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Directors Address Improper Team Use of Tennis Courts

The February meeting of the Westchase Community Association (WCA) Board saw directors tackle a landscaping and drainage contract and address improper usage of Westchase tennis courts by teams.

Opening the meeting, Community Association Manager Debbie Sainz told directors that summer camp registration was already underway. She said that repeated requests and questions about camp registration had prompted them to begin the registration process.

She also reported that 802 violation notices had been sent out in January and that 36 new homeowners had moved into Westchase. She said that there were still 661 homeowners who had not paid their annual homeowner assessments, constituting 19 percent of Westchase homeowners.

Sainz said that she had sent out a request for bids for post-tensioned concrete tennis courts for the QuickStart courts at the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center on Countryway Boulevard as well as bids to stake the courts to prevent potential drainage issues.

Later in the meeting directors voted 6-1, with Director Brian Ross casting the dissenting vote, to accept Davey Commercial Grounds Management’s bid to relocate palm trees, re-sod, and build two drainage swales on the land surrounding the tennis courts at the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center on Countryway. Ross had questioned whether it was wise to accept a bid when work on the courts and drainage stakes might affect the landscaping. Arrillaga indicated that the two were separate issues and one would not affect the other’s bid.

Government Affairs Committee (GAC) Chair Joe Odda, also a WCA director, presented a report to the board that included updates on the Go Hillsborough Transportation initiative. The report indicated that in the next few months the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners would begin making decisions about the Go Hillsborough plan and a possible voter referendum on a half-cent sales tax increase. Director Ruben Collazo asked if GAC would be asking the board to take a formal position on the referendum. Odda responded that the board had been implicitly in favor of the tax but if the board wanted a formal position, one could be developed.

Glencliff’s Voting Member, Ed Fugit, and its financial manager, Ken Blair, asked the board’s permission to present options to Glencliff homeowners regarding what to do with that neighborhood’s retained earnings. Glencliff is a subset of the WCA and therefore WCA Directors have to approve changes to its budget or operating functions. Directors agreed that Fugit and Blair should present several options to Glencliff homeowners and then present their request to the board with the understanding that any professional fees accrued from handling the matter be paid out of Glencliff’s budget.

Arrillaga said that it had come to his attention that one resident was using false addresses and names to reserve courts for his tennis team. He said that when it was pointed out to the resident that the team needed to be a Westchase team to comply with insurance requirements, the resident had sent a request to the board asking to establish a new 5.0 USTA men’s tennis team; however, out of the 12 team members, only one is a Westchase resident. Directors approved Brian Ross’ motion to deny the request because the team did not meet the WCA requirements that 50 percent of team members and the team captain be Westchase residents. 

Arrillaga also told directors that tennis coaches and swim and tennis center employees had brought it to his attention that there was a youth tennis team comprised of approximately 75 percent Westchase residents who were not registered as a Westchase team but were holding regularly scheduled tennis matches on Westchase courts. He said that when told that they could not hold group lessons without a Westchase tennis coach present, they had said they would contact Coach Derrick Rodriguez. To date, however, they had not done so. Arrillaga reported that parents were dropping their children off for the team meetings and leaving. He said that the participants would not be covered under the WCA’s insurance and therefore there was a liability issue. He asked directors what position the board would like to take on the matter.

Collazo asked how this differed from parents getting together with their children’s friends to play on the courts. He said if they are residents, they pay for the courts and are entitled to use them. Arrillaga responded that the problem was they were doing so on a weekly basis.

Odda said if anyone is, on a regular basis, organizing, training, teaching, or evaluating kids or adults on an independent basis, they are in conflict with the association’s programs and should be asked to stop.

Arrillaga said the rules state that they the tennis players cannot give the appearance of teaching and that Westchase residents needed to be protected from liability issues.

All voted in favor of Ross’ motion to empower Arrillaga to send a message on the board’s behalf asking the team to discontinue any organized team activity due to insurance reasons.

Arrillaga reported that the association’s legal counsel had recommended that the association begin getting signed waivers for every person using the tennis ball machine and not allowing one person to sign the machine out and then use it for a group activity.

Arrillaga said that last year the board had asked a consultant to prepare an employee performance evaluation form to use for employee reviews. He presented the prepared document with an accompanying manual and instructions to directors. Directors agreed to table approval of the form until they had had the chance to review it more fully and to ask for input from Operations Manager Kelly Shires and other employees.

Director Rick Goldstein said he had been asked what could be done about a significant water drainage issue on hole 15 of the Westchase Golf Course. He said Glencliff residents who were affected by the standing, stagnant water had asked the golf course to do something but had not gotten any response. Directors told Goldstein that the residents and he should contact the CDD.

Arrillaga gave directors copies of proposed changes to the association’s contract with Greenacre Properties, Inc, which provides the association’s managers. He asked directors to review the contract for the next WCA meeting. The changes address staffing responsibilities in the WCA office and are expected to result in a decrease in the contract’s costs.

Turning to their monthly review of unresolved deed restriction violations, directors voted in favor of Ross’ motion to suspend fines for 27 homes where the owners had corrected their violations and impose the maximum fines and suspend facility use for 18 homes where the violations had not been corrected. All also voted in favor of his motion to suspend the fines for eight homes but reinstate the fines and suspend facility use if the violations are not corrected by March 1 and his motion to give two homeowners more time to correct their violations. Violations included dead sod, trash cans in view, discolored sidewalks, mailboxes, houses, and fences, garden ornaments, weeds in landscape beds, and dead plants and shrubs. 

The next board meeting is scheduled for March 10, at 7 p.m., at the WCA Offices at 10049 Parley Dr.

By Marcy Sanford

Posted 15 February 2016

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