A number of families move to Sabal Point each year and many ask questions about our community, neighborhoods and our homeowners associations (HOAs). Here are some “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQs) and answers about Sabal Point and how our HOAs help families enjoy their lives and protect their property values.
How many homeowners' associations are there in Sabal Point, and why are there more than one?
There are actually four main associations in Sabal Point plus several other important groups:
- The Sabal Point Homeowners Association (SPHA) has about 150 families in Sabal Woods;
- The Sabal Point Property Owners Association (SPPOA) covers about 180 families in the Whisper Wood I, Whisper Wood II and Cypress Landing villages;
- The Sabal Point Community Services Association (SPCSA) has about 980 families in a dozen villages at the south end of the community; see About Sabal Point.
- The Sabal Point Commercial Property Association (SPCPA) represents the owners of about 1200 apartment and condo units in complexes including Golf Brook, The Residences at Sabal Point, Sabal Club, Sabal Park and Sabal Walk.
- In addition, some condominium complexes have their own condo associations, and SPCSA villages like Sabal Green and Sabal Fairway Villas have “Committees” to oversee their area’s landscape maintenance activities.
- Sabal Point Homeowners Association (Sabal Woods) – www.mysabalwoods.com
- Sabal Point Property Owners Association (Whisper Wood, Cypress Landing) – www.sabalpointhoa.org
Our community was built in a time-phased manner and past developers set up these associations for different phases at different times under state statutes. Each main association has its own responsibilities, Articles of Incorporation, Board of Directors, specific covenants and budget.
Who manages and controls each association?
Under Florida law, each association is managed by a Board of Directors whose membership and election process are specified by the HOA’s Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and Covenants. In some cases, Board members do not have to be property owners, but most HOAs are run by neighbors who care about the community and volunteer their time and talent.
NOTE: while the associations are “managed” by their Boards of Directors, each HOA is fundamentally under the control of the home or unit owners who are its members. Every owner has an opportunity to direct and support their HOA activities by staying informed, attending Board meetings and participating in Annual Meetings and Elections of Directors. It is the owners’ responsibility to volunteer or vote for Board Candidates, raise issues, share concerns and suggest changes in community rules when necessary.
What do the association Boards actually do?
Each Board of Directors (or their Property Management firm) does the daily work of collecting money, paying bills, supervising contractors, handling resident inquiries and correspondence, preparing financial statements and filing necessary documents. Board Directors also interface with other HOAs, with Seminole County and other governmental agencies, and communicate with the local electric power, water/sewer and cable utilities who seem to enjoy digging up our neighborhood.
Most association Board members also serve on volunteer Committees to oversee Landscaping/Grounds Maintenance, Architectural Control and Compliance monitoring. Each of these contributes significantly to preserving the safety, stability, appearances and quality of life in our neighborhoods.
Why do the associations collect dues, and what does the money pay for?
Each HOA has responsibility for maintaining a wide variety of areas, equipment and infrastructure in their portion of the community, and members share the cost of work that costs money. Contractors are hired, repairs are completed, utility bills are paid, and capital equipment and infrastructure must be replaced over time. Key association expenditures include:
- Landscaping/Irrigation – each HOA hires mowing, landscaping and tree contractors, provides irrigation, fertilization and pest control, takes care of assigned village entrances, common areas and street medians, and maintains infrastructure items such as brick walls, pumps, piping, wiring, and some walkways or paved areas. Some HOA common areas consist of open space with ponds, parks and playground equipment that also need upkeep.
- Signs/Lights – while Seminole County provides many of Sabal Point’s traffic and street signage, our HOAs support signs and lights at village entrances and a variety of other locations. Many of these installations also have light-sensors or timers that wear out or are damaged by Central Florida’s lightening strikes.
- Utility Expenses – just like homeowners, HOAs may have to pay electric, water and sewer bills, all of which are on the rise.
- Professional Services – our associations are supported by a variety of necessary professionals including attorneys, accountants, insurance agents, and some have property managers.
- Capital Reserves – while there is seldom much money “left over” at month’s-end, HOA Boards try to anticipate replacement costs and timing for key capital items like equipment and infrastructure. Some Boards set aside an amount for “Reserves” each year to avoid “Special Assessments” when something expensive breaks down or needs replacement.
What else are HOA Board members involved in?
Most Boards of Directors meet approximately once a month, typically at a designated day, time and location. Meeting Notices are posted in advance. These sessions are open to owners, and owners are given time to speak. Meetings are usually busy, with multiple agenda items, committee reports and updates on problems or association projects. Board members try to represent the interests of their property owners by overseeing their Association’s operations and approving an annual budget, typically available at the HOA’s Annual Meeting and Election. During busy periods, it’s not unusual for Board officers and the heads of key committees to spend a several hours per week on association business.
How can I stay informed and learn more about my HOA?
The following HOAs have web sites available for homeowner use:
- Sabal Point Homeowners Association (SPHA) – MySabalWoods.com;
- Sabal Point Property Owners Association (SPPOA) – SabalPointHOA.org;
- Sabal Point Community Services Association (SPCSA) – SabalPoint.org.
Residents are welcome to attend their HOA’s posted monthly and Annual meetings, and to contact any Board member for answers to other questions.