The HSVPOA Common Property, Forest, and Wildlife Committee (CPFW) met at 1:30 p.m. on August 3, 2020, at the Police Training Academy. This was an organizational meeting. The officers of the committee will be chosen at the next committee meeting on Tuesday, September 8, 2020.
The committee consists of up to seven members of the Property Owners’ Association who are appointed by the POA Board of Directors. Each member serves staggered three-year terms. Committee members are: Bruce Caverly; Dan Webb; Anne Shears; Tom Impellizzeri; Board Member, Kirk Denger; CPFW Manager, Todd Noles. All committee members were in attendance.
Committee applicants in attendance: Paula Lane and Max Billingsley.
Additional staff in attendance: COO, Jason Temple.
Guests in attendance: Maxine Klein, Joe Dowden, and Cheryl Dowden.
Status of CPFW Committee Documents
- Committee Policy – approved by BOD on July 20, 2020, and current on Explorethevillage.com.
- Committee Charter – Approved by BOD on July 20, 2020, and current on Explorethevillage.com.
- Common Property Procedures – completed
- Internal Operating Guidelines – completed
- Revised Common Property Application for Work on Common Property – completed
Caverly: The committees are now board committees as of May 20, 2020. Each committee now reports directly to the Board of Directors. There is also a staff member and a board member assigned to each committee. The staff and board member are now full committee members which means they are voting members. They are considered to be equal members of the committees.
Webb: I don’t have a problem with the staff and board member being a voting member of the committee but I don’t think they should be chair.
Denger: “The last board created this in the 11th hour before we were seated. To me, it’s got to be rescinded…I won’t be voting.”
2020 Urban Deer Hunt
Caverly: The Urban Deer Hunt is coordinated with Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Arkansas Bow Hunters Association. The objective is to manage the deer population in the community. Hunting is not generally allowed in HSV. Village policies were changed around ten years ago to allow sanctioned bow hunts in the Village.
Caverly: We have between 1,950 to 2,100 deer in the Village, which is about twice the amount we should have for the herd to be healthy. Arkansas Game and Fish says there should only be 25 deer per square mile. Currently, we have 48 deer per square mile.
The problems with the excess deer population as it relates to Villagers are:
- increased deer ticks,
- increased air borne diseases, and
- deer feces are not good for Village pets.
Too many deer create opportunities for inbreeding and allow for other diseases such as Chronic Wasting Disease.
On Saturday, August 8, 2020 the Bow Hunters Association, Arkansans Game and Fish, and the Wildlife Wardens will be at the Woodlands for an orientation. in order to orient and qualify over 200 hunters for the Village Urban Deer Hunt.
This year’s hunt will be from September 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020. Then the hunt extends into next year from January 1, 2021 to January 31, 2021, for residents of the Village, only.
To be qualified for the hunt you must:
- have a Fish and Game license,
- have an ABA license and bow hunting school,
- qualify in the Village with a distance of 25 feet and 3 arrows to a target,
- sign a waiver that you hold the POA harmless from any injuries or damage.
Caverly: “My objective this year is I would like to see us get at least 500 deer.” This would not reduce the population to a healthy heard but would keep the population from growing.
Caverly: The qualified hunters receive a dash pass which gives them the authorization to enter the Village.
Caverly: The hunter takes his/her dressed deer to Cortez Firehouse where there is a refrigerated trailer. The meat is taken to Hot Springs in order to turn the meat into ground deer and deer jerky. Last year about 20,000 meals were contributed to help feed the hungry.
Caverly: Garland County has around a 30% child food insecurity problem. This meat helps to alleviate hunger.
Caverly: Villagers should understand that they cannot interfere with a sanctioned hunt. It is an offense that they can be ticketed for. Damage to hunters’ equipment is punishable by a fine and a ticket.
The orientation this year is mostly outside of the Woodlands Auditorium under the Porte Cochere. The registration must be done inside due to this process being computerized. CPFW committee members will be at the facility to take temperatures and screen the hunters, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Klein: “Every committee meeting, the same process should happen before the person is allowed to enter the facility.”
Manuals and Name Tags
Bruce Caverly will be working with staff to print out committee manuals for all the members. This will be finished before August 13, 2020. Staff will be providing all committee members name tags.
CPFW Manager, Todd Noles Report
Noles: “I look forward to building a bridge between staff and the committee where we can better serve the community.” This committee is going to help me a lot.
Noles: In July, we cut down 21 trees. “I cut eight and the rest were contracted.” At the bridge near the Danville gate, we cleared out both sides of the overpass. “This has been a safety hazard for a long time.”
Noles: We are working with the Recreation Department to move a trail on DeSoto. This trail was located on Cooper property which was sold.
Noles: We will begin mowing the lake dams next month. Contractor Millsap will be working on all dams, subject to approval from Finance and Planning.
Noles: For safety, we are going to continue to improve sight clearances. Also, we will continue to stay involved with hazardous trees.
Noles: I would like to see a policy where the POA can go on a private lot and remove a tree if it is dangerous to a neighbor. This scenario is usually on unimproved lots.
Caverly: This issue is that the POA cannot go on privately-owned lots and cut trees. We have a policy for taking care of damaged trees on common property. I propose to use the same approach to do that with a private lot with a damaged tree that is in jeopardy of causing life, limb, or property damage issues. The policy I wrote up has three points:
- if it isn’t a damaged tree, we leave it alone,
- if it is a damaged tree that is going to cause a problem, we cut it down, or
- if it isn’t immediately harmful and there is time to get ahold of the lot owner, then the owner needs to take care of it.
Shears: “One of the serious issues we have in the Village is that often ownership is unclear. The NRPI lots, the Paradiso lots have reverted to the Commissioner of Lands. We need an emergency policy because we can’t always determine who is responsible. They won’t even respond.”
Noles: “I have an app on my phone that shows me who owns the lots.”
Temple: “It is a huge legal issue here. This will require legal determination on how the POA can legally access the private property and remove a dangerous tree. This needs to go to an attorney to determine whether this can be done.
Shears: “Perhaps correspondence between the POA and the Commissioner of Lands, to get blanket permission to go into the lots that have reverted back to the state. There are over 1,000 of them. I quit counting Paradiso at about 1,200.”
Temple: “At least we may be able to obtain legal permission to go on those lots…I think we will have to talk to insurance companies and attorneys to write a policy that we can present to the Board.”
Shears: Something a homeowner can do is send a certified, return receipt letter notifying the lot owner about a damaged tree, so that you have proof of delivery.
Board of Director Kirk Denger Report
Denger: The POA is allowed to come on your property any day except Sunday to make repairs. I think that would include dangerous trees.
Temple: This policy addresses utilities and infrastructure the POA built. I don’t think it addresses the tree issue.
Begin Handling Class 1, 2 and 3 Permits Applications
Sarah Downey of Planning and Inspections receives requests for underbrush and tree removal on common property. She also receives requests for under dock cleanup. Sarah will contact the committee so someone can meet with the homeowner in order to inspect the site of the proposed work. There are 3 classes of permits issued.
- Class 1 Permits – cleaning up of shrubs and trees smaller than 3 inches on common property. One committee member can approve this.
- Class 2 Permits – cutting trees larger than 3 inches in diameter. This requires two committee members to review the site where the work is requested. This request can be approved, modified, or denied by the committee. The two committee members must bring this request (along with pictures) to the next committee meeting.
- Class 3 Permits – cleaning up and removing dirt under boat docks on private property. This work is usually done when the lake water levels are lowered. The owner must remove the dirt from the property unless it is going to be used for gardening soil. This work can be approved by one committee member after the committee member talks to the Lakes Committee and permission is given from them.
These processes will be covered in the training session on August 13, 2020.
Temple: We want to encourage committee members to be considerate of property owners and to handle the permits in as timely a manner as possible.
Other Business and Questions
The next CPFWM Committee meeting is Tuesday, September 8, 2020. The reason this meeting is not being held on Monday, September 7, 2020, is because that is Labor Day. The CPFW New Member Training session will be on August 13, 2020, at the Police Training Academy. This training session is expected to last approximately two hours.
Bruce Caverly called for adjournment at 2:43 p.m.
* * *
By Cheryl Dowden, August 4, 2020
Thank you for reading. Click here to visit Hot Springs Village Community Forums.
* * *
Click here to visit the Hot Springs Village People Facebook Group.