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News OVERVIEW FOR Saturday, July 26, 2014

Costco Developer Wins Rezoning Request

Capping more than a half year of work, M&M Realty saw the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners vote to approve its request to rezone 32.25 acres at the southeast corner of Sheldon Road and Linebaugh Avenue.

Westchase USTA Team Sign Ups Available

If you are a Westchase tennis player interested in joining league play, teams are now forming for a new season. The Westchase tennis program is actively seeking competitive players for USTA league play, including Singles, Doubles and Combos. Westchase programs also offer USTA Clinics.

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.

Road Repaving to Begin in The Greens and Stonebridge

The bumps and potholes will be vanishing in two Westchase neighborhoods in the coming weeks, courtesy of the Westchase Community Development District (CDD).

Do You Want a Say in Future Hillsborough County Development?

By 2040, Hillsborough County is projected to have 600,000 new residents and 400,000 new jobs. WOW’s October 2013 issue introduced readers to an interactive survey known as Imagine 2040, designed by the Hillsborough County Planning Commission and Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) to let residents have a say in planning for the growth of their community. This month, through a second survey, planners want Westchase residents’ input on other development issues.

Nope. You Can’t Use Fireworks in Westchase

Each July some explosive Independence Day celebrations prompt Westchase complaints. Since it’s “legal” to buy fireworks in Hillsborough County, it must be all right to use them in the community, right? Think again.

Westchase Charitable Foundation Has Record Turnout for Westchase Cup

Winners of the 2014 Westchase Cup Golf Tournament

The 11th Annual Westchase Cup Golf Tournament, presented by Mercedes Benz of Tampa Bay, was held on Saturday, May 17 at Westchase Golf Course. The event benefitted the Westchase Charitable Foundation (WCF), a 501c3 public charity.

Atlanta-Based Carroll Organization Purchases West Park Village Apartments

The Atlanta-based Carroll Organization recently purchased West Park Village Apartments and its associated West Park Village Town Center commercial properties for $122.5 million. The transaction represented the largest real estate transaction in Hillsborough County thus far this year.

The Westchase Sandwich Generation: Caring for Your Parents

Beginning in the mid-1990s, hundreds of young adults in their twenties and early thirties bought Westchase homes to start a family. Twenty years later, many of those folks now face a new challenge. Many find themselves entering what has been coined “the sandwich generation.”

UTB Regional Library Hosts Expansion Ribbon Cutting

Director of Library Services Joe Stines hailed the role that UTB Friends President Maureen Gauzza, a Fords resident, had on bringing the library to Westchase.

“There’s no problem a library card can’t solve,” Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan stated, quoting author Eleanor Brown. More solutions – and more library space – just became available to Westchase. In the centennial year of the Tampa Hillsborough County Library system, a ribbon cutting heralded the opening of an expanded Upper Tampa Bay (UTB) Regional Library on Wednesday, May 28.

Proposed 2015 CDD Assessments

The Westchase Community Development District (CDD) will approve its budget and final assessments at their public budget hearing on Tuesday, Aug. 5. Thus, the initially proposed assessments listed below may change after public input. The district’s assessments, which will appear on your county property tax bill this fall, do not include fees assessed by the Westchase Community Association (WCA) for maintenance of the swim and tennis facilities or by any sub-homeowner association with jurisdiction over your property.

2014 WOW Scholar: Aaron Raju

With more than 460 hours of community service under his belt, 2014 WOW scholar Aaron Raju has proven he is willing to go the extra mile for those in need. This Robinson High School graduate will attend University of Florida, where he will begin his studies in biomedical engineering. This will be his first stop in his path to becoming an oncologist so that he can continue to help others struggling with disease.

2007 WOW Scholars Revisited

William Achnitz

In June WOW announced its six new WOW Scholars for 2014. This month we pop in for a visit with the WOW Scholars named in June 2007 and catch up with their post high school achievements. In June 2007 Billy Achnitz of Bennington, Elizabeth Flynn of Woodbay, Lauren Lombardo of The Greens, Michelle Perkins of Brentford and Nina Reali of Woodbay were named WOW Scholars. To our surprise, the parents of all but Lombardo still called Westchase home. WOW successfully tracked down all but Lombardo and caught up on them.

Annual Kaye Prox School Supply Drive Returns

For many children the most exciting aspect of returning to school is receiving their brand new supplies. Unfortunately, many at-risk, impoverished kids do not have the luxury of simply going to Target and buying mountains of pencils, notebooks and markers.

2014 WOW Scholar: Stephanie Hernandez

WOW Scholar Stephanie Hernandez has her sights set high as the time nears to head to Florida State University (FSU) to begin her college studies. Years ago, what started as a fun way to begin her day by preparing articles as a news anchor on Westchase Elementary School’s Morning Show at, actually turned into a passion.

New STEM Summer Camp Program Promotes Hands-On Learning

Adventures in Engineering (AIE) is launching a summer camp program introducing young students to the field of engineering. AIE is the brainchild of Fords resident Leslie Wall and her friend, Mary Saville, who both hold degrees in chemical engineering. The pair launched AIE as a non-profit last fall with the mission to “introduce young students to engineering concepts, applications and career paths in an exciting and accessible way.”

Westchase Yoga Class Beckons

Job overwhelming? Kids activities have you stressed trying to keep up? Do injuries keep slowing you down? Have you been intrigued by yoga but never have gotten around to giving it a try?

Four Seats Open in Sept. 9 WCA Board of Directors Election

Election for four WCA Board of Directors’ seats will take place Tuesday, Sept. 9, at the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center. The Westchase Voting Members (VMs) will elect the new directors, who will each serve two-year terms. Current Westchase Community Association (WCA) board members whose terms expire this year are Keith Heinemann, Joe Odda, Darrick Sams and Nancy Sells.

Belanova Pampers Deserving Mom

Diana McDonough, seated in center, enjoys her makeover with her daughters (beside her). Belanova Salon’s staff appear behind the McDonoughs.

On Saturday, June 7, the lucky mom who won the Belanova Day of Pampering Contest indulged in a luxurious day of relaxation. Fords resident Diana McDonough was treated to a hair cut, color, and style. She also got her eyebrows waxed and had her make-up done.

Costco Rezoning Hearing Sees Little Opposition

M&M Realty Partners presented a rezoning request to Hillsborough County Zoning Hearing Master James Scarola on June 2. M&M Realty is asking Hillsborough County to rezone 32.5 acres at the southeast corner of Sheldon Road and Linebaugh Avenue for the development of a multi-use commercial project including a Costco and four outparcels.

WCA Board Votes to Not Oppose Costco Development

The Westchase Community Association (WCA) Board of Directors held a special meeting on Thursday, May 29, to discuss the proposed Costco development at Westchase’s eastern entrance.

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.