Town Crier Articles

Posted on December 1, 2023 6:50 AM by Ruth Burgess, Board of Directors
Categories: NTRA Business
The Annual Election for the New Town Residential Association (NTRA) Board of Directors is about to begin.
This December the NTRA membership will elect three association members to our board of Directors and we have three declared candidates for those positions. Two of these candidates are completing their current two-year terms on the Board.  They are Jack Espinal and Everett Lunsford. Jack is currently our board President and Everett Lunsford, a board member at large, until recently was serving as the NTRA Treasurer. (Now, Everett is helping our new Treasurer, Sommer Wrona, become acclimated to the Treasurer role). Ross Iaci was appointed to the Board in October and is the third candidate. All three candidates have brought insights and skills from previous work experience and/or voluntary leadership roles in other organizations to our association’s Board of Directors. 
Brief descriptions of each are posted on the NTRA website Election page.
Voting begins electronically on Wednesday, December 6. Paper ballots (to be mailed) must be received at NTRA CBM office by December 12, or brought to the Legacy Hall on December 13 before the close of the 6:30 pm - 7pm Annual Meeting Registration time. Nominations will also be taken from the floor. You may proceed and vote early on the candidates that have been nominated or you can submit your vote during the meeting in case you want to vote for anyone who is nominated from the floor.
Since we currently have only 3 candidates for the 3 available Board positions, you may wonder why it is important for you to vote. Here are some reasons:
  1. If you choose to vote early, your early vote counts as early registration for the Annual Meeting and helps establish the quorum needed for the meeting. That’s even if you cannot be physically present at the Annual Meeting.
  2. If you bring your ballot to the Annual Meeting and submit it as you register, you have added one more expression to the ballot count while also helping to establish the needed quorum.
  3. If you want to use the “write-in” option on your ballot in order to vote for someone not on the ballot, you may do so.
  4. Everyone serving on the NTRA Board of Directors needs the kind of community affirmation that getting a significant number of votes in an election can provide. Those of us who in the past have may have been elected or appointed to any position in any organization perhaps can appreciate best how being “elected by a majority” makes one’s service and voice seem more legitimate.
So, please vote in the upcoming annual NTRA Board of Directors election by E-Z vote or a paper ballot. Plan also to attend the Annual Members Meeting at Legacy Hall on December 13 if your schedule allows you to do so. Registration begins at 6:30 pm for the 7 pm meeting. By attending this meeting, you will be participating directly in our association’s end-of-year decisions and you also will learn election results.
Posted on November 1, 2023 6:55 AM by Liz Fones-Wolf, Activities Committee
New Town’s second Fall Festival got off to a rocky start with heavy rain on Saturday.  Our rain date, Sunday, started with ominous looking clouds and strong winds but slowly cleared up.  Still, during set up the obstacle course tunnels and squares repeatedly went flying across the Village Walk green.  Fortunately, by the 2:00 start time, Activities Committee members had everything battened down and the witches, ghosts, pumpkins and skeletons and bats decorating the trees no long threatened to fly away.
Residents enjoyed popcorn, candy, Halloween decorated cookies, and cider as they ambled around the green taking in the fun of an old-fashioned fall festival which featured games and races, an obstacle course, pumpkin painting, and New Town’s version of a cake walk.  Parents relished watching their kids exhaust themselves as they ran or toddled from the toss games-pitching balls, bean bags and disks at Halloween buckets, a shark, and other objects-to the races and then to the obstacle course, where they crawled through tunnels, maneuvered through a long line of boxes and stretching themselves doing the limbo by bending backwards under a pole. Children particularly enjoyed receiving candy for every game or race they attempted and getting a ticket to pick from the prize bucket when they won. 
Pie Face Showdown and the Cake Walk were again crowd favorites.  In Pie Face, two kids competed at pounding a button to see who could be the first to get a lever attached to a hand to toss whipped on their opponent’s face.  The “loser” happily licked the whipped cream off their cheeks and vowed to win at their next try.  The Cake Walk, similar to musical chairs, had children and adults walking to music in a large circle around fourteen numbered signs decorated with images of fall and Halloween, competing to win a giant cookie cake.  New this year was a Halloween pumpkin egg hunt, which had kids scrambling through the bushes and reaching up to the trees for their treats.
Adults joined in the fun playing cornhole and croquet, painting pumpkins, and laughing as they raced their kids in old-fashioned flour sacks and in a competition requiring and contestants to run across the green with grabbers to pick up small objects and run back to the start.  It was of course enjoyable watching all the children, teens and grown ups having fun outside.
In fact, we had so many photo contributions from this event, that we've created a new NTRA website photo album.  You can view all the fun photos here (only a small sample is shown below.)
Many thanks to our 15 New Town volunteers, including members of the Activities Committee and their families, who made the event possible.
The next Activities Committee event is the Holiday Bake-Off and Dessert Fest on Thursday, December 7 at Legacy Hall.  (See related Town Crier article).
Posted on November 1, 2023 6:50 AM by NTRA Board of Directors
Categories: NTRA Business
Have you been thinking about serving on the New Town Residential Association Board, but think someone else is more qualified or likely to run?  We still need applicants for this election!    
Here are 6 reasons to run for one of the three upcoming vacancies on the NTRA Board of Directors for the 2024-2025 term:
1.   Safeguard our property values       
2.   Solve problems
3.   Help fellow owners
4.   Learn about a wide range of issues
5.   Change the rules to improve operations
6.   Build community and meet new people
Submit your application by November 20, 2023 to Your one-page application should contain:
  • Name
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Name of neighborhood
  • A brief bio showing your qualifications for being a Board Director
  • A short statement of why you want to serve on the NTRA Board of Directors
Note:  All candidates must be owners in good standing with no outstanding dues or other violations. All owners are encouraged to apply. (Incumbent members of the 2024 Board are from Charlotte Park and Village Walk.)
Board terms are for 2 years. Candidate information will be posted on the NTRA website through the election period for Members to review before voting. 
Posted on October 1, 2023 7:00 AM by Jack Espinal, Board President
As you may know, the two large stormwater retention ponds (BMP–04 and BMP–06) located adjacent to the Village Walk neighborhood are owned by CPT Settlers Market LLC. Both of these ponds have only received interim approval for use by James City County and require a significant amount of work before they can be formally accepted by the county.
On September 17, 2023 James City County approved the plans submitted by Settlers Market to mitigate the multitude of problems with the two ponds. This work includes the enlargement of BMP–04 by the movement of the large retention wall on the northwest side of the BMP, installing survey markers to track possible movement, outflow barrel pipe repairs, fixing erosion issues, and adding 6-foot-high fencing. Work required on BMP–06 is significantly less and includes a spillway subsidence repair, downdraw angle corrections, and adding 6-foot-high fencing.
This project, with an estimated cost of between $1 to $2 million dollars, went to contractors for bid on September 26, 2023. Settlers Market plans to award the contract to the best qualified contractor on October 31, 2023. It is anticipated that the demolition and reconstruction work will begin on or about November 15, 2023. The work on the project is planned to be completed next spring.
This project is solely the responsibility of Settlers Market LLC and will be fully funded by them alone.
Resident Impacts: The only access for BMP–04 is off of Trailview. As a result, the largest impact of this construction project will be on the residents along Trailview. Representatives of Settlers Market have assured the NTRA Board of Directors that access to Trailview and parking in that vicinity will not be blocked or impacted by the construction. The materials staging area and parking for construction equipment will be in the Settlers Market parking lots adjacent to Settlers Market Boulevard.
The community will be kept informed as this project progresses.
Posted on October 1, 2023 6:55 AM by Jack Espinal, Board President
A New Town resident recently commented to a Board member about a large number of trash and recycle containers left in the streets on the Thursdays after our scheduled Wednesday trash pickups.  They asked if something could be done about the situation as it is really an eyesore and detracts from our community. Article VII, Section 7.1(p) of our Master Declaration of Protective Covenants and the 2005 NTRA Rules document as amended in 2019 addresses trash can storage. 
Here is what you need to know: 
  • "Trash containers and refuse disposal systems must be maintained in enclosures and screened as approved by the Architectural Review Committee." (Article VII, Section 7.1p)
  • "All garbage and trash stored on property shall be kept in covered containers and inside a privacy fence, shed, garage, or other concealed screened area, except when placed at the pickup site the evening prior to the pickup and removed the evening after pickup. Trash containers shall not be kept in driveways and sidewalks or in front yards." (Rules, Section II para. 39)  
However, a few home/cottages within New Town were designed without facilities for shielding trash cans. Others were designed with very small enclosures not large enough for both a trash can and a recycle bin. These homes are identified by street address here in the 2019 Rules Amendment.  Allowed locations for trash can and recycle bin storage are specified for these exceptions only.
The Association will begin tagging and documenting improperly stored trash and recycle containers throughout New Town. It is the Board’s desire to attain voluntary trash can and recycle bin storage compliance without having to resort to using the possible $50 per occurrence fine for violations. Please be sure that your tenants are aware of these requirements!
Keeping trash containers out of sight, and properly stored is a common courtesy which helps keep our community looking attractive and a pleasant place in which to live.
Posted on September 1, 2023 7:00 AM by Mary Cheston
Categories: General, NTRA Business
Our New Town Residential Association (NTRA) website was launched in March 2019. As our community grows, it’s always good to review how the site is being used. Some restructuring appeared beneficial, so a few tweaks have been made to the website layout. 
  • NTRA business-related content for the site has been moved to a new tab “ASSOCIATION.”  This is an owner-access area of the website where you can find the current Committee files, Governing Documents, annual meeting packages, and financial information (now in a standalone page).
  • General information for residents, including the “Report an Issue”/ticketing feature, remains under the "RESIDENTS" tab. There is a new page "Tools for Residents" to make some of the homeowner resources, like the list of neighbor suggested vendors and the Village Walk maintenance chart, more visible.  Do you have ideas for what you’d like to see linked to this page? Just let us know.
We still need volunteers to maintain the currency of our website info and to keep it relevant to the community.  Please consider sharing your skills with the Communications Committee. Writers for our monthly newsletter articles, photographers to provide new banner photos and capture events, and any techies who want to spruce up our Facebook communications are most welcome.  
Can’t find something on the new layout? Send an email to
Posted on August 1, 2023 6:55 AM by Patti Vaticano
Categories: NTRA Business
Ahmed Desouky
New Town Residential Community Manager
Ahmed Desouky, the NTRA's new Community Manager, brings a rich and varied background to his new position.  A native of Egypt, he arrived early in the 1980’s and lived in Northern Virginia--Arlington, and then, Alexandria--until mid-decade. He then moved to the Tidewater area and lived there until 1991, at which time he married and moved back to Northern Virginia. He commutes early Monday mornings to Williamsburg and leaves after work on Friday afternoons to journey back to his home in Northern Virginia.
Ahmed was originally a mechanical engineer, working in the shipbuilding industry for both the Navy and the Coast Guard; and later, as a civilian in the nineties, renovating large cruise ship for a time. When the recession hit, he used his scientific and technical education to transfer to entity maintenance and management. For 28 years, he managed and maintained high-end condominiums in the Georgetown area in Washington DC until he was recruited by Chesapeake Bay Management and accepted the position of Assistant Executive Director (Colonial Heritage) in 2020.  He is now 3-months into managing New Town and believes our Board of Directors and committee members are a great team who make his work a good deal easier. His main challenges, at present, are the transition of common area ownership and maintaining the exterior of properties without changing the assessment fee.

“It is an honor to be part of the CBM team, a management team that sees customer service as its major priority. You will probably most often see me or contact my assistant, Imani, but the skills and experience provided from unseen members of our main office are the cornerstone of our stability. CBM offers the most up-to-date programs to all employees. Our monthly meetings are very effective ways to share solutions and gain new management skills. All this helps us to make sure all resident calls and emails are answered daily and that we do our best to deliver solutions to all problems and issues the same day. We work with many vendors and contractors that must be contacted for services, regularly.  These vendors, in turn, must be reviewed and approved by the Board, first--and expectations of vendor services are very high. Consequently, solutions take time. By way of example, we are working hard daily with James River Grounds Management to make sure all common and private area landscaping needs are met. Services are improving.  A slow process, but it is proving fruitful.”
Ahmed has travelled since an early age and enjoys exploring other places and cultures. He looks to travel as a means of adding to his store of cultural knowledge.  He enjoys cooking and creating new recipes, swimming, sailing, and modern classical music. He used to play tennis but now just enjoys sitting back watching main championships.
Imani Harris
New Town Residential Administrative Assistant
Imani Harris is a native-born Williamsburg resident, having been born and raised here until her middle-school years.  The family moved elsewhere when she was a young teen; but after Imani married, in October of 2022, she moved back to the Tidewater area.
“I graduated from Bridgewater College with a degree in Communication, Media, and Culture, and used my degree to pursue a career as a program director at various summer camps and daycares throughout the East Coast.  I have been with Chesapeake Bay Management since the beginning of April 2023. At CBM, we each have our own community for which we are responsible, but there are ultimately close to 20 communities in the Williamsburg area that CBM manages.  All CBM employees work together as a team so that we can best service our residents, whether it is for the residents of the community for which we are immediately responsible or not.”
Imani shared that Association management, in addition to overseeing routine maintenance needs and schedules, has many proposed projects from amazing vendors to help sustain our community’s reputation as a beautiful place to live. “I’d like to remind our residents that this information can be found on the NTRA Williamsburg website and during our monthly community Board of Directors meetings.”
But Imani has a very fun and exciting interest outside of her work.  She co-owns a dog treat business with her in-laws, online. It is called 4Grandpups Homemade Dog Treat Co, and its amazing offerings can be viewed at
She is also pursuing various licenses within the beauty industry and is about to obtain her second license as a wax technician.
Posted on August 1, 2023 6:45 AM by Elizabeth Talbott
Did you know that…
The proposed Westwood Park development on Eastern State Hospital surplus land is in the first stage of a long development process?  
New Town residents (all of us) are stakeholders—we all have a voice in what happens to this land. 
The development is not a done deal, but is in the stage of application for rezoning. This stage requires a comprehensive study by James City County of the environmental and traffic impact, among other things. (See JCC website on rezoning.)
The NTRA has been actively involved 
  • to protect the intersection at Rollison and Olive Drive from road access to the new development
  • to add an additional buffer in the woods behind Charlotte Park
  • to reduce the number of units being built at Westwood Park
  • to keep New Town as a separate entity
The Association has done a great job of staying on top of this, protecting New Town (see March 2023 NTRA letter with all the details), and keeping us informed. 
Westwood Park will still affect traffic, woods, and the Powhatan Creek watershed
  • traffic will increase on Ironbound Road (busy with VDOT trucks, traffic from 199)
  • traffic will increase on Discovery Park Boulevard, and expect likely cut-throughs on Casey Blvd and New Town Avenue
  • more units built means more trees and natural habitat lost
  • Powhatan Creek watershed is already in the “red zone” for overbuilding—what will happen with Westwood Park?
And so far the developer ABVA has not kept past promises to New Town.
Therefore, we all need to be involved. What can you do and when?
Keep reading the Town Crier and announcements from the NTRA. Check your email for updates. Show up at the James City County Planning Commission public hearing, once it is announced--maybe in the fall? Stay tuned!
Posted on July 1, 2023 6:50 AM by Mary Cheston
The proposed rezoning process for Parcel C of the Eastern State Hospital property is underway with James City County.  This surplus property (the wooded area bordering Charlotte Park and Shirley Park) has been under discussion for development since 2014.
ABVA Development filed its formal rezoning application for Westwood Park (sometimes referred to as Westwood Village) in May 2023. They propose rezoning 81.5 acres of the land from public use to PUD-R (Residential) for 63.8 acres and Mixed Use for 16.7 acres. The proposal envisions 86 single family homes and 125 multifamily (211 total units) to be built by extending Discovery Park Boulevard into the current Eastern State area.
The applicant's description of the project is linked here along with the schematic for the project.  Additional information as the project moves through the County's review and future hearings can be found on the James City County website:  Rezoning case Z-23-0004 and Master Plan 23-0001.
Posted on May 1, 2023 7:28 AM by NTRA Board of Directors
Categories: NTRA Business
It’s time to throw your hat in the ring to fill a New Town Residential Association Board vacancy.  The date for a special NTRA election will be announced soon…We need volunteers willing to run for the Board.
Have you considered serving or even run in past elections?  Submit your personal statement to
We need the following information:
·         Name
·         Address
·         Email address
·         Name of neighborhood
·         A brief bio showing your qualifications for being a Board Director
·         A short statement of why you want to serve on the Board of Directors
What makes a good Board member? See this description from Ruth Burgess to get an idea.
« previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 18 19 next »