ARC Annual Report 2018

Greetings to all Villages of Garrison Creek Homeowners…

The Architectural Review Committee wants to thank each of you for attending your 2018 HOA Annual Meeting, and for this opportunity for ARC to update you on a couple events occurring during this past year.

Of major importance is the expansion of ARC to three members with the addition of Tom Emmerson. To the surprise of none, Tom has been a valuable and key member of ARC. Many of you may remember that Tom is a former President of the MPMA Board and a former member of ARC.

One of ARC’s biggest challenges over the past years has been in the area of Parking. As most of you know, ARC has been responsible for issuing “Temporary Guest Parking Permits” and Jim’s wife has told him many times that this task has been taking a majority of his ARC time. So, to keep a happy house, ARC passed this responsibility on to the VGC Phase Leaderships. This appears to be working very well, and it should, as who best knows the needs of each Phase… Phase Leaders or ARC? Phase Leaders of course. ARC still continues to issue “Temporary Medical Parking Permits”, and “Guest Permits” exceeding 14-days when special circumstances arise.

Next spring ARC will be asking each Phase to work with ARC by watching for parking violations within their Phase, and informing ARC of repeat violators where ARC involvement may be needed. This approach will eliminate the need to pay an outside contractor to monitor for parking violations. Some of you are already notifying ARC when you notice parking and other violations, and this is really appreciated.

Other large challenges have to do with fence maintenance, painting of our Homes, and the removal of items on front porches and front yards that are prohibited by the CC&R’s or the Land Use Standards. The ARC has received several emails and texts informing ARC where Land Use Standards have been violated, and by casual observation ARC has additionally noted several violations of the Land Use Standards. Some of these violations have been subject to fines, however ARC has been lenient this past year and has not levied any fines. Next year ARC may not be as lenient. Many of us fail to remember that the Land Use Standards are by reference included in the VGC “CC and R’s” which we all signed and agreed to follow when purchasing our homes. And, here is where ARC wants to remind you that we need all VGC HOA members, Renters, and Guests to work with ARC and adhere to the Land Use Standards. To help in this regard, ARC has prepared copies of the latest “Land Use Standards” (dated: December 2018) which will soon be hand delivered to your doors. These will also be available on the The Villages Web Site (if not already there).

Recently ARC requested volunteer assistance for some simple tasks within the Villages that we wanted to complete before the cold weather set in. However, we needed a few more volunteers to enable meeting our goal, other than one (1) Board Member and two (2) ARC members only two (2) HOA members stepped forward. Many thanks go to VGC new residents, John and Yvonne Jaso, for their work on improving the appearance of our Bridges.

Thanks also go to Roger Williams, Ray Goff, and Scott Towsley for all their work keeping our Common Area parks and walking trails looking great. Many of you volunteered to work with them to clean up falling branches, and weeds along the walking paths, your time and energy is greatly appreciated and helps to reduce contractor maintenance costs.

ARC has recently obtained a few new street sign boards which, in the spring, will be used to replace some existing broken horizontal street sign boards, and a new “Yield” sign should soon be installed at the East end of Garrison Village Way. Other new signage next year will include additional signs for “Park on Other Side of Street”, “Private Road” and “Speed Limit” signs along Garrison Way, “Watch for Humans” signs, and a few “Blind Intersection” signs. These additional signs will be locally made and similar in design to existing signs.

Please remember, the ARC is here to set standards and monitor compliance to keep our community attractive, and preserve our property values. But sometimes it is a real challenge when a few homeowners don’t follow the simple rules. The ARC is empowered to levy fines to Homeowners, however, we are not the police and really don’t want to act as police.

There are three (3) final items that ARC would like you to think about:

  1. The MPMA Board and the ARC, only ask you for compliance to our established standards and policies – we desire to keep the community safe, looking nice, and a place people want to live. So please work with us, and help to keep our property values up.
  2. “Pedestrian Safety within our neighborhoods”. You will probably see and hear a lot about this throughout the next year. Please remember that our streets are shared by both vehicles and humans, we have a 15 mph speed limit throughout our Villages, and there are many “Blind Intersections”. So please drive carefully, watch your speed, and watch for children, other vehicles, mobility scooters, and small and large folks that may be walking or skateboarding in the streets. And,
  3. Ask yourselves if you are doing your share? We only need an hour of everyone’s time to accumulate more than 250 hours. That would be at least sixty 4-hour days. Can you imagine what could be accomplished during that time to further beautify our community?

Thank you for being here today, and for being part of The Villages of Garrison Creek.

Do you have an idea? Want to be on a committee? Want to help?
Ask any Board member TODAY, where you can contribute to help our community.

Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Safe and Happy New Year

Your Architectural Review Committee,

Tom Emmerson
Dennis Olson
Jim Murphy

“Don’t put off until Tomorrow, When you can volunteer Today”

Winter Reminders from ARC

Winter Reminders from ARC

  • Close your foundation vents for winter, the addition of styrofoam vent inserts (available at Home Depot) is optional but helps to keep out the cold.
  • Very Important: Be sure to unscrew your garden hoses from all hose bibs to avoid freezing and breakage of the short copper pipes just inside the wall behind the bibs. These copper pipes are easily broken, and can cost several thousand dollars to repair.
  • Bring hoses and furniture in from the cold. Remove your window screens and place them in your garage

ARC Suggestions

  • Most potted plants don’t do well on the winter. ARC suggests bringing them in from the cold.
  • Schedule an annual service on your heating system and Gas Fireplace
    Change your HVAC filter
  • Replace a few 100 watt incandescent bulbs with 14-20 watt LED bulbs (saves $$)

THANK YOU for helping to keep our Village streets safe, and for keeping your porch lights on at night.

Important Information concerning the Villages can be found on The Villages Web Site at

Do you need a copy of The Villages “Land Use Standards”? Contact ARC or one of your Phase Leaders for a copy. Updated copies will be available at the Annual Meeting (Dec 9).

Enjoy the Winter Season,
Your Architectural Review Committee
Dennis, Tom, and Jim

VCG – July Newsletter

Also available in a formatted newsletter style (PDF)

VGC Newsletter Digest, July 2017, To All VGC residents and homeowners

Blackberry Fire South of Covey Court

By now you have heard of the wildfire in the blackberries and woods south of Garrison Creek in Phase 5 about a month ago. Thanks to Dave and Luba Hernandez, Phase 7 neighbors, for their dramatic photo of the blaze last month (above). Since the fire, our volunteer crew has hauled away the burned out logs and brush-hogged an additional quarter acre of un-burned blackberries south of Phase 5 to reduce the risk of additional fires. We also took advantage of the brush-hog loaned to us by Ike Muro (A big thanks, Ike!) to also reduce the fire hazard by brush-hogging and pushing back the blackberries south of the walking trails south of Phases 6 and 7. If you haven’t walked that part of the trail, please do so and see the newly-seeded grass emerging and several trees (some over 30 feet tall) rescued from the blackberries!!!

2017 Tree Removal Program

Last year we began our 5-year plan for removing dangerous and nuisance cottonwoods and willows bordering the walking trail alongside Garrison Creek. Planning is underway for 2017’s portion of the plan. The 2017 Budget includes approximately $14,000 for the removal of 30 trees, compared to approximately 60 trees removed last year. The work will be done in the July through September time frame by Town & Country Landscaping and our volunteer crew. The Villages appreciates its hardworking volunteers. They perform the day-to-day work that keeps our community beautiful and safe.

Fallen Trees Blocking Trail

If you’ve been on the walking trail along Garrison Creek, you have seen the mess created by four large willow trees that randomly split and fell across the walking trail. That scene is a great reminder why the VGC Board recommended (and we homeowners approved) the multiyear program to remove dangerous trees along the Creek. FYI…our program does not address trees from the eastern border of Phase 8 to Bridge 4 (where the willows are currently blocking the walking trail) because they do not pose a risk to any VGC residences or structures. We contacted the Walla Walla Housing Authority and asked them to handle the cleanup since the fallen trees border their property and their residents use our walking trail. Thanks to Renee Rooker of WWHA for promptly engaging their maintenance crews to chainsaw the trees and partially clear the walking trail. One caution: there is still one dangerous split tree hanging over one part of the trail. We will discuss with WWHA and might devote our volunteer crew to assist in the chainsawing of that remaining hanging tree. In the meantime, we recommend not using that part of the trail.

Problem Tree Removal Elsewhere

Our South-of-the-Creek volunteer crew has also been working with Donna Fisher to remove dead, dying or over-crowded trees along the walking trail and other areas in our neighborhood north of Garrison Creek. The piles of tree limbs you see on our VGC streets are the remains of last week’s volunteer project.

Walking Trail from Clock Tower to Bridge 4

We have received numerous complaints from homeowners about the lack of maintenance on the walking trail between the clock tower and Bridge 4.Again, this part of the trail is located on Walla Walla Housing Authority land. Therefore, VGC does not control maintenance on this part of the trail. However, we contacted Walla Walla Housing Authority to see if we could prevail on them to improve maintenance on that part of the trail. Thanks again to Renee Rooker, WWHA Executive Director, for getting their maintenance crew to mow that area. She also reports their crews will also address weed control in that area more frequently. For information, Renee also reports that that area is now planted in natural grasses that require no irrigation and are only mowed once each year.

Our Volunteer “South of the Creek” Crew: Join Us!

Our volunteer crew strives to continue improving our great neighborhood…and to save our homeowners thousands of dollars vs hiring outside contractors to do the work. Many thanks to Scott Towslee, Karie Jacques, Dick and Bob Cook, Jack and Eric Gisler, Roger Williams, and Donna Fisher for their unselfish volunteer time on our many projects! And…we can also use more help! If you can devote a couple of hours (usually 4 pm to 6 pm) on a weekday next week for our next priority, please contact Ray Goff at or 406-799-0501.

“Block Watch” Safety Committee

We had a good turnout for our initial Block Watch/Safety Committee meeting with representatives from the College Place Police Department on June 19, 2017 at Lions Park Community Room. Thank you, Daryl Schreiner, for organizing this important public safety partnership! We also appreciate the support we received from our new Police Chief Troy Tomaras, Officer Steven Harris, and Chief Clerk Marianne Barr.

How Does Block Watch Work?

Block Watch is a public safety program of neighbors helping neighbors. It is a free community-based crime prevention program administered by our local College Place Police Department. In our case, it is organized by Phase. Residents in each Phase form a communication chain, aided by a block list of names, telephone numbers, and addresses. They make a commitment to watch out for each other’s homes, and report suspicious activities to the police and to each other. They also keep each other informed about neighborhood safety concerns, burglary, thefts, and other crimes or problems occurring on their street. We hope to see more social/information sharing events like block parties, new resident welcoming receptions, or potlucks within each Phase to give neighbors a chance to get to know each other.
Neighbors who are well-acquainted with each other tend to care about each other and their neighborhoods in a way that deters crime and increases a sense of friendship, safety, and security.

Rich and Michele Wollert, Phase VII homeowners, agreed to serve as Block Watch co-chairs. The following VGC homeowners have also generously offered to be Phase Block Watch “Captains”: Phase I: Scott Towslee; Phase II: VACANT; Phase V: Joyce Beecroft; Phase VI: Jim Murphy; Phase VII: Michele Wollert; Phase VIII: Jack Gisler; Phase IX: Mark Minne; Phase X: Mark Benzel. As you can see, we are still seeking a representative from Phase II to make our Block Watch team complete. We need all Phase “neighborhoods” represented for maximum success. Please contact Michele or Rich Wollert at 503-756-5875 (cell) or if you can help us.

Parking Reminder

Our parking rules are meant to protect the beauty and safety of the Villages. Our private streets are narrow, and need to be clear to allow emergency vehicles like fire trucks, ambulances, or police cars to pass. Our Land Use Standards allow parking on only one side of the street during the day. Please remind your guests to note the signs and park where indicated. Also, please avoid parking with wheels partially on the grass. We have had to repair several sprinkler heads recently due to the damage this causes.

Volunteers Needed

We need you! The following leadership positions are available: Architectural Review Committee; Master Board; Block Watch Safety Committee; South of the Creek work crew; various Phase vacancies. Our volunteers do much of the work that a professional property manager would have to do for a considerable fee. Can you help? Please contact Dick Cook at 509-386-4118 (cell) or 509-529-1924