July 13, 2011

The meeting of the Lake Barcroft Association (LBA) was called to order at 7:30 p.m. by President Warren Russell at 6425 Lakeview Drive, Falls Church, Virginia. Those present were LBA Directors Warren Russell, Cindy Waters, Steve Klein, Sally Determan, Betsy Washington, Diane Smalley, Mark Cavich, Kim Smith, Regina Derzon, Eva Kosztarab and Alice Rowan. Pat Payne and Jim Kilbourne were not present. Improvements Chair George Waters, Water Safety Supervisor Kevin Hardy and lake residents Kevin Howe and Jim Derzon were also present.

The minutes of June 8, 2011 were approved as presented.


BOAT AUCTION: Sally stated the auction will be this Saturday, July 16, 2011 starting at 10 a.m. Kevin Howe will be the auctioneer. George Waters agreed to bring his boat to help tow boats. Approximately 20-25 boats were pulled for the auction, which is an LBA function.

CALENDAR: The calendar was reviewed. No changes were made.

WATER SAFETY: Kevin Hardy summarized his report. He stated that the season has been relatively smooth with only a few incidents, and that the beaches have been less active than usual. Two swimmers required assistance when they tired while swimming between beach 3 and beach 2. Fortunately, the life guards saw their distress, despite the swimmers’ position outside the guarded area. The swimmers were rescued with boards. A significant incident of vandalism occurred late on July 3 after the fireworks when a rescue board worth $900 and its $200 cover were removed from the locked box. Kevin reported the loss to the police and has filed a report.

Lifeguard staffing is good and classes are going well. Stand up paddle board is very popular. Typically, 88% of the college-age staff is gone by mid-August; Kevin can bring in substitutes. Kevin and Sally compared the amount of use between beach 3 and 5. There is little swimming at beach 5 other than some local children with their caretaker, but many parties occur at beach 5. Party income equals $1,100. Many cars are seen to turn around in the beach 5 parking lot upon when the driver observes the presence of a guard. Occurrence of trespassers and the time they appear is fairly random. Kevin thanked Kevin Howe and his committee for the beach 3 clean up after the fireworks.

Sally recommends continuing to staff beach 5 to limit the possibility of an unguarded water accident, and to continue to provide security for the beach. Kim advised that when lifeguards are not present, vandalism occurs almost exclusively at beach 5. She finds trespassing fishermen in the wooded area. Cindy inquired where the money should come from. Sally explained that the Board could amend the budget to provide a guard at beach 5. Sally believed that having a guard present at beach 5 contributed to increased security and observed that we are making progress on the security issue.

Sally made a motion, seconded by Kim, to continue placing lifeguards at beach 5 for the next 4 weeks at a cost of approximately $2,500, and instruct them to continue to keep records of observed activity. Ten voted in favor, one abstained from voting. Motion approved.

FIREWORKS: This year’s show, held July 3, went extremely well despite the many federal, state and county regulatory changes that complicated the planning. Kevin Howe described the long and involved process by the new regulations which were promulgated after a serious 2007 fireworks mishap in Vienna, Virginia. The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) has been lobbying aggressively to do away with all fireworks shows. Due to the increased stand-off distances, beach 3 is the only location where the fireworks can be shot. The Fire Marshal finally approved Lake Barcroft’s plans, and as a result, beach 3 should be the site unless Virginia outlaws private fireworks shows altogether. The state now requires a certified shooter at every show. Several volunteers are working to obtain this three-year certification, which requires approval by the Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and Virginia State Police due to the handling of explosives. This year, Zambelli provided a certified shooter due to Zambelli’s long and cordial association with Lake Barcroft. However, the shooter could only be provided on July 3. The fireworks committee plans to do the show next year on Wednesday, July 4, 2012 with volunteer shooters.

Kevin reported that over 80 people volunteered as helpers and the fireworks show could not have happened without these volunteers. Next year, more volunteers may be needed to work the night before, when it is cooler. Diane Weeks and Natalie Buehler were especially effective in coordinating volunteers. Jim Derzon provided a thorough explanation of what was involved in the fireworks show, and emphasized that volunteers find the work to be fun, interesting and rewarding. Some residents who initially had concerns about the date change, were among the hardest-working and most dedicated volunteers. Viewers reported that conditions were great along Stoneybrae Drive hill for seeing the fireworks; the Board was asked to consider applying to have the street blocked off for next year’s show. Beach 3 offers an advantage over the decanting basin, as fireworks can be shot at a higher trajectory (12 degrees) from the sand, improving viewing conditions. The Women’s Club Parade will be affected as no one can be on the beach when fireworks are present. The Board congratulated and thanked the “fireworks quad”: Kevin Howe, Jim Derzon, Walter Cate and Bryan Snee, and all the volunteers.

** ACTION ITEM**: Kevin and Pat Payne will work to create a list of duties and time lines for future reference.

SECURITY AD-HOC UPDATE: Kim will delay this discussion until either August or September as she is waiting on a cost comparison for cameras that she expects to receive soon. Eva suggested getting a second bid on security cameras. Kim discussed the need for increased patrol hours for July 4. The number of off-duty police officers was increased from two to four and their hours increased from 6 to 20. Budgeted to date was 165 hours at $6,660. As of yesterday, the police stated only 156 hours billed at $6,420. Kim informed the Board that other communities were paying off-duty officers a higher salary; during next year’s budget discussion the Board may wish to consider paying the off-duty officers a higher hourly rate to maintain competitive pay scales. Kim was astonished at the number of trespassers who arrived on the beaches on July 4 expecting to see our fireworks. Some residents set off illegal fireworks. Kim noted that two dozen citations have been issued to trespassers; an LBA spokesman may be required to testify in court to testify.

Kim reported on the results of a questionnaire sent to Neighborhood Watch members. Kim reported that they are reluctant to check beach tags pre- and post-closing due to safety concerns. Some felt that LBA needs to mandate car stickers. National Night Out is scheduled for next month. Cindy notes the County now makes proposals regarding speed control and the communities respond. A Mason District Officer has been assigned specifically to handle speed control issues. Kim has prepared a table showing incidence of crimes by type; she will send this table to the Board for review and was asked by the board to post the statistics in the newsletter. Kim asked for feedback from the Board on security cameras. In general, the Board members did not support security cameras, subject to cost and community reaction. Jim, who has worked as a criminologist, described the “hydraulic” or “whack-a-mole” theory of crime which provides that if a community suppresses crime at one location, it may pop up elsewhere.

COMMUNITY GARDEN: George Waters led a discussion on renovation of the community garden pond. He and Delfino drained the pond and placed boulders (Pennsylvania steppers) from Tri-State Quarry in Bethesda inside the pond to form a ledge. This action did not create an RPA issue because no dirt was moved. The lower pond area was weeded. George, Regina and Betsy will meet there to discuss gardening plans, which may involve RPA issues. Kim expressed concern about leakage from the pond wall. George discussed the cement wall of the pond. Kevin emphasized that hydraulic cement was necessary to correct leakage. The group will report back to the Board.

Kim expressed her strong concern that boulders of any size which are placed into the pond may create additional risk due to slippage and may create holes which could catch feet. George responded that the stones were placed at the recommendation of a professional expert pond installer. Further, he had Delfino wedge material into every nook and cranny to address concerns about feet being caught. George confirmed that the area is fenced off during construction for safety reasons and to ward off trespassers. Warren clarified that Rauth Lane, which passes through the Community Garden, is NOT a public right-of-way. The Board reviewed a letter forwarded by the Grand family concerning trespassing around the Garden and proposing the placement of additional security. The family will be thanked for their letter and advised that the Board will discuss the matter as a budget item.

BOARD ITEMS: Cindy has been working on LBA committee descriptions and “master notebooks” for historical use. Cindy also suggested that any bylaws changes should be very general to avoid hamstringing future boards.


TRAFFIC CALMING TASK FORCE: Cindy addressed the cost of mailing ballots and whether LBA will pay this cost. Sally added that it would be approximately $200 to mail and $200 to return.

A motion was made to supply payment in an amount not to exceed $400 for postage. All voted in favor; motion approved.


IMPROVEMENTS: George Waters summarized his M&I report. He described several projects he was working on such as repairing the beach 4 bench, the drainage issue at beach 4, ramps at 1 and 4 cleaned and having a grill installed at beach 5.

ARC: Warren reported on behalf of the committee in Jim’s absence. Fence heights continue to be an issue. Sally suggested including the ARC reports regularly in the newsletter. A resident is appealing a dock submission; the Board suggested holding a special hearing on August 3 to consider the appeal.

** ACTION ITEM** ARC committee to inform the resident of the changed date for appeal hearing.

TREASURER: Steve stated income is stable and expenses are on track. Kevin Howe had submitted receipts from a pre-fireworks planning committee meeting; the receipts included a small amount for alcoholic beverages. Warren stated his opposition was an ethical one - the LBA board should not be buying alcohol for residents. The Board agreed to pay the amount, which is de minimus. $7,700 is budgeted for fireworks, of which $6,600 is for Zambelli.

LEGAL: Eva stated that the legal committee is reviewing the bylaws and will present it to the Board in a couple of months. A letter was sent to a resident regarding recent misuse of beach tags; this situation will be reviewed next year. Mrs. DeAngelis called and complained about 2 trees allegedly on common property leaning toward her property. Eva contacted a surveyor to ascertain the location of the trees, and determined the surveying cost would be $600. Cindy recalled that in 2007, the Board discussed an issue of DeAngelis’ encroachments onto LBA property. Target Survey originally placed stakes to determine land boundaries.

* * ACTION ITEM * * Board members will contact that service to determine the stakes’ location and whether the trees are on common property, and whether the trees are healthy.

ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY: Betsy reported that LBA was awarded a $9,400 grant from Fairfax Water Authority. The grant will assist in educating landowners about caring for the lake and encourage “Ambassadors” for conservation efforts. Penny Gross has been enthusiastic about stormwater control such as proposed for this grant which will provide stormwater credits. Kevin added that next year he wants to apply to the Chesapeake Bay for additional grants up to $50,000. WID is enthusiastic about the possibility of storm water management initiatives. Cindy asked that the Board be informed when grants are applied for. Betsy is already getting requests for the next community tree program because many have lost trees due to the drought and disease. Kim questioned silt runoff from outside the community. Kevin reported that the County has been contacted several times to request enforcement of silt management regulations, but oversight is lacking.

** ACTION ITEM** Betsy will follow up on silt runoff with the County.

Kim presented a letter from residents by the foot bridge expressing concerns about the number of trespassers accessing this area by foot and boat.

** ACTION ITEM** These residents will be thanked and informed that the Board will address that matter as a budget item.

PUBLICATIONS: Mark reported the contractor list will be submitted soon. The website is on a new server.

MEMBERSHIP: Diane reported on transfer fees received in June for a total of $200. There presently are 1037 members, 3 non-members, 1 partial payer and 4 outstanding transfers for a total of 1045 lots. There are 13 lots that have not paid their 2011 fees. Diane is working with Eva to resolve this. Liens have been filed against the 6 lot owners owing large amounts. The Board applauded Cindy for making many phone calls, which resulted in most of these individuals paying their dues.

SPECIAL EVENTS: Chris reported on a request received from Newcomers to pay $500 for the band scheduled for the community BBQ. The Board agreed this had been budgeted for.

OTHER: Warren asked Chris to schedule the annual Civic Affairs meeting the third week in October. Political candidates will be invited. The board agreed not to hold the August regular meeting because at least five members will be absent on August 10.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:32 PM.