HERITAGE HARBOUR — As supervisors of the Heritage Harbour South Community Development District met July 8 for their monthly meeting, they faced one another, as well as the audience, in a new v-shaped formation.
But the change didn’t just foster a more welcoming atmosphere: it represented open communication between the CDD and the Stoneybrook Homeowner’s Association.
“We were able to talk to and see each other, to have conversations,” Supervisor Lee Bettes said. “It made more sense, rather than just staring at the audience.”
The groups made another stride toward a working relationship when CDD Manager Greg Cox and District Counsel Andy Cohen presented the first draft of an agreement between the CDD and the HOA for managing landscaping services.
If the HOA accepts the agreement, it will maintain all of the CDD- and HOA-owned land within the Heritage Harbour community and will perform the daily routine maintenance of common grounds and facilities.
The groups will meet July 29 to discuss the draft’s wording and to create an agreement that satisfies both parties.
Agreement highlights include:
• The HOA will provide the funding and take responsibility for the maintenance of areas defined in the agreement’s scope-of-work section, which includes main and back entrance gate systems, roadways, landscape and irrigation, streetlights and parks and recreation facilities;
• The CDD will continue to maintain all lakes and wetlands, sidewalks and curbs;
• The association will contract with a vendor to perform property maintenance; and
• The association will consult with the CDD on contract specifics, such as pricing.
At the workshop later this month, supervisors will address issues such as maintenance standards and the CDD’s role in selecting contractors.
Participants also will discuss how frequently the HOA should report on CDD-owned landscaping to CDD officials. The agreement suggests monthly reports.
“We really don’t need to hear monthly reporting. That’s unnecessary,” Bettes said.
Supervisor Richard Lane suggested adding to the agreement that the CDD could use the HOA’s handyman. The selected individual would change batteries on the speed radar signs and would complete other small tasks around the community.
HOA President Tom Bakalar did not express his or the HOA’s feelings toward the agreement’s specifics, because the group had not read the draft over thoroughly by meeting time last week, he said.
But Bakalar sees the first attempt at an agreement as a positive step forward, he said.
“I believe that the initial proposal from the CDD is a good start to what I hope will be an effective, functional and practical agreement between the two boards,” Bakalar said. “I think all the potential sticking points can be worked out through dialog and compromise, and time and effort.”
In other business
• Lighthouse Cove requested the installation of 12 speed bumps throughout the community. The CDD agreed to discuss the issue at its Aug. 5 meeting.
• Supervisor Richard Lane and CDD Vice Chairwoman Michelle Patterson asked District Engineer Rick Schappacher to research solar panel-powered radar signs to alleviate the high cost of batteries for the current speed detectors.
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