Spring Cleanup Starts
Spring clean up has begun. Residents are invited to place brush and leaves in separate piles adjacent to any road for pickup by our landscapers. It would be appreciated if members of the community also helped out by picking up branches on either side of the walking paths and also placed them by roadsides. The last day to put leaves, thatch or brush out is Sunday April 23rd, 2023. Residents will be back charged for the cost of pick up of materials placed curbside after that date.
Redesigned Website Launched
Our redesigned website was launched on 3/4/23. Go to www.pondplace.org and have a look. You will notice a new feature called: Trusted Providers. This is a bulletin board where members of the community may post name and contact information for vendors with whom they have dealt who have performed up to expectation. Instructions on how to accomplish this will be posted on the site in the near future.
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 twelve (12) homeowners are seriously delinquent in their obligations and their cases will be turned over to our collection attorneys, Rosenberg & Rosenberg of Avon, for legal action in the event they fail to immediately bring their accounts substantially up to date. These homeowners will be receiving a final demand letter within the next several weeks. Please understand that White & Katzman has no authority to defer or compromise indebtedness. 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 April 27, 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 www.pondplace.org 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 fourth, and hopefully final, meeting dedicated to this purpose will be held on April 13, 2023. Sections will be added governing installation and use of Firepits and Standby Electrical Generators among other things. The proposed revisions will then be presented to the community for comment.
Mike Montgomery and Lauren Pizzoferrato from White & Katzman have already begun the Spring 2023 inspections of the community and will be issuing written maintenance violation notices. Those who received correction orders last year which remain incomplete will be subject to potential fines. Please do your part to help keep the community in good repair and attractive.
White and Off-Whites Prohibited for any Purpose in Pond Place
The Board of Governors of the Pond Place Association, Inc. is reminding all
homeowners that for aesthetic reasons white pipes, white doors, white
windows, white trim, white garage doors, white drip edge, white weatherstripping, white molding, white light and white security camera fixtures are NOT permitted in Pond Place.
White or off white trim and siding colors will NOT be approved by the Design Review Committee.
White & Katzman will be noting properties which are in non conformity with this rule during their Spring 2023 inspections and homeowners will be expected to come into compliance by the Fall 2023 deadlines or face fines.
By way of history, white was never a permitted color for weatherstripping, pipes, drip edge, screens, windows, doors, etc. During the period CM Property Management was managing the community enforcement of the Building Guide and oversight of the exterior appearance of structures and exclusive use areas was at times overlooked and inconsistent. Several homeowners applied off white colors to their structures without permission piping. Several homeowners without seeking approval from the DRC, installed white fixtures or piping.
If you received written permission from CM Property Management for a white or off white color application or for installation of a white fixture, the Board may depending on the circumstances delay or defer enforcement.
If you purchased your house during the last few years and when you purchased it something on it was white, and it was not noted as a violation or discrepancy on your Resale Certificate, the Board may depending on the circumstances delay or defer enforcement.
All others will be expected to re-stain their white or off white trim, garage doors and doors with a DRC approved color. White windows, weatherstripping, drip edge, molding, garage weatherstripping will need either to be spray painted black or brown or be replaced.
New General Counsel Engaged
Attorney Jeffrey McChristian, who had been the general counsel to the Pond Place and Northington Boards for many years, retired effective December 31, 2022. No one in the firm has was last associated with, Ford & Paulekas of Hartford, had any particular expertise in counseling common interest communities. The Board voted unanimously to engage Attorney Gregory McCrackin of the firm of Jacobs, Walker, Rice & Barry which has offices in West Hartford and Manchester. Mr. McCrackin is one of the recognized experts in central Connecticut in representing common interest communities.
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 an 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 non- compliance 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. The FY 2021-2022 audits are in preparation.
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 or previously failed to opt out are NOT eligible to opt out in the future. 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
(860) 678-0889 email@example.com