2021 Large Community of the Year: Skyline House Unit Owners Association

Skyline House Unit Owners Associations of Falls Church, Virginia was named Community Association of the Year in the Large Category. They are self-managed. This is the essay submitted with the community’s application.

By Charles K. Roberts

Skyline House Unit Owners Association (SHUOA) of Falls Church, Virginia delivers a top-quality residential experience for a highly diverse community in this 556-unit twin tower hi-rise condominium.

Skyline House residents benefit from SHUOA membership in the Washington Metropolitan Chapter of the Community Associations Institute (WMCCAI) through the daily CAI Members Open Forum. SHUOA Board members and managers call attention to relevant issues for consideration and action.

In seeking vendors for products and services, the General Manager and his staff look first to providers recommended by CAI.

SHUOA objectives:

  • a safe, healthy, and comfortable living environment for all residents,
  • fair and equitable treatment by management and staff of all unit owners, other residents and guests, and reciprocal treatment of all SHUOA employees, and
  • prudent development and execution of annual Operating and Reserve Budgets to deliver value expected for the Regular Assessment (“condo fee”).

Forty years of tradition drive SHUOA success:

  1. respect for neighbors and Association employees, and
  2. a shared faith in voluntarism, learning through years of service how to improve SHUOA business operations while creating a pleasant living environment.

Many residents have made Skyline House their permanent home, and a significant number of employees have accumulated over thirty years of service with SHUOA.

The current Board includes two attorneys, a Doctor of Economics retired from the Federal Reserve, a Professional Engineer who specialized in construction, an individual with four decades of hands-on experience in condominium maintenance, a Federal Government personnel specialist, and a retired cybersecurity specialist.

Five Board-chartered standing committees support the Board. Key among these are the Financial Management and the Physical Plant and Operations Committees, which fine tune and endorse the General Manager’s proposed annual budget and monitor capital equipment replacement schedules.

2021 accomplishments:

  1. a two-year project to renovate the plaza above the parking garage, including replacement of the original swimming pool and creation of open space ready to accommodate recreation facilities for a diverse residential community,
  2. year 2 of a three-year project to restore the brick façades, spandrels, balconies, and patios of both residential towers,
  3. conversion of all common area lighting to LED, and
  4. release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for performance in 2022 of a thorough structural inspection of the residential towers and adjoining main entrance and office structure.

All these plus other tasks have been accomplished through two consecutive calendar year budgets under which the Regular Assessment was frozen at the 2019 level.

The Covid-19 pandemic has required sanitization of common areas, installation of plastic screening to protect reception desk and resident service personnel, and signage announcing limits on elevator, gym, and pool occupancy. SHUOA continues to encourage mask usage in common areas, even among those fully vaccinated against Covid-19. The Board and Management believe that due to these measures SHUOA has incurred no Covid-19 infections among its employees. SHUOA is unaware of any resident deaths due to Covid-19 and only two “long Covid” cases, both of whom are recovering.