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Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question for the Association, please click here to e-mail it to us. Questions submitted to the
Association may be posted to the website for the benefit of all residents.

Can I post an ad for the sale of my bike on the notice board in the Mailroom?
How come my monthly condo fees are higher than my neighbor’s?
Why are we putting $200,000 a year in the Association Capital Repair and Replacement Reserve Funds?
Why does Colecroft Station limit weekend moves in-and-out to the first and last Saturday of the Month. Also, how come there is a special charge of $200 for these Saturday moves?
I am a renter at Colecroft Station. May I rent the Party Room for an event I have planned?
Why is the Site Office staffed only part time?
How do I know that my condo fees are being spent appropriately?
I would like to replace my kitchen countertops. Do I need Board approval?
What are the respective responsibilities of the Colecroft Station Board and the Colecroft Station Management Company?
What is the difference between ‘Common Elements’ and ‘Limited Common Elements’ of the condominium?
What arrangements are in place in Colecroft Station for trash disposal of large items and recycling?
How may I dispose of hazardous household waste items such as leftover paint, paint thinner, etc?
Why do I need to buy homeowners insurance for my unit given that the Association buys insurance for the complex?
What are my preventive maintenance responsibilities as a unit owner at Colecroft Station?
How many of the Directors on our Board are commercial unit owners and how many are residential unit owners?
Who is eligible to be a Board Director? How many Directors are there? What is their term of office?
Do Board Directors receive any remuneration for their service from the Association?
What is the "Board Liaison with Staff and Contractors"? How is the "Board Liaison" appointed?
What does the Police Satellite Office sign in the window of the Association Office mean?
Now that the Association Office is also a Police Satellite Office, is that where I am supposed to phone if I have something to report to the Police?
Is grilling on balconies and patios allowed?
Where may bikes be stored on the property?

Can I post an ad for the sale of my bike on the notice board in the Mailroom?
Yes. Bring your notice to the Site Office and we will post it. Personal ads are posted for one week.

How come my monthly condo fees are higher than my neighbor’s?
Condo fees are based on the percentage of the square footage of each unit relative to the total of square footage of Colecroft Station. If your unit is 930 square feet, your share of the total square footage is 0.5466% and your share of this year’s monthly fee is 0.5466%.

Why are we putting $200,000 a year in the Association Capital Repair and Replacement Reserve Fund?
The Association puts over $200,000 per year in the Capital Repair and Replacement Reserve Funds -- one out of every three dollars of condo fees. Every five years the Association commissions an Engineering Reserve Study to provide a statistical projection of capital equipment life expectancy over the next ten years. The 2005 Engineering Reserve Study found that the Association should set aside about $2,000,000 between 2005 and 2015 to pay for statistically projected capital repairs during that timeframe. The Association's annual contribution of $200,000+ to the Reserve Funds comes from this $2,000,000 ten-year statistical projection. The next update of the Engineering Reserve Study is scheduled in 2010.

Why does Colecroft Station limit weekend moves in-and-out to the first and last Saturday of the Month. Also, how come there is a special charge of $200 for these Saturday moves?
In 2001 Colecroft Station decided to limit weekend moves to the first and last Saturday of the month. Prior to this, the lobbies were littered with move-related debris on Saturday and Sunday every week and sometimes the elevators were damaged. The additional $200 fee pays for overtime staff salary to pad the elevators, monitor the Saturday moves and clean up afterwards.

I am a renter at Colecroft Station. May I rent the Party Room for an event I have planned?
Yes. There is a fee of $25 to rent the Meeting Room for one evening and a refundable cleaning deposit of $150. You will also be required to sign an indemnification document in which you agree that the Association is not liable for your event or for any untoward consequences flowing from it.

Why is the Site Office staffed only part time?
Colecroft Station has a Management Company that handles most of our business on a full time basis. The Site Office is an extension of the Management Company and handles day-to-day interactions with contractors, Board Members, residents and City Departments, and 25 hours per week are generally sufficient for this.

How do I know that my condo fees are being spent appropriately?
The Association Board approves the Association Budget every year in a Public Meeting. This Budget is mailed to all Unit Owners in October of each year. The Board itself never handles any money or checks. These are cut by the Management Company, after it has confirmed that the expenditure is programmed into the Budget. Additionally, the Association financial records are audited every year in April by independent Accountants who review every invoice and check in the ledger for conformity with the approved Budget.

I would like to replace my kitchen countertops. Do I need Board approval?
No. Board approval is required for kitchen/bathroom remodeling and for wood floor installations. Please co-ordinate delivery of the new counters with the Site Office so that staff can pad and lock-down the elevator on the delivery date. You should also have your contractor check the maximum dimensions of the new counters to make sure that they will fit into the elevator.

What are the respective responsibilities of the Colecroft Station Board and the Colecroft Station Management Company?
The respective responsibilities of the Colecroft Station Board of Directors and the Colecroft Station Management Company are listed in Sections 3.1 and 3.2 of the
Colecroft Station Bylaws.

In essence, the Board of Directors is charged with hiring a Management Company, adopting an annual budget, assessing all Association Members to pay bills, overseeing financial accounts, adopting rules and regulations for the running of the Association and enforcing these and the Bylaws. The Board of Directors also approves any expenditures in excess of $1,000, which is the upper limit of the Management Company's discretionary authority. The Board of Directors does not handle any money or write checks, this function being delegated to the Management Company as an outside control of Association funds.

The Bylaws anticipate that the Management Company will perform the actual day-to-day property and personnel management duties of the Association as delegated by the Board of Directors, including hiring, training, supervising and dismissing on site maintenance staff, managing maintenance, repair and replacement contracts, and handling routine interactions with the Office of Code Enforcement and other City Departments. The Management Company solicits multiple bids from quality contractors for maintenance, repair and replacement contracts. The Management Company handles the Association's bank and investment accounts, tracks Association expenditures ensuring that these are in line with the approved Budget, writes the Association's checks, prepares the Association's tax returns, and assists the Association's independent Auditors. The Management Company also provides administrative support to routine meetings of the Board of Directors as well as to the Annual General Meeting of the Association, ensuring that all aspects of Association business are conducted in accordance with Bylaw requirements.

What is the difference between ‘Common Elements’ and ‘Limited Common Elements’ of the condominium?
"Common Elements" of the Condominium include the structure, exterior walls, windows, and spaces such as the Exercise Room, Meeting Room and Site Office, roofs, elevators, lobbies, and all wiring and plumbing located within the chases of the buildings. "Common Elements" are owned corporately by the Association as a whole, and not by any Association Member individually.

"Limited Common Elements" include individual unit parking spaces, balconies, patios, patio drains and patio fences, and windows associated with particular Condominium units. "Limited Common Elements" are also owned corporately by the Association as a whole, and not by any Association Member individually, but the use of "Limited Common Elements" is restricted to Association Members or Residents occupying particular units.

Under Section 5.5 of the Bylaws, the Association is responsible for repairs and replacements of all "Common Elements" and "Limited Common Elements," while unit owners are responsible for normal cleaning of the "Limited Common Elements" assigned to their unit, e.g. keeping balcony floors, walls and ceilings swept, and patios and patio drains cleared of ice, snow and debris.

Association Members should report any repair requirements of "Common Elements" or "Limited Common Elements" to the Site Office at 703-684-9064 or at colecroftstation@verizon.net and should not undertake repair or replacement of any of these elements themselves.

What arrangements are in place in Colecroft Station for trash disposal of large items and recycling?
Recycling bins for newspaper, shiny inserts, paper, envelopes, magazines, and small boxes broken down are located in the main lobby newspaper closets. Bins for glass, cans, and plastics (excluding lids) are located in the commercial garage trash room. Large boxes are to be broken down and placed in the large dumpsters in the same commercial garage trash room. Mattresses, furniture and other large items must be removed from the premises by owners themselves by calling a junk removal company or a charitable organization that picks up donations.

How may I dispose of hazardous household waste items such as leftover paint, paint thinner, etc?
Residents may dispose of leftover paint, paint thinner, cleaning solvents and other hazardous household waste at the Household Waste Facility, 3600 Wheeler Ave. The Facility accepts hazardous household waste on Mondays and Saturdays from 7:30AM to 3:30PM.

Why do I need to buy homeowners insurance for my unit given that the Association buys insurance for the complex?
Per Section 6.2 of the Bylaws, the general insurance policy purchased by the Association does not -- and may not -- provide personal liability coverage for unit owners or loss/damage coverage for the contents of individual units, including unit owners' personal possessions, property, furniture, furnishings, wall coverings, and any improvements and additions made to units, etc. Section 6.5 of the Bylaws allows unit owners to purchase personal insurance. The Association strongly recommends that all unit owners provide themselves with a homeowners policy that includes personal liability coverage (to pay for items such as accidental damage to neighboring units or to the common elements caused by water leaks or incontinent pets) as well as coverage for personal property, furniture, furnishings, wall coverings, etc, and for any improvements made to units (under coverage normally called "improvements and betterments coverage").

What are my preventive maintenance responsibilities as a unit owner at Colecroft Station?
Under Section 5.5 of the Bylaws, unit owners at Colecroft Station are responsible for keeping all equipment, appliances and appurtenances in their units in good order and in a clean and sanitary condition. In order to meet this obligation and prevent malfunctions and leaks into neighboring units and common elements, unit owners are encouraged to contract for a preventive maintenance program that includes regular professional inspection and servicing of their HVAC systems and ductwork, domestic appliances and plumbing connections. Unit owners are also encouraged to keep their HVAC systems running in summer and winter in order to dehumidify the air and prevent the development of unsanitary conditions in their units. Keeping HVAC systems running summer and winter in penthouse units is especially important for the additional reason that this will help to prevent overhead pipes from freezing in winter and overheating in summer. Unit owners are required to perform normal maintenance on the limited common element bathroom, kitchen and dryer vent ductwork, windows, balconies, patios and patio drains appurtenant to their units, including keeping these in a clean and sanitary condition free and clear of lint, fur-balls, matted hair, leaves, debris, snow, ice, and any accumulation of water. Any repairs to limited common elements that the Association could reasonably conclude were consequent to unit owner neglect or to remodeling or other work done by the unit owner are the responsibility of the unit owner.

How many of the Directors on our Board are commercial unit owners and how many are residential unit owners?
Section 3.3 of the Bylaws stipulates that "at least one" Director on our mixed use condominium Board shall be the owner of a commercial unit. In the current line-up, one Director owns several residential units and a commercial unit, three Directors each own a residential unit, and one Director owns a commercial unit.

Who is eligible to be a Board Director? How many Directors are there? What is their term of office?
Unit owners or employees or agents (POA, partners, officers, trustees, etc) or mortgagees or designees of mortgagees are all eligible to be Board Directors. There are five Directors on the Board. Their term of office is three years.

Do Board Directors receive any remuneration from the Association for their service?
They do not.

What is the "Board Liaison with Staff and Contractors"? How is the "Board Liaison" appointed?
Section 3.1 of the Bylaws directs the Board to delegate to one of the Directors the authority to act for the Board between Board Meetings on matters relating to the duties of the "managing agent," defined in Section 3.2. The Director chosen to serve as "Board Liaison with Staff and Contractors" is often but not always the Board President. The primary requirement is that the Director be willing and able to donate the necessary time to the task during normal business hours and during nighttime and weekend emergencies. The Directors elect the "Board Liaison" at the Organizational Meeting, when they also elect the Board Officers.

What does the Police Satellite Office sign in the window of the Association Office mean?
In June 2008, the Association signed a one-dollar-per-year rental agreement with the Alexandria Police Department for shared use of the Association Office as a Police Satellite Office. The Satellite Office is used by Police patrols as a forward-deployed base in which to meet, write reports, make phone calls, etc, and not/not as an interview site or holding-pen for suspects. The Association is pleased to have been able to offer to Alexandria's Finest the use of a comfortable work-space overlooking the Braddock Road Metro Station and nearby intersections. Of benefit to the Association is the presence of Police officers in the Association Office and out walking the property at random intervals throughout the hours of darkness.

Now that the Association Office is also a Police Satellite Office, is that where I am supposed to phone if I have something to report to the Police?
No, you should continue to call 911 for Police emergencies and 703-838-4444 for non-emergency situations or to request information

Is grilling on balconies and patios allowed?
Grilling on balconies and patios is not allowed for fire safety code reasons. There are grills for residents' use in the grassy picnic area by the Plaza Pavilion.

Where may bikes be stored on the property?
Bikes may be stored inside condo units -- but not on balconies -- or chained to racks in three bike storage rooms on the property. Alternatively, bikes may be chained to racks in the lower garage or to metal O-rings sunk into the concrete wall of many assigned garage parking spaces.

 

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