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Welcome to the New Town Residential Association community web site. We are a walkable, landmark residential community located in James City County, Williamsburg, Virginia where commercial and residential buildings are integrated with public and cultural spaces. Life happens here!
 
Here are links you need to Stay Informed about the Covid-19 Coronavirus:
 
 
 
Practice everyday preventive actions now to stay healthy and to care for the health of others.
Remind everyone in your household of the importance of practicing everyday preventive actions that can help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses:
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, cell phones, remote controls, cabinet handles, keyboards, faucets).
  • Avoid shaking hands and having close personal contact (use elbow bumps instead).
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water.
 
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To navigate around the site, use the navigation links along the top.
 
If you are looking for the list of shops, restaurants, businesses, events, and services in New Town, click here. Welcome home!
NEWS BULLETIN
VOTING 
 
Early voting for the 2020 General Election has begun! The polling place for New Town residents is James City County Recreation Center, 5301 Longhill Road. 
 
For a full description of your voting method options, see the September 18th Town Crier article, It's Voting Season.
Upcoming Events
Halloween Hocus Pocus Parade
Saturday, October 31st, 3:00PM at Sullivan Park
All are welcome to join in this costume parade throughout New Town starting from Sullivan Square! 
Special Presentation to Village Walk Homeowners - Exterior Maintenance Budget for 2021
Wednesday, November 18th, 6:00 PM at Via Zoom
Special Presentation for Village Walk Owners
 
Agenda: To review the 2021 Exterior Maintenance Budget
 
This meeting is open to ALL New Town residents, but is particularly relevant to NTRA Members who own homes in Village Walk since it will provide an explanation for their 2021 fees. For more background on this important subject, be sure to read the upcoming November 1 Town Crier. 
 
 
 
Board Buzz/From the Chair
BOARD BUZZ October 2020 by Jean Brown, Vice President, Board of Directors
Posted on Oct 1st, 2020
Conversation: #HARDATWORK
 
You can find this phrase in my bio which is a supporting statement that this Board of Director (BOD) member has vision. Your BOD has been hard at work since day one. We began with the training for new board members, an exploration of what Town Management (TM) does for New Town Residential Association (NTRA); a review of  assets, insurance coverage, governing documents, and a check-in with committees to name a few undertakings. 
Let me highlight some of the above endeavors:
 
  • Susan Tarley of Tarley Robinson, PLC as the NTRA attorney provided instructions on the roles and responsibilities of board members.
  • TM provides management services to the NTRA. TM is hired by the NTRA Board specifically to assist the Board to fulfill its responsibilities as defined in the Association documents, including assisting the Board to educate, encourage, and enforce owner compliance with NTRA rules. Helps the Board to manage the assets, funds, and common properties and interests of the NTRA. Supports the efforts of the Board to nurture a lively, healthy, and vital community. NTRA going from a Developer’s board to a Residential board needs a management company that can provide continuity, history, an abundance of experience and professionalism in addition to the services mentioned above. TM brings that to the table for us.
  • Committee support in governance is a treasure to a thriving community. We foster good working relationships and saw the need to formulize Roles and Responsibilities of the Board of Director with Committees.
 
When it comes to transitioning everything is not wrapped in a tidy package with a pretty bow upon it. Such is the case when the Developer’s Board turned NTRA over to the residents.
 
It had come to all attention that Savannah Square neighborhood due to a clerical error resulted in the neighborhood being part of the New Town COMMERCIAL Association instead of the New Town RESIDENTIAL Association. This led to a Ballot: Approval of the first amendment to the NTRA Master Declaration and Covenants to be included during the voting of NTRA first residential board. The Association needed about 100 more votes to pass the Declaration Amendment for Savannah Square so that Savannah Square could be fully and promptly restored into the New Town Residential Association. The goal was not met.
 
Formula: NTRA has approximately 500 properties. A 2/3 vote (334 votes) is needed to pass the Amendment. Voting time, 247 votes had been cast in favor of the Amendment.  
 
The newly elected board had to put a plan into action to gain the remaining votes which was led by Angela Lesnett since electronic reminders did not gain the required number of votes.
  • Plan: provide each non-voting homeowner with a paper ballot and a stamped envelope to return to NTRA . New Town residents would get a doorknob bag that included the ballot.  Addresses outside of New Town (approximately 158 of the 500 New Town properties) would have the ballots mailed to them.
Savannah Square neighborhood is officially part of NTRA because the action taken by the BOD was successful; however, several homeowners did not sign the Savannah Square neighborhood Supplemental Declaration showing their desire to be part of the Association. To date, there are about a dozen who have not signed, so they are still part of the Commercial Association.
 
In summation, much work has been done and there is much work to do, but with the support of both our committees and residents, the BOD is very confident and engaged in making our community work!
BOARD BUZZ September 2020 by Angela Lesnett, Director
Posted on Sep 1st, 2020
 
This has been an unusual year, so I’m going to forego the standard September essay topic (What I did on my summer vacation) and, instead, focus on NTRA’s budget. In September, the New Town Residential Association (NTRA) will start to prepare its 2021 budget. This is important to each of us because the budget establishes the annual assessment (sometimes called HOA dues) that each owner will pay in 2021. The 2021 budget is especially significant because, as the first budget adopted by NTRA’s homeowner-elected Board, it will start to determine what kind of community we will become, as we move from being a new development to one that is aging.
 
To develop a budget, NTRA’s Finance Committee takes into account all financial aspects of the association, including both sides of the income/expense equation. On the expense side, the Finance Committee asks NTRA’s Committees to submit estimates of the funds needed to accomplish that Committee’s particular objectives in the following year. Working with Town Management, the Finance Committee considers these requests, along with the known and forecasted expenses that NTRA must incur to continue operations and maintain its assets in a manner that meets owners’ expectations for the development. In other words, the Finance Committee considers what it will cost to accomplish the things it must do plus the things it wants to do.
 
On the income side, by far the largest source of income is the annual assessment or HOA dues that each owner pays. The NTRA assesses a fee for each home based on the home type: detached homes, townhomes, and cottages. The other significant source of income is fees collected at closing on sales of both new homes and resales. As discussed at the November 2019 Budget Town Hall Meeting, the addition of new homes in NTRA will slow in the upcoming years as the development nears final build-out. This will result in a decline in income from closing fees and that income will have to be replaced with income from HOA dues.
 
If NTRA’s expenses (for both needs and wants) outweigh its income, the Finance Committee must re-evaluate and prioritize the association’s expenses and also consider what increase in the annual assessment is warranted to fund those expenditures required bring the development up to a level that the owners expect. In prior years this has resulted in an increase in HOA dues. In large part that increase was necessary just to pay for the needs of the association.
 
A new development’s assets require little maintenance at first, but more maintenance (and expense) is to be expected over time. Our pool is just one example: the NTRA pool was new in 2012 and required little maintenance. Now however, after a number of years of normal wear and tear, the NTRA must incur some expense to maintain that important asset to a standard consistent with the development.  
 
The final steps in NTRA’s budget process are the Finance Committee’s submission of the proposed budget to the Board of Directors for review, presentation of the proposed budget to homeowners at the Annual Budget Meeting (usually in late November), and the Board’s adoption of the budget which includes the annual assessment for the upcoming year. 
 
In my application for the Board election I stressed the importance of balancing current needs/expenses with expenses that are projected for the future.  I believe that balance is essential to building a strong community and maintaining property values. Thank you for the opportunity to serve on your Board and to maintain NTRA’s secure financial position.
 
As the September weather cools, I hope we can all find time to enjoy a stroll in the beautiful neighborhood that we call home and to think about what it takes to preserve it. I hope to see you (socially-distanced, of course) outside this fall.  
BOARD BUZZ August 2020 by Secretary Dave Holtgrieve
Posted on Aug 4th, 2020
 
I was appointed Secretary (Non-voting) at the Board of Directors (BOD) Organizational Meeting on June 19th. I have some experience for the secretary position as I served as secretary for the Transition Committee and a fill in for the Residential Advisory Board (RAB).
 
My responsibilities include preparing the agenda, board minutes, board meeting packet, and general administrative assistance to the board.  I will prepare the minutes for publication on the residential website seven days before the meeting for residents to review.  Meetings are scheduled for the Fourth Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. via Zoom.  The Zoom address can be obtained by viewing the website calendar and clicking on the board meeting 
 
The agenda will include a “Public Comment” period for residents to weigh in if they wish.  This will be held at the beginning of the meeting to allow individuals to speak, but not having to sit through the entire meeting if they are limited by time.
 
To provide early transparency of each meeting, the board decided to approve the minutes via email so to allow posting on the website before the next meeting.  My goal is to try to get the minutes published approximately two weeks after the meeting.  Of course, if the board goes into Executive Session (the meeting is not adjourned with this action), it may be a longer period.  
 
On a final note due to this appointment, I resigned as chair of the Asset Maintenance Committee (AMC) of which Fred Lesnett was elected to that position.  The board has also decided based on the recommendation of the AMC to postpone the AMC program of Third-party Residential Inspections to 2021.  I encourage each Owner to conduct a self-inspection this year to review the maintenance status of their property (mostly power washing and painting), and to lessen the probability of incurring maintenance problems in the future. This action will maintain our property values as a first quality neighborhood.
BOARD BUZZ July 2020 by President Chuck Stetler
Posted on Jul 1st, 2020
 
[Crier Staff Note: Welcome to the first edition of the renamed “Board Buzz” which will feature the perspective of the President or other members of the Board of Directors each month.]
 
The transition from Developer to Homeowner control of the New Town Residential Association was completed on June 18, 2020.
 
The following residents have been selected to the Residential Board of Directors.
 
Charles Stetler President Charlotte Park
Jean Brown Vice President Savannah Square
Rick Fisher Treasurer Abbey Commons
Angela Lesnett Director Village Walk
Larry Burian Director Village Walk
David Holtgrieve Secretary (Appointed) Charlotte Park
 
Board of Director meetings are scheduled for the 4th Thursday of each month at 6 pm.  Presently, the meetings will be via Zoom, during the Covid-19 pandemic.
 
The Governor of Virginia has set the Phase Three reopening for July 1, 2020. The Board has approved opening the pool with appropriate precautions. The NTRA Pool Committee and Town Management are diligently working on the details to get the pool open safely for all residents.  Watch for final details.
 
The Master Declaration Amendment for including Savannah Square into the NTRA received 233 favorable votes during the voting period in connection with the BOD election. We need 335 favorable votes-a 2/3 majority-to pass the amendment.  We are working on a plan to solicit more favorable votes from non-voting residents to date.  A package will be delivered to these residents containing a paper ballot, more information about the amendment, and a self addressed, stamped envelope for returning the ballot. Voting will continue until the 2/3 majority is reached.
Final Message from the RAB Chair, June 2020
Posted on May 31st, 2020
Welcome to summer to all residents of New Town.   It really doesn’t seem like summer because the coronavirus has delayed all the events traditionally associated with the summer  Missed graduations, proms, vacations, visits with friends and neighbors. We all need to stay safe, wear our masks and hopefully everyone will get through this.
 
There will be an election of the new Board of Directors by electronic voting from June 5-15. Results will be announced on June 18th at the transition meeting.
     
Also by electronic voting, you will be asked to approve the first amendment to the Declaration to include Savannah Square. Residents can review information about this issue on the website (Ballot amendment FAQs and June Crier article by Board Member John Wright) and also by electronic mailing. It is important that this amendment passes, so PLEASE VOTE YES.   
     
The pool opening is still on hold. We are awaiting instructions from the pool contracting company as to lifeguard availability. We realize residents are eager for the pool to open and will keep everyone informed whenever we know anything.
     
Good news....the playground drainage project is just about complete. The only thing left to do is the re-mulching of the area.  
     
The RAB will be terminated on June 18th. So, this is the last message from your RAB chair. A big THANK YOU to all the volunteer residents who have served on the RAB.    
The committees will continue, but now they will work directly with the newly elected Board of Directors.  
      
Let’s hope for a peaceful summer....stay safe.
Message from the RAB Chair, May 2020
Posted on May 1st, 2020
 
Our world has changed significantly in the past months.... no one knows what our new NORMAL will be in the future. But, we will continue to look forward with optimism.   
 
The NTRA will be following the guidelines set forth by our Governor Northam. This includes:
  • Staying home as much as possible.  Walks, with masks, socializing six feet away from neighbors...whatever you need to do to stay safe and keep your neighbors safe, too.
  • The Board of Directors has asked Town Management to look into alternatives for the election of the new Board of Directors, instead of having a special residential meeting.  It’s not clear when or if residents would feel comfortable assembling in the near future. 
  • All social activities sponsored by the NTRA have either been cancelled or postponed.  You will be informed as soon as we know anything. 
  • The pool opening is on hold.  But, we are proceeding with the startup and pre-opening directions so that the pool will be ready whenever clearance is given for the opening.
The LAC is initiating a test project throughout the community, whereby designated areas will be set aside for dog use.  These spots will be mulched and marked with signs about usage of these areas.  With a growing population of dogs, the committee thought it would be a good alternative having certain areas for dogs instead of neighbors’ lawns.  Hopefully there will be a positive response to these doggie areas.  VA Lawn installed the first two Dog Mulch Beds (DMB) on Casey Boulevard on Saturday, April 25th.  Reminder, there are dog stations available for fecal disposal, located throughout New Town.
 
The beautiful Little Library was built and erected in the park at Elizabeth Davis/Center Street. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus, there has been a delay in opening it for use.  As with so many things, we can only sit back and wait for the grand opening.
 
Please remember to honor your Mother on her day. (May 10).  She needs a hug especially this year. (We all need a hug.....if we can ever get close again !)
Message from the RAB Chair, April 2020
Posted on Apr 1st, 2020
 
This is probably going to be the saddest letter from the chair...or from any other committee member. We are strong and hopefully everyone survives in our little community. This quote has been on Facebook and I thought you might read it and think about what it says. It applies to both young and old.
 
"I think that when the dust settles, we will realize how very little we need, how much we actually have, and the true value of human connection."
 
Please remember the requests of our governor. This request was also put on the website about social distancing..staying six feet away from people. It’s so difficult because everyone needs a hug once in awhile. We have postponed all NTRA sponsored social activities for the future until cleared.
 
Also postponed will be the transfer from developer to homeowner control and the election of the new BOD. The present BOD has asked that the RAB and all committees continue to function and NOT terminate on April 1, 2020. They all agreed to comply.
 
Please try to be tolerant of our landscapers. They should be complying with requested behavior by healthcare officials. In my personal opinion, landscaping of our property is a non-essential activity. The landscapers will be  providing a weekly schedule of their services which will be posted on the website.
 
Remember to try to STAY SAFE by following guidelines from health officials. One thing I have noticed more people walking than ever before. So enjoy saying hello to new friends. And maybe lose a few pounds! LOL
Message from the RAB Chair, March 2020
Posted on Mar 1st, 2020
From the Desk of Chuck Stetler;
 
Welcome  Spring !  One last snow fall before the daffodils show their blooms and warm weather surfaces.  So much is happening in our community in the next couple months.
 
Probably the most important event is our HOA being turned over to homeowner control on April 2, 2020 at Legacy Hall at 6 p.m.  During  this meeting,  members will elect five new directors to the board.  They will serve a term of approximately seven months until the next NTRA annual meeting in December 2020.
 
Activities this month in our community include:
1. New Town Day at William and Mary Kaplan Arena on March 7th at 1 p.m. in Person room. Many residents have supported the women’s basketball games each week. This is our way to thank the women’s team for a great and exciting season.
2. Another sensational season for the Noon Time Talks continues at Center Street Grill on March 11th at noon.  If you’re interested in space, this talk enitled "NASA’s Search For Life Beyond Earth" is definitely for you.  Reserve your “space” soon!
3. If you haven’t heard about it yet, we’re awaiting a Little Outdoor Library to be placed outside the pool area.  You’ll be able to sit at the pool and read a “new to you” book.
4. We welcome some new people to the New Town Communication family….  Max Pfannebecker as new Crier Editor and Christian Kent on the website team.
5. The finance committee agreed to purchase an  audio/visual system for use at our NTRA meetings and parties throughout the year.
The Transition Committee has been busy reviewing NTRA documentation, including all declarations and financial reports.  The actual transition date is scheduled for April 2, 2020.
 
Our annual home inspection program will begin again for all residents commencing on March 16th.  Please prepare your home exterior for your inspection.  Review your self check list.
 
Looking forward to seeing New Town hibernating residents out on our great trails enjoying spring!
 
Message from the RAB Chair, February 2020
Posted on Feb 1st, 2020
Read the February message from the Chair of the RAB.
Read More >>
Message from the RAB Chair, December 2019
Posted on Dec 1st, 2019
Read the December message from the Chair of the RAB
Read More >>