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WCA Board Addresses Liability Wavers and New Bid for Tennis Cabana

Feb. 12 also saw WCA Directors hearing a series of homeowner appeals of fines for deed restriction violations.

Opening the session, Westchase Community Association (WCA) Board Vice President Ken Blair presented Dale and Nancy Sells with the Nathan Lafer Good Neighbor. February's WOW previously announced the award.

After board members voted to lift Stonebridge sub-association’s six-month suspension of use of the WCA meeting room due to their failure to set the building alarm properly, Government Affairs Committee Chair Joe Odda reported that to date 748 people had signed a petition asking the county government to repave the roads of Westchase. He said the committee’s goal was to have 1,500 signatures by Feb. 24.

Odda also reported that Hillsborough County’s Transportation for Economic Development initiative would be holding 36 public meetings beginning February 17 through the end of May. (See article, page 15.)

Odda said the county would be holding a public meeting about a proposed dog park on March 26 at the Upper Tampa Bay (UTB) Library. Odda stated current considered locations were Westwood Lakes Park, the Northwest HART Transfer Station on Waters Avenue, land adjacent to the Northwest YMCA on Waters Avenue and Wood Lake Park. Odda encouraged residents to attend the meeting to let county representatives know their thoughts about the dog park.

After voting in favor of re-appointing Carlos Quiros to the Modifications Committee, the board heard two different homeowners’ fine appeals. A Harbor Links resident stated he did not want to power wash his roof again because the last time he did, several tiles broke, causing leaks. He said that after receiving the recent violation, he used a natural chemical that eats algae but that it takes time for it to work. Stating the first violation was in August, Ross said, “During that time your neighbors were complying by the same rules. Our challenge is how to keep the community spirit and not just accept that you had good intentions.”

When Blair noted the resident had answered each violation notice by applying another treatment, directors voted 5-1 with Arrillaga casting the dissenting vote to suspend the violation as long as it does not reoccur within two years.

The board next heard from a Greens resident who had installed a new pool heat pump that was not completely shielded from view. The resident said he had planted plants but was waiting for them to mature. Ross pointed out that the first violation was given in July and that if he had planted plants when he received the first notice, they would be mature by now. Board members voted 4-2, with Arrilaga and Blair dissenting, to suspend the fine provided the heat pump is screened with mature plants in 21 days and that the violation not reoccur within 24 months.

Community Association Manager Debbie Sainz reported that the tennis courts at West Park Village had been repaved. She said that the fencing at the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center had been repaired and that once construction on the center’s Tennis Cabana was complete, they would finish resurfacing the courts there.

Several months ago WCA board members discussed the WCA program liability waivers. Association employees had told the board there were too many different waivers to keep track of and had asked for one blanket waiver that could be signed online. The WCA’s legal counsel wrote one blanket waiver but said he did not recommend only getting online signatures. Director Kathy Carlsen asked why, if the association pays employees to administer the programs, could the employees not be held accountable for the paperwork. Arrillaga said that the employees felt that having multiple waivers left room for error and that the online waivers were easier to keep track of. Director Dyan Pithers said that she agreed that people should be signing waivers in person while Operations Manager Kelly Shires told the board that most big recreational facilities had one blanket waiver for the whole year. All board members, except Carlsen, agreed to Ross’ motion that the discussion be tabled until next month to allow staff to conduct more research and make recommendations. That motion included a suggestion by Arrillaga that the association continue to use the new online waiver form for the next month.

After the previous winning bidder could not complete the work because he was not properly licensed as a commercial builder, directors voted 3-2-1 to accept the $98,150 bid from Prado Construction to build the Tennis Cabana at the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center. Directors Keith Heinemann and Pithers cast the dissenting votes and Arrillaga abstained. Heinemann did not make any comments explaining his opposition while Pithers preferred going with another bidder, Sierra Construction. While Sierra’s work was more expensive, Pithers stated she felt they might be more reputable. Arrillaga abstained because of a personal relationship with the bidder. 

All board members approved replacing the chemical controller at the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center pool and purchasing a new pool cleaner with a caddy cart so that each pool would have one.

Board members voted 5-1, with Carlsen casting the dissenting vote, to accept Ross’ motion to hire national consulting firm F&H Solutions Group to develop an employee handbook and performance management process with the understanding that F&H take time to talk to each director.

The WCA Board meetings are open to the public. The next one is scheduled for March 12 at 7 p.m. at the WCA offices at 10049 Parley Dr.

By Marcy Sanford

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