BALLYMEADE

NEW - 2021 Annual Meeting Minutes (Zoom)

Ballymeade Annual Board and Homeowners Meeting

Meeting Minutes

March 11, 2021

This meeting was held via Zoon due to the Covid Pandemic.  The Board of Directors, PENCO Management, and more than a quorum of residents were in attendance.

 

 

 

  1. Announcements and Updates

Call to order, review of the meeting agenda

President’s Report – Year in review:

  • The Board, with PENCO Management Company, manage a $60,000+ operating budget. This budget provides all the landscaping, snow plowing - all costs
  • Reserves continue to grow in line with the recommendation of the 2015 Engineering Reserve Study will be reviewed to ensure funding for future major maintenance
  • Ballymeade Maintenance Corporation (BMC) had 7 sales this past fiscal year totaling $3,100.00 available to be placed into the reserve account.
  • Ballymead.org web site is a resource for information for all homeowners and renters (i.e. Ballymeade By-Laws, Deed Restrictions, all other corporate docs)

Landscape Update

  • Each spring community’s landscaping contractors handle tree fertilizer, street and water basin trees mulchin and general clean-up of all commonly owned property
  • Three auto accidents this year required fence repair, entrance sign replacement and/or plant and sod replacement
  • Several trees needed removal, cutting over-growth from woods and clearing sidewalks
  • Storm water basin compliance cost for maintenance occurred
  • Entrance traffic light has been reported several times for long cycle times.   This issue along with other DelDOT related matters may be reported here -  Report An Issue - Delaware Department of Transportation
  • Reminders:  * move cars off the street when snow is forecasted  * nothing can be done regarding plows pushing snow in front of a driveway  * sidewalks should be cleared per county code when it snows   * report community woods encroachment  * trash cans should be stored out-of-sight per deed restrictions

 

Architectural Review Committee Update

  • Reviewed many ARC requests this year.  All are in line with deed restrictions. 
  • Efforts to streamline requests and document have made for timelier process for homeowner; update ARC request for here - http://www.ballymeade.org/files/document/529202321
  • Mention of common deed violations and complaints include:   decks and other changes outside that do not comply with ARC standards *  trash cans left outside   * encroachments on community property and wetlands  *  commercial vehicles parked in the development   * no curbing pets    * unkempt yards from high grass and clutter

   

 Secretary Updates

  • Tree roots pushed-up sidewalks along Ballymeade, Shrewsbury, Longmeade have been shaved back to lessen tripping hazards
  • Security camera video requests have been provided to law enforcement for video footage.   Periodic checks and annual cleaning required
  • Playground area inspection and maintenance is on-going
  • Semi-annual newsletter continues to be published and mailed to homeowners

 

Finance Update

  • Over budget position due to tree maintenance, tree removals and many general repairs resulting from unforeseen events
  • 99% of homeowners pay the annual assessments, five homes remain in collection/lien process; penalties are assessed per by-laws while letters and legal involvement are necessary
  • An annual assessment increase of $25 is proposed to cover additional landscaping and general maintenance (was approved by vote)
  • No landscape enhancement projects proposed for this year – maintenance only
  • Capital Improvement Fund/Reserve Fund remain inline with 2015/16 Reserve Study; update study will be forthcoming
  • Reserve funds used for sidewalk project and repair of damaged entrance sign
  • CDs continue to be rolled over as they mature

 

PENCO

  • Slide presented that highlights scope of services provided by Ballymeade’s property management company

 

Board of Directors Activities and Status

  • Slide presented regarding main Board activities, meeting cycles and terms based on by-laws
  • Two Board seats and proposed budget voted upon.   The result of the voting is below.

Board Member Voting Results: 

  • Vote tally of open seats:                            P. Haggerty – 35 | M. Petrucci – 42 | J. Bagnell – 26 | E. Zheng – 11
  • Vote tally of budget approval:                  Yes – 53 | No – 2 | No vote cast – 6            

 

 

  1. Slide Presentation and Discussion of “Rental Cap” Proposal
  • Overview of presentation includes the following: 
    • Purpose of maintenance corporation is limited to providing maintenance of open space,  common facilities, snow plowing.   This is legal requirement for communities with open space, other common facilities which are jointly owned by homeowners (specified in maintenance declaration)
    • BMC differs from an HOA in that it can’t:  organize events, spend outside of what’s in our Documents, handle disputes, perform work on private property
    • Requirements of board when creating annual budget and what the included costs should be; ‘Per lot’ assessment rate = total costs / number of homes
    • BMC may provide for additional services through a 2/3 approval vote of the members of the Corporation
    • Breakdown of known rental totals by street: Rockmeade 10 homes | W. Boxborough 10 homes | E. Boxborough 5 homes | W. Oakmeade 4 homes | E. Oakmeade 4 homes| Seabury 4 homes | Morningdale 3 homes
    • HO’s may want to form sub-committee to investigate feasibility of Rental Cap
    • Residential Real Estate Attorney and former president of CCOBH was consulted re: Rental Cap and provided the following information:

ÿ       2/3 vote needed to add a rental cap to deed restrictions (60 days from start of voting process); 2/3 vote is difficult, requires much time and effort

ÿ       $2000-$3000 legal fees to update BMC Documents, paid by BMC; yearly fee (tbd) may be charged to renting HOs for this plus future management fee increase   

ÿ       40 known rentals currently; these would be ‘grandfathered’;  PENCO would manage but require more HO info, more monitoring, therefore higher costs

  • Deed Restriction update could include:

ÿ       # of rentals allowed

ÿ       Wait list requirements

ÿ       Additional annual fee

ÿ       Information requirements of rental property owner

ÿ       Expanded role of board and additional work required by board members

  1. Meeting Opened to Questions or Comments

J. Bagnell request:  For the BMC treasury provide a 12/31 balance sheet, budget forecast, and periodic positions to homeowners throughout the year

  • Board will review these requests

J. Bagnell question:  Why was a new engineering and reserve study not performed? if the last study was done in 2015 since reserve studies are normally good for five years

before another should be completed.  

  • M. Petrucci indicated that has updated the current study.  Based on his review and estimation of the condition of items in the study, it was determined that budgeting for an updated study could be safely pushed out one more year   

J. Bagnell question:   What is going on with solar panels?  

  • P. Haggerty responded that there are no active discussions around solar panels this year for the neighborhood; the topic has been tabled.   A guest of Rep. Sean Matthews, Paul Baumbach who had more information around state guidelines for solar panels was unable to appear, speak and field questions because of COVID.   Previous attempts to get clarity around a vague state law passed last year that lifts restrictions on residential solar panels received little or no response.   

J. Bagnell comments that we wanted details related to previous meeting minutes regarding a bush, located on common ground, being removed by a homeowner.  J. Bagnell wants to know what the board’s response was to this matter and what was done and whether it was resolved.  

  • M. Petrucci responded that a neighbor removed a bush that was located close her property but was located on common ground.   The bush covered a utility box but contained thorns that gave the neighbor concerns since she had a young child who played nearby.   Neighbor wanted the bush removed, board said they would not remove it but instead trim back the bush.   Weeks later the bush was replaced with some smaller shrubs around the utility box.  Neighbor had evidently paid to have this done and although it was handled by a landscaper, the board decided to not to press for legal action and instead ‘leave well enough alone’.  The board did send the neighbor a letter explaining the problems with what she had done and not to do something like that again.    

J. Bagnell question:    Will Davey Tree provide HOs a group discount for treating trees/bushes on private property?  

  • P. Haggerty will inquire with Davey Tree whether that is something they can do

Question regarding storm water basin maintenance and compliance:  

  • P. Haggerty explains that if neighborhood’s storm water basins are kept up to code with NCC inspection requirements, then NCC will provide financial assistance with major repairs

Ron Davis question:   Is BMC still using the same bank CD?   Is anyone shopping for better CD rates?

  • C Deyoe responded that CDs remain with the same banks and better rates are not being explored.  Changing banks for a marginally higher CD rate at this time does not justify the amount of time and effort that is required based on the previous time reserves were moved into new a bank and CD account

Ron Davis question:   He notices storm drains that need maintenance or repair.  Who is responsible for the storm drains in the neighborhood?   

  • P. Haggerty responds that NCC inspects the basins annually.  They are cleared out by Ballymeade contractor completely once per year for the inspection.  Grass and weeds keep the berm/side intact.
  • Question regarding rental cap feasibility and logistics requires more investigation
    • Recommended that a BMC sub-committee, consisting of current homeowners, reporting to the Board be formed to undertake and direct the effort
    • M. Petrucci volunteers to be part of such a sub-committee

Would physical signatures be required for voting on changes to BMC deed-restrictions and Documents?     

  • Consensus says ‘yes’, physical signatures would be required

How to know and track when a property is being rented?  Homeowner’s who rent their property may be a matter of public record; confirmation needed; tracking and

management handled by PENCO  

  • M. Petrucci:   Although lawsuits are not common per lawyer, liability insurance would be required

 

Important - Anyone able to devote time to serving on Rental Cap sub-committee, please email PENCO’s Ron White at - RWhite@pencomanagement.com

Posted by ballymeade on 06/16/2021
Membership
Membership in this website is private. Request membership access.
Logo_w158
New Castle County, Delaware 19810