Hilltop Homeowners Association, Inc.
Lancaster, PA 17604-4841
Board of Directors 2015

Keith C Miller 471-1388
100 Treetops Drive
President@hilltophoa.com 
2-year Term through 2016
President and Chairperson of Finance

Joseph Samek 898-6327
105 Winding Hill Drive
Vice-President@hilltophoa.com 
2-year Term through 2015
Chairperson of Architecture

Pamela Wise 682-0687
108 Winding Hill Drive
Secretary@hilltophoa.com 
2-year Term through 2015
Chairperson of Compliance

Bonnie Benjamin 898-9113
124 Pinnacle Point Drive
2 year Term through 2016
Chairperson of Media/Hospitality
Media&Hospitality@hilltophoa.com  

Eugene Mummau 598-3040
112 Treetops Drive
2-year Term through 2016
Chairperson of Landscape
Landscape@hilltophoa.com 

Scott Sterner 898-0154
110 Winding Hill Drive
Accountant for the HOA (not Board mbr.)
Accountant@hilltophoa.com 

December 2014 Newsletter

BOARD GETS 5TH MEMBER

The Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Bonnie Benjamin to the Board. She chairs the Hospitality and Media Committee as well as being the webmaster for our new website. She will serve a 2 year term through 2016. This brings the total number of directors to 5, as required by Hilltop’s By-Laws.

Bonnie’s Bio –

Bonnie’s degree is in accounting, a field in which she was active for several years prior to starting a mail-order company in 1986 in California. That company evolved into a manufacturing company with international distribution by 1990. In 2010, she sold the company and moved to Lancaster permanently, having inherited her home in Hilltop in 2005 when her mother (the original owner) passed away. She currently works with her partner, Dr. Scott Saunders, a professional dental writer, doing research on dental and general health issues as well as handling the marketing for a website they are developing.

She brings to the Board her expertise in sales, marketing, writing and design, as well as experience developing websites. She likes living in Hilltop because it is a beautiful, friendly, safe place to live, and wants to make her contribution toward keeping it that way.

MAILING ADDRESS

Hilltop Homeowners Association, Inc.
P O Box 4841
Lancaster, PA 17604-4841

Website: www.hilltophoa.com 

SYNOPSIS OF ANNUAL HOA MEETING – Nov 6, 2014

The meeting was called to order by President, Keith Miller at Four Seasons Golf Club on Monday, November 6, 2014 with more than 55 residents in attendance, most of whom had lived in the neighborhood for more than 10 years. The New board has been working hard in the last 6 months to get up to speed with all the necessary items.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

ARCHITECTURE – Joe Samek, chair: There has been some confusion about what responsibility the HOA has regarding outside maintenance.

Homeowner responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

Obtaining building permits when required
Replacing any rotted wood prior to outside painting

(This team will send out a notice in spring on when deck cleaning and outside painting are scheduled.)

HOA responsibility:

Gutters and downspout repairs (not replacement) – If you have leaks please inform Joe ASAP
Lattice work that has now rotted – originally put in by HOA.
The committee was not aware of this, will investigate the problem and make an appropriate plan.

COMPLIANCE – Pam Wise, chair: first walk around was held which covered 4 plexes. Torn, broken and/or missing screens were very prevalent. The committee decided to address issues of screens as well as driveways and dented garage doors in spring. Five non-compliance letters have been issued thus far.

Please do not hesitate to contact a committee member with any questions. Be careful about hanging anything from the eaves. Example: hanging plants. Eaves, gutters and soffits are not designed to hold decorative items. Repair is at the homeowner’s expense.

A concern was raised about rental properties – information is sent to the homeowners and often they do not communicate that information to their tenants.

FINANCE – Scott Sterner, HOA accountant: gave the report on finances and distributed current financial statement and budget for 2015.

LANDSCAPE – Gene Mummau, chair: please have patience, the team is doing its best to get caught up on all the incomplete/needed projects. Each takes time and money, and therefore, cannot be finished in 1 year.

Email is the best way to reach Gene – please note “HOA” in the subject line.
Snow Removal – E-mail and the website will be tested for informing residents.
Only trees that are HOA responsibility are pear trees and the pines on Nolt Road.
Beautification areas are HOA responsibility.
Present concerns include but are not limited to:

Railroad tie walls
Steep banks that cannot be mowed
Swales throughout neighborhood
Banks on Nolt Rd

    MEDIA/HOSPITALITY – Bonnie Benjamin reported for team:

    Welcome packets for new residents are being developed
    All legal documents have been transcribed into Word docs and can be downloaded from the website.
    Now both emailing and mailing newsletters. Please give us your email so we can save on postage. We will mail hard copy newsletters to those who request it.
    https://hilltop.nextdoor.com a free, private social network for neighborhoods – you may sign on and network with residents in our neighborhood or surrounding neighborhoods. [see separate article in this newsletter, as well as on the website]
    New website – www.hilltophoa.com This will be updated regularly as more information is added.

    OLD BUSINESS –

    ELECTION OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS – 3 open positions

    Keith Miller and Gene Mummau were reelected for a 2-year term (2015-16)
    There remains one open position on the board. [Note: this has since been filled by Bonnie Benjamin]
    The HOA elects the Board of Directors and the Directors elect officers at their first meeting. BUDGET (See next page.)
    The proposed Budget for 2015 is $230,060. Budget approved as presented by those homeowners in attendance.
    To reach approved budget the HOA fees must be raised from $96 per month to $101 per month.
    A 3% discount will be given those residents who pay their yearly fee in full ($1176) by Jan 31, 2015.

    NEW BUSINESS

    NO SOLICITATION SIGNAGE – this is necessary in order to enforce problems with solicitors. Since our neighborhood includes Treetops and Treetops in the Woods they would be contacted for agreement in order to post signage at the entrances to the neighborhood. Idea was approved.

    FREE-STANDING DROP BOX for monthly fee payment discussed and rejected due to cost.

    COUPON PAYMENT BOOK for monthly fee discussed. This is expensive for the HOA to print and mail. A suggestion was made to print coupons along with the newsletter and include with the December newsletter which is required to be mailed to everyone. People can use or discard as they wish. Accepted.

    PAST PRECEDENTS – The Board is wrestling with responsibility for expenses that have been incurred in the past. Homeowners are responsible for the work not covered by the HOA. The Compliance Committee should monitor that the work is done and the quality of the housing is maintained.

    UPDATING OF LEGAL DOCUMENTS RELATED TO HOA (Declarations, By-Laws and Rules & Regulations). Approximately half of those present were in favor of instituting a new committee to review and update these documents. Keith pointed out that any changes to HOA legal documents requires 90% approval by all homeowners.

      HILLTOP HOMEOWNERS
      ASSOCIATION, INC.
      BUDGET 2015

        REVENUE    $
        Dividends 12
        Fee Discount (3,800)
        Fees 233,916
        Fines 0
        Interest 4,574
        Late Fees 1,100
        Misc. Income 0
        Tax Free Interest    0
        TOTAL REVENUE $ 235,802
        EXPENSE    $
        Accounting 3,000
        Electricity 9,636
        Grounds 83,874
        Insurance 3,000
        Legal 2,000
        Lien 0
        Management Co 0
        Meeting 500
        Merrill Fee 300
        Miscellaneous 0
        Office 1,630
        Painting 96,700
        Repairs 2,100
        Snow 26,000
        Taxes 1,320
        TOTAL EXPENSES $ 230,060
        NET REVENUE OVER
        EXPENSES
        $ 5,742

        HILLTOP HOA HAS A WEBSITE!

        Come take a look at www.HilltopHOA.com ! We have only been “live” since September, so it is a work in progress. If any of you have photos of Hilltop that you would like to share, please email them as a small .jpg to the webmaster
        webmaster@hilltophoa.com

        Also, any ideas/suggestions as to what you would like to see on the website would be welcomed, as well as archival photos or other materials.

        Currently, you can find contact information for all Board members, our By-Laws, Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CCRs) and Rules and Regulations listed under the tab “Legal”.

        Also, we hope to post this and all upcoming newsletters on the website, for the convenience of the residents and homeowners. Further information is available on the website itself.

        – Bonnie Benjamin, webmaster

        WHAT IS NEXTDOOR.COM?

        All HOA members with computer access should have received an invitation to join the Hilltop group on Nextdoor.com. Learn more about this site here:
        https://nextdoor.com/about_us/ 

        Nextdoor.com is a private social network for neighborhoods, (but a LOT more secure than sites like Facebook). If you sign up, you can either choose to see (and be seen by) just your Hilltop neighbors who are also members, OR select “surrounding neighborhoods” and also see what those neighbors are posting. These posts include things for sale, recommendations, services offered, community events, lost pets, reporting suspicious vehicles, finding neighbors with common interests, and more. Your Board authorized this to be set up for Hilltop residents to promote communication among neighbors on an informal basis, as well as enhance security of the area. It is complementary to the Hilltop HOA website, which is more for hosting information specific to residents’ needs, rather than chatting among members about day-to-day things.

        About the security of Nextdoor.com: the only way one can join is to be invited by an existing Hilltop member of Nextdoor.com. That is the first step to being sure that people who join truly are living in our neighborhood. Then the request is sent to the administrator (who, at this point, is the webmaster) and verified as a resident of Hilltop. This ensures
        that ONLY Hilltop residents are included in the Hilltop group. Since this is the same process for all neighborhoods in Nextdoor.com, you can feel safe that anyone you communicate with on that site IS a neighbor! We live in a safe neighborhood and want to keep it that way.

        SNOW REMOVAL

        It is that time of year when everyone wants to know what the policy is for snow removal. ZJ’s (our landscaping company) also handles snow removal. They will plow when:

        There 3” or more have accumulated AND
        The snow has substantially stopped

        The exception to this is if there is a really large storm that is anticipated to drop a lot of snow over an extended period, in which case, they will plow more than once throughout the storm.

        PLEASE DO NOT CALL ZJ’S TO ASK WHEN THEY WILL PLOW!

        COMMUNITY EVENTS

        At the meeting, Bonnie asked for a show of hands (not an official vote) of those who were interested in reviving some of the neighborhood and/or social functions that had been coordinated by the HOA Board in the past, such as the neighborhood garage sale (usually held in May). By a show of hands, those in attendance voted a preference for an all-inclusive HOA social function (winter, after-Holiday party? summer BBQ?), rather than separate, smaller group functions.

        Look for a poll from the Hospitality Committee on the website and in the next newsletter as we research what you – the members – want. In the meantime, if you have ideas or suggestions, please email the Hospitality Committee at Media&Hospitality@hilltophoa.com