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Leewood Homeowners Association

August 2001 Newsletter

Monthly Meeting Change

Due to paving of the parking lot at the Philips School and prior commitments by various board members, the August board meeting is being rescheduled to August 21.

The time is still the same (8:00) and the place is still the same (the multi-purpose room of the Philips School).

President's Notes by Leona Taylor

The period for correcting ARC is about to expire for most owners who received notices in June. Please try to complete the work as indicated in your notice. If you need additional time due to contractor scheduling or other reasons, contact Pam Stover. The Board also reviewed the status of outstanding violations from 2000. The Board will be issuing hearing notices to these homeowners with hearings to be scheduled for the September board meeting.The parking and traffic committee has been active this past month. There have been a number of meetings to identify the issues and develop action plans. There have also been calls to VDOT and other government agencies to help improve entering and exiting our community. For instance, the left-turn lane that was just added for the driveway adjacent to our Backlick Road entrance may actually have been intended for Leewood. Chris Taylor has been working with VDOT to see if a turn lane can be added for our entrance. Thanks to Chris Taylor, Chris Hiltz, and Tony McSorley for all their work!The tot lot committee has also been quite active this month gathering information on the cost and potential location of a tot lot in our community. In addition, the committee has been looking into other issues that would need to be addressed such as insurance, safety regulations, maintenance, etc. Next steps will include a financial model to determine how reserves and assessments would be affected if a tot lot were installed. In addition, research will be conducted to determine the types of notices and approvals that would be needed to install a tot lot. Again, the committee is working on fact-finding. There has been no decision as yet whether a tot lot will be installed. Thanks go to Cathy Brent, Thao Huynh, Ginni Totaro, Sally Chapman, Tony McSorley, and Bobbie Kraus for their efforts!Third quarter assessments are now overdue. Please send in your payment if you have not paid. Delinquent notices will be going out shortly to those in arrears. The Board approved investing the current year $30,000 reserve fund contribution into CD's of varying maturities. This was thought to be a higher return vehicle while the Board seeks investment advice. If anyone wants to help in determining investment options, please give me a call. For our next meeting, we expect to cover:1. Update from the parking and traffic committee2. Architectural review -status of home inspections and preparation for hearings3. Review of resale package charges4. Review of insurance coverage5. Update on tot lot project

State Farm Rates Backlick and Braddock Intersection

Most Dangerous in Virginia    By Judy Currier

Did most of you catch this one the news? Several people asked me how they did this, and whether all the accidents going into and out of Leewood count in the statistics.This being an interesting question I poked around on the Internet some. There were lots of references to the 1998 State Farm study, but it appears that Backlick and Braddock has been climbing as far as dangerousness since then. Anyhow, the way they did it in 1998, so I suspect the same is true in this study, is they counted the claims that they received at the various intersections. In other words, no, our accidents don't count in the report.

They then adjusted the number of accidents by the percentage of State Farm holders amongst registered drivers and thus estimated the total number of accidents. (If 20 out of 100 drivers carry State Farm Insurance, and 10 of those had accidents, then they would estimate that out of every 100 drivers 50 would be in an accident at Backlick and Braddock). Now, another interesting question about traffic planning. Does anyone know why in the world when they did the improvement in the left hand turn lane at Edsall and Backlick they gave the single family house next to us a left hand turn lane, but not Leewood? It wouldn't improve our safety much if we had a left hand turn lane there, but it would help the traffic turning into Leewood not snarl up Backlick road any further. By the way, if you are the type that gets nervous at the long lane of traffic backed up behind you, try to get over it. It is the traffic and zoning planners fault, and there is no reason to endanger your life by trying to get into Leewood as quickly as possible. I know I have to take a deep breath often, but be careful! If you know the answer to my question please call or email me (703-941-4385 or judyb@worldnet.att.net). I might try and investigate it further if I don't get any answers.

Editor's Note: Good question ... see the next article for a partial explanation. How is that for a good transition?

Traffic/Parking Committee In Full Swing

"We're meeting every other week with the goal of making some recommendations as early as the September LHOA Board meeting," says Chris Taylor, Board Member and Chairman of the Traffic/Parking Committee. Taylor adds that the committee has been looking at a variety of issues, some in keeping with the recent survey and other initiatives of their own. "We're investigating any and all ways to improve parking," Taylor says, "from the cost of additional spaces to various incentive plans." "With limited resources (money and ground), we're looking at creative ideas," adds Taylor, "anything out-of-the-box that might help."Taylor says two things that don't cost money and help with the problem are 1) limit the number of vehicles you park in the development and 2) continue showing consideration for your neighbor. "The committee has recommended to the board that the association become more aggressive in enforcing towing policies," Taylor says, "it's a last resort when more reasonable means of persuasion have been exhausted." Taylor cautions residents to ensure their vehicles work, don't leak, have proper tags and inspection stickers and don't belong to someone else. On traffic issues, Taylor says the committee has been in contact with the Virginia Department of Transportation and the county. The traffic engineer handling our region told the committee that there are no plans for any further road expansion on Braddock or Backlick in the near future. "We had concerns about congestion at the intersection and motorists cutting through the development to avoid the lights," Taylor says. The engineer said they annually count vehicles along the two thoroughfares, adding that there are currently insufficient numbers to justify additional traffic signal lights between Ravensworth and Backlick. The engineer also added that the extra left turn lane, just South of Leestone Street, which points traffic into a private drive, was a mistake. "Look for them to paint over the problem," says Taylor. While the intention, according to the engineer, was to put in a turn lane at Leestone Street, the road would need to be widened and the bus lane would have to be narrowed. It's cost prohibitive.The engineer and county representatives said there are no plans to expand the Braddock/Backlick intersection, now deemed by one news organization as the second worst in Northern Virginia. To acquire additional land, from any of the corner lots, would be cost prohibitive. In addition, officials expect traffic to subside some with the completion of the Springfield mixing bowl. They figure more vehicles will stay on I395 to Old Keene Mill Road, or I495 to I95, as opposed to using Edsall or Braddock, for passage to Backlick outlets South of the VRE station. "We'll stay in touch with them," says Taylor, "but our thought is to look at continued ways to discourage other than LHOA residential traffic through the development."For those interested in coming to any meetings you can contact Chris Taylor at 703 354-7744, stop by his house at 7037 Leestone Street, or talk to Chris Hiltz or Tony McSorley. Hiltz, who lives at 7002 Leebrad, and offers his home as the meeting place, is at 703 642-2470. McSorley lives at 7042 Bradwood and his number is 703 354-6369.The next meeting is scheduled for August 16, at 7:30 at Chris Hiltz's home.

Hot Tips for Summer Repairs!!

If you have a few nagging repairs to make to your home - here are some tips for good contractors to help you out. For railings - metal work: Ravensworth Welding 703-461-0505For concrete work: Hernandez Masonry 703-534-1537 5 Star Concrete - Manual Gomez 703-471-0231For steps, slate work: Paul Keegan, Hibernia Masonry 703-451-6773Windows: Blaine window repair 703-823-2900(Parts for our original windows and screens)

Paint Color Charts by Pam Stover

If you are thinking of painting your home, I have paint color charts of our approved colors. You can call me for a chart or email me at Pam-oliver@erols.com and I will leave one on your railing with a color change approval form. Remember, color changes must be approved by the ARC committee.

Also, another thing I have noticed in the neighborhood is that when people are painting they are painting the numberplate the same color as the shutters. Numberplates should be the color of your trim. Keep this in mind when you or your painting contractor is painting your home. This will be noted as a violation if it is not done correctly.

New Revitalized Lake Accotink Park from tony mcsorley

Many may not know this lake and park just around the corner from Leewood with a waterfall, no less. It is a great place for prime fishing and has been totally done over. It can be reached from either Backlick or Braddock roads. So if one way is blocked by traffic, you can still get there from here. The Fairfax Park department must have planned well, by providing dual paths and many other entrances off the local streets to the park. Talk about planning, this revitalization even included draining the lake and removing underwater rubbish. All this without harming the many ducks and swans located permanently on the lake for your children's feeding enjoyment and dogs attempting to hunt in the water.If these enhancements, we now have a new space age cover for the rebuilt children's carousel and band stand for those summer evening concerts put on by Fairfax County. The completely new playground with its large play center jungle gym and two sets of swings should be a definite favorite with the younger set. Add to this a new plaza area in the marina with tables and chairs by the refreshment stand to sit and enjoy a soda and watch the paddle boats on the lake. And for the action group there is miniature golf, jogging, dog walking, or just strolling around the five-mile lake which connects to the Wakefield Recreation Center. Right off the Marina are located many barbecue grills and picnic tables for your use. Go soon and enjoy the woods, park and lake.


The previous two Leewood newsletters included a survey requesting comments and opinions on the possibility of adding a playground/tot lot to the list of amenities in the Leewood community. The following are the results to date of that survey:

Total surveys returned: 32 In favor of tot lot: 13 Not in favor of tot lot: 16 Neutral about tot lot: 3 Interested in tot lot committee: 8

On July 17th, eight Leewood residents representing various viewpoints met together for the first Tot Lot Committee meeting. At the meeting, survey results were discussed and research assignments were made. The committee is currently researching the concerns raised by residents as well as other pertinent information necessary to fully and fairly assess the possibility of a tot lot in the Leewood community. Some of the main items being researched include cost, location, insurance liability, ground cover, maintenance, and safety standards. This research will be published in future newsletters to keep residents informed. Please remember, the committee is only researching the possibility of a tot lot in Leewood so that the Leewood residents will be able to make an informed decision when the time comes.

Sincerely, Robert, Cathy, Kevin, and Nathan Brent


U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Reports  from tony mcsorley

in release number #01 - 213 on August 2, 2001 the CPSC reported

"Playground equipment is also a leading cause of injuries to children. In 1999 alone, it is estimated that there were more than 200,000 playground equipment injuries, with almost 47,000 injuries on home playgrounds to children under age 15. The proportion of pre-school children (younger than five) injured on playground equipment was higher on home playgrounds than on playgrounds in general. Almost 40 percent of those injured at home were younger than 5 years, as compared with about 27 percent on other playgrounds."


Some of you may have noticed your azalea leaves get yellow in the summer and they do not look healthy. Most likely they have little mites on them which can be corrected easily. (If you turn the leaf over and you see black dots, those are mites.) Your plant(s) will need to be sprayed with an insect repellant for foliage. You can pick this up at Merrifield Gardens or for something closer, you can go to Gil Meadows nursery on Backlick Road going towards Little River Turnpike. It just takes a minute to do and will make your plants look healthier in days. Good luck!!

Damage to Neighborhood Trees

We have had some storm damage to trees in the neighborhood recently. Just to make you aware of the guidelines on cleaning this up, if the tree grows in the common area and it damaged during a storm, the grounds and maintenance committee will arrange for repair or replacement of the tree and removal of any branches or debris.

If the tree grows in the back yard of a community member, the owner of the tree must clean up the debris, make sure that no fences (theirs and their neighbors) have been damaged and remove all the debris that was left by branches falling, etc. You can call your insurance company about damage that has happened to fences, but typically they will not clean up the tree that has fallen. This is the owners responsibility .

Storage on Front Porches

Please remember that nothing should be stored on your front porch like garbage or furniture. This is where you can have plants (no vegetable gardens) and decorative flowering items. Tables, garbage, furniture, bicycles should all be stored inside your fenced yard until you use them again. Empty planters should also be stored in the back until they are in use. Also remember - no fake flowers are allowed in gardens or in pots.

Garbage Can Storage

Garbage cans and recycle bins should be returned inside your home or backyard when they are not out for garbage or recycle collections. Recycle bins should not be kept on the front porch more that 24 hours after AAA does their weekly pick up. Garbage cans should be put away after garbage is picked up. They should not be stored outside your fenced area behind your home.


Shutters need to be replaced occasionally and they never seem to all need to be replaced at the same time. Keep in mind, all of the shutters on your house must be the same size and style. Do not put shutters on that are a different design, size or width. You cannot mix the style of the shutters. Think of it this way, you would not put two different earrings on a woman - so keep all of your shutters the same to avoid having to do the same job twice.

Leewood Mutual Fund Investment Update from tony mcsorley

Year # Shares Price Value Gain/Loss $ Loss

2000 446.528 121.86 $54,414 -9.1% - $5,418

2001 446.528 112.21 $50,105 - 7.4% - $4,309

Total - $9,7272001 figure as of August 3rd 2001

For the last twenty months our Vanguard investment has declined. This $9,727 erosion of the gain of $13,632 from previous years with Vanguard Index 500 during the 1997 (33%), 1998 (28%) and 1999 (21%). As listed in the annual 2000 meeting report, this effectively leaves only $3,905 of our previous gains. Remember, while Vanguard 500 Index is no fee, it is under the Schwab blanket and will cost an additional $149 to cash out through Schwab further lowering our return.

Stray Cats  by Leona Taylor

There are at least three cats (an older cat and two kittens) spotted in the trees between 7088 and 7089 Leestone Street. If you have any information as to whether these cats are owned by someone or are stray, please contact me at (703) 354-6932. If they are stray, I would like to use humane traps to capture them and get them adopted. If anyone in that area would be available to monitor the traps, it would be appreciated. Again, please give me a call if you would like to help. I have the numbers for various organizations that will foster the cats until permanent homes can be found. Also, if anyone is interested in adopting a cat, . . .

Leewood Reapportioned into Mason District Opinion from tony mcsorley

Braddock Road was the previous dividing line between the Braddock and Mason districts.  Our concerns as Braddock district residents were not possibly heard as loudly as those communities across the street in the Mason District regarding building, etc.  Under the new reapportionment these lines have been moved and are firmly in the Mason District which reacts favorably to the concerns of its voters.The Mason district supervisor, Penny Gross and her excellent office staff can be reached at 703-256-7717. The Mason District office is at 6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003.

One of the immediate benefits of the reapportionment is the Mason district Park has just built an extensive dog run for those owners who like to socialize and let their dogs run unleashed. Please remember that the Leewood community still has leash laws prohibiting dogs without leashes.

From the community website ... a partial list of contractors recommended by neighbors...

The following contractors and services have been used by Leewood residents who indicate satisfaction with the work performed. This list has been compiled to assist you in obtaining the best contractors for any repairs or work you are anticipating. Some of the contractors are licensed, bonded, and insured. Contractors with an asterisk (*) before their name offer discounts for Leewood residents. Mention this when you obtain your estimate. It is always a good idea to get at least two estimates so that you can compare prices, materials and work methods. Consumer Affairs Chair, Mary Ann Wilson has Preferred Customer Pricing cards from McCormick Paints for use of Leewood residents. Please contact her for further information on use of these cards. The Leewood documents require that you obtain written approval from the Architectural Review Committee for any changes to the exterior of your property (paint, windows, shutters, doors, fences, lights, colors, etc.) so plan time for this before the work begins. This list is provided as a community service only and individual contractors are not officially recommended by the Leewood Board of Directors or any of the Leewood committees. Please help keep the best contractors on our list by giving your input to Mary Ann Wilson.

What followed was the contractor list -- a more up to date was can be found on this site at: Contractor List

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