Maintenance of the Common Property
We have all been disappointed about the state of maintenance in our Common Property this year. Key areas of the Common Property that have been planted in colorful annuals in the past have been left unplanted and neglected. Weeds have grown over our roadsides and in park areas. The impacts of the stormy and wet winter and spring, including downed trees and tree limbs, seem to have taken months to clean up. While the overall maintenance of our Common Property has improved during the past two months, a fair question is to ask what we should expect in the future, especially next year.
Part of our problem has been the unexpected turnover of senior leadership in our Landscape Department and the long time that it took to get a replacement in place – but Zsolt Lehoczky is now on board and his impact has been clear to see. He has stabilized our MPHOA staff and is managing the subcontractors to focus on priorities that will improve our current situation and lay the foundation for next year. It is also important to recognize that our landscape maintenance problems have been with us for many years and are a direct consequence of the historical financial problems at MPHOA. Mountain Park’s Common Property has been underfunded and neglected since the 1990’s.
In 2012 a Master Plan for the Common Property was developed by a group of Members and staff. This Master Plan recognized the serious deficiencies in how our Common Property had been maintained and set down a ten-year plan to begin to correct these problems. Eight priority objectives were described in that plan and significant progress has been made on most of them. More than 1/3 of our trails and pathways have been rebuilt and new signage has been installed. The 20 primary entrance monuments have been redesigned, upgraded and used as “branding” for Mountain Park. Two major park areas, Nansen Summit and Touchstone, have been extensively renovated with new pathways, lights and other infrastructure. We have surveyed and cataloged more than 2000 large trees as a basis for managing this critical component of Nature’s Neighborhood.
What are Zsolt’s priorities and what can we expect to see next year?
I am not going to write a long-winded essay about the common property. We have all seen it and we all know what needs to be done. The 2012 Master Plan was well thought out and lays down a clear path for the upkeep and maintenance for the whole of Mountain Park. However, this document was created 5 years ago. To be useful for us, this needs to be modified and updated. I am looking forward to revising and modifying this plan to suit the residents, the community, and Mountain Park as a whole.
Short term I want to catch up with all the deferred maintenance, and reduce the number of Common Property Work Requests (CPWRs), integrating this effort with strategic preventative maintenance. In this endeavor, I would like to use the community as a source for information and input and want to know what they want to happen first.
Currently the whole Landscape Stewardship Department is working on our long-neglected trails and we will continue this for the foreseeable future.
Long term I would like to establish protocols (tree care, pruning, weeding, pathway maintenance, irrigation audit, scheduling and maintenance, invasive species removal etc.) based on environmentally friendly best management practices.
We would like to work on the monuments’ plantings as soon as fall arrives, adding and using seasonal color for the fall and winter season.
Please feel free to contact me via email or call the Landscape Stewardship Office. Thank you.