Rolling Valley Office Park
9300-9318 Old Keene Mill Road
Burke, Virginia 22015
(Rolling Valley Office Park is the DBA name for Dominion Green, an Office Condominium)
The point of contact for financial matters is the RVOP Treasurer, Linda Bobb, whose phone number is 703-915-3734, email@example.com.
Maintenance issues should be addressed to Gregg White, RVOP Board Member and Maintenance Director, 703-913-8501.
RVOP 2023 News and Reminders
At its November 2022 meeting, the RVOP Board of Directors established a committee to review signage within RVOP, with a view toward identifying those signs which are at variance with the RVOP Sign Package Guidelines, Exhibit C to the RVOP Bylaws. The Board appointed Board members Gregg White and Anne Meccariello to serve as the Signage Committee and report its findings to the full Board when completed.
RVOP Sign Package Guidelines
The RVOP Sign Package Guidelines are extensive, often quite detailed and very specific, and vary in many ways by the type of unit being served by a particular sign or signs. To review these Guidelines, please see: https://rollingvalleyofficepark.com/signage-guidelines.
On January 7, 2023, Committee member Anne Meccariello provided the Board of Directors with a comprehensive report of the Committee’s findings. The report presented a thorough description and complete listing of all signs within RVOP and associated each sign with a specific RVOP unit and its unit owner.
As a general proposition, the Committee found that while there is significant compliance with the Guidelines within the community, many signs do not precisely meet the RVOP Sign Package Guidelines. Most variances are relatively minor; however, several vary significantly enough from the Guidelines to warrant some sort of remedial action.
The vast majority of the noncomplying signs are only “technically” out of compliance and, generally the noncompliance is in such a manner that it does not reflect adversely on the overall appearance of the RVOP community. Within the scope of these “technical” violations, some vary slightly from the Guidelines in individual size and/or color, others vary from the Guidelines by the method of mounting or type of lettering on the sign's plaque and a few are displayed in an incorrect location.
The RVOP Sign Package Guidelines contain detailed specifications for brass signs, which specifications vary by the location and type of unit to be served by each particular sign. However, all brass sign plaques must be rectangular with the horizontal dimension being greater than the vertical, except where specifically approved by the RVOP Board of Directors. Brass sign plaques are to be of a satin brass finish with black enamel lettering, mounted on a wood panel, which in turn is anchored to the building brickwork. The wood should not visibly extend beyond the borders of the brass sign plaque. The wood panel holding a brass sign plaque is to be placed on the brickwork next to the unit exterior door. Brass sign plaques are also allowed on interior entrance doors but must meet the same general specifications for all brass signs, except that wood mounting panels are not necessary. Anchoring of exterior wood panels holding brass sign plaques must be in the mortar and not in the brick.
Contrary to the RVOP Guidelines, a number of brass sign plaques within RVOP are mounted directly on the building brickwork, rather than on a wood panel anchored to the brickwork. There are also a number of brass signs which do not strictly comply with the color and size Guidelines and there are some brass signs where the wood panel on which the plaque is mounted extends beyond the edges of the brass sign plaque.
Prohibited Free Standing, Neon, Paper and Cardboard Signs
A couple owners or tenants have placed free standing signs outside their unit on the sidewalk or on the grounds bordering RVOP. There are also a few neon signs in windows and several units have paper or cardboard signs on doors or in windows. Owners wishing to post security stickers may place them in one window, in the lower portion of that window, only. No other signs (or logos) are permitted in windows except for one “FOR RENT” or “FOR SALE” sign. Free standing signs, neon signs and paper and/or cardboard signs are all prohibited by the RVOP Sign Package Guidelines.
Building Mounted Backlit Signs
The Sign Package Guidelines for building mounted, backlit signs, vary widely, are very specific, and like brass signs plaques, vary as to the location and unit type to be served by a particular building mounted backlit sign. However, the RVOP Guidelines prescribe the composition and color for all building mounted, backlit signs as follows: “. . . signs shall be made of 3M Scotchcal Film #3630-167 Bright Blue and #7328 White Plexiglas Signs may not be spray painted. The blue shall be used as the predominant background color.” Unfortunately, these exact specifications may be outdated. Nevertheless, it is important for a sign contractor to match them as closely as practicable when designing a building mounted backlit sign for RVOP.
Within RVOP there are numerous building mounted backlit signs which do not strictly comply with the RVOP Guidelines, but, as a general proposition, most of those noncomplying signs vary only moderately from the Guidelines and otherwise satisfactorily blend in with the rest of the community signs and the overall aesthetics of RVOP. However, some building mounted backlit signs have no blue inserts, many are faded, cracked or broken and otherwise in need of repair. A few of the building mounted backlit signs contain the names of businesses no longer in operation within RVOP.
According to RVOP Bylaws, it is each RVOP unit owner's responsibility to pay any signage expenses for any sign or signs serving the individual owner's unit, whether for a new sign, or expenses incurred in sign changes, or remedial action to conform a particular sign or signs to the RVOP Sign Package Guidelines.
Where warranted, the RVOP Board of Directors may, at its discretion, grant variances to owners for signs which do not conform to the RVOP Guidelines, provided the approved variance will satisfactorily blend in with the aesthetics of the community.
Owners of signs in disrepair or which vary from the Sign Package Guidelines in a manner which does not conform to the aesthetics of RVOP, will receive a letter from the RVOP Board of Directors describing the sign's shortcomings in detail and demanding corrective action or demanding removal of a particular sign where warranted. Unit owners must complete the cited repair/correction/removal of the offending sign or signs within 60 days of the Board letter. A repaired or corrected sign must be as close in appearance and construction to the originally approved sign as feasible. If a significant change to the repaired sign in planned, then the unit owner must submit the proposed design for the repaired or corrected sign for approval by the Board of Directors, the same as if it were a new sign.
The RVOP Board of Directors has the authority under the RVOP Bylaws to remove any sign which has not properly repaired/corrected/removed within 60 days of receiving the Board letter. The RVOP Board of Directors reserves the right to pursue action to collect all legal and operating costs involved in removing or repairing any sign which it considers or out of compliance with the RVOP Guidelines and which the responsible unit owner has not corrected to the satisfaction of the Board within the 60-day period of the Board letter.
RVOP is one of the most attractive and well-maintained commercial condominium complexes in the Northern Virginia area. The signs used by unit owners are an important part in maintaining the aesthetic quality of RVOP. A sign is often the first impression a potential customer, patient or client has of a business. The collective impression of all signs within RVOP also gives the general public, and potential unit purchasers and/or tenants, customers, patients or clients, a significant and lasting impression about the quality of the community, an impression which is an important part pf judging whether RVOP will satisfactorily meet the business and/or personal needs and/or desires of a potential owner, tenant, customer, patient or client.
The RVOP Board of Directors, working on behalf of all unit owners, and in deference to its perceived desires of RVOP unit owners, will not demand strict and in some cases unreasonable compliance with the RVOP Sign Package Guidelines. The Board, however, as the elected representatives of all RVOP unit owners, seeks a satisfactory balance between compliance with the Guidelines and maintaining the attractiveness of RVOP.
RVOP 2022 News and Reminders
For several months the RVOP Board of Directors has been studying for and preparing the RVOP 2023-2027 five-year budget, and a reserve funding study, now titled the "2023 Reserve Study for Rolling Valley Office Park." Both these efforts have been completed and the 2023-2027 budget and reserve study were approved by the ROVP Board of Directors at the December 20, 2022, Board meeting.
Copies of the 2023-2027 budget are posted here on the RVOP website under both Condominium Documents and the Management & Finances tabs. The 2023 reserve study is posted under the Management & Finances Tab.
Article 3.1(a) of the RVOP Bylaws requires the RVOP Board of Directors to prepare and adopt an annual budget and to approve assessments against unit owners to defray the costs and expenses of RVOP. The 2023-2027 five-year budget is intended to satisfy this requirement and, for the first time it establishes a formalized method of providing funds for future capital expenses. The initial funding of the reserve account, as of the end of 2022, will be $65,622.50. The goal of the Board of Directors is to increase and maintain the reserve fund at $200,000.00, which amount it take about five to six years to reach.
Article 5.1(d) of the RVOP Bylaws requires the RVOP Board of Directors "to build up and maintain reasonable reserves for working capital, operations, contingencies and replacements."
§55.1-1965 of the Virginia Condominium Act requires that, “except to the extent otherwise provided in the condominium instruments, the [condominium] executive board (e.g., the RVOP Board of Directors) of each Virginia condominium community shall:”
This recently completed study is the first known reserve study for RVOP in the 35 years since the initial RVOP construction in 1988. This study is intended to provide a rational basis for the RVOP Board of Directors to make decisions about annual budgets and future capital expenditures.
The annual general membership of RVOP members was held at 6:45PM on October 24, 2022. The meeting was attended by 11 unit-owners or their representatives. Including proxies, 56% of unit owners were represented at the meeting.
President Lloyd Martin reviewed the most significant events addressed by the Board over the past year. These included activities with Virginia Eye Care’s buildout into the adjoining unit and the structural challenges encountered in this process. G. White was credited as being very instrumental in helping the BOD monitor and address these challenges, one of which was a ten-foot cut-through being reduced to four-feet in a load-bearing wall.
There were some water intrusion issues that carried over into this year that are nearing completion in several units.
Financially, three liens were filed, two of which have been satisfied, and the third was only filed recently. There was also a fire incident resulting from an outside sign in disrepair that required the fire department to break into two units to turn power off at the circuit breakers. Given the cause of the fire, the cost of repairs is being sent to the unit owner.
Treasurer Linda Bobb reported that as of 10/22/22 the current balance of funds available was $117,828.85 with one receivable account outstanding. It was also noted that the dues will automatically increase by 5% in January as part of the yearly increase previously decided upon to build up the reserve account.
Board Maintenance Supervisor Gregg White updated the membership on several projects that he had been overseeing this past year. These include efforts to replace two doors damaged when the Fire Department responded, the water intrusion issue in 9302 C as well as sump pump replacement and exterior wall sealing outside 9302 as well as repair of the lighted complex sign at the corner of Shiplett and OKM Rd.
Looking ahead, G. White believes that there are some drainage issues under the sidewalk along the Old Keene Mill side that may need to be addressed. There is also the continuing challenge of resolving the overhead lighting problem in the inner corner of the courtyard. Upon completing his report, the rest of the BOD and owners present all extended their gratitude and appreciation to G. White for the considerable amount of time and effort he has been pouring into the care and maintenance issues within the complex.
Board Member Marty Schuh reported that Greenscape, our grounds-maintenance contractor, has been providing adequate service and will be collecting leaves in the next two months. We will also exercise an option, to be decided at the monthly meeting, on aeration and over seeding.
Architectural Report: It was noted that there are several sign issues that may need to be addressed. G. White and A. Meccarriello will survey the complex in the next week or so to clarify these issues and recommend appropriate actions. Also, it was noted that an area adjacent to the 9300 building will need some landscaping due to apparent erosion. M. Schuh has a tentative plan to install some landscaping timbers (a short wall) and plants to repair this area.
Proposed Budget: The budget is available on the website and available to all owners. L. Martin proposed a modification to the budget approval process. Given its availability on the website and that the budget does not go into effect until January, the proposal is that the general membership, at the annual meeting, give a tentative approval to the budget with the BOD being able to make final approval at its January meeting, assuming there have been no substantial events/changes requiring adjustment.
There was also some follow up discussion to consider setting up a separate account for reserve funds to be used for major expenses. This discussion will be resumed in the next quarter.
Capital Components Reserve Study: L. Martin reported that the Virginia Condominium Act mandates condo associations, such as RVOP, to conduct a study that projects larger expenses and repairs over the next five years. It does not specify how the study is to be conducted.
After much discussion and a motion presented and passed that the BOD conduct such a study, as required, by having various BOD members enlist outside vendors and contractors to assess and estimate ongoing and projected capital improvements within the complex.
Notice is hereby given that pursuant to Article II, Section 2.5, of the Bylaws of Dominion Green Office Condominium, D/B/A Rolling Valley Office Park (RVOP), the ANNUAL MEETING of RVOP Unit Owners Association will be held Monday, October 24, 2022 at 6:30 PM (registration of owners and proxies to begin at 6:00 PM) for the purpose of electing members of the RVOP Board of Directors and conducting such other business of the Unit Owners Association as may properly come before the assembly. The October 2022 monthly meeting of the RVOP Board of Directors will be held immediately after the annual membership meeting. Attendees at the annual meeting are invited to remain connected to the Zoom link for the RVOP Board of Directors meeting.
Agenda for the Meeting
RVOP changes landscape contractor and renews snow removal contract
During February and March, the RVOP Board of Directors, reviewed bids from landscape contractors for RVOP landscape services, starting April 1, 2022. After review of the bids, including checking references, and interviewing representatives from the interested contractors, the RVOP Board of Directors selected a new landscape contractor, Greenscape Land Design, Inc., located at 11170 Lee Highway, Fairfax.
The new contract covers from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2024. The contract cost will be slightly less than the previous RVOP landscape contractor, Lancaster Landscapes, Inc. The RVOP Board member who is the primary contact for this contract and landscape issues is Dr. Martin Schuh, 703-440-9284, <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Concerns and complaints about the landscape services or issues within RVOP should be reported to Marty.
From March to May 2022, the RVOP Board of Directors, reviewed bids from snow removal service contractors for RVOP snow removal and treatment services for the 2022-2023 snow season. After review of the bids, including checking references, and interviewing representatives from the interested contractors, RVOP Board of Directors decided to renew the existing contract with Suburban Concrete Contractors, LLC, 8747 Scott Street, Springfield.
The new contact will increase slightly in cost, the amount also being dependent on the seasonable cost of snow removal treatment chemicals. RVOP has used the services of Suburban for the past two seasons, and the RVOP Board of Directors all agreed that the services provided, especially the timeliness of Suburban's response, has been satisfactory.
The RVOP Board member who is the primary contact for this contract and landscape issues is Anne Smith, 703-973-0715, <email@example.com>. Concerns and complaints about the snow removal services or issues within RVOP should be reported to Anne.
Another reminder about the use of RVOP dumpsters
It seems as though it is periodically necessary for the RVOP Board of Directors to address the recurring problem within RVOP of misuse of RVOP dumpsters.
Persons from outside RVOP and occasionally some RVOP members and/or tenants have been using the RVOP trash and recycling dumpsters for trash and refuse hauled in from home or off-site activity. The trash service provided by RVOP is paid from members’ assessments and is intended only for refuse and recycling material generated in the normal course of business within RVOP. Nevertheless, persons unknown periodically leave unneeded furniture, discarded appliances and even building materials in and around RVOP dumpsters.
When such additional material and miscellaneous items are left by the RVOP dumpsters, the removal incurs additional fees to RVOP, which fees must be passed on to owners in their quarterly Association fees.
The RVOP Board and unit owners maintain the RVOP area and grounds in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Excess trash in and around dumpsters is detrimental to the RVOP appearance and could affect Association assessments and individual unit property values.
If you observe anyone from outside RVOP attempting to use either of our dumpsters, please ask them to respect you, as an owner or occupant of RVOP and the other members of the RVOP complex, by disposing their material in an appropriate manner elsewhere. And if you, as an owner or tenant, have unwanted furniture, appliances and/or building materials to be discarded, please make your own separate arrangements for disposal of those items, and do not place those items by the RVOP dumpsters.
As always, the Board appreciates your cooperation and assistance in helping maintain RVOP’s attractiveness and making it a pleasant environment in which to carry on our respective enterprises. This helps maintain the value of the complex as well as attract clientele and other prospective owners/tenants.
Assistance about maintenance matters or to report excess trash or discarded items in an around RVOP dumpsters should be reported to the RVOP Board member responsible for RVOP maintenance, Gregg White, 703-913-8501.
Face lift for RVOP sign
RVOP will soon have a refurbished sign. The “Rolling Valley Office Park” sign at the intersection of Shiplett Boulevard and Old Keene Mill Road, has become faded over the years. Much of its acrylic surface is chipped and the lights inside the sign stopped working long ago. The sign, however, has served the community well, in its current configuration for over 25 years.
RVOP Board member Gregg White, has been working the project with “FastSigns,” the contractor selected for the refurbishing job. FastSigns will design and recreate the layout, essentially following the original acrylic, double-sided panel design, using the original/same paint color mix. The existing florescent light fixture will be upgraded to LED lights, with a new 1800-watt light control photocell. The sign housing, the “light box,” will be repaired and repainted.
FastSigns will provide proofs for review and approval by the Board before the middle of March, 2022. If all goes as planned, the refurbished sign should be finished by April 1, 2022. Total cost of the project is $4,118.41.
Virginia Eyecare Center to Expand
The Virginia Eyecare Center, a Rolling Valley Office Park medical facility, which has operated within RVOP for more than 20 years, is expanding its footprint, adding more than 1,400 square feet to its eye care facility. When finished, Virginia Eyecare Center will occupy more than 5,000 square feet of space, including the second and third levels of the functional equivalent of three complete, two-level RVOP units, all facing Old Keene Mill Road.
Virginia Eyecare Center recently acquired 9316D Old Keene Mill Road. The center will be expanded by connecting 9316D on both the upper and lower levels to the existing eye care facility.
The RVOP Board of Directors has worked very closely with the Virginia Eyecare Center to assist and assure full compliance with Article 5, Section 5.7 of the RVOP By Laws, Additions, Alterations or Improvements by the Unit Owners, which governs certain aspects of the expansion project, and in part, states, “No doorways or other apertures or alterations in a common element bearing wall shall (a) impair the structural integrity of any structure or portion of the Condominium, (b) otherwise lessen the support of any structure or portion of the Condominium, (c) weaken or endanger any portion of the Condominium, or (d) change the exterior appearance of any unit or any other portion of the Condominium.”
The Virginia Eyecare Center expansion project requires construction of a new doorway/aperture between the units involved. The project also affects the structural integrity of the building and, unless properly designed and constructed, could weaken or endanger a portion of the RVOP 9310-9318 building. The contractor selected by the Virginia Eyecare Center to undertake the project is The Korth Companies Inc., a full-service general contractor, which has operated in the Greater Washington Area since 1982.
Initial construction on the project begins on February 21, 2022, with the build out of the recently acquired 9316D two-level unit. Work on the structural aspects of the project is pending final approval of the design plans, the structural engineer’s report and final issuance of Fairfax County building permits.
RVOP Board member, Gregg White, has been the point of contact for the Board in assuring compliance with Article 5 of the RVOP By Laws. Virginia Eyecare Center will send notices to units potentially affected by the construction and has assured the Board that its contractor’s workers will make concerted efforts to minimize disruptive activity during the project.
The project will take approximately 14 weeks to finish.
RVOP near to mid-term financial picture
The RVOP Board of Directors has optimistically noted the RVOP favorable financial situation for the year ending December 31, 2021, and for the immediate to mid-term future. At the January 20, 2022, RVOP Board of Directors meeting, the Board approved the RVOP five-year budget for 2022-2026. This optimistic outlook must be largely attributed to the facts of quarterly RVOP assessment increases, three times since 2018, two special assessments levied in 2018 and 2019, and to the 2020 Board of Directors approval of annual 5% increase in assessments, effective each January, through 2026.
The recently approved RVOP budget projects between $42,000 and $73,000 addition to reserves over the budget period. The addition to reserves each year is calculated as cash-on-hand at the end of each calendar year, minus three months operating reserves, $10,000. For example, end of year cash-on-hand 2021 was $52,580.72, when reduced by $10,000, this allows an addition to reserves of $42,580.72, to be added to very small 2020 carry-over reserve balance.
Reserve account demands in next several years have been mitigated by 2018-2021 roof replacements on all three RVOP buildings, including $59,201.79 for roof replacements on Building 9308 and the 9310-9318 Building in December 2020 and June 2021.
The 2022-2026 approved budget will allow for some necessary repairs to the parking areas in 2022, with a projected, complete, parking lot resurfacing in approximately 2024-2025. In addition, in 2022 your Board of Directors is planning for upgrade and replacement of much of the outdoor lighting in and around the RVOP courtyard area and stairs. A refurbishing of the RVOP sign at the corner of Old Keene Mill Road and Shiplett Boulevard is also planned for 2022.
Notwithstanding optimism and the best made plans, unexpected, major expenses, such as excessive snow removal requirements and recurring water-intrusion repairs could adversely impact the RVOP five-year budget levels, cause a delay in planning capital improvements, and even force additional increases in assessments and/or levies of special assessment(s).
RVOP 2021 News and Reminders
October 26, 2021
Rolling Valley Office Park General Membership Annual Meeting
The annual membership meeting was called to order at 1830 hrs. via zoom conference call. It was chaired by Lloyd Martin at 9316 Old Keene Mill Rd., Suite A. Board members attending were Lloyd Martin, Anne Meccariello, Naveed Qureshi, Gregg White, Debbie Moreau, Linda Bobb, Homa Puga and Martin Schuh. Owners Howard Birmiel and Travis White also attended via zoom.
Roll Call/Proof of Quorum: L. Martin and M. Schuh confirmed that members present and proxies obtained represented ownership of more than 33 1/3 % of the complex (56.82). Proof of Notice of Meeting: Provided by Lloyd Martin.
Reading of previous Annual Meeting Minutes: Copies of the minutes were available and read by all. Motion to accept by D. Moreau, 2ndby H. Puga; all approved.
Report of Officers:Lloyd Martin’s President’s Report began with recognition and appreciation of all the work Gregg White, as the point of contact for repair and maintenance issues, has been doing on behalf of the Association. This includes overseeing roof and gutter replacement, water intrusion issues, replacing alcove lighting, restriping the parking lot and interfacing with contractors. Gregg has given generously of his time to see that the complex is being well-cared for. L. Martin went on to reference the value of these efforts (roof replacement, gutter & downspout replacement, dealing with maintenance and repair issues) towards maintaining the appearance and functional operations of the complex. The rest of the BOD agreed and joined in thanking Gregg for his investment of time and energy. L. Martin also referenced the significant savings in premiums due to the switch in insurance providers (from Allstate to The Hartford). He also referenced the planned expansion by Virginia Eyecare into the adjacent upper two floors of 9316. Lastly, he referenced the projected budget (to be discussed in the following BOD meeting) while noting that the cash on hand situation is much improved from last year.
The Treasurer’s Report was prepared and presented by L. Bobb. As of 10/23 the current balance of funds available was around $46,000 with receivables of $18,251 and having one account past due. Finally, clarification was made concerning the miscellaneous account as being that account used when expenses came in from entities that did not have a vendor account established in the system. There is the possibility that the outstanding account may need a lien filed in the future.
The Grounds/Architectural report was provided by G. White and M. Schuh. G. White noted that there is an electrical issue causing the lighting in the courtyard area to not work. A contractor is being contacted to come and repair the issue. M. Schuh commented that the landscaping company appears to be working well. He also mentioned the possibility of adding a few more plants in front of the building that faces Shiplett Blvd. when the current water intrusion work is completed.
New Business: --Projected Budget: L. Martin introduced a proposed five-year budget that includes a 5% increase in expenses and a previously-agreed-upon 5% increase in dues. Discussion centered around shifting some “monthly maintenance” funds to “miscellaneous expenses,” given that a contractor is no longer paid on a monthly basis. The budget will be discussed and approved at the January 2022 Board of Directors meeting.
Board of Directors: At this time Homa Puga and Martin Schuh have finished their three-year terms on the Board. Both have agreed to continue on the Board in their respective positions. Motion to accept by acclamation of all present.
Adjournment: Motion to adjourn at 1900 hrs. by A. Meccariello, 2nd by G. White; all approved
Martin G. Schuh, Secretary
September 25, 2021
RVOP annual general membership meeting to be held , Monday, October 25, 2021, 6:30 PM
Pursuant to Article II, Section 2.5, of the Bylaws of Dominion Green Office Condominium, D/B/A Rolling Valley Office Park (RVOP), the ANNUAL MEETING of RVOP Unit Owners Association will be held Monday, October 25, 2021 at 6:30 PM (registration of owners and proxies to begin at 6:00 PM) for the purpose of electing members of the RVOP Board of Directors and conducting such other business of the Unit Owners Association as may properly come before the assembly. The October 2021 monthly meeting of the RVOP Board of Directors will be held immediately after the annual membership meeting. Attendees at the annual meeting are invited to remain connected to the Zoom link for the RVOP Board of Directors meeting.
Two Board of Director positions will be filed at the meeting for those Directors whose terms expire at the annual meeting, Martin Schuh, Secretary and Home Puga, Assistant Secretary.
Due to constraints from the Covid-19 pandemic both the annual meeting and the directors meeting immediately thereafter will be conducted via a Zoom platform.
Questions regarding Zoom and for an invitation to the Zoom meeting contact Board member Gregg White at 703-913-8501, and he will send you a link to the meeting.
Proxy forms were mailed to all unit owners with the September 2021 invoices. Additional proxy forms are available from Lloyd Martin, 703-584-7744, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Latest maintenance activity within RVOP
In the past couple of months, there have been completed several maintenance and improvement projects within RVOP. Much of the credit for completing and supervising these projects belongs to Gregg White, the RVOP Board member responsible for overseeing maintenance activities within RVOP, a job to which he has devoted a herculean effort!
The re-roofing of the 9310-9318 building has been completed by Peak Roofing Contractors. Along with the re-roofing of 9310-9318, Peak also replaced the gutters and downspouts on 9310-9318, repaired recent damage to the 9300-9306 building roof and added a gutter guard system to both buildings.
The 9310-9818 building required replacement of 123 sheets of plywood, a rather substantial replacement of the underlayment to the 9310-9318 roof. The damaged plywood was old and substandard FRT plywood from the 1980s. Peak also replaced plywood and shingles on 9300-9306 and removed old satellite dishes from the building roof. All roofs, gutters and downspouts on all three RVOP buildings have now been replaced within the past three years.
Water intrusion issues continue to persist within RVOP. At this time, it appears that most if not all of the known problems have been fixed, or are under remediation, with only moderate added expenses. None of the extensive excavation and added expenses associated with excavation have been needed. Nevertheless, there remain a number of units within RVOP that are partially below-grade and potentially vulnerable to water intrusion, so it is entirely reasonable to assume that RVOP will face more problems of water intrusion into those units in the years to come.
The RVOP parking areas continue to be a target of the RVOP Board of Directors considerations for necessary action. Pot-hole patches in the past couple of years all seem to have remained largely intact, but it will be necessary to resurface the entire parking area within the next one to three years. In the meantime, thanks to the volunteer effort of Gregg White, re-striping of the parking lots has been completed, except for adding a handicapped parking logo in a couple of places. To complete the re-striping job, RVOP purchased paint and a Striping Line Marking Machine and Gregg personally completed lining of all the spaces.
Fortunately, the assessment increases and the special assessments within RVOP in the past two years have allowed a sufficient accumulation of reserve funds that we have adequately sustained the expenses of the roof work and water intrusion projects. In the absence of any further unexpected, and significant, demands on RVOP revenues, our reserves will continue to grow and the possibility of increased or special assessments in the near to mid-term should remain minimal.
Use of RVOP dumpsters
The RVOP Board of Directors wishes to address the recurring problem within our office complex of misuse of our dumpsters. Persons from outside RVOP and even some RVOP members and/or tenants have been using the RVOP trash and recycling dumpsters for trash and refuse hauled in from home or off-site activity. Please note that the trash service provided by RVOP is paid from members’ assessments and is intended only for refuse and recycling material generated in the normal course of business within the RVOP complex.
Owners and tenants are requested to not bring trash from home or other sources (e.g., work sites) and deposit in RVOP dumpsters. For example, if you are cleaning or providing some other type of service for a homeowner or business, please your host’s trash disposal service. Another trash problem is that larger items, such as unwanted furniture, appliances and building materials are being left next to the trash dumpster. These should be taken directly to the Fairfax County waste management sites at either the Lorton or I-66 locations or contracted for disposal at your expense, not left for of the Association to incur the burden of removal and the incidental added expense of such removal. When such additional material and miscellaneous items are left by the RVOP dumpsters, their removal results in additional fees to RVOP, which fees must be passed on to owners in their quarterly Association fees.
The RVOP Board endeavors to maintain the RVOP complex in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Excess trash in and around dumpsters is detrimental to that effort, both in terms of affecting Association assessments and individual unit property values.
Your Board requests that if you see someone from outside the RVOP complex intending to use either of our dumpsters, please ask them to respect you, as an owner or occupant of RVOP and the other members of the RVOP complex, by disposing their material in an appropriate manner elsewhere. And if you, as an owner or tenant, have unwanted furniture, appliances and/or building materials to be discarded, please make your own separate arrangements for disposal of those items, and do not place those items by the RVOP dumpsters. As always, the Board appreciates your cooperation and assistance in helping maintain RVOP’s attractiveness and making it a pleasant environment in which to carry on our respective enterprises. This helps maintain the value of the complex as well as attract clientele and other prospective owners/tenants.
Assistance about maintenance matters or to report excess trash or discarded items in an around RVOP dumpsters should be reported to the RVOP Board member responsible for RVOP maintenance, Gregg White, 703-913-8501, GWhite@LCD-Inc.com.
Will the RVOP water intrusion problems ever end?
The owners of 9304B and 9304C Old Keene Mill Road, recently reported a substantial intrusion of water from under the cinder block walls at the rear of their offices and the appearance of significant dampness on large portions of the cinder block walls.
Units 9304B and 9304C are adjacent lower-level units, with their front entrance facing the RVOP courtyard, and which are owned and occupied by the same business. The rear of the units is below grade, on the Shiplett side of the RVOP 9300-9306 building. These units are in the same area that was affected by significant water intrusion problems in the years leading up 2018-2019. In 2019 RVOP, at the expense of nearly $80,000.00, undertook two waterproofing contacts for the below grade units of the 9300-9306 building.
One contract involved excavation of the area outside the problem units, to a depth of 15" and the application of exterior-wall waterproofing and the construction of an improved drainage system. The other contract involved working on the interior of the affected unit, drilling through the block wall, filling the hollow cores of the cinder blocks with a substance known as “bentogrout,” and injecting the grout through the block wall to form a grout curtain at the exterior between the wall and soil to prevent moisture from leaking through.
The two 2019 waterproofing contracts were successful in stopping the water intrusion from the then-know areas where water was leaking into the units. The current problem seems to be different from the water intrusion sources addressed in 2019. In those cases, water was coming from the outside and then into the units. In the present problem, water seems to be intruding from below the cinder block walls, into the affected units.
Gregg White, the RVOP Board member responsible for maintenance issues, investigated the current water intrusion issue, securing the advice of three difference contractors, each with different approaches. After substantial review and study, Gregg recommended, and at the May 2021 monthly meeting of the Board, the RVOP Board of Directors approved, a contract proposal from ‘58 Foundations, a national company in business since 1958.
The ‘58 Foundations contract calls for a new waterproofing system with a new sump pump, in which the contractor will: (i) remove a section of the concrete slab adjacent to the problem walls; (ii) excavate a trench at a specified pitch to establish the direction of water flow; (iii) drill weep holes in the bottom course of block to drain water form the walls into the system; (iv) install linear feet of sub slab drainage system to catch and direct the water below the slab level; (v) install a “Footer Shield” barrier mechanically fastened and sealed to the foundation wall; (vi) install a cast iron and stainless steel 3/4 HP sump pump; and, (vii) extend the discharge line from the foundation to a pop-up emitter.
The ‘58 Foundations system carries a life-of-structure warranty. Work is expected to begin and be completed during June 2021. Total cost of the contract is $7,998.00.
RVOP Board of Directors Approves Re-Roofing 9310-9318 Building
At an ad hoc meeting in mid-April, 2021, the RVOP Board of Directors approved a project to replace the roof on the RVOP 9310-9318 building. The necessity for re-roofing 9310-9318 ensued from several recent inspections which found dangerous soft spots in the roof underlaying plywood and several areas of damaged and/or missing shingles.
The currently scheduled dates for the project are the weekend of June 19-20. The re-roofing project will necessarily present a number of hazards to persons and vehicles, so owners and occupants of the units in the 9310-9318 building should plan to not use the driveway or parking spaces bordering Old Keene Mill Road during the weekend of June 19-20.
Peak will be delivering supplies on Friday the 18th. A large truck with a crane will need to be in front of the 9310-9318 building for about an hour or two on Friday, June 18th, to load the shingles onto the roof. The driveway area of the parking lot in front of the 9310-9318 building will need to be clear during the time the truck delivers the materials and all day on the days of the roof installation. Peak will bring a trailer to haul away all the job debris during the time of the installation. The roofing Crew arrival time will be between 7:00 and 7:30 AM the morning of June 19th.
The roof was replaced on the RVOP 9308 building in December 2020 by Peak Roofing Contractors, Inc. The 9300-9306 building had a complete roof replacement in 2018, done by PMC Contracting LLC.Because of the Board of Directors complete satisfaction with Peak contract work on the 9308 building, the Board elected to again contract with Peak for the 9310-9318 roof replacement. The total cost for the Peak contract is $37,780.00, to be paid in three separate installments, the first upon signing the contract of $18,890.00, and two additional equal installments of $9,445.00 each, 30 and 60 days each respectively after completion of the project.
The Peak contract price includes the first 10 sheets of ½" plywood replacement. Following the re-roofing of 9310-9318, it will be necessary to have all the gutters and downspouts on the building replaced. The current gutters and downspouts are substandard for the building size and will be replaced with 6" gutters and 3"x4" downspouts. The Board will review this project at its May 2021 meeting. Total cost of gutter and downspout replacement will be approximately $10,000.00, with approval depending on availability of funds and budgetary constraints.
RVOP Financial Status Update
In February 2020 it was reported in these spaces that, "After the very difficult and stressful financial demands of 2018 and 2019, coupled with . . . large increases in RVOP assessments . . . (and) two special assessments . . . RVOP has begun to recover from the 2018-2019 financial crisis."
RVOP owners all favorably responded to the 2019 multiple assessment increases and now, as of the end of 2020, RVOP is finally well on the road to financial recovery. The year-end analysis of the RVOP budget vs. expenses shows year-end net operating income over expenses of $60,359.43. Compare this to 2019 year-end net operating income of MINUS $19,871.98. See RVOP 2020 Budget vs. Expenses Report here.
Because of the RVOP financial success of 2020, the RVOP Board of Directors has issued an updated budget for the for the five-year period, 2021-2025. This budget contemplates an annual 5% increase in expenses, while projecting NO increases in assessments during that same period.
However, any unexpected expenses such as experienced in 2018 and 2019 could force an increase in assessments.
The budget also projects, beginning this year, 2021, an annual contribution to RVOP reserves of $30,000 within the currently projected assessment levels. Without unexpected major expenses, the annual ensuing increase in accumulated reserves may allow adequate reserve funding for roof replacement for the 9310-9318 building and major parking area repairs, such as resurfacing and re-striping, all needed in the next few years. Caution demands, however, optimism about avoiding other major and unexpected expenses during the 2021-2025 period.
RVOP 2020 News and Reminders
RVOP Insurance Carrier Allstate to be Replaced by The Hartford Insurance Company
Early in 2020, the RVOP Board of Directors began discussions on the possibility of replacing the Allstate RVOP insurance coverage with a different insurance carrier. RVOP insurance includes commercial property damage and general liability, crime and fidelity coverage, directors and officers liability insurance, terrorism risk coverage and an umbrella policy. Allstate has provided all insurance coverage to RVOP for several years; however, the Allstate premiums have increased by over 125% in the past ten or so years. The premium proposed by Allstate RVOP 2021 insurance has increased to $25,577.
Allstate has provided outstanding support over the years to RVOP and its response to RVOP claims has always been fair and prompt. However, it is impossible to justify continuing with Allstate given such a significant increase in Allstate's premium. Accordingly, the Board of Directors began requesting bids from other insurance carriers in July 2020. Invitations to bid were made to at least eight carriers. A few declined to bid. However, in addition to Allstate, RVOP received proposals for its insurance from three other carriers, all of which provided bids at less than half the Allstate proposal.
Four proposals for the RVOP insurance package were reviewed by the Board of Directors. Significant assistance in review and evaluation of the proposals was provided to the Board by Travis White, now retired RVOP Allstate agent and retired member of the RVOP Board of Directors, having served as RVOP Treasurer of over 10 years. All proposals, after review and some re-submissions, were quite similar in the scope of proposed coverage. Allstate quoted $25,577; The Hartford quoted $10,018, with a discount to $9,159 if paid in one installment; Hanover quoted $9,702; and, Nationwide quoted $10,380. A comparison chart of the proposals may be viewed here.
At the November 2020 monthly RVOP Board of Directors meeting, the Board accepted the proposal of The Hartford, submitted by the Jack Braddon Insurance Agency, 5201B Lyngate Court, Burke, VA 22015. The Allstate policies expire December 31, 2020. The Hartford coverage will begin January 1, 2021.
RVOP Board of Directors Approves Re-Roofing 9308 Building
At its October 2020 monthly meeting, the RVOP Board of Directors approved a project to re-roof the RVOP 9308 Building. This ensued from a regularly scheduled semi-annual roof inspection of all three RVOP buildings. The inspection revealed the need for repairs to both the 9308 building and the 9310-9318 building. The roof of 9300-9308 was completely replaced in 2018.
The inspection further disclosed the need to replace the 9308 building roof was "urgent," while the condition of the 9310-9318 building is such that a roof replacement may probably be deferred for a year or two, subject, of course, to weather conditions.
The Board of Directors, with the assistance of Engineering and Technical Consultants, Inc., and with significant input and guidance from board member Gregg White, reviewed bids from six separate roofing contractors. Surprisingly, bid prices ranged from a low of $8,900 to a high of $20,000. Each bid was examined in detail. Three of the contractors submitted revised bids to accommodate a refinement in the RVOP desired scope of work.
Following the reviews of the proposals and discussions, the RVOP Board of Directors accepted the bid from Peak Roofing Contractors Inc. The scope of the work to be performed by Peak is covered in two contracts. The main contract is for roof replacement at a cost of $8,984, although this could increase if sheathing replacements are required. A separate contract covers replacement of the substandard gutters and downspouts with larger 6" gutters and 3"x4" downspouts, at a cost of $1,990.
A copy of the Peak contracts may be viewed by clicking here. Materials will be delivered on December 21, 2020; roof work is scheduled for December 22, 2020; and, gutters and downspouts are scheduled to be replaced on December 23, 2020.
More information about Peak Roofing Contractors Inc. is available at peakroofingcontractors.com.
Minutes of the RVOP Annual General Membership Meeting, 10/26/20
The annual membership meeting was called to order at 1832 hrs. via zoom conference call. It was chaired by Lloyd Martin at 9316 Old Keene Mill Rd., Suite A. Board members attending were Lloyd Martin, Anne Meccariello, Naveed Qureshi, Gregg White, Debbie Moreau, Linda Bobb and Martin Schuh. Homa Puga joined at 1848. Owners Howard Birmiel and Travis White also attended via zoom.
Roll Call/Proof of Quorum:
L. Martin and M. Schuh confirmed that members present and proxies obtained represented ownership of more than 33 1/3 % of the complex (44.73%).
Proof of Notice of Meeting: Provided by Lloyd Martin.
Reading of previous Annual Meeting Minutes:
Copies of the minutes were available and read by all. Motion to accept by L. Bobb, 2nd by A. Meccariello; all approved.
Report of Officers:
Lloyd Martin’s President’s Report included a note of optimism as the financial constraints encountered over the past few years have improved with the increased fees instituted previously and the very mild winter this past year. The snow removal contract with Suburban Concrete was reviewed and will continue for another year. Expenses for repairs have been relatively modest as the stairwell lights have been repaired and other relatively minor items were addressed such as having the storm drain cleaned out, per citation from Fairfax County. Other relevant items include L. Martin having solicited bids for property insurance from several other companies since our current Allstate policy is around 25K. The other bids are about half that amount. PMC has completed an annual roofing inspection and is recommending immediate roof replacement for 9308 and near future replacement for the 9310-9318 building. Verizon Fios has finally been fully installed and available to all the units in the complex. It is unclear how many businesses have signed up for service. Lastly, the association website has periodic postings listed to inform interested owners and tenants about association activities.
The Treasurer’s Report was prepared and presented by L. Bobb. As of 10/22 the current balance of funds available was $79,679.70 with receivables of $17,512.82 from current and past dues. N. Shull is continuing to follow up with these accounts. The Treasurer presented to the group a report of RVOP budget vs expenses 10/01/2019 to 09/30/2020 and a report of expenses by vendor for the same period. The Grounds/Architectural report was provided by M. Schuh. He stated that the new contract with Lancaster was in place and that their work appears satisfactory.
There was some initial concern last fall concerning leaf removal but that was resolved and their work since then has been fine. There was some minor plant replacement in an area that was excavated for water repair. No new plant replacement is currently considered. The ground cover junipers near the rear wall are thinning out and that area will continue to transition into a mulch only area.
L. Martin also gave a brief Architectural noting that issues with signage continue to surface and that these are typically addressed on a case by case basis per association by-laws.
Board of Directors: At this time Debbie Moreau and Linda Bobb have finished their three-year terms on the Board. Both of these ladies have agreed to continue on the Board in their respective positions. Motion to accept by acclamation of all present. List of current Board members may be viewed here.
Motion to adjourn at 1857 hrs. by L. Bobb, 2nd by N. Qureshi; all approved
Martin G. Schuh, Secretary
2020 Annual Meeting of RVOP Unit Owners Announced
The 2020 Rolling Valley Office Park annual membership meeting will be held on Monday, October 26, 2020, at 6:30 PM, with the monthly meeting of the RVOP Board of Directors following immediately thereafter.
Due to the constraints of the Covid-19 pandemic, both the annual meeting and the directors meeting will be conducted via a Zoom platform. Full details of the meetings, include Meeting Identification and Passcode are included in the announcement mailed to all owners on September 29, 2020, along with the invoices for the 4th quarter 2020 assessments. All unit owners are encouraged to attend. If you cannot attend, please complete the proxy and return it to a Board member or send it with your assessment payment.
Verizon FiOS is Finally Ready for Service in RVOP
Now that the conduit system has been completed, Verizon FiOS has begun distributing internet fliers to RVOP addresses and again for FiOS service orders. Within RVOP Verizon has a assigned contractor representative to take orders for service. You may be able to save time and money on the service if you go through the RVOP representative:
Gregg White, Leading Communications Design, Inc. 9308 Old Keene Mill Rd. Burke, VA. 22015,(703) 644-5400 Main – Extension 501, (703) 913-8501 One Number Direct Access (703) 913-3313 Fax, www.LCD-Inc.com
Another Verizon FiOS Update
After many months of delay, it appears that Verizon is finally in the finishing stages of provided Verizon FiOS service to RVOP offices. The most recent delay was caused by the inability of the Verizon contractor to secure accurate information about the locations of the current underground cables and wiring within RVOP. Normally, a company known as “Miss Utility” provides all requesters with the service of marking the locations of those underground lines. Unfortunately, Miss Utility was unable to provide and accurate and complete marking service to the Verizon contract for RVOP property. Miss Utility has limited records for RVOP’s privately owned underground lines.
Accordingly, Verizon contractors have been unable to proceed with machine digging and, therefore, because of the high risk of damaging existing lines, the contractor, on June 23rd, began hand digging to complete the job. It is expected that the digging contractor will complete its work within a week, or before July 1, 2020.
Once complete, there will be three more steps to completing the FiOS service connections. First, the fiber cables must be pulled though the new underground paths to the existing building terminals. Next the fiber cables must be joined with those already installed in the cable trays on the courtyard sides of RVOP buildings. Finally, Verizon must complete then the final step of “database reconciliation.”
Verizon cannot currently provide an accurate estimate of the completion date for these final steps. However, once the digging crew work is completed, the contractor will inquire about the completion of the remaining steps and then provide estimated completion date for finally bring Verizon FiOS service to RVOP offices.
Verizon FiOS Update
Verizon, though its authorized vendor, NX Utilities, is finally taking the next step in providing Verizon fiber-optic service to RVOP.
NX Utilities will begin working on Monday, March 30 and should finish by Wednesday, April 1, with the current phase of installation. For this phase NX Utilities will install metal molding on the exterior of RVOP buildings which will eventually be used as the pathways for the fiber-optic cable that will replace the old Verison copper service phone lines.
This work is an important step in the protracted Verizon effort to provide fiber-optic service to RVOP. The service cannot yet be offered, but this phase at least moves Verizon closer to providing the service to those owners and/or tenants with wish to utilize Verizon FiOS.
For questions about the FiOS service, you may call 1-888-438-3467.
RVOP Financial Status Update
After the very difficult and stressful financial demands of 2018 and 2019, coupled with the unexpectedly large increases in RVOP assessments, along with the two special assessments in 2019, your Board of Directors is cautiously reporting that RVOP has begun to recover from the 2018-2019 financial crisis.
As reported in October, much of the RVOP infrastructure requires attention. The roofs on two of our buildings, 9310-9318 and 9308, will require significant repair and possible replacement within the next 2-5 years. Our parking areas are due for resurfacing and restriping in next 2-3 years. The 2018 and 2019 dues increases and special assessments were instituted with the goal of sufficiently replenishing the RVOP capital reserve accounts to meet the anticipated financial demands ensuing from those essential capital projects.
During most of 2018 and 2019, because of the unexpected and significant repair and replacement demands, RVOP funds on hand were overly taxed. The RVOP long-term reserve accounts were simply inadequate to meet those demands. Prior to 2016, RVOP assessments generally remained unreasonably low, and thus insufficient to allow accumulation of adequate long-term capital reserves.
Often during 2019 it was necessary to defer payment of the invoices for those unexpected and significant projects. Unfortunately, had we not kept our assessment so low, RVOP finances would have been better able to cope with those financial demands. However, the cautious good news is, that as of the February 2020 Board of Directors meeting, RVOP cash-on-hand has finally begun to grow, and all invoices, small and large, have been paid and all accounts payable are current.
The excess on hand is relatively small when compared to demands over the next 2-5 years. In our five-year budget approved last year, after the 2019 dues increases and special assessment, we had expected to end 2019 with a $20,880.00 deficit. Instead, we ended the year almost even, and as of February 18, 2020, we have $30,159.02 net income. Obviously, much of the available cash must be used to meet expenses over the next month or two, until we begin to receive income from the second quarter assessments. Nevertheless, unless we have some extraordinary and unexpected expenses during that time, such as a Nor'easter, requiring significant snow-removal expenses, our reserve funds could be on the way to "good health."
Our optimism must remain tempered by the notion that if RVOP encounters any expenses significantly outside our budget, it would be necessary to revisit the uncomfortable idea of another dues increase or special assessment.
2015-2019 New and Reminders
2019 RVOP General Membership Meeting Report
The RVOP annual membership meeting was held on October 21, 2019, at 9316 Old Keene Mill Rd., Suite A. Board members present were Lloyd Martin, Homa Puga, Debbie Moreau, Linda Bobb and Martin Schuh. Howard Birmiel, Chris Rogers and Gregg White were present as RVOP unit owners. The Secretary's quorum call showed that members present, in person and by proxy, represented 50.55% of RVOP unit ownership (33 1/3 is required for a quorum).
The first order of business after the quorum call was the President's report. The President first reported on the 2019 project to address water leaking into various units in the 9300-9306 building. The project involved several water intrusion contracts, in various stages, the aggregate cost of which was approximately $135,000 for direct contract work, county permitting and materials paid primarily to two contractors, PMC Construction LLC and Superior Grouting Services, Inc. Another contractor, Arctic Sun Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., was paid approximately $5,000 for removal, storage and re-installation of HVAC equipment which needed to be moved to allow for excavation the work. RVOP also paid approximately $16,000 to Engineering and Technical Consultants, Inc., for engineer design and preparation of contract specifications, and planning, inspection and oversight of the contract performances.
The first two stages of the water intrusion project required excavation of a sizable area in front of the 9300-9306 building and removal and replacement of large areas of concrete in the same area. A significant part of this project involved destruction of the concrete entrance to the 9304 units and building a temporary entrance "bridge" for daily use over the excavated area. These stages of the project required excavating to a 12-foot depth and installing new below-grade waterproofing and new composite drainage board, along with necessary repair and replacement of damaged mortar joints and cracked CMU (i.e., concrete masonry units, or blocks).
For the third stage, the contractor utilized a grout injection system, which involved first drilling holes into the interior side of the CMU and injecting bento grout to fill all hollow spaces within the CMU. Bento grout is a blend of bentonite and polymers specifically formulated for sealing water leaks in existing below-grade structures. Next the contractor drilled several port holes through the CMU and pumped the bento grout through each port hole, to the exterior of the below-grade wall, where the grout expanded and solidified to form a waterproof barrier. This was repeated a sufficient number of times for the spreading grout to cover as nearly as possible the entire below-grade wall area.
This third contract stage also required filling an estimated 6' x 10' x 4' washout area under the concrete entrance to the 9302 units. A non-shrink (NS) grout, a formula designed for use where high strength and positive expansion characteristics are required, was used to fill the washout. The contractor drilled several port holes through the slab and injected NS grout through each port hole, filling the washout area until full communication was realized between each port hole.
The final stage of the overall water intrusion project involved replacement of all substandard gutters, downspouts and water control boxes on the 9300-9306 building. The original material, which was designed for residential use, was replaced with larger capacity commercial-grade gutters, downspouts and water control boxes. Substantial portions of existing substandard underground drainpipe were also replaced with 4-inch perforated PVC drainpipe. This was required along the top of building footing. The contractor also cleared and/or the replaced drainage pipes which run under the sidewalk adjacent to the 9300-9306 building.
Next the President reported on the progress of Verizon’s three-year effort to bring fiber-optic (FiOS) communications services to RVOP. This has been an intermittent effort on the part of Verizon as their engineers worked on plans and Verizon crews installed fiber optic cables to terminus points next to the three RVOP buildings. Then, no more work occurred for nearly two years. Finally in August, Verizon presented the design-detail agreement to RVOP, which was promptly signed. This agreement permits Verizon to complete cable runs from the various ground terminus points to building-mounted transition boxes, from where cable can then be installed to penetrate the outside walls on RVOP buildings at various points to then, finally, bring FiOS service to individual units.
The President and Treasurer then presented the recently completed and approved RVOP budget for 2020-2024 and discussed details of the various extraordinary expenses that RVOP has incurred over the last year which necessitated two increases in quarterly condominium dues and levy of two special assessments.
The Treasurer reported that given the unanticipated 2019 expenses, and after review of outstanding invoices, RVOP has a current cash shortage of $8,000. However, $44,200 is expected from quarterly dues by the end of October, 2019. An additional $14,600, due from the earlier special assessments, is expected by the end of January, 2020. With the recent increase in dues and new special assessment, the Treasurer stated that one may be cautiously optimistic that funds will be sufficient to meet all obligations into next year.
The President opined that a fair analysis of the RVOP income and expense picture for all years up to and including 2016 is that the RVOP budget (i.e., assessment levels) failed to provide for sufficient reserve funds to meet major expenses, such as roof and parking lot replacements. Under the revised 2020-2024 budget, the Board's goal is to re-build the depleted reserves to the level of $120,000 to $140,000 within five years. However, that goal can only be achieved if RVOP expenses remain within budgeted levels, with few expenses exceeding those budget levels during the 2020-2024 period. Much of RVOP aging infrastructure requires attention, so expenses outside budget levels are practically inevitable. Therefore, it is likely that current assessment levels will be insufficient and it may be necessary to again increase dues for 2020 and beyond in order to meet the desired level of reserves.
Marty Schuh, presented the Grounds/Architectural report. Marty stated that the new contract with Lancaster was in place and that follow-up contact is being made regarding trimming tree branches, which hopefully will occur in conjunction with fall leaf collection. Marty also said that selective plants were replaced where several had died and where recent excavation was completed. (N.B. Marty voluntarily did much of the planting himself.) More shrub/plant replacement will need to be done along the front of the 9300-9306 building, assuming that no more excavation is necessary.
The meeting concluded with the election of directors for the next year. Click here to review a list of 2019-2020 RVOP Officers and Directors. Click here to read the entire minutes from the 2019 annual meeting.
2019 Annual Meeting October 21, 2019
The 2019 Rolling Valley Office Park annual membership meeting will be held on Monday, October 21, 2019, at 6:30 PM at the office of LLOYD MARTIN PLC, 9316A Old Keene Mill Road. All unit owners are encouraged to attend. If you cannot attend, please complete the proxy and return it to a Board member or send it with your assessment payment.
Click here for notice of the meeting and here for a copy of the proxy.
Memorandum to Rolling Valley Office Park Unit Owners
As you read this memorandum concerning the RVOP serious financial condition, your Board of Directors would like to set the stage by having you imagine the following situation: you have been enjoying life for a number of years, eating a relatively healthy diet and getting reasonable exercise. You have seen doctors as needed and carefully addressed all your typical health issues. Then one day you get this unusual pain and find yourself in the emergency room. You quickly learn that you have major blockage in your arteries, need emergency procedures and that your insurance, though adequate in the past, now leaves you with a large, unexpected bill. Because you value your health, you agree to make the difficult but necessary adjustments to take good care of yourself and to be there for your family. This scenario is very much reflective of our current condition, except that considering the RVOP 2018 financial crisis, this is perhaps more like the second visit to the emergency room.
The RVOP Board of Directors at its February 2019 board meeting approved a 20% increase in annual assessments and a one-time special assessment equal to one-half, or 50% of each member’s annual assessment, to be paid in one lump sum, or prorated over four equal payments paid along with each quarterly assessment.
Those assessment increases were driven by extraordinary and unexpected 2018 expenses and were further predicated on an anticipated expense of about $50,000 for repair-contracts to address the then-known water intrusion problems affecting below-grade units in the RVOP 9300-9306 building. Unfortunately additional, severe, water leaking was discovered in other areas of the 9300-9306 building. All of the contract work has been completed which involved excavation, concrete removal and replacement and repair of foundation wall and mortar joints, installation of new below-grade waterproofing materials, PVC drain lines and a new integrated sump pump system. Some work remains to repair and replenish the interiors of units directly affected by the water leaks.
Our water-intrusion contract repair expenses to date have been $108,765.01, with an additional $56,170.75 required to pay for the balance the ongoing and recently completed contracts for the 9300-9306 building. This year we have had other, less significant and less costly, water intrusion problems in the 9308-9318 building, those expenses being approximately $5,000.
The unexpected scope of the water intrusion problem within RVOP once again has pushed RVOP into a financial crunch. Attached is an analysis of RVOP cash-flow though December 2019. We had expected RVOP reserve funds to have grown to about $40,000 by the end of 2019, following the February assessment increases. Instead, our reserves have once again become exhausted, leaving barely enough total cash on hand to meet the usual monthly expenses and insufficient resources to meet the overall demands on RVOP through December 2019. In short, given our current level of on-hand funds and our projected ordinary expenses and the demand of completing the water intrusion contracts, by the end of 2019 RVOP will have a deficit of from $24,510.52 to $37,497.18, with no reserves for future capital demands.
The current financial crunch is a "cash-flow" problem. However, if we only address the 2019 cash-flow problem RVOP will be unable to meet 2020 demands for ordinary maintenance and, unable to meet our mandated requirements to have sufficient reserves to meet future capital needs, i.e., parking-lot resurfacing, roof replacements. The measures discussed below will not fix the long-term RVOP need for adequate cash reserves to meet future capital needs, so it will no doubt be necessary to re-visit assessment levels during the first and second quarters of 2020.
To meet the immediate, short-term cash flow problem through December 2019, at the September Board meeting, your RVOP Board of Directors considered several options, and, after careful (and painful) review the Board approved the following measures, effective October 1, 2019:
1. Increase RVOP quarterly assessments by 20%, which would generate an additional $25,534 per year.
2. An immediate special assessment, due with the 4th quarter assessments, equal to 25% of each owner’s total annual assessment, which would generate an additional one-time cash influx of approximately $28,168.
In addition to the above, the Board urges unit owners who have not paid in full the February 2019 special assessment to do so NOW. Final installments are not due until first quarter 2020, but as indicated in the enclosed analysis, voluntary early payment is important to meet our cash-flow needs. Unit owners might also consider prepayment of quarterly assessment. For example if a quarterly assessment amount is $555.86, a prepayment of 10 quarters (2½) years would be $5,556.60; 20 quarters (5 years), $11,113.20. Three such 10 quarter prepayments would solve the current RVOP cash-flow problem.
Your additional suggestions are encouraged and you should consider attending the October annual meeting to express any ideas you may have to improved the RVOP financial condition.
Your RVOP Board of Directors appreciates that the substance of this memorandum is indeed unpleasant and may come as a surprise to some. However, the Board wants you to know that it will continue to address and navigate through these and future issues carefully and responsibly.
Verizon FIOS Will Finally Be Here "Soon"
Verizon FIOS is finally coming to Rolling Valley Office Park. After over a year of discussions and planning, Verizon has finally submitted to the RVOP Board of Directors its proposal for completing the fiber optic service installation from the current terminus points next to our three buildings within RVOP, to entry points on our three buildings and then for further "penetration" access into the various units.
Verizon began its efforts to bring FIOS to RVOP in February 2017 and finished the first major phase of its installation about a ago when the fiber optic microduct routing was completed to the outside of the RVOP three buildings. Now, finally, once your Board of Directors has signed the current contract proposal from Verizon, then work can begin to route fiber optic cables into the RVOP individual units.
The Verizon network infrastructure upgrade to fiber facilities has been performed at no cost to RVOP or to the RVOP individual owners, occupants or tenants. Any costs associated with bringing the service into any individual unit from the transition boxes to be installed on the three buildings must be negotiated between each individual owner, occupant or tenant and Verizon. However, as a general proposition, Verizon says that existing Verizon RVOP customers may purchase the same service on fiber that they currently receive on copper and at the same price and terms. Others within RVOP who wish to change from existing service providers to Verizon should be able to do so with no or very limited installation expense.
According to Verizon, its existing users within RVOP should see a seamless change to Verizon fiber optic service. For any RVOP unit where a change to Verizon service will be made, Verizon will coordinate the work directly with the existing occupant/customer.
Verizon is offering price guarantees and gift card incentives to its new customers within RVOP. The Verizon business account sales department phone number is 1-877-854-8072.
When It Rains, It Pours -- Water and Money!!
Over the past few months, contractors have been at work repairing the leaking retaining wall in the area of 9304 Old Keene Mill Road. This work has directly affected five different RVOP units, causing significant negative impact on the business activities of all five of those units and further creating various levels of inconvenience to other owners, tenants, customers and visitors.
The extant work involved excavation of a significant portion of the ground along the front of the 9300-9306 building, fully exposing the foundation wall and building footings, removing existing damp-proofing coating and damaged masonry and mortar joints and removal of portions of the sidewalk and one complete concrete entrance-way. After all that, the contractor had to repair the foundation wall and mortar joints, install new below-grade waterproofing materials. install new PVC drain lines and a new integrated sump pump system and, finally, replace the concrete sidewalks and entrance way.
Largely in anticipation of the extra expense involved in these water intrusion contracts, and in response to the extraordinary expenses RVOP encountered in 2018, the RVOP Board of Directors at its February 2019 board meeting approved a 20% increase in annual assessments and a one-time special assessment equal to one-half, or 50% of each members annual assessment, to be paid in one lump sum, or prorated over four equal payments paid along with each quarterly assessment.
Those assessment increases were predicated on an anticipated expense of about $50,000.00 for the water intrusion contract to solve the 9304 problem. However, the contract had to be expanded to a second phase, thereby increasing its cost to approximately $80,000.00. Unfortunately, even with this expanded contract and added expense, not all the water intrusion problems affecting the 9300-9306 below-grade units will be solved. In fact, the owner of 9302C recently reported significant water intrusion into that unit, intrusion covering most of the unit’s below-grade wall.
The RVOP Board of Directors so far has had two evaluations made of the 9302C problem. Both suggest that extensive excavation of the ground outside the back wall, along the same lines needed to address the water intrusion problem in 9304C, is necessary. The overall cost of the 9304C excavation contract will nearly deplete the RVOP available funds. Excavation outside 9302C would likely cost about the same, funds which RVOP simply does not currently have!
In an effort to examine all possible alternatives, an additional contractor has been scheduled to examine the problem in 9302C. This particular contractor will assess whether the repairs can be done from the inside, using a CMU (i.e., concrete masonry unit–or block) injection system to seal the areas of water penetration from inside the CMU and through the CMU to outside the CMU wall. If this approach is feasible, the cost will be considerably less than the expense of exterior excavation. However, a thorough evaluation of the feasibility of the approach must be completed. Whatever the solution/approach, the RVOP Board of Directors must examine all available and possible sources of additional funding if RVOP is to meet these continuing demands for resources.
RVOP Changes Landscape Contractors
Effective April, 2019, the RVOP Board of Directors has switched landscape service providers to Lancaster Landscapes, Inc., under a new 2019-2021 lawn maintenance package contract. The Board of Directors reviewed bids from several contractors before selecting Lancaster.
In deciding to change landscape contractors, the Board critically reviewed the level of service and responsiveness of the previous contractor for the past several years and concluded that both the quality of service and the responsiveness to Board requests were not satisfactory. Bids were received and reviewed from a number of potential contractors. Some of the principals of the interested bidders were interviewed. After consideration, the Board concluded that Lancaster offers the most promising prospect for a future satisfactory service relationship.
Over the next few months the Board of Directors will also be reviewing bid proposals from various snow-removal contractors. Lancaster also provides snow-removal services and will be one of those considered.
The RVOP snow-removal contract for the past two years has been a flat-fee contract, $2,400 per month for five months (November-March), which provided a dedicated crew and guaranteed service from a dedicated crew for all snow events up to an annual snow fall accumulation level of 35". The service from the current contractor has been "spotty" and arguably not up to the Board's expectations of a dedicated crew. The review of contractors for the next season will involve a review of the expected quality of service, and a decision whether a dedicated crew is necessary, or affordable, given RVOPs current budgetary constraints.
Comments from individual unit owners, tenants and occupants are always welcome. You may attend the monthly Board meetings, held on the third Thursday of each month at 8:15 AM at 9316A Old Keene Mill Road. You may also call any board member at any time to provide suggestions or comments about the pending contracts, or any other matter of concern. Board members with phone numbers are listed here.
RVOP Assessment Increase and Special Assessment
The financial outlook for Rolling Valley Office Park, unfortunately, suffered what could be described as a fiscal tsunami for the calendar year 2018. Because of unexpected expenses, owing partially to our aging infrastructure and partially to the unusually wet weather, our 2018 expenses exceeded our income by $74,177.13. The net result of these extraordinary expenses is that the entire RVOP replacement reserve and capital expense account of approximately $75,000 has been depleted, leaving RVOP in peril of being unable to meet future expenses for repairs and capital improvements.
Please click on and see the spread sheet which shows RVOP line item budget to expense comparison for 2018, and includes a projection of income to meet expenses and reserves over the next five years. Also, for comparison purposes, a 2011-2018 table of income to expenses for RVOP may also be viewed.
Insurance Expense: Our annual insurance expense jumped 62.3% over budget. See Line Item 5730, 2018 total $16,052.00 (i.e., $6,052.00 over budget).
Landscape Services: Landscape services expense also increased by 62.6%, due in part to increased demands on the landscaping service company to undertake several landscaping improvement projects. See Line Item 5501, 2018 total $17,577.08 (i.e., $6,577.08 over budget).
Roof Repairs & Maintenance: Because of excessive storm damage, a complete replacement of the roof on the 9300-9306 building was needed, at a total expense of approximately $43,000. We filed an insurance claim for this damage and Allstate paid approximately $26,000, leaving $17,000 uncovered by insurance. Another $10,000 was expended making patches and repairs to buildings 9308 and 9310-9316. See Line Item 5595, total 2018 expense $27,839.29 (i.e., all over budget, $27,839.29).
Common Area Repairs & Services: An electrical service line failed which serviced one of the RVOP units. The original line had been run in conduit underground, beneath concrete stairs and sidewalk. The conduit somehow fractured, filled with water, and the electrical line was compromised causing complete service failure and electrical shortages which destroyed virtually all the electrical equipment in the serviced unit. The overall expense, which included securing Fairfax County permits, architectural drawings, construction for the new conduit, running the new electrical line, replacing the damaged equipment and repairing interior areas damaged by the construction, was approximately $17,000. Also, as part of common area repairs, and in an effort to control and prevent water intrusion into various RVOP units, the substandard gutters, gutter boxes and down spouts on the 9300-9306 building were replaced with larger, commercial-grade gutters and down spouts at a cost of about $13,000. See Line Item 5585, total 2018 expense $29,937.00 ($22,937.00 over budget).
Repairs to Individual Units: RVOP continued to experience pervasive and repeated water intrusion problems affecting many of the courtyard units with below-grade rear walls. Several efforts were made to control/prevent outside water intrusion into these units, including replacement of gutters and down spouts mentioned above. A number of sump pumps and window-well covers were repaired or replaced. Grading was improved to cause water to drain away from the buildings. The combined expenditures for these various improvements and for painting and replacing damaged drywalls, ceilings, carpets and equipment required in the units damaged from exterior water intrusion, was about $13,500. See Line Item 5590, total 2018 expenses $13,839.00 (i.e, $10,987.50 over budget).
Our efforts to control/prevent exterior water intrusion have succeeded for some RVOP units. However, these efforts have not been entirely successful, leading to continued water damage and even mold infestation into other affected units. In an effort to determine the causes of the more severe water intrusion situations within RVOP, the Board of Directors retained services of Engineering and Technical Consultants, Inc. (ETC) an independent engineering and consulting company, to determine the source of the water intrusion, and to provide recommendations for solutions.
The ETC report, which was completed on January 16, 2019, found that water is penetrating through deficiencies in the below-grade damp proofing coating and/or unsealed penetrations in the foundation walls. Accordingly, ETC recommends that a new waterproofing membrane and foundation drain be installed. Implementing ETC recommendations will involve excavation, removal and replacement of concrete sidewalks and pads, and restoration of ground vegetation, all at a cost between $25,000 and $35,000, further exasperating RVOP 2019 budget and expense projections--further analysis shows actual cost to be closer to $50,000.
In order to recover from the 2018-2019 shortfall, the RVOP Board of Directors at its February 2019 board meeting approved a 20% increase in annual assessments and a one-time special assessment equal to one-half, or 50% of each members annual assessment, to be paid in one lump sum, or prorated over four equal payments paid along with each quarterly assessment. Click here to view spreadsheet showing shortfall and projections for the next five years.
The condominium assessments for RVOP for many years have remained relatively low and we have generally avoided the sorts of unexpected expenses incurred in 2018. Compared to other commercial condominium projects in Fairfax County, even after our assessment increase, our condominium dues will remain comparatively modest. Also, the special assessment is the first special assessment in the history of RVOP, and hopefully will be our last, at least for many years to come.
RVOP Water Intrusion Problems
Over the past several years, RVOP has continued to experience pervasive and repeated water intrusion problems affecting several units with below-grade rear walls. The unusually wet weather during 2018 has further exasperated these problems. Over the past two or three years your Board of Directors has undertaken a number of measures designed to limit and prevent water intrusion into affected units.
Several sump pumps have been replaced, numerous window well covers have been repaired or replaced, a variety of grading improvements have been undertaken and gutters and down spouts have been replaced and repaired. In many cases these efforts have eliminated exterior water intrusion into some units. However, these efforts have not been entirely successful, leading to continued water damage and even mold infestation into other affected units.
In an effort to determine the causes of the more severe water intrusion situations within RVOP, your Board of Directors recently retained services of Engineering and Technical Consultants, Inc. (ETC) an independent engineering and consulting company with considerable experience in addressing water intrusion problems, to determine the source of the water intrusion, and to provide recommendations for solutions.
The ETC report was completed on January 16, 2019. Based on ETC’s investigation and the visual observations of ETC engineers, spray testing, sampling and past history with similar projects, it is ETC’s opinion that water is penetrating through deficiencies in the below-grade damp proofing coating and/or unsealed penetrations in the foundation wall. Accordingly, ETC recommends that a new waterproofing membrane and foundation drain be installed along the area where a window well is located.
The ETC recommendations will involve excavation, removal and replacement of concrete sidewalks and pads and restoration of ground vegetation. The estimated overall cost of the ETC recommendations will be between $25,000 and $35,000. The complete ETC report may be viewed by clicking here.
Your Board of Directors will examine the ETC report at its February meeting, on February 21, 2019, at 8:15 AM at 9316A Old Keene Mill Road. The agenda for this meeting will also include discussion of the need to levy a special assessment on all owners to meet the unexpected expenses outlined in the ETC report and to address the extensive unanticipated 2018 expenses. All interested owners and tenants are invited to attend.
Rolling Valley Office Park