Friday, July 22, 2011
Accessible & sociable
If residents of Beechwood Shores don't want to attend one of the many neighborhood gatherings, there are other places to have fun close by.
Courtesy of Tim Haer
Beechwood Shores hosts several socials each year, including parties to open and close the pool and a holiday party in the subdivision's clubhouse.
HUONG FRALIN | Laker Weekly
The Beechwood Shores clubhouse is open year-round. Because several members live in the subdivision, the Moneta Lions Club sometimes uses the clubhouse.
In 2001, Lynne Philbin and her husband Ted packed up their belongings and moved to the lake from Houston, Texas. The couple settled into retirement in Beechwood Shores, a subdivision off Hendricks Store Road in Moneta.
"It was exactly what we were looking for: a little ranch house and it was all on one floor," said Philbin. "And the neighborhood, it was so quiet and peaceful."
Two months after moving in, her husband died from a massive heart attack. She didn't know anyone at the lake, but when her new neighbors heard, they came to her side. When her Texas friends asked if she was coming back to Houston, Philbin told them, "No."
"I had no doubts about staying here; I just said this is where I'm supposed to be," said Philbin. "They have four seasons and trees and it was such a nice neighborhood that I never even gave it a second thought."
The friendliness of Beechwood Shores homeowners is a major part of what defines the community, said Joan Brackin, who moved to the lake from Orlando, Fla., in 2001. She said many neighbors stop to chat as they're walking down the street, sometimes with their dogs.
Of the 118 homes, most are occupied by full-time residents, said Philbin, who has served as president of the property owners' association for seven years. The population is mostly retired, with a small percentage who head south for the winter.
The families gather for regular neighborhood socials. Next month, the POA will host its semiannual shrimp fest with Tim Haer serving as chef. He said he'll cook up a concoction of red potatoes, sausage, corn, shrimp and cayenne pepper in a 20-gallon pot. Haer said guests will pay $9 to cover the POA's cost for the food and alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages.
Philbin said they also host steak and shrimp socials and parties when the community pool opens for the summer and closes after Labor Day. Neighbors gather at the end of the year for an annual holiday party with the POA supplying the turkey and homeowners bringing side dishes, appetizers or desserts.
Brackin said the socials and parties are a great way to meet and catch up with neighbors. During one community social, she was approached by a Beechwood resident who invited her to attend a Moneta Lions Club meeting. She is one of several club members who lives in the subdivision.
"That's how most of us Lions met each other was through a picnic here," said Brackin.
Haer, who also is a Moneta Lion, said when the club is unable to hold its meetings at Resurrection Catholic Church, it meets at the Beechwood Shores Clubhouse, which is equipped with a kitchen and gas grill.
Among the subdivision's amenities is a boat ramp, which is available to about half of homeowners who live off water, and an in-ground pool. Philbin said the pool gets frequent use during the summer, noting that more than 40 people used the facility on the Fourth of July. The neighborhood also has tennis courts, but no tennis players.
"It is never used, so we're not maintaining it," said Philbin. "It would cost about $30,000 to get it up; we said, for nobody that uses it, that's just ridiculous."
She said the POA plans to have the tennis courts removed eventually and either used to expand the parking lot or replaced with something the community needs.
In addition to the upkeep for Beechwood's amenities, some POA dues are used to pay for road repairs. Philbin said the developer went bankrupt in the 1980s and none of the roads had been completed.
"The people that lived on Meadow Point and Pine Knob and Timberwood got together and had their roads done," said Philbin.
Those roads are maintained by the county, but the others are not. Philbin said they've been unsuccessful in getting the neighbors together to pay to pave the remaining roads. During the winter, some of the residents volunteer to plow the community's roads so they're not snowed in.
Haer, who moved to the lake with his wife, Jane, in 2003, said one of the key things about Beechwood Shores is its proximity to most of the hot spots on the lake for shopping and dining. It's 9 miles from Westlake Towne Center, and Bridgewater Plaza and the new Food Lion shopping center are just a few minutes away.
"I think that's the main thing that Beechwood Shores has going for it," said Haer. "It's convenient to everything."
About Beechwood Shores
Location: Bedford County
Size: Features 118 homes that range in assessed value from $90,500 to $2,032,600.
Amenities: Includes a community pool, clubhouse and boat ramp. It also has a tennis court, but that will be removed because none of the residents plays tennis.
Interesting fact: Several members of the Moneta Lions Club live in Beechwood Shores, including the club's president, treasurer and secretary. Some residents were invited to attend club meetings after talking with their neighbors at community events.