|The Windward Cove Homeowner's Association (WCHOA) is requesting additional lights be added to the neighborhood entry sign monument columns at the entrance to the Windward Cove neighborhood on Lake Woodlands Drive at a cost of $5,550. (Attachment A) This would be in addition to the current light that illuminates the "Windward Cove" entry sign.
As there is no current Township policy for the installation of non-standard lighting at neighborhood entrances, and to respond to the request for Township funding, the Township Board of Directors must review and consider this issue.
Challenges with the proposal include: the installation of non-standard lights (different fixture than the current system); additional use of electricity as compared to other neighborhood entries; potential need for an easement to cross the Township Reserve to supply the lights; consistency and uniform services with other neighborhoods; and funding.
In addition, the Development Standard Committee (DSC) has authority for the change and addition to entry lights and would need to review the proposed additional lights and perhaps adopt standards or provide a variance. Montgomery County approval may also be necessary for utility work in the road right-of-way.
WCHOA entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with The Woodlands Community Service Corporation, as agent for The Woodlands Community Association in 2009. (Attachment B). The MOA permitted initial enhancements to the landscape at this neighborhood entrance at the cost to the HOA. The MOA further states that the HOA shall not make any material modifications or additions to the landscape or increase the area of use with in the ROSR without the express prior written consent of The Woodlands Community Association or its Agent. As the WCA assigned this agreement to The Woodlands Township, additional lights being added to the landscape would qualify as a material change.
Currently, each neighborhood entrance sign throughout the community has one or two lights depending how the sign is oriented to the road (parallel - one light, or perpendicular - two lights). WCHOA requests to have 10 lights added to the sign monument (Attachment C).
There are two standard light fixtures and lamp types that are used to illuminate the neighborhood signs. In Montgomery County a KIM fixture with a metal halide lamp is used; in Harris County the fixtures are 3-4 foot long with LED lamps. The 2015 Capital Improvement Budget allocated $50,000 for Phase I of a three year project for the conversion of the metal halide lamps to LED’s using the existing fixtures.
In order to ensure that lights are within standards and uniform throughout the community, the following policy has been drafted to address this request and any future requests from other HOA’s and neighborhoods:
The Woodlands Township Policy regarding requests for enhanced lighting at neighborhood entrances
The Board could also opt to consider this issue and request from the WCHOA during the 2016 Budget Process.
- HOA/Neighborhood is required to make application and enter into a MOA with the Township which memorializes the installation of the additional lights at the respective neighborhood entrance(s).
- All costs for the lighting shall be borne by the Applicant/HOA/Neighborhood which includes but is not limited to: fixtures, lamps/bulbs, breakers, boring, installation costs, electrical meter, repairs and maintenance.
- A sub electrical meter shall be installed by the Applicant/HOA/Neighborhood and the cost for electricity shall be paid for directly by the Applicant.
- Color of light, lamp and light fixtures shall be consistent with the current standard of The Woodlands Township for neighborhood entrances.
- The Woodlands Township will not be responsible for any damage caused to the enhanced lighting. All repairs must be made by the Applicant/HOA/Neighborhood in a timely manner.
- DSC shall review and approve applications for enhanced lighting.
- County shall review application when necessary.
- If application is approved by DSC and County then the MOA may be executed by the Township President/ General Manager.