WCA Board Addresses Rules Violations; Approves New Money Saving Waste Removal Contract

An hour long Oct. 14 WCA Board Meeting also saw Westchase directors decide to sell the tennis ball machine after the Facility Manager stated it posed liability issues.

Opening the meeting, Berkeley Square resident Mike Haley spoke to the board about his temporary use and parking of a bus in Berkeley Square. Haley, an Army Ranger undergoing treatment for a spinal cord injury at a local VA hospital, stated the bus was key to his moving around comfortably. He stated that he expected it to be temporary and requested a waiver of the rule violation, adding that Berkeley Square’s subassociation had granted a waiver through December. After directors requested it not be parked in ways that obstruct neighborhood sidewalks, the board voted unanimously to give him a waiver through Christmas.

Bridges resident Chris Bates then addressed his second violation letter for street parking. Stating his family of four had five cars that they move around at night to get them off the street, he said, “We typically have them off the street by 10. This notice was at 9:45 p.m.” He added, “I thought we had a little more time.”

Bates also asked for clarification on when the street parking rule is enforced, stating that “overnight” was too vague.

WCA Director Dale Sells, addressing the request for time clarification, stated, “The issue you brought up is on the agenda of the Document Committee.” That committee is currently looking at changes to Westchase rules.

Bates, however, was initially included on a list of 47 residents who were, by motion, going to be issued a fine of $1,000, which would be suspended for 90 days. If the violation didn’t reoccur, the fine would go away. He argued, however, that the association only had proof that he had violated the street parking rule twice and Westchase rules stipulate the fine for violations is $100 per day up to ten days.

Director Eric Holt responded, “It’s assumed it’s in place until we’re noticed it is not in place.”

When Bates again requested his suspended fine be reduced to $200, Director Dale Sells observed that the two violations occurred 20 days apart and the WCA could assume no parking occurred between the two violations or every day in between. The $1,000, he pointed out, is an average of the two. He added that six other homeowners were on the list for street parking violations and were being handled the same way.

“Respectfully, I disagree,” said Bates. “The burden of proof is on you to prove it occurred.”

When WCA President Shawn Yesner suggested Bates’ fine be handled in a motion separate from the other 46, the motion to levy a suspended fine of $1,000 on Bates for 90 days still passed 6-1, with only Yesner opposed.

Yesner concluded the matter by assuring Bates that if the street parking violation did not reoccur in 90 days, the fine would go away.

Subsequently, the board passed a few motions dealing with fines, with four levied, several more suspended and nine tabled. Mentioning a Harbor Links violation for an unapproved color on gutters that had previously come before the board, Sells stated the homeowner had painted them the approved color. The board then unanimously passed their usual waiver of 90 percent of the fine since the violation had been resolved.

Making financial updates, Association Manager Debbie Sainz that income and expenditures were closely following the budget, with the association currently running a surplus of $13,472 for the year.

After WCA Directors unanimously appointed Shires resident Patriva Mack to the Covenants Committee at the suggestion of Chair Charles Stephens and Yesner, WCA Director Holt, chair of the Government Affairs Committee, stated that Hillsborough County Commissioner Harry Cohen would be attending the December Westchase Voting Members meeting. When he asked if the board wanted to consider taking any formal position on the three proposed county commission redistricting maps, the board consensus appeared to be that it was difficult to determine if splitting Westchase into two commission seats would be to the community’s benefit or not. Ultimately the board made no motion on the matter. “As individual residents, we can all get involved,” said Yesner.

At the request of Director Sells, also the chair of the Modifications Committee, directors tabled the formal adoption of a new Modifications Form, amended after input from the association’s attorney, until he could run it by the committee members for feedback.

Director Joaquin Arrillaga, chair of the Facility Improvements Committee, stated that work getting bids for the swim and tennis bathroom renovations was proceeding. “I should have three numbers (bids) for you guys by next meeting.”

Sells, also chairing the Documents Review Committee, stated the group had its first meeting on Saturday. The group, he said, consisted of seven residents, including three residents with minimal prior involvement with the association. “We are working on it and have really gotten a good start.” He added he expected the process to run through early 2022.

Making her report, Sainz stated the new floor had been installed in the WCA office as well as gutter guards. She added that Movies in the Park had returned successfully with a solid crowd and the board acknowledged Bevins Orthodontics for the donation of bottles of water for the event.

Briefly discussing that the next WCA Board meeting was scheduled for Veterans Day, the board moved the meeting to Nov. 18.

Sainz then introduced new garbage removal proposals, with a lower quote from Republic Waste Services saving the association over $10,000 annually. The Republic bid was unanimously accepted.

With Facility Manager Kelly Shires preparing to make his report, Yesner inquired of the facilities, “We’re fully staffed? The pools are open?”

“Yes,” Shires said.

Shires then made the recommendation that the board turn over ownership of their 16-year-old tennis ball machine to the contracted tennis pro. Shires stated it was rented out to only three residents for $150 each per year. Shires, however, stated the machine posed an issue of liability to the association.

“What is the liability of that?” inquired WCA Director Michele DelSordo.

Shires stated it was a commercial model that at its highest setting shoots tennis balls at 85-90 miles per hour. “It could put out an eye of someone not used to using it.”

“How many people have been injured using it?” inquired DelSordo.

“They haven’t,” Shires stated, but added the association’s tennis model had changed since its acquisition.

When Director Sells asked what the value of the machine was, Sainz said it was unknown. Shires suggested it be offered for purchase by AB Tennis for a dollar. “I personally think there’s some liability to it,” said Shires. “There are some residents who want to share the machine with non-residents,” he said, which, he insisted, could result in injuries to kids.

Ultimately directors unanimously passed a motion, made by Director Arrillaga, to sell the machine to AB Tennis for $1.

Concluding the meeting, directors agreed to put the recent decision by the golf course owner to withdraw a perpetual easement conservation agreement from the CDD on December’s WCA Board agenda for discussion.

Directors adjourned at 8:03 p.m.

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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