• Buildings and Grounds Committee


    Chairs: Margaret Tulloch Rhodes, Acting Chair

    The Fairlington Meadows Buildings and Grounds (B&G) Committee is made up of Meadows residents who volunteer to oversee the general appearance of the community. The majority of the committee’s work relates to managing the 22 acres of grounds and common area landscaping in the Meadows. Meetings are held monthly over Zoom and advertised in advance through the association website and social media. Meeting information is distributed through Court chairs and on Town Square.  Residents are encouraged to attend. The Committee can be reached at BuidingsAndGrounds@FairlingtonMeadows.com.

    Maintenance of common property is governed by the Fairlington Meadows Rules of Conduct, which can be found in the Guide to Life in Fairlington Meadows or obtained from the website. The B&G Committee has also developed guidelines for new landscaping, which can be found here.  

    In addition, B&G has put together the following information to help answer some of the most frequently asked questions from residents.

    Can I plant flowers in the mulched bed in front of my unit?

    Yes! It is a great way to bring color to the front of your unit. You do not need to ask B&G permission to plant flowers (annuals or bulbs) in your front bed, but we do ask that you look after whatever you plant.  You may not remove any existing lawn, shrubs, or other plants for your flowers.

    Can I plant inside my rear patio?

    Yes, but if what you plant grows against, or interferes with, the building or a fence, you may be required to trim or remove it. Also, please do not let weeds or English ivy grow unchecked inside your patio. You may make other alterations to your patio area, but review the Guide to Life in Fairlington Meadows and our by-laws for further information on what is permissible.  Some projects will require advance permission of the Board.  We encourage the use of native plants and please do not plant anything that has been deemed invasive:  (https://www.arlingtonva.us/files/sharedassets/public/Environment/Documents/Invasive-Plant-List-2-19-15.pdf)

    Am I required to care for the association-owned plants in front of my unit?

    No.  Maintenance of the landscaping is the responsibility of the association.  But please let us know if you have concerns about the condition of any of the existing plants, and please help water them in the hot seasons. This is also true for newly sown grass seed. Replacing dead plants is much more expensive than the water already included in your HOA fee.

    Who takes care of the new plants being installed throughout the Meadows?

    Again, overall maintenance is the responsibility of the association, but we need your help with new plants.  New plants need to be watered once a week for the first growing season.  While many residents volunteer their time to water new plants and newly seeded lawn areas, we always need more help.  Please let us know if you would be willing to help water new plantings in the community.

    I don’t like looking at the electrical/phone/cable access box near my unit. Can I plant flowers or shrubs around those to hide them? 

    No. You may not plant in an area that is not adjacent to your unit or where no bed exists without the permission of B&G. If you would like to see plants added to a common area near your unit, please contact B&G to discuss your ideas and options.

    I see a dead shrub or tree; how do I report it?

    Please email B&G with details on species and location.  With only a small committee of volunteers, we won’t see everything and are grateful when residents let us know a common area plant does not look healthy.

    There is a damaged tree along the street, who should I notify?

    Street trees, located between the sidewalk and the street, belong to the county. They can be notified directly through non-emergency contacts  (703-228-6525 or dpr@arlingtonva.us) and you can also email B&G.

    A tree branch (or whole tree) came down near my house. What should I do?

    First, ensure your personal safety and that of anyone who may have been nearby when the tree or branch fell. Never approach any downed tree or branch if it is close to or touching power lines. If a car has been hit, attempt to contact the owner. If a building has been hit and there is damage, call Fairlington Meadows Maintenance (703-820-6799), the CMC emergency number (703-631-7200), or the Meadows President. If the tree or branch is in the road, call the Arlington County non-emergency number (703-558-2222), unless it is completely blocking the road in which case call 911. If it has fallen in an area where it caused no injury or damage and poses no immediate risks, please contact B&G so that the appropriate contractor can address it.

    I’d like to plant different trees and shrubs in my front beds. Can I do that on my own?

    No.  Residents may not plant anything in their front beds – with the exception of annual flowers — without the written approval of the B&G Committee. If you wish to make changes to your landscaping at your own cost, you may submit a proposal to B&G that outlines what you want to do.  You must submit a sketch or a photo of the relevant area, a list of the proposed plants, including species, variety and mature size, and an indication of where you will transplant anything you wish to remove.  B&G will consider your proposal at its next regular monthly meeting. Please note, anything you plant automatically becomes the property of the association.

    Can I ask B&G to change my landscaping?

    Yes.  If you have a request, please use the form below and mail it to the committee.  B&G will review your request and decide based on current plant health, budget, and the larger refresh schedule. In general, requests for new plantings that are purely a matter of personal taste and unrelated to the health or condition of current plants will not be considered.

    When and how will my shrubs and trees be trimmed and can I request how it is done?

    Shrub and tree pruning is scheduled three times per year in consultation with our landscape and tree contractors. These trees and shrubs belong to the association, so decisions on size and shape are made by B&G in consultation with the landscape companies to balance look, health, safety, and security.

    My favorite shrub(s) or tree(s) just got trimmed to sticks, what happened?

    Extreme pruning is a technique to stimulate new growth in established plants. It is cheaper than replacing mature bushes and while it may look bad for a short while, the plants generally grow back healthier and more invigorated with less dead material in the center. Going forward we hope to maintain a regular pruning schedule that makes extreme pruning unnecessary.

    We need more shade trees. Can we get them?

    The county replaces street trees as they come down, and the Meadows also tries to plant new canopy trees when we lose an older one. But new trees take time to grow and while they are young they need extra care, so we rely on volunteers to ensure they are watered. If you are willing to water a new tree in the Meadows, please contact the committee.

    I have a great idea for a new bench in the community. Can we get one?

    Please contact B&G with your bench ideas.

    I have a problem with water pooling around my unit or see a drainage problem in a common yard. What should I do?

    Please contact B&G describing the issue, and include photos if possible, so that the committee can discuss remediation options with the Meadows Board.

    Why does the Buildings and Grounds committee only talk about landscaping?  

    Our name comes from the Master deed, but while B&G is primarily responsible for the landscaping of the community, it also takes the lead on the common areas of “B” buildings, making recommendations for any needed improvements or maintenance, and addresses other issues at the request of the Meadows Board.

    Contact B&G at BuidingsAndGrounds@FairlingtonMeadows.com

    Request Form

    Please use the form below to request changes to common element landscaping. Submit completed forms to BuildingsAndGrounds@FairlingtonMeadows.com

    Operational Protocol and Purview

    Landscape Request Form