CHP HOA Meeting Minutes – 5/21/2018
Meeting start: 6:30pm
Board Members in Attendance: J.J. Gentry, O’Neill Gilian, Jan Talkish, Jeremy Catoe
Board Members Absent: Larry Newton
Attendees: 19 Residents
Community Vandalism – Tonight’s meeting was attended by one of our neighborhood patrol officers (COCPD), at the request of the Board, to discuss recent vandalism and crimes within the neighborhood. Of late, there have been light fixtures destroyed on Lost Creek Drive, cars broken into, problems with drug use at the playground complex, vandalism to the pool center, and other destruction of property. Sadly, most issues are caused by area teens, both from within the community and from other neighborhoods. Per the Board, crimes seem to cycle every year as one group of teens ‘come to age and move on,’ then another group takes over. Vandalism also seems to escalate this time as year as school is getting out, kids stay out later, and the nights are warmer. While most neighborhood vandalism/crimes are minor in nature, they do cause an increase in repair costs, and prevent the Board from spending money on ‘dream list’ items that would benefit the community. Car break ins – obviously –financially impact the car owners.
The Officer in attendance reminded the attendees that, ‘If it looks suspicious, it probably IS suspicious’ and not to hesitate calling the police department. He stresses that the police would rather be called out numerous times to prevent issues, than to not be called at all because something is deemed ‘too minor for police involvement.’ Police presence in the community will help to deter crimes – both minor and major.
The organization of a Neighborhood Watch was proposed by an attendee, however – according to JJ – the Board looked into setting up an official Neighborhood Watch years ago, and the official Neighborhood Watch Program had many specifics that the CHP community did not meet, and so the idea was scrapped. The Officer suggested that the best plan for the neighborhood is for neighbors to be vigilant, watch out for suspicious activities, and to call the police department and report them. The Officer asks that residents avoid confrontation with suspicious individuals, and instead get as detailed a description of the individual as possible. Police will respond to the area and handle the situation.
The Board has stated that when they have been able to identify teens in the neighborhood who are committing vandalism and other (minor) crimes, Board members will first speak to the parents in order to solve the issue without involving the police. However, if the individuals in question do not cease committing illegal acts, they will have the police step in.
In order to deter crimes and mischief, the Officer has suggested that the community look into additional activities for teens – something to keep them from ‘looking for something to do (vandalism).’ He also stressed that parents need to be more aware of where their teenagers are and what they are doing. He also suggested security cameras for the clubhouse area (in particular), which are in progress. The Board would like to remind residents that the Clubhouse Complex has an 11pm curfew. Unless you are at the clubhouse for a scheduled event or by express permission of the Board (out of town visitor/RV parking), NOBODY (including CHP residents) should be at the clubhouse complex, at after 11pm, 7 days a week. The Community lake (at the Grove) and the Broad River boat ramp (and boat ramp road) are closed after dark, unless you have express permission from the Board.
The HOA employs off duty police officer to randomly patrol the clubhouse complex after dark, and have also requested that the officers on evening patrol do the same on each shift. Officers will be looking for illegally parked cars, signs of drug use, mischief, vandalism, and other trespassing. Individuals will be told to leave the complex – those who refuse will be subject to arrest. The Board stressed to the Officer that – in the past – there have been patrols that just ‘roll through’ and do not make people leave or address problems. The Officer stated that he was part of a new rotation that was starting that evening, and that he would make sure the Chief was aware of the Board’s concerns regarding prior patrols.
As far as cameras throughout the community, the cost would be very expensive, but the Board is aware of a city funded camera program that might allow us to have cameras placed at the two major neighborhood entrances. The Board must speak to the City Council. It is likely that we will not qualify for these city-funded cameras due to the relatively minor nature of the crimes reported, but the Officer stresses that it doesn’t hurt to try.
Overnight Parking Issues – We continue to have problems with overnight parking on the streets within the community. The parking ban from 2am to 6am was instituted by the City of Columbia following an incident where a fire truck could not respond to an overnight fire on Hawk’s Nest Road because cars parked on the street blocked the access. Roads must remain clear during 2-6am in case of emergency. This issue was mention to the Officer in attendance, and he stated that patrols had backed off on ticketing for a while, but that he will have overnight patrols begin ticketing again. Residents are asked to call the police if vehicles left on the streets overnight are blocking roads present some other nuisance.
Other Parking Issues – Residents on Pond Oak Lane report that a neighbor has had two vehicles parked in front of his house – 24 hours a day – for a couple of months, at least. Not only is this inconvenient for the residents of the street, who must constantly go around these vehicles, but the cars also block or slow down the passage of school busses trying to pickup/drop off school children at the cul-de-sac. The Police will also monitor this situation, and look for similar situations within the community.
The Officer also suggested that residents can be proactive when it comes to nuisance cars by either calling the police or calling the City of Columbia Parking Services Office (www.columbiasc.net/parking). The Parking Service will check to see if an offending vehicle has prior complaints, and will either boot or tow the vehicle if warranted. Parking Services is open Monday -Friday, 8:30am – 5pm.
The Board would like to remind residents that only the Police, Parking Services, or the Board may authorize towing or booting of any cars in the COMMON AREAS – residents are not authorized to call towing services in such cases.
Clubhouse Complex Parking: Parking at the clubhouse, and the placard system, have become a topic of concern within the community. The current rule states the visitors to the complex (except those attending an event at the clubhouse) must display a CHP placard, and that guests attending the pool, playground, tennis courts, etc., must accompany the resident in their vehicle or be transferred by the resident. The Board understands that this has become an issue in regard to large families and the 5 guests per family rule, babysitters wanting to bring children to the pool, etc.
The placard system was put in place to identify resident vehicles. Having a hanging tag is the easiest way to determine – at a glance -who belongs to CHP and who doesn’t. Vehicles without placards usually belong to individuals that do not live in or belong at the complex – people who illegally use our amenities, fish our ponds, and engage in criminal activities on our property. Prior to the placards, a resident sticker system was used (which required all cars to be registered with CAMS), however, it was discontinued when residents with personal safety concerns stated that it made them nervous that anyone could see where they lived.
The board received a number of suggestions regarding revamping the placard system, and the possibility of having visitor passes. The Board is currently addressing the issue, and is working toward coming up with a new system that will benefit all residents. The Board would like to make it known that they do not want to prevent residents from accessing the amenities – they just wish to prevent the illegal use of the amenities homeowners are paying for, and eliminate the possibilities of outsider crime.
Pool – The pool opened on schedule this season, however, prior to opening, the pool area needed plumbing work done to fix vandalism issues. The Board requests that residents visiting the pool area please report any issues they find within the pool complex, such as bathroom sinks that don’t shut off, running toilets, open back gates, lifeguards not doing their jobs, etc. so that the issues can be fixed in a timely manner. Please keep in mind that even ‘minor’ issues can potentially become big monetary issues.
A resident, whose child is a lifeguard, brought up the issue of adults breaking rules at the clubhouse, and ignoring the instructions of the lifeguards. The Board would like to remind residents that the rules are in place for the comfort and safety of ALL who are attending the pool complex, and must be followed. Every member should have received (via postal mail) a copy of the pool rules for this year (if you did not receive a copy, they can be found on the CHP website at https://chestnuthillplantation.org/event/chp-pool-opens/) Pool rules are also posted on the board outside of the pool complex and on the bulletin board near the bathrooms.
Please be a respectful neighbor and follow the pool rules and the instructions of the lifeguards. The lifeguards are there to keep residents safe, and have the authority to enforce all pool rules. Residents breaking rules will be asked by the lifeguards to comply, and if they refuse, will be told to leave the pool. Lifeguards have been instructed by the Board to call the police if any resident refuses to leave, or becomes unruly, abusive, or disruptive. Please keep in mind that the Board is in the process of installing cameras around the pool complex, not only to stop down on vandalism, but also to keep track of resident and lifeguard issues.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the pool rules, or wish to report an incident, please contact the Board: https://chestnuthillplantation.org/contact-chestnut-hill-plantation/
Landscaping – Trees have been removed from the site of the dam, per DHEC, after new regulations were established following the 2015 flooding. O’Neill (Head of the Landscaping Committee) will be checking with the current landscaping company to discuss increased weed growth throughout the community, and chemical applications that should be in place to prevent it. He has also contacted 2 other companies to get information and quotes on chemical application services should they be needed. The current landscaping company is doing a good job, but needs some additional supervision to make sure they are keeping on top of things.
Overgrown trees on Lost Creek Drive – just before the patio homes – have been trimmed back, per resident requests, which will improve visibility on that blind corner as well as keep trees from hanging extremely low over the sidewalk during rain storms.
The instillation of lights on the big hill at Lost Creek Drive (between the Groves) is still being negotiated, as JJ is trying to work out a deal with the city that will save money for the HOA.
Social Committee – The Social Committee is finalizing plans for the big summer event – a BBQ, including a fully roasted pig. This is scheduled to be held on Saturday, June 30. As this is the Saturday just before Independence Day, it may become a combined event including neighbor generated fireworks in the evening. More details will be announced soon.
Communication Committee – The Communications Committee continues to add to and improve the new neighborhood website (www.chestnuthillplantation.org). Advertisement space is available on the website for businesses wishing to get more exposure. Please contact the Communication Committee via the website for details.
Drop In Event – The City of Columbia Water Services will be holding a drop in event at the clubhouse on Wednesday, May 23, from 6pm – 7:30pm. About 10 Water Department staff members will be available to discuss upcoming increases to water services, new water meters, billing issues, etc. All residents are welcome to stop by and ask questions – please bring your water bills with you for reference.
Illegal Dumping – The city Sanitation Department has been contacted about the illegal dumping of garbage on community shared grounds. The Sanitation Department is unable to pick up garbage left on communal HOA property, however, they state that if residents want to move illegally dumped items to the front of their homes, they will gladly pick it up.
No other concerns or new issues from those in attendance. Questions proposed were addressed during meeting discussions.
Meeting Ended at approximately 7:50pm