The purpose of this email is to address some of the concerns voiced by this community about gate entry policies, including visitor authorization, the Capsure visitor management system, and phone calls to the gate.
We hear you and want the community to know that board members, other community volunteers, and administrative staff are working diligently to come up with answers to problems as well as expedite gate entry and the visitor authorization process. Research, planning, and decision-making all take time. There are no easy or quick answers.
People have moved into Lake Holiday because of the increased security of a gated community. This security exists only if we register all visitors.
Please understand that the Board of Directors are your neighbors and friends. We are a self-governed property owners association that is required to abide by the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. We are all volunteers making our best efforts to fulfill our fiduciary responsibilities and govern the community to make it a great place for everyone to live.
If you have ideas and want to help us, please join a committee and make your voices known.
The community has voiced concerns about unauthorized visitors using the beach in the summer. The Board held a Town Hall in February, listened to all the community’s concerns, and approved new parking rules in April. We worked hard to get all the new rules implemented and parking placards printed for Memorial Day weekend.
The owner parking placards for Beach I and II are one step towards limiting unauthorized visitors from using the beach. The second step must be making sure that the owner authorizes guests to enter the gate.
Lake Holiday’s previous long-term security company is no longer in business. Allied Universal was hired to be our security force last year. Their first year was challenging, and many policies instituted with our prior security providers as standard operating procedures at the gate were not followed consistently, especially during busy times. Since Memorial Day weekend, the Board of Directors and office staff have provided hands-on supervision of the security staff to educate and train them about proper procedures.
Our policies for the gate have always required visitors to be entered into Capsure, our existing visitor management system. Security officers are tracking vehicles entering the community: they are not collecting proof of persons entering in those vehicles. New homeowners are provided with their Capsure password. Now members must create an account on lakeholidaycc.org, the password-protected website, and then register guests. About 1200 owners have completed their website log-in process! You can also access Capsure via your mobile phone when you don’t have access to a computer or tablet! Once you have access to Capsure, entering visitors yourself will be quicker, actually immediate, and more efficient, and the visitor will be guaranteed entrance into the community.
In Capsure, you can authorize online as many guests as you wish. The office can authorize up to five permanent visitors for you, such as family members, annually. If you don’t have access to a computer, the office will help you enter your visitors into Capsure for you. A long-standing procedure has been that if you have more than 5 visitors arriving and don’t have access to Capsure, please provide a list of your guests to the office, and they will enter them into Capsure for you. The office will provide you with a password if you no longer have one and show you how to use the system.
Of course, if Capsure is down, the gate is aware, and they answer the phone as rapidly as possible.
For a true life-threatening emergency, the owner needs to call 911. The gate doesn’t hesitate to let emergency services into the community.
We have one officer at the gate during weekdays. If you spent time in the gatehouse, you would see how difficult their job is. On busy days a vehicle can reach the gate every 30 seconds. The officers greet each vehicle in the left lane and ask for their ID. They confirm the photo and that the name is entered in Capsure online as an authorized visitor. They then go to the back of the vehicle to get the license plate number and return to Capsure to enter this into the system. They then print a pass for the visitor and often provide instructions such as ‘our speed limit is 25mph; please stop at all stop signs’ or give directions to the visitor and answer questions. At the same time, the phone is ringing constantly, and many of the calls are for visitors that are entering in just a few minutes. If they are answering calls and writing all the required information down, people are not being attended to at the gate, and the left lane begins to back up. When that visitor shows up in a few minutes, they have to run back in and look through the list of phone entries to see if the visitor is authorized. They do not have time to put them in Capsure. They cannot always get to the phone and need to have the answering machine on. They often don’t have time to get all the calls off the machine before a visitor arrives.
None of this is new; this has always been an issue, but now the Board and administration are attempting to enforce the gate visitor procedures that have always existed for the safety of everyone living in Lake Holiday. Security officers often have a multitude of other issues going on, such as turning unauthorized visitors away with instructions to have the owner authorize them in Capsure or dealing with someone in the right-hand lane whose barcode is not working. Some days may not be busy, but policies are based on the busiest days, and security must follow our policies consistently. This is why we are encouraging owners to enter their guests online.
The Board and administration had no idea that so many owners have not been authorizing guests online but instead calling the gate as they did before the introduction of Capsure.
However, we have many more visitors than we did 10-15 years ago. In 2009 we had approximately 500 homes in Lake Holiday. Now there are 980 houses, and more are being built. Many of the 360 membership lots (non-utility) are now owned by members who use the lake and other amenities and also bring in many visitors. There are also 136 utility lots privately owned.
Board members, other volunteers, and administration are working diligently to investigate other ways to quicken gate entry and streamline the process for the officers at the gate and the members of the community. We are working on improving the time involved in printing passes, returning to printing multi-day visitor passes, and considering barcodes for permanent visitors. We are testing a license plate camera that will appear on a screen above the officer’s Capsure monitor so they do not have to run out and look at plates. Having the office enter lists of guests for members for their homes or events will help, but they need time to do this and are requesting two full work days ahead of time for the list to be provided to them. We welcome your input. Thank you,
Pat Majewski, Board President