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News OVERVIEW FOR Monday, November 24, 2014

WOW Seeks Applicants for 2015 WOW Scholarships

Have you proven yourself a scholar with a dedication to community service? If so, there’s a college scholarship you should know about.

Westchase Santa Parade Dec. 13

Santa’s suit is pressed and his boots are shined as he gets ready to visit Westchase for his annual Pre-Flight Parade! The Westchase Charitable Foundation (WCF) and its presenting sponsor, World of Westchase, are pleased to announce that Santa will board his vintage fire truck at 2 p.m. to begin his journey through the streets of Westchase on Saturday, Dec. 13.

Eighty Acres Near Westchase Slated for Development

National homebuilder M/I Homes is developing a new townhome community, West Lake Town Homes, on 80 acres of land near Westchase. The Ohio-based company paid $3.5 million for the land, purchasing it from the Thomas Family trust, which owned the former ranch land on which Westchase is built.

Westchase Thanksgiving Food Drive Nov. 23

Westchase volunteers gather for the 2013 food drive.

When it comes to hunger in America and Tampa Bay, there’s stereotype and then there’s reality. The stereotype? Consider the lazy, luxury car driving welfare queen mooching off the government and others’ generosity. Speak to any volunteer at any of Tampa Bay’s food banks, and they’ll tell you this: that stereotype doesn’t match up with the families walking through their doors.

Master Gardener Series Continues at UTB Regional Library

The next six months will see the continuation of a series that helps homeowners improve their lawns and gardens.

Westchase Artists Prepare for Holiday Market

The Holiday Market Elves have been busy making preparations for the 2014 Westchase Holiday Market. The fifth annual Westchase Holiday Market will be held on Sunday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Westchase Golf Club at 11602 Westchase Golf Dr. All net proceeds from the event along with ticket sales from special art raffles will be donated directly to Autism Speaks.

New Wellspring Pastor Calls Westchase Home

Bridges residents Keith and Julie Harcombe and their four children.

In July Keith Harcombe was appointed lead pastor at Wellspring United Methodist Church on Sheldon Road. Harcombe and his wife Julie, the parents of three sons and a daughter, recently moved into a home in The Bridges and already love living in Westchase.

Send WOW Your Halloween Photos

We want to share photos of your Halloween block parties and trick or treating with our readers. Simply send high resolution versions of them to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). In keeping with our annual tradition, WOW will run a Halloween photo spread in December (sometimes deadlines do strange and scary things too).

Painting with a Twist Opens in West Park Town Center

After her first Painting with a Twist experience, Fords resident Jennifer Bobrovetski was hooked. “I went to a team-building event at a corporate conference and was in awe of the experience. I was amazed that I was able to create a masterpiece and had so much fun. I took my husband to one of the classes here in Tampa and we both agreed that it would be great to have a Painting with a Twist in Westchase.”

When Lightning Strikes…Twice

They say lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice. The Tonn family begs to differ. Their Bridges home was struck by lightning in July of 2013 and again this past July. “The first time it happened, I wasn’t home, but my daughter was watching TV in our master bedroom and said she heard a loud ‘pop,’ like a gunshot,” Jenifer Tonn explained.

West Park Apartments See Major Renovations and Improvements

West Park Village Luxury Apartments feature anew outdoor kitchen by the pool.

Shortly after Atlanta-based Carroll Management Group took over West Park Village Luxury Apartments in May, they began major renovations. “We totally expanded and renovated the fitness center and the lounge area,” said Property Manager Jordan Petras. “The fitness center has new machines and a yoga and Pilates area. We have new furniture, touch screen computers and a pool table for residents to use in the village lounge and we completely updated and renovated the kitchen. Both areas are available for residents to use any time of the day or night on a first come basis.”

Great West Chase 5K and 10K Results Are In!

The Great West Chase 10K, 5K and Children’s Fun Run broke a new record for the community event with nearly 1,000 registered runners for the Oct. 25 races in West Park Village. With 178 runners finishing the 10K race, first place was taken by Keswick Forest’s Larry Smart, 45, with a time of 34:51. Second place went to Matthew Farrell, 34, (36:14) and third place to Michael Rivera, 27, (36:47). Click on the title link for complete results.

Great West Chase 5K and 10K a Great Success!

The Great West Chase 10K, 5K and Children’s Fun Run broke a new record for the community event with nearly 1,000 registered runners for the Oct. 25 races in West Park Village. With 178 runners finishing the 10K race, first place was taken by Keswick Forest’s Larry Smart, 45, with a time of 34:51. Second place went to Matthew Farrell, 34, (36:14) and third place to Michael Rivera, 27, (36:47).

Two Repaving Projects Coming to Westchase

As Westchase leaders gear up for a community-wide campaign to convince the county to repave a significant portion of Westchase’s aging roads, the county will tackle a small repaving project in The Fords, perhaps as early as Monday, Oct. 20. They will then return and perform major work on crumbling Montague Street through West Park's commercial district early in the new year.

Avoiding the Potential Westchase Roof Scam

Consider this scenario: A roofing company knocks on your door or leaves a door hanger. They point to your 18-year-old roof (which will likely need to be replaced in the next two years) and tell you they can get your insurance company to cough up a $10,000 check to replace it.

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.

Hurricane Season: Are You Prepared?

Guess which city tops the Weather Channel’s list of the “most vulnerable and overdue” hurricane cities in America? Hurricanes do not hit Tampa very often. The last major hurricane to hit was the Tampa Bay Hurricane of 1921, which caused millions in damage. The lack of major hurricane activity since has earned Tampa the Weather Channel’s top spot.

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.