Virginia City Highlands Property Owners’ Association

 Minutes Monthly Meeting – Tuesday, February 11, 2014

V.C. Highlands Fire Station Training Room

Present:  Jay Carmona, Jack McGuffey, Jason VanHavel, and Karlyn McPartlin

Absent:   Dale Morgan

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

President Carmona called the meeting to order at 7:02 pm and declared a quorum present.  A motion by VanHavel, seconded by McGuffey to approve the agenda as posted was approved unanimously. Carmona explained that Dale Morgan was unable to attend since his wife had passed away.

II.                  Appoint Board Member to Replace Jim Watson

A motion by VanHavel, seconded by McGuffey, to appoint Karlyn McPartlin to fill the vacant position on the board and hold the office of secretary was approved unanimously.

III.                Approve Minutes of January 14, 2014 Meeting

A motion by approve the January minutes as submitted was approved unanimously.

IV.               Comments by Association Members (NRS 116.31083.5)

Dave Abel asked why the roads couldn’t be worked on at the present time since they are wet from the last storm.  Carmona stated that work would begin very soon.   He will cover that further in the road report.

V.                 Review of Financial Statements

Tommy Sargent reviewed the financial report.   Income in January was $63,943.  The cash balance as of February 9 was $366,357.  Expenses paid for January are $4,229.

The complete financial statements are available on the association web site at http://www.vchpoa.org/Financials.shtml .

Sargent commented that the records that he received from former bookkeeper Lydia Hammack were very thorough and made the transition go smoothly.

He noted that all of the Bank of America accounts will be phased out over the next few months as the accounts at City National Bank are fully utilized.

McPartlin asked if most of the dues have been paid to date.  Sargent stated that most have been paid and that late fees will be calculated at the end of the month.

VI.               Unfinished Business

A.      Application/Appeal for Residence at 21430 Saddleback Road

Owner Dan Bartholomew and architect Jack Hawkins appeared with revised plans for the proposed residence at 21430 Saddleback Road.  Hawkins stated that he has worked with the County Building and Planning Departments to try to comply with all requirements.  Alternative roof plans were submitted.  He reported that county agencies suggested that they apply for a variance of the height requirement and request that approval of a 4/12 roof pitch rather than the 6/12 pitch required by the building code.

Shannon Gardner of the building department stated that the architect had met with them to determine what constraints must be met.  County building code does require that buildings over 5000 foot elevation must have a roof pitch of 6/12.  He neglected to point this out to the architect in their first meeting.  He has talked to Dean Haymore, head of the Building Dept. and Haymore recommended that the applicant ask for a variance approval of both roof pitch and building height.  The building will be an engineered structure and will have adequate snow load capability.  Gardner said that he does not think the roof pitch in the code is appropriate, but appreciates that it fits with the architectural standards of the area.  He recommends that the association add this to the Architectural Guidelines if it wants to continue to enforce it.

Bill Lewis, Chairman of the Architectural Committee, said that it should be in the guidelines so the conformity could be maintained.  The 6/12 roof pitch is believed to be included in the HRPOA guidelines but is not in the current VCHPOA guidelines. 

Hawkins said that the flat roof came about due to the height restrictions in the zoning code and the need for solar panels to be placed out of sight on the roof.  The plan has been revised to meet the county requirements, provided the variances are approved.  From the street view, the roof still appears flat to hide the solar panels in the preferred scheme.  He feels the house will blend in with the environment and be a good addition to the community.

Concerns were expressed that the appearance of the house still appears to have a flat roof and may set a precedent that will be difficult to deal with in the future. 

McPartlin expressed concern that the design is so modern and does not meet the style guidelines.

VanHavel said that he does not have a problem with design, since that is not his forte, but is concerned about setting a precedent by approving a design that does not meet the current criteria.

Carmona asked the property owners present if they are concerned with the style of the house.  One owner asked if the association wants the area to look like a mountain home or a mining area.

McGuffey stated that he is OK with the rusted metal siding, but really has a problem with the appearance of the roof line. 

Gardner said there is no variance process for county building code requirements but the head of the Building Department can waive them.  A variance for the height requirement can be granted by the Planning Commission. 

Lumos was asked if the Architectural Committee would approve the plans as submitted.  She said it likely would not since the house does not fit the architectural guidelines that they are charged to uphold.

Jeremy Snell says the plan is a tasteful plan but he is concerned that it opens the door to a flood of very modern homes that do not meet the guidelines. 

Sargent stated that the owners want to build a beautiful home that, although it may not strictly meet the guidelines, would be a good addition to the community.

McGuffey reiterated that the main issue is the roof.  He prefers the plan with pitch visible from the street. 

A motion by McGuffey, seconded by VanHavel, to grant a provisional approval, pending variance approval by Storey County, of the plan labeled “Scheme B” which has a 4/12 roof pitch visible from the street was approved unanimously.

When the variance is granted the applicant will submit the plans, completed application, and fee to the Architectural Committee for final approval.

B.      MOU with Fire Department regarding Fire Suppression Efforts and Grants

As noted at the November meeting, the Fire Department is planning fuel reduction in the Highlands.  Ron Atkins of Fire Dept. showed Carmona the locations of the proposed work.  There will be some mastication and the removal of dead trees.  Work will begin along the highway and then move into the Highlands.  If anyone needs dead trees removed they should contact the dept. 

C.      Appointment to Architectural Committee

Carmona reported that he had posted a notice on the Yahoo web site requesting volunteers for the committee and had not received any response.  This item will remain open.

VII.             Committee Reports

A.     Architectural Committee

Lumos reported that there were three applicants at the February meeting.  They were for revisions to previously approved plans and for site work prior to building on one lot.  All were approved.  Minutes for the Architectural Committee are posted on the VCHPOA web site.

B.      Road Report

Carmona reported that equipment is ready to begin the seasonal roadwork.  The next task is to get bids on gravel.  Work will begin as soon as materials are in place.

The sander truck had a hydraulic leak, which was repaired, and minor repairs have been made on plow trucks.

Pit Road was not plowed due to a truck blocking the road.  The property owner was contacted and will move the truck if the road is to be plowed.

VIII.           New Business

A.   Authorize Retaining Consultant to Update Reserve Study

A motion by McGuffey, seconded by McPartlin, to approve hiring the same consultant who prepared the previous study with the provision that the fee does not exceed the cost paid for the study 5 years ago, was approved unanimously.

B.   Snow Plowing Issues – Diablo and Pinenut

The owner of four lots at the end of Diablo Road has again requested that his circular driveway be plowed when it snows.  He believes that it is the cul-de-sac easement, but it is totally on his private property and will not be plowed.  There is a plan to improve the cul-de-sac when roadwork is done in the spring.  A similar situation exists on Pinenut Road.

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

McPartlin complained that the Fire Department is filling their water tenders from the well on the fire station site.   She will contact Chief Hames to ask that they stop using the well for that purpose.

McPartlin commented that the issue of the park impact fees has again come to the attention of the property owners.  She has all the information on prior expenditures on the park and she has proof that impact fees were charged prior to 1992.  Commissioner Lance Gilman said he had met with staff they day and serious research is under way to determine the amount that should be in the park funds.  He said the money is on hand to restore the fund when the appropriate amount is determined.  The separate account has not been set up yet as required by state statute. 

Gilman also stated that the County is not just stopping with restoration of park funds, but other grants may be available to fund projects.

McGuffey gave kudos to Public Works Director Mike Nevin for sending a crew out to clean up the park before the picnic. 

Ray McPartlin suggested that the park report be put back on the agenda as a regular item. 

McGuffey said the association should make a list of what it would like done at the park, on the roads, and the maintenance of Cartwright to be submitted to the County for their use.  The responsibilities of the county for the maintenance of roads are set out in state statutes.

Gilman reported that Sherrie Nevin is the community outreach individual on staff.  Any requests should be given to her and to the commissioners.  McPartlin stated that the HRPOA must participate in the preparation of a wish list.  She will contact them for cooperation in preparing requests.

McGuffey asked that an item be put on the next agenda asking the Architectural Committee to look at modification of the Architectural Guidelines.  The owners present at the annual meeting must approve any changes.

X.                  Comments by Association Members (NRS 116.3108.5)

Cecilia Lak asked what happened to road conditions on Super Bowl Sunday.  She noted that there were a lot of cars in the ditches.  Carmona said that the county sanded Cartwright and the association followed up as needed.  He said that the association is not pulling folks out of the ditch due to liability concerns.  He said that excessive speed is the cause of most incidents. 

XI.                Executive Session to Discuss Possible Violations of the CC&R’s, if Necessary

No executive session was held.

XII.              Adjourn

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:59 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Rita Lumos, Recording Secretary