Monday, March 31, 2014


Members have already cleared overgrown brush and stacked large amounts of fallen tree debris throughout the cluster.  But to make sure we get as much as possible, and to make up for time lost to yet another winter storm March 29-30, HCA will extend the Cluster Clean-Up for a third weekend to Saturday and Sunday, April 5-6.  In response, Blade Runners has rescheduled their removal of stacked debris to the week of April 7-11.  Seasonal grounds maintenance including mowing and plaza blowing will start soon thereafter, and Mr. Spray is tentatively scheduled to powerwash HCA concrete plazas and stairs in early May.

Monday, March 24, 2014


From NOAA National Weather Service for Fairfax County:  Tuesday, 90 percent chance of snow, accumulation of 1-3 inches.  Tuesday night, 80 percent chance of snow and rain.  From Blade Runners this afternoon:  "Hopefully this is the last snow alert for the season.  Blade Runners does not plan to provide any service for the pending weather system.  There may be some slush in the morning that will wash away during the day."

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Spring is officially here.  And with Spring comes the traditional annual HCA Cluster Clean-Up and meet-your-neighbors event, this year planned for two weekends:  Saturday and Sunday, March 22-23 and 29-30.  NOAA National Weather Service seven-day forecasts are for perfect yard work weather:  partly sunny and windy with a high near 67F on Saturday March 22, and mostly cloudy with a high near 50F on Sunday, March 23.  HCA asks that Members assist with the following tasks:

- Gather fallen tree debris from Common Areas clusterwide
- Cut and remove invasive vines climbing Common Area trees
- Clear overgrown brush from originally-grassy streambed areas
- Stack all debris near footpaths for easy removal by contractors

In addition, Directors will be working to clear overgrown Common Area hillside brush near Block 3 as requested by Members.  CAUTION:  Members should not touch or dig near high voltage pad-mounted electrical transformers.  And in weeks following the Clean-Up, HCA will coordinate with contractors to remove stacked tree and brush debris, to mow grassy areas, to blow clear plaza areas, and to powerwash Block 1-3 concrete stairs and plazas stained by trees since last Spring.  Contact an HCA Director for more information.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


From Blade Runners late this morning:  "It is not uncommon for the weather people to overdue the severity reports of March storms. Soil temperatures play a role in accumulations. As the storm is preceded by rain pre-treatment will not be effective not to mention the shortage of ice control material.  Roadway Plowing ... will wait for plowable accumulation most like in the morning and afternoon tomorrow.  Magic Salt application roads ... none planned in the early part of the storm."

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


From Blade Runners early this morning:  "At this point we have completed ice control application to the property.  I spent a good deal this morning reviewing the result.  In most cases we can see a good deal of pavement with a glaze of ice. The sun and temperatures at 30F today will serve to melt this during the day.  At this point we are completely out of granular ice melt.  We do have limited ability to make direct liquid applications for extreme problems.  We understand that Baltimore did receive some salt yesterday and we have hopes to have some supply around 2:00 p.m. today. ...  We will send out further communication if we are (or not) successful in obtaining addition ice control for this evening."


The Fellowship Square Foundation Inc. (FSF) Lake Anne Fellowship House is a government-assisted apartment complex designed for individuals with limited income who are 62 or more years old, or who are handicapped or disabled.  Built in two phases, Lake Anne I with 140 apartments opened in 1970.  Lake Anne II opened in 1976, adding 100 units and a common social hall, for a total of 240 subsidized apartments.

FSF and real estate development partner Cafritz Interests multi-family division NOVUS Residences LLC are proposing to redevelop this property by building a total of 425 multi-family dwelling units within five years, including 140 accessible and affordable senior dwelling units and 285 market rate multi-family dwelling units.  FSF plans are driven by affordability requirements of existing U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Virginia Housing Development Authority loans, current building operations costs, and Fairfax County efforts to redevelop nearby Lake Anne Village Center. 

FSF discussed their proposal with the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee on November 18, 2013.  It will almost double the number of dwelling units on the Fellowship House site and may have significant impacts on adjacent Hickory Cluster Block 1 carriage houses.  HCA designated President Michael W. Smith and Vice President Ralph P. Youngren FAIA to officially represent Hickory Cluster in FSF discussions.

UPDATES ... FSF recently contacted and met with HCA to discuss their initial redevelopment plans.  FSF also informally discussed their plans with the full RA Design Review Board during a working session on March 18.  DRB will schedule required presentations for public comment in the future.  HCA will provide more information when available. 


To take advantage of lower interest rates before the 2010-15 term expires, HCA has reviewed and extensively discussed several proposals and related guidance from professional advisors to refinance the 2000 Block 3 garage renovation project loan, and plans to make a decision this month.

The Board of Directors has also been following the status of Millennium Bank, that came to the aid of Hickory Cluster during the garage crisis and financed original and succeeding loans when other lenders would not.  HCA learned this week that, without advance notice on Friday, February 28, 2014, the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency closed Millennium Bank and named the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as Receiver.  All accounts, including loans and loan collateral deposits such as those held by HCA, were transferred to WashingtonFirst Bank, Reston, VA.  Former Millennium Bank offices in Sterling and Herndon, VA reopened as WashingtonFirst branches.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


From Blade Runners midday today:  "We are as drained as you are from this Winter.  We are scheduled to have an event that we expect to plow, will begin plowing (Monday) in the early morning hours, and this will continue during the day.  Temperatures are scheduled to be very cold on Monday evening and Tuesday that will bring about the need for ice control.  We do not plan to pre-treat and storms preceded by rain can reduce effectiveness.  ... Roadway Magic Salt application ... will report on this tomorrow. ... "