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Short CDD Meeting Tackles Survey Points and Food Truck Rally

February’s meeting of the Westchase CDD reinforced the district’s historic position of declining any use of Westchase park land that primarily benefits commercial interests.

Gathering on Tuesday, Feb. 3, supervisors of the Westchase Community Development District (CDD) cleaned up their financial books by addressing unallocated expenses related to the installation of new survey datum points in recently repaved roads in Stonebridge, The Greens and Harbor Links/The Estates. The points are used to shoot surveys of property lines. Supervisors voted unanimously to allocate $2,500 in Stonebridge funds for the work there. The board will address costs related to The Greens and Harbor Links/The Estates when work is completed there at an estimated $70 per hour.

The CDD maintains West Park’s alleys and roads within gated neighborhoods and homeowners pay additional CDD assessments for their costs.

With supervisors’ recent finalization of the contract for their parks improvement plan, CDD Attorney Erin McCormick suggested the board ask Stantec, which won the contract, to make recommendations for enhanced signage delineating park rules. Supervisors asked CDD Office Administrator Sonny Whyte to highlight needed rules for McCormick’s review.

Supervisors also passed a clarifying motion stipulating that the newly approved Greens gatehouse contract with Securitas, establishing an 80-cents-per-hour increase to cover mandated health insurance coverage for employees, be made retroactive to Jan. 1. Supervisors voted 4-1 for the motion, with Supervisor Brian Ross opposed. Ross stated that during the passage of the original contract requested by Securitas he had made a mental note that Securitas had not specified a retroactive Jan. 1 start date. District Manager Andy Mendenhall, however, stated that Securitas’ original written request had indicated the date.

Supervisors spent the balance of their 35-minute meeting addressing a request by Greens resident Gabriel Arrillaga Pedrosa to hold a food truck rally in conjunction with the WCA’s Movie in the Park on March 13 at the Montague Street green. Arrillaga Pedrosa stated that a portion of the funds would benefit the USF Boricua Students Association’s efforts to raise funds for Bulls for Kids, which does fundraising for All Children’s Hospital.

Under the proposed plan, the trucks would pull up to the curb and serve food onto the park land between the sidewalk and street.

Supervisors took no action on the request, however. They stated that while a portion of funds from food truck sales would benefit a charity, most would go to the for-profit food trucks, violating the district’s policy of not using park lands for for-profit activities. Westchase Community Association (WCA) Director Kathy Carlsen, however, stated that similar activity was occurring already, with hot dog vendors pulling up on the road alongside the park during movie nights. She also pointed out that ice cream trucks were frequent visitors to Baybridge and Glencliff Parks. CDD Chair Mark Ragusa, however, stated that the district’s off-duty deputy patrol would be reminded of the district’s policy and would enforce any encountered violations. Arrillaga Pedrosa was encouraged, however, to explore closing down the Brompton Drive road in front of the West Park Village leasing office to allow the trucks to serve items directly onto the publicly owned road.

Closing discussion, Chair Ragusa passed on a commendation from residents for CDD Field Manager Doug Mays. Ragusa also asked staff to address illegal parking on Countryway Boulevard’s right of way adjacent to Glencliff Park’s party pavilions. He stated he had recently encountered a large pickup truck parked a third of the way onto the road during a party there.

Supervisors adjourned at 4:35 p.m. The CDD holds it meetings on the first Tuesday of the month at 4 p.m. at the WCA office building on Parley Drive. Residents are welcome to attend.

By Christopher Barrett, Publisher

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Letters to the Editor, June 2014

Over-Extended Authority?

I object to the wording of the proposed amendment to Article IV, Section 2 of the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CCRs), which Westchase Voting Members will consider at their June 10 meeting. (The proposed amendments ran in April’s and May’s WOW and were mailed to residents in April). It states, “In an emergency situation, the Association may go onto the Owner’s Unit without notice to correct the problem.”

The rationale for my opposition is that there is no situation that would warrant the management or board to enter onto my property without giving me prior notification and without seeking my consent. The right to respond to an emergency without consent is reserved by proper authority, which in this case is Hillsborough County Emergency Services (fire/rescue and sheriff).

All other issues fall into the category of non-emergency situations and require the Westchase Community Association (WCA) Board to do its due diligence and make every reasonable attempt to contact a homeowner to correct the situation. Numerous people agreed at the Westchase Voting Members (VMs) meeting it would take days for the board to respond to an emergency so there would not be any situation that is an "emergency," requiring the board to enter onto my property. It was my understanding that this amendment was changed to give the association greater latitude in fixing issues with abandoned properties. If so, the wording should be reflected in the CCRs and not so loosely defined as to give enormous power to a non-government entity to enter on a homeowner's property without their notification or their consent.

So the pertinent questions are: Why does the HOA need to be involved in "emergency" situations when that is the responsibility of the county emergency services with legal authority? If they accept that they are never going to respond to emergency situations as defined above, then why do they need to use the term "emergency" in the amendment? The proposed wording in the amendment gives wide berth to the HOA to operate. Bottom line: If there is a true emergency, which is usually defined as "life or limb," then county emergency services should be called. All other situations can wait until the HOA contacts the homeowner to fix the issue.

Dave Horwitz, The Bridges

WOW welcomes letters to the editor of no more than 500 words. They may be edited for grammar, brevity and clarity and should include the writer’s name, address and phone number for verification. Letters may be submitted to editor@westchasewow.com.

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Letters from Our Readers, February 2013

Coach Allen’s Mom Says Thanks

Thank you to all the parents and swimmers for your prayers, cards and generosity. I enjoyed all the Kelley stories you shared. Kelley also gave me "free advice," such as when I told him the Orlando Y had ordered new blocks. He asked, "How old are you, Mom?"

When I responded, "72," he said, "I would advise against changing your start on those new blocks."

Now I'll have to do it just to show him. I think he forgot who taught him how to swim. Kelley's dad and I were both lifeguards and swimming instructors, so his love of the water started when he was a toddler.

I also thank Brenda Bennett for the very nice article about my son. I'll be looking in the newspapers’ sports section for the names of "his kids."

Jean Allen,
Coach Kelley's Mom Forever

Save the Volleyball Court

I read in January’s WOW that the Westchase Community Association (WCA) is taking out the beach volleyball court at the Swim and Tennis Center because it’s “infrequently used.”

I know for a fact that the sand volleyball court is actually used frequently. All my friends and I are volleyball players. It’s the only place we’re able to practice. The Long Center (where we have club practice) has a volleyball net, but you have to have a Long Center membership. Some of us do not have the money for membership or the time to drive 45 minutes every time we want to practice volleyball.

The beach volleyball court is within walking distance. While you could say we should get our own net, some don't have the money to buy one. Whenever I go over to the beach volleyball courts, I usually see other people playing there too. Most of Westchase teenagers play there and teams practice there for tournaments.

If you want a petition to keep the volleyball court, I could get one with however many people you want to sign it. While the WCA is planning to put in two smaller kids’ tennis courts, I see almost no people at the tennis courts on a regular basis and I live right across the street.

I speak for all Westchase teens/kids when I say that we shouldn't get rid of the sand volleyball courts.

Maggie McKee, 14
Berkeley Square

COMMENTS

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Golf Carts and Morning Show Magic

Illegal Golf Cart Use

I have long been troubled by the staff of West Park Village Apartments routinely operating golf carts on the streets of West Park Village. These golf carts are used to transport prospective renters to view apartments and by maintenance personnel conducting maintenance on their apartments throughout the neighborhood.

Per Florida Statute 316.212, the operation of a golf cart upon the public roads or streets of this state is prohibited, except when operated on a street designated by the county for use by golf carts and with signs posted indicating such operation is allowed.

I have found no evidence that Hillsborough County has authorized golf cart operation on the public streets of West Park Village nor are there any such signs posted. The statute provides other exceptions such as in retirement communities, in mobile home parks, state parks. None of these, however, seem apply to West Park Village.

Gary Konopka, The Greens

WOW Thanked for TV Studio Equipment

The students at Alonso have really benefited from all the support WOW has given to us. The entire school watches the morning show every day and they love it. In addition, the kids producing the show are getting some fantastic experience using the latest digital video production equipment.

The kids made a video thank you and also wanted me to pass along a sample morning show. Simply log on to http://vimeo.com/35951376 to view it. If you visit our new homepage, http://alonso.mysdhc.org you w,ill also see a link on top and on the right for the morning show. There you will find our archived shows – which your donation made possible – uploaded to watch online.

None of this would be possible without your support so thanks again from all of us!

Steve Fisher, Alonso Technology Resource Teacher


WOW welcomes letters to the editor on all issues. Letters should be no more than 500 words; may be edited for grammar, brevity and clarity; and should include the writer’s name, address and phone number for verification. Letters may be submitted via e-mail to editor@westchasewow.com or mailed to 12157 W. Linebaugh Ave., PMB #224, Tampa, FL 33626.

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Letters to the Editor, March 2012: Soccer Parking and WOW Thanks

WSA Worried About Loss of Park

As a volunteer who has been serving the community by organizing the Westchase Soccer Association’s (WSA) programs for the past 12 years, I am very disheartened by what transpired at the March CDD meeting.

The CDD put WSA on notice that if it cannot resolve the overflow parking issue in the Glencliff neighborhood during its soccer season, WSA may lose access to Glencliff Park. I feel that WSA became “collateral damage” in a fight against soccer shade structures that were planned for Glencliff Park. WSA did not request these structures! WSA’s program ended in November and WSA is not contributing to the current problems the Glencliff residents are experiencing on Saturdays and Sundays during our off season.

Some CDD supervisors, however, expressed that they are not in favor of WSA’s use of Glencliff Park to run its programs. With no suitable field space available near the community, it would be a huge disappointment to families and a disservice to the community if WSA loses access to Glencliff Park.

WSA will continue to make every effort to manage the overflow parking issue during its season, with support from the volunteer coaches and hundreds of families who enjoy WSA’s existence in the community.

Margot Pinheiro, The Fords

Thanks for Donation

I want to thank you so much for your donation to The Amazing Race for Life. Your donation helped pay for the participants’ T-shirts and helped make our event a huge success. Together we raised $4,755 for The American Cancer Society. That was my biggest year yet. I cannot thank you enough for your support! We couldn't have done it without you.

Thanks again.

Brett Steinfeld, Stamford

Letters Policy

WOW welcomes letters to the editor on all issues. Letters should be no more than 500 words; may be edited for grammar, brevity and clarity; and should include the writer’s name, address and phone number for verification. Letters may be submitted via e-mail to editor@westchasewow.com or mailed to 12157 W. Linebaugh Ave., PMB #224, Tampa, FL 33626.

COMMENTS

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West Park Speeding Concerns Reader

Slow Down


We have a serious speeding problem here in West Park Village. From my observations, about one of every three to four cars are speeding. As anyone can tell, this is a very congested residential area with numerous kids, strollers and pets.

What also shocks me is the age of some of these reckless individuals. When I grew up, it was only the occasional teenager that would be seen speeding in a residential neighborhood. They were young and reckless and had little regard for public safety. Now half of the people I see speeding are 30-, 40-, and 50-somethings and they should especially know better.

The official speed limit here is 20 miles per hour. Considering the congestion of on-street parking, I personally think that it should be lowered 15 miles per hour. Besides, most people have a habit of going just a bit over any speed limit. If you impose a speed limit of 15 miles per hour, most will go at least 20 miles per hour, and so on.

It might also help if we posted the speed limit more. From I can tell there are few to no posted speed limit signs.

What will it take for people to start observing the speed limit, a person, a child or pet being run over?

Slow down before you kill somebody!

Daniel Blanner, West Park Village

WOW welcomes letters to the editor on all issues. Letters should be no more than 500 words; may be edited for grammar, brevity and clarity; and should include the writer’s name, address and phone number for verification. Anonymous letters will not be considered. Letters may be submitted via e-mail to editor@westchasewow.com or mailed to 12157 W. Linebaugh Ave., PMB #224, Tampa, FL 33626.

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