VMs Approve All Residential Guideline Amendments at June Meeting

At their June 14 meeting, the Westchase Voting Members (VMs) took their second of two votes on about 40 different amendments to the Westchase Residential Guidelines, which cover the use and appearance of Westchase yards and home exteriors.

The first vote was held at the May 10 meeting, where all but four proposed guidelines passed. Based upon the second vote, all of the amendments passed, including the four in question.

To view the ballot and VM vote tallies, click here.

The first amendment in question changed the language governing flags and banners to solely permit holiday flags, seasonal flags, and flags adopted/authorized by schools/colleges and professional sports teams (in addition to official U.S. military branch and MIA flags), while limiting the number of flags to two per unit. VMs from The Shires, Stamford, and the Townhomes of West Park Village opposed this amendment, while the Reserve at West Park Village and Berkeley Square did not cast any votes.

The second extended the permitted timeframe of seasonal decorations from Oct. 1 through Jan. 15, and was opposed by the VMs of The Shires and the Villas of West Park Village. Potted plants on the front patio/porch are now limited to four, along with two in landscape beds, according to the third newly enacted amendment. The final amendment increased the setback requirement for new pools and screen enclosures in backyards.

The VMs also took their second and final vote on three neighborhood-specific guideline amendments at the meeting. All three passed unanimously and apply solely to the neighborhood named in each guideline.

The first allows for porch railings in the West Park Village Single Family Homes to be either black or white aluminum or white PVC material (with existing brick ones grandfathered in). The second guideline approved a new exterior color palette for the Townhomes of West Park Village, while the third included a lengthy list of amendments to the Stonebridge Villas’ guidelines.

Westchase Community Association (WCA) President Shawn Yesner, who serves as the chairperson of the VMs, then turned his attention to the ongoing discussion of whether to bid out the association’s management contract with Greenacre Properties. The five-year contract expires on Dec. 31, 2023, and has not been put to competitive bid in more than ten years.

Yesner told the VMs that the WCA Board discussed the matter and opted to put together a fact-finding committee, which will reach out to other management companies and to comparably sized homeowners’ associations to ask what services are offered and received. The committee will have seven members and meet for the first time in late July, with the expectation that all research will be completed by November of this year.

“This is a management contract, not our tennis vendor,” said Yesner. “It’s a huge piece of the puzzle.” He went on to ask whether the VMs would consider bidding out contracts for all vendors at regular intervals.

“I think it’s a good idea, especially with the management company,” opined Bennington VM Russ Crooks. “I think five years makes sense. It doesn’t mean you change companies. Our needs change, and it’s a good thing to constantly be looking at it. The important thing is that we have a process in place.”

Yesner expressed his concern that changing management companies could cause the community to lose a lot of experience, which could hurt it in the short run, and cautioned VMs not to focus solely on the matter of cost.

By Lynn Gonzalez

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