Minutes of the Board of Director’s Meeting
Chairman Bob Capo called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM at the Landings Racquet Club, 5350 Landings Boulevard, Sarasota, Florida.
Determination of Quorum
Present were Bob Capo, Ted Humphrey, John Newcomer, Ray Rakoff, Dee Ricapito, Fred Stanyer, and Cliff Truitt, constituting a Quorum.
Also present were, Irwin Starr of the Landings Eagle, Walter Hammerling and George Niel of Argus Property Management, Inc, and a small audience.
Confirmation of Proper Meeting Notice
The notice was posted in accordance with the Bylaws of the Association and requirements of Florida Statutes.
Chairman Capo then recognized Bob Greenfield representing the Landings Homeowners Association. Mr. Greenfield wanted to address the issue of poor drainage around the Eagle Preserve, particularly where it was adversely affecting homes at the south and southwest corner of the preserve. He said that during periods of rain, water coming from the sanctuary results in standing water around many of the homes, because it has nowhere to go once it reaches that end of the property. Mr. Greenfield presented pictures to the Board of several large areas of standing water. He went on to say that an engineering study had been done several years ago to address this same problem, but nothing had been done.
Mr. Greenfield also produced documents showing that the Landings Management Association clearly owns the Eagle Preserve, and also documents making LMA responsible to manage the drainage in The Landings. The LHA contends that, in light of the fact LMA owns the land where the water originates, and that LMA is responsible for drainage, LMA is therefore responsible for solving the drainage problems in this area. Mr. Greenfield continued by saying that LMA should plan and budget to implement solutions to this situation. He said that if no action is taken on the part of LMA soon, it could necessitate the LHA taking necessary action in the future.
Mr. Capo responded by saying that he was sympathetic to the situation, but that in an attorney’s opinion, rendered on this same situation, if the property has not been altered, then the liability for water control falls on adjacent properties. The Eagles Preserve has not been altered. Mr. Greenfield reiterated that LMA should bear certain responsibility, but the LHA is willing to help in whatever it may take to resolve the problem.
During the general discussion that ensued, it was suggested that perhaps an alternative use of the preserve could be part of the solution. Mr. Stanyer made the suggestion that some restoration in the preserve, such as removing exotics species, and adding Bald Cypress, pines, and other native species may help. It was agreed that LMA would look into the matter, beginning by locating the original engineering study.
Chairman Capo then recognized Ralph Ricapito. Mr. Ricapito introduced himself as representing a group of Landings residents who call themselves “Philippi Shores Park Improvement Association,” and share a desire to see a playground facility installed for young children. Mr. Ricapito began his remarks by saying that the group had rejected the original idea of having a playground in the Eagle Preserve, because of strong opposition, particularly from residents living on the preserve. In looking for an alternative, the group contacted John McCloskey, Director of Maintenance for Sarasota County Parks, to see if the Philippi Shores Park (just outside the Landings) might be available. Mr. McCloskey introduced them to Mary Stagg, who is in charge of playground equipment for the County Parks. Ms. Stagg suggested that equipment could be erected in the fenced are to the front of the park. Ms. Stagg also said there is a high likelihood of there being grant money available for the group from various organizations, and the county would help in the acquisition. The equipment would include a swing set, and a multi-purpose gym set, designed for children two to eight year old. The project could also include a walking path. The group is asking LMA to budget for painting the wall around the park, which belongs to LMA, matching the existing two-tone color on the wall north and south of the park.
Much discussion ensued. Mr. Capo said that we had been trying to get the County to clean up the undergrowth around the wall so LMA could paint it. However, no money is available this year to do so. Mr. Stanyer suggested that perhaps Kanes, Darby Buick, and Robert Morris (developing Philippi Shores Towers) could be enlisted to join the Adopt-A-Park program to help maintain it. The discussion ended shortly thereafter, with no action taken.
President’s Report (Bob Capo)
“I am sad to report that our Landscape Chairman, Fred Stanyer, will end his residency here in the Landings on August 15th as he has sold his home. However, Mr. Stanyer has offered to continue his service chairing the Landscape Committee to the end of his term in February 2007, if the Board so desires. I have researched our documents to see what our legal position may be in retaining a non-resident member of the Board. Our Articles of Incorporation allow for non-resident members. This language was set up by the Developer to allow his people to sit on the Board until transition to the homeowners, and the language has never been changed. In 1987, when the By-Laws were changed to increase the Board composition to nine members, the language in the Articles of Incorporation remained unchanged. It occurs to me that because of the fine work Mr. Stanyer has done for us, if the Board wishes, we can ask him to fill-out the remainder of his term.”
At this time Chairman Capo opened the floor for discussion. Mrs. Ricapito remarked that she has been very pleased with Mr. Stanyer’s efforts and voiced no objection to the proposal. Mr. Rakoff said that there was another resident who had expressed interest in the position when it became open. Mr. Capo said there was yet another resident who had expressed a similar desire. Mr. Truitt expressed an uncomfortability with the situation, but at the same time was delighted at the prospect of retaining Mr. Stanyer’s service. Mr. Stanyer was asked why he would consider such a proposal. He answered simply: “For the sheer enjoyment of it.” He offered that if it were to cause a problem, he would be willing to work with a qualified candidate for six months and then step aside. He also offered that there would be no insult taken if the Board desired his immediate withdrawal. After further discussion, and by consensus, the Board took no further action, thereby retaining Mr. Stanyer.
Mr. Capo further reported that LMA is endeavoring to sort out a legal situation with State Department of Environmental Regulation regarding a Conservation Easement around the mangroves, behind Eagles Point. An easement had originally been drawn up and submitted to the State, by the original Developer of Eagles Point, Raja Holdings. The easement was never filed with the County, and as it turns out, Raja didn’t actually own the land at the time anyway. This caused some question as to actual ownership of the land. We have since become convinced (and certain documentation shows) that LMA does in fact own the land. We are now in the process of certifying the original survey, and issuing a properly recorded easement to the State.
Treasurer’s Report (Ted Humphrey)
Whereas we finished June with a surplus in operating compared to budget, we finished July with a $57,000 deficit. This was due to making the final payment on the paving project, of $62,000. This will correct itself by year-end, as we had budgeted $75,000 for paving this year. We will also be collecting around $26,000 in re-imbursements from the homeowners on Landings Lane and LHA as their portion of the cost. We have also spent most of the contingency fund, in order to paint the front walls - an unbudgeted expense. The second aspect of our current position is higher than anticipated expenses for gate maintenance and repair, and security expenses at the main gate and roving patrol.
We will be receiving final settlement on a foreclosure, which will net us $14,000, resulting in bringing our receivables to current.
Safety and Security (John Newcomer)
Mr. Newcomer reported that the Committee is undertaking a study of the security systems currently in place. There are several areas of concern. We are particularly looking at a Bar Code Reader system, because of so many reports of unauthorized entries through the gates. We are also interested in the possibility of upgrading our camera and video system. The LHA will be giving us input on their concerns in the process.
Landscape (Fred Stanyer)
Mr. Stanyer reported that the Red Coleus planted at the main entrance has died, and could not be revived. We are looking for replacements of adequate size and maturity.
Mr. Stanyer went on to suggest that LMA may want to consider a long-range (five year) plan to restore the Eagles Preserve, removing invasive plant species, and replacing them with native species.
Mrs. Ricapito asked Mr. Stanyer if LMA was responsible for maintaining the strip of land outside the wall at the south end of the property, along Philippi Shores Dr. by the south gates. Mr. Stanyer replied that this is a right-of-way, and only about one foot of land outside the wall belongs to LMA. Once construction in that area is completed, we will look to see about the maintenance.
Public Relations (Dee Ricapito)
Mrs. Ricapito reported the following:
Traffic Committee (Ray Rakoff)
The next meeting will be September 1st at 7PM.
A motion was made by Mr. Humphrey and seconded by Mrs. Ricapito to adjourn the meeting. The motion passed unanimously.
Ron Ditch, Recording Secretary