May 22, 2008

Grounds Commitee Meeting Results

We had a great informational 1st meeting for our official Victor Gardens Community Association Grounds Committee on the evening of Wednesday, May 21st. I'm writing this entry as our newly elected Chairperson for the committee. My primary responsibilities will be communication between our residents, the Grounds Committee and the Master Association Board of Directors. To that end, I'd like to post a couple of updates on topics I know many residents are interested in. These subjects and a few others will be part of our official report provided to the Master Association Board at our next meeting on June 2nd.

Landscape Maintenance Contract - After meeting with Early Bird Lawnscapes and doing a walk through of the entire Victor Gardens development, we've created a map that identifies the areas we want to see maintained as well as the level to which they should be kept. This map can be found on this site in the Maps area. We'll continue to update it as we learn more. The key areas of the map for landscape purposes are the Yellow, Blue and Light Grey areas.

The Yellow areas are common grounds that the Master Association is responsible for. They include areas like Jardin Fountain, Poets Green and all of the transition areas that get you from one part of the development to another. These ares require the full services of Early Bird including, Turf mowing, maintenance & irrigation, plus Shrub area trimming & weeding. Basically, everything we've come to expect in landscape maintenance.

The Blue areas are now officially Hugo City parks and will be partially maintained by the city. By partially maintained, I mean that they will be mowed and the structures & trees will be maintained, but the grass and shrub beds will not receive any weeding or fertilization like we've become accustomed to. In these areas, we have requested Early Bird to bid on supplementing the City's services. The Master Association Board will then discuss approving this supplemental bid.

The Light Grey areas are places that we are not technically responsible for, but we expect will have little to no maintenance done to them over the course of the summer. Specifically, these areas are the grass areas on the City Trails through our neighborhoods as well as the Boulevards in front of empty lots. We have asked for a 2nd supplemental bid for these areas to be mowed monthly. The Master Association Board will again discuss this bid.

Common Area "Grass Roots" Planting - As a way to cut costs and still maintain the look of common areas like Victor Square Park & Jardin Fountain, we have created a "Common Areas Sub-Committee" made up of teams that will plan and implement efforts to install annual and perennial plantings in these areas. At this point, these efforts are volunteer in their materials and labor costs. We are looking into creating a small budget to reimburse for materials costs this year, but nothing can be expected at this time. As for the former land office area, this land is currently in dispute and would require so much work, we have tabled any efforts in that area for now.

If you are interested in helping our planting teams with your money or time, please contact me and I will put you in touch with them. I can be contacted at

Retail Shop & Residential Areas Shared Landscaping - We are investigating the ownership of the various retail shops to the north and south of Frenchman Rd. in an effort to propose sharing landscaping & holiday lighting costs with them. Early indications are that each free-standing building in the retail development appears to have separate ownership. This process is in its early stages. More updates will follow.

Thanks to all who have volunteered for the Grounds Committee. We look forward to maintaining the high quality appearance in Victor Gardens while being fiscally responsible with our limited resources.