Open Letter to Homeowners from your HOA Board
Hampton Park Homeowners and Residents
There has been an increasing amount of speculation and misinformation presented in both the news media and social media over the last two days. In an effort to correct this, the Board of Directors (“Board”) for the Hampton Park Homeowners Association (“HOA”) will present information from the June HOA Meeting, outside our normal process, as well as other facts confirmed from external sources regarding the legal issues at hand. The intent is to provide our homeowners and residents with the truth about the involvement of the Board concerning two matters being openly discussed.
The June HOA meeting provided Homeowners and Residents the opportunity to voice comments and submit proposals for both situations discussed below. Several people were in attendance to take advantage of this opportunity to provide input to the decision making process. To start the meeting, the Board offered condolences to the friends and family of Cal Reilly. The Board urged those having difficulty with the situation to seek guidance through school, church or professional resources. It was also indicated at that time the Board and HOA only has responsibilities set forth in guidelines of the charter regarding the policy, operations and maintenance of Hampton Park. Further, the Board makes decisions based on requirements, needs and proposals within these guidelines.
Vandalism of the Otterdale Tunnel
The tunnel under Otterdale Road is owned by VDOT but entrusted to the care of Hampton Park for regular upkeep and maintenance as related to vandalism and graffiti. Hampton Park therefore becomes responsible for the sidewalk, entryways and tunnel walls.
The Board today discussed the situation surrounding the summons and detainments of those accused of vandalism with the Commonwealth’s Attorney. They confirmed information that was presented to the Board prior to the June HOA meeting. The facts of this situation are:
- A passerby called the Police during the initial interaction between the accused vandals and law enforcement. No member of the Board or Staff was involved.
- The vandalism is and has always been a Police matter. It was not a Board decision to “press charges,” “continue the investigation” or make a judgment that the damage warranted felony status. Concerns and questions should be directed to the law enforcement agencies handling these cases.
- The Police did not previously and have not at this point provided names of any accused offenders to the Board.
- The Investigating Officer asked the Board if they would like to provide any comments or input toward the situation. Taking into consideration the comments of those in attendance at the June HOA meeting, the Board responded to the Investigating Officer with a recommendation for a non-criminal punishment option that included full restitution to the HOA. Since the situation is on-going, no further details will be provided.
- The recent warrants were issued by the County Magistrate based on evidence presented to the Magistrate. The Board or HOA did not create or generate any of the charges against the accused.
Restoration of the Otterdale Tunnel
As the HOA is responsible for the upkeep and accessibility of the tunnel, restoring it to a useful state was necessary. The safety of those using the tunnel, as well as a need to remove the vulgar words, distasteful drawings and pornography that accompanied the more heart felt and touching sentiments, were important aspects when rendering a decision on the restoration.
There were many comments from those in attendance at the June HOA meeting concerning when and how to clean up the tunnel. In order to help make a fully informed decision on timing of the restoration, the Board also sought guidance from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. In their publication, “After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools,” they note that classmates often create spontaneous memorials. They also indicate the need to restore equilibrium and avoid any type of glamorization of the death. Further, they recommend that memorials be time-limited, suggesting five days or until the funeral. In this case, the memorial was left alone for two weeks, after both the funeral and graduation were complete. Notification of the restoration work was provided to Homeowners and Residents to allow any special items to be retrieved prior to the clean-up.
A licensed, bonded contractor was hired to do the tunnel restoration at a cost of $1500. The Board uses only licensed, bonded contractors for all work in order to get maximum benefit at the lowest risk for Hampton Park. Several Homeowners commented during the June HOA meeting that those responsible for the vandalism would clean up and repaint the tunnel on June 29, 2013. This request was never accepted. In fact, the Board specifically indicated they did not want anyone trying to remedy the state of the tunnel on their own. Homeowners or non-homeowners create a liability situation and therefore, could not be considered. This option does not provide Hampton Park with a guarantee of quality or warranty of workmanship as a regular contractor provides. The use of a contractor does allow for the right materials to be used correctly for each repair situation.
The information presented here represents the comments of the Board regarding these matters for understanding by the Homeowners and Residents. Nothing additional or different will be provided to external media sources.