July 26, 2007

National Night Out Planned for Tuesday August 7

The Social Committee has organized Victor Gardens’ National Night Out 2007.  The event will take place on Tuesday, August 7, at 6:30 PM in Arbre Park.  

Washington County Sheriff's Deputies will pay us a visit, along with fun and games for children.  It’s a potluck event, so please bring a desert treat to share. You’re encouraged to bring along basketballs, volleyballs, frisbees, etc. to play with friends and neighbors.  Many fun prizes, including some from the Minnesota Wild will be given away! 

For general info about National Night Out, please visit:http://www.nationalnightout.org

July 25, 2007

New Retail Site Breaks Ground - Other Progresses

Shelly Tompkins, of CPDC has asked that I share some information about the new retail development in Victor Gardens.  Ground has broken on the Southwest corner of Victor Hugo Blvd. and Frenchman road .  Work continues on the Southeast corner’s retail expansion. 

Homeowner’s Dues - A Message from CPDC

In the process of preparing for last week’s Neighbor’s Meeting, I asked Gina Higgins, our Community Manager, Shelly Tompkins, and Dave Hempel of CPDC to help me do a little fact-checking.  I appreciate their help in clarifying a few important items.  As part of her response, Mrs. Tompkins asked me to convey a message to the group.  I read her note to the attendees of the meeting, but I thought it was also important to share with those who were not able to attend.  

“One thing regarding the HOA dues that I would like the residents to recognize is that the HOA covenants allow an annual increase of dues no greater than (I believe its an accurate percentage) 10%.  Our assessment dues to residents did not take place prior to April of 2004 and prior to that Developer took on 100% of the maintenance funding.  We could have legally started collecting from day one/sale one to save our maintenance investment and chose not to.  Over the last three years the resident dues could have legally increased to allow a reduction in the Developer Shortfall commitment.  We chose not to and instead provide savings to the residents.  The approximate amount of Development Shortfall savings through increase to both single family and townhomes totals +/- $30,000/year.  The reason I want the residents to recognize it is because it is easy to point fingers at those who they feel are responsible for our present circumstances and our lack of participation, but they need to equally recognize and at the very least appreciate the savings that they have received over the years and our commitment to build and maintain the best of the best.”  -  Shelly Tompkins, CPDC

July 23, 2007

Measuring Progress Towards Victor Gardens’ Completion

In order to find out how far along the Community Association is moving towards homeowner control, it’s important to find out what the total numbers are.  The following are responses to questions I asked Dave Hempel, of CPDC on July 23 about the number of properties sold and built. He responded immediately and clarified a few key topics.  He also has shared P.U.D. (Planned Unit Development) Overall Unit Counts.  It helps to describe part of the process towards a fully built-out Victor Gardens.
Below are questions I asked (MV), and Mr. Hempel (DH) responded:

MV Question: According to your email last week, Currently there are 68 sold out of a total of 195. Neither number seems accurate?

DH Answer: The 68 was used at time of preparing the budget by Gina Higgins. She will add a sales project number, we give her typically, to project future lot sales to arrive at an average number of lots paying dues for the current year's budget forecast.  The 195 is number of final platted recorded lots.  This number again will change as the number of lots are final platted. Please see PUD unit count attached. 

MV Question: The plan appears to show 116 Single Family Village lots drawn in: Victor Gardens 1st Addition and Victor Gardens East- Phases 1, 2 & 3. Roughly 71 of those lots are currently built or under construction. 

DH Answer: VG 1st has 80 single family lots, 41 traditional and 39 cottage lots recorded with 64 lots built upon or under construction.


MV Question: The plan appears to show 31 Single Family Village lots in: Victor Gardens East - 2nd Addition (The Ryland Homes area). Roughly 4 of those are currently built or under construction.  

DH Answer: VG East has 33 traditional lots with 7 lots built upon or under construction.  VG East 2nd - Ryland/Pratt neighborhood has 60 single family lots, 31 traditional lots (Ryland closed on 15 lots with option for remaining lots) and 29 cottage lots (Pratt Villas) with 7 lots built upon or under construction for a total of 78 single family lots built upon out of 173 platted single family lots.

MV Question: The plan also shows 31 Single Family Village lots listed in Future Phase. Nine of those lots are currently drawn on land the Developer doesn’t own.  

DH Answer: The overall plan depicts how in the future the streets may loop thru the area (typical requirement of city) to show that lots have access and that we provide street access to adjacent parcel for continuity.  The nine lots shown outside the boundary of VG are not included in any unit count in the budget.

MV Question: It appears that there are 178 lots drawn in the most current site plan, although you have said that the number is 195. 75 lots are currently built or under construction, Your number is 68.

DH Answer: The plan totals 176 platted lots and 22 future lots to be platted to arrive at 198 single family lots overall.

MV Question: Where are the additional 17 lots (give or take a few) that your number reflects?   

DH Answer: Please see the updated PUD Unit counts (see below)

MV Question: Are builders model homes assessed the same dues as the rest of the homes? 

DH Answer: Yes  

MV: Are they included in your numbers?  

DH: Yes, except that the HOA budget has a unit number lower which at the time of preparing may of been accurate. 

MV Question: Is it true that Ryland Homes has closed on 15 of its 31 lots? 

DH Answer: Yes

MV: Are those included in your number?  

DH: I've asked Gina to verify we’re billing them 

MV Question: If the Developer does not own all the land for Future Phase (currently owned by someone else) why (or how) can it be counted towards the total?  

DH Answer:  We own all the lots shown within the boundary shown as VG. The area outside the boundary is only an illustration the city typically requires to show how the street maybe aligned in the future.

MV Question:  Is there a VG 5th Addition?  

DH Answer: The 5th addition is the old land office site which is preliminary platted into the 7 town home lots.  Previously, VG East was called 5th Addition there may lie some confusion.  

MV Question:  What’s the difference between “Traditional” and “Cottage” Single Family lots? 

DH Answer:  Yes, there are two single family lot designations, one is "traditional" which has a larger lot size and different lot setbacks.  The other is "cottage" lots which are typically smaller lots in size and have reduced setback than traditional lots.  

Victor Gardens Planned Unit Development (PUD) Overall Unit Counts - updated 7-23-07
City Approved Conceptual PUD Unit Counts  (without Crain/VG 4th)                    
Traditional Single Family                 120                                      
Cottages Single Family                   83                                      
Two Family dwellings                               26                                      
Attached Town homes                 280                                     
Apartments                 117
Commercial/Institutional                  185,000 sq. ft.
Units above retail                  44                  
Total Residential Units                         670
Total Commercial/Institutional    185,000 sq. ft.
Breakdown of Existing/Platted - Development Unit Counts, including Crain/VG 4th:
- Victor Gardens 1st Addition-
Traditional Single Family Lots                 41 units
Cottage Single Family Lots                      39 units
- Victor Gardens 2nd Addition-
Attached Town homes                  70 units
- Victor Gardens 3rd Addition-
Attached Town homes                  99 units
- Victor Gardens 4th - Crain Parcel - 
Attached Town homes                              92 units
Comm/Institutional                            27,000 sq.ft. *
- Victor Gardens 6th- 
Traditional Single Family Lots                 31 units
Cottage Single family Lots                       29 units
- Victor Gardens East Addition-
Traditional Single Family Lots                 33 units
- Victor Gardens South Retail Village-
Attached Town homes                              14 units
Retail/General Business (C/I)             56,000 sq. ft.
- Victor Gardens North Retail Village -
Attached town Homes                             186 units
Comm/Institutional approved.
-East Retail - Grocery 54,900, Retail 15,000 
-West Retail - Kwik Trip 8,090 
Total Commercial approved to date – 77,990 s.f. 
Balance of Remaining Areas/units to be developed in Victor Gardens
- Victor Gardens 4th - Crain Parcel - 
Comm/Institutional                                  27,000 sq.ft. *
- Victor Gardens 5th/Sales Office site – (Prel. platted)
Attached Town homes                               7 units
- Victor Gardens East 3rd Addition – Prel. Platted)
Single family traditional lots                     3 lots
- Victor Gardens North – future
East Retail - future 2 pad sites @ 4,000 each*)  8,000 sq.ft.
West Retail - (Postal Credit union 5,000, 1 pad site 5,000* ) 10,000 sq. ft.
* Concept only - no site plan approval
- Future Residential (south end of site)
Traditional Single Family                  22 units
Cottage Single Family                               0  units
PUD Unit Counts            City Approved Conceptual       Platted          Future Plats        Total         
Traditional Single Family                 120                                   105                    25                  130
Cottages Single Family            83                                    68                       0                    68
Two Family dwellings                       26                                       0                       0                      0  
Attached Town homes                      280                                   468                      0                  468
Apartments          117                                      0                       0                      0
Commercial/Institutional             185,000 sq. ft.                   133,990              45,000         178,990
Units above retail           44                                       0                        0                     0
Total Residential Units                  670   641                     25                 666
Total Commercial/Institutional  185,000 sq. ft.133,990              45,000        178,990
Proposed/Platted units/lots within Victor Gardens (including Crane parcel) = 666
Number of Units Approved by PUD = 670
Difference than PUD approval.   <-4>
Net Result - 4 units less than PUD approval for all of Victor Gardens. 
Comm/Institutional sq.ft. proposed at 178,990 sq. ft. vs. 185,000 sq. ft. concept approved.
Net result – 6,010 sq. ft. less than Concept PUD approval. 

Note: final development plans may reduce or increase the number of lots and/or square footage in the future commercial areas.

Sump Pump Runoff & Rain Gardens - Follow-up

Thanks to Traci Tapani for the following update she sent about sump pump runoff, rain gardens, and preserving our wetlands:

“I just wanted to pass along an update on the drainage issue with sump pump hoses.  I attended a seminar put on by the Blue Thumb organization (http://www.bluethumb.org) on rain gardens.


I have contacted the Washington Conservation District (www.mnwcd.org) which is the government unit for our area that deals with water quality.  They were surprised to hear that a development was recently built that didn’t properly address drainage issues.  All the water being drained into storm sewers and the ponds around Victor Gardens is an environmental concern.  During the seminar I attended in the City of Roseville, they provided satellite photos of each persons property and discussed what residents could do to deal with runoff.  Maybe this is something that should be considered for our development. 


The District Engineer from Washington County will be coming to my home next week to evaluate the situation.  This is a service that they offer free of charge.  They have also put me in contact with someone at the Rice Creek Watershed District (www.ricecreek.org).  There is apparently some reimbursement available for the installation of rain gardens.


Just thought I’d pass along this information.

-Traci Tapani. 

For more background information of the ongoing problems of sump pump runoff, please see the June 11,2007 post, “Sump Pumps Causing Problems on Streets and Sidewalks”.