SPCSA held its 2020 Annual Membership Meeting and Election on November 17th at the SPCSA Maintenance Building, 397 Sabal Palm Drive. The meeting was attended by a majority of Board members and about 25 other residents. The Board reviewed 2020 challenges, year-end financial position and the status of key community issues. Participants asked a variety of questions on topics including:
Vinyl Fencing Restrictions and Enforcement – residents asked about the reasoning behind the association’s enforcement of its long-standing architectural restriction of vinyl/plastic fencing. Deed restrictions on fences and exterior materials were reviewed along with the status of an ongoing covenants enforcement action for a vinyl fence installed without approval. The association won this case at trial in July, 2019 and has been awarded “prevailing party legal fee recovery”. As of December 18, 2020 [recent update] the defendant’s Appeal has been Denied. As a reminder, all fencing and screening installations must be submitted in advance for architectural review and approval.
SPCSA’s Finances – the association’s financial status remained solid in 2020 with maintenance costs for the 85-acre “Sabal Point Commons” property running on budget after nearly 5 years of ownership. Residents asked if Open Space Funds are segregated and tracked separately from regular Operating funds and the answer was “yes”.
SPCSA will finish the year in a slight Operating budget over-run situation due to Legal fees for several Collection actions, document updates and the covenants enforcement appeal mentioned above. Next year’s Annual association dues will increase by ~1% over 2019, or $6/year for single-family homes.
Village on the Green (VOG) Expansion Status – the multi-year VOG modernization and expansion project has made significant progress, with major new health and memory care facilities nearing completion in the New Year. It is hoped that the construction fencing and building mockup structure can be removed in the spring.
Special Appreciation – was extended to Bob Bruno and Jeff Shepherd for preparing the 397 Building for the meeting, and to Marlo Sanders who supports SPCSA as Sentry’s Community Association Manager.
Election of Directors – the election for Board of Directors positions was conducted with Jim Billotte, Paul Bruno and Mike Champagne re-elected to 3-year terms starting in January. Thanks to the other two residents who ran in this election, to all SPCSA voters, and congratulations to Jim, Paul and Mike!
Are Golf Carts Legal On Sabal Point Roads?
In our view, the answer is generally “No”.
Golf Carts and “Low Speed Vehicles” (LSVs) are covered by a variety of Florida Statutes and Seminole County Code. Most of these rules prohibit operation on public roads except under limited conditions and with certain roadway designations, posted signage, and vehicle safety equipment.
Golf carts are four-wheeled vehicles designed primarily for use on golf courses with a maximum speed of 20 mph. LSVs are four-wheeled vehicles whose top speed is greater than 20 miles per hour, but not greater than 25 miles per hour.
Florida Statute 316 states in part: operation of a golf cart upon public roads or streets of the state is prohibited except:
- On County or municipal roads that have been “designated for use by golf carts”.
- To cross public roadways in clearly marked areas where there is a golf course constructed on both sides of the roadway.
While some Central Florida communities like “The Villages” have made golf carts street-legal, Sabal Point’s public roads are not designated or marked for golf cart use.
Florida Statute 320 states that LSVs may be operated by licensed drivers only on streets where the posted speed limit is 35 MPH or less and the vehicle is insured. Vehicles must be equipped with the following safety equipment:
- Front and rear turn signals;
- Stop lamps;
- Tail lamps;
- Reflex reflectors, red – one each side and one on the rear;
- Exterior mirror on the driver side and an interior rear-view mirror or exterior mirror on passenger side;
- Parking brake;
- Seat belt for each designated seat; and a
- Vehicle identification number (VIN).
In addition, the 85-acre “Sabal Point Commons” community property is posted with usage restrictions including “No unauthorized motor vehicles”. The only vehicles currently authorized include those of certain officers, employees, land and waterway service providers and association vehicles.
Families with privately-owned golf carts or similar vehicles can legally use them on their own property, or on other private property with permission from the owner, and with operators who are at least 14 years old. Golf cart operation on public roads or posted common areas is not legal. Violations can be reported to the association or the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office at 407.665.6650.
Can Neighors Let Pets Poop On My Lawn?
Again, the answer is “No”, residents must properly control their pets. Dog and cat owners have responsibilities both under Sabal Point deed restrictions and Seminole County Codes, Chapter 20, Ordinances Pertaining to Animals. Highlights include:
- Pet Waste – it is illegal for owners to leave pet waste on sidewalks, common areas or on private property of neighboring homeowners. Pet Stations with plastic bags and receptacles are provided along Sabal Palm Drive to facilitate collection and safe deposit of pet waste.
- Leash Laws – all dogs and cats must be kept on a leash when not on their owner’s property. Carrying a leash while your dog runs free is not an option. Leash laws are in place for the safety of your pet and animals owned by other neighbors, as well as protection of walkers, bike riders and joggers in our community.
- Barking Dogs – Seminole County Code Section 20.19 Noisy Animals specifies limits for leaving dogs or other animals outside, allowing repetitive barking, howling or screeching, and outlines methods of filing complaints with Law Enforcement or Animal Control authorities.
Residents can report violations by obtaining the name and address of non-compliant pet owners along with the date and time of specific violations. These may be reported to SPCSA via Sentry Management or to the Seminole County Sheriff’s non-emergency number at 407.665.6650.
Please be a good neighbor and responsible pet owner and follow community rules.
Beginning last September, SPCSA’s Architectural Review Committee (ARC) is now holding twice-monthly meetings to review and disposition resident requests for exterior changes or additions. In addition to the current ARC Reviews at monthly SPCSA Board Meetings, the ARC will also convene at 9:30 AM on the first Thursday of each month at the association’s Maintenance Building located at 397 Sabal Palm Drive. Meeting reminders will be posted in the community at least 48 hours in advance. Owners are welcome to attend, ask questions about possible projects or to appeal any prior requests that may have been “Denied”. Please explore the Architectural Review section of this website for guidance on when approval is required and what information should accompany ARC Requests.
Our Community Is Going “Bear Aware”
Our Sabal Point Community is located next to major wilderness conservation areas and the Wekiva River Preserve. As a result, wildlife including bears, deer, raccoons, coyotes and other animals enter the community seeking food. Bears in particular can become accustomed to foraging in residential areas and lose their fear of human contact. Bears that have become “habituated” to humans pose a potential hazard for residents, visitors and pets, and have been involved in bear attacks on several occasions. It is in the best interests of our community and the local bear population to be “Bear Aware” residents and limit the attraction of bears.
Why Bear-Resistant Containers?
Residents should not feed deer, bears, alligators or other wildlife since feeding concentrates animals and creates the risk of disease spread and reduced animal fear of humans. Bear attractants must be controlled including:
- Household refuse, picnic refuse and food waste on trash, used plates or other containers;
- Pet foods, pet food leftovers and foods in accessible storage areas;
- Bird seed in feeders or seed accumulations on the ground under feeding areas;
- Barbeque grills with food accumulations, drippings or grease traps;
- Refrigerators or freezers in garages or other exterior locations;
- Vehicles containing food, groceries, coolers or bagged garbage;
- Fruit trees (non-citrus), nut trees and berry trees or bushes.
Our homeowner association has mandated that all single-family owners in designated SPCSA villages store and dispose of household refuse and food-contaminated garbage in a lockable, 64-gallon “bear-resistant container”. These containers have been approved by Seminole County Solid Waste and Waste Pro, our waste-hauling service, and are being provided at a subsidized price of about $42.13. Other non-food-contaminated waste may be put out for pickup in regular trashcans on the day of pickup.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Do I have to use the Bear-Resistant Container?
A: Yes. SPCSA’s modified deed restrictions specify that the lockable bear-resistant container must be used as the primary container for household refuse disposal once delivered by Seminole County. Other trashcans can only be used for non-food-contaminated refuse after the primary container is filled and put out for collection. Recycling bins should not contain food-contaminated waste items.
Q: How will I be charged for my container?
A: Sentry Management will be mailing affected SPCSA homeowners a payment coupon for approximately $42.13 once the containers have been delivered to individual residences, probably within the next month or so.
Q: When can bear-resistant containers be put out for pickup?
A: Bear-resistant containers may be placed at the curb the night before designated trash collection. Regular trashcans can only be put at the curb on the day of pickup. Emptied containers should be removed by sundown the day of collection and stored in a location out of sight from the street or neighboring properties.
Q: What if my family wants to purchase a second container or needs repairs or a replacement?
A: Additional containers are available from our trash collection contractor at an individual homeowner price of about $126. For details, delivery or repair information contact Waste Pro at 407-774-0800 or www.wasteprousa.com/seminolecounty/, or for more information visit: http://www.seminolecountyfl.gov/news/discounted-bear-resistant-refuse-containers.stml.
Q: What if neighbors are not using their bear-resistant containers?
A: Violations may be reported by contacting SPCSA/Marlo Sanders at Sentry Management or by calling Seminole County Solid Waste Customer Service at 407-665-2260. A photo of violations with address and date information will be helpful.
Q: What if my container is damaged or won’t operate?
A: Report problems to Seminole County Solid Waste – Customer Service at 407-665-2260 or call Joshua Marshall at Seminole County Solid Waste at 407-665-2262. Containers have a 3-year warranty and can be replaced during that time.
To learn more about being “Bear Aware”, residents can visit Florida Fish & Wildlife at http://www.myfwc.com/bear or Seminole County at www.bearawareseminole.com.
Thank you for helping keep our Community safe…for Sabal Point families and neighboring wildlife!
Good news for SPCSA residents, bad news for bears! SPCSA single family villages have been approved by Seminole County to receive bear-resistant trash containers at a greatly reduced price ($42 vs. $150). The 64-gallon lockable, wheeled containers are on order and expected to be distributed to residents in early 2018. They have greatly reduced bear-encounters in other communities. There will be no additional collection surcharges and residents will be assessed for their trashcan as is done for annual dues. Watch for future postings and mailings on rules and restrictions for new container use.