Tag Archives: Florian Gardens

FGC Getting a Face-lift

Three_Surveillance_camerasIf there is truth to the timeworn cliche that says “All good things must come to an end” then the reality is that Florian Gardens has seen better days.

In previous posts, I’ve mentioned how our cooperative has changed over the last decade. Most of our members, especially the long-timers who have been here since the beginning, are law-abiding citizens, and we all maintain camaraderie. But some — and I emphasize some — of the newer members do not display that neighborliness. What’s worse they are bringing in people to stay with them who exhibit the kind of unacceptable behavior that ruins communities and lowers property values. For example, last week the police were called three times to the same building for disturbances created by someone staying with a member.

While the board of directors does its best to screen applicants and accept into membership those who we feel will reflect positively on our community and respect our property, there is only so much that can be done without the cooperation of all residents. Background checks, police reports, and references from employers and former landlords may help validate the character of potential members, but unfortunately, even the most vigilant effort is not foolproof.

Formerly, FGC was a place where nearly everyone knew everyone else. We especially knew the people living within our building, but that is no longer the case. Unfortunately, some of the unauthorized tenants show blatant disregard for the co-op by ignoring the rules. And while landlord-tenant court makes it difficult – but not impossible – to remove members who are continuously behind on their carrying charges, the board will pursue every legal recourse against residents who disregard parking, sub-leasing, and other regulations. Our mission is to ensure that co-op rules are enforced and that our property values do not decreased due to negligence and criminal activity.

In the coming months, several significant improvements will be made or are already underway to improve the appearance and security of our property. Some of those changes are:

  • New reflective signs will be installed to replace the old signage on each building and elsewhere.

  • Exterior lighting will be improved and increased throughout the property including in the driveway, parking/dumpster area, and near the gate

  • A cameras surveillance system will be installed on the property with cameras strategically placed at each lobby door, in the laundry rooms and where needed

  • Emergency LED lights will replace existing incandescent exit and emergency light fixtures in each building

  • Comcast will fix the cable boxes on all three buildings and (hopefully) will eliminate the exposed wiring that hangs outside the boxes

  • Larger trash dumpsters will replace the existing dumpsters and the dumpster area will be revamped

  • A wrought iron fence, similar to the one on 9th Street will be installed to border the parking area

  • The parking area will be repaved

  • A new roof was installed on ’28 and new downspouts are soon to follow

  • Laundry rooms will also receive a facelift

 

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THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT

Florian Gardens’ neighbors showed true good will recently by sharing batteries and flashlights; bringing bags of ice; and doing whatever they could to help each other, following a violent storm that swept through the Mid-Atlantic region last Friday. The storm caused an extensive power outage and blacked-out the FGC complex around 10:30 p.m. For six nights and five days of 95 plus degree heat, some FGC residents toughed it out inside their unit, while others left to stay with family, friends or anywhere there was air conditioning.

Those of us who remained often felt like we were entombed, especially during the dead of night when limited street lighting produced pockets of pitch blackness and graveyard silence.

As if being without air conditioning wasn’t bad enough, we were denied the use of our computers (lap-tops worked until the battery died); television and radio (unless you had battery operated portables); laundry machines; and after days without adequate refrigeration many residents were forced to discard hundreds of dollars worth of spoiling food from refrigerators and freezers. OUCH!  The sweltering heat had even the cats in the parking lot fanning themselves with their tail.  On a more serious note — at least one neighbor was taken by ambulance to the hospital, suffering from heat exhaustion and dehydration.

When the Pepco trucks arrived around 10 a.m. on Wednesday and restored power, it turned into a very happy Fourth of July. Many FGC residents thanked God and Pepco in that order.

Although the numbers are down significantly throughout the DMV, some people in the area are still suffering without power, and according to media reports, electricity to their homes may not be restored until Sunday. Compassionate FGC members can definitely feel their pain and we wish them well.

Everyone has a story about power outage week. If you would like to share yours on line, email me at FGC5928@aol.com