Beach II Area Issues Reported
Staff has recently received several reports regarding loud noise, vulgar language, and obnoxious music/behavior, coming from the Beach II area late in the evenings and at night. This has reportedly occurred each weekend for the past few weeks and is occurring as late as 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. Members are requesting that something be done to address the issue and to further restrict behaviors in that area at night.
Currently, the only association rules which govern noise in that area are contained in PRP No.2, Common Area Use, Guidelines, Section C, 5, which reads “Be respectful of others and keep your noise level down. Sound carries easily over the water. No loud music or other disruptive noise after 11:00 p.m.”.
The camping guidelines/rules listed on the camping permit form states that “Quiet time” is to be observed from 10:00 pm until 7:00 am, and that campers with permits may only have a maximum of 6 guests (this is believed to have been added to prohibit large noisy crowds from gathering). These statements mirror the verbiage contained in the now outdated and retired “Beach and Camping Guidelines” from 2005 which were replaced by incorporation into the Common Area Use PRP. These timelines are in conflict with he 11:00 timeline contained in PRP 2, and likely should have been changed when the PRP contained timeline was established.
I recommend that the Board consider reviewing the rules for the area (both for camping and for the area in general), and that reasonable actions be taken to limit noise and behaviors in the common area there late at night. I would be happy to assist the Board, or a Board chosen group in examining the issues and formulating recommendations (if so desired). The permit form should then be updated to reflect the current rules (once examined, clarified).
In the meantime, I have a few suggestions for consideration during the process which may help address the issues being reported. The first would be to update the rules so that the whole area is subject to the same quite time hours established for campers. Although it may be hard to enforce at times, this would at least establish expectations for members, their guests, and nearby residents. Secondly, I recommend the Board consider going further, and limiting access to the area to only permit holding campers and their guests (limit of 6 if so desired) during a not yet determined timeframe of night (perhaps 10:00 – 7:00, 11:00 – 6:00, or something similar). I believe this would be a reasonable restriction which would help to protect both area residents and permit holding campers from unnecessary disturbances by other groups utilizing the area late at night. I do not believe it was ever the Board’s intention that the area be open for gatherings of members late at night (other than campers) and restricting use to only those permitted campers during a period of time at night would serve to address the issue of it being utilized as a party place. Again, enforcement will likely be an issue at times, but with rules in place, expectations can be established, and many (if not most) members will comply voluntarily (at least those who wish to be socially responsible).
Parcel 12A (former golf course) Washout/Ravine
The large ravine created on parcel 12A during the heavy spring rains a few years ago (roughly 9 inches of rain fell during one event), has been the subject of several inquiries/requests over the past few years. Members have expressed concerns regarding the danger that the sheer drops present to curious passersby’s, and regarding the lack of a safe readily accessible crossing in the area. President Traczyk and I met with Don Cook a few weeks back and discussed options with the goals being alleviating fall danger and getting the area into a more stable condition. Once that has been accomplished, other options such as a walking bridge could be considered and more easily implemented.
The area directly surrounding the ravine is covered with numerous sumac trees, a few black walnuts, some wild cherry, and a number of autumn olive bushes. To effectively grade and sculp the soil in the area, these will need to be removed (most are invasive or otherwise undesirable). Once the trees have been removed, the sides of the gorge may be pulled back, the slopes reduced to a reasonable grade, and the removed soils may then be utilized to fill lower areas nearby and create a gentler grade in the immediately surrounding area. The result is anticipated to be a much safer, cleaner area, which would then be ready for the construction of a future foot bridge and/or a low water crossing, etc. The goal will be to keep the span across the gorge at 20’ or less (16’ or less if possible) in consideration of the possibility of future bridge construction (larger spans are generally more expensive to build across).
It is estimated that a budget of up to $6k will be needed to accomplish the removal of the trees, the cleanup of accumulated debris in the drainage area, the grading of the soil as described (I will have pictures available of the area at the Board meeting for visualization purposes and discussion), and soil stabilization. If approved, this work would be undertaken during dry weather to eliminate/reduce potential sediment runoff to the lake and silt fencing will be utilized where necessary.
Recommendation: That the Board grant approval to move forward with the described work when weather and soil conditions allow, at a cost not to exceed $6,000.
Office to Resume Full Staffing Onsite
The Governor of Virginia has announced his intention to remove most restrictions and fully reopen Virginia’s economy as of May 28th. In response to these anticipated changes, we are tentatively planning to reopen the office to walk-in visitors (no appointment necessary) with full staffing onsite as of Tuesday June 1, 2021.
Construction of Phase 1 of the walking trail plan is now well underway, and completion is anticipated within the coming week. The trail is approximately ½ mile in length and will create a walking circuit from Country Club Park to the large roadside pond on West Masters and back. The project is roughly 75% completed as of today.
Removal of the Old Pumphouse
The collapsing irrigation pumphouse was removed from parcel 12A during April with the assistance of Keystone Builders. The removal went well and has made a considerable aesthetic improvement to the area while also alleviating the safety issues related to the dilapidated condition of the former building. There remains a small list of cleanup tasks including the grinding off and removal of the metal anchors which currently protrude from the former building’s slab. Our maintenance crew will address these items as time allows once grass growth and mowing demands diminish later in the season.
Beach III Access Road Improvements
The Beach III access road currently has some drainage and surface issues which are soon to be addressed. The maintenance team, with the assistance of Don and Ben Cook (Keystone Builders), will be working to improve the road surface and correct the current drainage issues in the coming weeks. It is anticipated that access to the area and drainage will be much improved ahead of the fireworks display in July.
Submitted May 19, 2021 by:
Mike Goodwin, LHCC GM