Summer 2004 Newsletter

Mar 30, 2005

Letter from the President

It has been a busy year thus far for your Board of Directors and the various Ballymeade Committees.

Board Membership
A few changes have taken place since the last newsletter. Cyndi Funk and Charles Jabbour completed their two year terms on the board as of March 1st. We would like to take this opportunity to thank both Cyndi and Charles for their dedication and hard work in striving to make this a better community for all of us. They each put in MANY hours and deserve a lot of credit for all their efforts.

Alex Santagada and Peter Grims were elected at the annual meeting in January to the Board of Directors as President and 2nd Vice President, respectively. Just last month George Ferguson resigned from the board. We would also like to thank George for all of his efforts for the community. George?’s position as Secretary has been filled by Garvan McDaniel. Garvan and his wife are relatively new members of our community and we welcome them.

The current and complete list of Board Members is as follows:
Alex Santagada ?– President
Tony Quartarone ?– 1st Vice-President
Peter Grims ?– 2nd Vice-President
Peter Haggerty ?– 3rd Vice-President
Garvan McDaniel ?– Secretary

All of the above positions are working positions and involve many responsibilities and project work. If you know someone on the board, or on a committee, thank them because they put in many hours serving your community.

The Board of Directors is a volunteer group working to make the community a better place for all residents. In addition there are only a few committees that are required for this job and residents are invited to volunteer. Committees require only a minimal amount of your time, but it will be time well spent in helping to keep Ballymeade the best community in which to live.

Landscape Changes
The most active and most visible committee is the Landscaping Committee whose members currently include Peter Haggerty and Chrissy Grims. They are responsible for the ever expanding avenue of trees that will enhance our community for years to come. Please read the special section regarding the plans for these and even more trees and how we all can help to preserve them. Many thanks also to Kim Taylor and Lisa Mintz for their hard work on the committee last year.

Common Areas and Federally Protected Wetlands
According to State and Federal Statutes, the Board of Directors has an obligation to maintain and preserve these areas for the benefit al ALL the residents of Ballymeade. Past newsletters have attempted to address preservation of these areas and the responsibility of residents whose property is adjacent to them to leave them undisturbed. We understand that there is not always clear demarcation of these areas and that it is easy to ?“push the envelope?” when the property is accessible. In the coming weeks and months, we will be working with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources, The US Army Corps of Engineers and the New Castle County Code Enforcement representatives to determine exactly where any problems may exist and to have them corrected. In addition, the Board is reviewing the most expedient method to separate these areas from private property so that they may be preserved for the future enjoyment of all residents of Ballymeade, not least of all the wildlife residents of those areas themselves.

Renters Please Be Advised of Deed Restrictions
We have several residents in our community who are renting their homes. Welcome to all! Renting households also have an obligation to comply with the Deed Restrictions and to treat the property with respect. The owner of record must contact BC Consulting regarding any Architectural Committee Review requests including major landscaping modifications. All new homeowners should have received a copy of the Deed Restrictions from their closing attorney. If you need a copy, please contact BC Consulting at 731-7710.

Sign at the Entrance
The sign at the entrance that indicated the common areas (including tennis court and playground) are restricted to residents of Ballymeade has been removed due to an act of vandalism. This sign was placed there by the original Board to protect us from frivolous lawsuits in the event that unauthorized persons should be injured in those areas. If anyone has any information regarding this incident, please call BC Consulting at 731-7710. Anyone witnessing any vandalism, dumping of trash, etc. has the obligation to report it. If there is an emergency, dial 911. Complaints to the County Police can be made to 573-2800.

Alex Santagada
President, Ballymeade Maintenance Corporation

Landscape Committee Report - Summary

We hope your household is enjoying the new trees along Ballymeade and Shrewsbury Drives and the great new atmosphere the trees have created. Our community is certainly greener and more beautiful. In time the trees will provide oxygen, absorb pollutants, and cut noise levels by absorbing sounds. Funded by two government grant awards and two year?’s budget of the Landscape Improvement Committee, a total of 50 trees have been planted along Ballymeade and Shrewsbury Drives. We have concentrated our effort toward the entrance of the development so that all residents could enjoy the plantings coming and going. Our ultimate goal is to line all of Ballymeade and Shrewsbury Drives and, long term, all of the streets in the development. We have also applied for another grant from DelDOT and are awaiting word from them. This grant will be used for plantings near the entrance and the fence. All planting from this grant must be visible from Naamans Road. We would like it to eventually create a sight and sound barrier between Naamans Road and our development. If you are interested in helping, there is much to do. Please call BC Consulting on 302-731-7710.

More Info ?–

Care of the new trees ?– The cost of the trees includes the contractor taking care of the trees completely for the first year and that includes watering, mulching, fertilizing, etc. We should have told you this prior to the trees going in but we lost some volunteers recently so manpower is very limited. More work is needed on many of the trees, weeding, mulching, etc., but the bottom line is please just leave the trees as they are this summer because we don?’t want to jeopardize our one year guarantee from the vendor.

Where they came from ?– The trees are the result of nearly a full year?’s work by the Ballymeade Landscape Committee. The trees on Ballymeade were funded 50% by the Delaware State Department of Agriculture. The trees on Shrewsbury were funded 75% by the New Castle Conservation District. Many thanks to the staff at both of these agencies!!!

Thank you ?– Many thanks to both government agencies and to the committee members who worked so hard on these projects. Many thanks also to a very supportive Board of Directors! Without their support and funding none of this would have happened.

Dead Trees ?– Three trees on Ballymeade and two on Shrewsbury did not survive the transplanting. These will be replaced in the fall. We are sorry that they cannot be removed immediately.

Types of trees ?– The type of trees we selected will not interfere with sidewalks or people. That is, the roots will grow deep, not on the surface, and the branches will grow up, above six or seven feet allowing for easy passage beneath them. The three varieties were chosen because they will provide great fall and spring colors and because they do not drop seed pods or flowers onto your beautiful lawns. We have intentionally selected three varieties of trees for very specific reasons having to do with disease control. A lot of work and research was put into the selection of the trees. Many consultations were done with private and governmental experts in the field. Our selection of trees had to be approved by the agency granting the funds. So there was a lot of discussion as you can imagine.

Detailed info on trees ?– If you want detailed into on the trees you can look them up on the internet at this terrific web site (look up the following via the ?“Common Name?” link):

Ballymeade Drive ?– Zelkova, Japanese
Shrewsbury Drive, left side heading into the development ?– Elm, Chinese
Shrewsbury Drive, right side heading into the development ?– Linden, Little Leaf

Other work ?– Other landscape improvements include and improved entrance area, which includes:
- Removing several sections of the fence so our newly lit sign could be seen driving east on Naamans.
- A much improved entrance island maintenance plan with seasonal flowers
- New tot lot mulch

Please help ?– More help is needed. Please join our committee. Call BC Consulting on 302-731-7710. Also if you are into local politics please let our legislators, Bob Valihura and Cathy Cloutier, know that we want the ?“Street Fund?” money (for the DelDOT grant!).

"Short and Sweet"

This is a new section where we list various things that need to be communicated to the community.

Negative stuff:

1. Trash pails are to be out of sight, in the garage. NOW, please, do it today. This is not hard. Your neighbors are calling BC Consulting to complain. You have received letters about it. DO IT. No one wants to look at trash pails. What if no one put them away? Hello. Do it. You signed a deed saying you?’d adhere to our voluntary restrictions. Please do what you committed to when you moved here. Your neighbors are looking at your house thank you.

2. Sidewalks are for people, not cars. Park cars close to the curb not on it or on the sidewalk. People, especially walking with children, should not be forced out into the street to get past your house.

3. ?“For Sale?” signs are only allowed to be placed on your own property, not on common land and not at the entrance. You may have noticed that the signs at the entrance don?’t last too long. That is because the board members are required to enforce our restriction and we take the signs down. One exception ?– ?“Open House?” signs only on the day of the open house.

Neutral Stuff:

1. The following are not allowed per the deed restrictions ?– clothes lines, trampolines, yard ornaments, wading pools higher than two feet (if you don?’t have a fence around your yard be sure to empty the water when the pool is not in use for safety reasons please!!).

2. Basically ANY change you make to the outside of your townhouse or house needs to be approved by the Architecture Review Committee (ARC) ?– paint colors, decks, etc. Read the article further back in this issue under Ballymeade 101.

3. Deed Restricted Community vs. a Condo Association ?– In a condo association the Association?’s Board manages everything outside the homeowner?’s four walls. Ballymeade is NOT a condo association but we do have ?“rules?” ?….the ?“rules?” are called ?“Deed Restrictions?”. You voluntarily signed papers agreeing to these restrictions when you closed on your house. Your attorney should have given you a copy. Call BC Consulting for a copy if you need one, 731-7710.

4. Welcome Renters ?– We are glad to have you here and hope you enjoy Ballymeade. It?’s a fine place. Buy one of our houses when your lease runs out!! Keep in mind please that you should contact your landlord if there is a complaint or a problem. Many thanks and welcome. BC Consulting is only authorized to deal with homeowners as they represent the homeowners association. Please be mindful that you must adhere to all deed restrictions that homeowners must adhere to. Thank you.

5. If you get mail from BC Consulting in the wrong name (for example, the address is correct but the name is wrong) please call BC to tell them the correct name. Thank you.

6. If you are renting you can get this mailing and other important mailings by calling BC Consulting and telling them to add you to our mailing list. Otherwise all mailings will go to the owners at their mailing address.
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Positive Stuff:

1. Joggers and Walkers ?– You can connect with the next development via the cut through behind the community tennis court/playground on Shrewsbury Drive. It?’s hard to see, it?’s down the hill behind the tennis court. The next development is older with many trees and is a very nice change of pace.

2. The tennis court is open to all residents of Ballymeade. There is no lock on the court. Feel free to use it. It has been established that one hour is the appropriate limit for using the court if someone is waiting. Please be polite and if you have been on the court for more than one hour when someone comes up to the court, let them use it. Many thanks.

3. Reverse 911 ?– many of you received one or two of the ?“Reverse 911?” calls/messages this past spring. This is a system where the county police send a pre-recorded message to listed telephone numbers advising the homeowner of potential problems nearby that could adversely affect homeowners, such as the recent break-ins or chemical leaks, etc. within or near our community. The idea is for you to be aware and to be more cautious than usual.

4. Make a note to call BC Consulting and join a committee and make your community what you want it to be.


The top five calls to BC Consulting are about: (In no particular order)

1. Trash pail complaints
2. Calls about common area landscape problems (fallen trees, etc.)
3. Noise complaints and animal complaints such as barking dogs or failure to clean up after pets
4. Assessment questions
5. Architectural review

Proposed motto for Ballymeade:

?“If you are going to complain, you must become part of the solution.?”

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