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Alyson Pond Master Plan – Your Ideas Needed

Draft of the Alyson Pond Master Plan adopted in 2000

Ten years ago the Alyson Board approved a Master Plan of capital improvement projects to be undertaken for the Clubhouse common area. The Plan was a result of input from the community and consists of two parts: 1) a graphical representation in plan view with some elevation details and 2) cost estimates for each of the projects. From this information, the Board subsequently adopted a funding mechanism whereby a portion of our homeowners’ dues would be escrowed for a Master Plan Fund.
Since the adoption of the Plan, the escrow fund has built up but most of the projects of the plan have not been initiated. There are three possible explanations for this:

  1. the succession of Boards has not understood or embraced the Plan
  2. the projects in the Plan are no longer relevant and not worthy of execution
  3. other priorities have siphoned off interest or funding from the plan

There is a recent occurrence of item 3.  In its last regular meeting, the Board voted for a one-time reduction in the allocation to the Master Plan to divert funds to the general operating budget to forestall a dues increase for FY 2011.
As announced in the December newsletter, I was asked by the Board to post a series of blogs on the Master Plan. This is the first of these blogs. The purpose is to:

  • understand what the current Master Plan is, and what it is not
  • to begin discussions on the relevance and worth of existing plan projects
  • to solicit new ideas for the planI will discuss two of the Master Plan Projects this week, and then one each week over the next four weeks.

First, we may need to ask “Do we even need a Master Plan?”. There is already an escrow for replacement of existing structures. For example, the roof to the clubhouse will need replacement every so many years, the parking lot will need to be resurfaced every x years, the tennis courts will need to be repainted, and so on. Charleston Management has been tasked with reviewing our current replacement life and cost data for these existing items. This fund is separate and distinct from the Master Plan Fund but may need adjustment based on the results of this review.
A Master Plan has several benefits. It enables us to identify projects that have long-term benefit to the community. It provides a basis for determining the cost of these improvements. It allows for the prioritization of projects based on the cost/benefit. Finally, it documents these decisions and serves as a long-term guide and plan to their implementation.

So what is the Alyson Pond Master Plan? It consists of six projects:

A. Trellis. Upgrading the poolside pergola to be architecturally consistent with the Clubhouse
B. Fence and Gate. Installing a perimeter ‘iron’ fence to protect the playground area
C. Information Center. A building that houses a display case for messages, announcements and additional storage
D. Deck and Gazebo. A deck/pier and gazebo on the pond by the current bridge
E. Playground Walk. A paved walkway around the playground area and connecting to the parking lot, clubhouse and dam walkways
F. Landscaping. New planting areas on the hill and by the playground and tennis courts, irrigation to maintain lawn and plant beds and lighting
Project A. Trellis The purpose of this project is to bring the pergola by the pool in compliance with Alyson Pond architectural guidelines.

It includes removing the diagonal cross-brace, which is aesthetically unattractive and replacing it with a lattice structure to reinforce the posts, similar to a truss, to prevent racking. The second part of this project is to wrap the posts with fiberglass or comparable columns to match the Clubhouse columns.

Project B. Fence and Gate At the time this project was adopted, it was felt that the Alyson Pond playground facilities were being used (and perhaps abused) by others who did not live in Alyson Pond. The fence was designed to deter others from accessing the playground area from the parking lot on Yucca Drive.
It includes a six foot fence of ‘wrought iron’ appearance (either steel or aluminum) to extend from the corner of the pool house to the walkway by the parking lot and next to the lot to Yucca drive where it would connect with the existing section of fence protecting the dam overflow culvert and terminate at the residential property on the corner of Yucca and Wheeling. Entry into the playground area is through a custom double gate with Alyson Pond logo. The gate is to be locked in a consistent manner as the lock to the pool fence. Brick columns flank the gate and are mounted at the corners and at intervals and in a style consistent with the existing columns around the pool.
Note that the fence does not entirely enclose the playground area. It does provide a deterrent from casual access to the playground area and may protect smaller children from wandering into the parking area or being easily abducted by way of the parking lot.
(to be continued next week)

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