CDD to Display New Entrance Signage for Resident Input

At the Nov. 5 meeting of the Westchase CDD, supervisors asked staff to gather sample images and materials for new Westchase entrance signs.

Staff will display them for resident review and input at the district’s Dec. 3 meeting. The Westchase Community Development District (CDD) generally meets the first Tuesday of each month at 4 p.m. at the WCA Office Building on Parley Drive in West Park Village.

In recent months CDD Office Manager Sonny Whyte has recommended supervisors consider replacing the Westchase entrance signs at Linebaugh and Sheldon. The current signs, made of painted wood, are bubbling with age. Citing Tampa Palms’ entrances, Whyte recommended replacing the aging signs with a dark granite with gold-leaf letters.

Supervisors agreed to move forward with a test of the new approach at Westchase’s eastern entrance at a cost of $26,000. Should they prove satisfactory, the district would then have to bid out the remaining sign replacements for the community’s other entrances – as well as the village entrances, as the project’s overall cost would exceed the threshold for requiring bids under state law.

The board, however, agreed with Supervisor Greg Chesney’s recommendation that staff bring images and a material sample to the December CDD meeting so that interested or concerned residents can see them and weigh in before the district moves forward.

Opening the meeting, however, CDD Field Manager Doug Mays stated staff had received its first tree replacement request under the district’s new tree replacement policy. It came from a Wakesbridge resident who wants to remove an oak in the right of way. Referring to the district’s plan to create an agreement with Hillsborough County stipulating that the CDD would be responsible for filing for street tree removal requests within Westchase, Mays cautioned, “We don’t have our global tree removal permit yet.”

CDD Attorney Erin McCormick stated, however, that it would be permissible for staff to work with the resident and assist him in acquiring the county permit provided the replacement be consistent with the district’s street tree plan.

Mays added that The Bridges homeowner wanted a palm tree. Referencing the plan, which requires neighborhoods with street tree canopies to replace street oaks with other trees with a canopy, Mays stated, “I told him that’s not going to happen over here.”

McCormick committed to supervisors that she would continue working on obtaining a global street tree permit from the county.

CDD Engineer Stephen Brietic told supervisors that Stantec, the district’s previous engineering firm, had transferred all district materials to him.  He added he was working on submitting a required SWFMD lake inspection for the pond near the fire station and updated supervisors on the progress of the lake bank restoration project inside The Vineyards. He stated he was keeping an eye on the project to ensure the contractor was using clean fill dirt and addressing the full replacement area defined by the contract. While Mays stated the project was currently on hold pending the execution of the job contract, which Whyte stated she had just received, he expected its completion by Thanksgiving.

Brietic and Mays then addressed current complaints about midge flies from the large lake adjacent to Stonebridge, Sturbridge and the M/I Homes townhome development on Sheldon Road. Mays stated that attempts to bring electricity to the lake to power a nanobubbler to improve the lake’s health (key to diminishing breeding areas for the flies) had been delayed by TECO’s requirement that the district-owned land have an address for a meter. Given the delay, Mays stated he had received another proposal for chemical treatment of the lake. Supervisors, however, balked at the $44,000 cost, particularly since Mays stated it would only work for a year. Instead they requested Attorney McCormick work with staff to quickly resolve of the address issue. The nanobubbler, Brietic agreed,  was the best solution to the problem.

Making her report, McCormick stated that she was working with Hillsborough County to address three issues related to the proposed cell tower for Glencliff Park’s southern parking lot. She forwarded to the county copies of the location map as well as assurances that the lease agreement included a bond that would remove any nonfunctioning tower from the site. She also stated she had forwarded copies of WOW’s coverage of CDD meetings to illustrate that Westchase residents were being kept informed of the cell tower and its proposed construction. She added that the county requested a community meeting regarding the cell tower but supervisors pointed out that they held a publicly noticed workshop for resident input late last year. Supervisor Brian Ross, however, stated that if the county insisted on another publicly announced meeting, the district should schedule one.

McCormick concluded by informing supervisors that she had submitted a minor change application to the county’s zoning office to permit the district to use the land between Stonebridge and The Vineyards (behind the large lake adjacent to Westchase Elementary) for a community garden. She added she was working with staff to address access issues with TECO.

In other actions:

District Manager Andy Mendenhall stated the district’s new insurance carrier had recently completed a review of the district’s assets, which will be sent to the board shortly.

Supervisors declined to approve a resident’s request to run power cords to the median island on Bridgeton Drive at Baybridge Park’s entrance so that the resident could install holiday inflatables there. Field Manager Doug Mays stated the neighbor said he wanted to redesign his yard display but the neighborhood kids still wanted to see the inflatables. Citing the danger of running cords above the road, Supervisor Greg Chesney observed, “I’m sure they would be happy to put them in their yards.”

CDD Engineer Stephen Brietic stated he was working with Mays to address ponding water and collapsed drainage pipes off the rear yards of Stamford homes at the corner of Linebaugh and Gretna Green. Brietic stated that the solution was likely the installation of a new, more durable pipe but an elevation survey would likely be needed to determine its ability to drain the area.

Traveling from Polk County, Supervisor Matt Lewis got caught in traffic and arrived at the meeting just prior to adjournment.

Supervisors adjourned at 5:15 p.m.

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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