Mary Lee Haase, wife of former WCA board member Arthur Haase and longtime resident of Westwood, passed away on March 21st. We extend our sympathies to her family and friends. Read her obituary here.
Maria Holperin Terrell
Westwood Civic Association
Hello Westwood neighbors,
Spring is on its way, and that means lots of community events are on the Westwood Civic Association calendar. Read on for dates and key details about the neighborhood yard sale, annual picnic, board meetings, and more.
Thinking of trimming back trees in your yard? See Westwood resident Grant Slegowski’s helpful tips.
See you around the neighborhood this spring!
Maria Holperin Terrell
President, Westwood Civic Association
Neighborhood Yard Sale: Saturday, April 13, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Please email WCA board member Emily Dunstan at email@example.com or call 804-937-7928 to sign up to participate by 3/31. Please include a brief, general description of items for sale (i.e. holiday, baby furniture, camping equipment, etc.). In addition to neighborhood signage, WCA will advertise the event on Craigslist and Facebook.
Spring WCA Board Meeting: Wednesday, April 17, 7 p.m. at Westwood Club. Please join us as we welcome special guest Dan Schmitt, Henrico County Brookland District Supervisor. WCA board meetings are open to all Westwood residents.
Neighborhood Curbside Clean-Up: Saturday, April 20, 8 a.m. Please have your debris at the curb by 8 a.m. (no large piles of brush, appliances, or hazmat). Volunteers are needed to help load the trash truck! Let’s meet at Westwood Park at 8 a.m., or look for the truck. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer or just show up with work gloves. Your help is appreciated!
WCA/Henrico County Rec & Parks Dept. Green Space Clean-Up: Saturday, May 18, 8 a.m.- 11 a.m. Join us as we continue to help the HC R &P Dept. with neighborhood improvements by cleaning up the County’s green space parcel in the 5900 block of Morningside Dr. Please remember to wear long pants, sturdy shoes, long sleeves, hats, gloves, and bring sunblock and bug spray. Meet at the Westwood sign on Bremo at 8 a.m. and bring any hand tools you think might help. Water will be provided.
Annual Picnic and WCA Annual Meeting: Saturday, June 1, 4-6 p.m. at Westwood Park. For the third year in a row the Westwood Club is providing the food – hamburgers, hotdogs, cole slaw, beverages, and much more! There will be fun entertainment and door prizes. Annual WCA dues are $15 per household. We’ll vote in 2019-2020 board members and officers. Please bring non-perishable food donations for our annual food drive; this year’s goal is 125 pounds of non-perishable items.
National Night Out: Tuesday, August 6, 6-8 p.m. at Westwood Park. Enjoy free refreshments and support our Henrico County Community Police Officers. NNO is an annual community-building campaign promoting police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie.
Halloween Event: Are you interested in a neighborhood “trunk or treat” or similar children’s Halloween event on Saturday, October 26, at 4:00 p.m. in Westwood Park? Please email email@example.com if you’d like to decorate a trunk and pass out candy or help in any other way. If there’s enough interest WCA will organize a fun-filled afternoon with contests, prizes, and treats!
Westwood’s Top Ten Tree Tips
by Westwood resident Grant Slegowski
Now is the perfect time of year to consider having trees trimmed back or removed. Who wants to deal with the worry, cost, and headaches caused by branches falling on our homes, cars, fences, or power lines? Please take a moment to think about whether the following helpful tips apply to trees near you:
- Are any of the trees on your property old, dead, dying, or diseased? Many tree services will send a licensed arborist to your home for free! They can help you decide which trees may need to be trimmed back or removed.
- Take a 5-minute stroll of your property and look to the heavens! Do branches from any of your trees extend over your house, cars parked in the street, or your neighbor’s property? These trees may be ideal candidates for a trim!
- By law, if a tree’s trunk resides in your yard and fallen branches from that tree cause damage to a neighbor’s property, you are responsible for that damage.
- Trimming back or removing older trees can actually improve the curb appeal (and property value) of your home to potential buyers.
- During storms, have you ever noticed that the power seems to go out an awful lot in Westwood? We can help solve this problem by making sure trees and shrubs are cleared away from the power lines.
- Certain homeowner’s insurance companies may require you to have trees trimmed or removed before they will insure your property.
- Depending on the amount of foliage, certain trees may escape the wrath of a hurricane’s winds, but lightning strikes to tree branches are far less forgiving. Tiiimmmbbbeeerrr!
- Trees need not be forgotten. Simply plant a smaller, more manageable tree in the place of an older one that may have slime flux or other diseases.
- Maintaining healthy trees throughout our neighborhood helps to promote the safety and beauty of Westwood.
- Don’t spend another sleepless night worrying about if (or when) you may hear a THUD on your roof from a fallen tree. BE PROACTIVE!
Remember Operation Night Light and please keep porch and lamppost lights on to increase visibility in Westwood. Lock cars, doors, and keep valuables out of sight. Report suspicious activities or crimes to 804-501-5000. If there’s no answer or it’s an emergency, call 911.
Are there potholes on your street? Please report them to Henrico County Department of Public Works by calling
727-8300 or going online to https://henrico.us/services/report-a-pothole/.
Hello Westwood neighbors,
In last year’s WCA livability survey and focus groups, many residents requested street lights or additional lighting to enhance neighborhood safety. Our community’s security, especially after dark, is a prime concern for everyone. In the absence of street lights in Westwood, we can all contribute to the safety and security of the neighborhood by keeping our exterior lights and lamp posts (where applicable) on overnight.
Operation Night Light is being conducted in cooperation with Henrico County Police. According to Richard Mallory, Westwood’s Community Police Officer, “Operation Night Light encourages neighbors to watch for crime, but you can’t watch if it’s too dark to see. You can keep criminals away by turning on your outside lights at night. Lighting is a major deterrent to crime during the hours of darkness.”
Keeping exterior lights on will also help pedestrians walking through Westwood and provide better visibility for drivers. Motion-detector lights are an effective crime deterrent, but of little use to pedestrians and drivers in the neighborhood.
If you’re already keeping your exterior lights on after dark, thank you! If not, I hope you’ll consider participating in Operation Night Light to help keep our Westwood neighborhood safe!
Maria Holperin Terrell
Westwood Civic Association
November 1, 2018
The major topics pertaining to Westwood that were discussed at this meeting included:
- Traffic – how to improve existing and create new traffic calming measures
- Pedestrian Safety – how can we create pedestrian safe zones
- Flooding/drainage issues – how can home owners work with the County to address these issues
- What can be done regarding the maintenance of County owned green spaces in Westwood
Keeping in mind the recent Henrico County traffic study of Westwood (available on the WCA website), Mr. Yob addressed the above issues generally as well as, when possible, specifically. His remarks included the following:
- Regarding Bremo Road – its traffic, older speed bumps, lack of shoulders/sidewalks, and its use as a direct connector from West Broad Street to Monument and St. Mary’s Hospital, Mr. Yob stated that the County will examine the speed bumps to determine their effectiveness and if they need to be repaired or replaced. Although there is always tremendous expense with installing sidewalks, gutters, any other infrastructure additions/repairs, Bremo Road’s status/situation will be reviewed as to whether it is needed/feasible to install sidewalks or other pedestrian features to make walking safer. He stated that Bremo Road is a good candidate for sidewalks; he will contact the WCA with recommendations.
- West Club Lane – after much discussion about the speed of traffic on this street, and the desire for greater pedestrian safety, Mr. Yob stated that they will examine this street to make recommendations for options for pedestrian safety – which would also serve as traffic calming measures. Sidewalks are most likely not an option for West Club Lane, due to expense, however, there are other measures that could be taken. He will get back to the WCA with recommendations.
- Old Richmond Road – there are issues of drivers passing the entrance to the medical park on Bremo Road, and speeding onto Old Richmond Road to turn around (sometimes executing illegal turns). Yob will look into this, including the suggestions of speed bumps or rumble strips to discourage these dangerous drivers. He will contact WCA regarding this.
- Drainage issues – using a Westwood home owner’s situation with drainage issues as a basis for discussion, Mr. Yob gave the example that the County, although it cannot fix someone’s yard, will send employees out to examine the yard and make recommendations to the home owner regarding possible solutions. In addition, should there be any County infrastructure issues impacting these drainage issues, County staff will work to repair/find solutions to these (cleaning gutters, etc.). The County is particularly examining Horsepen Branch, part of which flows in Westwood, to see what can be done comprehensively to ensure its containment from flooding. (See the floodplain image below.)
- Green space (County-owned) maintenance – the parcels in the 5800 and 5900 blocks of Morningside Drive, along with the area along Fitzhugh between Devers and Morningside, need attention, whether it be better maintenance or, as in the case of Fitzhugh, taking what some consider an “eyesore” and making it into a pleasant site that can be enjoyed by residents and others (the Parks and Rec Department stated they would be interested in adding a bench or two, some low maintenance trees, keeping it cleared and clean, but don’t know how to go about it due to questions of jurisdiction). As there have been questions as to what departments of the County actually own/have jurisdiction over these parcels, Mr. Yob assured us he will look into this and get back to us about these issues.
- Yob also urged us to report pot holes, drainage issues, any other infrastructure problems as soon as possible to the County by calling 804-501-4393.
- The green space owned by the medical park on Bremo Road is somewhat of an eyesore; Jon Gwaltney, Henrico County Inspector, will work with nearby homeowner Conner Brown to determine the medical park property owners and determine a plan to contact them to urge better maintenance, some new landscaping, etc.
- Yob will look into installing a few new Neighborhood Watch signs in Westwood.
The traffic and safety subcommittee, together with the WCA board, will continue to examine these issues and possible solutions recommended by Mr. Yob, and pass these along to Westwood residents with updates at regularly scheduled WCA board meetings, as well as through email communication and the WCA website.
Steven J. Yob
Henrico County Director of Public Works
County of Henrico
Lead Zoning Inspector
To report potholes, drainage issues, other issues relating to public works please call 804-501-4393.
About The Henrico Department of Public Works
The Henrico Department of Public Works is responsible for developing, improving, and maintaining an efficient and safe transportation and drainage network for Henrico County. The Department of Public Works is divided into 7 Divisions: Administration, Construction, Design, Engineering and Environmental Services, Road Maintenance, Transportation Development (Capital Projects), and Traffic Engineering. These divisions insure that all engineering, construction, and maintenance work for roads, drainage, transit service, and erosion control follow the acceptable standards achievable with the efficient use of capital expenditures to provide the residents of Henrico County the ability to travel throughout the County in a safe manner and with minimum congestion.
Did you know the Westwood neighborhood was built on the former site of the Westwood Club Golf Course? Current resident, Rich Terrell, recently tracked down a link to the original golf course plans for the Westwood Golf Course. “It’s neat to see where the original holes were laid out”, said Rich. We agree. We wanted to preserve them here as part of our shared history.
Original Course (1926)
Westwood Map (Today)
Map Overlay: What hole did you live on?
Increased traffic in the Westwood Community has brought with it more traffic incidents, and more concerns for pedestrian, bicyclist, and auto safety.
The following are suggestions from the Westwood Traffic Sub-Committee for increasing safety and awareness in our community:
To deter speeding of cars and trucks, bullying of pedestrians, cyclists, and other cars by drivers:
- Keep a pad and pen with you whenever you are out and record the offending automobile’s make and license number, and the date, time, location and nature of the incident
- Take a cell phone photo of the offending auto, making sure to include the license plate, date, time, location and nature of the incident
Report the above to our Westwood Community Police Office, Bob Augustine, of the Henrico County Police Department, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 804-833-6474. The more incidents are reported the more a priority our traffic issues will become.
Other helpful suggestions:
- Pedestrians should walk on the left side of our roadways facing traffic
- Watch for vehicles traveling towards you at unsafe speeds/driving erratically
- Consider wearing reflective clothing while walking/biking to increase your visibility
- Refrain from walking on Bremo Road as it has inadequate shouldering and is deemed unsafe
- Observe the 25 mph speed limit when driving in Westwood and refrain from using digital devices or other distractions
- Carry your cell phone whenever you are out and about
Illegal Parking of Items, including vehicles with no or expired registrations, recreational vehicles, boats and trailers, commercial truck tractors and/or trailers, P.O.D.s, and other movable and immovable items parked in a front yard, driveway, at the curb in front of a house, or on the street. Reference Henrico County Code Chapter XXIV, Article V. – R-0, R-1, R-1A, R-2, R-3, R-3A, R-4, and R-4A ONE-FAMILY RESIDENCE DISTRICTS; USES Sec. 24-11. – Principal uses permitted. This is available through the Henrico County website: http://henrico.us/countyattorney/municipalcode.
These, along with vehicles parked too close to a driveway, curb, etc., should also be reported to Officer Bob Augustine of the Henrico County Police Department at email@example.com or 804-833-6474.