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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.

The mailbox votes represent initial approvals and the proposed mailbox guideline changes will require another affirmative vote on Aug. 20 before they are officially adopted.

VM Cynde Mercer (The Bridges) then updated Westchase Voting Members (VMs) about a proposed development on a plot of land adjacent to Sturbridge, Stonebridge and Davidsen Middle School. Mercer explained that the developer plans to build 220 townhome units there. She said, in her opinion, the developer has “bent over backwards to take care of the residents' concerns.” The main concern that could not be addressed, she added, concerned traffic. Mercer stated Bridges residents are very concerned about traffic on Montague Street because the children who will live in the townhomes will be zoned to attend Westchase Elementary and Davidsen Middle School. At one point, a gate was proposed which would allow the children attending Davidsen Middle School to walk to the school from the homes. Hillsborough County School District, however, rejected the idea for safety reasons. These children will therefore need to ride a bus or be driven to school. Mercer’s residents complained that the traffic along Montague during school drop-off and pick-up hours makes it difficult for them to get in or out of their neighborhoods. Mercer said that there will be further discussions about traffic in the future but the problem has not yet been solved.

Westchase Community Association (WCA) President Joaquin Arrillaga then directed the group’s attention to a proposed amendment to the Westchase-wide color palette guideline. The proposed change, he explained, would specify colors for painting West Park Village porches. After some discussion, VM Kathy Carlsen (Glencliff) said, “It feels to me that we need a guideline for porches, stoops, etc. that covers all of Westchase.”

VM Carlos Quiros (Villas of West Park Village) agreed and suggested more general verbiage and the VMs voted unanimously to approve it for communication and possible acceptance at next month’s meeting. Sub-associations such as the Villas of West Park Village have their own approved color palette which is applicable to them.

VM Ira Hoffman (Woodbay) suggested there is also a need for an approved color palette for pavers used on walkways and driveways. VMs agreed, noting that they had seen a few homes with green, blue and pink pavers. Hoffman said that he owns a pool company and volunteered to head up a committee since he is familiar with pavers. Quiros added, “I believe the Modifications Committee has already started on this.”

Arillaga suggested that Hoffman work with the committee since they receive homeowners’ requests. As a starting point, Hoffman suggested that acceptable sidewalk and driveway pavers should be blends of colors as opposed to solid colors. Mercer, who also volunteered for Hoffman’s committee, suggested taking black out as a permitted color. Hoffman agreed, then added, “It’s also best to say no to travertine [for sidewalks and driveways].”

VM Mary Griffin (Single Family Homes), who helped develop the initial color palette for home exteriors, also offered to help. Arrillaga concluded by noting the association permits some sand driveways, so the group should include specifications for acceptable colors for that finish if needed.

Arrillaga closed the meeting by reminding VMs to let their neighborhoods know about the pool party held Saturday, July 13. He also announced that new hand scanners had been ordered for pool and tennis court access and residents will be able to get registered on the new systems soon.

VMs adjourned at 7:42 p.m.

By Brenda Bennett

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