Jan/March 2017

The Oaks at Woodland Park

Happy New Year neighbors!! We hope you have survived the holiday season. Thanks to all the neighbors who decorated their homes and gave our neighborhood such a festive atmosphere!

There have been many things happening in our community since our last quarterly newsletter. Included you will see a picture from our 1st annual block party, an article about speed bumps, a couple of business people who would like you to know about them, and important information from our Annual Meeting held on 1/18/17.

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1st Annual Block Party

Our block party was a huge success. We spent a great afternoon listening to some fantastic tunes (thanks Bob and Chris), eating, and eating, and eating!! It was so fun to meet some new neighbors and talk with ones we know but don’t get to see often enough.

Thanks to everyone for contributing tables, chairs, food, drinks etc. And to the HOA board for providing the hot dogs, condiments and paper products. We are looking forward to this being an annual event that will grow bigger each year.

 

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Annual HOA meeting

Our annual HOA meeting was held on 1/17/18 at the Ascension Lutheran Church.

We had 19 home owners represented in addition to some proxies. There were several issues discussed which are pertinent to us all.

Congratulations to the following members for agreeing to be on our new board:

President – Bob Meisel, Vice-President – David Gaul, Treasurer – Justin Butler, and Daryl Dalcero – Secretary.

* Golf Carts

There have been several complaints about the kids driving golf carts around our neighborhood. The HOA board has spent the last several months researching the 2016 Florida Statutes, talking to the Sheriff’s Department, as well as the HOA Board members of Woodland Park.

Woodland Park has it written in their HOA documents that golf carts are not allowed. However, because it is a community with private roads, this is not enforceable by the Sheriff's Dept. Their only recourse is to fine those who drive golf carts in their neighborhood. The Oaks does not have this provision in its documents. In order to change our regulations, we would need to get 60% of the homeowners to agree. And it still would not be enforceable because our roads are private also. 

On the positive side, both of the golf cart families are renters. The owner of one home is changing the lease agreement for the next renter to exclude golf carts. Until that happens, if you see the kids speeding, riding on people’s property or in any way being inappropriate, take a picture with your phone and forward to any board member. They will notify the homeowner. That’s all we can legally do at this point.

* Lake

There was a lengthy discussion about the quality of our lake which seems not to be doing well. Even if you don’t live on the lake the survival of it becomes important to us all and our property values. One owner said prospective buyers have stated that they would not be interested in living with the lake in the condition it is in right now.

The HOA board has been going around with this issue for several years now. They have changed lake maintenance companies several times but the problems persist. We have sent around county flyers to homeowners with information about not mowing close to the lake and use of fertilizers. Most owners are very cognizant about this but we must all realize that everything from our yards and gutters ends up in the lake.

That being said, the board has been asked to invite Aquatic Systems to our next board meeting on 2/21/17 to discuss the condition of the lake and get information on costs to improve it. We would encourage homeowners, and especially those on the lake, to attend.

*Fence

The fence on Woodview Drive as you drive in is starting to fall over in some places. The Board has a small amount of money in this year’s budget to repair what they can at this point. They have also started a reserve fund for more repairs and possible replacement in the future.

* Financial report

Jim Faix from Polaris Management stated that he will have our annual financial report to us by the end of January. This will be posted on our web page.

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Your neighborhood business owners

* Richard Stracuzzi is a licensed home builder and remodeler. His company is “Alpha Omega Custom Building & Remodeling”. He can be reached at 941-350-6478.

* Ilene Stracuzzi is a Broker/Realtor with Michael Saunders & Co. who works with buyers and sellers. She can be reached at 941-928-6568. 

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Article

Please take the time to read the following article by neighbor Ted Weihe (Cedarcrest) about speed bumps. It is very interesting and informative. Thanks Ted!

 

Traffic Calming in the Oaks

 

When my Realtor was about to show us the house we bought in the Oaks, she said, “You will hate this neighborhood with all of its speed tables!”

 

What she did not know, is that I led efforts in Arlington County, Virginia to adopt traffic calming measures including the first county speed humps and four way traffic signs in my neighborhood.  I also championed diverters to prevent cut-though traffic.

 

We undertook a study in Lyon Village by the leading traffic calming expert in how to design calming measures.  He indicated that they must be designed with multiple speed humps interspersed with three or four way stop signs.

 

When I came to Woodland Park, I was amazed that this neighborhood pioneered in traffic calming measures.  The first thing I did was to drive my car at 25 miles an hour to see if the speed tables were properly designed.  They are.  Unlike “dead policemen” or short/tall bumps, the concept is to keep cars traveling at the posted speed.  Cars should not slow down abruptly nor stop before crossing speed tables since it invites rear-end collisions. 

 

Another key feature of our neighborhood is winding roads with short sight lines, and sharp corners -  another way to slow traffic.

 

On the other hand, the lack of sidewalks indicates that when Woodland Park was approved, the ordinance did not require sidewalks. The fact that the Oaks has sidewalks suggests an updating of this code, or a more responsible developer.

 

At a neighbor meeting, I heard someone in Woodland Park say that he hated speed humps and wanted to take them out.  With adults and children walking on the street, dog walkers and bicyclists, speed humps are about safety.   The lack of adequate sidewalks to separate pedestrians from cars is an important principle of neighborhood planning that was ignored.

 

Most subdivisions ordinances now require four feet wide sidewalks and often on both sides of the street.  In some cases, we narrowed streets in Arlington to allow for sidewalks in neighborhoods where I helped develop neighborhood plans.

 

Finally, I came up against some neighbors who did not want sidewalks, and preferred “a rural look.”  Certainly, nice with our canopy trees.   In other neighborhoods, trees had been planted too close to the street and would have to be removed to install or repair sidewalks.  In the Oaks, the developer placed trees between houses and the streets so that they did cause sidewalks to lift as the trees matured.

 

The point is that as a neighborhood planner with an advanced degree, our neighborhood pioneered in traffic calming measures, but should have put in a sidewalk along the main entrance road.  Please do not stop at the speed tables, do not drive below 25 miles per hour, and do watch out for pedestrians.

 

Ted Weihe

850 Cedarcrest Ct.

 

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Hopefully you are finding this newsletter helpful in knowing what is happening in our beautiful community. If you have any news or something you would like published please let us know.

As Jim Faix reminded us at the annual meeting, a clean and neat community is one people want to live in. We all need to keep up the good work of keeping our lawns mowed, landscaping pruned and trimmed, and our houses clean. It makes a difference!

 

                                              Respectively submitted,

                                             Cindy Millar                                                                                 cindyamillar@gmail.com