As summer approaches and many of us get out more, this quick note about an important Mill Creek Covenant restriction will help us live in greater harmony with each other and our neighbors.
The Mill Creek HOA owns five parcels (Common Areas) comprising over 57 acres of wooded lands. All of these parcels serve a storm water resources function, as defined by state and federal regulations that are monitored and enforced by our county government. Our common areas abut hundreds more acres of wooded lands that are owned by various other public or private entities, such as our neighbors in Lake Reynovia, Mill Creek South and Foxcroft. Some parcels, such as 'A5' outlined in the accompanying photo, have foot trails running thru them which are part of a wider network of trails. Mill Creek common areas constitute the HOA's 'back yard' and are open to all Mill Creek homeowners (in good standing) and their guests. Because these areas belong to all homeowners, they must not be altered by anyone not expressly authorized to do so. To underscore this point, our Covenants, which are typically broad and open to interpretation by the Board, are very specific in regards to use restrictions in the common areas, stating in Article VIII, Section 1. (g) "Nothing shall be altered or constructed in or removed from the Common Area, except upon the written consent of the Association."
Thanks to all who showed up to the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Mill Creek HOA. It was standing room only, as we literally ran out of chairs! Excellent reports were presented by area planner Pam Riley and Southern Area Community Advisory Committee Co-Chair, Dan Heuchert. Attendees were surprised with a visit by county Supervisor, Rick Randolph, who answered questions from the floor. Following the voting phase of the meeting, five Mill Creek homeowners were elected to the Board of Directors. The sixth nominee, Andre Lavelle, received an overwhelming vote of confidence. The incoming Board was advised to appoint Andre to a Board Officer position, thus expanding the Board's capacity as allowed within the Bylaws of the Association. The new Board members are listed on our HOA page at http://millcreekhomeowners.org/board
Congratulations to the new Directors: Rob Finley, David Golladay, Kevin Palm, Ben Whitmer and Leigh Wion - thank you all for serving. And thanks to Nancy Meserve, Election Committee Co-Chair, for a fair election.
Thanks also to outgoing Board Members Jim & Naomi Aitken. Jim has been President of the Board twice during his two decades as a Mill Creek homeowner, and Naomi is still conducting HOA business as Chair of the Architectural Review Committee. The all-volunteer Mill Creek HOA continues to meet its myriad requirements thanks to the selfless efforts of the abovementioned neighbors. Feel free to say hello and give them a handshake when you see them out and about.
Our Annual HOA Meeting will be held April 20th at Monticello High School in the media center at 7 PM.
If you do not plan to attend the meeting, please ensure that you have signed and returned your proxy form to vote in the election. We have several important things to discuss as an HOA, including the future of a very large common area parcel, speeding issues, architectural review, and noise issues in the neighborhood. We will also have a report from Mill Creek's County planning liaison, Pam Riley, as well as a report from our county (southern district) community advisory team member, Dan Heuchert.
See you there!
The nominees for the April 20th, 2016 HOA Board election have a Bio page at: http://millcreekhomeowners.org/election
Please attend the election, or sign and return your proxy form so that another homeowner may cast your vote.
As the next big storm nears, there are several things we should all do to prepare, survive and recover:
- If you have a high school aged snow shoveler in your home, let your neighbors know by commenting here, or email the Board at HOA@MillCreekClassic.org . Blizzard conditions are a good time for strong backs to make money, while helping the community!
- Move all vehicles OFF the street. Park at the end of your driveway, but not beyond it. If you think your neighbor isn't getting this important safety message, please remind them. This is absolutely essential for snow plows to clear our roads and first responders to ensure our safety. If you need help clearing your driveway after the snowplows deposit a wall of snow there, just ask.
- Ask your elderly or infirm neighbors what help they might need. Keep an eye on them and be ready to assist.
- If a tree falls and blocks a Mill Creek street and you are unable to move/remove it, email us immediately at HOA@millcreekclassic.org
- use www.511virginia.org to check local, regional or state road conditions after any major storm. Use the Albemarle County Schools page for parents, or the UVA closing information page for school info. Comment to this article and share any other helpful resources/info with your neighbors.
- Prepare for power outages! Fill your clean bathtub with water, know the nearest shelter, stock supplies, etc. For official guidance, see: FEMA's Winter Storm Preparathon
- Did you know you should bang on your car hood after storms, to warn cats that might be sheltering there? Or that your dog benefits from boots too? Winter pet safety tips are a Google search away. Don't forget to bring your pets inside!
Who: for children 12 and under--
When: October 31, 6:00-7:30pm
Where: Gristmill cul du sac
What: Decorations... Trick or Treat... fortune telling...nothing scary...
All adults welcome even if not accompanied by a child; refreshments for grownups.
--Anyone else interested in doing a decorated "table" for the celebration? Please join the fun (contact information below.)
Contact: Addeane Caelleigh or Janet Eden or leave a comment here.
Colonel Steve Sellers, Chief of the Albemarle County Police Department (ACPD) has tasked his team with developing a community-based, comprehensive policy for the use of Officer-worn body cameras. Citizen input is essential to that process. An ACPD/Community forum will be held on Tuesday, September 15th at 7pm in Room A at the Albemarle County Police Department on 5th Street. Click here for more info.
Next month's big ticket is the ACPD Community Town Hall Meeting. Read below for more info:
Under the heading of 'how one person can create change and make a difference,' we present the following. Last year, Gristmill Drive resident Pam Riley left our HOA Board to pursue master planning with a small, dedicated group of Avon Street Extended area leaders. Since then, she has become Mill Creek's area planning and development expert and a dominant voice for safe infrastructure changes in the County's Southern Area Comprehensive Master Plan. Today, she reports on the Safe Routes to School Committee, as well as an important upcoming Board of Supervisors Candidates Forum to be held on September 21st at Monticello High School.
Avon Street Extended Safe Routes to School Committee Report by Pam Riley
Last fall, area HOAs and interested residents formed a coalition to address local planning, development, and infrastructure issues in the Southern Urban Neighborhoods. Our group is called the Avon Street Extended (ASE) Safe Routes to School Committee.
This group was established to follow-up on the master plan process in the area and to advocate for transportation, economic development, recreation, and greenway improvements, (i.e. sidewalks and crosswalks, road improvements, bike and walking trails for health and connectivity, library and other recreational facilities, etc.).
The Mill Creek Board has amended Article III, Section 3.01 of the Bylaws to address the concern by homeowners that January is just too "cold and dark" for our Annual HOA Meeting. Unless amended again at some future date, The Annual Meeting will now be held at 7PM on the third Wednesday of April. Election of the Board of Directors shall take place at the Annual Meeting.
At least one member is leaving the Board and a vacancy already exists. Please self-nominate or convince a motivated neighbor to accept your nomination. HOA service is a great way to meet your neighbors and make a difference in your neighborhood. Contact any Board member for questions or more information.
Your neighbors on the Gristmill Drive cul du sac are hosting a Halloween celebration for children, 5:30-7:00pm, on Friday.
*** Decorations, trick-or-treat goodies, a fortune teller, and more. ***
Children and adults welcome!
P.S. for adults: costumes optional, liquid refreshments available.
Hello Mill Creek!
Just a reminder to all homeowners - your HOA Board is hosting a Town Hall Meeting at Monticello High School, Tuesday evening, October 14th at 7PM in the Forum room.
There was a decent amount of feedback on the recent HOA survey, with almost 70 owners responding. We'll share the survey results and solicit your input regarding the past, present and future of Mill Creek.
Hope to see you there!
This survey is for homeowners in the Mill Creek Phase One subdivision only (i.e. Mill Creek 'Classic' not Mill Creek South, Village Homes II/IV, Creekside, etc.). The Mill Creek HOA Board is asking questions in preparation for our Town Hall meeting on October 14th. Please click here to take the survey, or cut and paste the following address into your browser: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/QBYT66M
We know your time is valuable, so the survey is very brief. Thank you for your participation!
Following an impressive term as Treasurer of the Mill Creek HOA, our neighbor Sharon Herbert has resigned and her duties will be temporarily handled by the President until a new Treasurer is appointed by the Board. The Treasurer is an officer position which has often been filled by a Board member (but probably shouldn't be). Sharon ushered in several key changes and provided a professional's touch which resulted in greatly improved HOA financial processes. The current Treasurer position now enjoys the reliability and security provided by the accounting firm of Wills & Associates, as well as the assurances imparted by a named co-signer when endorsing invoices, checks or other HOA financial instruments. Sharon streamlined Mill Creek's financial procedures, making them more transparent, efficient and secure - which leaves the next Treasurer in a really good place. If you see Sharon out and about, be sure to thank her for the many hours she spent making the Association more sound financially.
So what's the good news for anyone interested in the job? The Treasurer isn't required to make sit-down meetings, so the position is self-scheduling and very flexible. The job involves overseeing the HOA's finances by maintaining contact with our accounting firm and providing reports to the Board on a recurring basis. The Treasurer also manages the fiscal requirements of Mill Creek HOA contracts, which generally involves landscaping services. A bookkeeper is assigned to the Mill Creek account at Will's & Associates, which is helpful to say the least. No special skills are required for the position - just a desire to want to serve Mill Creek and the ability to do basic arithmetic. Please contact Brian Lewis or Jim Aitken for any questions.
Many of you have asked what will happen to the county land near Monticello fire station now that the mini-dump is not going there. Here's the answer:
(The following is reprinted from the Albemarle County Newsletter)
July 24th 2014
5:30 - 6:30 pm: review exhibits and talk informally with staff
6:30 - 9:00 pm: community input session
Monticello High School Forum
County Supervisors Jane Dittmar (Scottsville), Liz Palmer (Samuel Miller), and County Staff
Albemarle County is updating our community's Comprehensive Plan, which guides decisions about land use, public projects like schools, parks, and libraries, transportation improvements and environmental and historic resource protection initiatives. The Comprehensive Plan update has been approved by the Planning Commission but is still under consideration by the Board of Supervisors. Work will be completed sometime in the late fall.
Signs in yards, failure to mow grass, unauthorized paint colors, fences beyond house fronts, potholes, roofing materials, commercial vehicles on lawns, unauthorized live tree removals, big sheds and bad mailboxes. These are just some of the complaints your Mill Creek HOA is currently addressing. Most of them relate directly to the bylaws and covenants which provide for governance in our neighborhood.
There is only one take home point to this article: it is NOT better to beg forgiveness than ask permission when it comes to projects on any property, lot or common area of Mill Creek. Communication with your HOA is easy, so it is better not to guess about whether your plans require approval. Simply contact an Architectural Committee member, or anyone on the Board via email or regular mail. Boards have answered many email questions in hours or even minutes in some cases. But if your plan requires formal approval, you will be asked to complete the request form, submit it and await approval or disapproval.