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VM Committees Report on Potential Rules Changes

The August Voting Member (VM) meeting started with VMs and audience members entering their choices about Tampa Bay Area’s Long-Range Transportation Plan into the site, itstimetampabay.org.

Lisa Silva, Principal Planner with the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), informed the group that every five years, the MPO updates its long range transportation plan, which was last updated for 2040 (See http://www.planhillsborough.org/plan2040/) and it’s now time for the 2045 horizon. Silva, who lives in West Park Village, said that the number of residents in the Bay Area are expected to grow by another 1 million by 2045, which makes this planning critical. Residents are encouraged to enter their feedback online.

The next agenda item, a paint palette guideline change for the Reserve at West Park Village, had previously come before the VMs for a vote, but it had not been properly noticed in the World of Westchase so the initial approval vote was retaken. All approved except Cynde Mercer, who had opposed it in previous votes as well.

The final vote for the new metal roof guideline passed with a unanimous vote as did the reappointment of former Variance Committee members Ruben Collazo, Brian Loudermilk, Shawn Yesner and an architect from Gritton & Associations. VM Mary Griffin (Single Family Homes of West Park Village) quickly volunteered for the open vacancy and was unanimously approved. Minor additional amendments to the Westchase Community Association’s (WCA) Board of Director Elections Procedures were also approved by the VMs. That election is Sept. 11.

Brian Loudermilk, Drainage Committee Chair, gave the group an update on what the committee had learned thus far. The first thing they had done was try to find the reason for the specific turf requirements which are in the current Residential Guidelines:

Guideline 2.2.5, located under the heading, General Landscaping and Maintenance Requirements, reads, “Landscape maintenance shall include quality maintenance of all trees, shrub, ground cover, annuals, turf grass, irrigation systems, treatment of any disease, fungus or pest and periodic fertilization.” It continues, “Turf areas shall be regularly cut and edged to maintain a consistent appearance of quality. All perimeter side and rear lot lines shall be bordered by a three foot (3’) turf strip to reduce storm water runoff and potential ponding of water. Mulch or any mulch product shall not be used in lieu of turf areas along the perimeter of the lot.”

The committee also hired an engineering firm to assist them. They researched the developer’s history, the WCA’s Florida Friendly Guidelines and county land codes and could not find the reason for the turf specification. In the past, some residents have tried to resolve the issue of muddy or swampy side yards by putting in a walk way. Loudermilk explained that the committee is continuing to look at input provided by the engineer, such as pervious concrete which absorb water, but they are recommending that the guideline be changed. Current Modifications Committee members Dale Sells and Forrest Baumhover (VM, Kingsford) weighed in, noting that the specifications for materials and solutions must be documented in the guidelines since their committee can only approve what is written in them. Loudermilk said they are looking at requiring that homeowners who want to implement some sort of solution must develop design plans and may be required to have gutters.

Paint Palette chair Nancy Sells updated the group on her committee’s progress, noting, “The committee was tasked with amending the guidelines for the use of color, not to redo the palette. This is based on what people have asked for time to time.”

She explained two suggested changes. The first was to allow up to four (4) colors per unit when it has shutters. The second is to allow the use of trim colors for front doors.

VM Eric Holt (Radcliff) gave the group an update on the Freebooters Krewe of Westchase. He said the krewe had had a very successful season, adding, “Our parade float worked out beautifully.” (The float’s name is The Montague.)

Holt announced the krewe has decided to expand their roster with ten available spots for which they are recruiting. Holt went on to say that they are becoming formal business partners with Davidsen Middle School and Westchase Elementary. He noted that the krewe’s Charity Golf Tournament will take place Oct. 5 and they are looking for sponsors. He said the organization hopes it will be a big event so that they can donate back to the schools.

VMs adjourned at 8:02 p.m.

By Brenda Bennett

Posted Aug. 16, 2018

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