Fall 2016 Newsletter

President's Message - Rod Harris

posted Nov 12, 2016, 11:32 AM by Rod Harris

It is my pleasure to serve as your Association president for a second term for the upcoming 2016-2017 fiscal year!  Thank you for your confidence.  At the recommendation of the homeowners who participated in our annual meeting, we are reinstating a newsletter to keep you all in better touch with the goings on in Association matters and, as appropriate, in the subdivision.  This is our first effort in that regard.  Look for another installment in the Spring of 2017!

I must apologize to all for our late finish to the fiscal year.  We got our annual dues billing out late, and were tardy in our deposits of your checks once received.  We pledge to be more timely in our efforts next summer.  If any good came out of the delay, it is in my confidence in the fiscal responsibility of many of you who were carefully monitoring our billing process and inquiring on the status of your deposits!

In this fall newsletter, Andy provides our thoughts on next year’s maintenance and improvement initiatives, Karen provides a status of our financial condition, Lisa provides some highlights of the annual meeting and Fred summarizes a township meeting relating to the new Montebello Estates subdivision underway on our 9 Mile border. 

Before signing off, I would like to advise you of a change in the Board which took place after the annual meeting.  Chase Chandler, who acted as your faithful Treasurer for over six years, recognized that his family situation has changed significantly since he first volunteered for the job.  He now has three children in the family – all of whom arrived after he started as Treasurer.  Karen Harris, a past Treasurer, was kind enough to volunteer for the job and give Chase a badly needed break.  We thank Chase for his service and dedication over the last six years!

Neighborhood Babysitting Co-op

posted Nov 12, 2016, 11:14 AM by Rod Harris

Hey, moms!  Have a haircut appointment?  Want to have your nails done?  Don’t know what to do with the kids?

The babysitting co-op is a group of 20 mothers who share caregiver responsibilities to Dunbarton Pines, Royal Crown, Autumn Park and Barclay Estates neighbors.  The Co-op is geared to provide daytime care for children ranging in age from newborn through kindergarten.  Call Nikki VanDis @ 248.790.7894 or email for more information.

They are welcoming new members right now!

City of Novi - COP 20 Communication - Officer Meier

posted Nov 12, 2016, 11:12 AM by Rod Harris

Officer Rachel Meier is assigned as liaison to the local Novi homeowner associations.  Periodically, Officer Meier sends communications to the associations’ boards regarding events and activities in the area.  Here’s some recent advice from her latest communication:  “We have had some recent daytime Home Invasions on the west side of the city, in the Beck and Wixom Rd areas.  Remember that if you are home during the day and someone knocks, at the very least answer them through the door so they know someone is home.  Keep an eye out for any unusual vehicles and people in the area as well. With the holiday season approaching, remember to lock vehicles and not leave anything valuable in the vehicle”.

Treasurer's Report - Karen Harris

posted Nov 12, 2016, 11:12 AM by Rod Harris   [ updated Nov 12, 2016, 11:57 AM ]

Hello all, again!  I find myself back in a familiar role on the DPHA Board.  It’s great to see familiar names of neighbors that still call Dunbarton Pines home since I was last in this position.


Invoices for 2016-17 have been mailed and payments have been received and deposited.  There are still approximately 40 homeowners who have not submitted payment.  The second mailing of invoices will be occurring in November.


Expenses for 2016 are in-line with the budgeted amounts.  Landscaping expense exceeded budgeted amounts due to dead ash tree removal requested by Novi and the additional work on the entrances (new sod, edging, soil, etc.)  Along with the new sod comes the additional watering requirements.  We have yet to receive final bills for water usage and common ground maintenance for the year.

Next year we propose to begin work rejuvenating the 11 cul-de-sacs.  We are budgeting significant funds to this project given our favorable reserve position.  We will be finalizing our 2017 budget at our next meeting.

Dunbarton Pines Homeowners' Association
Statement of Activities and Financial Position
As of November 2016
2016 2017
YTD Budget Over (Under) Budget Estimated
Annual Dues  $          47,250  $          51,150  $        (3,900)  $         51,150
Other Income                       -                         -                            -  
     Total Revenue  $          47,250  $          51,150  $       (3,900)    $         51,150
Communications  $               654  $            2,000  $        (1,346)    $           2,000
Fees and Insurance                1,918                2,200               (282)                 2,200
Landscaping Maintenance              31,546              39,000            (7,454)               39,000
Landscaping Improvements                   48,000
Mailbox Program                   800                1,000               (200)                        -  
Electric                   913                1,900               (987)                 1,900
Water                2,142                1,400                 742                 2,200
      Total Expenses  $          37,973  $          47,500  $       (9,527)    $         95,300
Contribution to Reserves  $            9,277      $        (44,150)
Reserves - Beginning of Year              64,759             74,036
Reserves - End of Period  $          74,036  $         29,886
October 31, 2016 Bank Balance  $          82,141
Checks outstanding - August            (10,350)
Deposits outstanding                2,245
Reserves at End of Period  $          74,036
Outstanding Accounts Receivable  $        3,900

Lawn Care 101 - Andy Randall

posted Nov 12, 2016, 11:07 AM by Rod Harris

What a summer! Michigan experienced an unusually rain free May – July.  Then we had plentiful rain to maintain our grass and shrubs.  Over the years, we’ve seen a trend for fewer Dunbarton homeowners to use their sprinkler systems to maintain their lawns.  While this may save on the water bill, it can result in some burned-up looking lawns!  At the end of the day, lawn maintenance is a personal choice (there are some restrictions we have in our Covenants, Agreements and Restrictions), but your choice may impact your neighbors and other homeowners.  Should we experience similar weather next year, you may want to consider selective use of your sprinkler system during periods of limited rain.  Your lawn, and neighbors, will thank you!

Montebello Estates - Fred Schlemmer

posted Nov 12, 2016, 11:05 AM by Rod Harris

On the Association’s behalf, I attended the January 13, 2016, public meeting regarding the planned Montebello Estates subdivision.  At the meeting, I learned that the site is 27 acres, with 33 planned single-family residences.  While the site is zoned R-3, limiting the density (number of housing units) to no more than 2 homes per acre, the planned density at roughly 1.22, or roughly equivalent to that of our subdivision (approximately 1.25 per acre).  A large number of trees will be removed, but most of the trees fronting 9-Mile will be left in place.  No side walk along 9-Mile is planned, however the plan does call for routing the side walk to the interior of the parcel along Thornton Creek.  DEQ engineering reports indicates no issues with water drainage or flooding, and Traffic engineering reports indicate no adverse impact with traffic along 9-Mile Road.  Homeowner concerns expressed during the meeting included loss of an aesthetically beautiful piece of property and loss of large-growth trees, loss of wildlife habitat, potential traffic increase on 9 Mile as well as new 9 Mile entrances to the subdivision, a new entryway into the development from Cottisford Road, concern about potential flooding in the area, and too many home sites.  As you know, the site was subsequently approved for development.

Landscaping Maintenance and Improvements - Andy Randall

posted Nov 12, 2016, 11:02 AM by Rod Harris

Hello neighbors! Let’s start with some fundamentals. Dunbarton at one time was the premier subdivision in Novi. Our homes were built between 1987-1991. Now that our sub is 25 years old we have some unique challenges to keep it maintained and contemporary looking. Think of Dunbarton as having three kinds of property; personal, city & commons. Your home and yard is your personal property, the commons are the responsibility of the Homeowners Association to which you are a member. The third type of property is city property, like our streets, which are the responsibility of the City of Novi.

My role is to maintain and improve the commons. This is done the same way you would maintain your home. The size and scope of maintaining the commons is roughly like maintaining 40 homes of lawn and landscaping. There are 4 entryways, 11 cul-de-sacs, 2 detention wet-meadows and many acres of lawn to mow, trees to tend to, you get the idea. The cost of maintaining the commons has remained stable as our primary service providers have created value by not increasing their prices for several years. This has allowed us to make improvements such as the new entryway signs and other upgrades at the entries.  The next step in landscaping improvements will be to address the 11 cul-de-sac islands, as they are in desperate need of a spruced up, contemporary look.  We want Dunbarton to keep its reputation as a “sweet spot” in the Novi real estate market.  Dunbarton, compared with other Novi subs, has relatively low traffic volume, has moderately priced homes, Northville schools, the list goes on!   So, whether you live here 3 years or 30 you can be assured that money the Association spends on maintaining the commons areas contributes to preserving and increasing the value of your home – providing you the ability to sell quickly at the right price when your circumstances warrant.

Thanks, neighbor, and please feel free to contact me with comments or suggestions concerning our commons property maintenance and improvements.

Annual Meeting - Lisa McCausland

posted Nov 12, 2016, 11:00 AM by Rod Harris

The annual Homeowners Association meeting was held at the Novi Civic center on September 26, with approximately 15 homeowners attending.  During the meeting, there was discussion regarding the commencement of construction of the new subdivision, Montebello Estates, bordering Dunbarton Pines on 9 Mile road.   Andy presented the board’s plan for enhancements of the cul-de-sacs within the subdivision and cost vs. improvements.  Many homeowners mentioned they missed receiving a HOA newsletter in the mail and would appreciate its reintroduction, to include an article on the upkeep of lawns.  Finally, Board President Rod Harris, noted the HOA website would be updated with the new board’s contact information.

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