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News OVERVIEW FOR Tuesday, March 31, 2015

WCA Director Kathy Carlsen Dies

After a brief illness, recently elected Westchase Community Association (WCA) Director Kathy Carlsen of Glencliff died on Saturday, March 21. After a number of years serving as Glencliff’s voting member, Carlsen ran for the WCA Board in September 2014, one of two residents who defeated incumbents running for reelection. In addition to her service on the WCA Board, she regularly attended the monthly meetings of the Westchase Community Development District (CDD).

Westchase Pressure Forces Weak Amendment to State Bill on Security Cameras

While Westchase opposition forced an amendment to a proposed law in mid-March, a bill before the Florida legislature could still significantly affect resident access to CDD security camera footage.

Bill Before Florida Legislature Could End Westchase Resident Access to CDD Security Camera Footage

A bill being pushed by the Ballantrae Community Development District and currently sponsored by Westchase’s state senator, John Legg (R.), if passed unchanged, could slam the door on Westchase residents’ access to Westchase CDD security camera footage at their security gates.

WOW Preparing 2015 Resident and Business Directory

Were you in last year’s WOW Resident Directory? If not, now’s the time to take action! WOW's Resident and Business Directory serves as Westchase's popular phone and address directory. It's strictly opt-in, so if you don't fill out the form, you'll be left out!

Greens Family Brings Culver’s to Westchase Area

The Lanardos family

The Lanardos Family of the Greens is following their dream…and it involves butterburgers. Growing up in the Midwest, Steven and Melissa regularly went to Culver’s restaurant for butterburgers and frozen custard. “We’ve always been big fans of Culver’s,” said Steven of the Midwest institution. “My wife grew up going there with her grandparents every week. When we lived in Indianapolis, there was one 20 minutes from our house that we visited with our children all the time. When we moved to Florida, our kids could not believe there wasn’t a Culver’s here.”

Westchase Pirates Invade Tampa

A blustery day did not slow down a group of Westchase pirates aiming to raid Tampa. Several local families got together and gathered their bead, swords and parrots and proceeded to the Children's Gasparilla Parade on Jan. 24. These pirates represented the Freebooter Krewe based out of Weeki Wachee. Several of the girls became the famous mermaid located on the front of the float. The event was huge success and everyone had a great time.

Fords Resident Andrew Moss Honored as Minahan Award Finalist

Robinson High School junior Andrew Moss, a resident of The Fords, left, with football coach Shawn Taylor, was a finalist for the inaugural Bill Minahan Award.

For Robinson High School junior Andrew Moss, it began as a small idea. In middle school he organized a seven-on-seven football tournament. He raised money for charity, hoping it would help honor the legacy of his selfless grandfather. Then it mushroomed into something much larger.

Newcomers Luncheon April 16

The Newcomers of Northwest Hillsborough will gather for lunch this month on April 16. They will meet at 11 a.m. at Coopers Hawk Winery & Restaurant, located at 4110 W. Boy Scout Blvd., Tampa, FL 33607.

Your Westchase Home: A Strong Community Produces Rising Prices

Andrew, Emily and Cooper Barrows of The Bridges

Despite the last decade’s roller coaster ride of Westchase home prices, one truth has remained unchanged. From its beautiful appearance and well-kept amenities to its strong schools and remarkable strength of community, Westchase is loved by its residents and especially its newcomers. Marking one of the earliest arrivals of the year, Andrew and Emily Barrows moved into The Bridges in January 2014. “My wife and I found out we were going to have our first baby and we knew then that we needed to find a home for our growing family,” explained Andrew. “What initially attracted us to Westchase were the family friendly neighborhoods, walkable restaurants and parks and proximity to family and friends. We also looked for homes in South Tampa and Safety Harbor. After looking, we ultimately decided to buy in Westchase because we knew it would be a great place to raise our family.”

UTB Library Community Room Named for Kingsford Resident Maureen Gauzza

Maureen Gauzza, center, is flanked by her husband, Charlie, her daughter, Sharon Potts, and her grandchildren Jared, Justin and Julia.

When Maureen Gauzza moved to Westchase in 1998, she couldn’t believe there was no library in the area. Fortunately for local bibliophiles, the Fords resident was not one to accept the library-less landscape. She made it her mission to change the situation. She formed an Upper Tampa Bay (UTB) Friends of the Library group, which spent years lobbying, calling, and writing to Hillsborough County asking them to build a library in Westchase.

Westchase Bobcats: Fact or Fiction?

A bobcat visits Keswick Forest.

Have you ever asked yourself, “Is that a bobcat in my backyard?” There’s a very good chance the answer is yes.

Westchase CDD Supervisor Brian Zeigler Resigns

Former CDD Supervisor Brian Zeigler

Former Bridges resident Brian Zeigler resigned his seat on the Westchase Community Development District (CDD) in an e-mail sent to District Manager Andrew Mendenhall late on Feb. 25. “It is with regret that I have to announce my resignation from the CDD Board effective immediately,” he wrote, “as I have sold my home and now reside just outside of the Westchase area.”

Newcomers Luncheon Feb. 19

The Newcomers of Northwest Hillsborough will gather for lunch this month on Feb. 19. They’ll meet at 11 a.m. at the Floridan Palace, 905 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, 33602.

Plan to Attend the Aug. 12 TED Meeting

Westchase residents are encouraged to attend a meeting of the Policy Leadership Group for Transportation and Economic Development in Hillsborough County (TED). It will be held on Aug. 12 at 1:30 p.m. in the second floor board room of the County Center.

Public Notice of Westchase-Wide Guideline Changes

In addition to offering changes to the Westchase CCRs and Bylaws, Westchase VMs are considering amendments to the Westchase’s Single Family Residential Guidelines. If you read this article last month, the Documents Committee submitted some changes to the proposed Guidelines after the May meeting of the Westchase Voting Members. Changes of substance are indicated by italics in the summaries below.

WCA Board Hears Costco Update; Decries WOW Coverage of Investment Properties

There was a packed audience for the February Westchase Community Association (WCA) Board of Directors’ meeting. Residents attended not to speak during the open residents’ forum, but to hear about the proposed Costco development at the corner of Sheldon Road and Linebaugh Avenue.

Costco Developer to File Rezoning Request March 6

While it was announced in January that February would see a formal presentation by the Costco development team, February’s WCA meetings came and went without its appearance.

Proposed 2014 WCA Budget Draft Contains $2 Assessment Increase

The 2014 draft budget that emerged from the roughly 90-minute Westchase Community Association (WCAO) Budget Workshop on Aug. 20 produced a projected assessment of $322. The amount represents a two dollar increase over the 2013 assessment. If adopted, it would be the first increase in the WCA assessment since 2008.

Westchase VMs Approve Three Guidelines

In a very brief meeting that preceded the Westchase Association’s Aug. 20 budget workshop, Westchase Voting Members (VMs) took their final votes on three amendment to Westchase and neighborhood-specific guidelines. In all cases, the 20 VMs present cast unanimous votes.

VMs Entertain New Paver Rules for Driveways and Sidewalks

The July 9 meeting of Westchase VMs started with two quick, unanimous approvals for Abbotsford's and Chelmsford’s new mailboxes before VMs turned to driveway pavers.

VMs Approve New Mailboxes for Castleford and Portions of The Bridges

At their June 11 meeting, Westchase Voting Members’ (VM) two main agenda items were final votes for updated mailboxes for Castleford and the Bridges. VMs also received an update on the county’s new garbage collection system, scheduled for rollout in October.

CDD’s 2014 Draft Budget Recoups Incorrect 2013 Credit

Westchase Community Development District (CDD) supervisors are discussing a tentative spending plan that projects a 7.62 percent increase in operations and maintenance spending. The plan, which may see adjustments at the CDD's July and August meetings, is slated for final approval on Aug. 6.

CDD Supervisors Approve Harbor Links’ Streetlight Conversion; Stonebridge Homeowners Voice Concerns

The June 4 meeting of the Westchase Community Development District (CDD) saw resolution of a years-long process to address a Westchase neighborhood’s leaking gas lights and attendance by a number of Stonebridge residents concerned over nearby developments that could significantly impact them.

Memorial Services Scheduled For Westchase Swim Coach Kelley Allen

Westchase Community Association (WCA) Manager Debbie Sainz and Operations Manager Kelly Smith have released information about upcoming memorial services for Kelley Allen, the WCA’s Director of Competitive Swimming. Allen was tragically killed on Oct. 28.

Tales from the Black Friday Ninjas

Some Westchasers celebrate Thanksgiving night by pulling the covers over their heads and relishing their turkey-induced slumber. Others become Black Friday Ninjas. Millions of Americans choose to participate in the highly competitive consumer Olympics known as Black Friday, where average shoppers display the stealth and cunning of a ninja in order to bring home retail gold. These warriors head out in the dark of night risking a stray elbow to the eye or worse, a shopping-cart wheel to the freshly pedicured toe.

Public Notice of Residential Guideline Changes

At their Oct. 11 and Nov. 15 meetings, Westchase Voting Members (VMs) will be considering changes to the Westchase Residential Guidelines. The Westchase Residential Guidelines is a supplementary document to the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CCRs). Both documents spell out architectural and use rules for Westchase residential properties.

Help a Wizard Make Magic

With just an hour of your time each week, you can dramatically change the life of a child who needs an adult role model. Westchase Elementary is looking for mentors for this school year. Can you lend a hand?

School Open Houses, 2011

Several private schools in the area are holding open houses to the community in the upcoming months. The list below is not a complete listing of all private schools in the area. Some of these institutions hold open houses in different locations; please contact the school admissions office for more information.

Westchase Birthday Celebration Oct. 29

This year Westchase turns 20 and you’re invited to the biggest birthday celebration around! On Saturday, Oct. 29, from 3-7 p.m., WOW is throwing a party to celebrate all that is great about our community. All residents are invited to join the fun on the West Park Green on Montague Street for a celebratory street party. The party will be held on the afternoon of the tenth anniversary running of The Great West Chase 5K and Children’s Fun Run.

Fitness Trail Opens This Month

The Westchase Community Association (WCA) and Community Development Districts (CDDs) are happy to announce the upcoming opening of the Fitness Trail in Baybridge Park.