Virginia City Highlands Property Owners’ Association

Minutes Monthly Meeting – Tuesday May 12, 2009

Virginia City Highlands Fire Station Training Room – 7:00 pm


Present: Biederman, Morrow, Robbins, Tallent-Stewart, Lumos

Absent:  None

I.      Call To Order, Declaration of a Quorum and Approval of Meeting Agenda

President Biederman called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm and declared a quorum present.  No additions were made to the agenda.

II.    Approve Minutes of the April 14, 2009 Regular Meeting and April 29, 2009
Special Meeting

A motion by Tallent-Stewart, seconded by Robbins, to approve the minutes of the April 14 meeting was approved unanimously.

A motion by Tallent-Stewart, seconded by Robbins to approve the minutes of the April 29 meeting was approved unanimously.

III.   Financial Statements  

A.    Monthly Cash Report

B.    Monthly Financial Statements

Treasurer Tallent-Stewart reviewed the financial report.

Income for the month was $6,408 from dues, assessments, architectural fees, and transfer fees.  Expenses for April were $8,386, which included a negative $145 administrative expense due to the reimbursement of property taxes by Storey County, insurance fees of $4,468, road maintenance in the amount of $4,148, and a negative $85 miscellaneous expense.  The ending cash balance as of April 30 was $248,002.  Total assets including property, equipment, and cash are $271,005.  Accounts receivable, due to unpaid dues and assessments, are $23,008.

Expected May expenses are $8,981.  The ombudsman’s fee of $3,507 is included in this amount.

A motion by Robbins, seconded by Morrow, to accept the financial statements was approved unanimously.

IV.  Comments by Association Members (NRS 116.3108(3))

Storey County Planner Austin Osborne reported on a proposed ordinance regulating outdoor lighting, known as the ‘dark skies’ ordinance.  The purpose of the presentation is to explain the purpose of the ordinance and detail the structure of the proposed ordinance.

In order to provide a safe environment for outdoor use, there needs to be good lighting, but it must be controlled so that the stars and sky can still be visible.  Urban glow is to be discouraged.  Another aim is to control light from one person’s property encroaching on a neighboring property. 

The International Dark-Sky Association web site has information on compliant lighting.  Light should be directed downward on the area to be lighted and the light source concealed. 

Currently Washoe County, Douglas County, and Carson City have dark skies ordinances.  Lyon County expects to have one soon.   The proposed ordinance is similar to those of the surrounding area.  California has had much stricter regulations for many years.

The ordinance will not regulate any fixture less than a 75 Watt equivalent.  If greater than a 75 Watt equivalent, the light must be deflected by 15 degrees from horizontal. businesses that depend upon lighting to attract business and for decorative lighting may apply for a variance once the ordinance is approved.  Motion detector lights with less the 4 minute duration and are exempted.  Lighting for the American flag and temporary lighting are also exempted.

Existing lights will be grandfathered and will not be required to comply with the new regulations.

A copy of the draft ordinance is available by emailing Mr. Osborne at Storey County.  The wind farm ordinance will require that the mills be lighted only to the minimum required by FAA.  Those lights will be directed upward and not downward.

Karlyn McPartlin complained about the fire training structure behind the fire station.  It has been in place for about 4 months.  She also asked why we are rushing to get a reserve study completed when there are so few registered reserve specialists and so many associations in the state.  It is required by statute and we are several years past due.

McPartlin commented on the attorney’s opinion that a majority of property owners must approve the sale of the fire station property to Storey County.   She had talked to another attorney who likened the property to other capital equipment, etc.  Lumos stated that she had asked the association attorney for a clarification of his former opinion since the property is not labeled as common area on any map or document and was just deeded to the association.

Karlyn reported that the park impact fees available to the Highlands Park construction have been set at $22,000 by Hugh Gallagher, County Controller.  She said that in 1998 the commissioners set up separate funds for the various parks.  She said that no one really knows how much money is available and determining the exact amount would require her going to the treasurer’s office and going through many years records.  She has informed the county that the retaining walls are the first priority.  That cost for the walls and a necessary French drain could use up all the available money.  

V.    Committee Reports

A.    Architectural Committee

Lumos reported that the full committee appeared for the monthly meeting but no applicants appeared.

B.    Road Report

Bob Moore reported that maintenance work was done on several roads in April.  He has had to replace a number of batteries in various pieced of equipment.  He would like to approach the county about purchasing the front loader.  Andy noted that it was removed from the replacement schedule in the reserve study and that the board would entertain all offers.

Moore has installed a few new speed limit signs.  Street signs have disappeared and he has heard that it might be high school rivalry related.

The capital improvement road work began May 5.  Work has been done on Stallion, Alpine, Mustang, Palomino, Silverado, Goodman, Pinenut, Applegate, Saddleback and Grizzly as of the meeting date.  Bowie, Clemens, Harte, Morgan, Prospect, and Remington are on the schedule for work this season.  When the rebuilding is complete the dust control suppressant application will begin.  Bob praised the work of the water truck driver and Jim Stewart, who is running the roller.

There has been concern about a number of juniper trees dying along some of the high volume roads.  A tree expert and an assistant from UNR and the Dept. of Forestry came up to inspect the trees on May 12.   The expert determined that the cause of the dying trees is dust on the trees.  The dust prevents photosynthesis and also kills the predator that eats bark beetles.  The mag chloride is not the cause of the problem, but would rather increase the life of the trees.  There is no bug infestation in these trees.  There is a problem with mistletoe infestation in a stand of trees in the area of Graves Road.  The volume of traffic on our roads exasperates the problem. 

Mary Tallent-Stewart suggested that the expert be invited to the annual meeting to talk about the problem.

VI.  Unfinished Business

A.    Review Reserve Study  

The reserve study has been revised since the special meeting in April.  The study author stated that the post office will no longer pay for the replacement cost of mail boxes, so it has remained in the study, although the cost has been greatly reduced.  The projected cost for funding the reserve fund is approximately $6.50 per lot per month or about $78 per year.  The assessment is recommended to be inflated by 3% for 20 years and for a lesser amount after that.  It was noted that the report will need to be revised further since the stated beginning amount in the reserve fund is about $32,000 too high.  The study includes road work to be done each year rather than waiting a number of years between work.  For 2010 the projection is for $55,000 in roadwork.  In 2012 the budget for capital road expenditures is $88,320. 

State statutes require that the fund be “adequately funded”, which is a nebulous amount.  It is felt that as long as the association is being fiscally responsible and moving steadily toward being fully funded, then we would be in compliance.   

B.    FY 09-10 Budget  

Steve Morrow suggested that the assessment be kept at $100 per lot for the 2009-2010 fiscal year.   Since the reserve study suggest the $78 based on a higher starting number than actual, it would seem reasonable to keep the assessment at the same level as the last two years in order to make up the amount.  This would allow a better cushion in the case that some equipment had to be replaced sooner than expected.  Many present voiced support for keeping the assessment at $100 for next year.  The following years may have a lower assessment.

A motion by Morrow, seconded by Tallent-Stewart, to approve the proposed budget with a $100 special assessment was approved unanimously.

VII. New Business

A.    Annual Meeting Preparation

1.    Set Date for Annual Meeting

The meeting date was set at August 8 at 10:00 am.

2.    Proposed Agenda for Annual Meeting  

The proposed agenda was reviewed and agreed upon.  It must go out with the annual mailing 30 days before the meeting.

3.    Pancake Breakfast or Picnic  

It was decided that coffee and doughnuts would be provided rather than a formal breakfast or picnic.

4.    Items for Newsletter and Annual Mailing  

Steve Morrow will do an article on the road committee and road work.  Ray Robbins will also contribute an article.  The mailing must include the newsletter, budget, and ballots.  An explanation of the possible sale of the fire station will be included in the newsletter.

VIII.        Any Other Matters which the Board Members Wish to Discuss

No further business was brought up for discussion.

IX.  Executive Session to discuss possible violations of CC&R’s  

No complaints have been brought before the board, so no executive session was held.

X.    Adjourn

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:20 pm.


Respectfully Submitted


Rita Lumos, Secretary