Frequently Asked Questions


Important Phone Numbers


  • Property Management Office - 301.953.1955  (9am-5pm Mon-Fri) 
  • Non-emergency Police - 301-932-2222
  • Police, Fire of Medical Emergencies - 911
  • Water/Sewer – 301-645-0624
  • Power Outages- SMECO 877-747-6326
  • Stray Pets- Animal Control 301-743-2222
  • Humane Society - 301-645-8181
  • Maach 5 Towing – 301-645-5763
  • Recycling – 301-932-5656
  • Board of Education - 301-932-6610
  • Department of Public Facilities – 301-932-3440
  • Public Defender – 301-539-7330


The HOA


What is the Berry Valley Owners Association?
The Berry Valley Owners Association (“Owners Association”) is a nonprofit public corporation formed for the benefit of its members – the property owners of Berry Valley.

What does the Owners Association do and how is it funded?
The Owners Association contracts with DH Bader Management to oversee the financial interests of the Association.  The Board of Directors manages the maintenance and up keep (trash collection, ponds, landscaping, lighting, sidewalks, insurance, streets, entrance sign, etc.) of the common areas in the community, and enforces the Rules and Regulations for the community. Monthly assessments paid by the members fund these activities.

Who is a member?
The Property Owners of the Berry Valley Community.

How does a homeowner become a member of the Owners Association?
Membership is ‘automatic’ and becomes effective as soon as one owns property at Berry Valley.

When and how do I pay my monthly assessment?
Your monthly dues should be paid on the 1st of each month. Assessments are considered late if not paid by the 10th. Your options for payment are:

  • Direct Debit Option- You can make arrangements for direct debit payments. Any Direct Debit forms received in a current month will be processed for the following month. Example, if an owner sends in his/her request in May, it will be processed to be deducted in June.
  • Online Payment Option-You make your payments on line via computer by using an electronic check (free) or a credit card ($14.95 processing fee). If payment is made before 8 pm it will be posted the same day. After 8 pm it is posted the following day. This is the easiest and fastest payment method. Go to https://www.mysmartstreet.com/payment.aspx for more information. You will need your account number.
  • Regular Monthly Payment Option-You make the payment via US mail. Allow sufficient mail time so that your payment is received by the 15th due date in order to avoid a late fee. Payment processing center address is:  P.O. Box 105007 Atlanta, GA 30348-5007, C/O Berry Valley HOA. The account number will need to me notated on the payment if the payment is not mailed with the coupon.  
  • Bill Payer Payment Option-You can make your payments through your local bank online using their bill payer system. Please note that most bill payer payments are mailed from your bank to ours via US mail. Allow sufficient mail time so that your payment is received by the 15th due date in order to avoid a late fee (you will need to obtain further instruction from their bank).


Will I receive a monthly invoice for the assessments?
No, monthly coupon books are distributed at the start of each calendar year.

Can I pre-pay my Owner Association assessment?
Yes.

What happens if I don’t pay my assessments?
You will be contacted by the Property Management Office about past due owner association fees.

As outlined in the Berry Valley CC&R’s, failure to pay Owner Association assessment will result in late fees, additional interest charges on unpaid assessments, legal fees, a potential lien placed on your property and loss of rights to community property and activities.

How are my dues calculated?
Your HOA dues are calculated to cover recurring costs (trash collection, ponds maintenance, landscaping, lighting, insurance, legal, administrative, etc.) and to collect some reserves for unforeseen or future capital projects, like replacing sidewalks, or resurfacing parking lots. If the HOA does not have enough reserves to cover these items, it may levy a "special assessment" on the community to help pay for the work.

What obligations and rights do owners have?
Each Owner must pay assessments. In addition, each Owner and/or Resident must comply with the Rules and Standards in connection with maintaining, improving and/or changing his or her property and must also follow the Rules and Standards in the connection with any use of a property within Berry Valley. Owners and Residents who are in good standing are entitled to use and enjoy all Community facilities and common areas. In addition, Owners in good standing may take part in the control and operation of the community through voting and meeting participation.

Owners delinquent in paying their monthly assessments, in Default and/or in Violation of the Rules and Standards, are prohibited from using any HOA property or common area, including the playground or parking lots.

What is the structure of the Association?
The Association is managed by a three-member Board of Directors –elected by the homeowners.

What is the Annual Meeting?
The Annual Meeting occurs once a year in May. Members convene to review the past year’s activities and plan for the upcoming year.  Annual meeting packets will be mailed to each homeowner with information on when and where the meeting will occur and the meeting agenda.


Landscaping

What areas are cared for by the Owners Association?
The Owners Association provides contracted landscape maintenance for the common areas and ponds.

What is the homeowner’s responsibility?
The homeowner is responsible for the maintenance of all areas on their property which is their front, back and side yard area. 

What types of fertilizers and pest control chemicals are used on the common areas?
The landscaping contractor uses green technology for landscaping maintenance and the community uses the greenest products possible.

Architectural Review Committee (ARC)


What is the Design Review Board (DRB)?
The DRB is responsible for reviewing all requests for exterior improvements at Berry Valley.  This includes, exterior changes or additions to the buildings, large scale landscaping projects such as fences or re-design of front yards and auxiliary structures such as storage sheds and garages or painting the exterior of your home.

Can I plant anything I want in my garden?
A homeowner can design and plant their backyard the way that they choose. Please be a good neighbor and take into account what types of plants you choose to include. Invasive species and prohibited plants should not be planted.  In the front yard planting beds, annuals are fine. Any major change in the yard landscaping requires design review approval from the DRB.

Can I alter the grassy area between the street and the sidewalk in front of my house?
This area is a public right of way; therefore you cannot plant or alter it in any way.

Who serves on the Architectural Review Committee?
The committee is composed of the Board of Directors and homeowner volunteers.

Currently members of the Owners Association Board serve as the DRB.

When is a design review necessary from the DRB?
Any major change or addition to the exterior of your home requires design review. If you are unsure as to whether your project needs a design review, please contact the Board of Directors and they can help you assess your project.

What does the DRB use for guidance when reviewing a project?
The DRB will base decisions on the Berry Valley Design Guidelines. A copy of the guidelines is posted on the Berry Valley Facebook Group.

How do I apply for design review?
An application form is available at the property management office or online at the Berry Valley Facebook page – under Files. The form outlines the information necessary for the review. Once complete with all the required project information and drawings, please submit documents to the property management office. Property management will forward to the Board (a copy of the DRB request form is attached).

How long does design review take?
The DRB has 60 days to respond to a complete design review request.

Is there a fee?
Currently, there is no fee.


Towing & Parking



Who do I call if I need to report a vehicle violation?
To report a derelict or inoperable vehicle, contact MAACH 5 towing at 301-645-5763

Who do I call if my car is towed?
To retrieve your vehicle, contact MAACH 5 towing at 301-645-5763

Note:  Delinquent owners are restricted from parking in the reserved spaces.  If you are a tenant in a townhome, please contact your landlord to ensure they are current on their fees so your vehicle is not towed.  If you are not sure, park on the common area streets until sure.  The HOA cannot release information about your owner’s balance.

Where am I allowed to park?
Townhome Owners and your guests should park in your assigned parking space, visitor parking (marked visitor or unmarked) spaces or out on the public streets (Lexington Drive). The alleyways are considered semi-private space, primarily used by the apartments and should only be accessed by those who must enter the alley to access their reserved parking.

Can visitors park in my space?
Sure, if you are not delinquent.  Any vehicle parking in a delinquent owner’s space is subject to be towed. 



General Reminders

Who picks up the garbage?
Trash collection services are contracted by Evergreen.  The regular weekly pick up for household garbage is Tuesday and Friday.  Recycling services are provided by Charles County and paper/glass/plastic recycling occurs every other Tuesday (schedule attached).

What are the leash rules for pets at Berry Valley?
Pets are required to be on a leash when off of your property. Pet owners are also responsible for cleaning up after your pets both on and off of your property.

How do I report a street light out in the community?
If the lights are out in the community contact SMECO at 877-747-6326. Please provide SMECO with the light pole number.

What are quiet hours for Berry Valley and when do they occur?
Quiet hours are from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. The nighttime (between 10:00 PM and 7:00 AM) maximum noise level is 50 dBA.  The daytime (between 7:00 AM and 10:00 PM) maximum noise level is 60 dBA. This includes stereos, televisions, radios, etc.

Noise complaints should be submitted to Charles County Sheriff's Office at 301-932-2222.

What do I do if I have a complaint regarding one of my neighbors?
The HOA is not a community police force.  The Declaration does not impose upon the board the obligation of mediating personality disputes between homeowners; nor are we obligated to regulate the conduct of individuals in the privacy of their own home.  If you are unable to resolve a matter with your neighbor, you certainly have an option of pursuing any appropriate legal means available, from lodging a complaint with local law enforcement, to filing a lawsuit seeking injunctive relief against your neighbor.

In the case of an emergency, you should dial 911.

What do I do if I suspect my neighbor has a design review violation?
As part of the Berry Valley Homeowners Association, we, as members, must work together to keep Berry Valley looking beautiful. One way you can help is to report to the DRB any issues that you feel do not comply with our approved guidelines. We very much appreciate your input and want to know when you notice something that you feel is not right and needs attention. Please do not assume that we already know. Homeowner feedback is the best source for identifying issues where we need to become involved. 

When we receive your report, appropriate action will be taken including verification by the board and documentation of the offense that will remain on file until the violation has been corrected. For the security and privacy of our property owners, you will NOT be notified as to the status of the report filed, nor can details on the violation status be discussed with anyone other than the affected homeowner.

YOUR REPORT IS STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL!  When you report an item to us, your information will NOT be made public. All reports will go directly on file and will not be released.