2006 Brookshire Cluster General Assembly

Thursday February 23, 2006   7 p.m.



Financials and Budget


2006 Events

Vote on board members

Other items for general discussion

2006 Plan of Action Review




With 15 of 26 houses (58%) attending, quorum was achieved.


Brookshire Cluster President Deirdre B called the meeting to order, noting the presence of a quorum (fifteen out of twenty-six homes). Since Cluster Secretary Jackie G could not attend the meeting, David S offered to take notes and prepare the minutes.  [Thank you David from us all!]


Financials and Budget


Cluster Treasurer Leann Y presented her report.  Leann noted she had served as Treasurer for five years and that this would be her last report; all residents present thanked her for her work.


·         As of December 31, 2005, the Cluster had $36,305 in cash, with $25,000 in the capital reserve fund for major repairs and maintenance, such as the repaving of the Cluster parking lot (which was originally slated to be completed in 2005).


·         The cost of trash removal went up in 2005, Leann said. Tree removal expenses were also higher in 2005 because of a storm that knocked down some trees and caused some minor property damage.


·         Citing property damage associated with this storm, Ann D asked whether the cluster should have more insurance. The cluster already has a $1 million business liability or umbrella policy, the cluster will request options for additional supplemental coverage.  This is coverage that is a catch-all, when our other insurances (damage, medical, buildings) expire, we (and Reston) can tap into the umbrella policy.


·         Leann observed the cluster had not repaved and expanded the cluster parking lot in 2005 as had been originally planned, so the $21,000 budgeted for the project in 2005 remained unspent (that money had been raised as part of a special assessment of $25/quarter from the second quarter of 2004 through the end of fiscal year 2006). The 2006 budget calls for $25,000 to complete the project, with the increase necessitated by higher oil prices, Leanne said.


·         Deirdre said a site survey and other engineering work that would be necessary prior to repaving had not been accomplished in time to repave the parking lot in 2005. The project will proceed in 2006, most likely in April or May, she said.


·         Ann D asked whether the Cluster Board should consider keeping the assessment in place so as to have a permanent reserve on hand for unexpected expenses. Leann responded that the Board could consider keeping as much as $30,000 in the reserve and clarifying for future boards the conditions under which that reserve would be spent.




·         John F presented his landscaping report. He noted the chair swing is falling apart, and the Cluster could consider putting the bench in its place. In terms of the Cluster grounds, 2005 turned out to be mostly a year of clean up with little in the way of new projects; in 2006, the cluster could consider planting some fruit trees, he added.


·         Regarding the ongoing Cluster mosquito problem, John said he had been in touch with county officials and the Cluster likely will receive some county assistance this year. The problem may be with the gutter design on the houses, or with water collecting on the flat roofs. County officials likely won’t be interested in coming out to observe the problem until mosquito season starts, likely in May. John will request the county to spray our cluster to remove the mosquitoes. Bat cages are still an option, since bats can remove up to 10,000 mosquitoes each per day.


·         Deirdre noted that drainage issues in the cluster had been discussed at the last annual meeting, but ensuring the drains are cleaned on Cluster clean-up days seems to have mostly alleviated the problems.


·         Each year, our gardeners blow leaves twice, John may request a third leaf-cleanup in early 2007 to keep our cluster clean and tidy.


2006 Events


·         Clean-up day is currently scheduled for Saturday April 29.


·         Eric B presented his social report. He originally recommended the Cluster yard sale be held the weekend of April 15, but Leann suggested it be held in May to increase foot traffic stemming from the Farmers’ Market at Lake Anne.  After discussion, the yard sale date was set for May 20. Eric also suggested moving the Cluster picnic from July to June, because July tended to be too hot. The exact date for the picnic will be set at a later time.


Vote on board members


The meeting then turned to electing new board members.

·         Treasurer:  Leann Y stepped down.  Eric B was voted in as Director of Treasury for Brookshire Cluster.

·         Secretary:  Jackie G was re-nominated and re-elected Secretary.

·         Landscape: John F unanimously re-voted as Landscape Director.

·         Social:  Eric B stepped down. Jessica and Bill E agreed to serve as Combined Social Directors, and were elected unanimously.

·         President:  Deirdre B steps down on May 1st. Aaron and Jill V agree to serve as Cluster President (another new combination), and they were elected unanimously, effective May 1, 2006.


All members present thanked each board member for their contributions, time and effort over the last five years.


Other items for general discussion


·         Paint Colors: Reston’s DRB approved the new Color palette for Brookshire for doors, windows, trim and storm-windows. Current colors are grandfathered, and the map of old-to-new paints are listed on-line on www.brookshirecluster.org. The new paints are all Behr and are shown on the cluster paint palette, but for a truer color representation of the approved colors, pick up the BEHR paint brochure at Home Depot.


·         Site Survey: In a related issue, the Cluster is also looking into having a complete site survey performed. Quotes were received from various firms that spanned a few thousand in difference. On the advice of Fairfax County Government, a local firm may be better served to meet and adhere to strict Fairfax county coding laws for the site survey, so those companies recommended by Fairfax will also submit a proposal. A site survey would be a prerequisite to any other major work being performed on the Cluster, she said, and $5,000 has already been approved for the project as part of the special assessment. Deirdre asked if more money should be considered as necessary, but Leann suggested that such an increase not be considered until the paving project is completed. That way the Board will know exactly how much money is left in the Capital Reserve Fund.


·         Parking: Parking updates were discussed in detail, but it doesn’t appear that parking is a hot issue this year. With so many houses in transition, there are empty spots still available.  Pending a full cluster again soon, parking stickers and enforced towing for non-residents may become a necessity.


·         Mulch  Once again we will be ordering bags of mulch from the Lion’s Club to be delivered around April 13th ; if you are interested but have not yet signed up, please contact Deirdre B.  Left over bags will be used in our cluster cleanup. Mulch is double-shredded hardwood in Three (3) Cubic Foot Bags and is $3.73 per bag payable to Brookshire Cluster.


·         Gutter Cleaning If you are interested in signing up for Maple Leaf gutter cleaning service and have not already signed up, please contact Deirdre B.  As a member of Brookshire Cluster, you are entitled to a discount on their services - $69 for interior units, $89 exterior. It includes cleaning, removal and minor repairs of gutters and spouts. Maple leaf will invoice you directly.


·         Dumpster:  During our Spring Cluster clean-up, we will have a 15 cu-foot dumpster for our hard-to-get-rid-of-trash inside our houses as well as cluster debris. It will be available April 29th. Please do not include any paint, renovation debris or hazardous materials in the dumpster.


Reston Governing Documents Discussion


·         Deirdre turned the floor over to John Higgens, from the Reston Association, to discuss the upcoming referendum on the Reston Governing Documents. John’s goal was to make the community aware of the decision we need to make re: the governing document updates and additions, and more importantly – the resulting vote.


·         John presented an in-depth review of the proposed changes which are more than just a dues increase and updates on the existing documents, new controls are regulations will come into effect. He brought with him about 35 questions poised to make us think about the upcoming changes. He recommended we review the proposed changes and controls, and vote for our household on our overriding balance of yae/nae on the proposed changes. He explained the reasoning behind the efforts, why the changes were an all-or-nothing choice, that the results are certainly like to change if Reston is voted into a township and many of the more controversial elements, and led a spirited discussion on the merits of the proposals.


2006 Plan of Action Review


·         Paving:  Board members to decide on a vendor through multiple quote to mill and re-pave Brookshire Cluster in the Spring. According to a few vendors, we are past the point of striping (filling in the open cracks).

·         Site Survey:  Vendor quotes to be collected and one selected for site survey.

·         Mosquito Control:  John to utilize mosquito prevention spraying with Fairfax county.

·         Landscape: Focus this year will be on re-planting new trees and improving grassy areas.

·         Insurance:  Brookshire to review and receive supplemental Business Liability (umbrella) insurance for the cluster, and for Reston should the governing document changes be approved.

·         Community Dates:

o    Spring Cluster Cleanup:       April 29th or rain-date Sunday, April 30th

o    Yard Sale:               May 20th or rain-date Sunday, May 21st

o    Picnic:                    TBD – June???


With no issues raised during the open forum discussion, Deirdre concluded the meeting at about 10:30 p.m.


Cluster Documents
Head Document
Rules and Regulations
Articles of Incorporation
Process Complaint
Trash Recycling
Calendar Events
About Us
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Cluster Guidelines
Paint Guidelines
Structural Guidelines
Meeting Minutes