Community Master Plan, 2018


Community Master Plan

Approved Update – 4/26/18

Vision: Hidden Valley Lake (HVL) is a premier, private, residential community that offers abundant recreational amenities in a beautiful, natural setting.

Mission: The Hidden Valley Lake Property Owners Association (HVL POA) will continue to be responsible stewards of our resources, both natural and financial, and strive to maintain an inviting, secure community.


  1. Practice strong environmental stewardship.
  2. Ensure fiscal responsibility and accountability.
  3. Preserve, enhance and develop community amenities and facilities.
  4. Foster and promote the safety and security of the community.
  5. Provide and develop effective and open internal and external communications.
  6. Influence and manage external factors that impact the community.
  7. Develop and maintain comprehensive community development plans for land use, infrastructure and alternative sources of revenue.
  8. Develop and maintain a community public relations and marketing program.
  9. Treat property owners, residents, POA employees and volunteers with respect, honesty,

    dignity and fairness, and protect their non-public information.

Common Challenges and Strategies:

A. Maintaining a qualified group of staff, volunteers and professional involvement to meet current needs.

  1. Make volunteer involvement more flexible.
    • Utilize short-term, well-defined task forces.
    • Solicit qualified volunteers as needed for specific tasks.
    • Use electronic communications such as video conferencing and email when appropriate.
  2. Periodically review committee schedules and responsibilities.
    • Use efficient procedures in conducting committee meetings: Limit non-productive

      discussions; Use a standardized format for minutes and agendas.

    • Review availability of meeting space.
  3. Continue to review POA Board Meeting structure.
    • Limit non-productive discussions at board meetings.
    • Offer informational or social events in conjunction with board meetings to boost attendance.
  4. Develop and maintain a residents’ skills and interests database.
    • Include questionnaires in new member welcome materials.
    • Conduct skills and interests surveys online.
  5. Hire skilled workers, co-ops or consultants when specific expertise is required.
    • Investigate the availability of government programs/assistance and professional


    • Share skills, consultants and resources with other organizations or communities.

B. Determining appropriate funding and budgetary processes to ensure financial stability while allowing for community growth and improvement.
1. Continue to refine the expenditure justification process.

• Consider funding alternatives such as fund-raising events, soliciting donations, usage fees for certain amenities, short-term assessments, tangible (return on investment) and intangible (quality of life and property values enhancement).

  1. Investigate ways to use selected community amenities as revenue-generating assets.
  2. Develop long-range financial planning methods.
    • Project a schedule of necessary expenditures and financial priorities.
    • Plan funding for growth and improvement of resident services and amenities.
  3. Review best financial management practices of similar communities.

• Use online research, networking, and possible expert consultation.
C. Understanding change in the community and encouraging community involvement in the process. 1. Continue to keep residents informed on community events, issues, plans, projects and rule

• Offer ongoing education on important issues affecting the community through seminars,

articles, etc.
2. Provide wider range of types of involvement in the community.

• Enlist special interest groups and/or community service organizations to assist with programs and projects.

  1. Promote a positive neighborhood feeling.
    • Develop a “city center” congregation area.
    • Investigate organizing the community into neighborhoods or districts based on geography

      (e.g. development sections) or environment (e.g. lakefront, golf course, etc.).

  2. Try to make community involvement easier, more enjoyable, requiring less of a time


  1. Utilizing communication systems to provide effective member services and communication with


    1. Continually evaluate and improve effectiveness of communication systems: website, notification

      system, social media integration and databases.

    2. Encourage resident engagement by both providing information to community and soliciting

      resident feedback.

    3. Continue to provide easy access to community information via an engaging website, newspaper,

      social media and notification system.

    4. Continue to provide alternate accommodations for residents with no Internet, e.g. The Echoes,


  2. Developing up-to-date, collective information on population statistics and resident preferences.
    1. Use U.S. Census data and online surveys to define a community demographic profile.
    2. Develop an ongoing process for collecting demographic information, through periodic online

      surveys and resident databases.

    3. Develop demographic scenarios from which future trends and needs may be forecast.

I. Practice strong environmental stewardship.

  1. A)  There is a shortage of qualified volunteers and/or staff limits efforts.
    1. Hire a full time grounds keeper.
    2. Educate volunteers and staff on current and evolving environmental issues.
  2. B)  Funding and budgetary processes need review.
    1. Pursue government grants by possibly creating a 501C3 entity or through Dearborn


    2. Pursue private foundation funding.
  1. Investigate outside woodlands management programs, such as the Nature Conservancy.
  2. Investigate the possibility of selling timber.
  3. Offer incentives to residents to eliminate invasive species from their property.

C) Some residents lack interest in community involvement and/or resist change.

  1. Provide quick success examples of woodland management.
  2. Establish an “Adopt-a-Zone” program.
  3. Present youth education programs concerning the community’s natural resources and

    how to protect them.

D) The communication system needs updating.

1. Add a plant database to the website describing invasive species and control methods.

  1. E)  See strategies for Current Condition E.
  2. F)  Due to lack of previous management, rehabilitation requires extensive effort and/or many years

of regeneration.

  1. Document the current status and problems using already established deer culling zones


  2. Break tasks down into smaller, specialized working groups.
  3. Set priorities for each category; develop top priorities and strategies on which to focus

    initial efforts.

  4. Maintain awareness of upcoming environmental threats.
  5. Consult experts on control methods.
  6. Educate the community to increase awareness of problems and dangers.
  7. Develop alternatives such as a community brush drop-off.
  8. Provide alternatives to bringing potentially infected wood into HVL.
  9. Establish environmental management as an ongoing community effort.

G) Continue to update POA By-Laws for usage and maintenance of green spaces to be consistent with environmental efforts.

  1. Clarify and communicate green space policies.
  2. Develop and maintain environmental rules.

II. Ensure fiscal responsibility and accountability.

  1. A)  See strategies for Common Challenges A. through E.
  2. B)  Expenses commonly arise that are unforeseen and/or beyond POA control.
    1. Maintain a long-term financial plan to anticipate needs.
    2. Maintain contingency plans and set aside reserves or escrow funds for unforeseen


    3. Hire a consultant to assess current financial systems and methods.
    4. Hire a consultant to develop a Facilities Assessment to anticipate the obsolescence and

      deterioration of assets.

  3. C)  Develop long-term alternative sources of revenue to fund growth and capital improvements.
    1. Prioritize all capital project requests.
    2. Develop alternative funding methods (e.g. borrow, raise, reserve) with guidelines for the

      usage of each.

    3. Maintain and review the current escrow system.
    4. Consider the need to plan for constant growth and improvement.
  4. D)  Consider increases in POA assessments.
    1. Review current communication of financial information with residents.
    2. Educate the community regarding the POA’s financial status and future needs.
    3. Demonstrate the value received for POA dues as compared to other communities.
    4. Survey residents for input.
    5. Review the current dues/assessment process.
    6. Index future fee increases to certain benchmarks, such as the cost of living.

7. Offer alternative billing plans to enhance cash flow and allow for smaller payments. E) Maintain a detailed justification process for funding requests.

1. Develop an improved capital project request process that considers all aspects of the project, tangible and intangible.

F) Consider remedies for declining new membership revenue due to decreased number of available lots and declining housing starts.

III. Preserve, enhance and develop HVL subdivision amenities and facilities.

  1. A)  See strategies for Common Challenges A. through D.
  2. B)  Maintain a detailed process for proposing, documenting, evaluating, and approving of

    community amenities.

1. The approval process for new amenities should identify:

  • Tangible and intangible benefits
  • Timing considerations
  • Impact on all residents
  • Resident popularity
  • Projected amenity longevity
  • Ongoing maintenance costs
  • POA Budgetary impact
  • Funding methods
  • Risk assessment (safety, liability)
  • Impact on the Land Use Plan
  • Impact on quality of life
  • Return on investment
  • Operating costs
  • Replacement costs
  • Environmental impact
  • Proximity to competing amenities

C) Obtain statistics detailing usage of current amenities, current and projected population by age group, and residents’ preferences to aid in making decisions about amenities.

  1. Develop a process for creating and analyzing residents’ surveys that include

    demographics, needs and preferences.

  2. Obtain demographic information from utility companies, Dearborn County vehicle

    registrations, census information and the POA membership certificate database.

  1. D)  Develop a comprehensive Facilities Assessment of existing amenities detailing condition and


  2. E)  Obtain accurate data regarding the usage of amenities by non-residents; review and update usage


  3. F)  Continue to pursue the 77-Acre Development Plan.

IV. Foster and promote the safety and security of the community.

  1. A)  See strategies for Common Challenges A. through D.
  2. B)  Maintain co-ordination with neighboring communities, especially regarding emergency response

    plans and procedures: Dearborn County Emergency Management Agency, Emergency Response agencies (i.e. fire/EMT), local Red Cross.

    1. Develop a list of residents trained in emergency response, ham radio operation, etc.
    2. Provide periodic preparedness training opportunities for residents (i.e. CPR, Basic First



C) Follow the Dearborn County Emergency Action Plan.

  1. D)  Continue to evaluate the effectiveness of the Dearborn County outdoor emergency siren system.
  2. E)  Recommend the purchase of additional safety and security related materials and equipment

    required to meet the needs of the community.

  3. F)  Continue to work with fire safety organizations to support their efforts.
    1. Evaluate the servicing procedures for fire hydrants (especially in winter).
    2. Continue to work with local fire departments to ensure adequate water for emergencies.
  4. G)  Evaluate the current state of home identifications in HVL.
    1. Request recommendations from first responder agencies regarding effective home identification.
    2. Survey the current state of HVL home identification annually and notify those residents not in compliance.
  5. H)  Explore Neighborhood Watch plans and determine feasibility.
  6. I)  Continue to educate residents about pedestrian safety.
  7. J)  Continue to review traffic safety and security practices.
    1. Increase fines/assessments for speeding and other traffic violations as needed.
    2. Continue a media blitz targeting speeding/traffic violations (i.e. Echoes, signage,


    3. Continue evaluation of other signage and traffic conditions on HVL streets/roads.
  8. K)  Continue to review current safety and security practices, rules, and policies in the Bylaws, updating as necessary.
    1. Review the SS&E Committee’s areas of responsibility for maintaining the Bylaws as needed (at least annually).
    2. Update noise and dog/animal control policies. Consult with Dearborn County regarding their policies.
    3. Review all traffic-related issues such as speeding, stop signs and pedestrian behavior. Review state and county regulations.
  9. L)  Continue to encourage residents to communicate safety and security issues and concerns to the SS&E Committee.
    1. Continue to provide convenient means of reporting safety-related concerns.
    2. Add a Q&A section to SS&E articles in the Echoes and on the website.
  10. M)  Provide safety-related education for community residents.

Note: The following section of Goal IV is maintained by the Lakes and Parks Committee

  1. N)  Continue to review and maintain lakes-related safety regulations, practices, policies and procedures documented in the HVL POA By-laws.
    1. Provide lakes-specific safety information to new residents or other residents who are

      applying for their initial boating permit.

    2. Adjust fines/assessments/penalties for lakes regulation violations as needed.
    3. Continue the evaluation of other techniques or technologies that may enhance lakes


    4. Continue to monitor and measure water quality for the safety of lakes water use.
    5. Continue to review the Lakes and Parks Committee’s areas of responsibilities by

      maintaining appropriate sections of the Bylaws as needed.

    6. Continue to publish periodic information and statistics regarding lakes regulations


  2. O)  Continue to review and maintain parks and recreational facilities-related safety regulations,

    practices, policies and procedures documented in the HVL POA By-laws.

1. Provide parks and recreational facilities-specific safety information to new residents.

  1. Adjust fines/assessments/penalties for parks and recreational facilities regulation violations as needed.
  2. Continue the evaluation of other techniques or technologies that may enhance parks and recreational facilities safety.

P) In conjunction with the Hidden Valley Lake Recreation Department, continue to review and maintain pool and beach-related safety regulations, practices, policies and procedures documented in the HVL POA By-laws.

  1. Provide pool and beach-specific safety information to new residents.
  2. Adjust fines/assessments/penalties for pool and beach regulation violations as needed.
  3. Continue the evaluation of other techniques or technologies that may enhance pool and

    beach safety.

V. Provide and develop effective and open internal and external communications.

  1. A)  See strategies for Common Challenges A. through E.
  2. B)  Incorporate solutions for diverse technologies such as desktop computers, mobile devices, social

    media, etc.

    1. Continue to monitor the state of POA communications and recommend updates and


    2. Continue to monitor current and future communication requirements.
  3. C)  Continue to Include technology as well as non-technology forms of communication such as The Echoes, flyers and mailings.
  4. D)  Provide access to technical support as well as backup plans for equipment failure, provider problems, weather conditions and power outages.
  5. E)  Define communication rules, policies and authorization guidelines with regard to content, frequency and relevancy of all POA communications.
  6. F)  Improve communications with HVL deputies as well as Dearborn County and other communities, especially in emergency situations.

1. Investigate interfacing or integrating POA communication systems with surrounding

G) Investigate methods of measuring the effectiveness of specific communications strategies.

1. Include analytics software for the website.
H) Analyze HVL demographics to assess residents’ need and desire for various forms of

1. Conduct opinion surveys of residents to determine communication needs.

VI. Influence and manage external factors that impact the community.

  1. A)  See strategies for Common Challenges A. through E.
  2. B)  Maintain cooperative relationships with adjoining property owners and community leaders (e.g.

    Greendale, Lawrenceburg, Bright, Dearborn County, IN, tri-state, OKI, federal, services and utilities, schools, non-profits, funding agencies).

Strategies for VI.B. and VI.C.

  1. Delegate POA representatives to attend or monitor Dearborn County departmental

    meetings (e.g. Planning & Zoning, Traffic Engineering, CASA, EMT and OKI), school

    system and other Dearborn County city meetings.

  2. Develop a list of requirements for additional external communications.
  3. Share the completed and approved Community Master Plan with appropriate Dearborn

    County entities.

  4. Share POA publications (The Echoes, selected email announcements, website, etc.) with

appropriate Dearborn County entities. (See Goal VIII. D. 3.)

C) Learn about surrounding communities’ laws, policies and politics, business and economic development plans and programs, communications, roadway and land use plans, zoning, finances, emergency alerts or warning systems.

  1. D)  Develop a Land Use Plan defining risk assessment/priorities in relation to surrounding properties. (See Goal VII.)
  2. E)  Counteract negative, external perceptions of the community as isolationist, wealthy, non-native residents. (See Goal VIII. F.)

VII. Develop and manage comprehensive community development plans for land and lakes use, infrastructure, land acquisition and land divestiture.

  1. A)  See strategies for Common Challenges A. through E.
  2. B)  Develop a comprehensive Land Use Plan that identifies historical plans, defines the use of

    currently owned land and lakes and examines possible future scenarios for land surrounding


  3. C)  Research the history of land acquisition and land restrictions.
  4. D)  Collaborate with the Valley Rural Utility Company (VRUC) in any land use plan.
  5. E)  Coordinate efforts with adjoining communities (e.g. Greendale and Sugar Ridge) in any land use


  6. F)  Investigate any land use plans that may exist for surrounding areas.
  7. G)  Review, reorganize and revamp all current POA governance documents with regard to land use.
  8. H)  Develop a documented, approved policy for acquiring or divesting POA land or property.

VIII. Develop and maintain a community public relations and marketing program.

  1. A)  See strategies for Common Challenges A. through E.
  2. B)  Maintain an adequate comprehensive description or vision for the community.
  3. C)  Determine the current perception of HVL both locally and beyond.
  4. D)  Develop a branding strategy, public relations program, marketing program, coordinated

    marketing materials and definition of a target audience to promote a positive image of HVL.

    1. Develop a marketing and public relations program defining appropriate avenues of


    2. Develop coordinated marketing materials, both digital and print.
    3. Investigate the advantages of distributing copies of The Echoes to outside entities. (See

      Goal VI. 4.)

    4. Utilize the website as the basis of a marketing program.
    5. Continue POA participation in on-line social media.
    6. Provide updated marketing materials and programs to real estate agencies operating

      within HVL.

    7. Coordinate with Dearborn County-sponsored marketing efforts.
  5. E)  Form a Task Force or Committee to address public relations and marketing issues.
    1. Consider hiring a public relations and marketing firm to develop a professional plan for


    2. Seek out marketing and public relations expertise within the community.
  6. F)  Establish a consistent, coordinated branding image throughout the community.
  7. G)  Evaluate current physical components such as buildings, amenities, entrances and signs for

    consistency in reflecting an accurate, desirable community image.

IX. Treat property owners, residents, POA employees and volunteers with respect, honesty, dignity and fairness,and protect non-public information.

A) See strategies for Common Challenges C. through E.

  1. B)  Effectively communicate the POA By-Laws and policies to residents.
    1. Develop better methods of communication of POA rules, values and policies.
    2. Develop a new-resident packet of information that includes the By-Laws and other

      relevant documents.

    3. Require that residents acknowledge receipt of the By-Laws.
    4. Continue to restructure the POA By-Laws to make them more “user-friendly”.
    5. Provide a search function for the POA By-Laws on the website.
  2. C)  Maintain an HVL POA Employee Handbook.
  3. D)  Develop, document and communicate a justification procedure for proposing new rules or rule


    1. Include a detailed description, objectives, tangible and intangible benefits, advantages

      and disadvantages.

    2. Present a complete justification document with rationale for consideration to the POA


  4. E)  Keep up-to-date with legal/correct practices on these issues.

1. Review legal/correct practices periodically and update the POA documentation accordingly.

F) Effectively communicate Architectural responsibilities and rules.

  1. Develop a separate manual for builders, architects and contractors including penalties for


  2. Create an HVL POA Building Permit (separate from a Road Bond) with fees involved to

    cover insurance, inspection and damages.

Now is the best time to sign up for Automatic Monthly Dues Payments

  • Pay your January 2024 dues in full by 1/31/2024.
  • Fill out the form to begin monthly payments toward your July 2024 dues on the 15th of each month beginning February 15th.

Sign up forms need to be received by February 7th, 2024.

Email to, send by mail, place in the secure drop box, or bring into the POA office.

Example of a monthly payment:  If your semi-annual dues are $563.50 your monthly automatic payments will be $ 93.92 each month.