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WCA Board Touts Tennis Tournament Success and Resolves Estoppel Fees

January’s WCA Board meeting saw directors praise organizers of the Westchase Open and resolve a five-month discussion on fees surrounding estoppels.

The Jan. 11 meeting also saw board members withdraw support for a West Park Village resident who has complained about music coming from Seafood Exchange’s patio.

Appearing before the board was Westchase Open Tennis Tournament organizer Eric Pogue and Westchase Charitable Foundation President Sean O’Donnell, the beneficiary of the event that worked with Pogue to organize it.

“Gentlemen,” said Westchase Community Association (WCA) President Ruben Collazo,
“That really was a great event.”

Collazo added, “You and your team pulled off one of the best events we have had here in a very long time.”

The tournament, held the weekend of Jan. 6, raised $15,000, three times its goal, to benefit the WCF, a local non-profit that assists families that have experienced medical or other emergencies. O’Donnell mentioned that a portion of funds raised was already assisting a family with a member in ICU due to a tragic car accident. “So this money is going right to use,” he said.

“We had a great committee,” said Pogue. “We just had a real family feeling. It turned out so well.” Pogue added, “We just have too great a community for it to have turned out otherwise.”

The meeting, however, opened with WCA directors discussing the recent estoppel issue with Ryan Greenacre, the owner of their management company, Greenacre Properties, Inc. (GPI). In the fall GPI informed the board that it would be charging between $250-500 to home buyers and sellers for estoppel fees and other closing charges.

Estoppels are requested by title agents on behalf of home buyers to ensure that titles of purchased homes will be transferred free of liens, judgments and fines and to ensure association dues and capital contributions are paid in full.

The charge prompted the board to get a quote from their own attorney from Shumaker, Loop and Kendrick (SLK) for estoppels/closing costs and they responded with $175.
WCA Director Brian Ross led with a motion to accept the SLK bid, but it went down in a 2-5 vote.

Subsequently board members considered a counteroffer from GPI for a flat $225 charge. Ross, however, stated he was displeased with how a GPI official handled a meeting with board members, citing disparaging remarks the officer made about directors. GPI President Ryan Greenacre, present at the meeting, addressed the matter by stating of his employee, “No harm was meant by the remarks.”

With other directors citing their happiness with GPI’s Debbie Sainz and Charlotte Adams, who work in the Westchase and were not involved in the meeting, board members ultimately voted 5-2, with Ross and WCA Director Ashley Wait opposed, to approve the Greenacre estoppel and closing charges.

Making her report, Association Manager Debbie Sainz stated that it would take a while for ordered light poles for the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center to arrive. Later in the meeting, she offered for painting companies bids for repainting both swimming pool buildings and the WCA office building and directors chose the lowest bids for all three, from Harrison Contracting.

In other actions, directors reviewed imposed fines for deed restriction violations, imposing some, waiving others and granting one resident present an extension to address a violation for missing a row of hedges. They also transferred surplus funds from previous years into their appropriated fun, which contains six months’ operating expenses. WCA Director Forrest Baumhover also praised the performance of Facilities and Operations Manager Kelly Shires, asking Shires to detail what tasks he’s undertaken to save homeowners money. Reviewing Shires’ reported hours worked, Directors Brian Ross and Ruben Collazo directed him to take a vacation and reduce his time to strike a healthier balance in his life.

Director Ross also cited GAC Chair Rick Goldstein’s remarks at a recent CDD meeting where Goldstein and a Kingsford resident petition described the GAC and WCA as representing the sole voice of Westchase. Mentioning that the WCA solely represents homeowners in Westchase and not its businesses or community organizations, Ross encouraged Goldstein to embrace more caution in future language.

Rounding out major action, directors heard from Seafood Exchange owner Tony Bartolo. A number of directors praised Bartolo’s restaurant and thanked him for his willingness to address complaints about music from the restaurant patio, which Bartolo said he’s been assured by the county’s Environmental Protection Agency and sheriff’s office is in compliance with county codes. GAC Chair Goldstein informed Bartolo that the association had withdrawn its cooperation and support from a nearby resident who had complained about the music and subsequently sent a letter containing personal threats to Bartolo.

Directors adjourned at 8:07 p.m.

WCA Board’s December Meeting

The WCA’s December board meeting occurred after deadline for the January WOW and is available here. Among major actions the board took in December were:

• Directors removed Bridges resident Barbara Griffith from the GAC.
• Directors approved the Variance Committee’s ability to consult with CDD Engineer Tonja Stewart as needed for cases.
• Directors voted 4-3 to refund a homeowners Variance Committee application fee after she belatedly realized she did not have to seek a variance.
• Directors voted 5-2 to deny a homeowners’ request to put out his trash can early due to his work schedule’s conflict with HOA requirements for trash container storage.
• Discussing GPI’s proposed estoppel fees, directors voted 5-2 to counter with a proposed $150 fee for estoppel and other closing costs.

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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