Annual Meeting May 9 7:30 pm
The annual meeting will be held at Godwin High School library. Our guest speaker this year will be Kristy Orcutt with Landscaping with Livestock, who takes goats to natural areas where the goats eat the vegetation and clean/clear areas. We do not know if the goats will attend. Tim Dunkum, a Raintree resident and realtor will also give us an update on the state of real estate in Raintree. As an aside, the goats are known to fertilize at no additional cost.
Annual Branch Pickup May 18 & 19 (Weather Permitting )
Leave branches less than 5 inches in diameter at the curb or close to the curb. It would be a benefit if unsightly branches from the adjacent common areas are included. No need to cut branches into shorter lengths. The chipper can handle long branches. Please NO leaves or construction materials. They will not be removed. Small, standing, dead trees (less than 4 inches in diameter) will be removed if you place a plastic ribbon around the tree and attach a visible length of ribbon to your mailbox. Or call the number below. Weather and equipment problems can cause delays. Check the website or call 804-339-6412 with questions or concerns.
Look for It
In the near future, we will add to the website a place for news, notices, issues and announcements. For example, one of the signs at the lake was removed for repair and painting. Going forward, we can announce such activities so residents are made aware.
Alert: A coyote has been spotted in the neighborhood. Be sure not to leave small animals unattended. Make sure all garbage containers are sealed and do not leave out cat food or other food stuff.
Message from the Board
The Raintree website is available at www.RaintreeRichmond.org. It will improve our ability to communicate with you, our administrative efficiency, and help realtors communicate with prospects. Sections of the site take into consideration Realtor feedback regarding buyer preferences, such as mature trees, neighborhoods that reflect pride of ownership, the Board’s responsiveness to residents’ needs, and resident requests to uphold the Covenants, which are valuable to all residents in protecting property values.
The value of property is an ongoing concern for our community. We all must play our part, and be committed to do all we can. We are especially concerned about curb appeal, how yards look to perspective buyers, and structural integrity, the physical condition of the residence and other structures, as well as leaves and debris in the yard and in street that can impact curb appeal. The purpose of the Covenants is to prevent the negativity associated with properties when buyers see mold on siding, hanging gutters, roofs or fences in need of paint or repair, misplaced or overflowing trash cans, rotted or broken landscaping timbers, unkempt lawns, clutter on porches or in yards, cars parked on lawns including containers, tools and materials and especially building materials. The Board is aware and respectful that life, these days, is complicated and fast-paced with heavy demands on time and money. Please do not be offended if you receive a request for improvements. We wish to work with residents in a positive way. Sometimes this includes working with our contacts at the County who can provide assistance to those facing specific issues.
Vandalism, especially around the lake, trespassing, car break-ins (lock your cars!) and speeding are Police issues that must be reported by parties involved (501.5000) as the police do not act upon third party complaints. We can, however, aid and expedite the process, so please call the Raintree number as well, when reporting these or other issues. Send pictures when possible. Over the years we have established contacts with various County departments, Henrico Supervisors, and General Assembly members. They are very positive and helpful, we all have the same quality of life interests. Things to note: we experienced expensive vandalism at the lake and have been able to act on that thanks to information provided by residents, we had the County install a stop sign at Meadbrook and Raintree Drive, we are having ongoing discussions about pedestrian safety at Quioccasin and Gaskins and we worked with the County regarding painting the lines on Raintree Drive.
Be assured that all calls to Raintree, (804) 740-9400 are anonymous.
105 Acres of Common Area
Raintree is unique in having 105 acres of natural area that brings to its residents a connection to nature in an urban setting. Many residents enjoy this, and share with their children and grandchildren this glimpse of Nature that the trees, trails and lake offer. We also enjoy frog, turtle, deer, fox, raccoon and muskrat sightings. Snakes…not so much. Our mutual avoidance serves us well.
Although the Covenants state that the Common Areas are to remain natural, in the past we have attempted to clean up Common Areas adjacent to properties. It is extremely expensive and has short-lived results. In past years, the Board has been reluctant to increase our modest assessments to enable us to tackle that job, so we encourage residents to adopt their Common Areas. Branches in them can be put in the street at branch pick up time. Do not add leaves, the County will pick them up. Please do not shorten the life of trees by piling yard debris at the base. Grass clippings can easily be spread about, not piled up. Piles of branches are havens for critters and piles of leaves cannot return to nature. Both diminish the natural appearance of the wooded areas. Please care enough to remove litter that finds its way into the Common Area.
Also, please review tree information in the website www.RaintreeRichmond.org. Trees add significantly to the image and value of the neighborhood, however, be vigilant for dead trees in your yard, your neighbor’s yard or in the common areas adjacent to your property. Henrico law dictates that any damage caused by a fallen tree is the responsibility of each property owner wherever the tree falls, regardless of where the tree was rooted, unless written notice had been given to the owner of the property where the dead tree was located. Please call (804) 339-6412 if you have concerns regarding your common area.
“More haste, less speed, Watson.” (Sherlock Holmes)
Block parties are an easy and fun way to create a cohesive neighborhood. You can find suggestions on how to plan them on our website.
We all want essentially the same thing from a neighborhood…a safe, beautiful and friendly place to call home. However, inevitably, issues between neighbors will arise. Most people appreciate direct, friendly communication from their neighbors. Indirect criticism often causes embarrassment and hurt feelings and does not inspire cooperation. We have found that listening and a smile go a long way.
Call the Raintree number, (804) 740-9400, and we will deliver a package of Raintree, County information & a map of the Raintree Trails. Most trails are indicated by a segment of split rail fencing.
“Blessings come in many ways—the nicest ones as friends.”
Each resident of Raintree, including townhome, villa and condo owners, should have received a copy of the Raintree Homeowners Association (HOA) Covenants at the closing. They would also have received a copy of the covenants applicable to the specific condo neighborhood they purchased in (e.g. Ivystone, Heritage Hills etc.). At that time, they would have signed an agreement to each set of Covenants and agreed to pay whatever dues their specific neighborhood required as well as the modest yearly assessment to the Raintree HOA.
The yearly Raintree HOA assessment covers maintenance of signage, lighting, landscaping and tree work in the many acres of common areas. It covers repair and maintenance of fences, bridges, benches, trashcans and the lake path. In addition, the assessment fees provide the reserves for replacement of any property such as bridges, and the management of the property maintenance. And it covers legal fees and administrative work.
Townhome and condo owners pay a separate assessment to cover the cost to maintain their individual community, and in some instances their residence as well as their personal yard space. All residents regardless of their respective community can enjoy all the common areas associated with Raintree.
My wife just found out I replaced our bed with a trampoline. She hit the roof.
Dogs—Love Them and Pick up After Them
There have been a number of complaints regarding owners not picking up after their dogs. We are all neighbors, sharing the same space. So, please do the right thing and clean up after you pet.
As a reminder, Henrico County Pet Regulations include the following:
Number of Pets per residence
Section 24-12. By law, Henrico County allows only three adult pets per residence. A conditional use permit may be obtained to allow a private kennel in residential districts. A private kennel is defined as a premise used by the property’s occupants for the care of four or more dogs, cats, pets, fowl or domestic animals that are at least four months old for non-commercial purposes. For more information on conditional use permits, contact the Planning and Zoning office at 501-4602.
Dogs Running Loose
Sec. 5-29. — Unlawful acts; animals running at large.
Dogs running at large. It is prohibited for any dog to run at large within the county at any time during any month of the year. For the purposes of this subsection, a dog shall be deemed to run at large while roaming, running or self-hunting off the property of its owner or custodian and not under its owner’s or custodian’s immediate control. A dog shall not be deemed to be running at large if it and its owner or custodian are within a county-designated off-leash, fenced dog exercise area. Any owner who permits his dog to run at large in the county shall be deemed to have violated the provisions of this subsection.
The county code is: Sec. 10-68. — Prohibited noises enumerated.
Noisy animals: Allowing any animal to cause any sound or noise such that it is plainly audible.
Inside the confines of the dwelling unit, house or apartment of another person at least once a minute for ten consecutive minutes; or at 100 or more feet from the animal at least once a minute for ten consecutive minutes.
However, this prohibition shall not apply to animal sounds or noises arising between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. on the premises of any commercial kennel, animal boarding place, small animal hospital, veterinarian hospital, or veterinarian clinic, as those terms are defined in chapter 24, or any county animal shelter.
County Ordinance requires that all domestic cats and dogs be vaccinated for rabies. For your convenience, the Animal Protection Unit conducts four rabies clinics annually. The schedule for the 2017 Rabies Vaccination Clinics is now available for download and distribution on the Henrico County website.
Storm drains in the neighborhood are not to be used for yard, lawn or house waste. Henrico County has an excellent article on their web page that explains how everything that goes on the ground or in the drains, ultimately winds up in our drinking water and the Chesapeake Bay.
The following recommendations are from Henrico County’s web page titled What can I do to help? (Household Dos and Don’ts)
There are many seemingly harmless household activities that actually wreak havoc with our water system. You can help by implementing your own “Best Management Practices” (BMP’s) around house. BMP’s are a general term applicable to any means, practice or technique that aims to significantly reduce or eliminate storm water pollution
Be part of the Solution… don’t pollute!
Nine things you can do to prevent stormwater runoff pollution:
- Never dump anything down storm drains or in streams.
- Overuse of fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides is a major cause of stormwater pollution. Remember that what you put on your lawn eventually finds its way into our area canals, creeks, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. So, use fertilizers and herbicides sparingly.
- Vegetate bare spots in your yard.
- Dumping your collected leaves, grass clippings and other yard wastes into ditches, canals or other storm drains causes serious drainage problems, as well as deteriorating the Bay. Compost or bag your yard waste; your garbage hauler will haul them away on the appropriate hauling day according to your address.
- Use low toxicity pesticides and follow label instructions.
- Direct downspouts away from paved surfaces; consider a rain garden to capture runoff.
- Take your car to a car wash instead of washing it in the driveway.
- Check your car for leaks and recycle your used motor oil.
- Pick up after your pet (pet waste is responsible for over 40% of the fecal contamination polluting our waterways).