Monday, February 16, 2015

Volunteering in Brambleton by Ram Venkat



"Volunteers do not necessarily have the time, they just have the heart". - Anonymous

As a Brambleton resident since 2008, I am more than thrilled about the developments and activities going on in Brambleton. When my wife Seetha & I looked at homes in Loudoun County, it didn't take us very long to decide on a home in Brambleton. Tim with Miller & Smith helped us through our home buying decision as things happened pretty quickly. 

From my experiences of having traveled this great nation – starting from a small town called Aberdeen, WA state (where Kurt Cobain of Nirvana is from) to Atlanta, GA to Boston, MA to the Bay Area, and having seen many neighborhoods & communities, my instincts told me that Brambleton had all of the right things for us. Now after living in the community for over six years, I can most definitely say we are truly happy to be here to raise our 2 year old daughter Jaanvi and our second child due in May. 
Over the past several years, I have had the opportunity to volunteer in many different ways. Seeing my neighbors volunteer and the encouragement from the HOA staff have served as inspiration for me to volunteer and serve on the Covenants Committee and at various events throughout the year. I love the fact that I am able to meet residents and neighbors from throughout the community. It’s also hard to resist the perks that come along with volunteering like entry at events for my family, free beer/food/T-shirt and frequent community updates from working along side other volunteers and staff. I’ve been able to keep up with what is happening and learn about upcoming volunteer opportunities through our community's communications, which connect the Association with residents and foster our tight knit community. 

With Brambleton estimated to grow to approximately 9,000 planned residential units over the next 10 years, our population will rise to over 20,000 (more than Purcellville and Round Hill towns combined). There is always a need for volunteers in our committees and events.

In early 2013 I began serving as a resident volunteer on the Covenants Committee. Committee member responsibilities include regulating the external appearance, use and upkeep of properties in Brambleton. Covenants Committee members also help advise the Board of Directors regarding home owner guidelines and offer recommendations on a variety of covenants related matters. A recent example would be the proposed revisions on landscape borders, cafe lights, and portable basketball equipment which are open for public comment through February 15th, 2015. 

Covenants Committee members do not perform field inspections on properties for violations. These inspections are performed by BCA Covenants Advisors who then work with residents to resolve open items. The committee does act as the initial hearing body for violations of the Association’s governing documents that are not resolved by staff . Hearings provide an opportunity for residents to be heard and enable the committee members to consider their input when making a determination. In addition to their monthly meetings, committee members are also called upon to consider taking action outside the scheduled meeting times, for instance to approve a project that needs to start soon if the cold is weather around the corner. 

I’ve truly enjoyed my time serving as a volunteer and look forward to more volunteering opportunities in 2015. I encourage residents to consider becoming involved and hope to meet you at our next event.

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