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.
Present were Bob Capo, Ted Humphrey, Jerry McFadden, Ray Rakoff, Don Smally, Fred Stanyer, and Cliff Truitt, constituting a Quorum.
Also present were, Irwin Starr of the Landings Eagle, Walter Hammerling of Argus Property Management, Inc., and a sizable audience.
The notice was posted in accordance with the Bylaws of the Association and requirements of Florida Statutes.
North Gatehouse Improvement Project
Chairman Capo recognized Gordon Garrett from the audience. Mr. Garrett presented a signed petition representing 284 Landings’ unit owners who are opposed to expanding the north gatehouse for storage. Mr. Capo then recognized Stan Williams, President of the Landings Homeowners Association. Speaking for their Board of Directors, Mr. Williams said that LHA is opposed to the project. He went on to say that there must be more options and requested the Board to reconsider. There ensued much discussion with the audience, ranging from demolishing the structure, to possibly manning the gate once again.
Chairman Capo then asked for discussion from the LMA Board. Mr. Smally felt that the project was reasonable, that it would have succeeded to solve both the storage problem and the aesthetic problem. However, in light of the opposition expressed, he would not be in favor of proceeding with it. Mr. Humphrey said the project should be predicated on three criteria: need, looks, and cost. Based on the renderings presented, aesthetics would not be a problem. He said he was not yet convinced of the need of the project. The cost, which appears to be approaching twenty thousand dollars, would present a problem with the current budget. While he had not reached any conclusions up to this point, at this time he was inclined to turn the project down. Mr. McFadden stated that anything which might divide the community should be avoided. Mr. Truitt pointed out that the process had begun on a simple motion to “investigate the feasibility” of the project, and nothing more. He suggested that if the Board “investigates the feasibility” of manning the north gatehouse, that there would likely be another contingent of homeowners at a future meeting, just as vehemently opposed to doing that. Mr. Stanyer stated regret that the project got off to a false start, because he felt the project was well conceived, and it was not given a fair hearing. He agreed that the project should be abandoned, only because of the potential divisiveness which has developed.
There being no further discussion, Chairman Capo asked that a motion be presented for a vote. Mr. Humphrey made a motion to abandon the idea of expanding the north gatehouse for more storage, and not to expand its current use. Mr. McFadden seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Treasurer’s Report (Ted Humphrey)
For the month of April we ran a $3,000 surplus compared to budget, and are nearly $15,000 surplus compared to budget year-to-date.
President’s Report (Bob Capo)
Golf Carts: I have contacted our attorney to discuss the issue of golf cart use on the property. He confirmed our ability to pass rules regulating golf cart use by residents, or even banning them altogether, with the exception of maintenance personnel. The only reservation he expressed was that we would have trouble denying a request based on the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
At this time Mr. Capo recognized Truman Menefee, President of the Villas at Eagles Point Condominium Mr. Menefee had made inquiry for a new owner moving into the Landings who wanted to use a golf cart on the property. Mr. Menefee noted the wide variety of users currently on Landings roads: pedestrians who walk, jog and walk dogs; pedestrians on canes and walkers; wheel chairs, both manual and motorized; baby strollers; bicycles and (adult) tricycles; skate boards and scooters, including motorized scooters; and one resident reportedly already has a golf cart. This does not include the motorized carts used by maintenance personnel around the property. He concluded by saying it seems that to now ban golf carts for residents only would be unfair discrimination.
There followed a wide-ranging and lengthy discussion. No action was taken.
Tree Removal Request: A request was received to remove a pine tree from the Eagle Preserve area. The homeowner feels that the tree is close enough to his home that it could represent a danger in the event of a hurricane. Chairman Capo opened the floor for discussion. It was determined that the tree in question is alive and healthy. It was noted that there are hundreds of trees on the property close to buildings, and that it is not desirable to remove them. It was also noted that there is no responsibility to remove every conceivable threat due to “Acts of God.” The Board’s standing policy has been that live trees are not to be destroyed. It was the consensus of the board to deny the request.
At this time there ensued a lengthy discussion regarding the “Eagle Preserve” area. There were questions of legalities, restrictions, authority and control. Mr. Capo summarized that the Eagle Preserve was originally planned to be developed with the rest of the property, but there was an active eagle’s nest which prevented development. The nest was subsequently abandoned, and in 1988 the developer deeded the property over to the Association. The intent of the developer was to preserve the property in a pristine manner, and that no activity should occur within its boundaries. However, the deed contains no restrictions on potential uses of this area. The Association Documents do appear to stipulate certain restrictions. There are identified wetlands involved that would fall under State jurisdiction and restrictions. There appears to be a conflict in the language between the deed and the documents. There are two general opinions within the community: either that the property shouldn’t be touched in any way, or that it should be used as a park recreation area. The discussion concluded with Mr. Capo stating that there is no intention of doing anything with the property, and no further action would be taken.
Safety and Security (John Newcomer)
Mr. Capo reported for Mr. Newcomer that an incident of a car damaging the south gate revealed that the cameras don’t have the capability of picking up enough detail to record a license plate. This is a weakness that needs to be looked at. Also, security personnel need to tighten up on procedures of screening and admittance to the property. It should be noted that many of the guards are new, and in the process of being trained.
Landscape (Fred Stanyer)
Mr. Stanyer reported that the broken solenoid (valve operator) that caused the impatiens in the main entrance to die was fixed, and that additional micro-irrigation tubing was installed to make sure that enough water is delivered to those planting beds.
Mr. Stanyer presented a copy of a letter from Todd Hershfeld of Sarasota County Environmental Services, which has been sent to Landings South VII detailing what may and may not be done in the preserve areas behind those units. Also, Mr. Stanyer presented photographs of the newly completed restoration work in that same area, and that stated that a bill would be sent to South VII for the work.
One homeowner complimented Mr. Stanyer on the beauty of the flowers at the main entrance. Another homeowner thanked Mr. Stanyer for the three Areca Palms planted at the south gate, to screen the view from the boatyard.
Roads and Drainage (Don Smally)
Mr. Smally reported that the paving of Landings Boulevard (and Pine Harrier Circle) has been completed, with the exception of the striping to be done in thirty days. In spite of lane closures and heavy traffic, things went very smoothly thanks to the work of the contractor and our security people. There were only two drivers who failed to comply with directions, but no harm was done. The drainage work on Landings Lane is complete, and the paving will be finished within the next couple of days.
Lakes (Jerry McFadden)
Mr. McFadden stated that all is well with our lakes and fountains and had no report to submit.
A motion was made by Mr. Humphrey and seconded by Mr. McFadden to adjourn the meeting. The motion passed unanimously.
Ron Ditch, Recording Secretary