WCA Board Discusses Homeowner Survey and Rules Committee

The Dec. 9 WCA Board meeting saw directors discuss results of a resident survey and revisit tennis and pickleball discussions.

Approval of the 3.0 USTA Ladies tennis court usage was an agenda item that was quickly dispensed with, however, with Westchase Community Association (WCA) Board President Shawn Yesner saying, “As I understand it, the rules allow either the board or the Facilities Manager to approve this and Kelley Shires (Facilities Manager) had already approved it.”

Board members then revisited an owner’s request to maintain No Trespass Signs in their yard. The home, which is on Brompton Drive, had been approved for the signs last year due to a dispute with a neighbor. A lawsuit had been filed at the end of October 2019 between these two neighbors, but the association maintains no involvement or position. Because the association had allowed the owner to have the signs last year and the issues had obviously not been resolved, board members voted unanimously to allow the owner to maintain the signs.

The Nathan Lafer Award was then discussed with board members unanimously agreeing on one of the two candidates, Alan Shabbott, who had received seven nominations.

During the Government Affairs Committee (GAC) updates, GAC Chair Rick Goldstein requested and received board approval for items that would allow Westchase to continue to move towards participating in the County’s CERT (Citizen Emergency Response Team) program. Goldstein said that the CERT steering committee members are Michele DelSordo, Eric Holt, Dale Sales, Rick Goldstein and CERT Committee Chair Joaquin Arrillaga. Goldstein said that as of now, no budget is required but he expects that the WCA might win a grant.

Next a husband and wife appealed a violation they had received for their air conditioner not being properly shielded from public view. The couple explained repeatedly that they just wanted to do the right thing and were trying to resolve the problem but thought that the issue was more difficult to resolve and that they had a special situation because their home was on a pie shaped lot. The couple lives in Harbor Links and Director Dale Sells, a neighbor, offered “We got the same violation letter. The solution is fairly simple. You can’t use a fence because Harbor Links has an INSG (Individual Neighborhood Section Guideline).” Board members explained the process of going to the Modifications Committee and then the Variance Committee if they think their situation warrants it. Board members voted to suspend the fine for 30 days to give the homeowner some additional time to resolve the issue.

Yesner then turned the group’s attention towards a committee to update the facilities rules, which was brought up during last month’s board meeting. Yesner said, “I think our rules need to keep pace with changes and also we need to look at them to see if there is anything else that needs to be updated.”

Yesner felt that a committee should review the rules in light of the adoption of electronic reservations for courts and pickleball. He also thought swimming rules should be included so that all the facility rules could be reviewed together. Director Heather Greeley-Hessefort suggested that the committee should only look at the online reservations and pickleball areas but go over the larger set of rules later because the swimming program isn’t changing. West Park’s Deb Guerino, who was in the audience, added, “Make sure that the participants are all residents not just people that play tennis. We need to make sure it’s fair for those who participate and who is going to recommend changes. Sometimes we get myopic when we talk about the one quarter of the population of Westchase. We have to make sure that what we do is to benefit the participants but also the residents.”

Yesner agreed, saying, “Whoever is on the committee would have the responsibility to speak with residents and get feedback.”

The motion to remove swimming from the committee’s focus for now was unanimously approved. The committee members are: Carmen Fiorito, Lynn Adamson, Jim Donnelly, Kyle Roberts, Dale Sells and Ruben Collazo.

Director Sells then went over the results of the resident surveys which had been mailed out to all residents with their yearly assessments. He said 225 people had responded to the written surveys, which constituted about six percent of homeowners. He had read through each survey and said that there seemed to be a lack of understanding of what the WCA is, what they do and the limits to what they can do. Goldstein agreed. “There is a general lack of understanding of what an HOA is,” he said. “We aren’t getting the message out of what we do.”

Sells then went through the preliminary report with the group. Some highlights of questions and responses:

Do you use either of the community pools, and if so, how often?

No: 55.1%
Occasionally: 21.3%
Regularly: 23.6%

Do you use either of the community tennis courts and if so, how often?

No: 72.3%
Occasionally: 9.6%
Regularly: 18.1%

Permanent sports equipment like basketball goals are not allowed in Westchase. Do you agree with that policy or not and why?

Agree: 61.7%
Not Agree: 30.6%
Not Sure/No Opinion: 7.7%

Sells noted of the basketball hoops question, “Common to both those who agree and don’t agree were comments about the need to monitor the condition and upkeep of the equipment.”

After Sells’ report, board members took turns drawing survey responders’ names to award gift certificates to local restaurants which had been donated. There were two $25 gift certificates for Catch 23, a $25 gift certificate for Irish 31 and a $25 gift certificate for Two Spoons at the Westchase Golf Club.

Closing the meeting, directors thanked Charlotte Adams for stepping in and keeping things running smoothly with Association Manager Debbie Sainz on leave.

Directors adjourned at 8:37 p.m.

By Brenda Bennett

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