Get Farmcolony facts straight

I am writing with regard to your "On the Block" column of October 30 ["Escapism: Farm it or don't, your choice"], concerning the residence for sale at 661 Farmview Road. The number of factual inaccuracies in this article disturbs me.

In 1975, when Farmcolony (not "The Farm Colony") was created by a Florida investor and many of its lots purchased by people from out of state, misperceptions were rampant. One of these was that it was some sort of "commune." Some thought that we owners all lived together and took our meals together, which is totally erroneous.

Farmcolony is no different from other planned residential developments around Charlottesville with areas owned in common and community amenities as well as a homeowners' association. By purchasing property in such a development, an owner agrees to observe the covenants and to participate in underwriting the expenses of the common amenities by paying homeowners' association dues.

The central amenity at Farmcolony is not tennis courts or swimming pools but a small working farm. Perhaps the most egregious mistake in the article is the notion that property owners are somehow obligated to do "a day's work each month" but can "get out of the work" by paying their homeowners' association dues. That is just flat-out wrong.

There is work to be done around the farm, but how much is at the discretion of each owner. It is entirely optional and dependent on each owner's ability and interest. There is no assignment of "a day's work each month." And the homeowners' association dues have no relationship whatsoever to the amount of work that an owner does around the farm.

Perhaps you got confused with our fall and spring community workdays. Property owners who do not participate in these are assessed a fee of $25 per lot.

The residence for sale was built by a couple with children and grandchildren and made large enough to accommodate the family. We could have done quite nicely without your suggestion that the most likely purchasers of this residence would be a "group of partiers" who would want to use the residence as a weekend party house. Our pleasant and quiet residential street does not need that, thank you very much.

John Mitchell