August 18, 2009

Groundwater Issue Update - City of Hugo Will Help With Downscaled Solution

Yesterday, Tony Schwab and a small group of residents met, walked around some of their affected properties, and discussed the next steps for them. Afterward, Tony contacted the City of Hugo's Development Director Bryan Bear. The City of Hugo is interested in helping residents through this situation. Bryan has offered to meet again with the small group of interested residents in the hopes of modifying the formerly proposed Houston Engineering plan. When the meeting is scheduled, I will announce it via this website and the email subscription list.
For those who are still interested in solving groundwater in and around their homes, but have not attended recent meetings on the subject, please call Tony Schwab at (651) 429-2000.
Going forward, the solution to groundwater problems will likely be handled on a case-by-case basis. It will not be solved with a systemic neighborhood-wide approach. Now is the best time for residents with groundwater issues to involve themselves. Those who do not participate in this latest approach may be missing an opportunity of financial and/or engineering assistance from the City of Hugo and the Rice Creek Watershed District. For more information, please contact Tony Schwab.

August 16, 2009

Groundwater Issue - Next Meeting Scheduled for Monday, August 17, 7PM.

The last meeting about the Single-Family Village groundwater issue was cancelled due to bad weather. Tony Schwab has rescheduled the meeting for tomorrow, Monday evening, August 17th at 7PM. The meeting will begin at the ball-field bleacher seats in Arbre Park across Tony's home, near Garden Way and Arbre Ln.. From there the group will do a walk through of some of the affected areas. The meeting is for those homeowners interested in pursuing solutions of groundwater problems. The group will continue working towards a plan to present to the City of Hugo and the Rice Creek Watershed District. Homeowners interested in participating in a potential solution, but not able to attend the meeting should contact Tony Schwab at (651) 429-2000.

Landscaping Concerns & Grounds Maintenance Update

Many residents have expressed concerns about the condition of many of the planting areas in and around our Association-owned common areas and City-owned Parks. Last year, through the efforts of residents volunteers and the Landscape Committee, the group maintained as much as they could without any budget. In many cases, residents generously paid for improvements with their own money.
This year a limited landscaping budget was restored. The Master Board prioritized high-visibility areas that needed the most attention, and hired Goetz Landscape of Centerville to renovate and improve a few key areas. A large amount of the effort and the budget went to repairing numerous broken irrigation systems throughout Victor Gardens, re-purposing the old main entrance fountain, and installing perennial and annual planting beds at Victor Gardens entrances North and South of Frenchman Road, along Everton Avenue near Lake Area Bank, and renovation of landscaping around the Neighborhood Activity Center and Pool.
Many resident and Board Members realize there's more work to left to do. The Master Board is working towards a few important coordinated solutions.
1. The Board approved a bid to remove the weeds around the Victor Square fountain pond this season.
2. The Board will re-form a Landscape/Grounds/Garden Committee made up of resident volunteers.
3. With the help of a new Landscape Committee the Board will maintain, through volunteer and contract help, the areas that were most recently renovated and re-visit the other areas including the planters on the Victor Hugo Blvd. bridge, the Victor Square fountain pond beds, Victor Square planters, secondary entrances, Provence Way Green, Flora Way Green, and Jardin Fountain mini-parks, Postal Stations, Poet's Green, Val Jean Park, Arbre Parks, etc.
4. Mark Vlker and the City of Hugo's Public Works Director, Scott Anderson, will meet in the next few days to discuss the shared maintenance responsibilities of Victor Gardens Parks. A few years ago, the former developer , CPDC met with City officials at a meeting in which some of the responsibilities are clearly spelled out. (View the complete list, and Parks turnover meeting notes at this link). The two will also discuss, among other things, replacement and maintenance of Trees throughout Victor Gardens Parks including Victor Square Park, Val Jean Park, and Arbre Park.
I'd like to take this opportunity to ask concerned residents to review the responsibilities list, and post comments of other areas that might be missing from the list or might need extra attention of the Board and the future Landscape Committee. As always, your constructive comments are welcome. Please take a moment to let us know what we could be doing better.
Thanks, Mark

Footbridge Complete, Trail Extended across Clearwater Creek

A small pedestrian bridge has been completed in Victor Gardens across Clearwater Creek between Pratt's Creekside Village Homes and the Single Family Village area near Grantaire Lane. The City of Hugo's trail system has also been somewhat extended on either side of the bridge.

Neighborhood Development Partners Plants Trees

Neighborhood Development Partners has installed boulevard trees in the center area of the Grantaire Lane cul-de-sac.

Rottlund Homes New Master Board Representative

Michael Noonan of Rottlund Homes has resigned his President's position and seat on the Victor Gardens Community Association (Master) Board. Mr. Noonan's replacement on the master Board is Todd Stutz, of Rottlund Homes.

Concept Plans of Future Centex Homes Reviewed by ARC

The Victor Gardens Community Association's Architectural Review Committee (ARC) met last Wednesday with architect Tim Whitten, representatives from Centex Homes and Neighborhood Development Partners. The group met for a review of submitted concept plans for future homes proposed to be built on NDP's lots in VG's Single Family Village. Centex submitted a total of 10 variations of 4 named plans, including elevations, color plans, and landscape plans. Mr. Whitten and Centex modified existing Centex plans to make them more suitable for the Single Family Village. The ARC commented and made suggestions on the plans, including importance of 4-sided architecture and landscaping, avoiding monotonous elevations, using cement fiberboard, etc. Centex was receptive to the comments and will submit revised plans for the next stage of ARC review. They plan to build one model home to begin with near the corner of Grantaire Ln. and Val Jean Blvd.