Announcements

  • President Report – December 2018 (12/3/2018)
    Well, 2018 will soon be coming to an end, and while certain things wind down, we will begin to start on initiatives for next year!
    Dues Structure Initiative
    One of those initiatives is coming out of the Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) and involves our dues structure. Blue Ridge currently has two sets of dues: Common Membership (CM), which is our obligatory HOA dues ($1010 in 2018) that all residents must pay, and the optional Community-Plus Membership dues (CM+ for an additional $585) where members gain access to the pool and tennis facilities. The LRPC has been charged with investigating the implications of moving to a single-tier dues structure where everyone would have access to pool and tennis facilities and pay the same dues.
    Ever since I came on the Board, this has been a topic of conversation. There are a number of reasons to consider the move. The primary reason is that it would enable all residents to share more equally in both the cost and benefits of the pool and tennis amenities. Additionally, from the management perspective, it would reduce administrative hassle and costs and would follow a more typical HOA model.
    The first task that the committee worked on this past year was an analysis of the costs of the pool and tennis operations in relation to dues income. Recognizing that there is a long history of the current dues structure and that there may be a range of opinions about this, the committee also developed a survey. We want to better understand more about our community and the reasons they choose, or not choose, to be a CM+ member. And we want to get opinions on moving to a single set of dues.
    Dues Survey. So……let us know what you think! Please Click Here to take the approximate 5 minute Survey. Or a link can also be found on our website at www.BlueRidgeSeattle.com .
    In March and April of 2019 we will hold “Town Hall” meetings to share the results of the survey and discuss the potential of a single set of dues.
    More festive things
    As we approach the end of the year, I want to wish everyone a happy holiday season and offer best wishes for the New Year. I hope everyone will be able to make the Holiday Open House at the Clubhouse on December 6 at 5:30. Although, it is mixing it up to be on a Thursday night, rumor has it that Santa and Mrs. Claus will still be in attendance. See you there!
  • Association Manager Report – December 2018 (12/3/2018)
    It’s hard to believe this is the last Bulletin issue for 2018; we had a great year and much was accomplished:
    Increased Labor & Insurance Compliance
    Each year, we hire approximately 50 pool staff members which require forms, policies and procedures that comply with several overlapping agencies. This year we implemented new procedures to comply with employee time keeping requirements, adult background checks, Seattle’s new minimum wage and Paid Sick and Safe Time. We also updated our employee Drug & Alcohol policies & procedures for clarity and D.H.H.S. compliance.
    Pool Projects
    This year’s projects included:
    Connection to City sewer, installation of new 3-phase pump and electrical converter, separation of pool chemicals from mechanics, concrete gutter repairs, sump pump repair, installation of new chemical controller, flow meter, water fountain, diving blocks, furniture, computers, and plumbing fixtures. We also repainted the pump house, storage shed & ADA railing, stained benches, replanted concrete containers, installed additional irrigation, and updated our Pool Operations Manual for compliance. Operational projects require coordination and approval with Seattle Public Health, we had a lot to complete before opening day, but managed to open on schedule and obtain our permit the day before.
    Beach Park
    This year we had more than usual fence and gate repairs, mostly due to intentional damage as key fob controls tightened. In June, we installed two new cameras and discovered park use complaints, rule violations and property damage were the result of Blue Ridge residents and not “outsiders”.  2018 also saw the completion of CSO mitigation with King County replacement of 10 Hinoki Cypress saving Blue Ridge homeowners over $7,000.
    Tennis Courts
    This spring we patched a few low spots, resurfaced the tennis courts and replaced both nets. Combined with shed repairs, repaint and bench refurbishing, the courts look fabulous! A big THANK YOU to longtime homeowner Lloyd Low for his craftsmanship and annual maintenance.
    A quick reminder for those that don’t realize: bikes, toys and skates can ruin the court surface. The courts are for racquet play only with appropriate footwear.
    During resurfacing, many of you expressed an interest in pickle ball courts. It took us several months to research, consider the options and perform due diligence, but pickle ball is coming to Blue Ridge in spring 2019.
    Clubhouse
    The parking lot had significant damage with preventive maintenance years overdue. In 2018, we removed years of debris from both catch basins, repaired alligatored asphalt and finished with reseal and re-stripe. Parking spaces are now clearly marked and we’ve added years to this asset’s “remaining useful life”.
    The other big project was drying out and salvaging over 15 banker boxes of Blue Ridge archives. For years, water had been seeping into the basement and boxed records soaked it up. It took months and was far from glamourous work, but all traces of mildew are gone and records were saved.
    Seattle City Light and SDOT Road Construction
    In January, Blue Ridge hosted a meeting with approximately 75 homeowners and several City Light representatives regarding replacement of Blue Ridge light fixtures. The existing fixtures are expensive for ratepayers, obsolete and unrepairable. City Light installed 3 pilot lights for community input, the opinion of those in attendance was not favorable of the proposed replacements and newer technology was requested. Until the City has access and funds for newer technology, Blue Ridge may experience unilluminated areas.
    Phase Two road construction is nearing completion and traveling Blue Ridge roads are already easier.
    Thank you. Thank You Very Much.
    Year-end means a flurry of activity, taking stock, and expressing gratitude. Heartfelt thanks to the Blue Ridge Board members for their expert stewardship and tireless work. Thanks also to the many committee members and volunteers that make Blue Ridge so special you want to call it home. Much appreciation and a big hug to Alison Gray, she does a phenomenal job in the business office and the chief reason we finally tackled some overdue projects. Thank you also to those who’ve taken the time to stop by, mail, or email the warmth of the season. I am honored to serve Blue Ridge and enjoy contributing to this wonderful community.
    We hope we have the opportunity to see you at the Holiday Open House, Thursday, December 6th, 5:30 – 7:30pm . Cheers to a season of celebrations and a happy, healthy new year!
  • Architecture Report – December 2018 (12/3/2018)
    Architecture Report December 2018
    In November the Board:
    • Heard Initial Presentation 1219 NW Woodbine Way – Bozied/Crutcher
    • Agreed Little Libraries don’t fall under Board jurisdiction
    In December the Board:
    • Vote on 1219 NW Woodbine Way – Bozied/Crutcher
    • Discuss/Vote on 1302 NW Woodbine Way – Holt
  • Security and Traffic Safety Report – December 2018 (12/3/2018)

    Happy Holidays!

    I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and are enjoying the last few weeks of fall as winter starts Dec. 21st!  Security issues were fairly silent last month but there are a few items to talk about.  The first one is that there are a number of skateboarders and bikers in the neighborhood.  With our blind corners, shorter days and cars using the roads this can cause major safety hazards.   So bikers and drivers, please be careful and drive/ride slowly – sorry skaters, the official city stance is that technically skateboards are not allowed on city roads.  The second item is about random cars parked in BR and used as living spaces.  This occurred a few weeks ago on Woodbine and was the first I had heard about it.  The car eventually moved within 30 hours but if you see this occur on your street then please call the police and let me know.  Lastly, with the holidays comes packages and not so friendly thieves wanting those packages – so please keep an eye on your neighbors and help each other have a very safe holiday season.

    Also, if you are interested in getting alerts and notifications from our wonderful city – Seattle’s Public Outreach and Education Coordinator, Matt Auflick has provided the following:

    Sign-up for City Alerts on traffic, severe weather, utility disruptions and more! www.alert.seattle.gov. Customize the types of alerts you want to receive and how you receive them (phone, email, text message ). Find other winter preparedness tips at www.takewinterbystorm.org.

     

    Happy Holidays and Stay Safe,

    Eric Souder

  • Membership Report – December 2018 (12/3/2018)
    Season’s greetings! It’s a beautiful time of year in Blue Ridge… with holiday lights, Christmas ship concerts, and our annual Holiday Party on Thursday, December 6th. What great opportunities to get out there and meet some neighbors, share some holiday cheer!
    Please also give a warm welcome to our newest neighbors:
    • Dr. Samantha Wong on Blue Ridge Drive
    • Kathryn and Nicholas Dellinger on Norcross
  • Events – December 2018 (12/3/2018)
    Thanks again to Ashleigh Root for leading the upcoming Holiday Open House! Just a reminder that this year the celebration will be supporting Mary’s Place with a giving tree. If you are interested in participating in the giving tree, please contact Ashleigh Root at ashleigh.root@yahoo.com .
    Upcoming Events:
    • Holiday Open House (Thursday December 6th 5:30-7:30) Please join us at the clubhouse for some bites, beverages and holiday cheer!
    • Holiday Ships at Blue Ridge Beach Park (Saturday December 15th at 8:00pm- please note the date change). Come build a fire, meet up with neighbors and listen to some holiday music down at the beach.
    • Holiday Lights Contest (The week of December 17th)
  • President Report – November 2018 (11/1/2018)
    The days are shorter, the nights are colder and the 2019 Budget is brewing. Sorry, but as I write this, our household is in the middle of Halloween preparation and that sentence is a little influenced by that.
    Speaking of Halloween……it will have passed by the time you read this and we need to thank Mary Beth Brown for stepping up to lead the party (or trick-or-treat pre-function) that is held annually up at the Clubhouse. As always there are many volunteers that help pull this off and make this a great event for the kiddos before they head-off to get their candy stash from their Blue Ridge neighbors.
    2019 Budget
    We are putting the final touches on the 2019 Budget for approval at the November 12 Board Meeting. This year’s budget is being structured to handle some increased general and pool expenses as well as increased interest expense for the original 2009 locker room remodel loan.
    The only significant outlier in the budget is an expense of $38,000 to fund the installation of a concrete pad across the rail road tracks at our pedestrian crossing from the Beach Park. It will be similar to the one at the North Beach crossing and makes it much easier to walk across the tracks. We are currently out of compliance with Burlington Northern and this will be installed under their direction. There are also plans for a simple gate (not locked) at the stairs to prevent kids and dogs from running across the tracks. The main reason to do all of this is to increase safety. We will essentially fund this expense by reducing our reserve contribution down to $50,000 (from the reserve study recommended $93,000). We are comfortable doing this because we are able to make an additional reserve contribution of $75,000 this year derived from excess 2017 income.
    All of this will be spelled out in the Budget Ratification letter that will be mailed out after Board approval in November. This year we will hold a stand-alone Budget Ratification Meeting on Monday, December 3 at 7:00 separate from the usual Board Meeting on the following Monday. This is the opportunity for the community to ask questions and comment on the budget.
    Kudos and Thank You to Blue Ridge Staff
    Also part of fall and year-end activities is a review and discussion about our Blue Ridge staff that includes our Association Manager, Michelle Morgan, and our part-time Administrative Assistant, Alison Gray.
    Michelle has continued to make an invaluable contribution to Blue Ridge and the way we operate. All of us on the Board repeatedly say we couldn’t do our jobs without her. She has introduced needed policies and procedures and through negotiation and research has saved us thousands of dollars. We look to Michelle as the expert in HOA regulation and best practices and are continuing our efforts to determine what works for Blue Ridge. Alison has done a great job to support the office functions in numerous ways with a goal of improving customer service to the community. Please join the Board in thanking them for all that they do!
    Janet
  • Association Manager Report – November 2018 (11/1/2018)
    It’s Budget season!!!
    Woohoo! Who loves Excel? Starting in August each year, the budget team and myself review maintenance and use, solicit vendor bids and review utility rate changes to create a budget that incorporates annual audit and reserve study recommendations. Several versions and multiple people hours create the first draft for board review in September. Then, back to the drawing board to incorporate edits and 3 rd quarter financials for October board review. Every line item is scrutinized and various scenarios are created until, board members can approve a final version for budget ratification.
    Q: Why is our budget on a calendar year if the shareholders (homeowners) meeting is the first Monday of February? Our 1941 governing documents prescribe the annual shareholders’ meeting date in February, while our annual budget runs on a calendar year. This is the reason for two annual homeowners meetings, one for budget ratification and the other to elect board members.
    Clubhouse 
    Clubhouse rentals are in full swing this fall and winter with lots of activity! Consider renting the clubhouse for your next celebration, professional, or family event. Reservations are available 7 days/evenings a week, with details and forms available at www.blueridgeseattle.com under the Facility Rental tab. If you’re pondering dates, the online rental calendar is in real time and available even when the office is closed.
    Already thinking about 2019? We’re doing things a little differently next year to accommodate the many planners out there; brides-to-be and grads, we’re talking about you. Next year’s cabana and clubhouse rental calendar will open January 4 th . Pace Setters, Swim Team and Events volunteers – please send us your 2019 dates and times by December 21 st or reserve online after Jan 4 th .
    Deadline approaching!
    If you’d like to update information for the 2019 Blue Ridge Directory, please download or request a form before the November 30th deadline. New Directories should be available at the Annual Shareholders Meeting February 4 th at 7pm .
    Heartfelt thanks to our dedicated volunteers; your efforts create community and lasting memories.
    Warm Thanksgiving wishes to Blue Ridge neighbors, friends and families.
  • Architecture Report – November 2018 (11/1/2018)
    In October the Board:
    • Approved 10045 15th Ave NW – Brunette carport enclosure
    • Heard initial presentation 1219 NW Woodbine Ave, Bozied new build
    In November the Board:
    • Initial presentation 1219 NW Woodbine – Bozied new build
    • Explore Little Library builds
  • Security and Traffic Safety Report – November 2018 (11/1/2018)
    Happy Fall Everyone,
    It is great to see the season change as we move from late summer to fall. With it also comes daylight savings and the holiday season. A few things to think about:
    • Please drive slowly – With kids and neighbors walking in the morning, afternoon or during the night please be aware – 20 is Plenty.
    • Keep an eye on our neighborhood – We are all the best defense against thieves and questionable activities. Talk with your neighbors and share any info. on our Blue Ridge Facebook page and let me know.
    • Help neighbors with package deliveries – We hate to hear that someone’s packages were stolen so offer help to those around you.
    Overall, the last month has seen a few car prowls, 1 car break in and a very questionable person walking down a neighbors driveway and eventually around the neighborhood. For any of these incidents, please contact the police.
    Lastly, a huge thank you to Jane Caron, Maddie Caron and the rest of the Traffic Safety team to helping make our neighborhood a safer place.
    This summer, the  Blue Ridge Traffic Safety Task Force published a short Community Survey about traffic safety issues in Blue Ridge. We want to say thank you to the nearly 250 people who submitted their feedback! Here are the main results of the survey. (For further survey details, please contact Maddie Caron at maddiecaron@comcast.net .
    • The vast majority of respondents (91%) believe there are traffic safety issues in Blue Ridge compared to only 6% who believe there are no issues and 3% who were unsure.
    • Speeding was the most important issue of concern for respondents (70%), followed closely by hazardous intersections (58%), pedestrian safety (57%) and reduced visibility (49%).
    • Respondents reported slightly more traffic safety issues during weekdays (54%) than weekends (43%) as well as more during evenings (54%) than mornings (50%) or afternoons (37%).
    • Commonly mentioned traffic safety issues: pool/tennis summer traffic, overgrown plants, speeding, unclear right of way/unmarked intersections, pedestrian safety, blind corners
    • Commonly mentioned problem locations: 15th, Blue Ridge Dr., 15th & 100th & Blue Ridge Dr., Blue Ridge Dr. & Valmay, 15th & Valmay, Greenbrier & Valmay, Greenbrier & 15th, and many more!
    • Commonly suggested traffic safety improvements: physical structures (sidewalks, speed bumps, traffic circles, crosswalks), more signage (stop/yield signs, etc.), reduce speed (lower speed limits, solar powered speed signs, etc.), restructure 5-way intersection at 15th & 100th & Blue Ridge Dr., trim overgrown plants, educate drivers and pedestrians about traffic safety
    These results have given the Traffic Safety Task Force lots of great issues to think about, and we will keep the community informed about all future traffic safety projects. If you are interested in being part of the Traffic Safety Task Force or have any questions, please attend a Traffic Safety Task Force meeting at the Clubhouse or contact Jane Caron at janecaron@comcast.net .
    Be safe out there and have a great November!
    Eric Souder

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Dec. 15th - Holiday Ships

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