**** UNDER CONSTRUCTION **** Please be patient while we improve this section Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents
 
PARKING
TRASH COLLECTION
 
ROADS, MAILBOXES, STREETLIGHTS, AND COMMON AREAS
HOA AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION
MAKING CHANGES TO HOMES AND GROUNDS
BOARD MEETINGS


ABOUT COVINGTON - SIZE AND AGE

Q: How many homes are within Covington?

A: 478. They are a mix of California-style bungalows and townhouses.

Q: When were the homes built?

A: From approximately 1974 (Section 1) to 1980 (Section 4).


Q: What services does the homeowners association provide?

A: Residents' quarterly fees include trash and snow removal, landscaping and grounds maintenance for common areas, and leaf pickup. The HOA also hosts 2 annual social events: a cleanup day in the spring and an ice cream social in the summer or fall.

Q: How can I get involved in the homeowners association (HOA) or help as a volunteer?

A: Contact Samantha Winterstine of American Management of Virginia. She can be reached either at 703-530-1550 or swinterstine@amvirginia.com.

PARKING

Q: Can residents have two reserved parking spaces?

A: No.  This question (and variations on it) comes up frequently, and Covington's Board of Directors tries to balance the needs of the community (unreserved parking spots for visitors) with the needs of the individual (reserved spots for homeowners).  Some homeowners have
asked for multiple reserved spots per home, but we don't have enough parking spots to support that; other homeowners want more unreserved spots since they have a lot of visitors.  Our current system works well enough as long as no one hoards spots; that is part of the arrangement to live in a townhouse development with shared parking.  The DMV encourages residents to report out of state plates that you've observed anywhere in VA for an unreasonable amount of time.  More info http://www.dmv.state.va.us/webdoc/general/howdo_I.asp
 
Q: What is the car towing policy?

A: Residents, please note that as of Feb. 18, 2014, the Board is reviewing the FAQ information on towing: for expired tags, the grace period and the warning tag period have been changed. Please heed the time limit on the sticker. If you are unable to rectify the situation that caused the towing notice, please call Samantha Winterstine of American Management of Virginia at 703-530-1550 before your car is towed.

If a car is parked in a no-parking zone (by a yellow curb), it will be towed immediately. Also, if an unknown car is parked in your reserved space, you can call the towing company to have the car towed.


TRASH COLLECTION

Q: What are the days of trash collection?

A: Tuesdays and Fridays. Place trash at the curb early in the morning and do not block fire hydrants. Trash should be in trash cans with lids or in substantial plastic garbage bags (not small grocery bags).

Q: What items cannot be placed out for collection?

A: Cans of paint, car batteries, car tires, large appliances and furniture, and other toxic and hazardous materials. Covington residents have two options for disposing of large items and hazardous waste:
  1. Arrange for a special pickup that is not part of the Covington Homes Association’s trash removal service by calling ADS at 703-368-0500 to make these arrangements.  Additional fees may apply; they are your responsibility.
  2. Visit a county-sponsored hazardous waste collection event or facility.  For more details, see http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/trash/disphhw.htm.
Q: A resident is piling trash on the street when there is no trash pickup. It sits there for days. What can I do?

A: Contact Samantha Winterstine at American Management of Virginia.  AMV is the property management firm for Covington Homes, and Samantha is our representative at AMV.  She will contact the resident. Samantha can be reached either at 703-530-1550 or swinterstine@amvirginia.com.

Q: How can I arrange for a special trash pickup to dispose of an old stove, refrigerator, etc.?

A: You have two options:
  1. Arrange for a special pickup that is not part of the Covington Homes Association’s trash removal service by calling ADS at 703-368-0500 to make these arrangements.  Additional fees may apply; they are your responsibility.
  2. Visit a county-sponsored hazardous waste collection event or facility. For more details, visit their web site at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/trash/disphhw.htm.
Q: Can residents rent a dumpster or portable storage devices?

A: Residents can rent a dumpster for a weekend and leave it in a Covington parking spot. As a courtesy, please notify your two immediate neighbors beforehand.


RECYCLING COLLECTION

Q: When is the pickup for recycling?

A: Fridays only. Place recycling out early in the morning, before 8:00 am. Please secure items in the bins so that loose newspapers and plastic bags are not blown by the wind and end up as litter.

Q: Where can I take my recycling if I miss the pickup?

A: The Fairfax City property yard at 3410 Pickett Road has collection bins for paper, plastic, cardboard, glass, and car batteries. Driving west on 50, turn left on Pickett, and the yard is the second right (after Old Pickett Rd.). It is always open.


ROADS, MAILBOXES, STREETLIGHTS, AND COMMON AREAS

Q: Which roads and common areas are privately owned, maintained and plowed by Covington Homes Association versus public roads that are owned, maintained and plowed by VDOT/Commonwealth of Virginia?

A: Only Ellenwood Drive, Covington Street, Jersey Drive, and the access/frontage roads that parallel Lee Highway/Route 29 and Arlington Boulevard/Route 50 are public; they are owned, maintained and plowed by VDOT/Commonwealth of Virginia. Contact VDOT for all maintenance issues with these public roads NOVA.Telecom.Helpdesk@VDOT.Virginia.gov or novainfo@vdot.virginia.gov. All other roads and common areas are privately owned, maintained and plowed by Covington Homes. Covington's private roads were resealed in 2012.

Q: How can residents replace broken or lost mailbox keys?

A: Contact the Turnpike Station post office located at 3601 Pickett Road in Fairfax (703-978-3504). Budget at least $20.

Q: Why are some streets so dark, and can street lights be added?

A: Dominion Power controls all electrical infrastructure, not Covington HOA. Because Covington was built with a limited number of street light access points, the current arrangement of street lights is constrained to the original equipment.

Q: Where and how can dog owners dispose of pet waste?

A: Covington's covenants, conditions and restrictions (CCR), coupled with Fairfax County's "pooper scooper" law, dictate that pet waste must be removed from Covington's grounds and disposed along with the pet owner's other household trash.  Pet owners who violate the County’s pooper scooper law may incur a fine up to $250. Pet waste left on the grass or in the woods makes its way to storm drains every time it rains. Storm drains lead to lakes or streams that supply our drinking water. Pet waste carries disease-causing organisms, which make water unsafe for swimming and more costly to treat for drinking. Pet waste on the ground is ugly and messy; it pollutes our environment even if it is hidden in the bushes, under leaves or in the woods. Please pick up after your pets. Everyone's health depends upon proper pet waste removal. More details are available on the Fairfax County web site.

Q: Does Covington have tot lots?

A: Yes, Covington has three tot lots.  One is located on Ellenwood, near the intersection with Lee Highway.  Another is located between Ellenwood and Pebble Hill Lane.  The third is located on Ellenwood, across from the intersection with Talking Rock Drive.  The tot lots are intended for use by Covington residents and guests.  They are open from sunrise to sunset.  For a visual representation of the locations of the tot lots, visit the Google Group's Files section and download "Covington_Map.pdf".  The tot lots are marked on the map with a "T".

Q: How can residents report inoperable streetlights?

A: All streetlights in Covington are maintained by Dominion http://www.dom.com/ or call 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).


HOA AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION

Q: How is Covington Homes represented at the county level?

A: Covington resides within Fairfax County’s Providence district http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/providence/ as its geographic boundary, and McLean district as its police jurisdiction http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/stations/mclean/.

Covington is in the 11th Congressional district; Covington is not located within the City of Fairfax.

Q: How do I ask a general question about Covington?

A: The Board of Directors maintains a Google Group at http://groups.google.com/group/covingtonhoa for this purpose.  To post a question, membership is required.  This service is free, and only requires an e-mail address to join.

Q: Who is the property manager?

A: The property manager for Covington Homes is Samantha Winterstine of American Management of Virginia. She can be reached either at 703-530-1550 or swinterstine@amvirginia.com. The web site for AMV is www.amvirginia.com.

Q: What does the Grounds Committee do?

A: The Grounds Committee concentrates on replanting trees and ground cover in the common areas and finding ways to control erosion in the neighborhood. If you are interested in learning more or volunteering to help, contact Samantha Winterstine of American Management of Virginia. She can be reached either at 703-530-1550 or swinterstine@amvirginia.com.


MAKING CHANGES TO HOMES AND GROUNDS

Q: What kinds of exterior changes to houses are and are not allowed?

A: All changes to the exterior of a townhouse and its grounds require the Covington Homeowners' Association’s approval. This includes, but is not limited to, decks, sheds, fences, exterior paint colors, roof shingle changes, etc. Generally speaking, any change to the exterior design or appearance of the original townhouse must be approved before any modifications are made. Residents cannot change common areas, such as sidewalks, private roads, trees and shrubs, mailboxes, etc.

Q: What do I need to do before changing the exterior of my house?

A: Fill out an Architectural Improvement Request (AIR) form and submit it to the Architectural Review Committee for review.  If approved by the ARC, they will forward the request to the Board of Directors.  The AIR form is available at http://groups.google.com/group/covingtonhoa/files.  The name of the file is Architectural_Improvement_Request_Form.pdf.

Q: I want to build a second story deck behind my house. Do I need to file any additional paperwork?

A: Yes. There is a separate form available on the web site (http://groups.google.com/group/covingtonhoa/files). The name of the file is Second_story_deck_additional_form.pdf.  A second-story deck requires the approval of the four neighbors most affected by the proposed deck.  This form should be submitted to the Architectural Review Committee for review.


BOARD MEETINGS

Q: Can residents attend Board meetings?

A: Yes, Board meetings are open to any homeowner.

Q: When and where are the Board meetings held?

A: The Board meets in the library of Fairhill Elementary School on the third Tuesday of each month, at 6:30 p.m. The exceptions to this are August (no meeting) and November (the meeting is replaced by the annual meeting).

Q: When and where is the annual meeting held?

A: The annual meeting for Covington Homes is held each November, on the third Tuesday, in place of a meeting of the Board of Directors.  It is held in the same location as the monthly Board meetings (Fairhill Elementary).

For additional updates:   http://groups.google.com/group/covingtonhoa