Volume 2019 | Quarter 1
Collington Chronicle
The Collington Chronicle is distributed in a digital format only. The adopted name for this newsletter is the Collington Chronicle. If you would like to submit any article ideas please use the email above. As we do this more, the better we hope it will be. This is the winter 2019 quarter issue. In this issue you will find new information and some repeated information from our Fall issue that we felt is worth hearing again! Enjoy!

We don’t sell our email list or contact information to anyone. The list is used only to distribute our neighborhood newsletter and to notify Collington home owners and residents of need-to-know information as quickly as possible. If you know someone who has not signed up, please have them contact us at newsletter@collingtonhoa.com and ask to be placed on our email distribution list.
Community Management

If you have any questions regarding Collington HOA, or the community, go to the website initially ( www.collingtonhoa.com ), next contact committee chairs at the e-mail listed below, or contact ACS West, Inc. if you need further assistance

Collington is professionally managed by ACS West, Inc.
ACS West, Inc. is contracted to inspect the community on a monthly basis, handle payments, manage contractors, etc. Lee Ann King is Collingtons Community Manager and she can be reached by
phone (804-282-7451) or email ( leeann@acswest.org .)

Constant Contact/mass email
The Collington HOA serves to keep our residents informed by using Constant Contact. An owner may sign up for email blasts on the community website at www.collingtonhoa.com . This distribution list is not shared. It is used to inform residents of emergency alerts, upcoming events, etc. On behalf of all our neighbors, we believe you have made an excellent decision by making Collington your new home and hope you enjoy living here as much as we do. 

ALL committees are staffed by resident volunteers – ‘your neighbors’. These residents invest their time and effort into our community to keep it safe, beautiful, and a FUN place to live. If you have questions regarding any of the following areas/committees, or would like to volunteer, please contact them at the e-mail provided under each heading. If you are not sure who to contact, just send a message to your best guess and you will be given direction.
Stay tuned for a special email from the pool committee in the next few weeks.


Last year proved to be a super charged year for the Events Committee. To name a few events, since September 2018 this committee sponsored :

1.) Casino Night
2.) Community Happy Hour
3.) Veterans Day Lunch (HUGE HIT!)
4.) Santa’s workshop (HUGE HIT!)
5.) Tacky Light Tour
Along with these larger events, we have regular game nights, book club, and a few last minute ‘snow day’ events for the kiddos. Please check out the events calendar on our website to keep up with what is offered in our community.
Our committee continues to grow and revamp as we are constantly planning new events. While we know some may not be the best fit for all, we hope by expanding to provide multiple large events into 2019 we will find that every family will be able to come and enjoy themselves with their friends and neighbors and make new friends as well.
Some of our plans for 2019 include: Another Happy Hour/wine tasting event, a Spring Festival with a band, food trucks, games for kids, vendor fair, and a Summer Festival. 
We invite you to be involved in your community and the events committee. Our next two meetings are February and March 19 th at 7:30 at the clubhouse. Just show up! Everyone is welcome.
Architectural Review Committee (ARC)
As spring will soon be upon us (we hope) the ARC (Architectural Review Committee) would like to remind residents submitting requests for  property improvements such as decks, patios and other home improvements  to refer to the Collington Architectural Standards and Guidelines to assure all necessary documentation is included with your application. This will help assure that your request is processed in a timely manner.

The Architectural Review Committee (ARC) reviews and approves (or disapproves) any changes residents make to their property . Documents/forms, for approval, can be found on the Collington website. These documents will need to be completed and submitted to this committee before changes that include (but not limited to): mailbox and post replacement, shutter color, additions to your house, patio construction, shed construction, fence construction, major yard landscaping, installation of basketball hoops or permanent playground construction, to name a few. Please see the Collington Website ARC section for guidelines and information regarding which documents you may need. This committee is in place to make sure our properties maintain their value and are aesthetically pleasing and safe for everyone.
The 2018 holiday season was the first year in which Collington HOA has owned all the community Christmas decorations. This proved to be a very interesting experience. We learned a great deal about this process and already have plans for improvements/changes for the 2019 season. We hope residents enjoyed the decorations as much as we did.
Due to the high winds and rainy conditions throughout 2018 we had a significant number of trees topple. Our tree surgeon responded as quickly as possible. Even without unpleasant weather conditions, the fact that Collington has environmentally protected ‘wetland areas’ throughout the community adds an additional layer of rules and regulations governing maintenance of those areas. The committee can contract to cut down a dead tree if it poses a danger to a home and then cut up that fallen tree, but we are prohibited from removing the trees and branches from the wetland areas. 
Your Grounds committee has contracted a new landscape company , starting January 2019. We are expecting a tremendous improvement in the appearance of the community over the next 12 months. If you see any areas that need attention please let the Grounds Committee know by emailing specifics to:  grounds@collingtonhoa.com . This would include dead trees in the common areas, problems with playgrounds, pet stations, trails, etc. These are just a few of the community issues your Grounds Committee takes care of.
Resident help in spotting issues is very much appreciated.
This committee is also collecting bids to construct a new utility building at the pool . The addition will provide much needed space for storing pool furniture, a lifeguard rest/break area, swim team equipment storage, events committee items, and grounds equipment storage. The exterior will closely match the appearance of the clubhouse. 
Also, plans are underway to have the majority of the walking trails repaved to offer a smooth, even surface. We will be looking at drainage issues and tree root problems during the project. 
Thanks to all the residents who completed the community survey (sent out last summer) regarding improvements in the community. The survey items have been tabulated and a majority of residents support the Grounds Committee plan to develop the Hensley Road property for vehicle/RV/boat storage, community garden plots, and a dog park . Work will begin early this year with the expectation of being completed in early spring. Look for opportunities to volunteer help with these projects in future posts on the Collington FB page and Nextdoor.
We would also like to thank the residents of Ashmill and committee members who painted the retention pond fence in that section. Great Job and much appreciated!
All these activities and projects are managed by volunteers; your neighbors. We need help and hope YOU will want to be a part of the solution and not complain about the problem. Whether it is the Grounds Committee or any other committee, please get involved in YOUR community. Just go to  collingtonhoa.com , pick a committee and send them an email offering your services. 
Shortly after moving to Collington, residents are welcomed by a smiling face bearing important information and a gift! This ‘goodie bag’ includes information relating to Collington’s amenities, contacts for committees, ACSWest (our community manager), website info., and how to get connected through constant contact, and a gift card for local businesses plus a Collington tumbler. What a great way to start your day in a new home!! This committee welcomed over 120 new residents in 2018.

Collington has many sections within the community. Each section has a ‘welcome committee’ representative, sometimes more than one. Please feel free to contact this committee at welcome@collington.com to be a representative in your section of this terrific community.
Currently volunteers are needed in the Ashmill and Lavenham sections.



Collington has a beautiful recently renovated clubhouse for hosting anything from showers to business or family functions.
The Collington rental contract and can be found at  collingtonhoa.com  under Clubhouse. Please note that there have been recent updates/changes to the contract.
Current updates include:
1.) The contract, rental fee, and security deposit must be received  14 business days prior to your event date . This allows mailing and processing time, Saturday/Sundays/Holidays do not count as the 14 business days. If not received within this time frame, your requested date is not guaranteed. Should another resident request the same date, they will be contacted of the open date.  
2.) Only the use of  PAINTERS TAPE  for decorating, ex: hanging streamers, balloons and signs is allowed in the Clubhouse.
Please read the contract over before signing it and place both   the contract and payment in the secured mailbox to the right of the clubhouse door.
Residents can find the  Clubhouse Rental Contract and   Community Calendar on the  collingtonhoa.com  website under  Community Calendar . Please check the community calendar well ahead of time to make sure the date needed is available – first come first serve based on time and date of request email.
The rental fee is $250. + $200. security deposit = total of $450. The deposit is refunded as long as the clubhouse is cleaned and pending no damages. Payments/cancelations must be received  14 business  days prior to rental or cancellation. There will be a pre-function and post-function walk through with the committee chair and renter. Addition information regarding criteria for hanging decorations, etc. can be found on the Collington website. If you have plans for a function please contact the chair of this committee at the e-mail provided for a ‘look see’ of the Collington Clubhouse. We think you will love it!
Things that make you go, YUMMMMMM...

King's Hawaiian Sliders

24 slices of deli honey ham
6 Slices of Swiss cheese, cut into fourths
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup butter melted
1 tablespoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 packages (12 count) KING'S HAWAIIAN Original Hawaiian Sweet Dinner Rolls

Preparation :

  1. Cut rolls in half and spread mayo onto 1 side of the rolls. Place a slice or two of ham and slice of Swiss cheese in roll. Replace the top of the rolls and bunch them closely together into a baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together poppy seeds, Dijon mustard, melted butter, onion powder and Worcestershire sauce.
  3. Pour sauce over the rolls, just covering the tops. Cover with foil and let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for additional 2 minutes until tops are slightly browned and crisp.

Serve warm.

(Please submit your favorite recipes for our next newsletter to newsletter@collingtonhoa.com )
No matter how large or small, it is your responsibly to pick up your dog’s poop. Collington HOA has several pet stations throughout the community with bags for your convenience. Your dog is never going to poop ten feet from the poop station, so as you pass a station pull out one or two bags and tie them to the handle of your dog leash. It is much easier to buy your own bags and attach them to your dog’s leash or even carry grocery bags. That way, no matter where your fur baby decides to poop, you are prepared.  

Children and adults walk/run in the common areas of our community, no one wants to step in doggie doo. Also, it smells and is unhealthy for humans and pets to step in and heaven forbid the dogs that EAT it! Yes that is a thing!
Who needs a HOA?
Have you ever wondered why you have a homeowners association?  You may not realize it, but your Home Owners Association may be the only thing that protects the value of your home or the quality of your neighborhood.

Community associations do a number of different things. They set and collect the maintenance fees needed to run neighborhood operations. They may maintain landscaping or recreation areas. When the covenants are upheld by all the home owners in a community, ideally they can expect:

  • Quicker sale of homes
  • Higher sale prices of homes
  • Lower crime rates
  • Consistency in responsible property upkeep maintenance among all the homes
  • No abandoned, broken down vehicles or discarded furniture lying about the lawns running down property values
  • Consistency in the established design and palette coloring established by the builder throughout the community (i.e. no value reducing shocking neon colored shutters and siding suddenly appearing in an otherwise subtly painted neighborhood)
  • Common areas kept well maintained, attractive and well landscaped
  • Security lighting working
  • Playground and other commonly used areas kept well maintained and ready for use
  • Neighbors working together as a team and being supportive of one another
Since you are living in a covenant controlled home owners association community , you signed papers at the closing of your property agreeing to abide by the covenant of the community, uphold its individual laws and pay your annual dues. This entailed a legal obligation on your part to which you are expected and required by law to uphold. If you fail to do so you not only let down your entire community, betray the trust of your neighbors who expect you to maintain your property, but you risk legal action and/or association fees.

Think for a moment about why you bought your home in the first place . You may have liked the curb appeal of your house or its floor plan, but you probably also considered the neighborhood - how the houses looked next door and down the street. You bought the neighborhood at the same time you bought your house. You bought a lifestyle and surroundings which were much larger than your own property, encompassing everything from the subdivision entries and the recreation areas to all the other homes in the neighborhood, assuming it would stay that way.

Collington Board members are thankful for all our caring residents who take care of their homes/property and follow the guidelines set by the developers and HOA to maintain a beautiful, safe community. If any resident has a question about the HOA rules/regulations please feel free to contact our community manager at leeann@acswest.org . They are truly employed to help our residents in any way possible and can also direct you to the correct community committee chair for help as well. ACSWest and your committee chairs are always available and willing to help.
Winter Lawn and Landscaping Hints
From Dr. J and K

We are back with more tips and experiences to share to help create beautiful lawns, shrubs, and trees to be proud of!

1.)   Trimming low branches from your trees
 If you want to keep your trees a given height, cut them down each winter about 12 inches from the top. If you want to eliminate an entire branch cut it right at the trunk. Look carefully and you should notice a slight growth around the branch where it attaches to the trunk. If you cut slightly in front of that point, the tissue will grow over the cut so disease won’t affect your tree. If you cut too far away from the tissue it can’t grow over the cut therefore increasing the odds of disease. If you cut too close to the trunk the healing tissue is destroyed. Which limbs should you cut? If you don’t want to hit your head when cutting the grass this spring and summer, keep trimming the lowest branches up a few limbs each year. Also check to see if any limbs are rubbing each other. Cut the most vertical of the rubbing limbs. Generally, the vertical limbs are termed “suckers”. Don’t put any tar or paint on cut limbs. Experts say it creates a closed environment where bacteria and mold can grow.

(Correct cut: tissue growth around cut branch)

(Incorrect cut: To far away from tree trunk)
If you want to trim your crape myrtles go to youtube.com and type in “how to trim a crape myrtle”. What you will find is that no one recommends creating the fist- looking top. Most call it “crape murder”. Its not really that bad, but the poor tree sure looks weird during the winter season. The “experts” say if the tree gets too tall you picked the wrong tree……daa, a lot of help that is. You have to work with what you have. So, identify 5 major trunks and cut all other suckers that appear at the base. They will keep popping up all summer. You can break them off with your hand when you walk around your yard each evening with your martini. Crape Myrtles can be trimmed to be a bush or a tree, this is your choice.  If you prefer a tree, cut each trunk at the height you want the tree to be. Each trunk should be a little different in height to make it look more natural. Also try to have five V’s or Y’s from the first V to the top of each trunk. Now here is the cool part…….as the tree gets too tall, cut one trunk at the ground and let one base sucker start growing. The next year or two cut another trunk and start another sucker from the base. So, over a 5 to 10-year period you have a “new” smaller tree that is still the height you want. If you want your crape myrtle to be a bush just leave it alone. Feel free to trim it each fall/winter to the height you prefer and cut/trim off any ‘wild’ branches to create the shape you want.

Shrubs are a little easier to work with. Other than azaleas, most shrubs/bushes can be cut in January and February to maintain the height you prefer. If you cut your azaleas back now you will most likely end up with only green leaves and no flowers. Trim azaleas within two weeks after they STOP blooming. For securities sake it is best to maintain shrubs/bushes so they are not blocking the view from your windows or create a screen for someone to hide. Feel free to shape them now. Most of the shrubs/bushes furnished by the developers are very hardy. You can cut them back quite a bit without killing them. We have cut hollies (bushes) down to 24 inches with almost no leaves left, and in two seasons they were all filled back in.
2.)   Getting your sprinkler system ready for the summer.
First, let’s remember…. if you don’t have a sprinkler system, you have kids, and work more than 40 hours a week, don’t worry about the grass. Spend your time with your significant other, your kids, or your hobbies. Pay some neighbor’s kid to cut your grass. Life is too short.
 Second, if you do have a sprinkler system, but don’t have a second “companion water meter” you must get one now!!!!!!!!! For six months out of the year we average 8 Centum cubic feet or ccfs for household purposes and approximately 24 ccf’s for sprinkler use. One ccf equals 748 gallons in case you were wondering. The kicker is unless you have a separate meter for your sprinkler system you will pay for both the water and the sewage charges. The sewage charge is almost twice that of the water charge. So, if you use $25 of water you must pay $50 for sewage. It is not uncommon for folks with a single meter to have water bills of $200 to $300 in the summer. If you have a separate meter for your sprinkler system you don’t have to pay the sewage charge. The bottom line is the companion meter will pay for itself in a few years

 Now, how do you get one? The process is relatively simple and painless. You have to pay the county to install the meter. Here are the steps to the process:

Step 1
Get a plumbing permit for the “companion meter” (Learning the right terms helps.) at the Chesterfield Department of Building Inspection, 9800 Government Center Parkway, Chesterfield, Va 23832. You can GPS the address. It takes 15 minutes from Collington. When we did it the cost was $58.14.

Step 2
Once you pick up your permit, as you leave that building; walk 20 steps straight ahead to the next building and go into the “New Construction Section of County Utilities”. “Chesterfield County Department of Utilities, 9840 Government Center Parkway, Chesterfield, VA 23832. (804-748-1862). At the desk ask for a “Water Connection Application”. Fill it out there and pay them $500. Remember, you will probably save much of that fee in the first summer. You have to pay this with a check or cash……. That’s it!!!

Step 3
Chesterfield County will tell you they will install the new meter within 10 days. Actually, it only was a few days for us.

Step 4
Once the meter is installed you need to hook it up to your system/backflow valve. To hook it up you need to contact almost any landscape company.
 Now, the next question is where is your present backflow valve? The backflow valve is the brass valve looking thing located between the two white pipes sticking up from the ground creating a U-shaped structure. It will be either under your house or out in front of your house. Most are out in front of the house.
  • If your present valve is under your house have them move it to out in front. If you don’t, it will cost you about $1,000. (It has to do with county codes). You can cover it with the fake rock if you don’t like the way it looks,
  • If your present valve is out in front have it hooked up staying right in that spot. It will only cost your about $200.
  • Each strategy has its strong points

Once the system/valve is connected to the meter it must be inspected before the pipes are covered up by the landscaper. The company that installs the meter should schedule an inspection with the county. If the installation company doesn’t schedule the inspection, (make sure you ask) you will need tocall 804-751-4444 and ask for an inspection.

Step 5
Once the county inspects the hookup a form should be left right by the hookup saying you have passed. The landscaping company can then cover up the pipes and send you a bill.  Next open a bottle of champagne and run around your yard jumping from sprinkler to sprinkler. You have done it!!!!!!

3.)   Turning on your sprinkler system in the Spring

When you are ready to turn on your system in the spring you need to do the following things:
1)      Make sure you wait long enough to be assured there will be no threat of a freeze. We started up too early a few years ago and the water in the backflow valve froze and cracked the valve ($135 repair).

2)      Hook up the actual backflow valve to the two pipes sticking up in the ground. It should be removed and put in your garage over the winter. Wrap white Teflon tape around the thread of the two pipes sticking up for a better connection. 

3)      Turn on the water at the companion meter or if you don’t have a companion meter, the valve which is part of your main water meter. Your main meter or companion meters are usually in a rectangle ground box while any smaller valves are located in a round box probably within 24 inches of the main meter box. Go to Lowes and ask them for a water meter “T”. It is only a few bucks and will eliminate sticking your hand down in the box.

4)      Turn on your sprinkler control box to manual and see if water comes squirting up from the various zones. Most of us have 4 to 6 zones. That’s it.

5)      Chesterfield county requires your backflow valve be inspected once a year to protect the county’s water supply. Most landscape companies now offer the service of turning on/off your system for the season if you don’t want to do it yourself. You can combine starting up your system with an inspection if you like.
If you do decide to have a company do this for you, make sure you instruct them to inspect and adjust all heads of your system.

4.)   Stopping Summer Weeds

Chesterfield County’s weather is so erratic that warm days occur throughout the winter. Weeds seem to love our weather and tend to get a head start on us. Last year we had weeds popping up in late February which is usually when experts say to start pre-emergence treatment. If you really want to stop them try the following strategy:

Spread pre-emergence chemicals (one brand is called “Halts”) once during the first week of February, April, and June 2019 (June is optional) You can get them from any home improvement store, Walmart or local nurseries. Some of these stores may not have the chemicals so early in the year.

Use a spreader such as ‘Scotts Turf Builder Edge Guide Spreader’. Don’t forget to throw some on top of your mulch by hand. Last year we had zero weeds in our mulch beds. We had a few weeds in the lawn because we didn’t drop emergence chemicals until late February due to weather conditions, aka RAIN. Don’t forget, if you put pre-emergence chemicals down…..DONT PLANT GRASS SEED!!! Pre-emergence sterilizes all seeds including grass seeds. If you miss the February date and weeds start up pre-emergence chemicals wont work. You must use pre-emergence chemicals prior to seeds germinating. You can get fertilizer and pre-emergence combined products if you like. They are quite expensive but will save you time. If you are cheap like us use 10-10-10 fertilizer and a pure pre-emergence separately.

If you miss the above dates your only option is weed killer which takes care of weeds that have already germinated. (we will cover this topic in the spring/summer newsletter)

5.)   Fertilizing Your Lawn

Remember, you really should have fertilized your lawn last fall. (see fall newsletter). But if you want your grass to be green before your neighbor’s you can fertilize with your first two pre-emergence applications. Just remember you will probably be cutting your grass more often than your neighbor.

Well, that’s about it for this newsletter. Hope the above hints will help. Remember when in doubt, youtube it. When in doubt, go cheap. When in doubt, ask nursery folks. When in doubt, ask a question on the Collington Resident Facebook page; we will keep a look out for those questions and reply as quickly as possible.

(This article written by a Collington resident with over 50 years experience, and lots of trial and error – it does not in any way reflect the gospel of the grounds committee to Collington residents.)
Dr. J and K
Are you a teenager looking to offer babysitting, grass cutting, or driveway shoveling services? Are you a resident handyman looking for work cleaning gutters or painting? The HOA is considering posting these services in forthcoming newsletters. The initial thought is to provide free advertising for teens, and charging a small fee to residents that provide professional (resident owned) services. If this interests you, please contact the HOA newsletter at newsletter@collingtonhoa.com
Covenant Corner

Collington is a beautiful place to live, we can all show pride in our property. During the winter months while leaves are off the trees, our homes are even more on display to our neighbors. Please keep in mind the view of your front and back yards. Dispose of old pots and debris; move the left over mulch bags and potting soil in your driveway or back yard out of sight (especially if it can be viewed by a next door or backyard neighbor). It’s a good time to make arrangements/plans for mailbox post repainting or just a good cleaning, as well as check for fading paint on shutters and doors. And while you are making plans, take a walk around all sides of your house to check for mildew/mold or just green slime. There always seems to be a side that turns green or even mildews, especially with all the rain we have had. Call a power washing company to be one of the first homes on the list for a Spring power cleaning .  Collington is a beautiful place to live, we can all show pride in our property.
We’d love to hear from you! Email us at newsletter@collingtonhoa.com and let us know what you would like to see in future editions.

Helpful Chesterfield County Phone Numbers and Websites:
Chesterfield County Phone Numbers:
General Information-748-1000
Police Non-Emergency-748-1251
Fire and Emergency Medical Services
24-Hour Citizens Line-751-INFO
Chesterfield County/Colonial Heights Crime Solvers-748-0660
Animal Bites-748-1683
Animal Shelter, Animal Control-748-1683
Barking Dogs, Police Department-748-1251
Birth Certificates, Virginia Department of Health-662-6200
Chesterfield County Job Line, Human Resource Management-768-7777
Child Safety, Police Department-318-8699
Child Safety Seat Program, Health Department-(800) 732-8333
Concealed Weapons Permit, Circuit Court Clerk-748-1547
Circuit Court Clerk’s Office-748-1241
General District Court-748-1231
Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court-748-1379
Dog License, Treasurer’s Office-748-1201
Elections, General Registrar-748-1471
Flu Shots, Health Department-748-1691
Leaf Burning, Fire and Life Safety Division-748-1426
Pavement Repair, Virginia Department of Transportation-(800) 367-7623
Real Estate Assessments-748-1321
Recycling, Waste and Resource Recovery-748-1297
Smoke Detector Installation, Fire and Life Safety Division-748-1426
Speakers Bureau, Public Affairs-748-1161
Storm Water, Water Quality Section-748-1035
Wells, Environmental Health-748-1610