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meeting notes from 4-19

Apr 22, 2016

At the meeting last night, I was asked if the covenant could be modified to permit only a specific type of development, with just the Association and the Covenant Holders approval. I replied yes. That was the wrong answer, any change to the covenant must also be approved by Mr. & Mrs. Bock.

I apologize for the error on my part.

John Harris





Informational meeting to discuss options for the farm development and possible release of the covenant


Background:


John Harris gave some background of the history of the land our WMN’s involvement in it.
In the mid 1960s the family wanted to start selling land, they had 40 acres in the 1970s near the townhouses. They wanted 6 story apartment buildings put in, and after negotiations between the developers and the neighborhoods worried about congestion, eventually a deal for the current townhouse development was approved.
In October 1973 the WMNCA and 3 homeowners (all married couples, 6 individuals) signed the covenant. The release of the covenant must be unanimous.
There were originally 4.3 acres of open space. In the early 1990s the county said the open space was no longer required. Between 1995 and 2000 proposals were made for development. An assisted living facility was requested in the front of the property. VDOT rejected that proposal due to traffic.


The current proposal:


A 4 building, 4-story, 128 condo unit over 55 facility. Condos will range from studios to 3 bedroom. Price will be 300K to high 400K. Most of the parking will be in an underground facility. Access will be off of Hinson Farm Road near the hospital cut-through.
Storm water run-off will be through the medical building area and out to the creek. Sewer easement exists already to tie in it through the manhole at the end of Chancery Court. The existing farmhouse is exempt from the covenant.
If we decided to release the covenant it would only be for the 4.3 acres being looked at in the development proposal. The rest of the covenant would remain the same. 3 homes and a horse farm could go in at anytime. Bock could sell as he wants.


Release of the covenant:


The covenant must be released only to clear the way for the title company to give them insurance. Fairfax County has approved the development plans already. Each of the 6 individuals and the association (as one signature) must all sign to release the covenant. The association’s decision will be based on a vote by dues paying members of the association (one vote per household). Simple majority vote is taken.


Questions/possible concessions to ask for as a condition of the release, raised during the meeting:


Apple Hill residents would like trash/abandoned cars removed along the property line behind the Apple Hill homes.
A new fence to be built to replace the broken one along the back of the Apple Hill homes.
Possibly plantings along this fence as well, although some residents might prefer to put in their own plantings.
A berm along the edge of the development, with an 8 foot fence and plantings to obscure the view of the buildings.
Request for the traffic study to be completed (has not been done to date)
A sidewalk is already going in on the Hinson Farm Rd side, we could also request a new sidewalk along Parkers Lane.


Questions and further issues to be addressed:


The covenant is our only protection/leverage. Once we release it what else may happen on the property?
What will this development do to property values/financial impact?
If the units are built and don’t sell can they file for a hardship zoning change to get zoned for families?
No good definition seems to exist for what an equine center would be, if that option is pursued in place of the current proposal. Many questions about what would go in under this scenario. We have no information about who the potential investors are for an equine center or what the plans look like for this scenario.
Do we want to amend the covenant and clear the path for more homes to be built instead? How many houses would make that a viable option?


Next steps:


Time for neighborhood to think about other things they might want if the covenant is released.
John Harris will compile the wish list.
Next meeting date? May 9 or 18th? Could vote at the next meeting but we are under no time demands to make a decision.