As I near the end of my third and final year as GCA president, I look back on where we started and where we’re at in achieving the goals I set forth when taking over the reins from my predecessor, Emerson Cale. I knew I had a tough act to follow given Emerson’s longevity and record of achievement in the community. I feel proud that, as I stated when I began, “the wheels have not fallen off.” In fact, we have achieved tangible improvements in many areas. It has been
a learning experience, and the feedback and involvement of the GCA board and volunteer base are the main basis for any success we’ve had. Technically, my successor is still to be chosen and elected, although, whatever happens, I will still be heavily involved in a smooth transition in my role on the board as “immediate past president.” I feel our biggest need still is to build up the block captain volunteer base with dedicated residents committed to the task. Greenbriar is composed of 179 blocks. At the start of the 2015 membership drive, 25 blocks had no captains. A community of 1,918 homes and close to 5,000 residents cannot function as smoothly and realize its full potential without the ability to communicate upwards effectively to their civic association through the block captains. Thank you so much to those residents who have stepped up to fill in some of those blocks. Also, thanks to those residents who contact the GCA board or me directly with their ideas and comments. I listen carefully and always follow up, including posting on our neighborhood Facebook page.
Deer-culling Program Community Meeting
Unless there is an unexpected, last-minute change, the key contact for this past year’s deer-culling program will be appearing at the April 5, 2016, GCA board meeting to address questions and get community feedback to help determine the future of the program for Rocky Run Stream in 2016. If you oppose or have concerns about the program, this will be an opportunity to state your case. Be prepared and specific with whatever evidence you use to make your case.
2016 Home Assessments
I recently received the county’s 2016 real estate assessment for my Nottingham. Like many others, I was caught by surprise that it was lowered by 1.75 percent. However, I would not be alarmed, given the various factors that went into determining the final numbers. A talk with Joe Dettor, GCA vice president and a local real estate agent, left me confident that the Greenbriar market is still strong given the relatively quick turnaround times for sales. Our location, extremely low crime rate, reputation as a great family community, and our strong relationships
with county officials remain powerful selling points. I do stress, however, that, as stated repeatedly in my column, the “aesthetics” of each residence creates, to a huge degree, interested buyers’ overall impression of the Greenbriar community. I still see far too many residences with bits of trash in front of the homes several days after the scheduled trash and recycling pickup. Pedestrians drop cigarette butts, soda cans, etc. in front of your home. I know it’s not your
fault, but try not to leave it there. With spring coming, try your best to keep your lawn condition within county code. Improved road conditions are dealt with through county resources available to the GCA. Doing these basic chores is in your control over some of the factors that may influence home assessments the following year.
5K Road Race Reminder
A few months back, representatives for HART (Homeless Animals Rescue Team) attended a GCA board meeting to present details of an upcoming 5k race to be held as a fundraiser in partnership with Dogfish Head Alehouse and Praxis Engineering Technologies. The race through Greenbriar is scheduled for Sunday, May 15, with a daylong event at Dogfish. We don’t yet know the start time for the race, but it would be in the morning, probably around 10 a.m. It should be a lot of fun and a festive time for a worthy cause.
Online Greenbriar History Resource
A resident recently shared a link for a Web site via Next Door Greenbriar that has interesting information about the early days of our neighborhood. It also included plans for most models. It is by Levitt and Sons, which built the Greenbriar community. In many ways, it gives a different perspective from other resources we have on the community. Check it out at http://www.levittownbyond.com/greenbriar.html.
Greenbriar Park Improvements
As of the submission of this column, I am in the process of arranging a meeting with the Fairfax County Park Authority contact for Greenbriar Commons Park. The goal is to hammer out the details of what is available and what will be required of the GCA to make improvements to the park by adding benches and/or picnic tables. What I have found out so far is that the Park Authority’s policy is that only certain styles can be utilized and that they must be installed on a concrete base. The use of “dedicated plaques,” if requested, would be set up through the Park Authority at what I was told is a fairly sizable cost. The Park Authority is actually not predisposed to adding additional benches or tables, since they feel they are more of a burden for them to maintain. It is important to understand that this initiative is driven by the lack of interest in and opposition to installation of the picnic pavilion, as indicated in the vote last year, but several requests from residents for other improvements to the park. I will provide more details in a future column.
Majestic Lane Repaving
Beyond the recent hot mix refilling of the potholes in February — which didn’t come
close to restoring the road to a reasonable condition! — a request for the repaving of the road is in the system with VDOT. Delegate Jim Lemunyon’s office contacted VDOT directly with a request to add the road to the repaving schedule for the spring. Anyone can find out the status by going to http://virginiaroads.org and clicking on “pavement conditions and paving resources.” Enter the name of the road (without zip code), and a legend will pop up on the right
that will indicate, by color, if it’s on the schedule. VDOT told me to check the status toward the end of April. If it’s not on the schedule at that time, I have to call again. Essentially, this is the process for how requests work through the VDOT system for projects such as this.
Hope to see many of you at the upcoming GCA-sponsored spring events … or on my bike as I ride through the neighborhood. Most importantly, get involved to help your community! We can’t do it without you.