FAQs

What is a “Homeowners Association?”

A Homeowners Association is a non-profit corporation registered with the State and managed by a duly elected Board of Directors. Its purpose is to maintain all common areas and to govern the community in accordance with the provision of the legal documents: Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs), Bylaws, and Articles of Incorporation. The governing legal documents for the association may be viewed online within the documents page of this site when signed in. The corporation is financially supported by all members of the homeowners association. Membership is both automatic and mandatory.  The legal name of our association is “The Grove at Huntley Meadows Homeowners Association, Inc.”



What is a “Board of Directors?”

A board of directors is a governing body of a homeowner’s association elected by the homeowners, or as otherwise specified in the bylaws. The limitations and restrictions on the powers of the Board of Directors are outlined in the association governing documents.  The governing documents for our association can be found within the documents section of this website. It is important to remember that the Board of Directors is comprised of unpaid volunteers who are homeowners in our community.



What is a “Management Company” and how do I reach ours?

A management company is a company contracted by the Board of Directors to provide such services as: collection of assessments; paying Association bills; obtaining bids and contracting for maintenance services; oversight of contracted work; providing financial statements and collection reports; advising the Board of Directors on management issues and serving as a central point-of-contact for communications and problem solving with homeowners. The management company reports directly to the Board and all decisions are made by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. Our management company, Cardinal Management, may be reached through the contact information on the Management Contacts page on this website.



What are “Bylaws?”

Bylaws are the guidelines for the operation of the non-profit Homeowner’s Association corporation. The bylaws define the duties of the various offices of the Board of Directors; the terms of the Directors; the membership’s voting rights; required meetings and notices of meetings; and the principal office of the Association; as well as other specific items that are necessary to operate the Homeowner’s Association. The bylaws for our association may be viewed online within the Documents section of our website.



What is a “Declaration of Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions?”

The Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, commonly referred to as “Covenants” or “CC&Rs”, is the governing legal document that establishes the guidelines for the operation of a planned community as a non-profit corporation. The declaration for our Homeowner’s Association was recorded at the Fairfax County Recorder’s Office and is included in the title to your property. Failure to abide by the terms of the declaration may result in a fine to a homeowner by the Homeowner’s Association. The governing legal documents for the Homeowner’s Association may be viewed online within the Documents section of our website.



Are there any other rules residents should be aware of?

Most associations have developed Rules and Regulations as provided for in the Covenants and adopted by the Board of Directors. Rules are established to provide direction to the homeowners for common courtesies with regard to parking, vehicles, trash cans, etc. In addition, your Association has adopted Architectural Guidelines with procedures for submitting requests to make exterior changes to your home. Such changes may include installation of patio covers, construction of decks, landscaping, exterior color changes or extensive interior changes and additions. These rules and guidelines are set up to maintain the aesthetic value and integrity of the community on behalf of all owners, and protect the market value of your home. Violation of these rules may result in action by the Board of Directors and a fine. In addition, if you proceed with an exterior improvement or change, without written approval of the Board of Directors or Architectural Committee, as applicable, you may be required to remove or correct the alteration and may be fined for the violation. For more information about this topic visit the documents page of this site.



Is it permissible to operate a business out of my residence?

Only businesses that do not host clients or customers are allowed at residences in our community.  Examples of businesses that are not allowed include: hair salons, childcare services, auto repair, medical care services, etc. Our Articles of Incorporation state, in part, “The Lots shall be used for residential purposes exclusively…except as permitted by local zoning ordinances.”

Fairfax County zoning ordinances allow home occupations with limitations. Examples of permissible businesses include a home office for an author, artisan, webmaster services, teleworker, etc. No clients or customers are permitted to be hosted in the community with a home occupation. The one exception to this standard is a school of special education (e.g., piano or dance instruction) in which a limited number of students is permitted in the home.

 



Where can I find the rules regarding trash pickup, pool usage, lawn mowing, etc.?

The Board of Directors has made several resolutions that pertain to the above subjects. These can be found on the website in the Governing Documents. Additionally, the Association Bylaws [PDF] and Declaration of Covenants [PDF] may provide the information you need. These documents are in PDF format and are searchable. Finally, you may also contact our management company representative via the Management Contacts.



How can I get approval for planned exterior modifications?

The  [PDF] are the primary reference for exterior modifications to your property, both major (decks, fences, patios, satellite dishes, etc.) and minor (painting your front door, a new exterior lamp, etc.). These Guidelines provide standards to uphold the appearance and value of our community. While we will allow some flexibility to reflect current styles, we require all modifications to be first approved by our Architectural Review Committee.

The Architectural Improvement Request [PDF] form may be completed and sent on to the management company for forwarding to the ARC. If in doubt as to whether your desired change requires ARC approval, please email architecture@gathm.com or simply submit a request. There’s no charge, and you may avoid having to remove the modification if it doesn’t fit within established standards.



What can I do if a resident violates the established rules and regulations?

Residents who cannot resolve a situation between themselves, are urged to seek assistance from the Homeowners Association. Should you have a situation that does not appear to be resolved through neighborly means, and you are willing to actively participate in the enforcement provided by the Policies and Guidelines, you may contact the Management Office. If the situation is deemed in violation of the Policies and Guidelines, the Board of Directors will institute the enforcement policy. Your continued assistance may be required.



Are Board Meetings open to all residents? Where and when are they held?

Yes, all board meetings may be attended by both homeowners and residents. Notice of the time and place of regular board meetings are publicized in the community newsletter and can also be found online on the calendar on our website.  Regular meetings are typically held on the third Thursday of each month at the Mount Vernon Government Center, 2511 Parkers Lane, Alexandria, VA 22306, but it’s advisable to check our website to confirm the date and location.



What are the existing Homeowner Association Committees and how can I get involved?

The Committees page of this website will inform you of the status of current committees organized and committee contact information. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the committee chair or contact your Board of Directors (board@gathm.com).



What are “assessments”?

Assessments are periodic (monthly) amounts due from each homeowner to cover Homeowner’s Association expenses, including administrative costs; maintenance and repair of the common areas; trash collection; snow removal; utilities; insurance and also to provide for a reserve fund for replacement of common facilities in future years. Assessments are due on the first day of each month.



How is the amount of my assessment determined?

The Department of Real Estate typically requires an initial budget from the developer for each community that a developer proposes to build. This budget is set upon specific guidelines for utilities, landscaping, administration, etc. Reserve funds are monies set aside for future expenses due to the life expectancy of certain items: lighting, street resurfacing, pool equipment, etc. These amounts are then divided by the number of units built in a given phase of the development. Subsequent budgets are developed by the Board of Directors and adjusted periodically to meet anticipated expenses.



Can the amount of my assessment change?

Yes, the amount of your assessment can change.  Typically, the Civil Code provides for annual increases, not to exceed 20 percent per year, without the vote of the membership. The Board of Directors may approve a revised budget, causing increased assessments, up to this percentage, in order to cover increased operating costs and maintenance of sufficient reserve funds.  Our assessments have been very stable since the inception of our Homeowner’s Association.



What can happen if I don’t pay my assessment?

The maintenance and management services incurred by the Association are dependent upon timely receipt of the assessments due from each homeowner. Assessment payments are due on the first day of each month. The Covenants allow the Association to charge late charges and interest; place liens on titles; and execute foreclosure actions for nonpayment of assessments.



How can I pay my assessment?

There are 3 ways to pay your monthly assessment.

  1. Pay by check, using payment coupons or through your financial institution’s electronic banking program;
  2. Pay online through the Cardinal Management Group website;
  3. Have the assessment payments debited directly from your account at your financial institution by providing a completed Direct Debit form to Cardinal Management (preferred method).

Unless you are signed up for direct debit, payment coupons will be mailed to homeowners at the beginning of each year.



How can I assess the Homeowner’s Association’s financial condition?

The Homeowner’s Association’s budgets and reserve studies can be accessed on our website under the “Documents” tab.



How can I report a streetlight outage?
The streetlights on Lindberg Drive are owned by Fairfax County and maintained by Dominion Virginia Power.  Streetlights on streets other than Lindberg Drive are owned and maintained by our Homeowner’s Association.

Lindberg Drive streetlight outages:

Homeowners may report a Lindberg Drive streetlight outage by contacting Dominion Virginia Power at 1-866-DOM-HELP (366-4357), TTY 711.

When reporting an outage, you will need to have the location of the pole and the pole number.

Reference this information below:

Nearest Address / Pole Number

  • 7504 Lindberg C0912SC8300
  • 7510 Lindberg C0912SC6900
  • 7516 Lindberg C0912SB6700
  • 7522 Lindberg C0912SB5600
  • 7528 Lindberg C0912SB4200
  • 7534 Lindberg C0912SA4900
  • 7540 Lindberg C0912SA5600
  • 7544 Lindberg C0912SA6400
  • 7551 Lindberg C0911SP7900
  • 7551 Lindberg C0911SO8700 *at the stream crossing location
  • 7567 Lindberg C0911SO7300
  • 7571 Lindberg C0911SN7900
  • 7579 Lindberg C0911SN6600
  • 7586 Lindberg C0911SN3400
  • 7590 Lindberg C0911SN0500

If further work is required to correct the problem, a color-coded tag is wrapped around the light post: blue (overhead repair is required), green (underground repair is necessary) and yellow (underground cable is damaged and needs repair).

Complete information on reporting can be found at:

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/construction/streetlights/light_out.htm

 

Other than Lindberg Drive streetlight outages:

Report outages to Cardinal Management Group.



How can I fix my “Grove” yard light?

A pdf version of these instructions may be downloaded here.

Troubleshooting Tips for Your Grove at Huntley Meadows Yard Light

Disclaimer: Please use extreme caution at all times when following these instructions. This checklist is intended as a helpful tool and should not be considered perfect or an all inclusive list.

  1. Change the light bulbs. Recommend long lasting light bulbs such as CFL or LED. Match base, either candelabra or standard.
  2. Reset your GFI outlet. In some of the models this outlet is located in the garage on the back wall or inside the utility closet. If there is electricity at the outlet the yellow light will be OFF. If there is no electricity the yellow light will be ON. To reset the GFI outlet, press the TEST button and then the RESET button.
  3. Check the Photo Cell.Check the photo cell by covering the photo cell shown in the photo to the right for 2-3 minutes (this simulates night when the lights should come on). If the lights don’t come on then you need to replace the photo cell. Please note if your light doesn’t go off during the day you need a new photo cell as well.
  4. Purchase New Photo Cell. We found one available online at Home Depot for about $12.00.You will need
    • New Photo Cell
    • New Wire Nuts or reuse existing
    • Phillips head or flat head screw driver (as applicable)
  5. Replace Photo Cell.
    • Turn off power at GFI by pressing the test button on the GFI. (The yellow light should be on)
    • Remove the three screws at the top of the pole.
    • Grasp the base of the light and gently twist while lifting to free the light fixture from the pole.
    • Inside the pole you will see 4 sets of wires.
      • Two copper wires coupled together (pole to light)
      • Two black wires coupled together (pole to photo cell)
      • One black and one red wire coupled together (photo cell to light)
      • And three white wires coupled together (pole, photo cell & light)
    • Disconnect all of the wire nuts from the wires.
    • Remove old photo cell & replace with new one.
    • Reconnect wires with new wire nuts.
      • Two copper wires coupled together (pole to light)
      • Two black wires coupled together (pole to photo cell)
      • One black and one red wire coupled together (photo cell to light)
      • And three white wires coupled together (pole, photo cell & light)

        Note: If light stays on during the day after replacing the photo cell, check to make sure the black wire from the light is connected to the red photo cell wire, not the hot black wire from the pole.
    • Reinsert light fixture onto pole and replace screws.
    • Turn on power at GFI by pressing the reset button. (The yellow light should be off now). Yard light will initially come on and then go out.
    • Check the photo cell by covering it for 2-3 minutes to see if the lights will come on after approximately 45 seconds.
  6. Contact an Electrician. If problems persist contact a professional electrician.


Who is the GATHM trash collection provider?

The trash collection provider is American Disposal Services.  They can be reached at (703) 368-0500 or at info@adsimail.com.  Their web address is www.americandisposal.com.



What are the trash, recycling and yard debris collection days for the GATHM?

Trash is collected on both Mondays and Thursdays.  Recyclables are collected only on Mondays.  Trash and recycling containers may be placed curbside anytime after 6:00 p.m. on the night before the scheduled collection days and must be properly stored, out of sight, no later than the evening of the collection day.

Yard debris collection is on Wednesdays from the first week of March through December 24th.  From December 24th through February, yard debris may be place curbside on your second weekly collection day (Thursdays).



What is accepted for collection as yard debris?

Grass clippings and leaves are to be placed curbside in clear plastic or brown paper bags. Personal containers may be used; however they need to be clearly marked “Yard Debris.” Tree limbs and brush must be no longer than 4 feet in length and 6 inches in diameter and must be tied with rope or twine. Items that are either bagged or bundled are not to exceed 50 pounds. Materials that are not acceptable for yard debris collection include mulch, dirt, rock and sod.



How can I get a lost or stolen toter or recycling bin replaced?

Contact American Disposal Services (ADS).  There should be no charge to replace a lost or stolen trash toter or bin, in accordance with the terms of our contract with ADS.  There is, however, a charge to replace a lost or stolen recycling toter.



What holidays are observed with regard to trash and recycling collection?

ADS observes only 3 holidays: New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.



Where can I find a list of acceptable materials for recycling?

Recycling information can be found on the ADS website: www.americandisposal.com.