Dear Scofield Farms Homeowner,
Spring is just around the corner and your Scofield Farms ROA board members and volunteers have a few springtime activities to get you on your way to a productive and enjoyable season.
Spring is the time of year to begin making improvements to your yard and property to maintain our neighborhood. In general, overall street appearance like nicely manicured lawns, attractive bushes, and accent lighting will send a message to criminals that the homeowners care about their property and keep an eye on it and might have security systems. Likewise, unkempt lawns and neglected trees and shrubs, are a sign that there may be other aspects of the home that the owner lacks attention to, like doors, window locks and overall security of the home. The Residential Homeowners Association (ROA) board has been doing its part to maintain the neighborhood integrity. Below are specific items we are working on to sustain your property values through our joint community property within the neighborhood. Please do your part by maintaining your own property so we can all live in a safe and appealing environment.
Below are items your neighborhood ROA has been working on to improve the property as well as updates from your neighborhood ROA board:
- Pool construction: The ROA has been working to improve the pool area by incorporating additional shade/entertainment areas and providing new gates for pool restroom use year-round. In addition, we will be installing a gate around the playground so little ones cannot wander off into the parking lot while playing at the playground. Lighting will be placed in the mailbox area in the pool/playground parking lot. Lastly, we will be resurfacing and re-striping the parking lot at the pool. We expect each of these projects to be completed by the pool opening on April 1. However, we have been experiencing unforeseen delays with the city permitting process. You can expect to see a great deal of progress being made in this area as we move closer to April.
The ROA has also approved and installed a number of cameras around the pool area to be able to monitor should crime or vandalism occur. We have established a formal rule for the neighborhood so all of the neighbors understand the purpose of the cameras in place at the pool area. In short, it says, “These cameras may be unmonitored and/or non-functional at any time. No surveillance system should be relied upon to ensure a resident’s safety—personal safety is the responsibility of the individual and law enforcement.”
- Community website, Forum and SF Instant Communicator –The scofieldfarms.org website, the official online communication channel of the Scofield Farms ROA, continues to be improved and expanded to better serve residents. Check out the website to find out the latest news about current events in the neighborhood, as well as access important documents and information. Calendar events noted soon include the “It’s My Park” cleanup event on March 2, the Easter Egg Hunt on March 30, and the neighborhood garage sale on April 6.
You can also sign up for the scofieldfarms.org forum as well as the Scofield Farms ROA email newsletter via the website. The scofieldfarms.org forum is a moderated discussion board whose primary focus is the Scofield Farms Residential Owners Association (ROA) and community. Some topics covered on the forum include ROA projects, contractor and professional suggestions, children, pets, security and items for sale. In order to post content on the forum and to read member private forums, you must register. To register, visit http://www.scofieldfarms.org/forum/ and select “Register”. Please note that we have recently modified the registration requirements for the forum, and pool card number verification is no longer required.
The Scofield Farms ROA email newsletter is used several times a year to distribute information about Board of Directors meetings and agendas. To be added to the list, either join the scofieldfarms.org forum or sign up for the newsletter using the “Sign up for our Email Newsletter” form on the scofieldfarms.org website.
The Scofield Farms Instant Communicator group is ready for your participation and input! The Instant Communicator, created in 2012, is a means of quickly disseminating important news regarding situations currently occurring (such as crimes in progress, suspicious activity, or severe weather warnings) to our community via a smart phone app or text message. Please visit “General Info/FAQ” on the scofieldfarms.org forum for additional information about joining the Instant Communicator group.
Please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
- Architectural Control Committee: Last year a number of our neighbors replaced landscaping and grass with more drought resistant materials. Other neighbors will be entering the 2013 Spring season with dead grass, trees, shrubs, etc. If you have yet to update your yard, the Spring season is the perfect time to plant new grass and drought-resistant plants. You are encouraged to survey your property and take appropriate action to replace dead grass, trees, shrubs, etc. If you are doing more than simple replacement of damaged landscaping such as redesigning your landscape, please submit an ACC approval request form. If your lawn is in sad shape please take care of the required maintenance without the added expense of an ROA enforcement case against you. CMA, our property management company, will be in touch if you are out of compliance and to help you establish a plan and timeline for re-establishing your yard, if necessary. Please note that the ROA board is very supportive of xeriscaped yards IF they are installed following an ACC approved plan. Guidelines are available on the neighborhood website, scofieldfarms.org.
- Fence Policy/Fence repair/replacement- The ROA has asked our attorney to create a new fence policy relating to the responsibility of each neighbor to assist in the repair/replacement of joint fencing. Per the new policy, “when a fence acts as a boundary fence that separates two owners’ yards, the owners share a joint duty to maintain, replace, and repair the fence such that it remains in good, neat, and attractive condition, and such owners are equally responsible for all costs of maintenance. Any fence separating two owners’ yards is presumed to be a boundary fence unless acceptable proof (in the form of a survey) is submitted and confirmed by the board that the fence is wholly situated on only one lot.” This new policy has been put in place to help homeowners understand their legal responsibilities relating to joint fencing. The ROA management company will enforce fence issues by working individually with the homeowners affected.
In addition, many of our ROA’s homes still have very deteriorated cedar privacy fences (rotted posts, pickets and gates). You are encouraged to survey your fence and take appropriate action. In many cases full replacement is warranted. Please collaborate with your neighbors on shared fence replacement/repair. Please note that our ROA guidelines require 1×4 Western Red Cedar pickets. Please specify only these type pickets when you purchase materials or talk to a contractor. Any deviations from the guidelines will require ACC approval. Review the new ROA website for the guidelines and to establish a list of contractors some of your neighbors have used to replace their fence.
- Community Pool – The pool committee continues to offer excellence in attention to detail by maintaining our neighborhood pool. The committee is made up exclusively of neighborhood volunteers who help assure our pool is clean and in good working order. The community pool will open April 1. We will have a pool opening celebration on Sunday April 14 from 3pm-6pm. The celebration will include an ice cream social, complete with a Rhythm and Blues band to welcome everyone to the 2013 pool season. We look forward to seeing everyone there to enjoy the festivities. In addition, do not forget to review the new website to view the lifeguard schedule for the 2013 pool season.
- Oak wilt information – Scofield Farms has a number of trees with Oak Wilt. While the fungus seems to be under control at the moment, it is important to know how and when to prune your trees properly. This can help you prevent oak wilt from spreading to other trees in your own yard or in the neighborhood. Please see the information and consider the recommendations prior to pruning your trees.
- Architectural Control Committee (ACC) approvals - Your property covenants require you to have written approval from the ROA’s ACC prior to modifications to your property. Examples of items you need ACC approval for include, but are not limited to, building a shed, deck, redesigning landscape or installing nonstandard fencing, and changing the color of your home’s exterior paint. The process is fast and easy to submit for review. There is no valid reason not to comply. This is another way to make sure the neighborhood is kept nice. In several recent cases, our ACC volunteers have used their expertise to alert applicants to problems in their contractor’s proposal. When in doubt – please ask for guidance from our property manager, Jennifer English at CMA, 512-339-6962, or email@example.com to avoid enforcement and fines.
- New billing process – The ROA and the management company are working to ensure everyone is sent proper reminders for payment for the neighborhood dues. These dues cover the management of our neighborhood and help maintain all of the common areas within the neighborhood, including the pool, playground and entrances to the neighborhood. This year, if you did not pay in full at the beginning of the year, you will receive monthly statements to help you stay on track with your payments. An added bonus to this process is that the cost for mailing monthly statements versus annual payment books is less for the neighborhood.
- Upcoming events—The neighborhood ROA and a number of volunteers in the neighborhood are assisting with a number of upcoming, exciting events.
- It’s My Park Day: Please mark your calendars for the It’s My Park Day scheduled for Saturday, March 2nd from 9:00am to 12:00pm. It’s My Park Day is a citywide event for park improvement projects with the help of volunteers like you and your family. This year, the Scofield Farms Park Beautification Project will include trash pickup, moving mulch, removing limbs and brush from along trails, and clearing invasive plants like China Berry trees. We will have breakfast tacos available to get you started in the morning. Meet under the covered park cabana at 9am to get started.
- Easter Egg Hunt: The Easter Egg hunt will be held March 30, 2013 from 10:30am-noon. The event will include the official hunt for eggs, a petting zoo, snacks, and other fun activities for the kids in the neighborhood. If you have a child who will participate, please provide a dozen plastic eggs filled with individually wrapped candy or small toys *per participating child*. Please deliver to Laura Nattinger’s, 1416 Braided Rope Drive, no later than March 23. We’d also like for parents/grandparents to add a note listing their kids’ ages to the bag of eggs they drop off, so we can better distribute the eggs into the appropriate age groups (Ages 3 & Under, Ages 4-6, and Ages 7 & Up).
- Neighborhood garage sale: The annual neighborhood garage sale will be held on April 6, 2013 from 8am-noon. Our neighbor Jenney Leone will coordinate a list of homes participating this year. She has also offered to promote the event for the neighborhood. Please send confirmation of attendance to Jenney at Jenneyleone@sbcglobal.net no later than March 24 if you would like your home promoted in the advertisements for the garage sale. Jenney will be posting reminders as well.
- Live Rhythm and Blues Band at the Pool/Pool opening celebration: The neighborhood will host a pool opening/live band at the pool event on Sunday, April 14 from 3pm-6pm. Ice cream and entertainment will be provided for the event.
- Annual meeting: May 16 from 7pm-9pm, registration to begin at 6:30, (see details below).
- July 4th party at the pool, July 4. Be on the lookout for details as the event gets closer.
- Board Update – As a reminder to the neighborhood residents, the officers for 2012-13 are as follows: President – Shelley Karn, Vice President – David Negrete, Secretary –Deborah Southerland, Treasurer – Emmett Bills, Director-at-Large – Paul Maine.
We welcome interested individuals to become involved in the Scofield Farms ROA. Shelley Karn and David Negrete will complete their respective terms this year therefore two spots will need to be filled. If you are interested in joining the board, please feel free to discuss this interest with the current board members. We are willing to communicate with you on the process prior to the board meeting.
- Annual meeting: Save the date- The ROA annual meeting will be held Thursday, May 16 from 7-9 (registration will begin at 6:30) at the Frank Fickett Boy Scout Training and Service Center, 12500 IH 35, Austin, TX 78753. Please join us in a review of activities and a discussion about the future of our community.
In closing, I wish to commend our many volunteers for helping make our community a nice place to live. We look forward to working with you to improve our community. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Shelley Karn, President