HOA Meeting Minutes
CHP HOA Meeting Minutes – 4/30/2018
Meeting Start: Approx. 6:30pm
Board Members in attendance:
J.J. Gentry, Larry Newton, Jan Talkish, and Jeremy Catoe
Absent: O’Neil Gilliam
Attendees: 16 Residents
Review of Last Month’s Minutes - N/A
Pool Repair Update - As previously reported, DHEC (Department of Health and Environment Control) is insisting that the pool be resurfaced, due to cracks and uneven concrete. These issues were caused by shifting roots from trees planted around the pool years ago. To date, all trees in the immediate pool area have been removed, so this should stop further and future damage (this will also help prevent the pool filters and drains from getting clogged by tree needles and approve the overall appearance of the pool).
As reported last month, the HOA (via Carolina Pools, our pool management company) originally received an estimate of $30,000 to make the repairs necessary to the pool area – this includes resurfacing of the pool area to seal cracks and even out the pavement ($20,000), as well as fixing the grass section at the right hand side of the pool, which needs to be resurfaced with concrete ($10,000). A competitive second quote was solicited, and this quote came in at $15,000 for the new section, and approximately $21,000 - $23,000 for the resurfacing (total $36,000 - $38,000).
The HOA Board’s original plan was to have all repairs made prior to the opening of the pool this year (May 19), however, to do so would mean exhausting pool repair funds AND dipping into reserve emergency funds. Both pool contractors have recommend waiting until the fall to make repairs, as it allows more time to complete the project and will cost less (their off season). Carolina Pools has spoken to DHEC about making alternate plans to keep the pool open this season, and DHEC has decided that – as we are actively seeking competitive bids and have committed to making the necessary repairs – the pool may open on schedule and repairs may wait until the fall.
There has been an issue with vandalism at the pool. The bathrooms were trashed and the toilets were clogged. Also, the showers were left running. All of this may have contributed to the damage to the septic system. Several pool lights were broken as well. All of these items will have to be repaired before the pool opens.
Pool Rules– New rules were handed out at the meeting – rules are basically the same as last year, with minor changes. Rules will be mailed out to all residents as well as posted to the HOA WEBSITE.
The pool will OPEN Saturday, May 19 and will close for the season on Saturday, September 16. Some residents have requested that the pool season be extended due to warmer weather in the beginning of May and well into the Fall – to do so would mean extending our contract with Carolina Pools, which means additional costs for pool maintenance and lifeguards. At this time, the pool contract is already in place for this year, but the issue can be revisited in October, during the budget meeting, for the 2019 pool season. An extended pool season would also depend upon how many residents would actually access the pool during these extended dates. The Board may conduct an informal poll at a later date to get resident feedback.
One pool rule that must be more strenuously enforced is the 5 foot clearance/safety zone surrounding the edges of the pool. DHEC has stated that this area MUST be kept free of chairs so individuals can move freely around the pool – this is a SAFETY ISSUE. Therefore, chairs CANNOT be moved up to poolside. We have caught flack for this in the past, so it must be followed or we face possible pool closure. Lifeguards will be advised to remind residents to keep chairs out of the 5 foot zone, and to enforce the safety rule. Residents who ignore the rule, or argue with lifeguards who enforce it, are subject to losing pool privileges. The Board will find a way to mark off the safety zone for this season, and will look into making more permanent markings when the pool is resurfaced.
In order to curb vandalism and other issues, additional cameras will be added to the pool area. All cameras will be visible, and will record both video and audio, and signs will be in place to remind residents (and lifeguards) that they are being filmed. One camera will be positioned on the gate, so the Board can keep track of who is entering and exiting the pool, and the other camera(s) will focus on the pool and seating areas. Video from cameras will only be available to Board members and law enforcement if necessary, Aside from helping to catch vandals, the cameras will also help with some of the resident/lifeguard issues that have come up in the past. Lifeguards will be advised to discuss all issues with residents within camera view. Residents who have a complaint about lifeguard behavior while on duty will now have video/audio backup – this should eliminate the ‘He said/she said’ debate that often accompanies complaints about lifeguards texting, leaving the pool area, etc.
As always, if you have questions or concerns regarding changes to the pool rules, or the use of cameras, please contact the HOA board via the CHP website.
Security at the Clubhouse Complex – due to increased vandalism and trespassing, security will be increased at the clubhouse complex. Additional security cameras will be installed, and random checks by the City of Columbia Police Department will also be increased. Individuals found trespassing or loitering at the complex after hours will be asked to leave – those who refuse may be subject to arrest. Individuals who commit vandalism will be dealt with either by fining the individual (or parents, if the vandal is a minor), or arrested and prosecuted.
Recent acts of vandalism include broken locks on gates, hiking information boards being shot up with a BB gun, destroyed lawns/hiking trails due to dirt bikes/go carts/golf carts/, destroyed signs, broken light fixtures around the complex and within the pool area, and trashed bathrooms at the pool,
Vandalism accounts for a LARGE amount of money spent from the budget to make repairs! Many items that the HOA would like to purchase from its ‘wish list’ never come to fruition because the money is instead used to make repairs. If you see, or hear of vandalism within the community, please contact the HOA Board.
Nature Day – The recent Nature Day event was a huge success! Turnout was great, and fun was had by all! The HOA Board would like to thank the members of the Social Committee for all their hard work in making this wonderful day a reality. The Board would also like to thank those residents who gave additional donations and all the residents who volunteered their time to assist with the running of the event. It’s the people of CHP who make it a great place to live!
Website Update – The Communications Committee is pleased to announce that the new CHP website is live, and in Beta testing! The website has been completely re-vamped, and serves to not only improve communications within the community and the various Boards, but also to be used as a tool to market the community and bring in new residents. CHP residents can now find needed documents, rules and covenants, HOA meeting minutes, answers to frequently asked questions, a calendar of upcoming events, clubhouse information, and much more on the improved site: www.chestnuthillplantation.org Advertisement space will soon be available for sale, and monies received will be used to pay for the website fees.
The site will constantly be updated and maintained by the Communications Committee, and residents are invited to send in ideas, pictures of the community and events, and comments. All submissions should be made to the Committee via the website contact email. The Communications Committee will mail out an announcement postcard to all CHP residents, and small signs with the website address will be placed throughout the community.
The Board wishes to thank the members of the Communications Committee for all their hard work!
HOA Violations – Board members have been receiving numerous reports of rules and covenant violations. While the vast majority of community residents follow the Rs&Cs, and maintain attractive properties, there are some residents who need a ‘nudge’ to make changes. Henceforth, at least 1 time per month, a Board member and Halcyon employee will drive through the community in a marked Halcyon vehicle, looking for major issues. Halcyon maintains a database on a computer tablet of all residents and their addresses, and can use this tablet to take pictures of properties and generate a letter to those in violation. It should be noted that all pictures will be taken from the Halcyon vehicle or from the street – the Board member and Halcyon employee will NOT go on to your property.
Residents in violation will have an allotted time schedule to make repairs or remedy the issue – residents who fail to make changes will be fined. Further information about the new inspection process, and the more significant violations, will be mailed to all residents as well as posted to the CHP website. As always, residents with questions are invited to contact the Board, via the website.
AirBnB Concerns – A resident in attendance expressed concerns to the Board about home owners who have signed up their property as part of the AirBnB program. Residents have questioned whether this is allowed, as hosting one’s home as a short-term or vacation rental may be considered a ‘business.’ Residents are also concerned about the rotation of strangers who rent these homes in their neighborhoods, their access to paid amenities (like the pool, tennis courts, etc.), and parking issues that often arise. The Board members state that, as with long-term rentals, it is up to the home owner to make sure that individuals renting the property are aware of community rules and covenants, and the owner can be held liable for issues that may arise, however, questions of the legality of renting out the home, and whether or not an AirBnB home is considered a ‘business’ remain unknown. At this time, the Board agrees that additional research on the matter is needed before they can make a decision as to whether or not the homes in question violate the HOA standards, rules, and covenants.
Power Outages - A resident in attendance brought up the issue of power outages within the community, and wondered if there were more reliable options other than SCE&G available to residents. Unfortunately, according to the board, SCE&G is the only electric company that supplies the neighborhood. Long time residents report that power outages used to be more frequent years ago, and that there have been marked improvements over the years.
Playground Access - Two members of the Communications Committee asked if the playground could be modified to include a special, handicapped swing with safety straps. It had come to their attention (via the unofficial Facebook page) that at least one child in the community would benefit from such a swing, and the inclusion of play at the playground with other children. It was made clear that the child’s family has not asked for the special equipment – this is purely a resident driven request. It is the feeling of these ladies that every child – regardless of disability – should be able to enjoy the playground and time with other children.
The Board has asked that the family be contacted, and encouraged to set up a meeting with the Board Members. The Board agrees that ALL children should have access to the playground, but board members do not know what changes would be needed to make it more accessible. A Communications member has agreed to contact the family and share the Board’s invitation.
Road Construction – The City of Columbia has started preliminary work on the road improvements to be made to Lost Creek Drive. The road needs intensive repair, which will include completely digging it up, repairing the foundation, and then repaving. The city is currently taking bids on the job so there is no available timetable, but there will be delays, some road closures, and possibly some night work. A City of Columbia Public Works Representative has requested holding a meeting for community residents to answer questions and concerns regarding the roadwork – that meeting will be announced at a later date as more information becomes available.
Volunteers Needed – the Board is seeking volunteers to help with minor repairs, system checks, etc. at the pool, prior to opening day on May 19. If you are interested, please contact the Board via the CHP website: www.chestnuthillplantation.org.
Meeting Ended at approximately 8:15pm
Next Meeting: To be announced, due to Memorial Day Weekend