Frequently Asked Questions:

Here are the answers to some common questions asked by all residents, from the newest owners to the longest tenured residents. The following questions have been asked in the past, please check for a question and then scroll down to find the answer. If you have another question not answered here, please submit it under feedback and request it be added to the FAQ's.
Flower Hill Central hopes that the residents of Flower Hill will enjoy spending time at the pond. Please keep in mind that there is: no swimming, no boating, and no attempting to walk or ice skate on the ice surface. Also, if you choose to fish in the pond, please catch and release the fish back into the water. Do not eat fish caught in the pond. No ice is safe to walk or ice skate on. The ice may look solid enough to hold your weight, but it is not. Parents, please speak to your children about the dangers of any pond / ice covered water areas. 

Jessica’s Pond is not just a place to take a nice walk. It is a stormwater management facility that is required by the State of Maryland Department of Environmental Protection and Montgomery County DEP. This facility consists of a wet pond, sand filters, infiltration trenches, oil grit separators and underground storage structures that are vital components to protecting our streams and our safety. In order to provide you with a better understanding of how Jessica’s Pond serves stormwater facility, please read the following information that was taken from the Maryland DEP’s website: 

Why Stormwater Matters: Impacts of Runoff on Maryland's Watersheds Urban development has a profound influence on the quality of Maryland’s waters. To start, development dramatically alters the local hydrologic cycle (see below). The hydrology of a site changes during the initial clearing and grading that occur during construction. Trees, meadow grasses, and agricultural crops that intercept and absorb rainfall are removed and natural depressions that temporarily pond water are graded to a uniform slope. Cleared and graded sites erode, are often severely compacted, and can no longer prevent rainfall from being rapidly converted into stormwater runoff. The situation worsens after construction. Roof tops, roads, parking lots, driveways and other impervious surfaces no longer allow rainfall to soak into the ground. Consequently, most rainfall is converted directly to runoff. The increase in stormwater can be too much for the existing natural drainage system to handle. As a result, the natural drainage system is often altered to rapidly collect runoff and quickly convey it away (using curb and gutter, enclosed storm sewers, and lined channels). The stormwater runoff is subsequently discharged to downstream waters such as streams, reservoirs, lakes or estuaries. 

Water Quality is affected by the accumulation of trash, oil and rubber from cars, fertilizers and pesticides applied to lawns, sediment from bare or poorly vegetated ground and other pollutants entering streams, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. Inflow of sediment can cloud water, blocking sunlight from submerged plants. Sediment also settles to the bottom of streams, clogging the gravel beds used by fish for laying their eggs. Nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, from fertilizers enter the water and promote unusually rapid algae growth. As this algae dies, its decomposition reduces or eliminates oxygen needed by fish, shellfish, and other aquatic life for survival. These are all examples of nonpoint source pollution, one of the major contributors to the degradation of quality in Maryland's waterways. Stormwater management practices help control nonpoint source pollution through the use of nonstructural and/or structural techniques to intercept surface runoff from developed areas, filter and treat this runoff, and then discharge it at a controlled rate. The overriding condition that governs the quantity of stormwater runoff is the amount of impervious surfaces located on your property (driveways, roofs, carports, sidewalks, etc.) Stormwater quality, however, is governed by the accumulation of pollutants on the entire surface area, regardless of whether it is grassed or paved. As the use of chemicals around the home such as fertilizers, pesticides, engine oils, deicing materials, and similar products increases, the more degraded the stormwater runoff from your property will be. Although the effect of one property on the quality and quantity of stormwater runoff may seem insignificant, the cumulative impact from hundreds of thousands of yards across the State continues to be destructive to our water quality.

These Activities Will Minimize Stormwater Runoff from Your Property:
• Limit the amount of impervious surfaces in your landscape. Use permeable paving surfaces such as wood decks, bricks, and concrete lattice to allow water to soak into the ground. Where possible, direct runoff from impervious surfaces across vegetated areas.
• Allow "thick" vegetation or "buffer strips" to grow alongside waterways to filter and slow runoff and soak up pollutants.
• Plant trees, shrubs, and groundcover. They will absorb up to fourteen times more rainwater than a grass lawn and they don't require fertilizer. For more information on environmentally-friendly planting and "Bayscaping", contact the Maryland Department of Natural Resources or the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.

These Activities Will Reduce Fertilizer, Pesticide, and Sediment Runoff:Use natural alternatives to chemical fertilizers and pesticides. If you must use fertilizers or pesticides, test your soil to determine the appropriate amount. For more information, contact the Maryland Cooperative Extension Service at 1-800-342-2507. If a lawn care company services your lawn, make certain it is not applying "blanket" applications of fertilizer and pesticides. Ask if they have conducted soil tests and a pest analysis to determine appropriate applications. Resod or reseed bare patches in your lawn as soon as possible to avoid erosion. Stormwater Management Regulations The regulations governing Maryland's stormwater management program may be found in the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 26.17.02. The Maryland Department of the Environment, Water Management Administration is pleased to announce the adoption the 2000 Maryland Stormwater Design Manual, Volumes I & II (COMAR The effective date of the new regulations and the manual is October 2, 2000. The revised COMAR is available from the Office of the Secretary of State, Division of State Documents (DSD) (www.dsd.state.md.us). Supplement to the Model Stormwater Management Ordinance The Maryland Department of the Environment, Water Management Administration (MDE/WMA) has published a Supplement to the Model Stormwater Management Ordinance. This supplement contains optional content for implementing an advanced stormwater management program in Maryland. MDE provides this guidance to assist county and municipal code development as part of local land use and planning to enhance protection of receiving waters, and meet the requirements of the Water Resources Element of local Comprehensive Plans. While all local development review and approval processes are unique, MDE will use this document as a template to ensure effective implementation of advanced stormwater management ordinances.

Montgomery County Code Enforcement Changes to be Effective in Spring 2011 - New code enforcement laws initiated by the County Executive and approved by the County Council are designed to help protect residential neighborhoods. These laws go into effect April 24, 2011. For more information about these new laws and how they may affect you, visit montgomerycountymd.gov/good neighbors. 
Homeowners in community associations, and condominiums are required by Montgomery County to obtain a license to rent their property. Unlicensed property owners renting their property can be issued a citation, which carries a $500 fine. The Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) administers these rental licenses. Montgomery County law requires common ownership communities to provide a list of all properties being rented within the association. The license year runs from July 1st to June 30th. Homeowners should call 240-777-3636 or visit the DHCA website at: Http://hca.montgomery.org
You can obtain a resale package by contacting the onsite office at 301-208-1314.

Montgomery County needs your help in reporting vacant properties in the County. Vacant properties can pose a number of potential problems for neighborhoods. In an attempt to maintain the health, safety, and quality of our neighborhoods, DHCA is seeking help in identifying properties that present a blighting influence on neighborhoods; particularly those vacant and abandoned properties in the foreclosure process. If you suspect or know that a property in your neighborhood is vacant and not being maintained properly by the owner or a representative of the owner (e.g. realtor), please contact 311.  DHCA will inspect the property to determine if it is properly secured and if there are any violations of County codes. The Department will initiate appropriate action and continue to monitor the property until it is occupied.

The CRCMC is a non-profit organization serving Montgomery County with the goal of preventing and resolving disputes through collaborative problem solving services. The CRCMC's services are available in both English and Spanish. If you are interested in possibly utilizing their programs or would simply likely more information please call 311 or visit http://www.crcmc.org

Please place trash that is in plastic bags into a trash can with a tight fitting lid before you set your trash at the curb for collection.  For more information about regulations for trash collection, in your particular community, contact your Sub-association.
Who do I call for abandoned shopping carts?
Abandoned shopping carts litter the Flower Hill neighborhood. If you bring a shopping cart home please return it to Giant Food right away, there is no dumping of any kind allowed in any area of Flower Hill. If you see a shopping cart please call Giant Food a 301-926-0340.
What about Christmas Trees & Leaf Raking? it is that time of year again! We just have a few reminders as the seasons begin to change. In an effort to keep costs reasonable, FHCC limits leaf removal to the common areas only. Each homeowner is responsible for the disposal of leaves and Christmas trees from his/her property. Leaf disposal should be done according to the county recycling guidelines. Call 311 for details. Leaves may be placed in recycling bags or labeled recycling cans only. Leaves are not to be raked onto any Flower Hill common areas or to be dumped in the fields, woods or streambeds. LEAVES, CHRISTMAS TREES AND ALL OTHER DEBRIS ARE NOT TO BE DISPOSED OF ON THE COMMON GROUNDS! 

Flower Hill Central would like to take this opportunity to remind all homeowners and residents of Flower Hill that there is no dumping or discarding of any items on the common areas located in Flower Hill.  Many residents incorrectly assume that there local sub association’s trash service will pick up items. Please check with your sub association before placing bulk items out for trash pickup. Flower Hill will no longer incur the cost to remove items placed out by residents in your community.  Each sub-association must make arrangement for removal of bulk items placed on the common area in your community.

To update your mailing address please notify our office at 301-208-1314 or email at: FHCC@flowerhill.org 
Please contact 311 or visit the Montgomery County website at:  www.montgomerycountymd.gov
Please contact the onsite office at 301-208-1314.
When do I call Flower Hill Central’s and when do I call my sub association? - Theresa Lyles is the Community Service Director, please contact her at 301-208-1314 and she will direct you accordingly.
Annual Homeowners Dues Bills will be mailed to all owners on or by March 1, of each year.  Full payment is due April 1st. If you have changed your mailing address or if you do not receive the bill please notify the FHCC office at FHCC@flowerhill.org, as soon as possible to avoid additional charges. 
Please contact the onsite office at 301-208-1314 or feel free to visit the Flower Hill website at:  www.flowerhil.org  and click the Sub Association tab to locate your community.

Please visit the Flower Hill website at:  www.flowerhill.org and select the "FH Board" tab and select "Billing Process and Budgets"

 Snow clearing Single- family detached residences are fairly simple: Walks in front of or on the side of such properties must be cleared by the owner. Owners who do not clear these walks are subject to citation by Montgomery County. Properties in Strawberry Knoll and Flower Hill North are responsible to clearing the sidewalks that border Strawberry Knoll Road and Centerway Road. Some connector walks in the single family detached neighborhoods will be cleared by the FHCC.
Snow removal in the Townhouse communities are somewhat more complicated. Each townhome owner is responsible for clearing the sidewalk in front of and on the side of their unit.

The only community where the lines are quite clear is Southridge. At Southridge, the individual property owners own the walkways. The FHCC will clear connectors between townhouse groupings and entry area walkways that lead to public streets. 

The condominiums are responsible for all of their walkways. FHCC will clear the extensive walkway along Snouffer School Road and Emory Grove Road, and portions of the walkway along Strawberry Knoll Road and Centerway Road. Asphalt paths that intersect the common grounds and lead to recreational areas will not be cleared with the exception of the walks that lead to schools. Please feel free to call the FHCC office at 301-208-1314 with any questions.
There are three Montgomery County owned public parks in Flower Hill. To obtain a permit to use the fields, please visit the County’s website at: http://www.mc-mncppc.org/permits. For more information or to report a problem at the County owned parks, please contact at 240-777-2706. To report routine maintenance issues such as trash dumping, broken equipment, grass cutting, etc., please call 301-670-8080. Park Police Emergency Number: 301-949-3010

Attention Pet Owners 

Pet waste left to decay on sidewalks, lawns or common areas is a stinky mess! It’s also unhealthy for people and the environment. If you don’t scoop your pet’s poop, rain can wash that waste into storm drains and streams making them unsafe. Pet waste frequently contains bacteria and parasites which can severely sicken people, pets and wildlife. Nutrients in animal waste can cause algae blooms, cloudy water and can kill fish. PICK UP WASTE AND PLACE IT IN A SEPARATE TIED-UP PLASTIC BAG FOR DISPOSAL WITH YOUR HOUSEHOLD TRASH.  Residents can file a complaint with the County by calling 240-777-0311
Montgomery County owns and maintains the streets. Please report any potholes on Flower Hill’s streets to Montgomery County at 240-777-0311. Street maintenance is beyond the FHCC’s control. Multiple complaints from homeowner's will help to get the streets repairs.
You can contact Montgomery County for a new recycling bin at the link below or by calling 240-777-0311.  http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/apps/dep/solidwaste/store/index.asp?var_action=list_products&cat=1
Emergency – 911
Non Emergency – 301-279-8000

Montgomery County Aminal Control- 240-773-5900
Contact 240-777-0311. 

In a few areas of Flower Hill the light poles are owned by the sub associations. Such as the light on Mt. Laurel Court that are owned by the Parkside HOA. For information on how to contact the Parkside HOA please contact the Flower Hill office staff at 301-208-1314. For lights that are out around Jessica Pond please contact the FHCC office at fhcc@flowerhill.org. 
What about the uncut grass on Woodfield Road at the corner of Flower Hill and Woodfield Road.  This area is owned by the State of Maryland,  301-
Montgomery County Recycling will pick up Christmas Trees with no decorations.  Contact 240-777-0311 for pick up days.
Pool pass information will be distributed in the April newsletter.
To report an animal bite or a violation of animal control laws, call the Animal Services Division at 240-773-5960 or 240-773-5925. For after-hours emergencies, call 240-773-5900.