Message from the President of the Pond Place Association, Inc. 12-13-22
Snow Season Commences
The Pond Place Tax District contracts with JH Property Services of Newington to plow our roads. When a snow storm drops 4 inches of snow or more driveways and parking areas will also be plowed within 8 hours of the conclusion of the storm. Complaints or call backs should be made to Mike Montgomery or Lauren Pizzoferrato at White & Katzman. Their contact information is set forth at the end of this message. Please remember the crews are working throughout the day or night to keep the roads open and then must return to plow driveways. Patience is a virtue.
At its November meeting the Board voted to adopt the proposed White & Katzman collection policy for delinquent Pond Place Association, Inc. dues. Sad to report, but a small number of homeowners are delinquent in their obligations and their cases will be turned over to our attorneys for collection. The Board encourages everyone to catch up to avoid the imposition of attorney’s fees and costs.
The next meetings of the Pond Place Tax District and Pond Place Association, Inc. Boards will be held on January 26, 2023 at 6:30 P.M via Zoom. All owners and residents may attend the meetings and are invited to make comments. Hyperlinks and instructions for participation will be posted on our website the day of the meeting. White & Katzman may also send hyperlinks to the Zoom meeting via electronic mail for those who have e-addresses on file. Subject to pending formal Board approval, all meetings will be held on the 4th Thursday of the month except for November which will be held on the 5th Thursday of the month due to Thanksgiving. Meetings will commence at 6:30 PM. The Board of Northington Meadow, Inc., which holds title to the Stub Pond parcel, and which is composed entirely now of the members of the Pond Place Association, Inc. Board of Governors, will be holding public meetings transacting Stub Pond business and reporting to the community during the regular Pond Place Association, Inc. meetings to provide more openness and inclusion.
Building Guide Revisions
Members of the Boards and the Design Review Committee have been working to update, expand and improve the Pond Place Building Guide. The third meeting dedicated to this purpose was held on November 21st. Sections will be added governing installation and use of Firepits and Standby Electrical Generators among other things. A further meeting will be held to conduct a final review in January 2023 after which it is hoped that the redrafted guide will be ready for presentation to the community for comment.
Design Review Committee Personnel Changes
The Board accepted Amber Jones’ resignation from both the Chairpersonship of the DRC and as a member of the Tax District Board and thanked her for her service. Lois Hessert Blawie was elected to replace her on the DRC and Bill Sage was elevated to the Chairmanship.
The retaining wall separating 5 Highland Square EUA from the walking path was rebuilt and heightened. In the spring of 2023 it will be power washed and stained. An ADA compliant handrail will be erected as the slope there still warrants one. A section of the path between Clover and Dove was regraded to prevent water pooling on the path.
Maintenance Violation Notices
This past April, White & Katzman managers conducted a very thorough inspection of all 210 homes and exclusive use areas in Pond Place and homeowner who were in apparent violation of Pond Place standards received written warnings in May. There has been a good response to these notices with most violators addressing the issues for which they were cited. Homeowners may request a hearing before the Board to dispute findings or to request extensions of time to correct violations for good cause. Those properties which were first cited in 2021 were given until October 1, 2022 to cure their violations. Those cited in 2022 were given until October 31st to come into compliance. In some instances that was extended to December 31, 2022 due to unavailability of contractors. Our managers, Mike Montgomery and Lauren Pizzoferrato, will be inspecting this month to verify completion of repairs and to identify new violations. Those who failed to correct violations by the date specified will be subject to fines, after notice and an opportunity to be heard, and may have liens placed on their properties.
Several homeowners have attached security lights or cameras to their dwellings or garages without permission of the Design Review Committee. Some of these are white, a color banned for exterior use in Pond Place. The Board passed a resolution at its May 26th meeting requiring that all security lights, landscape lights and security cameras, if permitted by the Design Review Committee, be either black, brown, beige or bronze in color.
Northington Meadow, Inc
At its July 28th meeting the Pond Place Association Board of Governors who are also the Board of Directors of Northington Meadows, Inc. (the non profit entity that holds title to the Stub Pond parcel) elected a new President, Vice-President and Secretary: Christopher Rossetti, Mitch Uzwack and Susan Franke. Susan Jansen remained as Treasurer.
New Land Maintenance Rule
Complaints have been received from time to time about Exclusive Use Areas that are not kept up. I suspect we are all familiar with the occasional EUA where grass is not mowed, or leaves are left around to blow on their neighbor’s EUA’s after spring or fall clean up period has passed, or no effort appears to have been made to keep shrubs pruned or dead plantings removed or stuff is left all over the place, etc. Homeowners are reminded that the Pond Place Declaration provides in Article VI Section 1 C of the Declaration: “Dwellings and the Land shall be kept in a neat attractive manner and kept in good repair.” Land refers to Exclusive Use Areas including those which encroach on buffer areas. The Board with one abstention codified this passage as a rule on October 25, 2021 and it will be added to the Rules and Regulations of Pond Place as a reminder that there is an expectation EUAs will be kept in a neat and attractive manner. Homeowners who fail to mow their lawns, weed whack as appropriate or otherwise violate this rule will be cited and fines will be levied for noncompliance starting in June. Again, those seeking additional time or who dispute the findings may appear before the Board. Owners who have tenants should understand that delegating these maintenance obligations to tenants will not excuse compliance or remission of fines in the event of non-compliance.
Service Line Maintenance Responsibility
The Board recently requested guidance from the Association’s attorney on maintenance and repair responsibility for water, sewer and gas pipes outside of a dwelling unit or other structure. His written opinion of counsel is posted elsewhere on the Pond Place website. I will summarize it as follows: Homeowners are responsible for the maintenance and repair of water and sewer pipes that exclusively serve their dwelling unit. The Pond Place Association, Inc. and Tax District are responsible for those which serve multiple dwellings. CNG currently retains full responsibility for gas pipes that extend from the foundation of dwellings outward. Homeowners are urged to obtain an indorsement to their HO3 or HO5 homeowner’s insurance policy for “service line coverage”. Most insurance companies offer this endorsement for a small additional annual premium. Outside pipe breaks or ruptures can be very expensive to repair. Do yourself a favor and acquire such a rider or endorsement. The Board has been unable to obtain coverage for all exterior service line pipes in Pond Place but will continue to endeavor to do so.
Please furnish your E-Mail Addresses
In order to cut the cost of, document and speed up communication, Pond Place residents and association members who have not already done so should provide their e-mail address to White & Katzman Property Management. FYI it costs more than $2.00 to send a postal communication presently. Bills, budgets, meeting notices, violation letters and similar really important messages will continue to also be sent by mail. Quite a few units still do not have e-mail addresses on file. Let’s improve this statistic, please. Most courtesy messages will only be delivered electronically.
Prohibition on Feeding of Roaming & Feral Animals
The Board enacted a new rule on September 27, 2021 prohibiting the leaving outside of food for feral and roaming animals as follows: “For purposes of health and safety, no member of the Association, members of his or her household, his or her tenants or residents of the Tax District shall leave any food outside the confines of a dwelling unit or in an open garage or shed which may attract or be consumed by bears, coyotes, coydogs, bobcats, skunks, possums, raccoons, roaming dogs or roaming cats. Violations shall be punishable by fine.”
FY 2020-2021 Audit Available
The Association and Tax District FY 2020-2021 audits conducted by King & King, CPAs are now available on our website.
Kindly respect the 20 MPH speed limit on all Pond Place roads for everyone’s safety, including pets.
There has been improving compliance with our trash and recycling barrel rules. Residents are reminded that trash and recyclable barrels must be kept in the garages or sheds except on the night before (currently Tuesday nights) or the day of (currently Wednesdays) pickup. Those who do not have garages or sheds are expected to place their barrels out of public view. It is not acceptable for those with garages or sheds to store their barrels outside. Please comply and help to keep the community sightly. Except for a handful of residents, the community is in compliance with these rules. Habitual violators will be subject to fines for non compliance. Those members who opted out in writing last year from community wide trash and recyclables service through Paine’s will be treated automatically as continuing their opt out without further action on their part. Members who purchased after 6/30/2021 are NOT eligible to opt out. Those who wish to receive service should contact Mike Montgomery or Lauren Pizzoferrato at White & Katzman, not Paine’s.
Design Review Committee
Owners and residents are cautioned that virtually any change to the exterior of a dwelling, garage or shed, including re-staining, requires written prior approval of the Design Review Committee. The Exterior Modification application form is available at www.pondplace.org .Those who have applications pending are advised that the committee has been reviewing and voting on applications electronically to expedite processing. Association members are urged to read the Pond Place Building Guide carefully to assure that they have submitted all necessary information and documentation required. It has been my experience many do not do so which will cause delays in approval. Insurance documentation is only needed if the Committee so requires after their review of the application. Color approvals now require submission of swatches. Most modifications of the exterior of your dwelling, garage or shed require prior approval of the Design Review Committee. You act at your peril if you execute an exterior modification without prior approval. Applications and correspondence should be sent to White & Katzman by uploading through the PILERA platform or by e-mail or snail mail to the attention of our manager, Michael Montgomery.
Residents or owners are welcome to contact me with issues, complaints, concerns or for guidance.
Christopher J. Rossetti