Park Potomac Place News

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					   Park Potomac Place News
   An Independent Publication of Park Potomac Place

   March 2009
   Vol. 4 Issue 3

                                      Park Potomac Place Pool Meets New Federal Standards
                                                                 In 2002, the granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker became trapped
                                                                 in a hot-tub drain in a backyard pool and drowned. This alerted authorities to a
                                                                 problem with the design of drains in swimming pools and spas. This was not the first
                                                                 nor the last time this type of problem had occurred. Multiple events in Maryland and
                                                                 elsewhere had been documented for over a decade. For this reason and as a result
                                                                 of James Baker’s lobbying, Congress passed legislation in December 2007 creating
                                                                 new standards for pool design (including a requirement for two pool drains and/or
                                                                 a separate anti-suction device). The legislation, called the Virginia Graeme Baker
                                                                 Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGB Act), was named for Baker’s granddaughter. The new
                                       The Hayward model          rules went into effect in December 2008.
                                       WG1048E pool drain cover
                                       that will be installed in The Park Potomac Place pool was constructed according to Montgomery County
                                       March.                    requirements which incorporated Maryland State regulations that were well ahead of
                                                               their time—nearly eight years ago Maryland required all “public” pools to have two
                                      drains which prevent entanglement and entrapment.

                                      The VGB Act also required specialized drain covers intended to eliminate the possibility of hair entanglement
                                      and mechanical entrapment and which had holes smaller than a child’s fingers. Recently, products that
                                      meet the specifications published by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) became available.
                                      According to Bob Terpening, Regional Manager for Continental Pools, “…it just took the marketplace a little
  IN THIS ISSUE                       longer to figure out how to design the devices.” The HOA has contracted with Continental to install the new
                                      drain covers and to add an anti-entrapment switch to our pool system. The latter, according to Terpening, will
                                      add an extra layer of protection to the Park Potomac Place pool.
Park Potomac Place            pg1     The work is expected to be completed by the end of March. The pool is scheduled to open on Saturday,
Pool Meets New Federal                May 23rd.

Walgreens to Open at          pg1
                                      Walgreens to Open at Potomac Woods
Potomac Woods                                                                   After being empty for nearly a year, the space previously occupied by
                                                                                the Giant “freshgo” in the Potomac Woods Shopping Center will soon
Presidents Message:           pg2                                               become a Walgreens drugstore. According to Rick Conner, Regional
A Modest Proposal                                                               Manager for the Walgreens DC/Virginia District Office, construction
                                                                                is currently underway and the store will open in the fall of 2009.
Manager’s Corner              pg2
                                                                               The store will be approximately 15,000 square feet, which is about
Engineer’s Notes              pg2                                              average for the chain. They will offer nearly 25,000 items for sale
                                                                               and typically staff between 25 and 30 people per store. The store will
Spotlight On: Pete Philbin,   pg3                                              include a pharmacy, a photo lab, a cosmetics counter, and a general
Association Attorney                                                           merchandise area. A “Café W” is also planned, Conner said. “We are
                                                                               delighted to be moving into the Rockville/Potomac market and look
Social Committee News         pg3      forward to meeting the local residents.” When asked what distinguishes a Walgreens from other drug stores,
                                       Conner said “What makes us different is the level of service we offer and the lengths we will go to cater to
Park Potomac Place            pg 3     local needs.” A store manager has not yet been named.
On-Line: Did You Know?
                                       Walgreens uses a state-of-the-art computer system for filling prescriptions which links all stores into a single
Public Meeting on             pg3      network. In fact, according to Conner, Walgreens is the largest private user of satellite technology (second
Unit 107S Tentatively                  only to the United States government).
Scheduled                              See WALGREENS, page 3
New Front Entrance Nears      pg4     Park Potomac Place Organization
                                       Board Of Directors Condo I             Professional Staff                       Newsletter Staff
You Ask, We Answer            pg4      Bruce M. Fonoroff, President           Colin Horner, Community Manager          Margo Fonoroff, Editor
                                       Randy Elliott, Vice President          Lynn Evans, On-Site Manager              Estelle Schwalb, Associate Editor
                                       Henry Petersohn, Secretary             Bill Pratt, Building Engineer            Marilyn Rudden, Business Manager
                                       Lew Citren, Treasurer                  Haywood Donerson, III, Desk Manager      Webmaster
                                       Larry Gordon, Member-at-LargE          Steven Donerson, Valet/Doorman           Juliette Bren

           Park Potomac Place HOA | 12500 Park Potomac Avenue | Potomac, MD 20854 | (301) 545-1756 |
                                                                                                    Park Potomac Place News March 2009
                                   President’s Message: A Modest Proposal
                             Predicting the real estate market is particularly                        transitions, is to execute a formal Memorandum of Agreement which
                             risky these days, but there are some signs of a                          define which powers will be centralized within the HOA and which
                             turn-around and it is safe to say that it won’t be                       will remain at the association level.
                             too terribly much longer before Condominium
                             II transitions to homeowner control. Then,                               What might such an arrangement look like? Well, for one thing,
                             according to the Association’s Bylaws, the                               we would likely have monthly HOA meetings instead of condo
                             Boards of Condominium I and Condominium                                  association meetings. All contracting and purchasing of supplies and
                             II will name the members of the HOA Board                                maintenance would be moved to the HOA, as would the responsibility
                             and Park Potomac Place will enter into a new                             for rule making and enforcement. There would still be an annual
    phase of its development. However, contemplating a situation where there                          meeting and elections at the condo association level, and the condo
    are three governing bodies for only about 150 Units—with all of their                             associations would still have the responsibility for preparing an annual
    overlapping and duplicating responsibilities—is not something that we                             budget and collecting assessments, but the bulk of the responsibility
    should look forward to.                                                                           for planning and the day-to-day operation of the facility would reside
                                                                                                      with the HOA.
    This three-body system described in our founding documents may have
    made some sense from the perspective of the developer (who, after all,                            This modified governance structure would not only simply the
    hired the attorney that wrote the documents), but it doesn’t make any                             management of the associations’ affairs; it would save money as well.
    sense for the people who live here. Consider that we currently have two                           Instead of multiple contracts for services and supplies, we would be
    elevator maintenance contracts (with two different service providers, by                          able to achieve efficiencies of scale by combining requirements and
    the way), three cleaning contracts, three building maintenance contracts,                         negotiating with potential suppliers for larger purchases. Instead of
    three property management contracts, and a potential for three different                          dealing with two or three different contractors, management would
    Board meetings each month. According to Pete Philbin, the Association’s                           only have to establish a working relationship with one. Instead of
    attorney, trying to rewrite all of our existing documents to eliminate this                       having different operating protocols in each tower, we would have
    nightmare isn’t feasible, but there may be another solution.                                      only one.

    Each of the condominium associations Bylaws allow for the possibility of                          I believe that this proposal makes eminent sense. But as in most
    “delegating up” responsibilities from the associations to the HOA. We’ve                          public policy matters, the “devil is in the details.” As we get closer
    actually already taken the first step in this regard by disestablishing the                       to Condo II transition, we will ask our attorney to draft a proposed
    Condominium I standing committees last year and recreating them as                                memorandum for comment by the owners in both the north and
    HOA entities. What is probably required next, once Condominium II                                 south towers.

                                 Manager’s Corner                                                                               Engineer’s Notes
                                 by Lynn Evans                                                                                  by Bill Pratt
                                 We don’t have a pest problem at Park Potomac Place. But                                        There are three basic ventilation systems directly
                                 that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be proactive to prevent                                         connected to each unit at Park Potomac Place. They are
                                 pests and prepared to deal with them if they appear. As a                                      the bathroom exhaust (BE), dryer exhaust (DE), and the
                                 result, the HOA approved in the 2009 budget a line item for                                    kitchen exhaust (KE). The kitchen exhaust works through
                                 Pest Control. Several proposals were reviewed and, with                                        the hood over the cooktop.
                                 the assistance of Condo I Board member Larry Gordon, it
                                 was decided that “Western Pest Services” provided the best                                       Most of the exhausts connect together in what is called a
                                 combination of price and service.                                    riser. This is a metal duct that runs from the lower levels to the roof where a motor
                                                                                                      helps pull the air out of the unit. Groups of units in the same tier will connect to
      Western utilizes what they call an “Integrated Pest Management” (IPM) program.                  each riser; for example, in the south tower the bathroom exhaust riser #4 goes from
      There are two phases of the program:                                                            the first floor to the roof and the condos near it, in the “06” tier tap into it and are
                                                                                                      then vented to the roof.
      Phase I – During the first month of service, intensified inspections and treatments will
      be performed to make certain there are no hidden infestations requiring elimination.            The same is generally true for the dryers and kitchen exhausts, with a few
                                                                                                      exceptions. In the case of units on the 10th floor the vents were so close to the roof
      Phase II – Subsequent to the satisfactory completion of all intensive service work,             that they are vented directly by their own motors.
      Western will commence with its regularly scheduled monthly program.
                                                                                                      Another exception in both towers, are the condos that face toward the pool and
          • A thorough flashlight inspection of all scheduled areas within the facility               green and, in the north tower, condos that face north toward the shopping center.
          • Technician will provide recommendations for correcting structural deficiencies            In these units, the dryer and/or bathroom exhausts vent vertically through the brick
          • Services will be rendered one time per month                                              wall to the outside. The vent covers can be seen near the balconies. (These are also
          • A service voucher verifying work performed will be completed                              where we have had problems with birds building nests in the spring.)

      The program features 24 hour emergency response, uniformed service technicians,                 As has been previously reported, Foulger-Pratt installed variable frequency drive
      availability of a degreed entomologist, and use of reduced pesticide protocols. Regular         (VFD) fans connected to the kitchen exhaust hoods in both the north and south
      service coverage incorporates all common areas, including hallways, conference room,            towers to reduce noise and also to reduce the amount of conditioned air being
      kitchen, men and ladies room, fitness center, front entry sitting area, linen room, storage     expelled through the roof These fans run very slowly (and quietly) until a resident
      room, package cart room, mechanical room, guest suites, mail rooms, mini storage                turns on the exhaust hood in their unit. This sends a signal to the VFD computer to
      room, trash room, recycle room and loading dock area.                                           ramp up the motor to a higher speed. This has made a great difference and appears
                                                                                                      to have taken care of both issues.
      Additional in unit services will be available to homeowners at a cost of $65.00 per
      visit. Visits must be scheduled in advance.                                                     However, we found that the 10th floor south tower home owners were still
                                                                                                      complaining about noise in their exhaust hoods. Upon further investigation it was
      Should you have any additional questions or concerns regarding our pest control                 discovered that they were not connected to the VFD unit but rather had their own
      program, please do not hesitate to contact me at                        See ENGINEER’S, page 3

           Park Potomac Place HOA | 12500 Park Potomac Avenue | Potomac, MD 20854 | (301) 545-1756 |
Park Potomac Place News March 2009
Spotlight on: Pete Philbin, Association Attorney
                          This month’s spotlight landed on Pete Philbin,         Pete has practiced at Rees Broome, PC since 1986, concentrating on
                          the Association’s attorney. Many residents have        community association representation and real estate. He said that Park
                          seen or met Pete at one or more Board meetings         Potomac Place has some of the same issues as other condo associations
                          that he has attended. The Condo I Board hired          but he is impressed with our active community where residents were
                          him as the Association’s attorney in August 2008       motivated to pass the amendment on limiting rentals. He said it was
                          after Foulger-Pratt turned over the association to     “…nice to be part of a building that volunteers and see folks get out
                          the homeowners. He also advises the Condo I            there and show an interest.”
                          Board on HOA issues.
                                                                                 Pete lives in Bethesda with his wife, Cathy, and three daughters ages
                         Pete is a lifelong Montgomery County native.            11, 9 and 1. He loves playing golf and has been playing at it since he
                         The son of Dr. Philip Philbin, a well known             was nine years old. He currently plays at Congressional Country Club
                         surgeon in Montgomery County, Pete grew up              where he has a 12 handicap. He also loves fishing and hiking. Best of
                         in Bethesda and attended Walt Whitman High              all he considers himself a big Terps fan and attends both football and
School. He graduated from Furman University in Greeneville, South                basketball games with his wife.
Carolina in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts and received his Juris Doctorate
from T. C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond in 1986.
He is a member of both the Virginia and Maryland Bars.

Social Committee News
                         The Social Committee has announced plans for
                         a Wine and Cheese Party on Sunday, March 8th
                         from 6:30-8:30. Social Committee co-chair,
                         Eva Sumichrast says, “If you don’t like Wine
                         and Cheese, there will be special pastries and
                         decaf coffee and tea and we still didn’t run out of
                                                                                   Did You Know?
                                                                                   Did you know that there is a virtual “management office” on the
                        Cost to residents is $10 per person. The event will        Association’s website? The management office contains online forms that
                        be held in the Club Room. Checks are to be made            allow residents to interact with management and the Board in a variety of
                        payable to Cecilia Balchun. The committee would            ways. Use the “Ask a Manager” form to ask a question or report a concern
                        prefer to receive reservations by March 1st so they        to the onsite Property Manager. Similarly, the “Contact the Concierge”
can plan accordingly, “…but if you have a last minute change of plans, just        form can be used to bring something to the attention of the on-duty Desk
come to the party and pay at the door,” said Sumichrast.                           Attendant. The “Maintenance Request” form is a quick and easy way to
                                                                                   report any sort of common area maintenance problem, such as a burned out
On Sunday, May 3rd a party is planned to welcome the Snowbirds back to             light bulb, a problem in the Club Room, or a grounds maintenance issue
Park Potomac Place. Look for a flyer in April and more information in next         (this form is NOT intended for in-unit maintenance issues). The “Covenant/
month’s newsletter.                                                                Rules Violation” form allows residents to surface issues or complaints
                                                                                   that may constitute a violation of the Association’s CC&Rs (covenants,
Other recent Social Committee activities included attending the musical            conditions and restrictions). You can also submit an event for the online
Avenue Q at the Warner Theatre in February. Fifteen people took advantage          Community Calendar and register your Pet with the Associations records.
of this opportunity arranged by Judy Abrams, a north tower resident. The           All of this from the convenience of your own home, 24 hours a day, seven
Saturday evening attendees were able to meet the cast after the performance.       days a week. Check it out!
Carol Flett continues to chair the book club. Announcements regarding
the book club are posted in the south and north mail rooms and on the Park
Potomac Place website.                                                           Public Meeting on Unit 107S Tentatively Scheduled
WALGREENS, from page 1                                                           At the request of the Board, attorneys for Foulger-Pratt and the
Walgreens claims responsibility for the popularization of the malted             Association have been working to draft the legal documents that would
milkshake (or at least its version of the malted milkshake), invented in 1922.   be required to modify the Declaration to convert Unit 107S to commercial
                                                                                 use (known as “Option 1“) and to insure that the Association’s interests
Founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1901, Walgreens operates over 7,000 drug         are protected and residents’ concerns are addressed. Drafts of these
stores in 49 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico (Alaska is    documents are now expected to be available for Unit owners to review
the only state without a Walgreens).                                             on or about March 15th. Consequently, a Public Meeting to discuss the
                                                                                 documents has been tentatively scheduled for March 25th in the Club
ENGINEER’S, from page 2                                                          Room. All residents will be given the opportunity to ask questions, make
small 7” duct to the roof with a flapper that would bang around in the wind.     comments or suggest modifications to improve the documents.
We replaced these with new caps that do not have flappers and assumed that
would solve the problem. However, 10th floor residents said they were still      According to Condo I Board President Bruce Fonoroff, following the
hearing a banging noise and that it seemed to sound like it was very close       Public Meeting the documents will be revised as appropriate and then the
to the kitchen hood. The answer turned out to be a metal damper actually         Board will consider whether additional Public Meetings are required or
located inside the exhaust hood itself. At this time I am looking for a          whether sufficient information is available to make a decision on whether
suitable way to dampen the noise in the hood damper or let the homeowner         or not to proceed with a Special Meeting for the purpose of voting on a
decide to leave it out permanently.                                              resolution by the Council of Unit Owners.

I would like to thank everyone for their patience as we went through this        If the Board decides to go ahead with a Special Meeting, the Bylaws and
exhaustive (no pun intended) process and hope it did not dampen                  the Condominium Act require a 30-day notice to all Unit owners and
your spirits.                                                                    voting (by secret ballot either in person or by Proxy) could occur in May
                                                                                 or June.

             Park Potomac Place HOA | 12500 Park Potomac Avenue | Potomac, MD 20854 | (301) 545-1756 |
4   Park Potomac Place News
    March 2009

    New Front Entrance Nears Completion

    The new front entrance to Park Potomac Place is almost complete. The canopy and associated lighting are done except for some touch-ups on the
    faux bronze finish. The new “divided lights” doors are installed and operational. As we went to press, final adjustments were being made to tie the
    doors into the existing Keri access control system. In the next week or so the doors will be subjected to an acid wash that will etch the doors and
    turn them a dark bronze color that will match the rest of the exterior. The doors have an optional power opening feature from both the exterior and
    interior that will assist handicapped and other individuals using the front entry.

    Still to come is a large cast metal sign over the doors that proclaim “Park Potomac Place” and flanking address signs that identify the north and
    south towers. The white planter boxes originally planned as part of the design will be removed and an additional stone bench will be added on each
    side of the entrance. Final landscaping this spring will include two new 9- to 10-foot trees and appropriate ground cover and annuals.

        Park Potomac Place HOA | 12500 Park Potomac Avenue | Potomac, MD 20854 | (301) 545-1756 |

                                     You Ask, We Answer
                                     Q. Can ANYBODY tell me when we can expect FIOS in Park Potomac? A. As most people know, FIOS is Verizon’s
                                     fiber optic system that provides high definition TV and high speed access to the internet. Verizon has begun installing
                                     FIOS throughout Montgomery County, and most users give it high marks. We’ve spent literally hours trying to find out
                                     when FIOS will be coming to Park Potomac without success--until now. Last week we spoke to a customer service agent
                                     at Verizon (by the name of Shirl) and when she discovered that Park Potomac Place was not in her database, she said
                                     she would have to check with her supervisors and get back to us. Frankly, we didn’t expect a call back, but sure enough
                                     several days later she did call. Here’s what she said: FIOS is not planned for Park Potomac for at least six months...
                                     for planning purposes she would predict October or November of this year. Do we believe it? We are not sure, but we
                                     wouldn’t plan on seeing FIOS any time soon.

                                     Q. Is there any way I can determine whether the water usage shown on my MINOL bill is reasonable?
                                     A. According to the WSSC, the average person uses 70 gallons of water per day. For a couple, and an average month
                                     of 30 days, that equals 4,200 gallons per month. You can check your MINOL bill for how much water you used in a
                                     given month and you can also make note of the readings of the water sub meter in your mechanical room. The cost of
                                     water usage is based on a sliding scale depending on the “average daily consumption.” MINOL uses the actual bills the
                                     Association receives from WSSC to calculate individual bills. You can find lots of useful information about water and
                                     sewer usage and billing at

                                     Q. I am a resident in the North Tower. Who should I tell about problems I observe in the common area of the
                                     North Tower? A. A common area punch list for the North Tower has been established and is being maintained by Bob
                                     Balchin, Chairman of the Buildings & Grounds Committee. If you observe any deficiency or unfinished work that could
                                     be the responsibility of the builder, please contact him at or on (240) 242-4382. Maintenance items,
                                     on the other hand, should be reported by submitting a common area maintenance request which can be found in the
                                     Management Office on our Website..

                                     If you have a question about Park Potomac that would be of general interest to residents, please address it in writing to
                                     Editor, Park Potomac Place News and leave it at the Concierge desk.

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