Town Crier Articles

Posted on July 1, 2024 7:00 AM by NTRA Activities Committee
 
Despite a delayed opening, the 2024 pool season is now off to a great start! Seventy-five neighbors participated in the Saturday, June 15 pool party and finished off twenty pizzas in short order, as well as enjoying watermelon and homemade cookies and bars. The weather and the water temperature were perfect and everyone from toddlers to teens splashing and jumping about, parents, grandparents, young couples and seniors enjoyed the water or poolside socializing. Octovia Wyman of Town Creek won the raffle for a gift certificate provided by the New Town Commercial Association.  More raffles to come at all our events.
 
The Activities Committee wants to send a shout out to the whole crew of Activities Committee member Terri Finn’s Shirley Park neighbors, who volunteered during the pool party, helping to make everything go smoothly.
 
Our next event is a Poolside Social on Friday, July 19.  Joe Duggan from the Williamsburg band, Joe’s Day Off, which covers country, rock and oldies, will be providing live music.  You are welcome to take a dip in the pool, participate in a fun ice breaker, or just enjoy the company. There will be several raffles, appetizers and desserts.
     
Finally, look for details on Family Pool Volleyball, one evening each week, if enough folks want to play. It is pure fun, no experience necessary and we use a light ball.  
 
 
 
   
Posted on July 1, 2024 6:58 AM by Everett Lunsford
Submitted as Board Liaison to Asset Management Committee
 
Hello NTRA Neighbors!
 
Recently the 2024 home exterior inspection schedule was sent to NTRA residents signaling the start of the annual inspection process. This is your association’s way of ensuring all the homes are kept beautiful, making everyone proud of New Town and the area in which we live and play. The program was designed and adopted by the Board in 2018 to maintain the curb appeal of NTRA homes and the overall property values for all invested in New Town.
 
Chesapeake Bay Management Company, assisted by members of the NTRA Asset Maintenance Committee, will begin inspecting all home exteriors starting around July 18th in Village Walk. These inspections will proceed neighborhood by neighborhood to make sure all homes are up to standards reflected in the HOA Master Declaration and Rules and Regulations (available on the NTRA website). The goal is for all homes to be inspected no later than October 31, 2024.
 
Follow-up inspections for any locations with identified deficiencies will be conducted in each neighborhood after a 30-day period to allow for repair.
 
The inspection schedule is:
  • Village Walk – Thursday, July 18, 2024
  • Charlotte Park – Thursday, August 1, 2024
  • Shirley Park – Thursday, August 22, 2024
  • Chelsea Green – Thursday, September 12, 2024
  • Savannah Square – Thursday, September 26, 2024
  • Abbey Commons – Thursday, October 10, 2024
Note: These dates are all weather dependent.
 
Please review the areas we will be inspecting as shown in the 2023 revised Self-Checklist for Owner Inspection of Homes (so you can make any repairs necessary prior to the inspection.)  
Note for Village Walk -- while most exterior surfaces of Village Walk homes are the NTRA’s responsibility to maintain, there are items which are solely a homeowner responsibility. Consult the Village Walk Maintenance Responsibilities Chart.
 
What do I do if I receive a deficiency notice? If you receive a notice, respond with your “plan of correction” within two weeks. Violations come in all forms and the inspection checklist is on the NTRA website. The AMC also has compiled a list of vendors other owners have used in the past for repairs/maintenance. Being realistic, not all violations can be cured in a short period of time. The important thing to remember here is to provide your “plan of correction” to Chesapeake Bay Management (ntraadmin@1cbm.com) as soon as your plan is worked out. A plan could be as simple as,
“I power washed the front of my house and the deficiency is corrected. I am in compliance.”
“I am researching house painters and obtaining bids. I will advise you by ____ (date)”
It is up to you, the homeowner, to maintain communication with Chesapeake Bay Management on progress being made to cure the deficiency.
 
Please understand that failure to communicate your plans and actions to correct inspection deficiencies can result in fines for not keeping your property in accordance with the NTRA requirements.
 
If you have any questions, please contact the Chesapeake Bay Management Office.
Posted on July 1, 2024 6:57 AM by Eden Glenn
 
New Town residents have BIG hearts. Over the past year, we have donated school supplies, kids’ winter coats, and non-perishable food. Now, starting in July, New Town will be joining other Williamsburg neighborhoods such as Holly Hills and Rolling Woods, in a monthly neighborhood food drive through an organization called PORCH. The process is simple; you put non-perishable food items on your porch by 9AM the second Saturday of each month and volunteers will pick them up. Our donations will be delivered, along with those from other participating PORCH neighborhoods to the food pantries at Williamsburg House of Mercy and FISH.
 
That’s it! You may donate monthly or whenever you are able. More information can be found here.
 
If you would like to participate or have questions, please send an email to Gale Hyatt (ladyhappy73@gmail.com) or Eden Glenn (edenaglenn@gmail.com).  
Posted on July 1, 2024 6:56 AM by Scott Ellis
 
DreamMaker Bath and Kitchen, opened at 5131Main St. several months ago and is locally owned by Mr. Yusuf Atay. Yusuf is a native of Turkey, and after studying engineering in Germany and London he won the DV Lottery program, which is a program that gives a chance for permanent residency in the USA. Yusuf came to the US and began to utilize his training and talents in engineering. But he strongly felt the desire to be part of helping homeowners improve their lives through remodeling their homes. 
 
He has achieved his Class A contractor license and has helped design and remodel homes for himself and clients. Through the process of helping others, Yusuf explored ways to bring his desire to see home improvements from the design stage through to finished stage while maintaining integrity and listening to his clients. He decided to become a franchise owner for Dream Maker in late 2023 and soon after started setting up a showroom in New Town. DreamMaker Bath and Kitchen is part of a national franchise that recently celebrated their 25th anniversary. There are 45 franchise locations throughout the USA. 
 
I met with Yusuf and his office manager, Karissa Bartee to hear more about what Dream Maker offers and how they manage the business. 
 
The design center at 5131 Main Street is open M-F 8:00am – 5:00pm/Saturday by appointment/Sunday – closed. Walk-ins are accepted, but appointments are strongly encouraged to ensure full attention. Karissa was quick to return my call when I left a message with her regarding a meeting. The design center is still a work in progress, but there are some beautiful tiles on display and several different cabinet models. Over the next few months, the center will be completed, and a grand opening is planned for later this summer. The design center will have room setups on display, as well as various lighting fixtures, cabinetry, sinks and faucets. One area that will certainly gather interest when completed is the walk-in tub arrangement. These have become more popular as society ages. 
 
Yusuf chose New Town as he is a Williamsburg resident and New Town and the surrounding area is a target demographic for remodels – especially in bath and kitchen. While the design center is taking shape, Yusuf and his crew are busy at work designing and remodeling kitchens and baths locally. There is a designer on staff and a handful of employees as well. Yusuf works with tradesmen in the area who are highly rated and skilled at installation.  
 
When I asked Yusuf his greatest desire as a business owner, he was very open. He said most people come to him already knowing what they want. They’ve obviously watched the home remodel shows, visited friends’ homes and want help finding the right suppliers and helpful suggestions. What Yusuf and his team want to offer is a local owned business focused on helping people realize their dream kitchen or bath – while ensuring functionality and integrity. He and Karissa were quick to point out the DreamMaker Bath and Kitchen “Code of Values” bookmark and their slogan “Enhancing Lives. Improving Homes”. I was very impressed with the code of values bookmark and the earnestness of Yusuf as we discussed life in Williamsburg and discovered we had a mutual friend. I’m looking forward to the grand opening of the design center and hearing some of the examples of Yusuf and his team improving homes in Williamsburg and New Town.     
 
Here's a link to their Facebook page and contact info. 
Posted on July 1, 2024 6:55 AM by David Carter
 
For probably seven or eight years the common area in Charlotte Park between Lucretia Way and Christine Court remained what our lawn crews often referred to as " the field." Well not anymore! Homeowner, Bob Dennis, approached the Board of Directors about the "field" in March and then in April, fellow neighbor David Carter joined Bob for the April Board Meeting where together they proposed a landscape plan for the common area.
 
Unlike other neighborhoods, this area was never landscaped, and so after receiving the green light the two neighbors approached Mike Turkovitch of Berkley Design Group in Williamsburg to execute the installation of trees and perennials. Two benches were sourced, refinished and stained by Bob, while David planned the area for the trees and flower bed. Jack Espinal then submitted the plans to James City County for approval.
 
The plan included Redbud Trees, a Virginia native species which are heat tolerant, and attract bees and butterflies with spring and fall color. The two men then purchased plant material and set them out for installation. Once the trees arrived after several weeks waiting for them, Mike and his excellent crew began the installation, and in about 5 hours or so, a field no more. Neighbors are very happy with the new trees and plantings, and look forward to enjoying another one of New Town's beautiful common areas.
 
 
Posted on July 1, 2024 6:47 AM by NTRA Activities Committee
 
Calling all parents of infants/toddlers!
The Activities Committee is considering facilitating a weekly Infant-Toddler Play Group (under 4 yrs old) to enable parents and other care-givers to socialize and share ideas while kids have a chance to play together. We will hold an initial meeting with kids and parents at the NTRA Meeting Room at a time that is convenient for the most people, if there is enough interest.
 
If you are interested in participating or wish more information, please email or text Liz Fones-Wolf of the Activities Committee at efwolf@wvu.edu with your contact info and the days and times of the week you are available for the first meeting, kids welcome, presumably not during early afternoon naptime.
Posted on July 1, 2024 6:45 AM by David Carter
 
Personally, our two felines are indoor only, except for the screened porch, which they enjoy year round watching, birds, bunnies, squirrels and the occasional other wildlife, like foxes, possums, snakes, and other critters who live here among us in New Town.

Letting cats roam outdoors unsupervised might sound ok, but it’s actually a risky business. The Nextdoor App is frequently full of news about cats gone missing. Unsupervised cats face a slew of dangers—from getting hit by cars to encountering unfriendly wildlife or other territorial cats. They might also catch diseases, get injured, or sadly go missing. Additionally, their natural hunting instincts can wreak havoc on local wildlife, turning your fluffy friend into a feathered fiend for birds and small mammals. I have witnessed this by a beautiful cat who often is let outdoors, and who also occasionally uses our mulch bed as a litter box! Not nice. Bad girl! 
 
To keep cats safe and the neighborhood wildlife intact, it’s best to keep them indoors ensuring everyone stays happy and healthy!
Posted on July 1, 2024 6:40 AM by David Carter
 
Soon there will be signs along the trails in New Town pointing the way to and from our neighborhoods and commemoratives for the developer of New Town, Larry Salzman. A big thank you to Bob Dennis who is using cedar wood for the signs and routing and painting all of the lettering on each and every sign which will make nice additions to our community.
 
Posted on July 1, 2024 6:40 AM by NTRA Activities Committee
 
 
New Town Pool Volleyball starts today - Monday, July 1.  The NTRA Activities Committee is sponsoring Family Pool Volleyball using a light ball on Monday evenings between 6:00  and 7:30pm.  Everyone, from kids to seniors, is invited to play and no experience or swimming skills are necessary. Come and join the fun!  
   
Any questions, contact Liz Fones-Wolf at efwolf@wvu.edu.
Posted on June 1, 2024 6:57 AM by Architectural Review Committee
 
Spring and summer bring the end of the school year, summer vacation and - - yes - - dealing with necessary maintenance on our homes. Homes in New Town are part of the New Town Residential Association (NTRA) and are subject to certain rules and restrictions regarding alterations to their exteriors.
 
NTRA’s governing documents establish the Architectural Review Committee (ARC) which is charged with the responsibility of preserving the aesthetic appearance of the community to help protect the value of the homes. To carry out this purpose, the ARC has established guidelines for approving modifications to the exterior characteristics of a home and/or improvements to a lot. Here are reminders of a few of the requirements.
 
Obtain ARC Approval BEFORE Starting: It’s important to remember that an owner must submit an application and obtain ARC approval before starting construction or renovation that changes the exterior appearance of the property.
 
Projects that Require an Application: An Application and approval are usually required for routine maintenance projects such as painting (new color) and re-roofing, and are always required for projects such as the addition of patios or other hardscape features, fences, storm doors, generators, solar panels, trash can enclosures and other exterior changes. General guidelines for these and a number of other exterior changes can be found in NTRA Policy 4.1, Architectural Review Committee Guidelines/Standards. If in doubt, contact NTRA’s Managing Agent.
 
Owners should not rely on the appearance of other NTRA residences as assurance that their project will be approved. Due to differences in home types and great variation in lot sizes and configurations the ARC must sometimes make a determination on a case-by-case basis; NTRA’s governing documents expressly allow for such consideration.
 
Installation of certain ARC-approved features may result in other requirements. For example, owners installing a fence must provide a buffer zone if required by the landscaping contract then in effect, and installation of a fence may limit certain landscaping services. More details about a homeowner’s landscape responsibilities can be found on the website in NTRA Policy 9.2, Landscape Services and Responsibilities
 
When requesting approval, homeowners are responsible for submitting accurate descriptions and drawings for their proposed project. Sometimes projects are given conditional approval and homeowners should take care to ensure that all conditions for their project are followed.
 
ARC Application: The ARC Application and Instructions can be found on the NTRA website. A completed ARC Application must be submitted to Chesapeake Bay - the NTRA's management company, not to ARC members directly or through the NTRA ticketing system. Applications must be submitted at least one week before the ARC meeting which is held on the second Monday of 
each month at 4:00 p.m., in order to allow sufficient time for review. (We encourage applications to be submitted earlier.)
 
Other Requirements: ARC approval is based on the aesthetics of the proposed change. The owner must follow all James City County codes and setback requirements and is responsible for contacting the appropriate utility companies before digging. A building permit may be needed. ARC approval is not a certification of structural integrity.
 
The ARC Benefits the Community: NTRA’s governing documents established the ARC to help maintain the value of investment in NTRA property. Of course, this is important to all of us. The ARC appreciates owners’ efforts to follow the ARC’s Guidelines so that we will all benefit from a New Town experience that is both enjoyable and rewarding.
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