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WCA Board Hears Positive Audit Report; Considers Fine Appeals

At the May 11, 2017, WCA board meeting Shires resident Crystal Hopkins asked the board to consider waiving the rental fee for the activity room at the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center.

She asked to use it for an event for her non-profit organization, Everly’s Angels, in October. She told board members that the organization had three missions, one of which is to support bereaved families who have lost a child. Hopkins said she wanted to hold a “Taboo Tea,” on Saturday, Oct. 14, in honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. “One out of four people experience child loss,” said Hopkins. “The event will be open to all residents of Westchase to have the opportunity for them to talk to each other and form new friendships.”

Hopkins said she chose the name for the event because child loss was a topic that people often felt taboo talking about.

Later in the meeting directors voted 5-1 to waive the fee for the group, with Westchase Community Association (WCA) Director Keith Heinemann casting the dissenting vote because the item was not on the meeting agenda. Director Brian Ross said he was initially opposed to the request because there were dozens of non-profits in Westchase but he was impressed that she was inviting everyone in Westchase to the tea and had changed his mind because it was a community-wide event.

Percy Legendre, Managing Partner with Bashor & Legendre, the association’s accounting firm, presented highlights from the association’s 2016 audit. He said the board was doing a good job of keeping association fees low while maintaining properties. WCA President Ruben Collazo thanked him for his presentation and said that the association’s state of finances was very good. 

Several residents attended the meeting to appeal their proposed fines for dead sod. A Bridges resident said she had re-sodded her yard three times before finally realizing the issue was the sprinkler system. She said that someone was coming out to fix the sprinkler the next week. All directors voted in favor of Ross’ motion to impose the fine but waive it if the problem was solved by May 31.

A Fords resident said his grass had died after an electrical outage turned his sprinkler system off. He said he had not realized the system was turned off until the grass started dying. After the system was back on, the grass still had not grown back and he had new sod put down in the entire yard. All directors voted in favor of Ross’ motion to waive the fine.

A third resident said he and his wife had moved in to their home in The Greens in January and that they knew they needed to fix the landscaping. He said they had tried several solutions to get grass to grow before finally realizing it was shade from a large oak tree that was preventing the grass from growing. He said they were in the process of getting approval from the Modifications Committee to remove the tree. He asked the board to waive their fine while they worked to find a long term solution to their landscaping problems. Director Joaquin Arrillaga said he was concerned with their plan because it seemed like it was a project that was going to take many months and that the solution needed to be quicker because the violation had been going on since February. Directors voted 5-1 to approve Ross’ motion to waive the fine if the violation was fixed by May 31. Director Chuck Hoppe cast the dissenting vote because he thought the homeowner was removing the wrong tree.

Directors voted to approve Ross’ motion to waive 90 percent of the fine for Wycliff homeowners who said the people renting their house were not aware that they could not park on the street. They said the renters now know the rules about parking and there had not been another violation.

A Woodbay resident asked the board to waive his fine for a violation concerning mulch and plantings. He said Community Association Manager Debbie Sainz had educated him about what needed to be done and now his yard was in compliance. Ross made a motion to deny the appeal but waive 90 percent of the fine. When the resident asked why, Ross replied that it was typical for the board to impose the $100 fine to cover legal and administrative costs. The resident said when the violations were brought to his attention, he had worked actively to fix the problem and didn’t see the need to impose the fine. He pointed out that earlier in the meeting the accountant had said that the board was doing fine financially. Collazo called for a vote and all directors voted in favor or Ross’ motion.

A new Woodbay resident asked the board to waive her fine for not having a screen around her water softener. She said that she was not aware of the rules when she moved into her house and that after she received her first notice, bought a fence to screen the equipment but then learned that the fence she had bought was not in compliance. She said she got approval for a different fence from the Modifications Committee but that it was too large when it was delivered. She said she was going to have to order a third fence. All voted in favor of Ross’ motion to table the appeal until the June WCA meeting.

All directors voted in favor of appointing CDD Director Barbara Griffith and WCA Director Chuck Hoppe to the Government Affairs Committee for terms of two years.

Collazo reported that Pridgen Development was planning to build 38 townhomes in West Park Village and that they had asked the WCA to annex the townhomes into Westchase.

Arrilaga said that several years ago the WCA had looked into putting a fence up around an area at the Swim and Tennis Center on Countryway. He asked the board to reconsider doing so. He said that the area was used by children at summer camp and that residents had been walking their dogs there but not picking up after them. Collazo asked Sainz to include it on the agenda for the June meeting.

The next WCA Board meeting is scheduled for June 8 at 7 p.m. at the WCA Offices at 10049 Parley Dr.

By Marcy Sanford

Posted May 15, 2017

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