Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This Week at Princeton Landing

Property manager Matt Lubas reports that Brickman has been busy getting our landscape ready for spring. In late February and early March, they focused on cleanup work. This included completing removal of leaves that couldn't be picked up after the early freeze last fall, picking up branches and other debris that came down during winter storms, cutting back perennials, and removing hazardous low and broken limbs on trees. In mid-March, Brickman began edging beds along the Loop Road. Once those were done, they have continued edging at The Smith House and in each parcel.

There has been much discussion this year about mulching. The Association has applied mulch every year on berms, in many of the common area beds, and in beds in the parcels. Brickman and other landscape professionals familiar with the property have advised that this may not be necessary, or even a good practice. Mulching is also a major expense. For example, Matt reports that in 2008 the community spent almost $65,000 on mulch. This year, the parcels budgeted about 40% less than last year and had already planned to do less mulching than in prior years. Matt has been speaking to the landscape representative in each parcel and as the season gets started, it appears that the community will be doing even less mulching than planned. Parcel 11 will be doing a full mulch application because none was applied last year due to the drainage improvement work that was done during 2008. Decisions are still pending from parcels 3, 4 and 12, but the rest of the parcels will forego mulching this year.

Discussions have also been taking place about whether to apply a pre-emergent weed control chemical in shrub beds and on berms. In the past, this was done before mulch was applied. This year, consideration is being given to alternatives including using a different pre-emergent material than the one used in the past, or not using any. If no pre-emergent weed control is applied to the shrub beds and berms, weeds will have to be removed by hand or spot treated as they grow and may be more noticeable. Residents should watch for posted signs about the use of landscape chemicals and can contact the management office if they would like to review written information (called "MSDS sheets") about the materials being used.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Welcome Stacy Walters

Lori Kenyon, Assistant Vice President and Regional Manager for Signature Property Group, recently announced a staff change in our management office. Stacy Walters joined the Princeton Landing staff as property administrator. She replaces Crystal Carpenter, who has moved to another property. The change was effective March 17, 2009.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Welcome Spring

From Daffodils
by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Saint Patrick's Day

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This Week at Princeton Landing

On March 10 at 7:30 pm, representatives of each parcel attended a meeting to discuss a variety of issues concerning the 2009 budget, operating expenses, and economic trends affecting the community. Several members of the Board of Directors also attended. FVCSA's Treasurer, Elliott Eisenberg, presided over the meeting and presented information about each topic on the agenda. Materials handed out for the meeting included:
  • a budget presentation highlighting major operating expenses
  • an overview of maintenance fees in arrears
  • a landscape analysis report prepared by Bruce Hellerick, senior horticulture specialist for our landscape contractor Brickman
  • a draft of the President's Message scheduled to appear in the April/May edition of our printed newsletter that discusses the 2009 operating budget
  • partial copies of a landscape survey from 2001 prepared for Princeton Landing by a professional landscape architect.
The meeting lasted about two hours. There was lively discussion with active participation by parcel representatives and members of the Board.

To make the budget presentation and the President's Message widely available throughout the community, I have posted a copy of each to Google Docs. To access the presentation, click this link. After the presentation opens use the arrows in the lower left of your screen to scroll through it. The President's Message can be accessed at this link. If you find these documents informative, please email this post to your neighbors in the community by clicking the envelope icon below this post. 

Nature Guide: White-tailed Deer

One of the best things about Princeton Landing is our mature landscape. Unfortunately, during the winter months our trees and shrubs succumb to severe browsing damage by the subject of our next feature, the beautiful but destructive White-tailed Deer.

Our Nature Guide Jon Latimer writes:

"One species that seems to be on the increase in our area is the White-tailed Deer. They are particularly successful because, except for cars and trucks, most of their natural predators have been eliminated.

"The coat of a White-tailed Deer is reddish-brown in spring and summer and gray-brown in fall and winter. The white underside of its tail signals alarm when the tail is raised during escape. Adults are about 40 inches tall at the shoulder and about 5 or 6 feet long. The male buck usually weighs from 130 to 300 pounds; the female doe weighs from 90 to 165 pounds.

"Males grow new antlers every year, starting in late spring. In fall they compete for the opportunity to breed with females, and successful males are often seen escorting several females in a small herd. Females give birth to one, two or even three spotted fawns in May or June. Fawns lose their spots during their first summer.

"The diet of White-tailed Deer varies through the seasons according to the availability of food sources. They forage on a wide variety of plants, eating shoots, leaves, acorns, fruit and grasses. They even eat some things that we would consider dangerous, such as poisonous mushrooms and red sumac."

The ornamental trees and shrubs in Princeton Landing are an irresistible food source to the White-tailed Deer. A careful selection of plants can help eliminate some of the damage. We can reduce our maintenance costs and improve the appearance of our landscape by being more thoughtful about what plants we install in the future.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Annual Brunch

Forrestal Village Community Services Association
cordially invites Princeton Landing residents to the

Annual Princeton Landing Brunch

Sunday, May 3, 2009
11:00 am until 1:00 pm
The Smith House
400 Sayre Drive

Call 609-243-9292 or email phill@spgroup.biz
Please include your name, house number
and the number of residents attending.

Attention Dog Owners

Our property management team reports:

"It saddens us to have to discuss once again the issue of proper etiquette when walking dogs in Princeton Landing. Management is receiving repeated complaints about people not picking up after their pets throughout the community. In addition to the Association's Policy Resolution No. 15 regarding pet policies, there is also a Plainsboro Township local ordinance regarding cleaning up after pets, which can impose fines to violators.

Plainsboro Ordinance No. 0-06-03 states:

a. The owner or person having control of all animals shall immediately remove all feces deposited by such animal.

b. The removed feces shall be disposed of in a sanitary manner.

c. Any person who violates this section shall be subject to a fine of up to $50 for a first offense and subject to the general provisions for any subsequent offense.

We implore all residents to help us with this mission. If you witness a dog owner or dog walker not picking up after a pet, ask them nicely to do so. If you are not comfortable with this approach, please report the violator to the management office. The Association spends a good deal of your money to maintain the property. Dog owners, please pick up after your pets and avoid the embarrassment of possible covenants letters and town action."

We ask for everyone's support in keeping Princeton Landing a beautiful place to live.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring Ahead

Remember to move your clocks ahead one hour tonight or tomorrow morning. Daylight saving time begins at 2:00 am on Sunday, March 8.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Recycling Reminder

Don't forget to put out your recyclables this evening. Tomorrow, Saturday, is our rescheduled pickup due to Monday's snowstorm.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Recycling Pickup

Due to the winter storm on Monday, recycling was not picked up. Pat Hill in the management office tells us that the recycling pickup has been rescheduled for Saturday, March 7.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Winter Storm Update

Property manager Matt Lubas reports that our snow removal contractor Shearer Penn has been here from about 4:00 am, working to keep the roads clear. As of 10:00 am they are holding off their major cleanup because the weather forecast calls for additional heavy snow in the next few hours. Once it stops snowing the contractor will move as quickly as possible to clear roadways, driveways and walks. Matt has been here since early this morning and reports that the roads were treacherous getting here.