A great effort to improve the value and service to all homeowners in the neighborhood.
Stormwater Management Pond Improvements
Why: In 2014, the Association was alerted to changes that would be required by the Commonwealth of Virginia to improve the dam at the Stormwater Management Pond located south of the eastern Exeter town homes and next to the Route 15 Bypass. The requirements state that the dam, which is the berm of earth running parallel to Route 15 bypass, has to be reinforced or reconstructed.
How: The HOA first had to resolve the issue of contested ownership, which it did by settling in court with the Town of Leesburg in February 2019. The Association received $400,000 in exchange for assuming full ownership of the property. Along the way, the HOA has been working with a professional engineering service that dealt specifically with the types of improvements required.
Phase 1: Planning - The Association's engineering firm develops plans and models, then submits for permitting through the local and state agencies required to sign-off. This should take from early 2019 into early 2021.
Phase 2: Tree Clearing - All trees, bushes, and growth along the dam, including some area of the dry pond (south of the wet pond) will need to be removed. Once done, no plantings except grass can be installed on either side of the dam slope or within 25 feet of the toe of the slope. This work is expected to last from late December 2020 into mid-January 2021.
Phase 3: Reinforcement - The downstream side of the berm will be resurfaced with a product called Hydro-Turf that is composed of layers of concrete-like substrates designed to slow water velocity, reinforce the dam wall, and is covered with an aesthetic turf material to improve the attractiveness of the material. This work is expected to begin in early spring 2021 and be done by mid-summer 2021.
Phase 4: Landscaping - The Landscaping Committee will work with the Town of Leesburg and other required sign-offs to develop a plan for improving the landscaping in the area. There is a specific area that has to be maintained without trees along the dam for engineering purposes, as well as no-plant zones near power lines. All of these present challenges to re-landscaping the area.
When: The project planning is expected to be completed in January 2021 while construction is expected to last from January through mid-summer 2021.
Pictured to the left: Completion of phase 1 where all trees were removed from the dam to ensure structural integrity.
Pictured to the left: Sample of the material aesthetics.
Pictured below: A diagram explaining the engineering behind the Hydroturf material covering the dam.
Pictured above: A rudimentary diagram of the work to be completed on the dam after tree removal. The diagram shows a concrete footer poured into top of the berm, a new trail overlaying the path, installation of Hydroturf on the downstream slope, an exclusion zone where nothing can be planted within 25 feet to prevent structural integrity, and other conveyances affecting the re-installation of landscaping.
Pictured left: The zone where hydroturf will be installed and the limits of the dam.
Governing Documents Ammendment
In accordance with the requirements of the Governing Documents for Exeter Homeowners Association, the requests of homeowners for action on certain issues, and to provide the best value and service to the residents of Exeter, the Board of Directors has begun the process to amend the Governing Documents. This process is difficult and represents a significant undertaking as it requires 66%, or 553, of the Owners in Exeter to vote Yes to approve each amendment. As such, the Board is requesting a response from all homeowners. These amendments are aimed at improving three key areas:
Amendment 1: Assessing violation charges for lot violations, such as derelict or abandoned homes.
Amendment 2: Developing parking rules for Association parking lots (townhomes only)
Amendment 3: Recovering attorney’s fees in court cases required to enforce covenants.
As part of this, the Board has hosted one Town Hall in March and will hold another Town Hall in the Fall of 2020. The Board is developing a policy proposal to be considered for Amendment 1 that will be available for comment prior to a vote. For Amendment 2, the Association shall solicit additional feedback on parking policies if this effort is approved. For Amendment 3, no additional policies would be needed.
This effort has been paused for now because of the limitations of meeting and sharing information during COVID.
2021 Tree Plantings and Landscaping Improvements
During the last decade, Exeter (like many other areas in this region) has suffered through the loss of many trees because of the Ash Bore, White Pine disease and other natural causes. Additionally, with the age of the Association (30 years!) many species of tree have reached the end of their natural life in our neighborhood. Finally, the neighborhood is dealing with both the tornado event from early 2020 that compromised or destroyed nearly a hundred trees and the stormwater management pond project requiring the removal of a large area of trees.
The Landscaping Committee has been working on a 5-year tree plan that will see the Association install hundreds of trees throughout the community on common areas. We've been working on receiving grants from the Town of Leesburg, which has stalled the process. But the Board has committed to moving forward in 2021 with new tree plantings, prioritizing areas most affected by the tornado event in 2020.
More details will be released as they become available. In the meantime, if you are interested in helping craft tree plans or other landscaping projects, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or attend the regularly scheduled Landscaping Meetings, resuming in March 2021.
In mid-2020, the Board of Directors was contacted by representatives from the Paxton Trust who wanted to coordinate a good-faith meeting with the residents of Exeter. After expressing their concerns about the project, the Board set up a community input meeting in November 2020 to connect residents directly to the Project Leaders. The Paxton campus is planning on constructing a series of greenhouses and a small school for approximately 20 students in the area that borders common area behind homes on Whitney Place.
In addition to the new construction, the Association received concern regarding some common area encroachment and the need for improved landscaping in the common area. The Board has committed to addressing the increased need for improved landscaping in the area and has been working on a 5-year improvement plan that will begin in mid-2021.