December 20, 2011

New Single Family Village Dues Collection Policy

Victor Gardens Single Family Village Homeowner's Association Board recently updated its sub-association's collection policy.  The best way to avoid the consequences of late payments is to set them up automatically.  Contact Kari Miller for details.

  • 1/1/11 Assesment Collections Policy (full version - details)

  • Schedule:
  • 30 days past due: Late letter plus a $25 late fee.
  • 60 days: Second late letter plus an additional $25 late fee.
  • 90 days: Third late letter plus an additional $25 late fee.
  • 120 days: Account forwarded to a collection agency or attorney.  Notification that Association intends to seek of a lien on the property.
  • 150 days: Association files a lien on the property.
  • After 30 days past due, priveledges are revoked. (Your pool key fob will be turned off.)
  • It is the owner's obligation to ensure the Association has owner's current address.

December 19, 2011

SFV Board Meeting Tonight at 6:00pm, Neighborhood Activity Center

Here's a reminder for those of you who live in the Single Family Village and would like to attend tonight's SFV Board Meeting at 6:00pm.  The meeting will be held at VG's Neighborhood Activity Center.  

Each of these Board Meetings features a Resident Forum.  This is a good way to bring questions and problems to the Board's attention.  The Board will also be available to specifically answer questions about the upcoming special assessment or about changes to the SFV's collection policy.

December 14, 2011

Master ARC Meeting reschedulued for Thurs. Dec. 15, 6:30pm

The meeting that was originally scheduled last week will be held Thursday, Dec. 15 at 6:30pm.  

Due to scheduling challenges, the venue has changed to an alternate one in Hugo.  Please contact me for location and directions if you're interested in attending.

December 8, 2011

Tonight's Master Board and Master ARC Meetings have been Cancelled

Tonight's meetings are both cancelled.  The Victor Gardens Calendar will be updated, and another announcement will be posted on the website when the meetings have been rescheduled.

December 2, 2011

Santa to Visit Wagner's Garden Center Saturday, Dec. 2

Give the big guy your list Saturday, 11am - 3pm at Wagner's across from Lake Area Bank in Hugo. Enjoy refreshments, carolers, face painting and free photos with Santa.  Link to Wagner's website here.

November 23, 2011

Goetz Landscape's Offers Free Lighting Estimates

Goetz Landscape is offering FREE Holiday Light estimates to all Victor Garden Residents. 

We can either hang your own lights for you or provide commercial grade LED lights.  As an appreciation of Victor Gardens residents using a local company for their Holiday Light provider, Goetz Landscape will donate 5% of total proceeds to the Hugo Food Shelf just in time for the Holidays.  

Please contact Goetz Landscape @ 651-426-2136 or

November 22, 2011

Rottlund Homes Will Close By The End of the Year

Last week, Victor Gardens Master Board was notified that Todd Stutz, a Master Board Director, had resigned.  Over the last few years, Mr. Stutz represented a few of Victor Gardens Condo Sub-Associations while serving as Chief Operating Officer of Rottlund Homes. Until very recently, Stutz headed up the North West Village Sub-Association and represented it on the Master Board and ARC. The Master Board was informed that Rottlund Homes' Chief Financial Officer, Steve Khan was taking over Todd Stutz' responsibilities on the Master Board.

Rottlund Homes will reportedly close its business by the end of the year.  It's still unclear how this news will affect Victor Gardens North West Village Condo Association and future construction that Rottlund Homes planned.

On a personal note, I'd like to thank Todd Stutz for serving our community.  Those of us who worked with Todd on the Master Board and Master ARC valued and appreciated his contributions and expertise.

More info about Rottlund Homes closure:
Mpls. St. Paul Business Journal

November 21, 2011

Someone's Looking to Buy a Victor Gardens Home

Every once in awhile, I receive an email from someone who's interested in knowing more about building a new home or buying an existing home in Victor Gardens.

One such inquiry recently came to me. They asked my permission to post a note on this website, addressed to current owners who might be thinking of selling their home.  It's a creative approach, and I offered to post their inquiry.  Hopefully one of our residents might find the right connection with this person.

Oh and if you're wondering... this is not an ad.  I didn't ask for compensation and no-one offered to pay to post this message.

Thinking of Selling?
I have a client who is very interested in living in Victor Gardens. They can close from 30 days up to 3 months. They are looking for 3+ bedrooms, 2+bathrooms, 2+ garage stalls, 2100+ square feet.
If you are interested in selling please contact me.
David Krull

Seasonal Lighting's Looking Great!

Goetz Landscape is continuing to install the seasonal decorations and lighting throughout Victor Gardens neighborhoods.  For areas where electricity isn't available, especially at Victor Gardens entrances, Goetz is using solar lights and urns decorated with holiday greens.  The Board has heard many positive comments on the displays so far, and how they visually tie the communities together.

Anytime Fitness to Open in Old Sertino's Location

After a few weeks of demolition inside the old Sertino's Cafe, signs have appeared announcing a new Anytime Fitness center within that location.  More info is sure to follow.

*Note: Someone correctly pointed out that I listed the wrong business name for the new fitness center.  I've since corrected it.

"Closed For Fixin?"

The long-standing "Closed for Fixing" sign in front of the burned and broken down Ricci's on Highway 61 may be coming down after all... in addition to the rest of the building.  According to the Citizen, the infamous "cantina" will be demolished. 

The former Ricci's site is a desirable one on a busy intersection.  Hopefully it'll be developed soon.

Read more about it here.

November 12, 2011

Once There Were Castles - a Book of Minnesota's Torn-Down Historic Homes

For those of us that are interested, there's a new book that describes 90 Minnesota homes and estates that have been torn down over the years. The College of Visual Arts and the Star Tribune have more details.

Listen to the book's author, Larry Millett, interviewed on MPR.  Larry Millett also wrote the book, Lost Twin Cities.

D.R. Horton Homes Submits New Home Plans

D.R. Horton has submitted new home plans for the Master ARC's consideration.  The homes are proposed to be built in VG's Single Family Village.  Plans will be considered at the Master ARC's upcoming meetings.

Pratt Homes Gets Ready to Dig

Pratt Homes will be starting next week on it's newest home at the corner of Val Jean Blvd. and Victor Hugo Blvd.  The new home will be an attractive addition to the neighborhood.

More Beavers Removed

This morning while walking our dog, Cheryl met the man who's been removing beavers from our ponds. The trapper told her that five dams had been removed, and six beavers had removed so far.  He believes there is at least one beaver remaining, and he's continuing work to remove it.

Unless they're blocking streets, sidewalks, or trails the downed trees will likely be left in place to decompose naturally.

November 9, 2011

Board Seeks Input from Residents

The Master Board is forming a Long Term Planning Committee for Victor Gardens.  The Master Board would like direct and active input from interested homeowners about the future of our community.  Ideally this committee would plan for Victor Gardens' future, including goal setting, new building and beautification projects, holiday decorations, long term maintenance, etc.   The Board is also looking for more volunteers to serve on VG's Landscape Committee.  These groups should be comprised of residents from all our sub-associations. 

Residents interested in serving should contact VG's Community Manager Kari Miller. Email:  Phone: (763)-225-6424

Beaver Damage Update

In addition to the areas previously mentioned, Beavers have also been cutting trees around the ponds near VG's Neighborhood Activity Center/Pool and the City-owned trails near the South Village Condo Association and the Single Family Village Association.

Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources and the Rice Creek Watershed District have become involved and have removed 5 beaver dams and one 60lb. beaver so far.  Since a number of the trees were felled near the City of Hugo's trail the City will likely decide what to do with the downed trees.

A resident has also volunteered the name of a trapper who would remove the beavers at no charge.  (Thanks Joan!)

Kari Miller is working to coordinate the Association's response with the organizations responsible for the beavers.  I know a number of residents are concerned about beaver damage.  I'll likely have another update soon.

November 7, 2011

Vote Yes for Schools - Tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 8

I ask you to vote "Yes" Tuesday, Nov. 8 for the benefit of our schoolchildren.  Good schools are important for our children's success and the success our neigborhood.  This is an important issue for all of us, even if you don't have children attending school in the district.  Please vote Yes!

According to ISD 624,  
The Renewal Referendum with no tax increase scheduled for November 8

On July 11, our School Board unanimously passed a resolution to schedule a local operating levy renewal referendum (not a tax increase) for this November 8. This vote will be a renewal of the same question that was strongly supported by our community in the fall of 2007.

Approximately 15% of our revenue comes from this local operating levy. In a time when the state will borrow 40% of our state funding by shifting payments to the future, the stability provided by renewal of this local operating levy is critical to continuing on our current path of rapidly rising student achievement. Without this local tax levy, our students would face significant increases in class sizes, some school sites would close and consolidate with remaining schools, and program opportunities would be dramatically reduced.

6 facts to know about the local operating levy renewal:
  • The local operating levy approved by voters in 2007 is expiring after this year. 
  • The School Board unanimously passed a resolution to ask local voters to renew the existing operating levy this November 8.
  • A successful local operating levy renewal will not increase taxes.
  • We are not alone. More than 90% of Minnesota school districts have local operating levies.
  • A successful local operating levy renewal will help maintain current class sizes and programs.
  • Failure to renew the levy will result in a 15% reduction in revenue and cause higher class sizes, closure and consolidation of some school sites, and fewer program opportunities for students.
Promises kept.
Since the last levy referendum in 2007, the District followed through on its promises to the community:
  • Lowered elementary class sizes. 
  • Restructured middle school, offering world language choices for students in grades six, seven and eight.
  • Restructured high school, ending study halls and increasing time in core academic classes. 
  • WBLAHS offers 30 college-credit courses. 
 Community Leaders Endorse Renewal of Levy
" Community leaders have endorsed the White Bear Lake Area Schools Local Operating Levy Renewal, which will be on the Nov. 8 ballot. 

Resolutions have been passed by Hugo City Council, Vadnais Heights City Council, White Bear Lake City Council, White Bear Area Chamber of Commerce and Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation. Other community organizations are considering similar resolutions.
The resolutions recognize the successes of White Bear Lake Area Schools students, financial stewardship of our District, and the fact that the levy renewal scheduled for November 8 will not increase current taxes. Hugo mayor Fran Miron remarked during the Hugo City Council meeting, “The City of Hugo supports the levy renewal because we know that strong schools equal strong communities.” 

Vadnais Heights leaders had a similar discussion. “The Vadnais Heights City Council recognizes the importance of a good educational system,” said Gerry Urban, Vadnais Heights city administrator. “For this reason, the council unanimously passed a resolution in support of the White Bear Lake Area Schools local operating levy renewal.” 

The White Bear Lake City Council also voted unanimous support. 

In addition, several of the school district’s representatives in the Minnesota House and Senate, both Republicans and Democrats, have publicly supported the renewal levy. The Saint Paul Regional Labor Federation also endorsed the levy referendum.

The school district is asking voters to approve renewal of a property tax levy that brings in $14 million a year. Renewing the existing levy will help maintain current programs and class sizes with no increase in taxes. If approved, it would continue for six years."

November 3, 2011

South Village Condo Association Meeting to Discuss Dues Increase

Traci asked that I post this for South Village Condo residents.

A Special Meeting will be held by the South Village Condo Association's Board of Directors on November 16, 2011 at the Victor Gardens Activity Center from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. to discuss the  $30.00 increase in association dues effective January 01, 2012.

For more information, please read the letter in this link: SV 2012 Budget & Fall Mailer

November 2, 2011

Holiday Lighting Design Approved

Victor Gardens' Master Board approved the purchase and installation of new holiday lighting and decorations.  In an effort to spread cheer throughout Victor Garden's varied neighborhoods, many of our permanent structure's roofs will be lined with lights and decorated with lighted wreaths. Spruce top planters will be located at various entrances. Pergolas and trees will be be lighted where larger, roofed structures are not located.

The new lights will be commercial grade, energy efficient, durable soft-white (the warmer colored variety) L.E.D.'s.  All the lights will be re-usable in future holiday seasons.  

The Master Board approved Goetz Landscape's proposal with the idea that more may be added to the comprehensive design in future years.


Pratt Homes Approved to Build Near Val Jean Park

Last evening, Pratt Homes received approval from the Master ARC to build a new home at Victor Hugo Blvd. and Val Jean Blvd.  This new home will take advantage of its alley-garage location and corner prominence near Val Jean Park.

Victor Gardens Application Package for New Home Construction

Victor Gardens Community Association's ARC finalized and approved forms meant to simplify the process by which new builders submit new home plan proposals for ARC approval.  The forms have been developed over the last few years through the careful work of the Master ARC. The forms have already been successfully used by the ARC to review new proposed home plans.

The Application Package for New Home Construction is available in PDF format and Microsoft Word format for the builder's convenience.

South Village Condo Association Page Updated

The South Village Condo Association page is updated with new documents and info.

October 31, 2011

11/1 Events Committee Meeting--RESCHEDULED

The social/events committee meeting originally scheduled for Tuesday, November 1st has been RESCHEDULED. The new meeting details are: Tuesday, November 8th 7P at Dunn Brothers (next to Festival Foods) Sorry for any inconvenience. Any questions... please contact Julie Bixby ( Thanks!

October 27, 2011

Holiday Decorations Planned this Year

This afternoon, Kari Miller, Master Board members and Dan Steuernagel of Goetz Landscape discussed outdoor holiday neighborhood decoration options in time for this Christmas.  The Board expressed a need for a comprehensive plan to spread holiday cheer throughout Victor Gardens and not just a few primary locations.  The Board is pursuing a phased approach to purchase re-usable, energy efficient, and durable lighting.

Last Chance - $50 Sprinkler Blow Out

A few of us were not available last weekend, and we weren't able to have our sprinkler systems blown out along with the rest of the neighborhood.  I spoke with Shawn Herman a few minutes ago and he's willing to come back at the $50 rate for winterizing each home system. 

As I posted in September, Shawn Herman of Classic Lawnscape offers Victor Gardens discounts for seasonal blowing out and shut-down of resident's individual sprinkler systems. Shawn's offered this service for the last few years. He always does a thorough and professional job.

Shawn's discounted price for blowing-out sprinklers is $50.00 per home. There may still be the opportunity to have Shawn winterize your system - but that window will be closing very soon.  Shawn Herman can also be reached directly at (612) 366-6088.

Beaver Damage

Damage on a very large tree
Beavers have been taking down a number of trees (large and small) east of the bridge connecting the Creekside Village Assn. with the Single Family Village Assn..  This was reported to the Master Board about a week ago. Community Manager, Kari Miller called the DNR, and Board Members are looking into other potential remedies.

Since the initial report, a tree service has cut back a number of dangerously weak trees and limbs that the beavers started on. They've cleared out a large area along the creekside trail east of the bridge.

Here's an excerpt of the original report last week:  "They have built two dams in the creek behind the houses on Val Jean Blvd, but even more concerning is that they have begun to eat through almost every single large tree from the tree line that separates our houses from the Pratt houses across the creek.  They eat fast also - I fear that in a few weeks, these trees will be detroyed.  If you havn't seen it yet, you and you family should take a walk on the path behind our house and see the trees.

We called the MN DNR, but have not heard back.  [Name removed] and I feel that these beavers should be trapped and removed due to the potential damage they can cause to the trees, etc.  I'm not sure if this is even an "association" issue or not, but I thought I'd let you know and see what you think. "

October 24, 2011

The Future of Halloween Decorations in the Neighborhood?

Hans Hagen Homes Decides not to Build

About a week ago, Hans Hagen Homes reported to the Master ARC that they were not going to proceed to build on 22 lots in Victor Gardens Single Family Village.  Although ARC did conditionally approve three of three plans submitted by Hans Hagen Homes, ARC did not adopt a legal agreement proposed by the builder.

Maintenance Update: Outdoor Fireplace at Victor Gardens' Pool

Kari Miller, our Community Manager reported that the outdoor fireplace near at the pool has been cleaned up and repaired.  

Also, Kari contacted City Hall regarding the cleaning up of the City's asphalt trails around the neighborhood.  The Board is also considering signage and dog waste bag stations in the area.  Please remember to clean up after your pets.

October 20, 2011

VG Social Committee--Upcoming Meeting

Current members and anyone else that is interested in joining the Victor Gardens social committee are welcome to attend our upcoming meeting on Tuesday, November 1st at 7P at Dunn Brothers (next to Festival Foods). We'll be discussing some adult only events that our 2 newest members would like to plan as well as a few other remaining events for November-March 2012. All are welcome to attend! If you have any questions prior to the meeting, please contact me via email ( Many thanks to our volunteers to help plan and host these events for our entire neighborhood!

October 12, 2011

Architectural & Landscape Changes

Homeowners wishing to make changes to their home's exterior or landscape must first receive Architectural Review Committee approval. Contact your Community Manager for more info. Applications are available in the links below:

October 1, 2011

This Weekend - Lawn Care - $40 Core Aeration Service

Jeff Ambrose has a number of homes lined up for core aeration this weekend.  He completed our yard today and did a great job.  

Halloween Fright Farm (Low Scare matinee Sunday Oct 30)

This message was sent to me by our neighbor Jody Schwab:

Hello Neighbors,
If you and your family are looking for a great event to attend this Halloween, please read on!

I have attached a flyer for the Ramsey County Sheriff's Fright Farm event.
This is a total volunteer event, the "barn" where the event is held is transformed each year into a elaborate "haunted house".

In addition to our main event we offer a "low scare" for children.
This special “Low Scare” matinee for kids is held Sunday, October 30th from Noon to 4 PM. Admission to the low scare haunt is only $5 for all ages.

Regular Event Dates: October 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, 28-31
Time: 7 PM – 10 PM, Admission $10.00

You might recognize one of the actors!

I wanted to extend invitations to the neighborhood. 
This is truly a great Halloween event, and much less expensive than other haunts in the area.

Please check out our web site, and pass the word to others in our "hood"!
Web site:


Jody Schwab
Ramsey County Sheriff's Office
Training Unit

September 27, 2011

November 8 School Levy Renewal - Informational Community Meetings

On November 8, voters in the White Bear Lake Area School District will vote on a proposed renewal of the district's Local Operating Levy that was passed in 2007. A renewal does not increase taxes - it simply renews the current levy. 

Since the levy was last approved in 2007, the District has kept our promises to the community, seen a rise in test scores, been recognized for stewardship in our management of resources, and formed innovative partnerships that improve opportunities for students. Additional information about these accomplishments can be found at

Failure to renew this existing operating levy will result in a $14 million loss in revenue and would require planning to:
· Reduce staff, which will increase class sizes.
· Reduce or eliminate programs.
· Close and consolidate school sites.

Parents and community members have the opportunity get information and submit questions at 

In addition, the district is hosting three community information sessions. Please take the opportunity to gather information and ask questions so you can make an informed decision on November 8.

Community Information Meetings:
  • 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 28 at Vadnais Heights City Hall
  • 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at Hugo City Hall
  • 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6 at White Bear Lake City Council Chamber
If you are not able to attend the community meetings but have questions, you are welcome to contact me at 651-407-7563 or contact Pete Willcoxon Sr., Executive Director of Business Services, at 651-407-7515.

Dr. Michael Lovett,
White Bear Lake Area Schools
Serving the communities of Birchwood, Gem Lake, Hugo, Lino Lakes, Little Canada, Maplewood, North Oaks, Vadnais Heights, White Bear Lake and White Bear Township. 


September 21, 2011

City of Hugo Takes Quick Action - Repairs Street Lights

Residents frustrated with multiple, months-long requests of Connexus Energy to repair street lights received good news this afternoon.  

Yesterday, a group of affected residents asked Hugo's Public Works Director, Scott Anderson and our City Council Member, Becky Petryk for help.  They immediately communicated a repair plan and followed through with quick action today. City crews repaired at least five street lights in the Single Family Village.  The lights that were non-working last weekend have all been fixed.

We're very fortunate to have such responsive folks at City Hall and in the Public Works Department.  On behalf of our residents, thanks to Scott Anderson and his crew along with our City Council Member Becky Petryk. 

September 20, 2011

Lawn Care - $50 Sprinkler Blow Out & Winterization

$50 Sprinkler Blow-Out
Tony Schwab volunteered again this year to coordinate services with lawncare professional, Shawn Herman from Classic Lawnscape. Shawn offers a Victor Gardens discount to perform seasonal blowing out and shut-down of resident's individual sprinkler systems. Shawn's offered this service for the last few years. He always does a thorough and professional job.
Shawn's price for blowing-out sprinklers is again $50.00 per home. He plans on performing the work on Saturday, October 22nd and Sunday, October 23rd.

If you'd like to sign-up for this service, please Call Tony Schwab (651) 429-2000 (home). Shawn Herman can also be reached directly at (612) 366-6088.


Lawn Care - $40 Core Aeration Service

Core Aeration Promotes Healthy Grass
Tony Schwab has spoken to Jeff Ambrose of Pro-Aire Lawn Service again this year about lawn core aeration services.
Jeff has offered his aeration services to Victor Gardens residents for a number of years and does a very professional job. He's offering a Victor Gardens discount rate of $40/per lawn regardless of size. That's less than what most others charge for this service. For do-it-yourselfers, this is a pretty good deal considering the cost of renting the machine, time and effort involved, plus the cost of gas.
Jeff did a great job on our lawn over the last five years, and I would recommend his services to anyone.
Call Jeff directly at (651) 274-1535. He's currently coordinating a schedule of Victor Gardens appointments.
According to the U of M Extension Service website: "Core aeration is the best method of dealing with the problem of compaction in the lawn. Aeration promotes moisture and air penetration into soils, resulting in deeper and healthier root systems on the grass plants. ... The best time of year to aerate the lawn is late August to early October. Aeration can be done in the spring but will lead to additional weed seeds being brought to the surface where they may germinate. In fall, weed seeds will also be brought to the surface, but they will not sprout."
* Disclosure

September 19, 2011

Lights On for Security

The neighborhood has a few street lights that aren't working properly. Along with a few individual residents, Board members reported some of them to Connexus Energy and the City of Hugo earlier this summer.  Unfortunately, repairs haven't been completed on a few of them.  With a renewed effort, and to get the most attention from those who are responsible for repairs, please report street light outages again (via this link).  More reports may receive greater attention.

Outdoor lights within the Association's property and city park structures should also be lit at night. If you notice one isn't working, check to see if the switch is off.  If you notice a bulb outage or another problem, please contact Kari Miller.

Car Thefts and Suspicious Activity Last Saturday Night

Early reports of very unusual neighborhood crimes were told to me by residents today.

A parked car was stolen late Saturday night from inside a garage in the Single Family Village neighborhood.  Keys were inside the car and the garage door was accidentally left open.  The car was later found undamaged about 15 miles away.

A different resident reported to the Sheriff that their car's catalytic converter was cut out and stolen the same night.  The car was parked outside their garage in the driveway.

The same night, yet another neighbor reported their home's central alarm was activated by the opening of a rear patio door.

September 18, 2011

Hugo Hoedown this Saturday, 9/24!

The first annual Hugo Hoedown is coming to Lions Park this Saturday, September 24th. The event is sponsored by the Hugo Lions and will take place from noon until midnight.

Hot dogs, brats, corn, and beer will be for sale. Attendees can also enjoy live country music by Cross Fire under the Big Tent and play in a bean bag tournament with prizes. Inflatables will also be available for kids.

September 16, 2011

Long-Term Planning in Victor Gardens

The Master Board would like direct and active input from interested residents about the future of our community.  Ideally this committee would plan for Victor Gardens' future, including goal setting, new building and beautification projects, long term maintenance, Neighborhood Activity Center policies, etc. 

The Board is also looking for volunteers to serve on our current Landscape Committee.  Even if you'd like to volunteer to report problems in one specific area (a fountain or a small common area for example), every volunteer counts. 

Residents interested in serving on these Committees should attend the Victor Gardens Community Association's (Master) next meeting Sept 29, 6:00pm at Victor Gardens Neighborhood Activity Center.

September 10, 2011

Thanks for a Great Movie Night!

Thanks to Shloe, Stacy, Roger and Kevin for a great movie event last night. Everyone had a great time!

September 7, 2011

Reminder: Friday Night is Movie Night!

Movie Night in Val Jean ParkThe weather's looking promising for Friday's Movie Night in Val Jean Park. Join us for another cinema under the stars event! Share conversation, snacks and a cup of lemonade with your neighbors.  The kids can burn off energy in the playground and soccer fields for their own pre-show entertainment.  Bring your lawn chairs & blankets - the feature begins at sunset!

Rio - About the Movie
Blu is a domesticated Macaw who never learned to fly and lives in Moose Lake, MN. Blu thinks he's the last of his kind, but learns about another Macaw in Rio de Janeiro. The adventure begins as he searches for Jewel, his female counterpart. Will he have the courage to fly and thwart the kidnappers who are hot on their trail?   Rated G.

  • Friday, September 9 at 7:30 pm 
  • Val Jean Park
  • Lemonade and snacks provided
  • Rain Date: Saturday, Sept. 10  (check for weather updates)
See you there!

Park Grass Looking Good

Goetz Landscape and the City of Hugo have worked together towards major improvements in the condition of our parks over the last two years.  This successful public/private partnership continued this week with the Master Board authorizing Goetz Landscape to core aerate park turfgrass and another application of herbicide and fertilizer. Val Jean Park's grass is looking great and is in great condition for Friday's Movie Night.

City of Hugo Adopts New Commercial & Industrial Design Standards

According to the August 18th edition of The Citizen written by Deb Barnes,

New Commercial, Industrial Design Standards Adopted

At its Aug. 1 meeting, the Hugo City Council approved a resolution implementing new commercial and industrial design guidelines developed by the Planning Commission.
Council also amended the city’s Zoning Ordinance to include a requirement that commercial and industrial construction standards incorporate the city’s new design guidelines by reference.
Both the Economic Development Authority and the Planning Commission agreed, a staff memo stated, that there was a way to create design guidelines to encourage quality architecture in Hugo without discouraging businesses to locate in the city.
Standards largely consist of pictures of buildings that do, and do not, incorporate desired design elements. Those elements are: four-sided design; wall and roof projections, faced details and windows; varied but compatible building colors; dei ned entry areas; integrated signage; utility and equipment screening; and architecturally compatible lighting and rooftop drainage systems.
The document makes exceptions for the expansion of existing commercial and industrial uses that do not currently have access to public utilities, with the idea that adhering to more stringent requirements would make future redevelopment of those sites more dii cult once utilities are extended.

September 3, 2011

Heritage History Lab Returns to Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Park

According to KMSP-TV

Anoka County Parks and Recreation is encouraging schools to sign up for the Heritage Living History Lab this fall.
The outdoor living history program, which takes place at the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Regional Park Reserve, lets students experience Minnesota history through eight different time periods.
The eight stations are led by presenters dressed in period costumes and teach students about milling, mining, and lumbering, which is this year’s topic.
According to a statement from the nature center, the program serves approximately 250-300 students in grades 1-7 every day.
The program will be offered for 15 days beginning Set. 14. For more information or to register, call 651-429-8007.

Girl Escapes Abduction Attempt in White Bear Township

According to Friday's St. Paul Pioneer Press:

Girl, 17, escapes abduction attempt
A man tried to abduct a 17-year-old girl in White Bear Township on Thursday afternoon but she was able to get away, according to Ramsey County law enforcement officials.
The girl was approached in the area of U.S. 61 and County Road J as she was biking, according to authorities. The suspect was described as about 30 years old, heavy-set, with a beard and no mustache. He was wearing a dark green baseball cap.
The man tried to grab the girl, authorities said, but she was able to pull away and bike to safety.
The man was driving a gray Ford pickup, described as an older model, with no topper.
The case is under investigation. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Ramsey County sheriff's office at 651-266-7320.

Master ARC Meeting set for Sept 14.

The Master ARC will  meet again with Hans Hagen Homes at 7:00pm on Wednesday, Sept.  14 at Victor Garden's Neighborhood Activity Center.  Hans Hagen Homes has submitted plans for ARC's consideration.  They are interested in building on 22 lots within Victor Gardens Single Family Village.

August 11, 2011

"Rio" Movie Night in Val Jean Park set for Sept. 9, 7:30pm

Rio, Rated G. 
Friday, September 9, 7:30pm in Val Jean Park. 
Snacks and lemonade will be provided. Bring your lawn chairs & blankets.  Rain date: Saturday, Sept. 10.  

August 5, 2011

August 3, 2011

Thanks Volunteers!

Thanks to the Events Committee and all the volunteers who organized, planned, set up, and carried off a great National Night Out Event last night!  It was great to see so many familiar faces and welcome new friends to our neighborhood.  Thanks also to the Washington County Sheriff's Department, Hugo's Fire Department, EMS, Hugo's Mayor and City Council for joining us!

Neighborhood volunteers are the reason for the success of this and all the other activities that the Events Committee plans.  The Committee always welcomes help and new ideas.  To join this active group please directly contact Events Committee Chair, Julie Bixby via email:

August 2, 2011

Hans Hagen Homes Submits New Plans for ARC Review

At tonight's National Night Out event a number of neighbors asked me about all the survey stakes on most of the open lots within VG's Single Family Village.

Here's a bit of history before the explanation of the survey stakes: Around the time of CPDC's (VG's initial developer) foreclosure, these lots were sold to a company named Victor Gardens Mainstreet Holdings, LLC (VGMH).  A division of The Beard Group, named Neighborhood Development Partners, paid dues on, marketed, controlled and sold a few of VGMH's lots.  Prior to our Single Family Village Annual Meeting this spring, VGMH's lots were sold. Terry Forbord of Mountain Asset Management took over responsibility for the lots.

VGMH's open lots - to be built by Hans Hagen Homes

For a number of months and years other builders including Hartman Homes, Colfax Companies, and Homes by James placed signs on some of VGMH's lots in the hopes of attracting customers. At various times, the signs raised speculation that new building efforts were underway. In the end, Colfax Companies and Homes by James never submitted any proposals to the Master Architectural Review Committee (ARC) and no homes were built by them. A year or so ago Centex Homes abandoned their effort to build on those same lots. 

Getting back to the surveyor's stakes: In recent weeks the boundaries of these VGMH lots were staked out and identified by surveyors. Currently the VGMH's lots are in the process of being sold to a builder new to Victor Gardens. After requesting a copy of Victor Gardens building Requirements and Guidelines Hans Hagen Homes submitted, for the Master ARC's consideration, four new home plans.  Hans Hagen Homes carefully followed the ARC's adopted submission procedures. Their submitted plans are now being reviewed individually by the ARC's members. The Committee will discuss these plans (as a committee) with each other and together with Hans Hagen Homes at its next meeting, August 8.  The Master ARC's eight-person membership is made up of the same members of the Master Board.  Each of Victor Gardens sub-associations has one representative on the Master Board & ARC- except the SFV, which has two representatives due to its large size.

Upon successful approval of plans, Hans Hagen Homes is expected to pull permits and start building.  After the initial few homes are built they hope to continue building on the remaining VGMH lots.

In addition to the VGMH lots described above there are other, open SFV lots owned mostly by Alliance Bank and a few by Pratt Homes.  These are mostly located near Cosette Lane, Victor Hugo Blvd. and a few along Garden Way between Poet's Green and Arbre Park.  The last remaining SFV lot east of Clearwater Creek is nearing completion with its builder, Capstone Homes (formerly Minks Custom Homes).

Master ARC Meeting Change - Monday Aug. 8, 6:30PM at Hugo City Hall

Due to a scheduling conflict at VG's Activity Center- the next Master ARC meeting will be held at Hugo City Hall, Monday, August 8, 6:30PM.  These meetings are open to residents, however, a resident forum is not provided.

The next resident forum will be held during the next Master Board Meeting scheduled for Sept. 29.

Join Us Tonight for National Night Out!

The weather's looking great for National Night Out tonight!  Fun starts at 6pm.  
Light dinner and desert will be served along with non-alcoholic beverages. Meet with new neighbors and old friends in Arbre Park. 

The Events Committee has planned a great time with visits from the Hugo Fire Department and the Washington County Sheriff.  For the kids, there will be games and a jump castle!

See you tonight!

Maintenance Update - Fountains

A few problems with neighborhood fountains were reported this week to Community Manager Kari Miller.  Dulcet Fountains cleaned out the Jardin fountain last week, but as of this afternoon, it wasn't operating.  As always, if you see that something isn't working- please contact our Community Manager.

The Master Board is considering replacement options for the currently broken Poet's Green Fountain.  Dulect Fountains investigated last week and found that this site has a working electrical connection and available water source.  (We weren't sure) 

Michael Warner has volunteered to help me find a few replacement options for the Master Board to consider. 

August 1, 2011

We Need Your Help Tonight!

We really need your help to make National Night Out a success!   The Events Committee is short on volunteers for our neighborhood's biggest event. 
Tonight, August 2 in Arbre Park. 
Help serve food, set up, or clean up. 30 minutes of your time is all we need to help make this event a success again this year! Please email Julie ( if you can lend a hand!

July 21, 2011

National Night Out - Tuesday, Aug. 2, Arbre Park, 6pm

Light dinner, desert & beverages for all VG's residents. Visits from the Hugo Fire Dept. and Washington County Sheriff.  Check the day of the event in case of rain.

July 18, 2011

Fountain Maintenance this Week

Dulcet Fountains will be working on the Jardin Fountain this week.  They're expected to clean it out, power wash and add chemical treatment. Going forward, this fountain is now on a regular maintenance schedule.  Please contact Kari Miller with any concerns or questions.  

Dulcet is also planning to check out the non-working Poet's Green fountain to determine whether or not electrical and water service is still working there. The Master Board will consider options for its repair/replacement in the next few weeks.

July 17, 2011

National Night Out--Tuesday, August 2nd!

Save the Date... Victor Gardens Annual National Night Out celebration on Tuesday, August 2nd in Arbre Park. Kids jump house, visits from the Hugo Fire Department & Washington County Sheriff, games, food and more! BYOB and your lawn chairs. We will provide a light dinner, dessert and non-alcoholic beverages for residents. Festivities start at 6P. Check the day of the event in case of rain. Please email me ( if you can spare 20-30 minutes for set up, clean up, serving food or other volunteer opportunities. Any/all help would be greatly appreciated!

July 14, 2011

Events Committee Meeting TONIGHT (7/14) change in location

We will not be able to meet up by the pool this evening (due to rain) for the events committee members coming to discuss/plan National Night Out. Originally I had thought about having the rain back up be my home but instead let's all meet at Dunn Brothers (the one in our neighborhood adjacent to Festival Foods).
See you at 7P tonight... thanks!
Julie Bixby

July 12, 2011

For those interested in helping the events committee...

For anyone interested in helping plan our annual National Night Out, please meet up at the Pool this Thursday, July 14th at 7P. We'll be sitting outside at one of the tables. In case of rain, please meet at my house (4429 Cosette Lane North).
As the date gets closer, we'll send out another notice asking for volunteer help (set up, clean up, etc....). This is a very well-attended neighborhood-wide event each year so the more help we have, the better it is for everyone!
Any questions... feel free to send me an email (

July 11, 2011

VG Social Committee Announces National Night Out on Aug. 2nd!

Save the date for Tuesday, August 2nd for our annual celebration of National Night Out. More details to follow but plan on festivities beginning around 6P in Arbre Park!

July 7, 2011

Long Term Planning

The Master Board recently discussed forming a Long Term Planning Committee for Victor Gardens.  The Master Board would like direct and active input from interested residents about the future of our community.  Ideally this committee would plan for Victor Gardens' future, including goal setting, new building and beautification projects, long term maintenance, etc.   The Board is also looking for volunteers to serve on our current Landscape Committee.  These groups should be comprised of residents from all our sub-associations.
Residents interested in serving on these Committees should attend the Victor Gardens Community Association's (Master) next meeting on Sept 29, 6:00pm at Victor Gardens Neighborhood Activity Center.

July 1, 2011

Soccer Camp July 25-28 - Hugo Offers New Recreation Programs

Hugo is starting a new athletic program according to KSTP news. Soccer camp for boys and girls ages 5-14 will take place July 25-28 at the brand-new Hanifl Fields Athletic Park.

Read more here.

June 30, 2011

New Pool Furniture Ordered

At it's meeting last night, the Master Board approved the purchase of new furniture for our pool deck.  The old wooden furniture will be replaced with:
  • 25 new chaise lounges - color 'Sonora'
  • 16 dining chairs 
  • 4 dining tables (42inches wide) 
  • 4 umbrellas (8 feet wide) plus heavy umbrella bases

actual color may vary

June 23, 2011

Man Spotted Taking Pictures of Kids

I received the following information tonight from one of our residents.  Remember, if you see suspicious activity call 911 right away.

Hi everyone! I just got this message from a friend in the Clearwater Creek neighborhood. I wanted to pass it on for everyone to keep a look out. Hopefully it won't happen again - unfortunately, these guys seem to know when they've been spotted and move on. I've also sent this to some of you guys in nearby neighborhoods. He might be making the rounds in the whole area... Anyway, keep your eyes open and call 911 if you see anything matching this description. Thanks!

Hi Neighbors –
As I understand it, there is a red/maroon 4-door sedan (a bit older) with a middle-aged man (smoker) driving around the neighborhood taking pictures of the kids. This vehicle was spotted today [6/22/10] several times (guessing between 10-2) and drives very slow down the street…I saw the vehicle twice from my office window while on conference calls today but didn’t realize until later that he was taking pictures (not of the for-sale homes).

Several of the kids and a few of the nannies have spotted the car/man. 

I did call the Lino Lakes police dept. at 6pm to try and report it but they said we have to call 911 at the time we see the vehicle/suspect.

Please pass this along and inform your kids what they should watch for. I don’t mean to cause alarm but wanted you to be aware. I’m sorry I don’t have more information to share at this time.

North Village Villas All Community Garage Sale set for July 8 and 9

Please join in the North Village Villas All Community Garage Sale
July 8 and 9, 2011!

Those who are interested simply need to organize their garage sale items in their garage or driveway during this time and your association’s Board of Directors will do the advertising for the sale.  The times will be as follows:

Friday, July 8:  9am-4pm
Saturday, July 9: 7am-2pm

Following the Saturday garage sale, please join your neighbors for a getting acquainted Block Party!  The party will be held on the street between the 4470 and 4474 block of homes starting at about 4pm.  Please bring your own beverages and something to grill or a dish to share if you wish…..this will be a great, very informal,  chance to see old friends and get to know all the new comers to our great community!

If you have questions, please call Paula at 528-7099

Security Vehicles in Victor Gardens

Semper Fi Security
A number of residents have asked questions about a new security service in the neighborhood. Semper Fi Security has been contracted to keep an eye on the Victor Gardens Pool and Neighborhood Activity Center.  They will secure the pool and building nightly at 9:00pm.  Semper Fi also may be seen driving in and around our neighborhood.

Ron Eddings, CEO of Semper Fi Security reports that they are also contracted in Hugo's Water's Edge neighborhood.  Their duties there included patrolling the area, looking for anything suspicious, look for maintenance problems (broken sprinklers, lights, etc.) throughout the neighborhood.