LVCA Frequently Asked Questions about:

Lafayette Village Community Association

What is LVCA?

As a homeowner in LVCA what do I own?

GOVERNANCE

Who is in charge of LVCA?

When does the Board of Directors meet?

How are the officers/directors chosen?

What documents govern LVCA?

MANAGEMENT COMPANY

What is the management company?

How do I contact the management company? 

What should a homeowner expect from the management company?

 ARCHITECTURAL CONTROL COMMITTEE (ACC)

What is the ACC?

What are my maintenance responsibilities as a homeowner?

What should I do if I receive an ACC violation letter?

What happens if a homeowner ignores the ACC Violation Letter?

What are the five most common ACC violations cited in LVCA?

 ASSESSMENTS

Why do we pay quarterly assessments?

When are the assessments due?

Does LVCA offer an electronic method to pay assessments?

What happens if a homeowner does not pay the assessments timely?

What should a homeowner do if not able to pay a quarterly assessment timely? 

FINANCE

How is the budget prepared at LVCA?

Where can a homeowner get a copy of the current budget?

Is there a Finance Committee?  

GROUNDS

How are the grounds maintained in LVCA?

What are homeowner responsibilities for the grounds?

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH

Is there a Neighborhood Watch?

What is the crime rate for the community?

NEWSLETTER

Is there a LVCA newsletter?

Can a homeowner advertise in the newsletter?

PARKING

Is there assigned parking in LVCA?

Why are cars towed in LVCA?

Are commercial vehicles allowed to park on LVCA private streets?

PETS

What are my responsibilities as a pet owner in LVCA?

POOL

Who can use the pool?

Who operates the pool?

How do I get pool passes?

Is there a Pool Committee?

Where do I refer a complaint about the pool or the lifeguards?

RECREATION FACILITIES

What recreation facilities does LVCA have?

RENTERS/RESIDENTS

Are there rental units in LVCA?

Can residents/renters vote in LVCA elections?

What responsibilities do renters/residents have

TRASH AND RECYCLING

When is trash collected?

When are recyclables collected?

What materials are collected for recycling?

How should recycling be prepared?

Are there special trash collections?

What do I do with household hazardous waste?

How should trash be stored

VOLUNTEERS

How can I volunteer in LVCA?

CIVIC MATTERS

What magisterial district is LVCA located?

How do I learn about Fairfax County government?

Where do I find out about local taxes, etc.?

Where do I vote?

 

LAFAYETTE VILLAGE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION

What is LVCA?

Lafayette Village Community Association (LVCA) is a no-stock corporation formed under the provisions of Chapter 2 of Title 13.a of the Code of Virginia and was formed to provide for maintenance, preservation and architectural control of residence lots and common areas within the property.   LVCA can do any and all lawful things that the corporation may deem to be in the interest of its homeowners including assessing maintenance fees, holding meetings, developing budgets, borrowing money, giving easements, and generally managing the community common assets. You can find the Articles of Incorporation at LVCA Articles of Incorporation..   

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As a homeowner in LVCA what do I own?

As a townhome owner, you own the interior and exterior of your property and the land area marked on your plat, usually a small front and rear area.  End units have a small side yard also.  Walls between town homes are commonly owned. 

 As an owner of a detached home on Merrimac Trail, you own your house and its yard.

 All Lafayette Village homeowners own the common areas in common, including the community streets, green space, the swimming pool, the tot lot and the recreation facilities.  LVCA has a homeowners association (HOA) that manages the common property.  The HOA is comprised of an elected board of directors. 

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GOVERNANCE

Who is in charge of LVCA?

The management of LVCA is vested in a Board of Directors.  The officers of the Board must be homeowners and the number of members can vary between 3 and 9.  The officers include a president and treasurer and such other officers as needed to discharge the responsibilities of the Board.   Historically LVCA has had 5 officers—president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, and member-at-large.  A list of the current board of directors can be found at http://www.lafayettevillage.org/lvca_contacts.htm. 

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When does the Board of Directors meet?

The Board meets monthly, currently on the second Monday of the month, at the Mason District Governmental Offices at 6507 Columbia Pike.  Homeowners and residents are invited to attend these meetings where decisions are made that affect LVCA.  The Board also holds a monthly work session, currently on the 4th Monday of the month, to plan its agenda and to discuss issues facing the community .  These work sessions are usually held at the President’s home.  No formal work or decisions are made at these meetings, although homeowners and residents are invited to attend these meetings also. 

 To confirm the time, date and location of any of these work session, contact one of the Board members.  Meeting schedules are also posted on the website at http://www.lafayettevillage.org. 

 Minutes of recent Board meetings are maintained on the LVCA website here.

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How are the officers/directors chosen?

Homeowners of LVCA elect a Board of Directors to provide the management and oversight of the association annually at the fall homeowners meeting in October.   Directors are volunteers who are elected for staggered 3-year terms.  The Board may appoint other homeowners to fill vacancies that arise on the Board between annual meetings.  Appointees fill the un-expired term of the director they are replacing or then may stand for election at the fall meeting.

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What documents govern LVCA?

The LVCA governing documents were developed when the association was first formed in the mid-1980’s.  Those documents were part of the disclosure sale package that homeowners received when they purchased a home in LVCA.  Many of these documents are on the LVCA website at:  www.lafayettevillage.org/lvca_documents.htm.  These documents include the Articles of Incorporation; LVCA By-laws; LVCA Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions; LVCA Resolutions; and other items such as budgets and annual audits.  The ACC Guidelines and other rules and regulations are also posted on the website.

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MANAGEMENT COMPANY

What is the management company?

The financial and administrative affairs of LVCA are complex and require daily attention.  To help the Board of Directors discharge its responsibilities, a management company is contracted to provide for the collection of assessments; payment of bills; accounting for income, expenditures and reserve funds; development of solicitations and contracts; preparation of settlement records and packages; inspection of the property along with the ACC; preparation of the operating budgets in cooperation with the Treasurer; and consultation and advice about property management in general.  The management company advises the Board of Directors, but the Board makes all the policy, contracting and funding decisions. The current management company is Sequoia Management located in Chantilly, VA. 

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How do I contact the management company?

            You can call Sequoia at 703-803-9641, and ask for Dale Edwards, our current property manager, or his assitant, Glenda Cruz.  You can also email the property manager at Dedwards@sequoiamgmt.com You can also write to Sequoia at:

Sequoia
13998 Parkeast Circle
Chantilly, Virginia 20151-2283

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What should a homeowner expect from the management company?

The management company is retained to help solve problems for homeowners.  LVCA homeowners should expect that their calls or emails to the management company are acknowledged timely.  Effort should be made by the management company to comply with the homeowner’s needs or wishes.  If that is not possible or if the homeowner would like, the homeowner can always contact the Board with a problem, situation or issue.  Homeowners are encouraged to bring their problems directly to the management company first and allow the company to provide the service we are paying for. 

Of course, any problems that cannot be solved by the management company should be addressed to the Board.

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ARCHITECTURAL CONTROL COMMITTEE

What is the ACC?

The ACC is comprised of volunteers from throughout LVCA who work to ensure that the property maintains its appearance and market value through enforcing its covenants (ACC Guidelines).  The chair of the ACC is appointed by the Board of Directors but other members volunteer to help with inspections, tree management, erosion and other grounds maintenance issues, new projects and other work as directed by the Board.  The ACC meets monthly to review requests from homeowners for changes to their property or exceptions to the ACC Guidelines for the community.

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What are my maintenance responsibilities as a homeowner?

The homeowner is responsible for maintaining the property in its original or ACC-approved appearance.  The ACC Guidelines provide the colors and other rules for the appearance of the property.  The homeowner is required to maintain the roof, exterior walls, porch, front steps, sidewalk, driveway (if provided), front yard, bushes and plantings, rear yard area, including the fence, and other areas that belong to the property. 

If a homeowner wishes to change the appearance of a town home or single family home, the owner must request the change via a Form to the ACC.  The form is available on the website as the ACC Request for Exterior Improvement Form and is submitted to the management company for review and delivery to the ACC. 

 A homeowner is responsible for any damage that occurs to the property and for any changes that are not approved by the ACC.  During annual inspections, undocumented changes will be subject to ACC violation notices.  It is very important that all changes to the exterior appearance of the homes in LVCA be approved by the ACC.

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What should I do if I receive an ACC violation letter?

If a homeowner agrees with the violation and can take the necessary repair action, simply contact the management company and notify them of your plan. 

If the homeowner agrees with the violation but cannot complete the necessary repair in the timeframe given, the homeowner should contact the management company and discuss the specifics of the violation and determine what delays in compliance can be approved.

If the homeowner does not agree with the violation, the owner should contact the management company and discuss the issues or concerns.  The homeowner may request a hearing before the Board of Directors to present information about the alleged violation.

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What happens if a homeowner ignores the ACC Violation Letter?

If the homeowner has not corrected the violation or acknowledged the violation, then a second notice is mailed. If all these letters are ignored, then the homeowner is sent a certified notice to appear at a hearing before the Board of Directors. At that hearing, the homeowner may explain the situation and request further time to make the repairs.  The request may be granted or the homeowner may be assessed fines or penalties for non-compliance.  If the homeowner does not appear at the hearing, fines or penalties may be assessed of $10 per day, up to 90 days, for continued violation of the ACC rules.

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What are the five most common ACC violations cited in LVCA?

ACC violations are issued to ensure compliance with the ACC Guidelines.  Homeowners agree to the Guidelines when they buy into a property governed by homeowners association.  The five most common violations at LVCA are:

1)         storing trash cans in the front of the home;

2)         not maintaining the home (paint chipping, window caulking, roofing, siding, etc);

3)         having the wrong (non-ACC approved) colors on the trim, doors, etc.;

4)         not maintaining the appearance of the rear yard or fence; and

5)         storing toys and other items in the front yard or steps.

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ASSESSMENTS

Why do we pay quarterly assessments?

Funding is needed to pay for the contracts for grounds maintenance, trash, snow removal, towing, pool operation and maintenance. The assessments levied are actually annual assessments due on January 1st each year. The Board of Directors has elected to allow homeowners in good standing to pay their annual assessments on a quarterly basis.

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When are the assessments due?

Assessments are due annually, but the Board of Directors allows homeowners in good standing to pay their dues quarterly.  The assessments are due on January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 annually.  The assessments are late if the management company receives them after the 15th day of the month they are due.  A penalty of $10 is added to any account received after the 15th of the month the assessment is due.  An 8% interest charge is added to any assessments that are received by the management company after 30 days of the due date each quarter.

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Does LVCA offer an electronic method to pay assessments?

Yes, LVCA offers a direct debit plan to pay assessments annually or quarterly.  A form to start the program is located here or can be obtained from the management company.  There is no fee for the electronic payment.

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What happens if a homeowner does not pay the assessments timely?

If a homeowner’s quarterly assessment payment is not received by the 15th day of the month due, then the homeowner is late and is assessed an additional $10 penalty.  If the homeowner does not pay within 30 days of the due date, the homeowner is delinquent.  The management company will then send a reminder notice to the homeowner.  If the assessment continues to be unpaid for 2 quarters, the LVCA attorney will begin collection action, which will include notification of credit bureaus and possibly a lien being placed on the property.   All attorney costs and legal fees will be added to the homeowner’s bill.  Interest in the amount of 8% annually will also become the homeowner’s responsibility. 

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What should a homeowner do if not able to pay a quarterly assessment timely?

If a homeowner is unable to pay a quarterly assessment timely, the owner should contact the Board and explain the situation.  Together they will determine a payment plan or due date for payment.  Using the method, the homeowner will not be placed under collection action by the LVCA attorneys and save those legal fees.  The homeowner will still be responsible to pay penalties and interest charges on the amount owed.

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FINANCE

How is the budget prepared at LVCA?

The Finance Committee in coordination with the chairs of the other committees drafts the budget and recommends a budget to the Board.  A draft budget is presented to the homeowners for information and consideration.  The Board of Directors approves the final budget after the annual meeting in October.

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Where can a homeowner get a copy of the current budget?

The current budget is available here on the LVCA website.  If there are questions about the budget, contact the Treasurer or another Board member for information.

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Is there a Finance Committee?  

Yes, the Treasurer chairs the Finance Committee.  The Committee meets on a schedule determined by the Committee.  Contact the chairman if you would like to join the Committee or visit a committee meeting. The Committee develops the draft budget, reviews the Reserve Study, monitors the expenditure of LVCA funds by the management company, makes recommendations to the Board about funds should be spent and oversees the audit and financial records of LVCA.  Check with a Board member to determine the specific time, date and location of the next Finance Committee meeting.

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GROUNDS

How are the grounds maintained in LVCA?

A landscaping company under contract to the association maintains the common areas in LVCA.  The grounds company is responsible for mowing grass, blowing grass from road and sidewalks, mulching, trimming bushes in the common area, applying fertilizers and pesticides, edging sidewalks and streets, removing leaves, and other general grounds maintenance work.  Blade Runners is the current grounds maintenance company.

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What are homeowner responsibilities for the grounds?

Townhouse residents must keep their front and rear yards clean of debris, blowing leaves and paper.  They can rely on the grounds maintenance company to mow the front yards and trim bushes or they may elect to do the work themselves.  Townhouse residents are responsible to cut the grass and remove leaves to keep their backyard areas neat

Townhome owners may ask to be placed on a list so that the grounds maintenance company will not trim any of the owner’s bushes or trees.  Contact the management company to complete a form and be placed on the list.  This form is also on this website under the Documents menu.

Single family home residents are responsible to mow their yards, remove leaves and keep the appearance of their property clean and well maintained. The grounds maintenance company does not work on single family home yards.

All homeowners may use plants and shrubs to enhance the appearance of their property, if planted in accordance with the ACC Guidelines.  Homeowners should review the ACC Guidelines before making any changes to the existing trees, bushes or plantings in their front property.  Erosion, sinking of sidewalks or driveway, and other natural changes to the property are the responsibility of the homeowner. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH

Is there a Neighborhood Watch?

Yes, LVCA is designated as a Neighborhood Watch community.  LVCA has an excellent relationship with the Fairfax County Police stationed at the Mason District Government Center and the community policy officers.

Anyone interested in volunteering should contact the chair of the Neighborhood Watch committee to find a day to volunteer.

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What is the crime rate for the community?

The crime rate is very low in LVCA due in part of to the vigilance of our neighbors and the excellent patrolling of the police throughout our community.  We have recently installed more security lighting in darker areas and near mailboxes. 

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NEWSLETTER

Is there a LVCA newsletter?

Yes there is a newsletter that is published about 6 times a year.  The newsletter is currently posted on the LVCA website here and delivered to each home and mailed to each owner who is out of the area.  Anyone interested in working on the newsletter or submitting an article should contact a member of the Board of Directors.

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Can a homeowner advertise in the newsletter?

Yes, homeowners and residents can advertise their businesses for free in the newsletter.  Contact a Board member for more information.

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PARKING

Is there assigned parking in LVCA?

Yes, there is assigned parking.  On the Disclosure Documents provided with the sale are the numbered spaces assigned to each town home.  Townhomes with a driveway and garage also have one numbered space assigned to the house.  Several streets in LVCA have visitor parking spaces also.  Residents and homeowners are asked not to use visitor spaces for parking their vehicles to allow guests the opportunity to park in the spaces.

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Why are cars towed in LVCA?

Cars are towed for a variety of reasons.  Homeowners may have cars towed if someone is parked in the owners assigned spaces.  Board of Directors may have cars towed from visitor parking or along the private streets in LVCA at anytime they cause a safety hazard.  A towing company travels through the community between the hours of 10:00 pm and 6:00 am and may tow any cars parked in no parking areas of the private streets in LVCA.  Cars are towed from no parking areas because the no parking areas are specifically designed to allow fire trucks and other emergency vehicles to have access to the town homes. 

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Are commercial vehicles allowed to park on LVCA private streets?

No, commercial vehicles are not allowed to park on LVCA private streets but must park along Trammel Road or Lafayette Village Drive.  Commercial vehicles are those used in the operation of a business and may be large trucks or cars with commercial lettering on them or have ladders or equipment stored externally to the vehicle. 

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PETS

What are my responsibilities as a pet owner in LVCA?

Pets are allowed in LVCA in accordance with the Health Department guidelines as to the number and type of pets allowed and subject to the restrictions in the Declarations of Covenants (paragraph VI.6.b).  Pets must be properly vaccinated.   Pet owners are asked to keep their backyards clean of pet feces and attended at all times if they leave your yard.   If you own a dog, you must keep your dog on a leash at all times when your dog is off your property, per the Code of Fairfax County.   Pet owners are also required to clean up after their pets and deposit the residue in the special trashcans provided along Lafayette Village Drive

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POOL

Who can use the pool?

Homeowners in good standing with the association may use the pool.  Annually the rules and regulations regarding the operation of the pool are mailed to owners.   A copy of the rules is maintained at the pool and on the website. 

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Who operates the pool?

LCVA contracts with a pool management company to provide the lifeguards and maintenance of the pool.  Currently the pool company is Atlantic Pools of Annandale.

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How do I get pool passes?

Pool passes convey with the purchase of a LVCA property.  Each home has 5 passes.  Replacement passes may be purchased at a cost of $5 each by contacting the management company. 

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Is there a Pool Committee?

Yes, there is a pool committee.  The Board of Directors appoints the chair of the committee.  Anyone who is interested in the pool can join the committee, which is mainly active during the spring and summer.  The committee is responsible for overseeing pool activities, recommending maintenance and upgrades to the pool facilities, being a liaison with the pool management company, developing the budget for pool operations, giving reports about the pool during Board meetings, and generally being the advisor to the Board of Directors concerning all pool issues. 

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Where do I refer a complaint about the pool or the lifeguards?

If there is a problem of a safety or emergency nature about a lifeguard, a homeowner should bring the concern to the senior lifeguard on duty immediately.  If the concern is an ongoing problem with a lifeguard, contact the management company who will report the concern to the pool company. 

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PECREATION FACILITIES

What recreation facilities does LVCA have?

LVCA offers a swimming pool, tot lot and basketball and all-purpose  courts for the private use of Lafayette Village residents and guests. There are no usage fees at present.   Pool Pass applications can be obtained by calling the Management Agent at the numbers or addresses about one month prior to pool opening or by downloading the form on the website. The pool is currently open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Other recreation facilities are available on a first-come basis. Homeowners are urged to consider serving on the Pool/Recreation Committee.  If quarterly assessments are not paid timely, homeowners are restricted from using common property recreation facilities, including the pool. 

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RENTER/RESIDENTS

Are there rental units in LVCA?

Yes, there are approximately 15% of the homes in LVCA that are rented.  Residents and renters acquire access to LVCA facilities through the homeowner.  Homeowners have the pool passes and are responsible for letting their renters know LVCA rules and regulations.

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Can residents/renters vote in LVCA elections?

No, only homeowners can vote in elections for the Board members or for other community issues, and only homeowners can be members of the Board.  However, all residents can participate in the community by volunteering to serve on committees or projects.

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What responsibilities do renters/residents have?

Renters and residents must adhere to all the rules and regulations just as the homeowners do.  For example, renters may be cited for not complying with ACC Guidelines about the appearance of the unit.  Homeowners may be brought to a hearing before the Board for violations of rules and polices by their renters; homeowners may be assessed fees and penalties for violations by their renters.

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TRASH AND RECYCLING

When is trash collected?

Trash is collected twice weekly by a waste collection company under contract to LVCA.  Trash should be placed in front of your home by 6:00 a.m. on Monday and Thursday.  Trash may be placed in front of homes the evening before collection day.  Trash is not collected on Thanksgiving day or on Christmas when it falls on a Monday or Thursday.

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When are recyclables collected?

Recyclables are collected separately on Monday of each week.  

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What materials are collected for recycling?

Materials such as cardboard (clean, flattened and no larger than 3 feet by 3 feet), plastics jugs and bottles, 3 colors of glass, mixed paper (junk mail, advertising slicks, magazines, white paper), newspapers, metal food and beverage cans, and aluminum cans should be recycled.

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How should recycling be prepared?

Recyclables should be placed in the bin provided by the trash company, beside the bin if it’s too large to fit in the bin or in clear plastic bags so that the collection company can identify it as recycling.  If you have questions about how to prepare materials for recycling or what can be recycled, go to Fairfax County’s website at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/recycling/recycle-right.pdf   for additional information or call 703-324-5052.

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Are there special trash collections?

Yes, the trash company will collect moving boxes and small pieces of furniture during the regular collection service.  Contact the trash company for a date and time for pickup of large pieces of furniture or appliances.  Sometimes there is an extra charge for a special collection, depending on the items being disposed.  The current trash company is Patriot Disposal at 703-257-7100.

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What do I do with household hazardous waste?

Please do not include pesticides, herbicides, lead paint, acids, motor oil, gasoline, fertilizer, automobile fluids or other toxic, ignitable, corrosive or reactive hazardous materials in the regular trash. materials in the regular trash.  Please transport them to the I-66 Transfer Station Household Hazardous Waste site at 4618 West Ox Road in Fairfax for disposal.  The hours of operation are:

Thursday: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. - Noon
Saturday: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
    

These materials need to be removed from the waste stream and not disposed. 

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How should trash be stored?

The Code of Fairfax County Chapter 109.1 states that trash must be stored in a container that has a lid and not holes.  The purpose of this rule is to reduce rodent infestation, blowing trash and the spreading of litter by birds or other animals.  Homeowners in LVCA have backyard areas or garages suitable for storing a trash can.  Trash cannot be stored in front of homes.  Storing a trash can in the front yard of a home violates ACC guidelines and is subject to an immediate fine and other restrictions.

Trash should be set out for disposal in front of the home, near the sidewalk, and not be piled near the intersections or mailboxes.  LVCA is charged for collection services at each town home and single family homeTrash can be set out the night before, after 6:00 p.m., the day of collection. 

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VOLUNTEERS

How can I volunteer in LVCA?

Volunteer opportunities are available almost any time.  Contact one of the Board members to see what is needed at the time.  Volunteers are usually needed for long-term positions such as the Finance, ACC or pool committees or for short-term projects such as coordinating a yard sale or organizing a community cleanup. 

PLEASE VOLUNTEER IF YOUR SCHEDULE PERMITS.  In many cases, LVCA has to pay for work to be done because we have not had sufficient volunteers to do the work ourselves. 

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CIVIC MATTERS

What magisterial district is LVCA located?

LVCA is located in the Mason District and the district offices are at 6507 Columbia Pike Annandale, VA 22003.  For more information about the district, go to http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/mason/homepage.htm. 

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How do I learn about Fairfax County government?

Fairfax County government offers a wide variety of services to its residents.  For more information refer to http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov.

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Where do I find out about local taxes, etc.?

Several taxes are required for residents including personal property.  For a list, due dates and how to pay the taxes, see http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/living/taxes/.

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Where do I vote?

The polling location for Lafayette Village is the Packard Center, adjacent to the Hidden Oaks Park at 7701 Royce Street  in Annandale.  The Center is actually through the woods behind LVCA.   In order to vote in Virginia, you must register to vote.  The process is outlined at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/living/citizen/.

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