General Common Questions
What is nextdoor.com and how do I join?
Nextdoor is the private social network for you, your neighbors and the entire River Downs community. It’s the easiest way for you and your neighbors to talk online. And it’s free. People use Nextdoor to get the word out about a break-in; post a classified ad; find a reliable vendor; send out notices about upcoming community events; welcome new neighbors or folks who just registered on the site; or keep an eye out for a lost pet
The site’s overall goal is to facilitate open and direct communication among neighbors in a secure environment and in a respectful manner. Nextdoor.com even allows you to create your own discussion group. If you haven’t done so already, please join nextdoor.com today and get in on the conversation!
When are HOA dues paid?
Currently the HOA dues are $300 annually. Dues are paid for a calendar year. The HOA will send out invoices in November and payments should be made to the HOA Treasurer by January 1st. Checks should be payable to the River Downs Homeowners Association. The HOA address is PO box 194, Finksburg MD 21048.
What do my HOA dues pay for?
The majority of HOA dues pay for maintenance of common grounds and lighting in the community. All of the street lights in River Downs are leased from Baltimore Gas & Electric. Lighting accounts for about 25 percent of the annual budget. Landscaping, grass cutting and grounds maintenance account for 25 to 30 percent of the annual budget. The HOA budget is also used for communications (this website, regular meetings and any necessary mailings), liability and association insurances, assembling and printing the neighborhood directory, Community and Social Committee events are also paid with our dues. Examples of events include the picnic, the halloween party and Breakfast with Santa. A small amount is also used for the Welcoming Committee to welcome new neighbors.
Who should I contact about architectural approval and when should I call?
All modifications architectural approval is granted by the Modifications Architectural Committee. Contact the HOA Board to discuss your plans to see whether or not architectural approval is required for your modification. See Article VII of the Covenants for details on what changes require approval, but examples include, but are not limited to, “building, fence, wall, garage, sign, pool, pool house, racket sport or hand-ball court, game facilities, play equipment, or other structures of any kind, including any driveway, walkway, clothes line, and outside lighting.”
Is there a relationship between the golf course and the HOA?
No legal relationship other than easements through properties. Just good neighbors.
What common grounds does the HOA maintain?
The HOA takes responsibility to ensure the community property is neat and well maintained. Please notify us about any issues using the Contact Us page. Problems that commonly fall into this category are the following:
•White Fencing – Report damage to the front or rear entrance fence rails or posts
•Masonry Walls – Report damage to the front or rear entrance walls, including loose material or vandalism.
•Pole and Entrance Lighting – Report lights that are not functional,or any areas where you believe additional lighting is needed for safety and security purposes.
•Landscaping and Grass – Report damaged, stolen or unsightly landscaping, or any tall unattended grass areas.
My mailbox was damaged or needs repair. What can I do?
The HOA maintains standards that require the conformity of all mailboxes within the neighborhood. If a mailbox becomes damaged or needs repair, our members have several options for resolution.
Single Homeowner Mailboxes
Homeowner Repair – Single homeowner mailboxes may be repaired by the homeowner as long as the standards of the community are followed. The HOA assumes no role or responsibility in this activity.
HOA Repair – The HOA also has arrangements for mailbox repairs. Homeowners can use the Contact Us page for a repair request. The HOA will take care of providing the repairs through a contracted vendor and will bill the homeowner for repair costs.
Homeowners with multi-homeowner mailboxes must jointly agree how to handle damage or repairs.
Homeowner Repair – Multi-homeowner mailboxes may be repaired by one or more of the applicable homeowners as long as the standards of the community are followed and all homeowners that receive mail in that receptacle agree to the repairs prior to any activity. The HOA assumes no role or responsibility in this activity.
HOA Repair – The HOA also has arrangements for mailbox repairs. Homeowners can use the Contact Us page to submit their repair request (please include in your email the names and contact info of all other mailbox users for repair validation). The HOA will take care of providing the repairs through a contracted vendor, and will bill all homeowners for associated costs for multi-homeowner mailboxes. Each homeowner will be billed for an equal portion of the total repair costs.
The lightpole in my area is out/damaged. What can I do?
The HOA pays Baltimore Gas & Electric to support all the light poles in our neighborhood, and anyone (not just the HOA) can report a problem by calling BG&E at 1-800-685-0123. BG&E will issue a repair Reference Number that you can check up on until the problem is solved. Please let the HOA know of such problems as well,
I have lost or have found a pet. What should I do?
Post a notice on the nextdoor.com website, which all River Downs neighbors have access to. Please provide as much information as you can. If possible, we will pass this information on to the River Downs Golf clubhouse since many lost pets often turn up having a beer at the bar in the clubhouse. Wait, no, that’s not right. Because many pets often turn up wandering around the golf course areas