Westchase Town Center Owner Requests Community Assistance

Twenty-six voting members attended the November VM meeting, which was held via Zoom. Westchase Community Association president Shawn Yesner called the meeting to order. Following the approval of minutes from the July meeting, which was the last regular meeting, Yesner turned the floor over to Eric Holt,  Government Affairs Committee Chair. Holt had brought in guest speakers from Real Property Specialists, Inc. (RPS), the company that owns and manages Westchase Town Center (the area that is home to  Tijuana Flats and Burger 21).

Holt then introduced Alan Charron, president and owner of RPS, and Vanessa Silva, who serves as the center’s property manager.

Charron explained that he developed the Westchase Town Center to serve as the social epicenter of the Westchase community. There are approximately three acres of green space between Maloney’s and the Fifth Third Bank that were intended to be used for events, and Charron said he feels that the space is being underutilized.

He hopes to find a local resident to volunteer to organize more events that would benefit the entire community. RPS is based in Orlando, which makes it difficult for their employees to be as hands-on as Charron wishes they could be, he said. He wanted to reach out directly to Westchase residents, which is what prompted him to attend the VM meeting.

“In addition to doing charity or fundraising functions, we’ve also thought about putting some pickleball courts out there. I was thinking I’d like to dress it up a little bit with artificial turf. Maybe put a putting green out there,” mused Charron. “There are opportunistic things that can happen out there. Together with Vanessa, our property manager, you can help us collaborate and coordinate to do more with what we’ve got.”

Yesner mentioned that Westchase used that green space to celebrate its 30th birthday in May, and the event had a great turnout and was generally quite successful. He said he planned to suggest to the board that the birthday celebration become an annual event.

According to Charron, the community needs a promoter or event coordinator that would be willing to work with local individuals and organizations to coordinate quarterly, monthly, or even weekly events. There currently is no charge to use the space, continued Charron, and the goal is not for RPS to bring in more money. Parking and electricity are already available for any potential events.

“We have such a beautiful plaza,” said Charron. “We want to be the first thought and get the word out so we’re in people’s heads when they’re thinking of where to hold their events.”

Yesner then gave the floor back to Holt, who told the VMs he was seeking volunteers to chair and join a new Notifications Committee. The WCA has a relatively new website, which can be found at westchasewca.com. Residents may visit the website to sign up for community notifications via email and/or text.

“We have this great brand-new website and one of the things we now have to leverage is the ability for people to sign up for notifications from the association. Unfortunately, although we’ve got this great capability, there hasn’t been much discussion about how best to utilize it,” said Holt. “The board felt like the most appropriate body to work on managing this would be the VMs.”

Holt told the VMs that they didn’t have to respond immediately, but should reach out to him to express their interest in chairing or serving on the committee.

The WCA board voted to move their monthly meetings from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Yesner asked the VMs whether they wanted to consider making the same change. Linda Pisano, who represents Saville Row, made a motion to move the monthly meetings from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. No one seconded the motion, however, so it failed.

Dawn Brown from the Enclave, then made a motion to move the meetings to 6:30 p.m. Nancy Sells, from Harbor Links/The Estates, seconded the motion. The motion passed, with 20 VMs voting in favor and six VMs voting against it.

Yesner then reminded the VMs that there would be no December meeting, and the January meeting would be held in person. The meeting was adjourned at 7:41 p.m.

By Lynn Gonzalez
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