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News OVERVIEW FOR Saturday, January 21, 2017

Greens Residents Celebrate New Bench

A group of Greens’ residents recently banded together to lobby the Westchase Community Development District (CDD) for some park benches along the sidewalks of Gretna Green Drive south. Many felt it would be a welcome addition for all those who walk, jog, bike, stroll with babies, walk dogs or exercise for fitness and health along the beautiful green space affectionately known as the “Long Green Mile.”

Holiday Market Raises $3,400 for Autism Speaks

The 2016 Westchase Holiday Market was a huge success! Hosted by the Westchase Artists Society, the event proved profitable for many artists and crafters, helped established artists with more renown and commissions, and allowed unknown artists a voice in the marketplace. In addition, the event raised over $3,400 for Autism Speaks.

New West Park Village Development Seeks County Change in Setbacks

A Jan. 10 public meeting may determine the development of vacant land at the bottom of Montague Street in West Park Village.

Longtime CDD Chair Mark Ragusa Tenders Resignation

“With a heavy heart I am presenting my resignation letter,” wrote CDD Chair Mark Ragusa. “Having lived in this great community for 21 years, Alisa and I know that Westchase has been, and will always be a great place to live and raise a family. We are heading into a new phase in our lives as we downsize and prepare to be empty nesters.”

New Cycle Extreme Offers Free Classes in Early January

Area spin enthusiasts got a new workout option when Cycle Extreme recently opened in the Publix shopping center.

Massive County Wastewater Project to Impact Westchase and Surrounding Communities

It’s being touted as one of Hillsborough County’s most ambitious public utility projects, costing a whopping $245 million. And it’s nearly entirely hidden from view. It will nevertheless change where the wastewater from thousands of Northwest Hillsborough homes will be flowing.

Rotarians Used Bike Drive Jan. 7

The Elf on the Shelf recently released Santa Claus’s annual delivery report from North Pole. The report indicates that on Dec. 25 Santa delivered several new bikes to many lucky girls and boys in Northwest Hillsborough County. While Santa’s generosity is always appreciated, there are indications that parents are wondering what to do with the old forgotten bikes that are taking space in the garage.

A Happy, Fulfilling 2017: Fitness Baby Steps

Welcome to 2017 and another round of New Year’s resolutions. For most of January (maybe), we will adhere to them. Then, little by little, they will seem more daunting, more unrealistic, more easy to toss aside.

Westchase 25th Anniversary Party Slated for Jan. 21

Westchase is throwing a party, and you’re invited. “The WCA and CDD are thrilled to announce that we are celebrating our 25th Anniversary of Westchase,” said CDD Office Manager Sonny Whyte.

Westchase’s Renovated Parks Reopen

After nearly a year of work, the three Westchase parks that were the focus of a 2016 capital improvement program officially celebrate their grand opening on Jan. 21.

WOW 2016 Holiday Decorating Contest Winners Shine Brightly

12428 Bristol Commons Circle

New addresses and streets crowded the 2016 WOW Decorating Contest winners’ circle this year. And nostalgia seemed to be the winning look for judges in this year’s contest. The top three homes in this annual competition all featured vintage-themed décor.

Westchase Thanksgiving Food Drive Breaks New Record

Josh Butts of Cornerstone Insurance, surrounded by his family and the food drive

On Nov. 20, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, hundreds of Scouts and regular folks descended upon Westchase Elementary for the annual Westchase Thanksgiving Food Drive. Their efforts were greatly rewarded when hundreds of more homeowners participated in the drive, producing a record bounty of donated food.

WOW Seeks Applicants for 2017 WOW Scholarships

Have you shown a commitment to academics and community service during your high school career? If so, WOW encourages you to apply for its WOW Sylvester Community Service Scholarship.

Where Will They Go?

Alonso High School is jam-packed. The situation is the product of the full-sprint expansion in northwest Hillsborough County – its new housing developments, apartment complexes and townhomes sprouting like weeds on steroids.

A Travel Dream Come True

Nancy and Gary Konopka

For years Greens residents Gary and Nancy Konokpa and Nancy’s brother, Frank, talked about going to Greece. “A trip to Greece has always been on my brother-in-law’s bucket list,” said Gary.

Friends of the UTB Library: The UTB Library - Your Terrific Resource

We all have busy schedules. Sometimes with everything going on, it is easy to miss out on the advantage of treasures like the Upper Tampa Bay Library within our community.

Woodbridge Villas Tackles Renovations With Big Special Assessment

Woodbridge Villas board members Rick Goldstein, Mary Rodriguez, Nilo Menendez and Phyllis Roman visit their community’s pool to check recent work there.

This summer Hillsborough County transit supporters kick off a year and a half long campaign to convince local residents to vote for a half cent increase in the sales tax. If they’re smart, they’ll hire Woodbridge’s homeowners’ association board to lead the effort.

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.