tightly sealed containers, then put on the curbside on your collection day. It’s the law, so please follow it. Trash pickup is every Tuesday and Friday, while county recycling is every Friday; when there is a national or state recognized holiday during the week, recycling will slide one day and be picked up on Saturday.
East Village Echo: for residents of The Downs, The Reach, The Estates, Essex Place II, Candle Ridge, Gablefield, Glenbrooke, Meadowgate, Ashford, Holly Pointe and Wethersfield.
Maryland Place Messages
Winter still hangs on!
by the Maryland Place Board of Directors
Sometimes in Maryland we get to experience what seems like three seasons in one week.
The winter has been no exception; snow on Monday, rain on Wednesday and 72 degrees and sunny on Saturday. Be patient—spring will be here soon!
You may have noticed last month our landscaping contractor went through the neighborhood and trimmed the trees on the community property. They also removed several trees that we will be replacing in the spring. Maintaining the trees is important to their health and keeps Maryland Place looking good.
We are still seeing a huge amount of speeding on neighborhood streets. We are monitoring this and are looking into solutions. Please do not speed on our neighborhood streets.
Our trash problem seems to be ongoing, with constant dumping of trash on community property. Residents are seen placing bags of trash, recycling, furniture, appliances, etc. on community property daily! Trash or recycling should never be placed on community property. Lately we seem to have a problem with residents leaving trash cans and recycling bins on the green spaces after pickup. This doesn’t make Maryland Place look welcoming to home buyers or visitors. Let’s do a better job by not placing trash or recycling on community property. If you see your trash or recycling bin on community property please return it to your backyard.
Maryland Place Trash and Recycling Info
Trash and recycling should be stored on your property in a sealed, vermin-proof container.
Trash containers should be placed at the rear of your property on Sunday and Wednesday nights after dark for collection on Monday and Thursday morning. Recycling is to be placed in the front of your property on Wednesday night after dark for collection on Thursday morning. At no time should trash or recycling ever be placed on community property.
Maryland Place Messages: for residents of Maryland Place.
Middle Village Voice
WSSC Pipe Replacement Project – Brassie Way
by the Middle Village Board of Directors
WSSC will be working in the 9600 block/section of Brassie Way over the next few weeks to install new ductile iron pipes. During this time there will be parking restrictions from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Vehicles must be moved from the areas by 7 a.m., Monday through Friday. Signs will be placed in the restricted parking areas.
Affected residents will be notified if the water service will be interrupted. To receive an e-mail or text message alert when your water service is disrupted, you can register for the WSSC’s Customer Notification System at www.wsscwater.com/cns. The service is free, but your standard text message rates do apply. We appreciate your patience while WSSC completes the pipe replacement.
There are numerous storm drains located along the curbs throughout the community. Please do not dispose of any items in the storm drains! Placing an item such as a water bottle in the drain may seem harmless, but it can be the start of a very costly problem, which can translate into increased assessment fees. Remember: no bottles, paint cans, hazardous materials such as paint, oils, gasoline, etc. are ever to be placed in the storm drains. Help keep our community water system flowing efficiently, and protect your property from flood damage.
The current Middle Village Parking policy states:
"All vehicles parked overnight in the community are required to display a MVHC parking tag/permit or they are subject to immediate towing. For purposes of these Rules, overnight is defined as parking a vehicle in MV anytime between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m."
"Parking tag/permit must be clearly/properly displayed, on the driver’s side, facing the front windshield, on vehicles parked in a reserved parking space, or parked in the community overnight. Tags/permits can be hung from the rearview mirror or taped to the driver’s side dashboard or front windshield, front side facing toward the windshield."
"Failure to properly display the current year’s parking tag/permit will lead to immediate towing – even if vehicle is parked in the appropriate reserved parking space. No warnings or notifications will be issued."
“No commercial vehicles or trailers of any type, campers, or recreational vehicles
shall be permitted to remain overnight on either the property of a private dwelling unit or on the community-owned property within Middle Village. For purposes of these rules, over-night is defined as parking a vehicle between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.”
“Commercial vehicles include vehicles with any type of writing or printing (let-ters, words, pictures, insignia, etc.) identifying a firm, organization, service, product, etc., of any kind, type or description. All vehicles carrying ladders, pipes, ladder racks, truck-loaded tools or truck-loaded tool boxes, etc., will be considered commercial. Vans used for delivering, storing or transporting goods or cargo are also considered to be commercial vehicles and are prohibited from remaining overnight in the community. Police vehicles are exempted.”
“No commercial vehicles (including commercial pickup trucks) shall be permitted to remain overnight in the community. Pickup trucks must not have ladder racks, truck-loaded tools or truck-loaded toolboxes. Further, pickup trucks may not park overnight in the community with any cargo, items or material of any kind in the truck bed (landscaping debris, tools, boxes, trash, equipment, etc.) that exceeds the height of the truck bed sides or that extends beyond the tailgate. Pickup trucks with cargo that meet this description will be considered commercial vehicles and are not permitted to park in the community overnight. Violations are subject to immediate towing.”
We live in a community that requires every homeowner to pay assessment fees. Assessments are used to pay contractors for landscaping, snow removal, trash collection, collection of illegally dumped trash, lighting, repairs on community property, etc. If you are a homeowner, you were provided with this information during closing.
Reminder: Assessments are due to be paid monthly. Your payment must be received by ComSource on or before the 15th of the month to avoid late charges. Your regular payments allow us to continue providing services to our community.
Homeowners who are delinquent with their assessment payments must pay their past due balance in full or make arrangements to pay them. The first step to making payment arrangements is contacting Edna Kweti at 301-924-7355 or e-mail email@example.com.
Important Contact Phone Numbers
Security on Demand 877-241-1265
Big Tow 301-424-4869
Potomac Disposal 301-294-9700
Montgomery County Police
ComSource is our management company. If you have a comment or complaint, please include your name, address, phone number, location of issue/problem and specific details in your correspondence or when you are leaving a phone message for the property manager.
Contact ComSource at 301-924-7355 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Board Meeting Schedule
The next Middle Village Homes Corporation board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 27 at the Thomas Choice Clubhouse, 19401 Brassie Place. The only remaining meeting date for 2019 will be on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. in the same location.
Middle Village Voice: for residents of Thomas Choice West and Clubside.
North Village View
by the North Village Board of Directors
Before you trim or take down a tree, check that it is actually yours. If you live in the Pleasant Ridge community, most of the trees along the street are the property of North Village. You can review the plat of your property to see where your property lines extend.
If you hire a tree company, make sure they have a certified arborist on staff to advise you on the best way to trim the trees on your property.
Thanks for complying
We want to thank those truck owners who have begun to comply with our community regulations on parking in driveways, streets and fire lanes. As a reminder, the NVHC Parking Policy was amended to state that overnight truck parking is defined to be the hours of 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. A full copy of the policy can be found on your resident dashboard at www.montgomeryvillage.com.
See Something, Say Something
After some recent auto theft incidents in Pleasant Ridge, please remain vigilant when leaving cars in your driveway and near your house. Bright LED security lights with motion detectors are quite helpful. Other best practices include locking your car at all times, and not leaving valuables, packages and garage door openers in the car, as they are open invitations to break-ins. As a good neighbor, remain aware of suspicious behavior. Monitoring our neighborhoods will always be a challenge, but we want to do everything we can to make them as safe as possible.
Working on the new budget
The board had an evening working session on July 25 to draft a 2020 budget consistent with requirements of our bylaws. Important items reviewed were tree care, bulk trash and HOA payments.
No Hulk, so go bulk
Monday and Thursday are our regular trash pickup days. Four free bulk pickups per household per year are allowed. Please contact Potomac Disposal at 301-294-9700 or go online to www.potomacdisposal.com/bulk-pickup to see the list of acceptable items.
If you have any large metal items for recycling, call Montgomery County at 240-777-6410 or 240-777-6400. Call no later than Monday for a Wednesday pickup, and in Picton no later than Wednesday for a Friday pickup. A list of what can and cannot be recycled is found on the county website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/sws/programs.
Outfox the foxes
Multiple foxes have been spotted in the neighborhoods during the day, and they seem to have become less fearful of people. Don’t let small pets wander in an unprotected area. While foxes don’t typically view dogs and cats as prey, you should be cautious.
Foxes eat a wide variety of foods, including rubbish, small animals, plants, berries, worms, insects and more or less anything else they can get their paws on! So, in addition to protecting your pets, keep those lids on your trash cans.
The next North Village board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 15 in the North Creek Board Room, 20125 Arrowhead Road. Residents time occurs at the beginning of the meeting. If you have any questions or want to report any problems, call Community Manager April Steward at 240-243-2327.
North Village View: for residents of Essex Place, Highland Hall, McRory, Perry Place, Picton, Pleasant Ridge and Salem’s Grant.
Pickleball courts planned
by the Northgate Board of Directors
The Montgomery Village Foundation is holding a community meeting at the Whetstone Community Center, 19140 Brooke Grove Court, on Wednesday, Aug. 14 at 6:30 p.m. to gather resident feedback on the concept of repurposing one of the four Apple Ridge tennis courts to create four purpose-built Pickleball courts.
Residents near the proposed Apple Ridge site have been mailed information about the meeting and the proposal. Interested residents are encouraged to attend.
In other news, the Northgate board will commence work on the FY2020 budget in the next few weeks. Updates will follow.
A new table, plus new benches and trash cans were installed in the Apple Ridge community. These are replacements for the original ones installed when the community was built. We thank the residents for their patience as we got the items contracted for and put in place.
Schools will be opening soon, so we remind everyone to please be careful around school buses and children walking to and from school.
A reminder on the subject of trees: Northgate has a substantial list of trees that must be removed. They are prioritized for removal by a certified arborist, not by the board, and not by our manager. If you have been told a tree will be removed, it will be. Please be patient.
Every time there is a storm, the tree removal list changes in order to handle emergencies. Northgate is not removing trees because someone does not like them. The association utilizes a professional to tell it the condition and status of community trees. Demanding removals outside the professional recommendations we receive is not helpful. Removing trees is very expensive, and the board works within the budget.
We hope you enjoy the rest of the summer.
Northgate News: for residents of Apple Ridge, Dorsey's Regard, McKendree I & II, Overlea, The Points, Shadow Oak and Williams Range.
Patton Ridge Report
by the Patton Ridge Board of Directors
A few months ago, we experienced major flooding at the intersection of Meadowcroft Lane and Doolittle Street in Fairidge. We subsequently asked our storm drain contractor to evaluate the storm water system in that area and to determine the cause of the flooding. The contractor found that the flooding was due to a problem with the storm water system on the property owned by Monument Realty.
We engaged Monument in discussions regarding the problem, and we were informed that the county has agreed to take responsibility for the storm water system on the former golf course once the existing system is repaired and brought up to code. That repair is a Monument Realty responsibility. Therefore, Patton Ridge has decided to forgo the expense of fixing the storm line on Monument property.
Hopefully the flooding we experienced was a one-time event. We did not have any flooding during any of the recent large rainstorms.
Next Board Meeting
The Patton Ridge board does not meet in August. Our next board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 24 in the North Creek Community Center Board Room, 20125 Arrowhead Road.
Patton Ridge Report: for residents of Arrowhead, Fairway Islands, Fairidge, Greentee I & II, Highfield and Partridge Place I & II.
South Village Scenes
Parking space painting
by the South Village Board of Directors
Attention, residents of Walker’s Choice and Grover’s Forge: parking space painting is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 12 through Thursday, Aug. 15, weather permitting. All parking space numbers (where applicable) and lines will be painted.
So that the work can be done properly, all vehicles must be removed from the street by 7 a.m. Vehicles not removed will be relocated while the work is done. Vehicles can be parked in any South Village community while the work is being done. A notice with a map and work details has been mailed to each home and can also be viewed on the South Village Facebook page. Reminder signage will be posted at the entrance of each community.
DHCA Grant Approved
South Village has received a grant from the Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) in the amount of $1.5 million for work to improve our community. Join us at an upcoming South Village board of directors meeting (date to be announced) for details about the project.
The South Village board of directors has approved parking permits for all communities. The parking policy and permit implementation will be detailed in the Village News and distributed to residents by mail.
Be sure to check out the South Village Facebook page for news, information and updates!
South Village has many priorities for 2020. Among them are parking permit implementation and common property maintenance, including increased bulk trash pickup. While we have maintained a flat budget with no increase since 2014, increasing costs will require an increase in assessment fees.
In 2019, the cost for trash pickup has increased 50% over the 2018 costs. The reason is simple; bulk trash items like mattresses, stoves, refrigerators and dishwashers are removed by a separate contractor. Fees for the pickup are costly, based on amount and weight, and are one of the main reasons for the increase.
Despite the arrangements made by the board of directors to allow residents to contact our trash contractor for bulk trash pickup, some residents/neighbors continually dump in the common areas, forcing this issue to be such a significant impact to everyone.
Parking permit implementation will also increase costs next year; the first year costs of the program will be slightly higher than future years.
Our homes corporation has remained solvent, and we will continue to ensure the highest commitment to the management and maintenance of South Village. Your comments about the budget are important and can be submitted to the Community Management Office or at the Wednesday, Aug. 28 board of directors meeting; we meet at 7 p.m. in the North Creek Board Room, 20125 Arrowhead Road.
South Village Scenes: for residents of Center Stage, Dockside, Grover's Forge, Hamptons, Millrace, Nathan's Hill and Walker's Choice.
The dog days of summer
by Keith Silliman
Many of our residents have already been away or are currently taking summer vacations. The continued heat and humidity has reduced outside activities and caused many to stay indoors. Air conditioners are working overtime, and the swimming pools are busy.
Our community is an attractive place to live, thanks to the efforts of our landscape maintenance contractor and our residents keeping their homes in good repair. As a result, when a house goes on the market, there is frequently a quick sale at or near the asking price.
Generation of Stedwick’s 2020 Operating Budget will be the focus of the board of directors for the next couple of months. We have been fortunate that the current year has not seen a major snowfall or any of the infrequent violent storms that sometimes cause significant damage to the Stedwick tree cover. Therefore, we may anticipate little or no increase in assessments. If you have an opinion on how the budget dollars are allocated, please let us know.
Traffic signs along Watkins Mill Road indicate a pending closure of that road near the Pepco right-of-way from the evening of Friday, Aug. 16 through early morning Monday, Aug. 19. If you use that portion of Watkins Mill Road, be prepared to find an alternate route during that time.
The Stedwick maintenance committee is continuing to work with Montgomery County to have additional trees planted in our community this fall through the Montgomery Tree program.
The next maintenance inspection is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 13. That inspection routinely includes a drive through of the entire Stedwick community by the maintenance committee, our community manager and our landscape contractor. It allows us to follow up on any pending items from previous inspections, to assess any items recently brought to our attention and to identify items that might be seen during the drive. If you know of any items, situations or conditions that need the maintenance committee’s attention, please let us know prior to that date.
The next meeting of the Stedwick Homes Corporation Board of Directors is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 21 at Stedwick Community Center, 10401 Stedwick Road. Come join us for that meeting. The first item on the agenda of the regular meeting is residents time, which provides an opportunity for you to ask questions or express concerns and opinions. In the meantime, if you have an issue, contact the Stedwick Homes Corporation Community Manager at 240-243-2326, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or communicate via regular mail to the Stedwick Homes Corporation at 10120 Apple Ridge Road.
Stedwick Signals: for residents of Club Hill, Clusters of Stedwick I, II, III, Forest Brooke, Frenchton Place, Ridges of Stedwick and The Heights.
Asphalt repair needed
by the Whetstone Board of Directors
The approximately 5 miles of roads that wind through our community are the single largest asset that Whetstone Homes Corporation is responsible for maintaining. The roads, bike paths, aggregate sidewalks and curbs are repaired or replaced using money from our financial reserves built up through the years by assessments.
In June, the maintenance committee surveyed the entire neighborhood and identified and documented over 50 locations where repair work is needed. These were categorized based on severity of damage and whether they constituted a tripping hazard. The category of greatest need had nearly 30 locations. Using this list, the committee marked all 30 and will be seeking bids from contractors to be submitted to the Whetstone Homes Corporation (WHC) Board of Directors for review and approval at the September meeting.
The MVF Community Management staff has completed the Private Property Maintenance inspection of Whetstone. Letters to owners who have compliance issues have been mailed. If you didn’t receive one, congratulations! If you did receive one, please note the action due date; if you need additional time, you can call MVF Community Management at 301-948-0110 and ask for an extension.
Fencing and power washing siding and bricks seem to be the most often cited of issues residents have to deal with. These may require contacting a company for estimates—you may want to talk to your neighbors about banding together to get better prices.
As many of you may know, there have been a couple of attempted break-ins in the neighborhood, which have been captured on home owners’ security cameras. Please keep the doors on both your house and cars locked, and your garage doors closed to prevent theft. If you do notice suspicious activity on your street, please contact the police immediately.
The Whetstone Board of Directors has filled one of two board vacancies. Alex Vespoli, a resident for nearly three years, volunteered because he feels a vested interest in having Whetstone be the perfect neighborhood to raise his family. He is also a member of the MVF Commercial Architecture Review Committee (CARC), which will help guide the redevelopment efforts at the Professional Center and ensure that Whetstone concerns are known and heard. Welcome Alex!
In an effort to communicate more effectively with our residents, the WHC board would like to update our board e-mail list. This allows you to receive meeting notices, agendas, emergency information, etc. This is not a neighborhood discussion forum. If you are not on the current list or have changed your provider, just send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Whetstone Watch: for residents of The Courts, Goshenside, Lakeside and the Ridges of Whetstone.