HISTORY OF CROWNE MEADOWS
The construction of the houses in the Crowne Meadow Community began in 1986. The Regency Townes Joint Venture led by Arthur Lazerow the principal developer. The sales agents included Lee and Harold, who left with the first set of investors. The sales managers for Crowne Meadows development were Richard Harrington, Ann Van Wagner and Carol Smart. The sales associates were Susan Russell, Mocile Trotter (our current HOA Board president), and Helen Jackson. Mocile and Susan were hired when there were only the community drawings and no model homes to view.
Prior to this development, the only building in this area was Andrew Jackson Middle School located at Regency Parkway. Because this was such an isolated area, there were stolen and abandoned cars, and dirt bikes racing up and down Regency Parkway. This was a completely wooded area; just imagine where Regency Meadows homes, the elementary school and recreation center now stands were all trees; It was a lovely, isolated, and quiet area.
It took at least two years from signing a contract to purchase a home to actual move-in. During that two-year time, the original investors bailed out and Regency Towne Joint Venture took over the construction. We watched the bulldozing of 41 acres of wooded land to build the 309 townhouses with a tennis court and jogging trails. Our models were beautiful! The three-level Bentley model was quite an experience to see with its open floor plan and high-cathedral ceilings. The three-story Ashley model was very practical for growing families and the other two-story units were called Bentley, Ashley and the Continental. The construction project had many challenges including stop work orders by the county, shortages of workers, and one of the model homes was blown down during a heavy windstorm. This made the evening news!
There were approximately seven families in the first court who were still there at Crowne Meadows for several years until the completion of Sections II and III. The families in the first, three courts were very active in our neighborhood. We had block parties during the summer, ball games behind the school, planting and clean-up sessions in the spring, holiday celebrations, and we worked together to get our Homeowners’ Association organized and operational.
The developer, Arthur Lazerow met the homeowners in 1990 or 1991 at the Andrew Jackson Middle School to turn the Association over to the homeowners. As a new community, many of us were first time homeowners, we didn’t know what a Homeowners’ Association was or its function. There was one homeowner, Kenneth Cox, a gifted and knowledgeable community organizer, who was selected by the homeowners as the community’s first president at that meeting. Kenneth had lots of experience with writing and organizing homeowners’ charters, selecting boards of directors, and how to interact effectively with management as we designed our association. When Kenneth spoke, everyone listened. There were concerns in the community, so the Board members worked very hard getting the developer to complete the projects before turning the Association over to the homeowners.
There were many months before the project was complete. The first Board members were Kenneth Cox, Susan Russell, Geraldine Murphy, and Annette Mingo. The other homeowners who have served on the Board through the years were: Mr. Wiggins, Reginald Cotton, Renee Brooks, Alexis Hayes, Brian Harris, Ethel Powell, Jerome Davis, Daria Price, and Earl Taylor–its current board members are, Mocile Trotter, President, Sherry McAllister, Marina Charles, Adam Brown, Mark Shirley, and Karen Jones.
The HOA always tried to keep the community connected and engaged with committees such as the Newsletter Committee, the Social Club, the Political Connection, the Architectural Committee and Court Captains.
The Political Connection
The Crowne Meadow HOA was heavily involved in the politics of the development of our community. We met regularly with County delegates advocating for more police intervention to prevent the abandoned cars, the dirt bike races, and the need for the traffic light now on Suitland Road and Regency Parkway. Surprise! Suitland Road and Regency Parkway was the scene of many horrific traffic accidents. Imagine how it would be today with the extended Regency Parkway? We fought for that light and we won in early 1995. The board was also instrumental in getting a speed bump on Regency Parkway and throughout the community.
Even today, we as a community, we are in touch with leaders in the County.
The community has participated in the National Night Out – a national known crime prevention program.
The Newsletter and Website Committee was established by the volunteer homeowners and is still in existence today, lead by Sherry McAllister.
The Social Club organized community social gatherings such as Christmas celebrations, summer picnics, and dinners for community members. It was disbanded as a committee and renewed as the need arises through the willingness of community volunteers.
The Architectural Review Committee
The first Architectural Review Committee members included Andrea Bailey, Beulah Gwynn, and Mocile Trotter. This committee reviewed documents prepared by the Builder which are required by Maryland law. There were some revisions to the documents throughout the years.
Other homeowners who have volunteered to serve on this committee are Gloria Simms, Margaret Williams, Anthony Gregory, and Lloyd Anderson. It’s current chairman is Rex Allen.
IN COURT LIGHTS
In 1995, the HOA and former Councilman Ron Russell, were able to get in-court lighting without special assessment from the homeowners. Prior to this the entire community was dark other than individual homeowners’ lights being turned on.
This past year (2013) there were 3 additional in-court lights placed in the community.
Allied Realty Management was appointed by the developer as our homeowners’ management team –Hank Jacob 13 years (now retired as of 2014), and current community manager is Douglas Norris.