Oxford Place   

Fort Mill, SC          

2008 Spring Newsletter 

Oxford Place Website and Email

Please visit the new Oxford Place website at www.oxfordplace.us. Through volunteer efforts the annual cost of putting together and maintaining the website is a total of $10.

The Oxford Place POA needs your email address. Currently 68% of residents have provided us with an email address. Occasionally we send out time critical information on issues such as zoning hearings, neighborhood crime, garbage company issues, lost/found pets, a rabid fox, announcements, postponements, maps & property info, etc. We will protect the privacy of your email address and will only email you with issues relating to the neighborhood. We will never send advertisement. Please send an email to oxfordplace@gmail.com to be added to this important mailing list.

2008 Board Members

Brad Durbin, one of our 2008 board members had an operation on Wednesday, April 30. Brad’s recovery will prevent him from serving on the board this year, but he looks forward to volunteering in 2009. We wish Brad a speedy recovery. Another board member, Elizabeth Holcombe has put her house on the market and will be relocating. Marc Vigeant and Brook Tunstall also recently decided to step down due to personal reasons. We extend our gratitude to Marc, Brooke, Brad, and Elizabeth for helping get the board off to a good start in 2008.

Per the bylaws "any vacancy may be filled at any time by a majority of the remaining directors". After the initial departures, Jayne Guchone and Brad Durbin filled the vacancies with two new volunteers. Winston O’Reggio has agreed to serve as the Treasurer for 2008. Winston has lived in Oxford Place for almost 8 years and brings a wealth of accounting and finance experience to the position. Kathy Sandvoss also stepped forward to volunteer. She has some great ideas for the neighborhood and will be heading a committee trying to find solutions for improving the playground lot. Former board member Frank Collins has agreed to temporarily help the new board adjust to the transition. Frank has served as a board member from 2001 to 2005 and currently helps the board with automation activities, such as email distribution and website design.

Three of the five board members for 2008 are:

Jayne Guchone     547-xxxx
Winston O'Reggio  802-xxxx
Kathy Sandvoss    233-xxxx

The board currently has two vacancies. Serving your neighborhood is a great way to meet your neighbors and to make a contribution to your community. We expect the commitment for the rest of the year to be a total of about 15 hours. If you desire to research potential improvements to the neighborhood or address some issues with which you are concerned, this is your opportunity. Please call a current board member or send us an email at oxfordplace@gmail.com if you would like to become a board member for the remainder of 2008. Once the remaining positions are filled, the board will hold a meeting to fill the roles of President, Vice President, and Secretary.

Ratification Ballot

The results of the April ballot item ratifying the volunteers for the 2008 board should be finalized towards the end of May. Since four of the five volunteers changed after the annual meeting was held, the 2008 board feels it is appropriate to send out the names of the new volunteers for another vote for ratification. Once two more volunteers step forward, a newsletter and ballot will be sent to the neighborhood. If more than five people are vying for positions on the 2008 board, a full neighborhood meeting will be called and an election by paper ballot will be conducted.

January Elections – February Annual Meeting

The 2007 board pointed out a problem in the way Oxford Place conducts business. Each year the former board sets the agenda and conducts the annual meeting around March 1 and then turns over the reigns to the new board. This has led to a few less than successful meetings during the past two years.

The 2008 board has developed a solution for 2009. Around January 15, 2009, a neighborhood meeting will be called for the express purpose of electing officers for the coming year. The election of officers may be able to be conducted in less than 20 minutes. After the elections are held, those who choose to remain in attendance will suggest items they would like the new board to explore and present at the annual meeting. Around March 1, the annual meeting will be held. The new board members will present the budget, recommend the annual fee, and review any topics that were suggested at the January meeting. This should lead to a much more productive annual meeting next year. The bylaws of the Oxford Place POA mention the timing of the annual meeting, but do not prevent elections from being held prior to the annual meeting.

Budget and Annual Fee

At the annual meeting, a budget was distributed and a motion was passed to keep the annual fee at $245 for 2008. Due to a miscommunication, a budget that differed from the one handed out at the annual meeting was distributed in the initial mailing this year. Due to these differing budgets, the board is including the budget as one of the items on the enclosed ballot.

There was a note on the mailed budget that stated two lots had not paid dues for 2007. One non-payment was the result of a foreclosure and the other is part of an ongoing legal matter. The neighborhood payment record is quite good over the seven year history of the POA. Prior to the two issues in 2007, the POA has only missed one other full payment. This was due to a foreclosure in 2003. Oddly it was the same house that was foreclosed on in 2007.

The main reason why Oxford Place has been able to maintain a very reasonable annual fee compared to other neighborhoods is that we do not contract out the management of the association. When you have a concern, please consider that the board members are volunteers with very busy schedules just like you. If you feel strongly about an issue, we may need your help.


One resident volunteered to serve on the landscaping committee and provide guidance to the landscaper. If anyone else would like to join the landscaping committee or provide input about landscaping, please contact Barbara Whitman at 802-3521.

Covenants & Restrictions

Item 14 of the C&Rs was a topic of discussion at the annual meeting. The text of the C&R is as follows: "Any recreational vehicle, boat, trailer or camper trailer must be parked so as to be screened so that it cannot be viewed from nearby tracts or the street."

At the annual meeting, the 2007 board suggested that the new board informally grant a grace period of one to two weeks to allow homeowners to park a boat, RV, or camper in their driveway to prepare for a trip or to clean the vehicle. The 2008 board agrees and has included an item on the attached ballot.

The above C&R is the only item, residents felt needed clarification. In the past residents have been very clear that the neighborhood C&Rs should be enforced. The C&Rs and a bylaw item that lists the method of enforcement and a fine schedule is available at www.oxfordplace.us.

Architectural Review

The 2008 Architectural Review Committee will be:

Roger Guchone   547-xxxx   603 Kingston Way
Lenny Sernulka  548-xxxx   805 Savile Lane 
Johnny Webster  802-xxxx   202 Oxford Place Drive

Per item 27 of the C&Rs - No construction, reconstruction, remodeling or alteration of any building, improvement, or structure shall be commenced without prior written approval. The architectural review committee is happy to answer your building questions or concerns.


The 2008 board is committed to increasing neighborhood communication this year via more frequent newsletters and timely email when important neighborhood issues arise from time to time.

Neighborhood Animals

Residents have recently contacted us about pet issues and have provided the following information from the York County website. It is against the law in York County for animals to become a public nuisance. This includes excessive barking, molesting passersby, chasing vehicles, attacking other domestic animals, damaging property and trespassing on private property. York County also requires all animals to be either fenced in, on a leash, or under the control of their owners when outside.

First, talk to the owners of the animal. They may not realize their animal is creating a problem. Second, if the first step is unsuccessful, contact Animal Control to sign a nuisance complaint form. This will allow an animal control officer to contact the owners of the animal to discuss the problem and, hopefully, correct the situation. Barking dogs bring almost daily complaints to the York County Animal Shelter, particularly in the warm weather when windows are open. All barking dog complaints are investigated by York County Animal Control officers. Owners of barking dogs may be in violation of the County's noise ordinance. If you need additional information or to report a barking dog, call Animal Control at 628-3190. In addition, please clean up after your animals and don’t leave waste in other resident’s yards.

Neighborhood Speeding

Speeding creates a neighborhood safety problem for pedestrians, bicyclers and other motorists in a neighborhood. However, it is particularly hazardous to children. Once you enter the neighborhood you are home. Slow down like you do as you pull into your driveway. Keep Oxford Place safe.

Entrance Lighting Proposal

The 2007 board asked local resident, Mike Mead to prepare a proposal for improving the lights at the entrances. Since Mike Mead was unable to attend the annual meeting, the details of his proposal were not available at that time. Without the cost and what was included several residents expressed concern and a vote was not held at the annual meeting. After careful review, the 2008 board recommends we proceed with upgrading 24 fixtures at our entrances to Xeon low voltage fixtures. The board is undecided on the median lighting proposal and will leave it up to the residents to decide.

The bylaws contain an item that the board must "hold a vote before a full meeting of members before… committing to expenditures in excess of $1,000 that have not been previously detailed in an annual budget." The 2008 board has decided to conduct this vote via the enclosed ballot The updated budget that is being voted also includes a line item for the entrance lighting. The two entrance lighting upgrades can be accomplished without a special assessment or increasing the $245 annual fee.

Per Mike Mead, we currently have 12 low voltage Malibu light fixtures at the entrances that we are very satisfied with. The low voltage lights are lasting a long time. We haven’t had to replace a single Malibu low voltage fixture since we put them in. The Xeon lamps now last three to four times longer than the standard lamps. Behind each entrance we now have high voltage Halogen Quartz lamps. The glass covers are shattering when they are hit with the water from the sprinkler system or rainfall. Additionally Halogen lamps require extra care. When you install them, you have to make sure no part of your body touches them or they will burn out almost instantly. They are a real hassle to maintain. Ants and other insects get inside the fixtures, etc. 6 of the 24 fixtures had to be changed out one week.

Mike Mead recommends we replace the 24 High Voltage Halogens Quartz lamps with 24 low voltage Xeon lamps. The Xeon lamps will provide a much crisper white light, and will provide almost the same illumination the Halogen’s provided. The 50 Watt low voltage lamps seem to last forever. The neighborhood has yet to have one burn out in almost two years. We will also need to add an additional 900 Watt low voltage transformer at each station. When the low voltage lamps eventually burn out they are easy for anyone to change. With the replacement, we should see a reduction in our power bill and our yearly expenditures for replacing and maintaining lamps.

Mike is willing to continue keeping up the maintenance of the lights if we switch to the Xeon lamps. Due to the excessive time involved with constantly maintaining the Halogen Quartz lamps (trips to the hardware store, troubleshooting, etc.), he is not willing to continue maintaining the lights if we decided to keep the high voltage Halogen Quartz lamps.

The addition of power receptacles will also be a positive move. Each year, the Guchone family has generously added wreaths to our entrances at Christmas time. A very tasteful and minimal addition of lights at Christmas time will further add to the attractiveness of our entrances.

The 2008 board (and the 2007 board) have reviewed this proposal and are in favor of making this sensible upgrade. Please vote on the attached ballot and return your vote promptly.

Oxford Place Property Owners Association

Please enter you name, and address, and record your votes below. Mail the completed ballot in the return envelope provided with this mailing or send it to:

Oxford Place Property Owners Association, P.O. Box 1283, Fort Mill, SC 29716 or to Winston O’Reggio at 607 Kingston Way. Return you vote by June 10, 2008.

Ballot Items – May 2008

Name_______________ Address________________ Email address_________________

Item 1:

Instruct the board of the Oxford Place Property Owners Association to informally grant a grace period of 10 days to allow homeowners to park a boat, RV, or camper in their driveway to prepare for a trip or to clean the vehicle. [This item will not change the C&Rs or Bylaws. This is a guidance vote.]

Yes___ No___

Item 2:

Authorize the board of the Oxford Place Property Owners Association to engage in a contract with local resident Mike Mead (or another contractor) to replace the existing 24 high voltage halogen light fixtures with Xeon low voltage light fixtures in Oxford Place East and Oxford Place West. This would also include adding electric receptacles to the entrance timers. The total cost would be approximately $4200. (see details on page 4) In addition, a item for Upgrading Entrance Lighting would be added to the 2008 Budget. This can be accomplished with money in the existing budget (no increase in dues).

Yes___ No ___

Item 3:

Instruct the board of the Oxford Place Property Owners Association board to further explore adding low voltage lighting (24 fixtures total) to the medians in Oxford Place East and Oxford Place West. The approximate cost would be $8200. This involves extensive work boring under the roadway and may require landscaping to be replaced. If the neighborhood is interested, a board member will work with Mike Mead to further develop a proposal to be presented at the next full neighborhood meeting.

Yes___ No ___

Item 4:

The budget presented at the annual meeting included $9000 for electricity, $1500 for insurance, $12,000 for landscaping, and $5000 for legal expenses, and $550 for printing and postage. [Note these amounts differ from a proposed budget that was sent with the first mailing]. The board would like to reduce the amount allocated to legal expenses to $2000. We don’t foresee having any legal expenses this year, and have reduced the amount to a more reasonable allocation. The other items would remain the same.

Yes___ No___

Send any questions to oxfordplace@gmail.com or call a board member. We are considering adding a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page to the website, if the answers will be beneficial to everyone.