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WCA Board Handles Resident Fine Appeals and Tennis Court Usage Rules

Trash can troubles, tennis program growing pains, and a request for an extended POD stay were topics at the March 12 Westchase Community Association (WCA) Board meeting.

WCA Vice President Ken Blair chaired the meeting in WCA President Joaquin Arrillaga’s absence. Directors Kathy Carlsen and Brian Ross were also absent.

Harbor Links residents asked the board to extend the time they could place a POD storage unit in front of their home from one week to four weeks. The residents said that they were replacing the floors in their home and the contractor had estimated that the project would take three weeks. The residents said they had a very long driveway and that the POD would be placed close to their home on the driveway.

Board treasurer Dyan Pithers said that she had replaced the floors in her home and had moved furniture from room to room to comply with the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CCRs), which state that storage containers can only be in front of homes for one week. She said that she did not think that it was a good idea to make an exception because then it was difficult to enforce the community’s rules.

The residents said that there was a house down the street from them with construction going on and that there was a huge dumpster and a toilet in the front yard that had been there for a month. Blair pointed out that the CCRs state that there is an exception for construction.

At that point the residents walked out of the meeting before a motion about their request could be made.

Board members heard from residents from The Fords and the Bridges who had received violation notices for exposed trashcans. The Fords resident said that she did not want to put her trashcan in her garage because she previously had a rodent problem. She said that the trashcans were concealed by hedges until she cut them back to prevent break-ins and that once the hedges were trimmed, the trashcans could be seen from the street. She stated she remedied the problem by requesting smaller trashcans from Republic Services and they were now fully hidden behind the hedges.

The Fords resident said that he had been confused by the first notices – thinking that he had received them because the trashcans had not been put away in an expedient manner and that he had no idea that the trashcans were supposed to be hidden from view. Blair told him that the CCRs stated that trashcans should be hidden from view and that they should only be placed out from 6 p.m. the night before trash service until 6 p.m. the day of service. The resident said that he understood now and that the trash cans were hidden from view.

Board members voted unanimously to suspend both fines as long as they do not reoccur within 12 months.

Board members discussed an appeal from a West Park Village resident concerning a portable air conditioning unit placed in the windows of the townhouse. The resident sent a letter stating that she did not live on the property and that a contractor had placed the units in the windows and then did not remove them. The fine remained when the board took no action.

Government Affairs Committee (GAC) Chair Joe Odda reported that 927 people had signed a petition asking the county government to repave Westchase roads. All directors voted to approve a letter stating that the WCA supports the petition and Westchase residents. Odda, Arrillaga, Radcliffe Voting Member Eric Holt and former WCA director and previous GAC Chair Darrick Sams will present the letter and the petition to county commissioners on Monday, March 16.

Odda reported on the first GO Hillsborough open house/workshop he attended on Feb. 19. The public meetings, aimed at developing a county transportation plan, were established by the Hillsborough County Transportation for Economic Development. (See article, page 14.)

Odda added that the county would be holding a public meeting about a proposed area dog park on March 26 at the Upper Tampa Bay (UTB) library. He said that Hillsborough county staff had narrowed the choices down to three locations: Westwood Lakes Park, the Northwest HART Transfer Station on Waters Avenue, and land adjacent to the Northwest YMCA on Waters Avenue. Odda said that residents of Westwood Lakes had told the Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department that they did not want the dog park in their area. He encouraged all Westchase residents to attend the meeting to make their opinions known.

Community Association Manager Debbie Sainz reported that she was working with contractors to begin renovations to the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center tennis courts and construction of the tennis cabana there. She said that every effort would be made to keep the disruption to tennis players to a minimum. She stated they hoped to start renovations on the courts April 1.

Sainz also reported that the Westchase summer activity camps were open for registration. Camps will start June 8 with full and half-days available. To sign up, visit http://www.westchasewca.com

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Swim and Tennis Center Operations Manager Kelly Shires told the board that the Westchase tennis court usage rules needed revising due to the program’s popularity. The rules previously stated that two courts at each facility should be left open for resident reservations. Shires asked for more court usage for tournaments. During the earlier resident forum, Swim and Tennis Center Committee member Mary Turnbull asked the board to keep the rules as they were so that residents would be able to play tennis.

Blair said that he was very happy that the program was so successful but that the residents should be able to use Westchase amenities. He wondered if the timeframe for tournaments could be extended. Pithers suggested that instead of reserving two courts at each location, all four open resident courts be maintained at West Park Village, thus allowing the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center courts for tournaments.

She added that the issue had come up several times during her board tenure. She said that the board served the residents and that she did not think allowing the tournament program to reserve all the courts was serving the residents. She said that they had to find a balance between supporting both residents and the tennis teams and programs.  Odda made a motion to allow the use of all six courts at the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center for tournaments two days a month for no more than four hours. Pithers said she didn’t think they needed to put a time or day limit on it and amended the motion to state that four courts be available at all times for residents. All board members voted in favor of the amended motion to allow the tennis program to use the courts at either location based on need as long as at least four courts were kept open for residents.

Tennis Pro Roberto Calla pointed out that there was also an issue because they needed to use all the courts for student lessons. The board said that was a separate issue and encouraged Shires to present a proposal for daily court usage at the next meeting.

Director and WOW WCA representative Keith Heinemann recommended reappointing Jonathan Stein and Teresa Trubilla to the WOW Board. He said that while someone with a very impressive resume had volunteered, he felt the current board worked really well together to produce a great product.

All board members voted to accept the association’s insurance policy from Lanier Upshaw.

At the end of the meeting Mary Griffin told the board that she was disappointed that they had a habit of suspending violation fines that the Covenants Committee had upheld. Pithers said that the board appreciated the Covenants Committee’s work but that she felt the board’s responsibility was to make sure residents followed the rules, not fine them.

The WCA Board meetings are open to the public. The next one is scheduled for April 9 at 7 p.m. at the WCA offices at 10049 Parley Dr.

By Marcy Sanford

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