August 26, 2020 HOA Update

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Hello to all Grand Isles residents!

On August 18th at 7 P.M. your Board conducted an HOA Meeting at the clubhouse. Mask use and social distancing were practiced, and hand sanitizer was readily available to all. The meeting was well attended.

After the Treasurer’s Report was given by Alan Apfel, Secretary Lauren McPherson read a list of property owners who have not corrected issues that caused a violation letter(s}. The Board unanimously approved forwarding those uncorrected violations to the Fining Committee for final review.

Next, a speaker from Florida Power and Light Home Division, Will Sabayrac, made a presentation to the attendees about an FPL offer of special pricing to our community for their SurgeShield product. FPL is offering installation of a surge protection device on our home electric meters which would minimize the likelihood of damage to the electrical devices in our homes. This is a program which has been on the market for 20 years, but FPL now is bringing it to HOA’s and offering reduced pricing. The full program is explained in an attached page in this mailing. The more residents who sign up for the service, the lower the cost will be. We are not requiring anyone to sign up, but I feel the program is worthy of each of us to consider. In a recap, for approximately $100 per year, you could save thousands of dollars if your home is struck by lightning and damages your electrical devices. I am signing up and another board member already has the service and has utilized the coverage. We have also enclosed a page to sign up for the service if you’d like to and instructions to deliver the form to our Property Manager.

Board Vice President Doreen Levy made an excellent presentation about options our HOA has in
controlling the number of rental properties in Grand Isles. She reviewed the percentage of known rental homes in our community and the impact on our home values should the percentage increase much more. Once the Covid-19 virus has subsided and we can all resume our lives as before, we will conduct the Town Hall Meetings I have written about in the past. We will want to hear from our residents at that time and will want to make our presentation to you about options available to us in curbing rental properties. We ARE NOT anti-renters or rental properties. We just need to limit the amount of rental homes before the number is so great that our home values suffer. We are getting very close to that point, per our legal counsel and our property management company.

Any change to our By-Laws on this subject requires a quorum of homeowners which is 75%. About 12% of our homes are owned by investors, thus we don’t have much margin for error. We look forward to sharing our options with you.

Next, a review of HOA Dues receivables was discussed. Six homeowners owe the HOA just over $20,000; three are on a payment plan and three are not. Two of these have had their community rights suspended. We continue to see the amount due the HOA declining.

We next discussed our Guard Gate procedures. Very recently, Doreen and Doug met with management members of Allied, our guard service company. It was agreed that our guards must stop every vehicle and individual in the guest entrance line and review the license and contact the individual at the residence they are visiting. You should be receiving a call or, if you are using our Gate Access system, a text or email notifying you of a visitor. This is causing delays at our guest entrance, but some residents are demanding that this is necessary for the safety of their families. We discussed that, if this isn’t the answer to our residents’ concerns, we will purchase a driver’s license reader that will record guests in our system. Let’s see if the guards make the necessary improvements. I am not implying that the Board doesn’t agree with demanding that our guards check every guest and contact residents every time, because we do. We are trying hard to get this ongoing issue resolved. Let’s see if we get the expected results.

A couple sent a letter to the Board requesting that all residents be reminded that our rules don’t allow for yard waste to be put out at the curb before Friday night for Saturday pickup. For those of you who hire and pay a lawn service to maintain your yard, the lawn service should haul away the debris every time they visit. They should not be allowed to leave the debris in our street or on the curb. This is especially annoying if you have lawn service early in the week and the debris sits out for days. This is a violation and you may receive a letter. Try to get your service to do your lawn work late in the week and speak with them about hauling off the debris each time. If they refuse, it may be time to locate a company who will comply.

I request that if you place debris at the curb/street late in the week, please do not cover our storm drains. We just paid a lot of money to have a company clean many of our street storm drains and we can’t have them plugged and causing water backup problems. Please be considerate.

It was announced that we are changing the schedule for our swimming pools to be open and staffed. We are switching from Monday thru Friday to Wednesday thru Sunday, so they are open on the weekends and more adults can use the pools. Our requirements remain the same as before. You must sign the forms each visit.

I spoke with the Village of Wellington about our boundary areas in need of repair. We reached an agreement that Grand Isles will tear out the existing fence and hedge/growth next year. We will begin a two-year program where we will trim back the large ficus trees (not the tops) and replace fencing along our eastern-most border (Sausalito) and plant clusia hedge behind the homes backing up to the light industry area. We will complete the project in 2022. We will not be required to replace fencing between our border and the park as the Village has the 10-foot-tall fence there. The Village does not require backĀ­to-back fences.

We have applied for a permit to remove six dead trees along the northern border and expect to have this completed as quickly as possible.

In 2023, we plan to replace the current hedge and fence between Carmel’s southern border and the middle school. In 2024, we intend to work on the western boundary along 120th street.

We just completed replacing 1,900 feet of fence and hedge that had not previously been replaced; this section is from our west entrance monument along Lake Worth road, and then along our western border to our back entrance. The job included removing the old fence and ficus hedging and installing new fencing and 500 clusia bushes. This was a $55,000 project for everything including permitting.

We estimate that this community has at least two miles of fence and hedges.

A resident in attendance at the meeting voiced her concern about dead plant matter in the lake behind her house. I explained that many of us have the dead vegetation and that we need to be patient as it will dissipate. Also, some vegetation is good for our waterways and will be allowed to grow. Lastly, I understand that a couple of types of plants are not allowed to be killed and are protected by law as they are good for our lakes. We have a new lake service company and they inherited a challenging situation. Solitude Lake Services will get our lakes/ponds in great shape, but it won’t happen in three months.

The clubhouse cupola windows were replaced last week with impact windows, so we will no longer need a company to walk on our roof to install the shutters. We plan to replace the clubhouse roof early next year.

We are at an in-between season for flowers and our entrance flowers were looking great until very recently. We have a resident who has helped us negotiate some free flowers to bridge us over to the next opportunity for some nice seasonal flowers later this Fall. BrightView will only charge us for the installation. Thanks, John Massa!

Residents have requested that we remind everyone that trash cans/vegetation cans are to be hidden from view from the street. Please comply. If you keep them at the side of your home, please shield them with a hedge.

Also, any personal property is to be stored within the home, with the exception of lawn/pool furniture used behind the house. Don’t leave kids’ bikes, toys, lawn tools, etc. lying around the yard, visible from the street.

Lastly, we would like to reduce our mailing costs for these newsletters. One solution is for residents to go to our website and read the newsletters there. Actually, the newsletters are posted on the website about three or four days before you get it in your mailbox, but we realize that not everyone has a computer to access the website. Another option is for us to collect an email address from each of our homes where we can email the newsletter. Both of these options would be great and reduce our costs. We realize we do have some residents who do not have a computer, thus will need to continue to have the newsletters mailed to them. In this mailing is a form requesting information from you so we know if you are willing to go to the website to review the newsletters, or if you would like to be on our email list where we can send them to you, or if you wish to continue to receive hard-copy through the mail. We have included with this mailing information on how to sign-up for our website. We currently have about 260 residents on our site and would like everyone possible to sign up. Our website has everything you need to know about our community. It includes our By-Laws, Architectural Control request forms, and much, much more. Also, don’t forget our Facebook page.

On Friday, September 4th we will have a photographer take new pictures of our community for posting on our website. We want Grand Isles to look its best on that date.

As always, thank you for your time and we appreciate you staying informed by reading about our community.

Doug Stark, HOA Board President

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