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The meeting was called to order by Becky McKnight, Treasurer/Secretary at 10:00 A.M.
Directors in attendance: Beneke, Faliero, Freeman, Johnson, and McCaghren. Present via telephone: Pieper and Potts. Absent: Kaney.
Staff in attendance: Brown, Gwozdo, and Wyatt.
McKnight welcomed the attending Property Owners, stating that the Board would entertain brief questions following the completion of agenda items. She suggested that they email questions regarding the road proposal to RMS.
Upon motion made by Freeman and seconded by Johnson, minutes of April 2015 were approved.
Board received April 30, 2015, financial report from L. Wyatt.
- The 2015 Declarations approved at the April, 2015, meeting have been recorded in Yancey and Madison Counties.
- The by-laws revisions are being worked on with the intent to present for consideration and approval at the June meeting.
- As directed, a letter was written to Cline Coates advising that the Association was not interested in purchasing the lot adjacent to his lot on Spring Brook Drive.
- On July 3, 2015, we will be meeting with property owner representatives of the Schlitt Mountain Properties to discuss formal merger of that subdivision with our Association. Early communications point very favorably to a joinder.
The web master is available to post any documents.
Freeman requested that the web site refer readers of the ARB site to staff as forms are being amended to conform with Covenants.
Gwozdo reported that the e-mail system has been improved. RMS is now capable of notifying property owners of road work in a timely manner.
Ad Hoc Road Study
Town Hall meetings:
- May 23, 2:00 P.M.in the Village Pavilion
- June 22, 7:00 P.M. in the Village Pavilion
- June 25, 1:00P.M at the Wolf Laurel Country Club
Voting documents will be mailed July 1 and ballots are due back to the WL RMS office by 4:00 P.M. August 3.
Beneke, who is in charge of publicity and the program for the Town Hall Meetings, explained that at each meeting there will be a brief PowerPoint presentation, and then the meeting will be open for questions from Property Owners. Philip Banks, Jason Brown, and Bob Super will be present to assist in answering questions, along with Board members.
As part of the Road Study a review was conducted of private or access roads and some were brought into the WL common road system.
At Pieper’s request the Board considered a motion concerning Maiden Lane:
Moved and passed that the Association authorize the president to sign an Easement and Assumption of Maintenance Agreement with India H. Laurie, Trustee of the India H. Laurie Revocable Trust, owner of all lots on Maiden Lane, which will clearly establish that Maiden Lane is a common road of the Association.
- The sealing of Wolf Laurel Road was stopped at Wolf Laurel Rd. and El Miner Dr. due to problems getting material and increased traffic. This project will be completed in the
autumn. Wolf Laurel Rd. will be striped in June.
- Drainage improvement at the following intersections has been completed: English Ridge and Wolf Laurel Rd., Spring Valley and Valley View, Fox Den and English Ridge, Gardenside and Gardenside II, and English Ridge and Gardenside.
- A catch basin was installed on Laurel Lane. Culverts were installed on: Grouse Thicket, Buck House and Town Mountain, Buck House at old stable, and Fox Den.
- Spring Valley has been unmaintainable for years due to drainage problems and due to budget restraints was not addressed until this year. We just completed the widening of shoulders, a new ditch line, replaced 4 culverts and planted grass. It is an example of what our gravel roads could be with additional funding.
- The cleaning of ditches is almost complete; the grading of roads is on schedule and mowing has begun.
- Due to the deep freeze and thaw this spring, we have used almost half of the gravel budget. We are hoping property owners will take advantage of the matching gravel program. We have already had one load purchased at this time.
- Paving bids for Lower El Miner are still out.
Brown was asked if the Southeastern Trust would be repairing and maintaining its portion of Lucky Way. He responded that he had heard nothing recently. Last summer they had stated they had no intention of making repairs and the Board had closed Lucky Way during inclement weather.
- The Bar Code system will be shut down for approximately 2 weeks for repair of the laser board. An email notifying Property Owners has been sent.
- The USFS (Appalachian Ranger District) has issued a research permit to the Southern Appalachian Raptor Research, better known to Wolf Laurel as “The Bird Banders.” The permit allows vehicular traffic through the Big Bald Gate two times only between 5/15/15 and 12/31/15/ and for placement of a porta john in the parking lot for use by the staff and educational groups. The Association and “The Bird Banders” have agreed on procedures for gaining entrance through the Wolf Laurel Gate to travel to the Big Bald parking lot, with the support of the USFS. The procedures are the same as authorization by a Property Owner. This group has done research on Big Bald for years and the information gathered is of great importance. The educational programs for our local schools have been a recent addition to their work and one that we as a community fully support.
- Our Security Patrol continues to work 40 hours a week at all hours of the day and night. Response from Property Owners has been very favorable.
Pieper inquired as to access arrangements for Alan Muskat of “No Taste Like Home.” This is a group that conducts tours gathering wild foods on the Southeastern Trust property. They usually enter via the Preserve Gate and notify Wolf Laurel Security in advance.
There is nothing exceptional to report for the past month. The ARB Board is currently rewriting the Architectural Guidelines and applications to better conform to the covenants and revising impact fees to reflect road usage.
- Removal of hydrants:
Beneke reported that he was making contact with Utilities Inc. regarding the removal of the three fire hydrants in Wolf Laurel. He did speak at length with Jeff Willis, Madison County Emergency Management Director and Fire Marshall. He learned that Utilities Inc. is a private water system and not subject to the same requirements of a public system. The hydrants located across the road from the WLCC and in Blue Mountain were not designed as fire suppression hydrants but to flush the pipes of the water system.After much discussion of options, it was decided that a public meeting in July with representatives from Ebb Chapel FD, Jeff Willis, and the USFS was in order.
Beneke was asked to make the arrangements.
- Big Bald project:
Brown reported on the final phase of the Big Bald project. He met with the USFS maintenance supervisor and representatives of the Appalachian Trail Conference on Big Bald to discuss the road from the base to the summit of Big Bald. This area is very entrenched and eroded. The USFS suggested a maximum of 10 earth berms, allowing a 15 foot access for each. The berms would divert water to the culvert that had been installed in phase 3 under the road leading to the base. The water would then flow toward Double Springs. After construction of the first berm, the USFS will inspect. The material for the berms will be taken from material stock piled from washouts. The cost would be $200 to $400 each. As our truck is not capable of hauling the material to the Bald, we would have to contract out the hauling. Total cost to complete the project would be from $4,000 – $6,000. The USFS and the AT representatives are very pleased with the work completed so far. USFS asked that the road inside the gate be maintained by mowing and possibly additional grass seed. Mowing cost would be $300.00. The AT reps requested that a small quantity of gravel be placed on the AT which also suffers from severe erosion.Pieper moved that any decision on this project be deferred to a meeting later in the summer.Motion was seconded by Freeman and passed unanimously.
- Electric Fencing:
Freeman reported that he has scheduled a meeting with one property owner and communicated with a second. Both property owners say power to their fence is off. Contact has yet to be made with the third property owner. When asked if there are any other electrified fences in Wolf Laurel, Freeman replied that there are others but on property within the Blue Mountain Association. Faliero volunteered to make contact with the President of Blue Mountain Association and inquire to their view of electric fencing.
- Beneke asked that the discussion of road use fee for large trucks and construction vehicles be deferred to the June meeting
- Pieper reminded the Board that with election of board members in September, the President of the Board should appoint the nominating committee in accordance with the bylaws.
- A Property Owner complained of a neighbor’s 3 LED lights on day and night. He had made the same complaint previously to staff, but the lights remain on.Freeman, chairman of the ARB Board will investigate and resolve.
- A Property Owner asked that the exact amount billed and the exact amount collected for the 2014 annual assessment be available at the Town Hall Meeting. They also asked what would happen if the Special Assessment passes and a property owner refused to pay?Faliero responded that the procedure would be the same as a property owner refusing to pay the annual assessment. A demand letter would be sent to the property owner; and if there was no response, the account would be turned over to the attorney.
- A Property Owner asked if Mountainside Lane and Trail were common or private roads and why Wolf Laurel Rd. was scheduled in the last year of the proposal.The response was that both are private roads. Wolf Laurel Rd is scheduled in the last year to avoid the impact of truck traffic required in early years of improvement on a newly paved road.
- A Property Owner asked if there was a Plan B. No there is only the one proposal. He said he was disappointed in the rapid response to his alternative plan submitted via e-mail and presented a hard copy of same to each Board Member.The Members promised to review the plan and have the consultants also review it.
- A property owner stated that there were 4 new houses under construction in Wolf Laurel and asked had the Board projected the number of homes that might be built in next 5 years.There are currently two homes under construction in Wolf Laurel; the others are in Blue Mountain which are not members of WL RMS and Mountainside Townhomes which are members of WL RMS. It would be pure speculation to attempt to guess the number of homes that might be constructed in the next 5 years.
- A Property Owner reported that he had received a promise from the water company to place a hook up on their water tanks for use by fire departments.Beneke stated that he would mention that to Utilities Inc. when he can speak with them.
Next meeting scheduled for June 19, 2015, at 10:00 A.M.