Daventry Community Association was named Community Association of the Year in the Large Category. They are managed by Cardinal Management Group, Inc., AAMC. This is the essay submitted with the community’s application.
By M. Gail Ledford, President, Board of Directors, Daventry Community Association
Daventry is located in Fairfax County, Virginia, close to Washington, DC, with wooded and park-like surroundings. The variety of amenities, committees, clubs, and activities that bring the community together, make Daventry a desirable place to live. We have tennis courts, tot lots, a basketball court, and pool, which is home to our award-winning Dolphins swim team. Our property includes paths and trails, some adjoining the county’s 42-mile Cross County Trail. Residents can participate in book, bridge, garden, and tennis clubs, and a young children’s playgroup.
Daventry’s 884 homes include 512 townhomes, 212 detached homes, and 160 condominiums. These comprise seven different neighborhoods within the larger community, each with an elected Neighborhood Representative who make up our seven-member Board of Directors. The Neighborhood representatives “wear two hats” serving as the point of contact for their neighborhood residents’ questions and assistance with matters related to the Association, and playing an important role in the legally mandated functioning of the Board.
Board and committee members engage with the broader local community in many ways, including involvement in the Washington Metro Chapter of the Community Association Institute, exchanging information/problem-solving approaches with other HOA boards, working with local crime prevention police officers on public education and crime prevention, and bringing in local resources for “town hall” sessions to educate our residents about topics ranging from landscaping to recycling and environmental sustainability. For our large capital projects, we utilize engineers and engage local government officials to ensure that our investments meet future needs and comply with required standards. This outside engagement is an invaluable component of responsibly managing large projects.
As a large community in its fourth decade, Daventry has its share of challenges, however the Association’s volunteers and our Management Company embrace these challenges as opportunities. To help manage requirements and expectations, in 2018, Daventry re-negotiated its property management contract to include a full-time Onsite Manager. The Board implemented a Code of Ethics/Conduct to establish expectations for our many volunteers; developed Charters for each of our six committees to help guide their efforts; increased monthly assessments to better plan for and address the needs of our common area grounds and amenities; and, created a Long Range Planning Committee to assist the Board with planning for capital items and adequately funding Reserves.
Daventry has a strong desire to keep the community informed. We recently moved to a technology platform designed for homeowner associations and re-vamped our website. We created an Association-sponsored Facebook group; we utilize eBlast messaging; each Board member communicates directly with their neighborhood; and, we also continue to employ traditional approaches, e.g. newsletters (also posted electronically on our website), and “sandwich board” signage to be sure to reach those less technologically inclined.
Daventry’s demographics have “ebbed and flowed” with respect to age, family structure, and culture. We are currently experiencing growth in families with young children. These changing times contribute to both the vibrancy and expectations of our community and continue to keep Daventry forward-thinking and a sought-after place to live and play.