By Lynn Gonzalez
VMS began the meeting by reviewing a paper ballot for proposed amendments to the Individual Neighborhood Section Guidelines (INSGs).
The INSGs in question were for Village Green, Harbor Links and the Villas at Woodbridge. (The amendments are located on the WCA website at www.westchasewca.com under the “Documents” tab.)
Following the approval of minutes, Yesner moved on to new business while the community association managers tabulated the results of the INSGs vote. He said that he wanted to recognize former Voting Member Nancy Sells for her service to the Westchase community as a whole, and specifically to her neighborhood, Harbor Links. He expressed his appreciation as he presented her with the Westchase Medallion.
“She has been a friend, a mentor, somebody who I’ve reached out to for advice,” said Yesner. “Westchase wouldn’t be Westchase without her.”
Sells then took the floor to detail the behind-the-scenes process that she and her neighbors undertook in an effort to change the INSGs for Harbor Links. She urged VMs to approve the amendments for her neighborhood, which included allowing stone-coated metal roofs and metal fence posts.
Yesner asked for a motion to approve VM alternates for the Bridges, the Greens, the Shires, and Wycliff. Joaquin Arrillaga, representing the Greens, moved to approve all of the candidates, and the VMs all voted in favor of his motion.
Yesner then opened the floor to any concerns that the VMs wanted him to bring up at the January WCA board meeting. Daniel Perez of the Shires said he was concerned that too many Westchase properties are owned by investing groups, and that he would like to see that number capped.
Yesner said that doing so would require a change to the governing documents and that existing owners would likely be grandfathered in. Arrillaga shared that the WCA looked into initiating a cap several years ago and that their counsel should still have some information about it. Yesner agreed to reach out to counsel and said he would report back to the VMs.
Woodbridge VM Rick Goldstein asked Yesner for an update on the vulture situation and whether anyone had attended the CDD meeting that was held earlier in the day. WCA board member Jack Maurer, who was in the audience, stated that he had been at the CDD meeting, and reported the USDA no longer wanted to be involved in mitigation efforts. Goldstein said that when he chaired the vulture committee, USDA representatives told him they have authority to use lethal force to combat the birds and questioned what had changed.
Goldstein then made an impassioned plea to Yesner and the other VMs requesting support for his efforts to mitigate the vulture population. He said the birds were negatively affecting property values and causing repeated damages to screens and roofs that homeowners were having to repair out of their own pockets. He said that a contingent of Woodbridge residents was prepared to lobby the CDD, the county and even the governor, to get relief.
Yesner said that the WCA had limited recourse because the island where the vultures were roosting is owned by the county, and not the association. He also reminded the VMs that mitigation efforts were always intended to be part of a multiyear process. Yesner agreed, however, to put it on the WCA’s agenda in the future.
Glencliff VM Dr. Terry Boyd moved to request that the WCA commit to proactively supporting the VMs in their efforts to mitigate the invasion of the vultures, and his motion passed unanimously.
Yesner then asked whether anyone had additional concerns, and Abbottsford VM Chris Jones asked why Kingsbridge Avenue is one-way onto Montague Street. He said that traffic on Montague was untenable in the mornings and afternoons as a result of local school traffic. Goldstein said that the one-way street was part an agreement between the county and Kingsbridge, and the road was made one-way for the safety of the schoolchildren. He also said that the county had reset the traffic lights to try to get traffic off of Montague.
Dawn Gingrich, VM for the Bridges, asked whether the agreement could be revisited. Goldstein expressed concern that Montague could turn into a throughway like Countryway if the WCA requested that adjustments be made. Yesner said the first step would be to contact Kingsford VM Forrest Baumhover, who was not in attendance at the meeting, and he agreed to do so.
Community Association Manager Debbie Sainz then took the floor to share the results of the ballot tabulation, and shared that all of the INSGs had passed. She clarified that the Village Green INSGs still needed to be approved by the neighborhood’s homeowners before they would go into effect.