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CLHA publishes newsletters each year reviewing community events and other information about the neighborhood and its residents. What would you like to see in our newsletters? Submit a suggestion.

Newsletter – Q1 2020

Playground Renovation Project and Delinquent Dues 

As many of you know, one of our goals is to update the playground equipment at the community park. One way of ensuring that we can do that is collecting on past due accounts, which are upwards of $35,000

Several delinquent accounts have been sent to the Law Offices of Richard M. McGill for collection. Once accounts have been transferred to the law firm, the HOA can no longer accept payments toward delinquent dues. 

The yearly dues for 2020 are now $56.81. Keeping your dues current is extremely important. If you are unsure of your payment status, please submit this form or contact dues@clha.org as soon as possible to avoid further action on your account.

Gun Laws and Hunting Regulations

There has been lots of chatter in our social media community about firearms in our community.  We did some research for you and have found the following information for your reference. More regulations and safety tips can be found at the Maryland DNR website (dnr.maryland.gov)  and the Municode Library website (library.municode.com). 

Maryland DNR: “It is illegal to hunt, shoot or trap wildlife within 150 yards of any building or camp occupied by human beings without permission of the owner or occupant. For archery hunters this distance is 50 yards in St. Mary’s county.”

Municode Library: “In St. Mary’s County a person may not engage in target practice with or discharge a gun or weapon on certain lands without first obtaining written permission of specific individuals; provided that violation of said Act is a misdemeanor; and provided certain penalties on conviction of a violation of said Act.”

If you have concerns regarding events taking place on or near your property and you believe them to be in violation of local laws, please contact the local Sheriff’s department.

Who Owns and Maintains Our Community Roads?

We get this question in our voice mail, e-mail, at meetings, and on community facebook groups. Often enough to make it a frequently asked question here on our website. The answer reads “The roads belong to the County thus St. Mary’s County is responsible for the upkeep of the roads.” We wanted to expand on that answer to provide more clarification.

Who Owns the Roads? The County, as agreed on June 2, 1976 between the developers and Board of County Commissioners of St. Mary’s County. When it comes to maintenance, the main agency involved from the County is the Department of Public Works (DPW).

Following is a list of certain scenarios that may have us questioning what to do. We hope to provide you reasonable answers and advice. Here goes:

Who Maintains the Roads When It Comes To…

…Vandalism? Rare, but not unheard of, spray painting on the roads should be reported to DPW and optionally the Sheriff’s office.

…Potholes? Never nice to drive around, let alone through, and often easily patched: DPW.

…Cracks? Often filled in with tar (making unfortunately unsightly ‘tar snakes’), rather than a full width coat, DPW.

…Sinkholes? As has happened on Asher Rd and Cox Dr where sections of the road collapsed – creating not only a hazard but a closing off of some of the only 3 official access roads to this and neighboring developments – DPW.

…Snow on the roads/shoulders? DPW. However, you will often see residents with snowplows going through the roads as well, rather than wait for DPW, and also offer to clear your driveways (for a fee or for free).

…Snow around fire hydrants? Residents. While not officially required, the County will not clear the area around fire hydrants preemptively. Snow build-up around hydrants can delay fire crews’ work significantly. If a hydrant is on your property, consider clearing it up to 3 feet around, and a path out to the street. The MVFD will be very grateful!

…Driveway aprons? DPW. While many may consider the end of the driveway that flares out into the roads to be part of their property, work on the apron and any underlying culvert pipes is the responsibility of DPW. Performing unauthorized work yourself can even lead to fines and the work being undone, and re-done to DPW’s specifications.

…Lighting?

Through County official installation, often as part of a special taxing district after a decision by the Board of County Commissioners, DPW.

Through the HOA, via rental from SMECO. The HOA currently rents a single light and pole at the intersection of Asher Rd and Mechanicsville Rd for visibility and safety purposes

Through individual residents, via rental from SMECO. Before considering renting a street light, consider the cost as well as the impact on surrounding properties; not everyone may appreciate a street light near their property.

2020 Dues Notice

Our yearly dues are now $56.81. You can expect to receive dues statements for 2020 around June. Please check here or contact dues@clha.org if you have any questions about your status.

Coyote Concerns

According to the Maryland DNR, Coyotes now inhabit all counties in Maryland. Here are some common sense steps to reduce the possibility for conflict. Read the full article here.
— Remember coyotes are wild animals—respect them and give them plenty of space.
— Don’t try to approach or feed them.
— Don’t leave food out where they can access it, as this only increases the chance they lose their natural fear of people.
— Feed pets or livestock inside homes or barns. If you must feed them outside, give only enough food for one meal at a time so there are no leftovers to attract unwanted guests.
Find more resources at the Maryland DNR website.

Pets: Lost and Found

We often hear of pets escaping their yards/homes. Please be mindful of this when walking/driving through the neighborhood. Special thanks for all our neighbors for helping to locate, capture, and temporarily foster missing pets until their owners can be found. Facebook is a great place to communicate when your pet is lost or found. Word travels fast!

Holiday Decorating Contest Winners

In case you missed it, our winners for the 2019 Holiday Decorating Contest are listed here. Each of our winners received free dues for the year.

26869 Kelli Ct

26372 Tin Top School

26744 Tin Top School

Please remember that winners must have their dues paid in full at the time of the contest. We had a few contenders this year that could not win because of delinquent dues. Contact us to check on your dues status.

Happy New Year! See you at the next HOA Meeting and other events throughout the year!
View all 2020 events

Newsletter – October 2019

Download PDF

Upcoming Events (see event calendar for details)

Trunk or Treat – Oct 26, 2019
HOA Meeting – Nov 12, 2019
Santa Visits the Park – Dec 8, 2019
Meet and Greet & Board Elections – Dec 15, 2019
Holiday Decorating Contest – Dec 15, 2019

1st Annual Craft and Vendor Fair a Success!

Country Lakes HOA would like to thank all the residents, vendors and general public who joined us on September 14th for our First Annual Vendor & Craft Fair Fundraiser. The event was held at the community park and was a great success.

A number of local vendors came out to showcase their unique products. We had vendors selling their own business products such as skincare, pressed flower art, tobacco stick crafts, jewelry, scrapbook supplies, and cakes/cake pops (she sold out of every dessert). Others sold some of the brands we all know and love such as Tupperware, Scentsy, Pure Romance, doTERRA Essential Oils, Origami Owl and more. Many of our vendors and local businesses donated raffle prize items that were raffled off. Many of our residents were winners of these prizes. Congrats!

While vendors were able to keep any profits from their own sales, funds raised from the vendor space rentals and raffle ticket sales went towards the fund for upgrades and maintenance to our community park and playground. The event generated $1015.27 for our community park playground!

Feedback from our vendors and patrons alike was very positive and many are already planning to join us next year. Mark your calendars because we are already making plans for the Second Annual Vendor & Craft Fair Fundraiser. The tentative date of September 12, 2020 is penciled on the calendar. The HOA is working on including food truck vendors to add to the event. If you or someone you know would like to participate as a vendor in next year’s event, please stay tuned. We plan to begin seeking vendors the beginning of 2020. Thanks again to all who made our first event a great success and we look forward to seeing everyone next year!

Fire Prevention this Fall

BURNING LEAVES THIS FALL? Until recently, we’ve had a very dry summer/fall, so please take precaution to keep yourself and your neighbors safe.  Don’t burn near any buildings; don’t use an accelerant; don’t burn when it is windy outside;  please call the Mechanicsville Volunteer Fire Department at (301) 884-4709 to let them know when you plan on burning.  You can also visit their website for more helpful fire prevention tips.

Join the Adopt a Road Clean-up Crew

We organize two of these clean up events each year where neighbors and community service members join together to clean our streets.  It’s a chance to volunteer your time to a good cause we can all appreciate. We post the dates in our events calendar and on Facebook, so please reach out if interested. Sign up here.

Park Use

The park is a great place to walk and play with your pets.  Please remember to clean up after your pets. Neighborhood children also play at the park and should not have to worry about stepping in your pet’s mess. 

Become a Board Member or Volunteer

Call 301-884-7297 or complete this form. When calling our voice mail, your phone number must accept blocked numbers to receive a call back and please allow a week for us to respond.

Join our Facebook Community

We currently have 827 followers on our online community. That is 153 NEW friends since 4Q 2018! Join your neighbors today and stay up to date on happenings around your community.

Newsletter – December 2018

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Santa Claus is Coming to Town

We are happy to announce that Santa will be making his yearly visit to Country Lakes on Sunday, December 9th from 1-3pm.  Let’s hope the weather is delightful for a fun event with neighbors and kids!  Spread the word and come visit Santa and mingle with friends.  HOA board members will be on hand offering hot chocolate and snacks!

HOA Board Elections and Holiday Decorating Contest – Same Day – Do both!

Our HOA Meet & Greet and Board Elections will be held on Sunday, December 16th from 3-5pm at Christ Church Parish Hall in Chaptico.  If you want to make a difference in your community, this is the event to attend. Take part in the election and meet your board!

Afterwards, head home and get ready for our annual Holiday Decorating Contest.  The board members will drive around and choose their favorite homes!  There will be 3 winners and each will receive a prize! The contest is from 6-8pm on Sunday, December 16th.

Neighborhood Tips & Reminders

PARK USE
The park is a great place to walk and play with your pets.  Please remember to clean up after your pets. Neighborhood children also play at the park and should not have to worry about stepping in your pet’s mess.

GOT PROPANE?
Make sure to clear the path to your tank of debri and leaves. Your propane company will thank you.

LEAVES, LEAVES AND MORE LEAVES
Those dreaded leaves—they keep falling and falling.  Try raking or blowing them multiple times throughout the fall/winter seasons to prevent a huge project and burden for yourself in Spring time. Thinking of burning your leaves? Keep yourself and your neighbors safe.  Don’t burn near any buildings; don’t use an accelerant; don’t burn when it is windy outside;  please call the Mechanicsville Volunteer Fire Department at (301) 884-4709 to let them know when you plan on burning.  Because embers are typically burnt leaves and thus small and lightweight, they can easily become airborne. During a large fire, with the right conditions, embers can be blown far ahead of the fire front, starting spot fires several miles away. Please use caution!

JOIN THE BOARD – or just attend a meeting!

Monthly HOA meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month.  Our next meeting is Tuesday, Dec 11th at 6pm at Christ Church Parish Hall on Zach Fowler Rd. Please consider attending a future HOA meeting. It truly is the best way to make a difference in your community.

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH PROGRAM

Participate in making your community a better place to live. Learn more about the NWP by emailing WATCH@CLHA.ORG

View our Remaining 2018 Events

 

Newsletter: First Quarter 2018

PDF

Join the NEW Neighborhood Watch Program

Several residents have expressed concern over events happening in our community. We all want Country Lakes to be a safe place to live and raise families. The HOA is listening and responding to the demand for an increased law enforcement or community outreach presence around the neighborhood.

We have formed a new Neighborhood Watch Program (NWP), led by volunteer resident Zach Brightwell. We appreciate Zach’s willingness to take on this responsibility and are looking forward to community participation to make this a success.

Zach has been in discussion with the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s department on how best to move forward and how to work together to ensure safety for Country Lakes residents.  We need your help! We understand you are busy with life in general, but being part of the NWP doesn’t require much effort. Your involvement may require nothing more than communicating with the NWP when you see something that doesn’t seem right.  We can all help to make our community a better, safer place to live.

If interested in learning more about the NWP, please sign up here.

2018 Dues Notice

Your 2018 dues statements will be mailed on June 1 and the annual dues are $51.53 for the 2018 year. To avoid late fees, please submit payment by July 1. We appreciate everyone that contributes every year to the upkeep of our community. Check my dues status.

Join the Board – or just attend a meeting!

Monthly HOA meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month.  Our next meeting is Tuesday, April 10th at 6pm at Christ Church Parish Hall. Please consider attending a future HOA meeting. It truly is the best way to make a difference in your community. Volunteer

2018 Board of Directors and Members

The following is the outcome of the Dec 2017 Meet and Greet and Board Elections:

  • Elaine Green remains as your HOA President.
  • The Vice President position remains open.
  • Richard Annema is your new HOA Secretary.
  • Jim Loveless remains as your HOA Treasurer.

Your board members are as follows:

Mark Pullium, former Secretary, is still volunteering on the board. Will Gillingwater will continue as a board member. Bud Tarbox remains as your event coordinator and board member. Kim Beachy is your property manager. Jen Burtchette is your web manager. Zach Brightwell has joined the HOA as a board member and leader of the new Neighborhood Watch Program.

We are always accepting new board members. Please see what it’s all about by joining an upcoming HOA Meeting. Join us Tuesday, April 10 at the Christ Church Parish Hall to share your views and concerns. View 2018 HOA Meeting Schedule

NEW DATE: Community Clean Up Event

Due to weather, we rescheduled our Community Clean Up event.  It will now be on Saturday, April 21st. We were unable to avoid it coinciding with our Yard Sale event, so please consider volunteering if you won’t be selling that day. A board member will be on hand to manage the event. Meet us at the pavilion at 9am and wear durable clothing and shoes.

All Upcoming Events

Newsletter: 2nd Quarter 2017

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A Letter from the Sheriff’s Office

In our continuing efforts to strengthen community and law enforcement partnerships, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office and the Sheriff’s Citizen Advisory Board participated in a Country Lakes Homeowner’s Association Community (CLHOA) Meet & Greet on May 18, 2017.

The following members of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office participated in the event: Patrol Division Commander, Captain Eric Sweeney; District One Commander/CLHOA Sheriff’s Office Liaison, Lieutenant Eva Jones; Narcotics Division, Lieutenant Richard Russell, Criminal Investigations Division, Sergeant Thomas Hedderich; Traffic Safety, Corporal Brian Connelly, and Patrol Deputy Daniel Holdsworth.

The Sheriff’s Office thanks the CLHOA for hosting this opportunity for their citizens to meet and interact with our personnel, and learn about criminal and traffic laws, as well as services provided for citizens by our agency.

The agency offers a wide variety of services to citizens. Information on these services is available on our website www.firstsheriff.com. The Sheriff’s Office keeps citizens informed through our website news blog, social media outlets to include Facebook and Twitter, and through the Nixle Program. Citizens can sign up for Nixle, a free service, on our website to receive text messages and/or emails on local events and incidents, such as road closures.

The Sheriff’s Office has also instituted a new On-Line Reporting System for minor crimes, suspicious incidents, and reporting lost items. Please see our website for guidelines on using this service.

Anyone having any questions or concerns pertaining to the Country Lakes Subdivision may contact Lieutenant Eva Jones at 301-475- 4200 x*8069.


Eagle Troop Helps Restore Trails at the Park

We would like to extend a very special thank you to Cody with Eagle Troop 1785 for taking the lead and completing a bridge and trail restoration project at the Country Lakes park. Cody approached the HOA board with the idea to repair the old worn bridges and clean the trails. We were happy to approve the project and it was recently completed in June.  We hope you and your families and pets enjoy these trails, located in the wooded section along the existing walking path at the park. Please remember to keep your pets leashed at all times. Not all animals are as friendly with other unknown animals and people as they are with your own families at home. A leash will help avoid any unforeseen problems. Thanks for understanding!


Lions, and Tigers, and Bears, OH MY!

Not quite lions, tigers, or bears… (we hope)… but do your neighbors have odd pets that concern you being so close to your property? If you have questions about pet regulations in St. Mary’s County and the state of Maryland, please visit the following websites for more information:

Maryland Department of Agriculture:
http://mda.maryland.gov/

St. Mary’s County Animal Control:
http://www.stmarysmd.com/est/animalcontrol.asp


Upcoming 3rd Quarter Events (view calendar)

JULY

Tuesday, 11th – HOA Meeting

Park pavilion at 6-pm. All are welcome.

AUGUST

Tuesday, 1st – National Night Out

Park pavilion at 6-8pm. Many of our community organizations and first responders will be in attendance with fun demonstrations, door prizes, food and games. Don’t miss it.

Tuesday, 8th – HOA Meeting

Park pavilion at 6-pm. All are welcome.

SEPTEMBER

Tuesday, 12th – HOA Meeting

Park pavilion at 6-pm. All are welcome.

Saturday, 16th – Community Clean Up

Volunteers please meet at the park pavilion at 9am. Bring gloves and wear appropriate clothing for clean up. The HOA will handle removal of all filled garbage bags.

Saturday, 23rd – Community Yard Sale

Starts at 7am until you are finished! Set up in your yard or at the parking lot on Cox/Asher on a first-come, first-served basis. We will advertise online and post signs in the neighborhood.

Newsletter: 1st Quarter 2017

SMC Sheriff’s Dept. to Hold Community Meeting in May

Sheriff Timothy Cameron and the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Citizen’s Advisory Board, in their continuing efforts to strengthen community and law enforcement partnerships, will host a Country Lakes Homeowner’s Association Community Meeting.  The Community Meeting will be held on Thursday, 18 May, 2017  at the Pavilion from 6 – 8 p.m.  The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Department will provide an overview of calls for service in the Country Lakes area and respond to citizen’s questions.  Residents are encouraged to attend.


Landscape Services Needed

We are accepting bids for landscaping services needed at the Country Lakes entrance and common area.  The services are needed on an ongoing basis and are detailed in our bid package, which can be downloaded upon completion of this form. To be considered, you must complete and mail the bid package (postmarked by March 21, 2017) to Country Lakes HOA, PO Box 632, Mechanicsville, MD 20659.  A selection will be made by the HOA Board of Directors on or after Friday, March 24. Complete the form to access the bid package.


Consequences of a Delinquent Account

Several months ago we announced an initiative to bring all delinquent accounts into good standing. We acquired the services of the Law Firm of Andres, Bongar, Gormley & Clagett, and as of September 30, 2016, transferred delinquent accounts for collection. Once the account has been transferred, the Law Firm has full control of the collection process and the HOA can no longer discuss or accept payment towards any delinquent dues. Failing to pay your yearly HOA fees does result in serious consequences.

An Example – From our Attorneys

If a homeowner has unpaid HOA fees in the amount of $400, here’s how that cost can increase quickly as the result of being sent to collections:

  • $200 Attorney’s fee to prepare and send a warning (demand) letter
  • $36.40 Fee to verify whether or not the owner is on active duty
  • $34 Fee paid to the Court to file the lawsuit
  • $40 Fee paid to process serving of the lawsuit
    (can increase if owner is difficult to locate)
  • $750 Attorney’s fee for all work done in connection with the lawsuit

Check the Status of Your Dues

Are you new to the neighborhood or can’t remember if your dues are current? Please complete this form or email dues@clha.org. Include your name and street address and we will check on the status of your dues right away.


2017 Dues Notice

Your 2017 dues statements will be mailed on June 1 and the annual dues will be increased  5% to $49.08 for the 2017 year. Thanks for understanding. We appreciate everyone that contributes every year to the upkeep of our community.


New Schedule for Monthly HOA Meetings

To accommodate the schedules of our volunteer board, the monthly HOA meetings for 2017 will be held on the second Tuesday of each month.  Our next meeting is Tuesday, April 11th at 6pm at the park pavilion. Please consider attending a future HOA meeting. It truly is the best way to make a difference in your community.


Volunteers Needed for Spring Community Clean Up

If your children need community service hours for school, this is a great event to accomplish the requirement. Please have them meet at the pavilion at 9am on Saturday, April 8th. A board member will be on hand to manage all volunteers and direct the event. Bring gloves and wear sturdy walking sneakers/shoes. Thanks.


Upcoming Events

The events schedule for 2017 has been released.  Browse events here. We hope to see you at many events this year.  If you are interested in volunteering, please complete this form.


Facebook: An Easy Way to Communicate with Neighbors

Join us on Facebook for easy access to your board members and other neighbors. It’s a great place to spread community news quickly. We currently have 466 friends and that number is steadily increasing.  Our most popular post from Q1 2017 reached more than 1200 people!! Join here.

Newsletter: 3rd Quarter 2016

10/30/16 – Download the PDF

Letter from the President

We are reaching the end of the fiscal year and there are still several events taking place before the year is over. There are two very important events for which the Board historically gets very little or no support. The first is the preparation and submission of the fiscal year 2017 Budget, which will be presented during the November 14 board meeting. Second, the CLHOA Annual Elections (Meet & Greet) which takes place on Sunday, December 11, 2016, at Christ Episcopal Church from 4-6pm.  These are both very important events that decide the upcoming and future plans for our community. We encourage you to make every effort to attend these events, so please mark your calendars and support your HOA. You will get a taste of the challenges facing your association. We are working for you, but to see the changes you hope for, we must hear your voice!

In the last newsletter we announced the board’s initiative to bring all delinquent accounts into good standing. To achieve the initiative, we acquired the services of the Law Firm of Andres, Bongar, Gormley & Clagett. As of September 30, 2016, CLHA has transferred the first batch of delinquent accounts for collection to the Law Firm. Be aware that once the delinquent account has been transferred, the Law Firm has full control of the collection process. This is a reminder to make every effort to bring your dues current as soon as possible.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Ms. Kim Beachy, dues Manager at propertymanagement@clha.org or 301-904-8114.

Kindest Regards,

Cesar Afanador
President
Country Lakes Homeowners Association

Trunk or Treat Details

We will celebrate on Halloween, October 31 from 6-8pm at the park. There will be a bonfire and plenty of candy for the kids. Someone will be on-hand at 5:30 to direct traffic to the parking area for residents that participate in handing out candy.  Otherwise, please use the main parking lot.  Please watch out for cars!

National Night Out Report

This popular event was on Tuesday, August 2nd at the park. It is an annual event held in conjunction with other National Night Out events across the country. Approximately 100 Country Lakes residents and guests were in attendance.

Special guests were the Mechanicsville Volunteer Rescue Squad, SMECO, the Mechanicsville Volunteer Fire Department, the Maryland State Police – Leonardtown Barracks, and the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Department. SMECO brought one of their line trucks and the fire department performed a “spray-down” in a nearby ball field. Thank you to all of these groups for talking to guests, handing out literature, and doing demonstrations featuring their vehicles and/or equipment.

Thank you to the CLHA board members & others who volunteered their time & efforts to bring food, drinks, desserts, snacks, condiments, supplies and games. A special thank you to our grill-masters who cooked hamburgers & hotdogs for all to enjoy.

The CLHA board also wants to thank the following local businesses that donated door prizes for this event: Clay Creations of Mechanicsville, the Pax River Naval Air Museum in Lexington Park, and Pizza Hotline in Charlotte Hall.  We hope to see everyone again at the Country Lakes’ National Night Out event in 2017!

Community Clean up Report

This year we had five community service workers and four residents helping to clean up the community roads and common areas. There were approximately eighteen (18) bags of trash picked up along Tin Top, Yowaski Mill, and at the bottom of the hill on Asher (at the guardrails).Thanks to those that managed this event and all that participated. Our next community clean up event will be in the Spring of 2017. Stay tuned for the date.

Walking Trail at the Park

Our walking path at the park is about 3/5 of a mile and now that the weather is cooler, it is a great time to get out and exercise.  The walking path is level and made with recycled asphalt.  Take advantage of it.  Your pets are welcome too, but please bring a garbage bag to clean up after your pets.

See our events page for the remaining activities for 2016!

Newsletter: 2nd Quarter 2016

Letter From the President

Dear Country Lakes resident,

As many of you have already noticed, the Country Lakes HOA board of directors has acquired the services of the Law Firm of Andrews, Bongar, Gormley & Clagett as a mitigation initiative to bring all delinquent accounts into good standing. The initiative was necessary due to the excessive deliquencies.

The collected funds will be invested into the recreation area at Cox Drive and other services the HOA provides to its members and our community in general. If you have questions or concerns, contact our property manager, Kim Beachy, at your earliest at propertymanagement@clha.org or 301-904-8114. Kim is working all requests diligently and as expeditiously as possible.

We want you to be informed and we welcome your comments and participation as well by using our Website (CLHA.org) or joining our monthly meetings. HOA meetings are on the 2nd Monday of each month at 7pm. Come to the paviion during warm months and Christ Church Parish Hall in Chaptico during cold months.

In addition, the HOA board of directors has started working on a master plan that covers the maintenance and improvement of the recreation area. We have received feedback from residents with very good ideas on park improvements. Again, your comments are welcomed and needed in order for us to plan and execute the real needs of the community. We appreciate your valuable input!

Kindest Regards,

Cesar Afanador | EMAIL ME
President
Country Lakes Homeowners Association

What’s Happening Online?

Have you seen the CLHA Facebook page? It’s an easy and quick way to communicate with your neighbors and board members directly. As of this newsletter, we have 404 followers and our posts often go viral, extending to “friends” of those followers as well.

We saw our biggest growth in number of friends during the first quarter of 2016!  That is great news; It means the word is spreading and our page is getting even more popular. Don’t you think that’s an even better reason to join us? Find us at Facebook.com/CLHOA

Dues Statements Have Been Mailed

Year HOA fees were due July 1, 2016.  Your dues statements were mailed in early June.  If you have not received yours or if you feel there is a problem with your dues statement please email Kim at propertymanagement@clha.org or call our voicemail line at (301) 884-7297.  If you leave a voice mail message, please speak clearly and slowly, spell your name, and provide your mailing address. The voice mail system is checked for messages once per week.  We are an all volunteer board, so please be patient; we will return your call. Thanks for understanding and your cooperation.

Park Amenities and Safety

Our park offers a pavilion with picnic tables, playground,   two softball fields, a baseball field, a basketball court, two tennis courts and a walking path (almost 4/5th of a mile). All residents of the community are welcomed to use these amenities. Things to remember:

  • The park closes at dusk. 
  • There is safety in numbers.
  • Clean up after your pets.
  • Respect the equipment (basketball rims, tennis nets, ball field backstops, swings, etc.)
  • Playground equipment could get hot in the summer sun.
  • Your safety and the safety of your children are your responsibility.
  • And most of all, ENJOY YOURSELVES!

School is Out for Summer

School is out, which means a greater presence of kids around the community during the day and evening hours. Be mindful when driving through our streets. 

ATTENTION PARENTS! Please share these pedestrian and biking rules with your children for their safety: 
When walking on the shoulder of a street, you should be facing oncoming traffic.  When bicycling, ride with the flow of traffic (on the same side).  Stop signs are intended for motorized vehicles AND bicycles.

Upcoming Repairs Near the Park

County Maintenance will soon begin working to repair a sinkhole near the access road to the pavilion from Cox Drive.  We estimate the work to take approximately 3 days. Please watch out for workers and possible road closures. We will try to alert everyone in advance of any closures that may affect your travels in the community. Please check our Facebook page often.

Submit a Bid

You have likely noticed the recurring sinkhole between the pavilion and playground. Please continue to stay away from the fenced off area. We currently have 1 bid for the repair work and would like to receive 2 more.  If you or someone you know are interested in the repair work, please contact us with a bid here.

Your Feedback is Valuable to Us

Our volunteers try their best to respond timely to Facebook messages, voicemail messages, e-mails, and form submissions.
We urge you to participate in our monthly meetings, where a local police officer listens to our needs and concerns. The bigger presence we have at these meetings, the better change you will see in your community. Interested in volunteering? Click here. Thank you.

Upcoming Events – 3rd Quarter 2016

JULY

11th – HOA Board Meeting

Park pavilion at 7pm.

AUGUST

2nd – National Night Out

Join your neighbors at the park for a fun night of food, games and door prizes. This annual community-building event promotes police-community partnerships
and neighborhood comaraderie to make our
neighborhood a safer, better place to live.

8th – HOA Board Meeting

Park pavilion at 7pm.

SEPTEMBER

10th – Community Yard Sale

Set up in your yard or at the pavilion. We will advertise on SOMD.com, CLHA.org, and Facebook. Please post your own signs, but remember to remove them following the event.

12th – HOA Board Meeting

Park pavilion at 7pm.

24th – Community Clean Up

Meet us at the pavilion at 9am to volunteer for this event. Board members will be on hand to manage the clean up route and provide supplies. Students can apply these hours to community service requirements.

SEE ALL 2016 EVENTS

Download the PDF

Newsletter: 1st Quarter 2016

View PDF

Spring Community Clean Up

A few years ago, the Country Lakes Homeowners Association (CLHA) discussed joining the county’s adopt-a-road program.  It only seemed fitting that we, as a community, volunteer to adopt the main thoroughfares in our neighborhood, Asher Road and Yowaiski Mill Road. The only requirement was that we hold a few yearly community clean up events to help maintain the cleanliness of our adopted roads.

Please join us on Saturday, April 9, at 9am at the park pavilion for our annual Spring clean up event.  Board members will be on hand to organize the event and provide supplies.  If you have yard gloves (and/or latex), we suggest bringing them along too.

Are you already busy on Saturday?

We understand.  If you can only stay for an hour or so, that is ok. If not, you can still contribute by picking up any trash you see on your own street.   If you have kids, they can apply these hours to the community service requirement for school, so send them down to the park at 9am. We will keep them busy!

Your 2016 HOA Board of Directors

On December 8, 2015 we held our annual Meet and Greet and Board Elections. Your new board of directors for 2016 are as follows.  Meet them yourselves by attending an event this year or better yet, a monthly meeting!  Contact the board at CLHA.org.

Cesar Afanador, President
Elaine Green, Vice President
James Loveless, Treasurer
Mark Pullium, Secretary

Yearly Dues Reminder

Are your dues behind? We send out quarterly statements as a reminder to pay your balances. Our community relies on this income to maintain and improve the park, landscaping, utilities, organize events, and more. Check your dues status here. Thanks for your cooperation.

Easier to Reserve the Pavilion

The required Pavilion User’s Agreement form can now be found here on the CLHA website. Under “My HOA” or “Quick Access Links”, click on “Reserve the Pavilion” and then select “Download required contract (PDF)”.

This is a NEW, convenient way of letting you look over the pavilion contract BEFORE making a pavilion reservation request.

If the terms & conditions are acceptable to you, please complete the form or contact Monty Wright at eventcooordinator@clha.org to request a pavilion reservation for a particular date. Requests can also be made by phone by calling 301-884-7297.

CLHA members in good standing (ALL membership dues and any late fees paid up to date) are eligible to reserve the pavilion. Requests are accepted on a qualified first-come, first served basis. Check your dues status.

The CLHA pavilion can be reserved for private, personal get-togethers such as birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, family reunions, and picnics. The pavilion can NOT be reserved for organizational meetings or for any fund raising efforts. Alcoholic beverages of any kind are NOT allowed. There’s NO charge for reserving the pavilion. Only 1 pavilion reservation per day is accepted.

Once your membership status has been confirmed, you’ll be asked to print out 2 copies of the Pavilion User’s Agreement form and then meet with the event coordinator for you each to sign the copies. One copy the resident keeps and the other copy the event coordinator keep for their records. Once both copies of this form have been signed by the resident & the event coordinator, the resident is “locked in” and all set. The form provides the resident with a record of what they are and are not responsible for. In addition, it serves as the resident’s proof to the authorized, exclusive use the pavilion as approved by the CLHA board on the date & time period specified.

PLEASE provide at least a 2 week notice for pavilion reservation requests. The more advance notice the better! Go to the reservation form.

Board Meetings Now 2nd Monday

Our Board Meetings are now held on the second Monday of each month at either the park pavilion (during warm months) or the Christ Church Parish Hall on Zack Fowler Rd. in Chaptico (during cold months). Please bring your ideas/suggestions/complaints and we’ll try our best to address them appropriately. Everyone is welcomed and encouraged to attend these meetings!  Want to Volunteer? Call 301-884-7297 or submit this form.

Facebook Update

Have you seen the CLHA Facebook page? It’s an easy and quick way to communicate with your neighbors and board members directly. We currently have 394 followers and our posts often go viral, extending to “friends” of those followers as well.

We saw our biggest growth in number of friends during this first quarter of 2016!  That is great news; It means the word is spreading and our page is getting even more popular. Don’t you think that’s an even better reason to join us? Go to Facebook.com/CLHOA and check us out!

Upcoming Events for 2nd Quarter 2016 (see more here)

APRIL

9th – Spring Community Clean Up – 9am

Meet us at the park pavilion. Board members will manage and provide supplies.  Kids can apply these hours to school community service requirements.

23rd – Community Yard Sale – 7am
Set up in your yard or at the park. We will advertise on somd.com, Facebook, and our website. We also encourage you to advertise on your own.

MAY

9th HOA Board Meeting

Park pavilion at 7pm.

JUNE

13th HOA Board Meeting

Park pavilion at 7pm.

In Case you Missed It: Holiday Decorating Contest Winners

The CLHA board voted on Thursday night, December 17th on the best decorated houses in the community.  This year’s winners received gift cards to local businesses. If you didn’t see it on Facebook or our web site, here are the winners from the 2015 contest. Congrats, neighbors:
26869 Kelli Ct.
26981 Bosse Dr.
36974 David Dr.

Newsletter – 4th Quarter 2015

Trunk or Treat – Better than Ever

On Halloween night, we all gathered at the park in Country Lakes for our annual Trunk or Treat event.  It turned out to be a great evening and a very successful event.  This year, our board members added to the atmosphere with extra lights and a bigger bonfire than ever before. We received plenty of positive comments about the event.

We had 14 participating “trunks” and approximately 300 kids come through to get candy, to enjoy the bonfire, and most of to all have FUN.

Special thanks to our board members and neighbors for participating and making it the best yet.  See photos from the event.

Community Clean Up Report

Saturday, October 24th, was our Fall Community Clean up day with participants and volunteers meeting at the pavilion to start. We had five individuals participating under the St. Mary’s Community Service program and two neighborhood volunteers.  The clean up concentrated on Yowaiski Mill Rd and Tin Top School Rd, from end to end and yielded 18 bags of trash. Our residents are making a huge contribution toward these Community clean ups and we appreciate it greatly.  We hope you will consider volunteering for the next clean up.

Meet & Greet – Board Elections

The most important event of the year for Country Lakes is when our board members and directors gather at the Christ Church Parish Hall (Zach Fowler Rd in Chaptico) in December. On that night (Tuesday, December 8) we elect our new officials for 2016. If you are interested in joining the board, this is the event you do not want to miss. We hope you see you on Tuesday, 7-9pm.

Santa’s Visit at Christ Church Parish Hall

We hope you can join us on Sunday, December 13, from 2-4pm to see Santa. This will be the 2nd annual event at the hall. We opted for an indoor location to avoid inclement weather.  This location is a short drive from Country Lakes on Zach Fowler Rd, in Chaptico. See you there!

Holiday Decorating Contest

The CLHA board will drive around on Thursday night, December 17th to vote on the best decorated houses in the community.  This year’s winners will receive gift cards to local businesses. Don’t forget to turn your lights on from 6-9pm so we don’t miss your display! We hope you all enjoy decorating your homes as much as we enjoy seeing them!

Pavilion Reservation Contract – Now Online

To reserve the pavilion, you must first submit the online request form at least 2 weeks prior to your event date. There is a contract that is also required and we have recently added it for download from the pavilion request web page. This will help expedite your reservation request. Keep in mind the following requirements with regard to the contract:

1. Reservations can ONLY be made by CLHA members.

2. Reservations are accepted on a qualified first come, first served basis.

3.  You must agree to the terms/conditions specified on the form.

4.  You must print out 2 copies of the form. Both the member and the CLHA event coordinator must sign each copy.  You keep one copy and the event coordinator keeps one copy. This is your “receipt.”

5. ATTENTION RENTERS: The owner of the property MUST sign the form and will be held responsible if ANY of the provisions in this agreement are violated.

Facebook Update

Have you seen the CLHA Facebook page? It’s an easy and quick way to communicate with your neighbors and board members directly. We currently have 353 followers and our posts often go viral, extending to “friends” of those followers as well. Our most popular post in the 4th quarter of 2015 reached more than 400 people on Facebook! It was an alert posted by a neighbor about suspicious activity in the neighborhood. We shared the alert on our page and it went viral. What a great way to stay informed as these events occur around you!  Join us today

Remaining 2015 Events

DECEMBER

Tuesday, 8th – Meet & Great: Board Elections – Christ Church Parish Hall, 7pm

Sunday, 13th – Santa’s Visit – Christ Church Parish Hall, 2-4pm

Thursday, 17th – Holiday Decorating Contest, 6-9pm

2016 events will be posted in early January. Stay tuned.