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Leewood Homeowners  Association

April 2002 Newsletter

Bradlick Shopping Center  by Judy Currier

The plans for Bradlick Shopping Center were approved by the Mason District Transportation and Planning Committee on March 19th.  As the Zoning Department's study was not out, approval is conditional on no big surprises in that study.  I will somehow get a copy of the study when it appears (in the next couple of weeks) and summarize anything new in that – posting the information on the website.

There will be a fairly massive construction project at the site if all is approved – the claim is it will cost $4 million dollars.  No one doubts that there will be an increase in traffic at the site, and there are road improvements included as part of the project.

Here is what will happen:

  • The current grocery store building will be expanded towards Backlick Road, and up through the MacDonalds.  Giant will be doing the construction (don't know whether that is part of the $4 mil, I didn't gather so).
  • The MacDonalds will be moved out to a "pod" location between the bank and Total Crafts, it will become a drive through MacDonalds.
  •   There will be a dedicated left hand turn lane into the shopping center off of Backlick South. 
  • Deceleration lanes will be added on Braddock before the second turn in (right past the 7-11), and on Backlick, right after the Amoco station.  The turn ins at the alley next to the 7-11, and the right near the Amoco station will remain, though there will be no decel lanes associated with them.
  • There will be landscaping added to the shopping center.  Islands will be used to direct traffic (for example, there will be an island blocking what is now the service road where you turn in near the 7-11 – you will only be able to go straight or into the 7-11 parking area).
  • The area down the alley next to the 7-11 will be improved, with more lights being added, a masonry fence will replace the current wood fence, and there will be landscaping in front of the fence line.  The Gold's gym customers will be encouraged to park in this area.
  • The 18 dumpsters currently on the site will be reduced to 3.
  • Vertical parking will be added in front of some of the stores – Trak Auto, Gold's gym.
  • Parking places will be the minimum size allowed (8.5 feet wide).
  • There will be a face lift to the shopping center generally.  The signs will all reside on the roofs, rather than hither and thither, and the pale green color will be the color du jour for all roofs.
  • A piece of land on Braddock Rd. before the Amoco Station will be dedicated to VDOT for possible future improvements to the intersection there.

I still question exactly what is going to happen at the 7-11, as the decel lane comes out of the width of that parking lot.  Now, large trucks park along that curb while they are delivering items to the 7-11.  If the lot is narrower, that practice would become even more hazardous to patrons.  They are going to curve the island out which would make the turn very hard to handle for a delivery truck and are saying that the delivery trucks thus will go down the alley.  That remains to be seen, maybe they will just drive over the island!

Obviously it is upsetting that even more traffic will be brought into our area.  I'm not sure that it is a logical response to the intersection being named the 2nd worst in Virginia.  However, some other citizens suggested that they were worried that the shopping center was going to sink into total disrepair without allowing such changes to be made, and "traffic is already out of control anyhow".  I'm also not sure how all of this is going to affect the church and Mustafa Center parking that now occurs at the shopping center, as fairly clearly parking is going to be at much more of a premium than now.  Those issues were not discussed, being put off with the comment "don't get into it, how do you know those people aren't shopping there besides praying?". 

I gathered from comments made that one of the hindrances to improving the actual intersection at Backlick and Braddock is the Amoco station that is there.  Also, I discovered that a grant had been given to VDOT by State Farm to study how to make that intersection safer.  Apparently the grant was given over a year ago, so one would hope that pretty soon a brilliant plan will drip off the pens of the VDOT engineers.    

Bank Robbery   by tony mcsorley

Notice the new guard at First Union across the street.   A bank employee said  Thursday March 21 about 10:30 AM,   two  masked robbers held the bank up and got away in a stolen car.

Website & Signs    by Judy Currier

I was nosing around the Fairfax site in the zoning area and stumbled across a task force report and survey concerning signs in the right of way.  I know that many people in Leewood certainly don't like the signs put up near us (they come down with great regularity in the path where our residents normally walk), and Fairfax is looking into rules and ways to enforce those rules concerning signs.  Currently it is actually against the law to take down an illegal sign in the right of way – so if you take down one of those apartment advertising signs, you are actually breaking the law.

The task force recommends making it legal for citizens to take down such signs, and is looking into whether there should be a permit for signs, all signs should be prohibited, etc. Enforcement issues include whether people should be fined with no warning for erecting signs, or whether there should be a warning.  There are a few other concerns that arise, such as should it be illegal for people to post missing cat and dog signs, political signs, and so forth.  The consensus seems to be that there is an over-abundance of the political signs.  Frankly, one per candidate at a location seems sufficient to me! [Ah yes, Currier, but how do you define location?]

Anyhow, the report on these issues and a survey to poll your attitudes toward signs are both up on the website.  Go to www.communitypath.com , the Leewood site, the Library, "Other Documents", and look alphabetically under Fairfax.  I didn't put them in our index as they will be removed within a couple of months.  The survey should be filled out this month.  The survey is by Fairfax, not the association.  It appears from reading the survey that perhaps some people are saying it is absolutely necessary for their business to put up such signs.

Read, enjoy, and let Fairfax know your opinion!

Recent House Sales   by tony mc sorley

As we left off,  the highest sale at Leewood  was $235,000. This has now been replaced with one $10,000 higher.  It seems the increase on each house sale is $10K given the latest two sales, we should be seeing $275 soon for middle units.       

Is That Your Tree?    (Some Facts and Opinions by Judy Currier)

These were the words of a young child who was climbing a tree causing the branches to bend nearly to the ground when told to get out of the tree.  At the time I was president of the board, so rather than get into the nuances of ownership, I simply said "yes".

Our common area is for everyone to enjoy.  It belongs to the Association, and the board is charged with maintaining it and trying to keep it from being destroyed by people who just don't seem to care.   Over the years that child has accumulated enough complaints about destruction of common property that I hardly even need the description of who is doing the dastardly deed any more.  The most recent report was that the same kid was yanking the top off of the daffodils.  Now here is a case that illustrates my attitudes about treatment of the common area (and of course those of any right thinking individual).  Some mothers claim "you just don't like kids" if you try to keep their little darlings from doing such things.  However, as I look at the daffodils across the street from me, and people walking down the sidewalk, I often see young children squat down and study the flowers.  Obviously they have been taught to leave the flowers there so others can enjoy them (three cheers for those parents!).  What is even more interesting, though, is the fascination in the flowers that some children show.  Who is supporting the pleasure of the majority of the kids in Leewood – those that say "don't destroy our plants, leave them so others can enjoy them", or the laissez faire parents who decide their kids can harm any common area property that they want, perhaps on the theory that it "belongs to partly to me".

At the beginning of this article I mentioned that legally 1/195 of each tree or plant is NOT owned by each household.  It might be in a condo, but not in a homeowner's association.  Let's say that it was, however.  If you co-own a sailboat with someone does that give you the right to destroy that sailboat as it is partly yours?  I don't think so.  Similarly, I think we should all respect the rights of others in our association, and leave the plants and other flora there for all to enjoy. 

Directory Errata

In the directory the website address is listed as http://communitypath.com.  You probably won't get there that way – the correct address is http://www.communitypath.com.  I believe that at some point in time in Netscape, at least, you could leave off the "www".  However, that certainly isn't true of the latest version.  So, in general, if you think you have the right address and can't get somewhere, stick the "www" in front of the name.

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