June 1, 2007

Meeting held with CPDC’s Shelly Tompkins

Josh Berger, our neighborhood ARC Liaison, Shelly Tompkins of CPDC, and I met to discuss a number of items today.  We had a productive conversation about how we can work together to preserve and improve our neighborhood.  In next week or so, this site will be updated with follow-ups from Mrs. Tompkins regarding the list of questions that were asked at the Annual Meeting and the Walk-Through.  I look forward to working with her in the months ahead.

- Mark

Social Committee Announces 2007-2008 Social Calendar

The Victor Gardens Social Committee has announced its Social Calendar of Events for 2007 - 2008.  

Movie Night in Val Jean Park Set for June 8

The Victor Gardens Social Committee has announced an evening of fun under the stars.  RSVP by June 5 to VGevents@hotmail.com

May 31, 2007

Swim Lessons Offered in Victor Gardens Pool

“The Northeast Family YMCA is thrilled to begin offering swimming lessons in the Hugo area.  Just minutes from your home, the YMCA will provide swimming lessons exclusively for Victor Gardens residents at the Victor Gardens Activity Center Pool on Wednesday mornings.”  - YMCA Flyer

  1. Parent-Child Swim Lessons

  2. Preschool Swim Lessons (Ages 3-5)

  3. Youth Swim Lessons (Ages 6+)

Registration Deadline is June 15.

Call 651-777-8103 for more info. 

New Features Introduced to victorgardensnews.org

I have added a few new features to our website:

  1. A search window

  2. Expanded contact info

  3. An RSS subscription button

Search Smarter

This site has always had an archive of all the news items since March 2007.  I have now added a powerful tool to search through the growing list of postings - a search window.  Enter the keyword or keywords of the topic you’re interested in.  The results will be displayed and sorted by relevance.  This is especially helpful if you’re researching a question that may have been addressed in a previous post.

More Contacts

I’ve added more people to the contact list and a few more phone numbers.  I still prefer to be contacted via email.  It allows me an easier way to follow up.

RSS Feed Subscription

For tech savvy neighbors I’ve added an RSS subscription link.  I don’t really use RSS, but some might find it useful.  To find out more about RSS, you can read this NY Times article or a more technical Wikipedia article.

Meeting Scheduled with Shelly Tompkins of CPDC

I have scheduled a meeting with Shelly Tompkins from Victor Gardens’ development company, CPDC, tomorrow.  I look forward to listening to her perspectives on our growing neighborhood.  We will also discuss other Victor Gardens subjects and address my list of CPDC’s follow-up items. After the meeting an update will be posted.

Maintenance Update - Fountain Troubles

Unfortunately we’ve had trouble with both the large Jardin fountain and the smaller fountain in Poet’s Green.  The Jardin fountain appears to have a water-supply problem and the Poet’s Green fountain apparently leaks.

Gina Higgins, our Commuity Manager, is aware of the problems.  I suspect the Poet’s Green fountain may be a more complicated repair.  She will update us on what will be needed to repair the fountains when she has the information.  Hopefully we’ll get them up and running too before long.

When I hear more info, I will post an update.

Maintenance Update - Arbre & Val Jean Parks Irrigation

According to CPDC’s Dave Hempel, “Northway Irrigation will be meeting with Chris Petree, [Director of Public Works for the City of Hugo] on Tuesday, June 5 at 10am to run through the irrigation systems in both city parks, Arbre and Val Jean.”

May 30, 2007

Weeds on Unsold Vacant Lots

Weeds are now nearly 3 feet tall in some of Victor Gardens unsold lots.  This is a familiar and unresolved problem for homeowners over the past few years. Since April, the following has transpired:

  1. April 24, 2007:  Homer Tompkins was informed of the appearance problem on unsold lots during the Victor Gardens Annual Meeting.

  2. May 1, 2007: I received an email from Dave Hempel, from CPDC it read in part, “Lot appearance - vacant lots are cut on a monthly basis or when the grass exceeds 8" high.”

  3. May 15, 2007:  During the walk-through, Mr. Hempel verbally agreed to modify the mowing schedule of CPDC’s unsold lots.  He agreed that the lots would be mowed every two weeks up until July 4.  Then they would be mowed on a monthly basis.

  4. May 18, 2007:  Narrow strips were mowed alongside streets.  It is unclear why the rest of the lots were not mowed

  5. May 23, 2007:  I sent an email reminder to Mr. Hempel asking for  follow-through.  I had hoped for a response within a few days.

  6. May 30, 2007:  As of today, the remainder of the lots have not been mowed.

  7. UPDATE:  June 1, 2007:  Neighbors have begun mowing large sections of the lots by themselves.

Waiting for Follow-up

As of today, I have not heard back from CPDC regarding follow-up to these items. 

CPDC follow-up list as of May 23, 2007:

  1. 1.Unsold lot appearance – tall grass & weeds: 

  2. 2.Signs: Remove or change remaining incorrect signs with references to the “Land Office”

  3. 3.Signs: Replace missing lot identification signs

  4. 4.Existing fenced garden: Finish off the fencing in the garden to a logical stopping point. 

  5. 5.Garden expansion: Receive permission to temporarily expand garden to the East of existing garden.

  6. 6.Save fencing & monuments: Preserve & store wrought-iron style fencing and decorative monuments (land office & main entrance).

  7. 7.Remove silt fence & barbed wire fencing: Remove fencing, mostly near walking trails and roadways need to be removed.

  8. 8.Remove debris: Remove barrels from the Northern side of the lake, East of the Community Center. 

  9. 9.Displaced trees near main entrance: Ask new property owners to save & move shrubs and trees near main entrance to new locations if possible.

  10. 10.“Welcome to Hugo” monument sign: Complete electrical and landscaping work around the monument sign.

  11. 11.Trusses left by Nottinghome Builders: Please speak to Nottinghome Builders and/or the truss company to remove these items.

  12. 12.Victorgardens.com website: Is there any timeline for updating the victorgardens.com website?  

  13. 13.Intranet: Is there any timeline for updating the Victor Gardens Community Intranet?

Sprinkler Watering

Gina Higgins, our Community Manager was told last week by our HOA contractor, Early Bird, that the common area sprinklers were turned on.  Since I’ve received a few questions on this, she’s following up on this for us. She wrote,  “I spoke to Early Bird last week on Tuesday and was told that the system was turned on.  I will follow up with them right now to see what is going on.  Thank you for informing me of this.  I will let you know what I find out.”

There may be a separate watering issue related to the turn-over of the Parks by CPDC to the City of Hugo. Gina Higgins wrote to Dave Hempel of CPDC regarding this, “I just wanted to confirm that you would be coordinating with the City, the start-up of the irrigation system in the areas that they have taken over, per the letter... provided me.”

Mr. Hempel responded today, “Yes, that is still the plan. I will see if I can schedule for Friday this week with city and Tom at Early Bird.”

Lots Reserved for New Construction

According to Jack Broughton of CPDC, six lots are currently reserved in the Single Family Village.  He wrote, “The lots that have been reserved are 1st Addition Block 1, Lot 20, Block 2, Lot 7, Block 4, Lot 4, and in VG East, Block 3, Lot 6 and 8, and Block 4, Lot 3.”

City meeting set for Tuesday, June 5.

Two new items were recently pointed out in Arbre Park.  They have been added to the other questions we will discuss at an upcoming meeting with Chris Petree, the City of Hugo’s Public Works Director.  The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 5.

There are a number of questions and suggestions that fall under the control of the City.  I will share the list I have with Mr. Petree:

Val Jean Park:

  1. 1.Consider adding a device to prevent wide opening of the tennis court’s doorway to physically prevent bicycles from entering.

  2. 2.Consider adding signs to tennis court prohibiting bikes, skates & scooters, which damage the court’s surface.  

  3. 3.Consider adding “dogs prohibited” signs in the tennis court as dog waste has been found inside the fence and on the court itself.

  4. 4.Repair drinking fountain in Val Jean Park. Gina Higgins said last weekThe City needs to come out and turn the water source on as it is 6 feet underground per the vendor that was out to repair.  I will contact the City to confirm this”

  5. 5. Coordinate the sprinkler watering of the park with CPDC.

  6. 6. Fix latch on tennis court door.

Arbre Park:

  1. 7.Raking mulch needed near bleachers and playground equipment in Arbre Park.

  2. 8.Repair edging near the playground in Arbre Park.

  3. 9.Consider adding drinking fountain to City-owned Arbre Park: CPDC has completed its plans for this Arbre and Val Jean Parks.

  4. 10.Repair railing on playground equipment and consider adding step to playground equipment.  Chris Petree, City of Hugo is aware of the situation and wrote yesterday, “I met with the playground equipment rep. today…he will repair/tighten/etc. all equipment on the play structures today.  He will also supply me with options/prices for the stair area that was of concern….we’ll figure something out shortly.”

  5. 11. A large Cottonwood tree in Arbre Park needs attention.  It may need to be trimmed or removed to prevent a dangerous situation.

  6. 12. Coordinate the sprinkler watering of the park with CPDC.


  1. 13.Repair leaning stop sign at Garden Way and Arbre near Arbre Park.

  2. 14.Consider adding “Children at Play” signs.

  3. 15.Consider adding “Teeter-totter” graphic sign in close proximity to playgrounds.

  4. 16.Consider adding “Speed Limit” signs on key roadways, especially on Garden Way & Victor Hugo Blvd.  

  5. 17.Additional asphalt onto V.G. streets:  Determine schedule with City on the final layer of blacktop on some of our streets.

  6. 18.Are there any city-related issues which prevent CPDC's completion of the "Welcome to Hugo" monument?