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Stonebridge HOA Explores Owners’ Preferences for Adjacent Land Parcel

Gathering at the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center Monday, Sept. 30, Stonebridge homeowners discussed a 5.5-acre adjacent parcel of land on the eve of  the Westchase CDD’s vote on its purchase.

Stonebridge Villas Homeowners Association President Dave Bullard told the group that he wanted them to vote to determine the direction they preferred the Community Development District (CDD) take should it acquire the land. The gathering was triggered by the Sept. 27 release of a potential purchase contract by the district. Stonebridge residents met on the eve of CDD meeting where supervisors considered and ultimately approved the purchase of the land at a price of $217,600.

Previous owners’ past efforts to develop the parcel have resulted in a number of requests – and even a lawsuit – demanding access to the parcel through Stonebridge’s gated road.

In addition to the 24 Stonebridge homeowners present, Bullard had received four proxy votes. Stonebridge consists of 33 duplexes with 66 villas total.

Bullard presented the group with seven options and asked them to vote “Yes” (with conditions to be determined after the voting) or “No” (which indicated they didn’t agree under any conditions).

The first three options were based on the premise of Stonebridge’s Association purchasing the land from the CDD. Several homeowners in the audience pointed out that this option would raise their assessments due to the purchase price, insurance, closing costs, Realtor fees and maintenance. All Stonebridge owners present voted against the first two options. The first entailed Stonebridge Villas acquiring the property from the CDD and simply maintaining it in its current undeveloped condition to serve as a buffer. The second entailed Stonebridge Villas acquiring the property to develop for the recreational use of Stonebridge. The third option, that Stonebridge Villas acquire the property to resell exclusively for building a single-family executive home, split with a tie vote.

Bullard said that since none of these options had a majority vote, they would not ask the CDD about the possibility of Stonebridge acquiring the property.

The next four options homeowners considered were based on the CDD acquiring the property and absorbing all of its related costs, ultimately paid for by Westchase-wide property assessments. Bullard had not received any proxy votes for these options and several people present abstained from voting.

Twenty-one owners voted in favor of the CDD acquiring the property to hold in its current condition to serve as a buffer. Three voted no to this option. Bullard cautioned the participants that this option had a very low possibility of happening.

Seventeen people voted yes to the CDD acquiring the property and developing it for the recreational use of just Stonebridge Villas’ residents. Six voted no. Again, Bullard cautioned them that there was little chance this would happen.

Sixteen owners voted in support of the CDD acquiring the property to develop for recreational use by all Westchase residents with the condition that people using the property not access the land through Stonebridge. Six owners voted against this option.

Last, 20 Stonebridge owners voted in support of the CDD acquiring the property to resell exclusively for building one single-family executive home and allowing access to the property through Stonebridge. Three people voted in opposition.

Bullard concluded by stating a representative from Stonebridge’s HOA would present this information to the CDD at its Oct. 1 meeting.

By Marcy Sanford

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