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News OVERVIEW FOR Saturday, February 16, 2019

WCA Board Moves to Save Early Bird Swim Program

Westchase Community Association (WCA) Board of Directors heard from some angry early bird swimmers at their February meeting, which led the board to postpone a fee increase in order to save the program.

VMs Pass Westchase-Wide Guideline Amendments

Westchase HOA President Ruben Collazo began the Feb. 5 Voting Member meeting with instructions for the VMs to cast their votes for the proposed guideline amendments.

WCA Manager Offers Clarification Over Potentially Misleading Flyer

Westchase Community Association (WCA) Manager Debbie Sainz notified WOW that a company is distributing flyers to Westchase homeowners that have led some homeowners to conclude that the WCA endorses and approves the company’s work painting address numbers on the curb. Sainz asked residents be informed that the WCA is not endorsing or approving the painting of address numbers on the curb. Emergency vehicles are equipped with GPS and Westchase's easily seen mailbox house numbers make the additional street painting unnecessary.

February’s Irish 31 Great Neighbor Winner: Jennifer Foster

Greens resident Jennifer Foster gets a hug from her daughter Sydney.

“My neighbor, Jennifer [Foster], celebrates the birthday of every single person on our street,” wrote Katie Persons in her nomination for February’s Irish 31 Thankful for Your Neighbor Contest.

Westchase Mompreneur: Lia Beatty

Westchase resident, Lia Beatty, is quite the powerhouse. At 14 years old, she discovered her love of brand marketing while helping her aunt with a project.

Long Serving VM Bids Farewell to Westchase

Don Costello, Stamford’s Voting Member for the better part of the last two decades, bid Westchase farewell in early December.

Freebooters Donate $4,000 To Local Schools

Freebooters President Eric Holt presents a check to Westchase Elementary. Pictured are (l to r) Westchase Principal Elise Suarez, Freebooters VP Finance Sherry Napolitan, Holt, and Westchase Elementary PTA President Sherida Cook.

Using proceeds from their Second Annual Charity Golf Tournament, The Westchase Krewe of Freebooters donated a total of $4,000 to Westchase Elementary and Davidsen Middle Schools in December.

Two Seats Open for WOW Board of Directors

If you are a Westchase resident and want play a role in making WOW the best magazine around, read on.

Giving Grief a New Purpose

Tracy Carathanasis has a story to tell. It’s a profoundly painful tale but the 20-year resident of Westchase tells it because she knows it could save another teenager’s life.

Forest Lakes Boulevard Widening and Reconstruction Update

The county has entered into an agreement with Pepper Contracting Services, Inc. and construction is slated to begin in the first or second week of February. The project will extend along Forest Lakes Boulevard from west of Pine Avenue to west of Race Track Road in the City of Oldsmar.

Tampa Bay Woman of the Year Candidates Announced

Mark your calendar! The Ninth Annual Tampa Bay Woman of the Year fundraiser to support the Westchase Charitable Foundation (WCF) is taking place on Saturday, March 2 at the Sheltair jet hangar from 6-11 p.m.

WOW Presents $26,000 Check to Davidsen to Assist ESE and ELL Students

WOW Business Manager Leslie Blaze, far right, and WOW Publisher Chris Barrett, left, present the Great West Chase proceeds to Davidsen Principal Stacy Arena and Assistant Principals Rachel Schuerman and Chris Woolley (center, l to r).

On Jan. 11 WOW staff presented a $26,000 check to Davidsen Middle School for the Performing Arts, representing the proceeds of last October’s Great West Chase races. The proceeds aimed at helping Davidsen students who have learning disabilities or who speak English as a second language.

2019 WOW Sylvester Scholarship Application Deadline Is March 5

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.

Proposed Westchase Guideline Changes Announced: February Update

The Westchase Documents Committee has released numerous proposed amendments to the Westchase Single Family Homes Residential Guidelines.

County Staff Provides Update on Citrus Park Drive Extension

Over the last two weeks, WOW has spoken with Hillsborough County staff and leaders of Fawn Ridge to get a clearer idea of the updated timetable and current status of the Citrus Park Drive Extension.

VMs Take First Look at Proposed Rules Changes

It took the Westchase Voting Members (VMs) about an hour and 45 minutes to review and discuss all the recently proposed guideline amendments. The amendments, which would change rules governing Westhcase homes and yards, were last reviewed and collectively updated in 2016.

Proposed Westchase Guideline Changes Announced

The Westchase Documents Committee has released numerous proposed amendments to the Westchase Single Family Homes Residential Guidelines.

Linebaugh to Temporarily Lose Two Turning Lanes Jan. 7

Motorists and cyclists can expect delays traveling westbound on Linebaugh Avenue in the first two months of 2019. The county’s installation of a new sewer line passing beneath the road will close two right turn lanes to northbound Sheldon Road and a bike lane on Linebaugh as it approaches Sheldon Road.

When Your Cat Becomes Prey

In February 2017 Fords residents Taryn Falls and her fiancé were awakened just after 11 p.m. by wild screaming. A motion sensor clicked on their back light. That’s when her fiancé spotted it:

VMs Take Critical Look at Elections and Swim Team Committee

The Dec. 11 Westchase Voting Member meeting began with WCA Attorney Jon Ellis explaining the voting member election process. “The process works really well when nobody wants the job,” he said.

CDD Board Discusses Street Lights, Cell Tower and Street Tree Plan

The Dec. 4 meeting of Westchase CDD supervisors, who discussed hiring a landscape architect to develop a consistent street tree plan, saw the new terms of two board members begin.

Road and Lane Closures for Oct. 27 Great West Chase Announced

On Saturday, Oct. 27, road and lane closures will affect Westchase traffic from 6:00-9:30 a.m. due to the Great West Chase race events. The race, featuring a 5K, 10K and Children’s Fun Run, is held in Westchase on the last Saturday in October each year. If you have work, a sports game or an appointment the morning of the races, please add 40 extra minutes for your drive. Deputies will allow traffic to pass on Linebaugh and Countryway Boulevard as the flow of runners permits. Please read on for details about road and lane closures and how to avoid them.

WCA Board Ties on Tennis Tournament; Takes No Action on Sunshine Policy

For the first time in many years the number of people attending a Westchase Community Association (WCA) Board of Directors meeting on Oct. 11 was so large, they didn’t fit in the meeting room.

CDD Supervisors to Explore Locations for New Cell Towers

At the Oct. 2 Westchase CDD meeting, supervisors agreed to explore potential locations for new cell towers to enhance cellular service in Westchase.

WCA Board Selects Officers for Coming Year

WCA officers Shawn Yesner, treasurer; Rick Goldstein, vice president and GAC Chair; Ruben Collazo, president; and (symbolically) Keith Heinemann, Secretary and WOW Member. Heinemann participated in the second part of the meeting telephonically.

Following Sept. 11 board elections, the new Westchase Community Association (WCA) board of directors met on Sept. 13 to choose its officers.

Emotions Ran High at the WCA Board Elections

Winners of the WCA Board elections on Sept. 11 were (l to r) Ruben Collazo of The Shires, Keith Heinemann of Radcliffe, Michele DelSordo of West Park Village and Shawn Yesner of The Bridges.

Residents stood for the duration of the WCA board elections as the room temperature rose to uncomfortable levels while the air conditioner struggled to keep pace with the demands of the crowded space.

Westchase CDD to Hold Jan. 9 Vote on Possible Purchase of Westchase Golf Course

At the Jan. 9 meeting of the Westchase Community Development District (CDD), the district’s five supervisors could make one of the most important and consequential decisions in the history of Westchase.

CDD Addresses Hurricane Matters and Golf Course

The Oct. 4 meeting of the Westchase Community Development District (CDD) saw supervisors address Hurricane Irma storm clean up, express concern with the construction on Linebaugh Avenue and express interest in potentially purchasing the Westchase Golf Course to preserve the community’s appearance.

VMs Elect Three to WCA Board

Winners of the Sept. 26 WCA Board elections: Greens resident Joaquin Arrillaga, Bridges resident Ashley Wait-Woodcock and Woodbridge resident Rick Goldstein.

The Sept. 26 annual meeting of the Westchase Community Association (WCA), previously postponed due to Hurricane Irma, saw a seat change on the Westchase association’s governing body. The annual meeting of the Westchase Voting Members (VMs), run by Nominating Committee Chair Keith Heinemann, saw five residents, including three board incumbents, throw their hats into the contest. Reelected to another two-year term were Greens resident Joaquin Arrillaga and Woodbridge resident Rick Goldstein. Joining them is newcomer Ashley Wait-Woodcock of The Bridges.

WCA Board Adopts 2018 Budget

At their Sept. 14 meeting the Westchase Community Association (WCA) Board of Directors voted to approve the association’s 2018 budget, which includes a $13 dollar increase in the annual assessment.

WCA Budget Workshop Projects $13 HOA Assessment Increase

The Sept. 5 Westchase Community Association (WCA) annual budget workshop combed through a draft of 2018’s $1.5 million budget prepared by Association Manager Debbie Sainz before landing on a new assessment for Westchase homeowners. At $275 the 2018 assessment represents a $13 – or 5 percent – increase over this year’s assessment.

WOW Issues Correction on Storm Surge Evacuation Maps

If you’re basing your judgment of your evacuation zone based on the maps printed in June’s WOW, it’s time to look again. Each year in preparation for our June 1 edition, WOW examines Hillsborough County’s evacuation maps. We did so again in early May this year. Unfortunately, Hillsborough County then made adjustments to their online evacuation maps after the June WOW went to print.

WOW 2017 Scholars: Nicholas Fata, Teresa Manipadam and Julia Hossain

Julia Hossain

In June WOW announced the nine Westchase seniors selected as our 2017 WOW Scholars. This month we offer the final three profiles of our scholarship class. We introduce Nicholas Fata, Teresa Manipadam and Julia Hossain.

Relay for Life Keeps Vigil

The Westchase community continued its decade-long tradition by staging the all-night Relay for Life fundraiser event at Davidsen Middle School over April 28 and 29. It celebrated cancer survivors, remembered those who lost the fight and provided hope for people who are battling the disease.

Rotary Pub Crawl April 29

The Rotary Club of Tampa Westchase has announced its 10th Annual Pre-Cinco de Mayo Pub Crawl. The crawl has been the club’s most popular event within the Westchase community. In 2016 the Westchase Rotary, along with the help of its sponsors and revelers, raised $11,000.

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.