March 14, 2007

Merifield Acres Newsletter

Vol. XIII, No.1

March 14, 2007

The common interest community known popularly as Merifield Acres is composed of multiple contiguous and noncontiguous platted units. Elected by property owners in good standing, the volunteer Board of Directors of the Merifield Acres Landowners’ Association (MALA) and the volunteer Architectural Committee tend to the day-to-day business of the community. With courtesy, communication, and cooperativeness, and in an orderly manner, all property owners in Merifield Acres share responsibility for maintaining the security and appearance of Merifield Acres, protecting its peaceful and wooded surroundings, enhancing property values, and preserving Merifield Acres as a highly desirable place in which to live.

A number of Merifield Acres residents have expressed the desire for a road map of Merifield Acres on which the names of the roads are legible. Printed in this issue of the Newsletter is such a map that has been available on the MALA website. Down every road are stunning views. Set out for a walk around the community confident of finding your way back home.

Every Merifield property owner, accompanied by children or not, is cordially invited to the annual Easter Egg Hunt, picnic and party games, Saturday, April 7, in Oak Park at noon--“the more the merrier”. Hot dogs and beverage provided. Kindly RSVP Jill Allen (374-0399) or Nancy Dahl (374-2161) as soon as possible indicating the number attending and the side dish or dessert sharing. Volunteers are needed, and very much appreciated, for setting up, placing eggs, helping with games, and cleaning up—please contact either Jill or Nancy.

No Open Burning, states the sign on the right after entering Merifield Acres. Burning should be done in a closed incinerator only. Homebuilders are advised to instruct contractors and subcontractors not to leave smoldering fires unattended. Provided all fire laws are observed and other vegetation is not damaged, holders of an Army Corps of Engineers’ Dock/Buoy/Vegetation Modification permit may burn brush below the 300 ft. M.S.L.--restricted by the VDOF from February 15 to April 30 to between 4:00 p.m. and midnight. Before burning, check with VDOF (www.dof.virginia.gov or (434) 738-6727) for current County restrictions. While burning, exercise extreme caution.

Security also reminds pet owners that dogs should not run loose. At least two dogs have been killed in recent months. (Children and grandchildren are allowed to run loose on the roads?) Unless the dog appears dangerous, Security asks that residents attempt to scare off friendly but unwanted dogs and themselves to talk with the owners. Incidents of speeding cars and vandalism have been reported to the Sheriff.

The Virginia Property Owners’ Association Act requires that a person selling a property shall disclose in the contract that the property is located within a common interest community subject to the VPOAA that requires the seller to obtain an association disclosure packet and to provide it to the purchaser. The disclosure/information packet is requested from the MALA Treasurer.

In order to preserve the natural landscaping of Merifield Acres, owners and/or builders are to schedule a site inspection with a member of the Architectural Committee before removing trees and proceeding with construction.

With spring just around the corner, Appearance and Beautification encourages residents on each Merifield Acres road to tend the plantings around their street sign.

Common Areas and Facilities heartily thanks a number of residents for helping with improvements at Oak Park—facelift of the Stable, removal of the privies, and cleanup of the playground. The boat dock billets will be replaced as weather and water level permit.

Assisted by welcome volunteers, Community Events hosted approximately 80 people at the Harvest Hayride—picnic and games at Oak Park followed by a hayride that made trick-or-treat stops at nine Merifield homes.

This season, Deer Control reports, ten deer were harvested, two bucks and eight does.

With input and feedback from the Board, standing committee members, and residents, Governance is developing a matrix of the Restrictive Covenants of Roanoke Point coordinated with a color-coded map of Merifield Acres, drafting standing committee job descriptions for the updated Board of Directors’ Notebook, and revising the MALA Bylaws for mailing to the membership in advance of the September 2007 MALA Annual Meeting.

Political and Environmental relays from the Corps of Engineers that because winds of 35 to 40 miles per hour elevate the water level, building will no longer be permitted down to the 320 line—323 is considered safer.

Roads and Maintenance reports that culvert pipes have been unplugged of debris and silt and cul-de-sacs cleared of dead trees and debris, good work of the Resident Maintenance Manager. Removal of dead trees near the roadways is the lot owner’s responsibility. Ralph Moore and Roads and Maintenance appreciate residents’ picking up litter along the roads.

The Welcoming Committee appreciates being notified of new full-time Merifield residents; so that the Committee may greet the family on behalf of the Association. Neighbors will of course drop over to welcome newcomers, part time and full time, and to offer assistance.

The Board of Directors determined not to distribute a 2007 Merifield Acres Telephone Directory. Along with the Merifield Acres road map printed on the second sheet of this Newsletter is provided contact information for MALA, the Architectural Committee, the 2006-2007 MALA Board members and officers, and standing committee chairs and members. The Directory for 2008 is anticipated, however.

Do follow up on inclinations to contact a standing committee chair and to lend a most welcome hand. Should you be willing to serve a three-year turn on the Architectural Committee or on the Board of Directors, please do let a member of the Board, who might well be your neighbor, know of this sense of responsibility.

The next Newsletter will be issued following the MALA Annual Meeting a Sunday early afternoon late in September. Beforehand, each property owner will receive a letter of invitation, the proposed 2008 MALA budget, the suggested revision of the MALA Bylaws, and a ballot to vote for members of the Board, the Architectural Committee, the proposed 2008 budget, and this year the revised Bylaws. Should any Merifield Acres property owner wish information of urgency or interest to the general Merifield community considered for inclusion, kindly communicate the item to the Newsletter Editor by mid-September.

All property owners are most welcome to attend meetings of the Board, held bi-monthly and usually on a Tuesday in the Clarksville Library at 7:00 p.m. The next meeting is Tuesday, April 10, 2007 (contact President Szalkowski for precise date and location, in the event of change). From the April Board meeting forward, scheduled early on the agenda of each Board meeting will be an Open Forum during which time your Board member neighbors hope to hear in what ways property owners and residents in Merifield Acres would wish our common interest community improved.