After three years as president of the Chesterfield Community Association and seven as a member of its board of directors, Keith Zickar called it quits this week to spend more time with his family.
"Between work and the boys getting older, it's time to move on," Mr. Zickar said. "My wife Leisha is happy, too. We'll get to spend more time together."
Mr. Zickar insisted that the demands on his time are the only reasons he is leaving the association. If he was sick of working on the board, he said, "I wouldn't have stuck around for seven years."
He said that his children, 9-year-old Keith Jr. and 5-year-old Justin, have started playing soccer and little-league baseball. "Now, I get to invest time in those things."
Mr. Zickar moved to Chesterfield, a community of 1,834 townhouses, single-family homes, duplexes and condominiums, in 1984. He joined the board of directors in 1986, when the developer, Charity Limited Partnership, turned it over to residents.
Treasurer from 1988 to 1989, he became president of the nine-member board in 1990. "I became president by default," he said. "A lot of board members quit or moved out of the neighborhood, and I just took up the slack."
The community association is slated to meet Feb. 6 to elect a new board of directors -- provided representatives from at least 162 families vote, either in person or by proxy. The new board will meet Feb. 16 to select a new president.
"The biggest change is that we now run the association like a business, with all 1,834 residents as stockholders," Mr. Zickar said of his tenure in the top spot.
"And when you run a business, you do what is best for the stockholders."
A few years ago, some of those "stockholders" were losing their yards to erosion. "One person had lost 20 feet of their back yard," said Bob Adams, association vice president.
Runoff from Chesterfield streets was eroding back yards along Union Jack Court. In summer 1992, the board coordinated the Rock Creek retrofit project to correct the problem. The $400,000 state and county project "gave some residents as much as half of their eroded back yards back to them," Mr. Zickar said.
In 1991, the board pushed for a county traffic study of Mansion House Crossing, the 40-foot-wide boulevard connecting Mountain Road and Duvall Highway that is described as a "speedway" by some residents.
The county Department of Public Works installed traffic islands, a circle and painted new edge lines in January 1992 to slow traffic from an average of 40 mph to the posted 25 mph. But officials with the county Traffic Engineering division have said those measures have not substantially reduced speeding.
Mr. Zickar said the county is still studying how to slow traffic and will get back to the board with recommendations.