Newsletter – April 2010

     At the January 17, 2010 Annual Membership Meeting, the two-year term of three board members had expired and they were to be replaced with new board members. Absolutely no one was found to be interested in volunteering to fill these three openings. Two of the retiring board members generously agreed to remain on the board and continue to serve. After four months of continuous recruiting, one board position still remains unfilled.
     This is a passionate plea to volunteer yourself. The Board of Directors meets at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month for about an hour. When shared with a full board, the commitment is not very demanding. The spirit of volunteerism is important to the success of Crestlake Homeowners’ Association. While it may be easy to pass the responsibility off to anyone else, there really is no good alternative to you becoming involved.


     The Crestlake ponds have gained a large family of muskrats. There are a total of 17 dens. The only pond that does not appear to have a den is Glover Pond. All homeowners should be aware that muskrats can carry various diseases.  Do  Not  Approach  Dead  Animals!!*  They also damage the banks of the ponds by burrowing into the bank to make their dens. These dens can collapse causing a hole you can step in.
     The Homeowners’ Association is currently working with licensed animal control specialists to rid our ponds of these pests. There will be more information forthcoming.

     Some complaints of dandelions in the Commons Areas have been received. The Homeowners’ Association does not have room in its budget to control weeds. The problem is common to all areas, and all areas will be treated alike. The Homeowners’ Association will not try to control weeds in the Commons Areas. We will be spraying the riprap around all ponds two times to control weeds. This will also keep the willows out. This will be done by a licensed professional.

     * Please read in the Neighborhood Watch section about the importance for Crestlake residents not touching any dead muskrats that might be in the area.

     Rules and Regulations governing the commons areas were originally adopted by the Board of Directors in July 2007. Your current Board recently completed a review of these Rules and Regulations and the revised document has been added to the Documents section of
     The Rules and Regulations were created to ensure the enjoyment, safety and protection from liability of Crestlake Homeowners’ Association members whenever they use our commons areas. They are also designed to protect the natural habitat of the ponds and commons areas. Please take the time to become familiar with the rules and follow them at all times.

     Warm weather is here and many residents have turned their attention to outdoor recreational activities. You should be aware that there are village ordinances which restrict the parking of large vehicles or watercraft in residential areas. Below are three which may affect you.

     1. Recreational vehicles and watercraft, either of which are greater than 20 feet in length, and off road vehicles shall be stored in the following manner:
          • Inside a carport or garage, or outside behind the face of the principal building, or 
          • Outside in the front yard at least five feet from the front lot line provided this is for loading and unloading operations completed within a 24 hour period.
          • The length of the watercraft shall not include any portion of any trailer used for transporting the watercraft.
     2. No person shall stop, stand or park a vehicle or trailer of any type on a public sidewalk, including the portion of the public sidewalk which is also used as part of the access to a private driveway.
     3. No person shall park any semitrailer, pole trailer or trailer in excess of 8,000 pounds or tandem vehicle in excess of 16,000 pounds on a street in a residential district for a period longer than is necessary for loading or unloading of such vehicles. No such trailer shall be parked overnight in a residential district.

     Pet owners should remember that village ordinances prohibit cat and dog owners from allowing their pets to run at large within the village limits. Further, no owner or person in control of a dog shall permit the dog to deposit fecal matter on any property, other than that of the owner. The fecal matter must be disposed in an area owned by the dog owner.

     St. Joseph has all its village ordinances on line. You may view the details of the ordinances by going to, click on Web Links and select Government.

     Muskrats are protected as furbearers in the State of Illinois and can only be removed by people with animal removal permits issued by an Illinois Department of Natural Resources District Wildlife Biologist.
     According to information available from the University of Illinois Extension Service, uncontrolled muskrat populations can cause damage to private property by burrowing into pond shorelines dams and water control structures. Muskrats can also suffer from several diseases including tularemia and hemorrhagic septicemia. Since humans can be infected with tularemia, it is important to avoid any contact with muskrats found dead or dying. Symptoms of tularemia typically appear three to five days after exposure and include fever, chills, headaches, muscle, and joint pain and diarrhea. The disease can be treated with antibiotics. This disease is not spread from person to person. (UI Extension)
     It is important for parents to instruct children NOT TO TOUCH DEAD OR DYING MUSKRATS but to tell an adult if a dead or dying muskrat is seen.

     The Crestlake Neighborhood Watch Working Committee has made plans for six Neighborhood Watch events during 2010. The events include a Gardening Contest to be judged on May 22, a Crestlake Get-Together on June 12 including a fishing derby for the children in the morning, a family potluck-barbeque (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) and a bicycle safety rodeo in the afternoon, an information table at the St Joseph Festival in August, a Child Safety Event on September 12, an information table at the Crestlake Halloween Parade and Festivities sponsored by the Crestlake Social Committee, and a Christmas Decoration Contest/Crestlake Neighborhood Christmas Party in December.
     Unfortunately, it is not possible for the Neighborhood Watch Committee and the Block Captains to plan, organize and put on six events without the help from the residents of Crestlake. The Neighborhood Watch Working Group hopes that offering a variety of activities throughout the year will generate interest and volunteers to help with the different activities.
     In order to ensure that potential volunteers have ample opportunity to volunteer for events in which they are interested and to plan the event, a cut-off date for volunteering has been established. The table below lists cut-off dates for volunteers and reservations (when reservations are necessary to have a head count) for events so that sufficient time is available to either plan the event or post in this newsletter and on the Crestlake website that the event has been cancelled.



Cut-off Date



Date of Event

Garden Contest




Crestlake Get-Together (Volunteers and reservations are needed for the Fishing Derby, Bicycle Rodeo & Pot-Luck)




Information Table at St. Joseph Festival




Child Safety Event




Halloween Costume Parade/Festivities




Christmas Decoration Contest/Christmas Party





      Newsletters sent via email are the primary method of communicating with Crestlake property owners. However, only about half of Crestlake families have signed up to receive these newsletters. Please remind your neighbors to visit and sign up to receive additional announcements like this via email. Newsletters and meeting reminders will be emailed regularly.