Message from the President – Summer 2021

published: July 7th, 2021 by in Uncategorized

After serving as your HOA President for the past six months, I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome in the summer and express a sincere appreciation to my fellow Board members, the Cardinal Management team and our contracted vendors for being so committed and working unselfishly together to make our community such a great place to live. In addition, I would like to acknowledge a special debt of gratitude to those caring and concerned residents who have contributed so much through thoughtful suggestions, constructive ideas and trustworthy council.

My wife, Karen, and I have been proud Raspberry Falls homeowners since 2006 and can honestly say that, aesthetically, the community looks as nice as it ever has. While acknowledging that not everything is perfect and we still have a lot of work to do; the surge in prideful care of individual homes, the upgraded amenities and the tasteful grooming of our common grounds makes our Hamlet designed neighborhood a most attractive and pleasing place to call home!!

With the weather warming, our community swimming pool has been a busy destination for residents of all ages. Your overwhelmingly positive and complimentary feedback regarding the new pool house renovation and the stylish accompanying deck furniture has been greatly appreciated.

During the renovation, we were happy to accommodate several residents who were able to take home and use some of the old pool furniture while the unclaimed pieces made a much appreciated charitable donation to our local Habitat For Humanity.

In more pool news, our swimming pool management company hired a staff comprised of local certified and credentialed life guards to work for us this summer. We are pleased that several of those hired are actually Raspberry Falls residents. The young group of life guards has been conscientious and very diligent in their efforts to provide and maintain a safe and clean pool area for our neighborhood to enjoy. Your cooperation adhering to the posted pool regulations, being attentive to our guards and encouraging their efforts on your behalf would be greatly appreciated.

While not owned by our HOA, the golf course continues to be a tremendous asset to our community. As a member I can say first hand that it, too, is in the best shape it has ever been at this time of year. The hiring of a new head groundskeeper, two new teaching professionals, the remodeling of four holes, refurbishing the driving range, the renovation of the club house and the addition of 75 new golf carts contributes to the upgraded appearance and attractive features of this great facility.

If you have any interest in golf, I would encourage you to go to the course web site for information regarding specific programs and upcoming events. The Jr. Golf Camp has been a tremendous experience for those children in the neighborhood that have been participating and a couple of special tournaments for residents have been scheduled. As a reminder, reduced membership rates are also available for our homeowners

One thing we do regret this summer is that one segment of our master plan has been compromised – the HOA sponsored “social events calendar”. While we all want a speedy return to these activities, the recently published warnings from the Virginia Department of Health, the CDC and the WHO regarding the uncertainties and dangers of the new Covid 19 variant has given us pause.

Under the advice of trusted medical council, for the time being, we have reluctantly postponed scheduling our communities sponsored social gathering activities. We do, however, look forward to resuming these get togethers as soon as we can, in good conscience, provide a risk free and safe environment for all those participating.

We know the entire pandemic discussion locally, nationally and world wide has been problematic and has been a controversial, political and emotionally charged topic since its beginning. In this instance, however, your patience, understanding and support would be appreciated as we have chosen to play the high side of caution and safety for the benefit of everyone in our community.

As has been mentioned in other communications, we are now in the process of conducting our 2021 Reserve Study. One of the primary business duties of an HOA is to maintain and preserve the property values of the residential units and the common property. The replacement reserve fund has a tremendous impact on our associations future and we wanted to insure that we meet the legal, fiduciary and professional requirements as they pertain to Raspberry Falls in accordance with the governing laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

To do our study we have contracted MIllerDodson, a nationally respected Capitol Reserve Consultant who has specialized in providing replacement reserve studies to community associations for over 30 years. In concert with their experienced team of professionals, Cardinal Managements executives and legal department, the Raspberry Falls Board of Directors, and the advice and council of several trusted community members with a background and knowledge of the process particular to our community, we feel confident that we will have a most comprehensive and accurate assessment to protect and enhance the physical aspects of our community, establish the most fair and equitable means to fund the reserve, create the most sound financial plan for funding the commonly owned components and easements of the community and meet the fiduciary, contractual and statutory requirements established by the Commonwealth regarding reserve funding. A special HOA meeting will be held in the future to discuss and finalize this process with our homeowners,

Lastly, Cardinal Management recently conducted their annual community inspection to insure all homes are in compliance with the design and maintenance standards as established by our communities governing documents. I found that no one is immune to a violation assessment as I received a notification that a portion of the siding on my house was in need of a power wash!!!! The management team remained unsympathetic to my objections so I had it done last week. I am now out a few hundred dollars but the proud owner of a very clean fully power washed residence (actually made a difference and looks great).

I hope you all avoid any violation notices, but should you be an unsuspecting recipient, please take care of those obligations. In the big picture, holding our properties to a high aesthetic standard and collectively taking care of our neighborhood amenities benefits all of us with respect to increased property values and a high quality, pleasing community environment.

Thanks so much. Have a great summer and, with your family and friends, enjoy all the terrific opportunities for enjoyment that this special neighborhood of ours has to offer.

Stay safe and best wishes always,

Al Saunders, President
Raspberry Falls Homeowners Association