Message from HOA Board Re: Coping with the Coronavirus

A message from your President (no, not that one – from your HOA President)

These are difficult times for all of us, but “this too shall pass” and we will emerge victorious and stronger than ever if we follow a few simple rules.  Most of the good rules you have already heard and I’ll try not to repeat them.  Here are mine (in no particular order):

  1. Obey the guidance from our healthcare and political leaders. We may not like the guidance, but a coordinated team effort is always better than a “go it alone” effort.  This is no time for maverick behavior.
  2. Look out for each other – within the constraints of Rule #1. There are many ways to help our neighbors.  Maintain contact:  email, text, phone – even face-to-face conversation, but remember to keep your distance.  Help out where you can:  groceries, mail, yardwork, trash can positioning, etc.  There are lots of opportunities.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help or offer help.  We are a community.  I’m pleased to say that a lot of this is, in fact, happening.  Your Board is aware of many examples of neighbors “reaching out” to each other.  Keep up the good work.  This will make us stronger as a community and perhaps we can find a way to celebrate when it is all behind us.
  3. Stay informed and avoid both misinformation (mistakes) and disinformation (deliberate deceit). Unfortunately there are a lot of people in our world who are either not careful about the information they pass along or relish the idea of fomenting fear and confusion.  A case in point is the idea that some elements of the National Guard have been activated for the purpose of enforcing a proclamation of martial law.  Unequivocally not true.  Some National Guard units have been activated and federalized under US Code Title 32, which gives operational control to the states, but retains financial responsibility at the federal government level.  Their purpose is to support local authorities in other than law enforcement activities (mostly logistics).  Law enforcement by federalized military personnel is specifically banned by the Posse Comitatus Act.  Other examples include people selling magic elixirs that allegedly combat the virus – but they don’t.  Some are harmful – even deadly.  Also selling products that never arrive.  Sadly, far too many examples.  Be vigilant.
  4. Stay healthy. Try to maintain a schedule (this reportedly helps manage the anxiety that comes with “cabin fever”).    Get some sunshine.  We have a very nice walking path and the weather is trying to cooperate.

Finally, I’d like to provide copies of two recent documents distributed by the WA State Governor’s office (click on title to activate):

  1.  WA State Guidance about Essential Workers and Activities
  2.  WA State Proclamation 20-25:  Stay Home Policy

Above all:  know that we are here for each other.

Be vigilant and careful — and stay well.

Chuck Millard

HOA President

 

Coronavirus Comes Closer

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT  (From My Ferndale News) 

Ferndale School District (FSD) Superintendent (Dr. Linda Quinn) announced late yesterday, Sunday, March 22nd, that she had been informed about a service provider who had worked with some individual FSD students had been identified as test positive for the COVID-19 virus.

Whatcom County Health Department (WCHD) also announced late yesterday a total of 26 residents and 6 staff at the Shuksan Healthcare Center long-term care center in Bellingham and 1 resident at the Lynden Manor assisted living residence in Lynden had been identified as testing positive for the COVID-19 virus.

Quinn said she had received a phone call from Lummi Behavioral Health Department informing her a non-tribal Lummi Indian Business Council employee had tested positive. The service provider worked at Ferndale High School, Vista Middle School and Horizon Middle School during the week of March 9th to the 13th, Quinn said. Lummi Behavioral Health staff had contacted each student believed to have direct contact with this person during the past 14 days according to the announcement.

Be vigilant and stay healthy.

Rules & Regulations: Member Review

The Meadows-Ferndale has developed a set of Rules and Regulations (Rules) to clarify and amplify the existing CC&Rs and By-Laws.  It is being distributed to all members for review.

Further explanation and review instructions can be found at the following link:

Draft Rules for Member Review

Mailboxes

The Board has identified two over-riding issues related to our mailboxes.

  • They are not well lit. At night (which we have a lot of during the winter months), it is difficult to see the numbers on the individual boxes and on the keys and boxes for oversized packages.  The surrounding darkness is also somewhat vexing to some.
  • They are too far from some homes. Not only is this an inconvenience, it means that the USPS will not home-deliver some packages, as they have a delivery limit of 0.5 miles from the mail box.

We have discussed this with the USPS office in Ferndale and they have indicated that they are OK with having some of the mailboxes relocated (at our expense).  The Board is now considering options for relocation and better lighting (including solar powered lights).

Snow Removal

Winter is coming and along with it the threat of snow.  Our experience of the past two winters (2017-18 and 2018-19) suggests that we’re pretty much on our own for dealing with snow on our streets (especially the private streets and shared driveways).  We are therefore executing an agreement with a local snow-removal company.  This will be a “push” type contract and they will come only if called and charge only for the actual services rendered.  The contract is currently under review by the HOA attorney.

Rossi One-Way

There have been a large number of complaints about vehicular traffic on the one-way section of Rossi Lane where it comes down the hill and meets Brian Court.  Vehicles are often speeding and/or going the wrong way.  The Board has discussed the situation with the Police and Fire Departments and has examined a wide array of options for addressing the issues.  Remember that Rossi Lane is a private street and that there is no turn-around area for large trucks (e.g., moving vans, fire trucks).  These facts limit the options.  We are currently in the process of reducing the speed limit from 25 mph to 20 mph and installing more signs to clearly indicate what constitutes acceptable vehicular behavior.  The Board will continue to monitor the situation and will take more aggressive action if warranted to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents.

Wetland Signage

The Board has recently installed “Pet Waste Stations” at four entry points to our Wetland walking path.  These stations provide plastic waste bags for picking up the pet waste and trash receptacles for depositing the used bags.  They will be maintained by Windwood Landscaping Inc.  Also coming are signs that will define appropriate use of the walking paths (e.g., stay on path, pick up after pets, no motorized bikes, etc.).  These rules originate from the Wetland enabling documents of the Army Corps of Engineers, the Washington State Department of Ecology, and the City of Ferndale.  The “rules” signs are being fabricated by a local sign company and will be placed in approximately the same location as the waste stations.  Our goal is to keep the walking paths safe, clean, and attractive – and the Wetland as a whole compliant with the rules imposed on us.

Results of Homeowner “Straw Vote” on Proposed Neighborhood Playground

The letter from Windermere Property Management to Meadows Homeowners dated September 6th, 2019 provided information concerning a Board-sponsored project to investigate the feasibility and desirability of a proposed playground (aka “Tot Lot”) on one of our neighborhood lots.  The letter explained some of the issues and requested a non-binding “straw vote” to determine if there was sufficient interest to justify continuation of the project into detailed analysis and planning.  The period of voting was to close at the end of September, but the Board extended it to October 6th, exactly one month after initiation.  The result of that vote, as of the end of day on October 6th, is as follows (percent of Homeowner votes):

  • Total: 21.7%
  • In favor of the Playground proposal: 8.8%
  • Opposed to the Playground proposal: 91.2%

Consequently, the Board declares that the voting is closed and that the project is terminated.  Since a playground would require a change to the CC&Rs (see letter referenced above), it would require the support of 67% of homeowners.  The straw vote clearly indicates that this just isn’t going to happen.  The Board, therefore, will neither expend nor request any additional time or effort for analysis of the Playground proposal.

Thanks to all involved for their suggestions, information, and votes.

Wetland Activity

This is a “For Your Information” notice that Aqua-Terr Systems Inc (ATSI) will be conducting their periodic mitigation monitoring of our wetland areas on October 2, 2019.  On that date, you will see ATSI personnel in the Wetlands inspecting, sampling, and taking notes.  This activity is in compliance with requirements levied on the Meadows-Ferndale Association by the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Washington State Department of Ecology, and the City of Ferndale.  We contract with a company named Squalicum Mountain Ecological Restoration (SMER) to do the actual wetland maintenance to ensure compliance — and with ATSI to monitor the compliance status and submit the required reports to the governing agencies cited above.  ATSI conducts their monitoring activities twice a year:  in the spring and the fall.  This is their fall visit.

New information.  ATSI has indicated that they will be back on Monday 7 October to finish the fall mitigation monitoring task.

Announcement/Memorandum

The Meadows-Ferndale Board of Directors has recently announced, via a mailing (both USPS and email) by Windermere Property Management, information related to the following topics:

  1.  Rules and Regulations Project (homeowner response requested)
  2. Penalty/Fine Schedule (See Resolution 4-2019 under “HOA Policies”)
  3. Playground (“Tot Lot”) Recommendation (homeowner response requested)

The complete announcement can be found by opening the following link:

190906-Announcement

Reply to Facebook Posting

The link below is to a document which contains a Facebook posting from one of our Meadows homeowners – and a paragraph-by-paragraph response from your Board of Directors (aka Board).

It is clear that Facebook has gained some traction as a means of communication for our residents. We (the Board) need to point out, however, that Facebook is totally unofficial and represents the personal opinions of the authors who post there.  Official information about our community comes only from the Board, from the Property Manager, or from this web site.

The Board hopes that you (Meadows-Ferndale homeowners) will take advantage of all possible avenues of communication, including attendance at Board meetings, to stay informed and participate in the decisions and activities that impact our community.

190810.6 Reply to Facebook

Rules and Regulations Project (Update)

A news item posted to this web site on July 11, 2019 described the HOA “Rules and Regulations Project” that will develop a set of Rules and Regulations for the HOA to clarify and amplify (where necessary) the community CC&Rs and By-Laws.  That posting specified that the input from homeowners would take place during the month of August 2010.  The homeowner input period has now been changed to September 2019.  Sometime in the next several weeks, the Board members will go door-to-door in the community to deliver a detailed announcement to each and every homeowner about this very important project.  At the same time, the Board will attempt to verify and/or update contact information so that the dissemination of news is easier and more reliable in the future.  The Board seeks to ensure that community members are well informed and able to participate in the decisions and activities that affect our community.

The Board looks forward to these contacts — and to the receipt of homeowner input to the development of community Rules and Regulations.