The Plantations Board of Directors

18395 Plantations Blvd.

Lewes, DE. 19958

302.645.2222

December  14, 2010

What’s NEW?

 

·       New Neighbors

·       New Budget

·       New coupon books (same old rates)

·       New steps

·       New Flag

·       New rocks

·       New bulletin board

·       New bridge walkway

·       New roofs

·       New security system

·       New fountains

·       New paint

·       New siding

·       New meeting format (potentially)

·       New Property Manager

·       New gatehouse hours

·       New covenants

·       Sandie Agreement

 

·       New Neighbors

 

   Within the past year, or so, The Plantations has welcomed quite a few new owners. Welcome home to;

 

The Capanaro’s, Cimorelli’s,  DiMaio’s, Downham’s, Frahm’s, McKenzie’s, Paciotti’s, Perrone’s, Reiter’s, Rimland’s, Sabbagh’s, Salvitti’s, Scheiner’s, Stover’s, Tanverdi’s, Verget’s, Vogel’s, Wiegand’s, Yarborough’s and the Zutic’s.

 

·       New Budget

 

   The 2011 budget was presented, and approved at the Oct 16th Board meeting. Copies of the budget are included with this mailing. While some of the monies have been shifted to different expense areas from last year, the bottom line remains the same…no increase in fees for 2011.

 

·       New coupon books (same old rates)

 

New coupon books are also included with this mailing. If you own a condo you    should have two books, one for the Owners Association and the other for the Condominium Association. If you live in a single family home you should have one booklet for the Owner’s Association. Please verify all information is correct and that your quarterly payment coupons are in order.

 

Please make out two separate checks, one to each of the two entities, if you are a condo owner.

 

Payments must be received within 30 days following the first day of each quarter, or late fees will be applied to your account. Please pay your dues on time to avoid these fees. The first payment of the year is due Jan 01, 2011.

 

·       New steps

 

We are still in the process of rebuilding steps to the second floors of many of the condominium units. This endeavor does not involve a full replacement. We are replacing the rotted or deteriorating wood only. Once the replacement is complete we will be pressure washing and staining all of the steps and porches in the front of those buildings (weather permitting). 

 

·       New Flag

 

In order to save on funds the Flag Committee has recommended going to a smaller flag. The Board has approved their recommendation. This committee is in dire need of additional volunteers. If you can help please contact Ed Edison, Committee Chair at 302.644.6503.

 

·       New rocks

 

Due to the number of incidents, the cost and aesthetic issues associated with the wooden road markers being constantly damaged, we are trialing replacing them with rocks. The initial trial will involve the area around circle. If successful we will move on to other areas.

 

·       New bulletin board

 

At long last, the old bulletin board, near the entrance, will be replaced with a newer model. The bulletin board should be easier to read while passing by in your car (larger lettering). We will limit the content to meeting announcements and other community business.

 

·       New bridge walkway

 

The present walkway at the bridge is in need of replacement. The new walkway will be constructed of composite materials which should last quite a few years. The new “handrails” will be constructed of cedar and match the bulletin board.

 

·       New roofs

 

As per a program established by the Board a few years ago, we will be replacing two (2) roofs this year. Priority is given to roofs with a past history of repairs, and is also based on inspections by professional roofing contractors. We have already contracted to have the roof replaced on Building 14.and we will be doing Building 22 next.

 

·       New security system

 

Given the present security system, cameras, software and associated hardware has become antiquated, is not user friendly and the pictures we retrieve are not of the best quality, the Board has voted to replace the current system. Costs for these types of systems have been substantially reduced in recent years.

 

·       New fountains

 

After many years of fountain failures, in 2010 we purchased and installed two new fountains for the ponds located in the south end. With the start of the 2011 “pond season” we will purchase and install two additional fountains, for the north pond. The new fountains carry a five year warranty.

 

·       New paint

 

Each year we paint 4 to 5 buildings and do touch up to others, where we have made repairs. This coming year we are scheduling painting at 4 buildings. They are buildings 2, 14, 15 & 22.        

 

·       New siding

 

It is the goal to replace the cement board on all of the first floor units that are covered in this type of material. Obviously, this cannot all be done in one year. We have a list of all of the buildings that have this material and are we performing evaluations in order to determine which buildings have the most severe issues. Work will then be scheduled on a priority basis and completed as funds are available.

 

·       New meeting format (potentially)

 

At the last Board meeting, in response to owner requests, Carol Reed asked the Board and Council members to consider a bit of a different format for the Board meetings. It appears that the Owners meeting will be held first, immediately followed by the Condominium Association meeting. In this manner folks only interested in hearing one, or the other, can attend one or both.

 

·       New Property Manager

 

With the retirement of Barry Nichols, Chris will be assuming the lead role of property manager at the Plantations. Jonathan Poole will also be involved in the management of the community. Of course Doug and Amanda will also be available to offer any assistance they may be able to provide the owners.

 

·       New gatehouse hours

 

Our property management company was successful in acquiring the management of The Plantations East. This addition to the SeaScape family has provided additional benefits to us here, at The Plantations.

 

Because SeaScape will be managing both ”sides” they asked about moving back into the gatehouse for  two ½ day sessions each week. Presently it looks like SeaScape will be on site Tuesday’s and Thursday’s from 9:00 A.M. until

12:00 P.M. While this arrangement is not a contractual obligation SeaScape will make every attempt to occupy the gatehouse on these days and hours.

 

In addition to once again having our manager on prem, if only for a short time period, SeaScape has agreed to reduce their monthly fee. We will save over

 $ 4,000  a year with this new arrangement.

 

SeaScape asked that we make it clear, this arrangement was not part of the agreement to have The Plantations East sign with them. In fact they (Plantations East) were not aware of this potential arrangement until after their contract was agreed to, and The Plantations Board had already approved the occupation.

 

·       New covenants

 

The Documents Committee, in conjunction with the community legal counsel, will be ambitiously working to rewrite the covenants that guide the community. This will be a tremendous undertaking and will, at times, require your participation. You will also be asked to provide the name of your mortgage company, as it is a legal requirement that they be apprised of any covenant changes.

 

In some cases the current laws will dictate the changes; in other cases the Board / Council will be able to facilitate the change. For the most demanding changes the owners will be asked to vote, in order to approve, or deny a suggested change.

 

We believe this pretty much addresses the NEW items for the coming year. Of course, there will always be changes, so stay tuned.

 

 

Other issues…

 

It is the time of year where we like to remind folks to check out their heating systems. If you plan on vacating your unit please make sure your heating system is functioning appropriately and your thermostat is set to no lower than 55 degrees. Open all doors to your vanities and kitchen sinks, any place where your pipes may be covered by doors. Consider turning off your water and shutting down your hot water heater (turn breaker off). It is also a good idea to turn off water lines to your washing machine and ice makers, if you are not shutting down your water lines completely. You may also want to make sure a neighbor has a key to your unit, in the event of an emergency.

 

Lastly, we suggest you change the battery in any smoke detector.

 

Robberies…

 

Unfortunately, Sussex County continues to be plagued by thieves entering unlocked vehicles and removing cash and personal items. The Plantations was hit in the past few weeks…again PLEASE LOCK YOUR CARS! If everyone does this the thieves will have to move on. We all need each other’s help to address this.

 

Balconies

 

Owners with balconies (usually above condo units with garages) please clean out the drain tubes (weep holes) that allow the rain and snow to pass from the balcony floor down to the rain gutters. If these tubes become clogged the water will back up and flow into the unit below. This is a unit owner responsibility.

 

Waste removal

 

Please remember to only deposit trash out for pick up on Monday and Friday mornings, before 10:00 A.M. Violators will be charged a service fee. If you have trash to be removed on other days of the week please use the community dumpsters.

 

While on the community dumpsters, on occasion contractors supplying services to The Plantations are told to deposit their waste materials in to the community dumpsters. This is closely monitored to coincide with the trash hauler pick ups and is designed to save the owners money. To have the contractor haul the refuse to the dump averages about $ 150 @ trip. As long as the amounts are relatively small, and we can save the fee, the contractors are permitted to use the facilities you are already paying for. As you may not know who is authorized, or not, it is best to call the property manager, if you see someone dumping things at this site. 

 

More on waste…

 

Pet owners are reminded they are to pick up after their pets. This is a covenant requirement as well as State law. PLEASE HELP EVERYONE!

 

Snow (UGH!)

 

Once again, we have decided to employ the “red ribbon” notification process for snow removal. So we can expedite the removal of snow, or ice, from the occupied units within The Plantations we ask that you tie a red ribbon on your stair railing, porch railing, or garage door. Following the snow removal we ask that you remove the ribbon. If you desire, you may acquire ribbon from an Owner’s Forum representative.

 

Board meeting(s)

 

The next scheduled Board meeting is for Saturday, January 15 at 1:30 P.M. at the Lewes Library. Additional meetings are scheduled for March 19 at 9:00 A.M., May 21 at 9:00 A.M., July 16 at 9:00 A.M., September 17 (Annual Meeting) at 1:30 P.M. and October 15 at 1:30 P.M. All meetings are scheduled to be held at the Lewes Library. Any changes will be posted on the website www.theplantations.org, on the bulletin board, at the gatehouse and within the next quarterly newsletter

 

Website

 

The website contains a wealth of information, please utilize this community asset. The covenants are now posted on the website in the unrestricted mode, i.e. you do not need the user id and password to access them It would behoove everyone to read through them…a little at a time. Again go to www.theplantations.org.

 

Sandie agreement (D. Marshall Tennis / Community Center)

 

After numerous hours of gathering supporting information, mediation and, unfortunately the payment of legal fees, the Board was unable to reach an agreement with Sandie (Dave Marshall Tennis Facility).  The basis of the agreement is to assure Sandie has  ingress and egress over the lands owned by The Plantations in order to reach their facility. In exchange, Sandie is to contribute to a portion of the maintenance costs associated with this area. Things such as grass cutting, security gates, roadways, parking lot, etc. are included. To this point Sandie is refusing to make any payments toward the maintenance items, even though this arrangement has been in place for over 15 years.

 

Regrettably, due to the non-payment, the Board has decided to close off access to the Plantations parking lot. Additional legal action is planned.

 

Pool…

 

Although the Board has made numerous attempts to resolve the issues with the pool at the community center we have nothing definitive. At one time it was stated the pool will open, if Sandie is allowed to place a sign at the entrance to the community. Next, Sandie reps state the pool will open only if EVERY person at The Plantations and The Plantations East pay them $ 50 per unit for the year. Lastly, Sandie claims it does not have the $ 31,800 it takes to operate the pool for a year, so it will not reopen. Sorry, but this continues to be a moving target.

 

Lastly…

 

Goodbye!

 

As I am retiring I asked the Board if I could add a few lines to the newsletter to extend my gratitude to all of you who have sent me emails, cards, letters or gifts, thanking me for acting as your property manager over the past 7 years.

 

I truly appreciated the opportunity to serve The Plantations. I am particularly proud of the many things that were accomplished, while I was here. Still I know there is much more to do and not everyone felt my suggestions, or actions, had merit. I can honestly tell you everything I suggested was meant to save you money and improve the value, safety and quality of life within your beautiful community. I will miss many of my FRIENDS made here at The Plantations.

 

Please take the time to thank your Board / Council members for all they contribute.

 

Barry Nichols.

 

 

We believe that is all of the news for now. We truly wish everyone the best for the Holiday season and look forward to another productive year at The Plantations.

 

The Plantations Owner’s Board of Directors

The Plantations Condominium Council

 






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