Wednesday, May 25, 2022

NEW! Join Your Neighbors for Yoga in Dover Park!


Join your Green Meadows West neighbors in FREE community-building and wellness exercise at two forthcoming events provided by Johnston-based Power Life Yoga Studio, and underwritten by the Green Meadows West Homeowners' Association.

The outdoor yoga events will take place at 9 a.m. on Sat, June 4 and June 18, 2022 in Dover Park, the association's publicly accessible private park, which is located at the intersection of Crescent Chase and Wellington Boulevard.

"We've seen successful outdoor yoga programs in Gray's Lake, Terra Park, and in other Des Moines-metro suburbs, and we're excited to experiment with similar programming on two Saturdays this spring, against the backdrop of our neighborhood's signature gazebo," says Outreach Committee member Sara Lockner. 

No previous yoga experience is required, Lockner says. Participants should bring their own mats or beach towels, and can choose to use either grass or paved surface. Instructors will likely use the gazebo's elevated floor as a stage, and will use a small public address loudspeaker for amplification.

Potential benefits of yoga can include stress reduction, increased blood circulation, detoxification, and improved sleep, according to Power Life materials.

"Power Life is about making your healthy lifestyle what you want it to be. We are a place to meet friends, a place to meet goals and a place to meet yourself. Power Life is a community of individuals, where there is a spot for everyone and style of exercise that challenges everybody."

For more information on Green Meadows West Homeowners' Association offerings this summer, check out our events page here this link.

To share your ideas about future Green Meadows West Homeowners Association offerings, contact the Outreach committee via Association Manager Ben McMenamin at benm AT knappproperties DOT com

Or like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GreenMeadowsWest/

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Lost Your Trees to Ash Borers? Upcoming Sales May Help!


Green Meadows West Homeowners' Association (GMWHOA) members may need to plant new trees on their properties later this summer or fall, in order to stay within compliance of neighborhood covenants. Those covenants, established when the area was first developed, stipulate a minimum number of trees per lot. This number is determined by a given lot's square-footage.

The potential need developed after the City of Johnston began removing street-side Ash trees that have not been treated against Emerald Ash Borer infestation. Street trees that have successfully been treated at homeowner expense will likely not be removed, although the city reserves the right to do so.


Trees planted in the area between sidewalk and curb—colloquially called the "parking," and more technically called the "right-of-way"—are planted and maintained at homeowner expense.


Real estate professionals often say that street trees enhance curb appeal and improve potential resale values. Utility companies often promote potential energy savings generated by tree shade.


Green Meadows West rules and covenants stipulate a minimum number of trees per homeowner lot. For example: In Plat 2, one of the original plats (link here), the covenants specify:

"A minimum of one (1) tree is required per one thousand three hundred (1,300) square feet of space unoccupied by structures, parking, sidewalks or driveways. At least forty percent (40%) of the trees shall have a minimum of two-inch (2”) truck diameter measured two (2) feet vertically from the ground level."

If you have questions about covenant compliance at your location, please contact the Covenants Committee via the association manager. (Contact iformation below.)


Trees planted to meet GMWHOA covenants can be planted anywhere on homeowner property. However, city ordinances stipulate where any "street trees" may be planted, and how they must be trimmed in order to avoid coming into contact with vehicles or pedestrians. You may not be able to simply replant street trees removed by the city.


Also, a city permit is also now required for planting street trees.


Keep in mind that, according to city ordinances: "No street tree or street shrub that will grow more than 30 inches in height shall be planted on a corner lot where two streets intersect—for a distance of 25 feet in any direction from the point of intersection at the curb line (safety zone)"


Street trees must be a minimum of 3 feet from both sidewalk and curb.


Also, according to ordinances, no street tree shall be planted within:

  • 15 lateral feet of overhead utility lines

  • 3 lateral feet from water and sanitary sewer lines

  • 10 feet from a fire hydrant

  • 5 feet from a driveway

  • 25 feet from a traffic control sign

  • 3 feet from a sidewalk


Additionally, according to city ordinances, street trees must be kept trimmed to the following specifications:

  • All branches will be at least 14 feet above the surface of the street.

  • All branches will be 8 feet above the sidewalks.


To encourage tree planting across Johnston, the city's annual tree sale will open for on-line orders beginning 8 a.m. Fri., Apr. 12, 2022. Deliveries will take place Sat., May 7, 2022.


A list of tree species acceptable to the city is here: https://www.cityofjohnston.com/289/Plant-a-Tree


Also, the GMWHOA Grounds Committee is negotiating with select landscape vendors for potential discounts for homeowner-members. More details will be provided in the June-July 2022 newsletter.


Meanwhile, for more information and/or suggestions on how to select tree species, please contact the GMWHOA Grounds committee via: Association Manager Ben McMenamin, 515.222.5206; benm AT knappproperties DOT com 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Please Vote in This Year's HOA Election!

The following are personal statements of candidacy for each of five people running for election to the Green Meadows West Homeowners Association board of directors in 2022. Four will be elected, toward a current total of 11 board members.

These statements are presented in alphabetical order by last name, regardless of incumbency, and are posted both on the neighborhood Facebook page and website.

All GMWHOA voting-lot members who are in good standing (dues paid) are eligible to vote in this election. Because the 2022 Annual Meeting is to be conducted via video-teleconference, all voting is taking place by postal mail or hand-delivered.

If you have not received your ballot and meeting-attendance proxy, please contact Association Manager Ben McMenanin at: 515.222.5206; benm AT knappproperties DOT com

Ballots and proxies must be received by 12 noon Mon., Jan. 24, 2022 in order to be counted.

Returned proxies will also be eligible for door prizes.

The Annual Meeting video-teleconference is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tues., Jan. 25, 2022.

Here are this year's candidate statements:

*****

My name is Joel Beary. My family moved to Green Meadows West in 1995 and have had at least one branch of the family here since then. I am 2000 graduate of JHS and went on to receive my BA degree in Sociology from the University of Iowa in 2004. 

I spent a few years away from Johnston early in my career but returned in 2015 when my wife and I purchased my childhood home upon my parents retirement. We currently reside in Green Meadows West with our two children and look forward to doing all we can to help the neighborhood maintain its wonderful atmosphere as well as support its growth going into the future.

I want to ensure my children as well as everyone in GMW has the same great experience growing up here that I did. 

*****

My name is Randy Brown. My family has lived in Green Meadows West Plat 9—an area south of the power lines that cross east-west through neighborhood green space—since 1999. We have two children in Johnston public schools. We are original owners of our house. (The mortgage is nearly paid off!) I am a former editor of Better Homes and Gardens-branded specialty magazines, and am now a freelance writer and independent publisher. My 2006 graduate degree at Iowa State University involved economic and other neighborhood effects generated by changes made to residential properties. I have been a Green Meadows West board member since 2005, and have even intermittently served as a board officer.

As a board member, I have proudly been directly involved in such past GMWHOA initiatives as:

  • The installation of new playground equipment at Windsor Park.
  • Launching the annual all-neighborhood “Picnic in the Park” and (now Summer Concert series) in Dover Park.
  • The professionalization and long-term planning of maintenance for our 17 acres of restored prairie.
  • Negotiating with the City of Johnston the zoning conditions of two Planned-Use Developments (P.U.D.) along 86th Street, which prevented food-service and other cash-register businesses from locating adjacent to our GMW residents.

I would appreciate your vote. Thanks for your attention!

*****

My name is Sara Lockner and I am seeking election to serve on the Green Meadows West Home Owners’ Association Board as a demonstration of my love and commitment to the GMW neighborhood. 

I have lived in Green Meadows West since 2015, with my husband and 2 children. I feel so fortunate to call Green Meadows West home; I love the aesthetics, the prairies, the trees, the feeling of community and most importantly—my neighbors! We also love our neighborhood schools and plan on being long term Green Meadows West residents.

When not working as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, I can be found enjoying walks on the community trails, baking and making crafts with my family.  I have a passionate love of birthday parties, block parties, caffeine and dinners prepared by others. I also serve as a choir coordinator for the Heartland Youth Choir (Canto) and sit on the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa Associate Board.

I look forward to learning more about our neighborhood and making positive contributions. Thank you! 

*****

My name is Chris Riester and my wife and I bought our home in Green Meadows West in 2019 and prior to that I lived in the Beaverdale/Merle Hay neighborhood.

I would like to be on the board to help improve the communication and openness of board activities to the community and involve more direct involvement with all members.

I have not served on the board of an HOA in the past, but I currently serve on the Des Moines Valley Region Sports Car Club of America. Our chapter currently has 300+ members and we hold monthly events spring, summer, and fall with 30-100 participants. I have also participated in working with the

Iowa Chapter BMW Car Club of America that also has 300+ members and holds monthly events year round.

My wife and I love living in GMW because it truly does feel like a community. The trails and parks are a big perk for us and we enjoy using them to walk our 2 dogs and enjoy the natural prairie that the neighborhood is known for. Our dogs also enjoy the neighborhood for all of the squirrels they get to watch, bunnies they get to chase, neighbor dogs to bark at, and smells they get to smell going through the prairie.

*****

My name is Jon Vasey. We have lived on Tiburon Place in Green Meadows West for 25 years. My wife Dana and I have two children. I am an attorney with Elverson Vasey, and have been in practice 35 years. I was one of the founding members and first president of the Beaverdale Neighborhood Association. I have served on the GMW board since 2014. In my spare time, I enjoy Drake basketball, music, and architecture. My primary goals are to preserve the character of the neighborhood, and to see that property values are maintained.