By the People, For the People
FAQ Did You Know? Elections Lost&Found Restrictions Paint Colors
Disclaimer: This web site is run by a homeowner living in the Quatraine III community. The views and statements made on this page do not reflect those of the current board of directors. In other words, it's my site, and me talking, not anyone else.
This is the archive page for the 2007 calendar year.
03/12/08 - The annual membership meeting was held at Volunteer park. 4 members were in the audience, 2 proxies, and 5 board members for a total of 11 people. A quorum was not established for the annual meeting and the current board rolled over. The president recapped the previous year (fence painting, pool deck, tree trimming, dues stay the same). The president then highlighted a few items the board has planned for the new year. 1. Mulch within the next two weeks. 2. Tree root damage and asphalt repairs. 3. Bid to seal coat after repairs cure in 6 months. 4. Repaint parking and car stops. 5. Install handicap parking space at the pool per city requirements. 6. Replace bushes that have died in common areas. 7. Tree trimming to be done in May, again in the fall for palms only. 8. Favorable response to "Do Your Duty" sign attached to garbage can across from the pool. Three more signs have been ordered. 9. Plans to install new lights on the two mailboxes along 99th ave and at the entrance of 99th ave.
A homeowner asked if roofs can be painted white, thinking it would make the home cooler. The answer was no, roofs can not be painted white. The homeowner was told it gets dirty just as fast, and then the roofs will look different. The best idea is to hire a company like Americoast who come out each year on a schedule. The same homeowner asked what the board is doing about homes that have loose roof tiles. The president responded the board does walk thrus once a month and those people receive notices.
03/05/08 - A master association meeting was held at the Parc Court Clubhouse. This was the annual meeting. All board positions remained the same. The fountain was discussed. It was decided to get another bid to see if there is a more efficient pump. The current pump is rated at 7.5HP and costs $500 a month to run. The QIV landscaping issue was discussed. QIV is going to apply for a Broward Beautiful grant. This year it appears the county is offering a matching grant of $7,500. QIV already has a landscape plan drawn up they can submit.
I received my renewal notice from a roof cleaning company called Ameriacoast. They pressure cleaned my roof last year and did a good job. Their phone number is 954-480-2686. The way it works, is they come out the first year and inspect the roof, then pressure clean it. The first service cost more because of the inspection, they will fix 10 tiles patching them back together. After that, they charge less to come back each year. What happens is they send out a renewal notice, I sign it, send it back, and then they put me on the schedule.
03/02/08 - The annual meeting was re-scheduled to March 12th because there would not have been a quorum for the February 27th meeting date. The decision to do this was checked with an attorney who said it was ok to postpone the meeting.
There have been a few messages posted on the Yahoo forums talking about black plastic bags, excessive noise in the neighborhood, and how often the property manager walks the property. First of all, the property management company, and the members of the board don't and can't get involved with all disputes. There are always people doing things that are not appreciated. Can the property manager or board solve every one? No. I actually know who the person with the white truck is, he lives in a culdesac to the north. I can mention something to him, but the board doesn't get involved with every little thing that goes wrong.
As to how often the property manager walks the property, the irrigation company is run by Chris, who is a partner with Jane. He is often on site and he can take care of issues if the property management company knows about them. We also have Rubin, who walks the property during the week cleaning things up. If you see something that is not right, then call the property manager and Jane "should" rely the message to Rubin or Chris. As to firing the property manager, no, there are far worse companies out there.
The entire purpose of my web site was to find out why running the board is so hard. Now I know. It's a small form of government and the board members ARE NOT PAID. So what happens, is the property management company basically takes care of the regular contracts (lawn, pool, tree trimming, pest control), collects money, sends out late notices, and is the office side of the board. That's why things don't always get done. The decisions are supposed to be made by the board, so the property manager won't necessarily take care of a problem unless they are directed to by the board. BUT, any homeowner can call the property manager, complain, and try to get issues resolved. Any homeowner can also visit the property manager to inspect all documents. The homeowner can be just as vocal as board members. So why doesn't Jane have an e-mail address or read the Yahoo forum. She doesn't have an e-mail address because she doesn't want to spend all day playing e-mail tag. She takes care of about 17 other properties. You see, that's how property management companies stay in business, by running many properties. So why don't we find someone who doesn't run as many properties? We did, 17 is actually a small number compared to other companies.
So what's the solution? There is none. It's like the Iraq war. Things will never be perfect. But I will say that board members SHOULD BE PAID, but they are not. That's why most board members quit after 3 years and never do it again. When I walked the property getting proxies, I bumped into many former board members and asked them to get involved, they all said No Thanks. They've realized it's a waste of time. People try to make a difference and it like pulling teeth. The lawn will always get cut, the pool will always be clean, the trees will be trimmed, and the bills will be paid. That's what the property manager does and it's why board members come and go. When a board member quits, the world continues to turn.
02/07/08 - The decision to fix the fountain will be made at the annual master meeting on March 5th. By now, everyone should have received their election packet which included the budget. The number of items on the budget was reduced to make it simple to read. The most notable item, there is now 24K a year put in reserves for future road repair. Most of the line items are fairly straight forward to understand. The R&M (repairs and maintenance) is what is left over after the budgeted (contract) items have been paid each month.
A homeowner asked if anyone reads the Yahoo message board. Yes, when a new message is posted I receive the e-mail and forward the information to the board. A homeowner attended a meeting and gave the president a bunch of information about dog pooper signs. The board looked them over and agreed it was a good idea. I sent an e-mail with information about dog pooper signs from this company.
These signs are located in Waterford Court Yard to the south of us. A new station would be required if the waste bags are put above the garbage can, and each one costs approximately $500 per can for a total of 2k. So why wasn't it done yet? Because some items fizzle out, it's politics. An HOA is a small form of government. A suggestion has to be voted on, cost approved, and so on, just like a city, county, state, or federal government. The board thought spending that much money was expensive. There was an idea to place a sign around one of the garbage cans, but it seems that didn't happen. The item didn't come up at the last meeting, but it can be placed on the agenda for the next meeting. The same thing happened with the road repairs. The board got a bid to do patch work for 6k, then decided to wait for a bid from HardDrives, which is the company that would do the complete repaving. That bid hasn't come in yet, that's why the lines are still on the road that everyone sees.
What about the property manager having an e-mail address? Jane does not have time to send e-mails back and forth with homeowners. When messages are posted in the Yahoo forum, I send an e-mail to the entire board including Jane asking for a status on the items.
02/01/08 - The fountain between QIII and QIV has been broken for a couple weeks. Does anyone know? Yes. Who fixes it? The master does, not our property manager. Why hasn't it been fixed yet? Because the irrigation person had to go out there, remove the pump, and present a bid which was received on this day. The pump had holes in it, was shot. The motor is a 7.5 HP 2 stage single phase Goulds. This pump is actually located at the fountain itself in the water, meaning the irrigation guy had to swim out there to get it. The price for the pump is $2,200. There are also 3 lights that have to be replaced and a splice kit. These lights come on at night. The entire job is approximately $2,700. So what happens next? I'll respond to the e-mail saying QIII wants the pump fixed. The other board members from the master will have to agree. If we don't agree in e-mail, then it will wait until the March 5th meeting, which is the annual. We should have no problem fixing the fountain, because when it's broken, the master is saving $500 on the electric bill. That's how much money it costs to run the fountain each month. So in approximately 6 months we'll have 3k in savings from not running the fountain, but I think we'll have it fixed before then. This is another example of why it takes so long to get things fixed. Someone had to go out there, remove the broken pump, get bids, present them, and now the board has to vote.
01/17/08 - One of the violations on the walk through was for broken screens in front of the homes. If your screens are broken you can try calling Fred Fothergill (The Screen Guy) at 954-943-4146 or 954-540-2162 (cell). A homeowner had their screens replaced and he did good work. Of coarse, it is the homeowners responsibility to do all homework before hiring a contractor.
01/10/08 - A Master Association Meeting was held at the Parc Court Clubhouse with Keith Shriver (Urban Forester) attending. Keith answered questions from the master as to how the master can replant along Quatraine IV with limited funds. Keith's main point was that the fence needs to be "screened" because that's part of the fence permit and city code. Keith said the master can start with the shrubs, and do the trees in the future. The approximate cost to do the shrubs is $10,500. So not only is the city concerned with the canopy, but also screening along fences. The motion to give Quatrine IV 5K and have them pay the rest is still in place and I did bring that up. I gave Keith a plan showing the front of QIII and said we have trees going up into the power lines. Keith took the plan and said he will get back to me in a few weeks. Why is this important? Because even with Asplundh trimming the trees, they still go up into the power lines, and when a storm comes through we lose power for a week. Plus there are a few trees out front with roots exposed which people could trip on. A homeowner posted a message on the Yahoo forums asking why the master is even responsible for the trees going up into the power lines, I asked Keith that question and if there are any programs the city has to help communities. The answer is that public funds have to be used on public property, and we are Private. From the sidewalk to the swale is master association property, The city doesn't have any program to help communities, even though there is a "donate a tree" thing on their web site. It is also unknown if the Broward Beautiful program will even happen this year. That program is done by the county and deals with entrance ways. Therefore, there are no programs from the city, or country to help us, we're on our own. That's why I keep bringing up the idea of doing one tree a month using the operating account.
01/07/08 - I went on the violation walk through of the community this weekend. Again, the main things that need to be addressed are fences, cleaning back yards, painting homes, and pressure cleaning roofs. The 2008 budget will be mailed out soon, and a letter from the property manager will ask homeowners to pressure clean their roofs. A few homeowners came out and talked to us. They asked about the painted lines all over the community. When we told them the estimated cost to re-pave everything, they didn't believe us. Most homeowners have no idea how much the jobs cost. On the walk through, I marked up one of the site plans with the trees out front. There are approximately 38 trees along the front that need to be removed/replaced. This is why landscaping jobs are so big and never get done. The cost to remove/replace 38 trees will easily be over 20k. Why do these trees need to be removed/replaced? Because they are going up in the power lines. Having Asplundh trim them is ok, but they'll still trip the power lines in a storm. Just so everyone knows, the bottom lines are for cable, the very top lines are power. The idea is to start with two ficus trees to the east side near the lake. There are currently 5 ficus trees along the front of the first home. Two of those ficus trees have roots exposed and one of the trees is up into the power lines. The idea is to submit the plan to the city, get the proper permits, and do 1 or 2 trees a month. Of coarse, everything out front is supposed to be done by the master, and that's why I'm taking a plan to the January 10th meeting.
01/01/08 - Happy New Year everyone. I spoke to Kim Moyer last Friday, she's the architect who drew up the plan for QIV and once did some work for QIII a long time ago. I told Kim the entire story of what QIV did, and she said it was a mistake that landscaping was torn out with no plan for replacement. The "can of worms" was opened when QIV went to the city with a landscaping plan for their interior. The city came back and said the outside had to be included. You see, when landscaping is ripped out with no plan for replacement, the city gets angry and looks to have it replaced perfectly the way it was years ago. That's exactly what happened, the city came back with a perfect plan that calls for everything to be replaced along the sidewalks in front of QIV. Now we can see the big picture of what happened. After Wilma came through, QIV ripped out the landscaping, put up their 6 foot fences, then submitted their plan for interior landscaping. They moved much slower than QIII. In the case of QIII, we did the clean up, told everyone to repair their own fences, then re-landscaped the community with the special assessment money. 42 trees and various bushes were replanted at a cost of 48k. This plan was approved by Keith and it was done back in July of 2006. Fast forward to today, QIV is now looking to replant their interior, and the city is telling them it must be perfect along with the master land out front. I picked up our site plan from the city and had copies of it made. I'm going to mark up one of these plans with the trees out front, and bring it to the next master meeting on January 10th. Kim said that the master job, and the interior of each community should be done separately. When Steve (master landscaper) found out that the master had to be included in the QIV plan, he should of told the master this, and had the entire master plan done by Kim. But he didn't, he only had Kim draw up the plan for QIV, and this has angered the other communities.
12/16/07 - I have heard that a police officer is making sure people stop at the stop signs. As far as I know, it was not any board member that called. Watch out. It's been 2 years since we've had a major storm. If you have a generator, now would be a good time to start it and make sure it runs. After you do this, it's a good idea to drain the fluids before storing it away. Once again, I called Keith Shriver (Urban Forester) at the City of Plantation and discussed the situation of the master. Keith is scheduled to attend the next master meeting on January 10th. I told him it was QIV that ripped out their shrubs, and they are responsible. He didn't care saying the city doesn't get involved in HOA disputes. Next I told him the master doesn't have $22,538 to replant along QIV. Again, he really didn't have an answer, other than to say it would be best to start along Cleary Blvd, which will cost 10k. I mentioned that QIII would like to draw up a long term landscaping plan and remove/replace the trees under the power lines. He said that could be looked at depending on the canopy issue. You see, when talking about trees with the city, their priority is the canopy. Therefore, a site plan will be obtained from the city, walk throughs will happen, an architect will be hired, the plan will be submitted to the city, and we'll go from there. This is exactly what QIV did, it's just that they didn't involved the other communities from the master until coming to the last meeting when they asked for $22,538.
12/12/07 - A meeting was held at Volunteer Park. A bid was presented from Suncoast to repair the spots were roots are coming up. All of these spots are currently marked with pink ink. The board decided to table this until a bid from Harddrives comes in for paving of the entire community, which is the big job. The board spent a good 30 minutes talking about the road paving issue. A long term landscaping plan was also discussed for about 20 minutes. I am going to call Keith Shriver (Urban Forester) at the city and discuss an idea about tree replacement. The inside of Quatriane III was landscaped in July of 2006 with 42 new trees planted, mulch, and various shrubs. The main job that needs attention is the trees along Cleary Blvd. Some of these trees have roots sticking up, and they're close to the power lines, even though Asplundh trimmed them last year. I am also going to discuss the entire master plan since QIV doesn't want to compromise, even though a motion was passed to give them 5K and "go away." The city likes it when communities replace older trees, in this case, that would be the black olives that make a mess of everything and are nuisance trees. The problem is these jobs are huge and cost a lot of money. My idea is to replace one or two trees a month. That way the cost of the job doesn't kill the operating account since it is spread out over a long period of time. If one tree was replaced each month, that would be 120 trees over a 10 year period. Same thing with the master, we've gone on 3 walk throughs with Keith, and each time we do, the scope of the job is so huge that nothing gets done. The only way I see landscaping jobs being completed is to do one tree a month. QIV would like the master to special assess the five communities so they can get their trees done out front. The other communities are saying no way, especially when the plan only includes QIV and none of the other communities. Plus the 2008 budget was already approved for the master. In the open forum, a homeowner stated people are still parking cars around the cul-de-sacs and this makes it impossible for the garbage truck to go around. Please use the guest spots, even if this means walking farther.
The 2008 budget was approved, it will be mailed to all homeowners soon along with a friendly reminder from the property manager asking all homeowners to pressure clean their roof, paint the insides of fences, fix fence gates, cut back yards, and paint the home if needed. The new coupon books are being mailed out right now and the assessment will stay at $125. I read a statement which was entered into the minutes that the reserves will have 24k a year budgeted, which is mainly used for road repaving. The operating account will also have a surplus which ends up in the repairs and maintenance (R&M) category. This money will be saved for future landscaping. Any board members reading the minutes in the future will know the current board had a long term plan. The next board meeting is Wednesday February 27th. This is the annual meeting where an election can happen if 86 people show up in person or by proxy.
12/09/07 - I went on the violation walk through on this day. Most violations involve broken fence gates where the latch is broken, or the gate is crooked and doesn't line up with the fence Other violations are for the insides of fences that need to be painted. A few people have yards that need to be cut and cleaned up. A few have broken screens in the front of the home, or need to be completely re-painted. The other thing that will come up next year is cleaning roofs. The board has held off on sending violations notices about dirty roofs since there were water restrictions, but that will change next year. Something I learned on this walk through, is that the street lights are maintained by FPL. On each black pole, there is a number on a tag. If the light is out, write down the number and call FPL.
The following jobs that everyone needs to pay attention to would be roof cleaning, house painting, fence painting, and yard cleaning. Of coarse, if you already do these things then good for you. If everyone did these jobs on a regular basis, the community would look much better. But some people don't have the money, or they are renters. Everything I've just said is common sense stuff, but it doesn't get done, which is why there is a violation walk through every month. These items will be mentioned in the letter that is sent with the budget next month. The homeowners we bumped into on the walk through were happy to see us walking the property.
The budget meeting is Wednesday December 12th. The new budget will be approved at this meeting. It will be noted in the minutes that an extra 1k is going towards the reserve for road repairs. This will bring the total amount going to the reserves to 2k each month, or 24k a year. If you do the math, that means the reserves will have 120k in 5 years, plus whatever is there now (approximately 63k). There are still repairs that need to be done during the 5 years. For example, Suncoast came through the property and marked spots (in red ink) where roots are coming through the pavement. Most of this is near the front entrance of 98th ave. A bid is expected to be presented at the budget meeting. A bid from Harddrives is still in the works, this is the company that can do the complete re-paving job in 5 years.
11/26/07 - A car parked at the home two doors to my right was broken into Sunday night. This would be the corner house in the far NW cul-de-sac (9930). The owner of the car forgot to lock their door. A DVD players was stolen, but no windows were smashed. It appears who ever did this was looking for cars that were unlocked. The same thing happened to the neighbor two doors to my left a few months ago. In that case the owner walked out, saw the robber, and scared them off. I reviewed the data from my security camera and it appears that at 01:51AM, a small car with no lights on rolls past my home. There was someone walking in front of this car, and someone walking behind the car. The first person appears to be wearing white sneakers. The car appears to have an orange mark on the side door, or the door could have been open and I was seeing the seat. It is very hard to make out the images because it was dark. I have given a DVD with the image data to the homeowner. Please remember to keep your car doors locked.
11/14/07 - Pressure Cleaning took place on this day by Highlands. Hopefully the sidewalks will look good. It's very hard to keep them clean with the black olive trees making a mess of things. A walk through with Suncoast is being scheduled. The purpose of this walk through is for patching the roads where roots are coming up. A bid from Harddrives paving company is also in the works and will take 2-3 weeks. This will give the board a better idea of exactly how much it will cost to completely repave the community. This job is a good 5 years away, but there is a line item in the budget reserves to save for it. The bid for up-lights is still being worked on, this is a wish list item and involves running new electrical.
In other news, I spoke with Keith Shriver (Urban Forester) from the city. It appears that QIV didn't submit a plan for purple shower because Keith didn't know what I was talking about. Keith recommended planting trees along Cleary Blvd to start, but just doing that will cost 5k. If you walk along Cleary Blvd towards QIV, you'll count 14 trees that need to be replaced. To put bushes, mulch, and sod around those trees will cost another 5k, which is how much is in the master reserves. In other words, there isn't enough money to do that job without wiping out the master funds. And this is only along Cleary blvd. To go from the corner to the other side of QIV will cost another 14k. The master made a deal with QIV back in May to get 5k from the reserves and complete the rest of the job on their own. QIV didn't hold up their end of the deal and this will complicate everything, could go to mediation. The deal is in the minutes and the meeting was digitally recorded. And people wonder why it's so hard to get things done, it's called politics.
11//07/07 - A master association meeting was held at the Parc Court Clubhouse. The big issue of the night was the landscaping requirements for Quatraine IV. In May of this year, the master voted to give Quatraine IV five thousand dollars to let them plant purple shower and pay for the rest of the landscaping on their own. The landscaper of Quatraine IV submitted his plan to the city, and it was rejected 3 times. The city drew up their own plan rejecting the purple shower idea, and they came back with a detailed plan that is much more expensive. There was talk about how Quatraine V put in new landscaping, and the city told them to take it out after the fact. So the Quatraine IV landscaper tried to do the right thing, submitted a plan, and things became much more complicated. The property manager who takes care of Quatraine V also takes care of Quatraine IV. A drawing was produced that showed exactly what the city wants. It's an architect plan that fills an entire table, very detailed, over done. The cost to landscape the master in front of Quatraine IV is $22,538. Just to landscape the tiny strip along Cleary Blvd in front of Quatraine IV will cost 9k. The master doesn't have this kind of money to spend, and it wasn't budgeted for 2008. Why wasn't more money budgeted for landscaping? Because the master decided to give Quatraine IV 5k to take care of it on their own, and the master wasn't going to take on any big landscaping projects going into 2008. The estimated cost 6 months ago for Quatraine IV to re-landscape their front area was about 9k, that's why Quatraine IV was going to get 5k from the master, and pay the rest on their own, but this deal is done since the city rejected the plan and basically tripled the price of the job. No decision was made at this meeting, because nothing could be agreed upon. There isn't that kind of money in the reserve, it isn't budgeted for, no one wants a special assessment, and the city just raised their expectations way up high.
Now I will give my opinion on the situation. The requirements from the City are way overboard, or "pie in the sky" as they say. In a perfect world, people would remove old trees and replace them with better trees that the city likes. But all this stuff costs a ton of money. The city doesn't care, they drew up a perfect plan that costs too much. 22K just for the area in front of Quatraine IV, and the master only has 10K in the reserve account. It's going to cost Quatraine IV approximately 36K to landscape inside their development, and this is private property we're talking about, yet the city told them exactly where every plant and tree needs to go, and told Quatraine V to rip out everything they installed after the fact. Yes it can be done over a long period of time, but that doesn't help the situation of Quatraine IV. They need to replace shrubs that were ripped out, yet the city wants just about everything re-done. So if you walk along Cleary Blvd in front of Quatraine IV and see the dirt mounds, you'll know why. Quatraine IV wanted to plant new shrubs, but the city said no, you have to do it our way and basically replace every tree you see, put shrubs around them, grass, and mulch. The property manager is going to contact the city and ask a representative if they would like to attend the next master meeting where we'll tell them we don't have the money to do it all at once. The idea of doing a little bit at a time came up, but then the city will come back and say it all needs to be finished now. I think doing one island a month is the only way the job can be done with the limited funds the master has. Talk about opening a can of worms.
11/05/07 - Vicky from the planning department called me back after speaking to Lisa. She found a site plan and said it will work. The plan goes back to 1987 and is probably the same plan found in our documents. Currently the machine they use to copy the plans is down for 2 weeks while they remodel that area. So I'll give Vicky a call in 2 weeks to see if we can get 5 copies of our site plan.
Here's something you don't see everyday in the neighborhood.
A clean garage. How did that happen? Remember when I had my hurricane windows installed and said I'd have a pro painter come out and touch up the house? Well, this was the day they came out. Kenron touched up the house around the window frames, and painted the entire garage. Looks great doesn't it? Lucky for me, the weather was perfect, because I had all my stuff in the yard. Kenron came out two mornings in a row to do the work. If you need painting done, call Ken Mindala at 954-817-4546. Now you can't tell I had new windows installed, and the house is protected with hurricane windows. Plus I can still put up my old shutters if I want. In the 3rd picture you can see my little security camera. Yes, it works and I'm capturing 1 frame a second at 640x480 to a hard drive. I can see this camera while I'm at work, and see it on my iPhone from anywhere. Another homeowner has asked and received permission to mount a security cameras outside his home. If you want to put a security camera outside, fill out an AMF form. If it's inside the window like mine, no form is needed. There's still the risk of being robbed even with security cameras. I've seen many reports on the local news of people stealing or vandalizing, and they're on camera, amazing.
10/30/07 - A meeting was held at the President's house. Six board members, Jane, Chris, and 5 homeowners attended. Homeowner concerns were heard and added to the minutes. Future plans were discussed for the community. The current board would like to repair the roads where roots are coming up. A walk through with Susan of Suncoast paving will happen. The property manager will also get bids on re-paving the entire community. This is the more expensive job that needs to be budgeted for, plus we need a site plan. Since the roads will be repaired, the idea of installing more lights came up as a wish. The current board would like to install a few "up lights" in various places. Uplights don't cost as much as light poles. A previous board planned on installing light poles and uplights, but the job would have cost 70K and it was never done. The current board is only looking to install up lights, which will cost less. To budget for future road repair, the board is adding an additional 1k to the reserve account each month. A line item in the reserve section of the budget will reflect this. At the time of writing this message, the board is not looking to increase the assessment. That means your monthly payment is scheduled to stay at $125 a month. This is still not official until the budget is voted in at the December 12th meeting. The budget will then be mailed to homeowners with a friendly letter talking about violations. Attorney costs are on the rise, the secretary asked if there is anything that can be done to get more homeowners to comply when it comes to delinquent accounts. It was decided a monthly report from the attorney needs to be given to the property manager so there is better communication.
10/28/07 - There has been a correction to the budget planning meeting. It will now take place at the President's house instead of Volunteer park. Scheduling conflicts caused this to happen, The agenda will be posted at the pool. The big signs at the entrances of the community will not be used. I put them out on Saturday morning, was informed of the scheduling conflict, and took them down. Do not go to Volunteer park on October 30th. Go to the President's house located in the NW corner of the community at 9942 NW 9TH CT. Please remember, this is only a budget planning meeting, and the official vote on the budget will take place on December 12th, which is the tentative date of the next board meeting. The document posted at the pool serves as the official notice of the meeting.
10/26/07 - First of all, a few comments about my web site. It's here to inform homeowners, because in many communities, there's isn't much communication. I got on the board to figure out why they're so complicated. Two reasons, one it's a small form of government, and a business at the same time. I think that most people have a bad attitude towards their board because they don't understand how they work. Once you get on the board, you realize how complicated it really is. If you don't like some of the things that I say, or think it's inaccurate, please remember it's only one viewpoint. It's like a radio show. Mention any talk show personality, and you'll find some people like what is said, some disagree. Mention a political party (right or left), and the same thing happens. Half the people believe what is being said, half don't. Some of the things said can be taken out of context. So my web site is just a view point and not to be taken as official, or to scare anyone. Someone asked why doesn't the board review what is said here. Because it's not the board web site. That's the whole point of it. The Yahoo Group has been around for years, but became defunct because no one used it. Only when I put up my web site did the current board decide to bring the Yahoo group back to life. The president at the time even asked me to take down my web site, I said no, I've put too much work into it. It was only after my web site was put up, that the secretary found old minutes and put them online, and now keeps the group up to date. My web site is one reason the Yahoo group came back to life. There's nothing stopping anyone else from making their own web site, or blog.
A meeting between the President, myself, and the treasurer took place on Friday to discuss the budget. This meeting lasted 1 hour and 20 minutes and every line item of the current budget was discussed with calculators crunching the numbers. While I won't go into exact details here, I will say that a line item for future road repair will be added. This was just a pre meeting and since it was only 3 people, was not an official meeting. The actual budget meeting will take place on Tuesday, 7pm at Volunteer park. Signs will be posted and an agenda will be made. This is a budget planning meeting, and that's the only thing that will be discussed. If you plan on attending the meeting, that's fine, but please remember that I's Rules of Order are followed and each person has 3 minutes to talk at the end of the meeting if they wish. The budget will then be voted on at a future meeting. I will say that what I saw at this pre-meeting looked good.
10/22/07 - Lisa Bernstein called me on Monday. She mentioned that Quatraine III would need to submit a site plan, and that one handicapped space would be required near the pool. I told her that Quatraine III doesn't have an updated plan and this is one reason why communities don't re-seal, because the red tape is very complicated. I asked her if the city helps out with re-paving since the cost is so high. The answer was no, because the roads are private. I asked how communities could do it when it costs so much. She said some communities are pushing through applications, something I find hard to believe. She gave me the number of Vicky in the Planning Department at 954-797-2225 to call. I rang the number and she answered. I asked if there was a way to get a site plan for our community. She was going to look for it and get back to me. The city doesn't think all this red tape is a problem, and that it's no big deal. Not only does a site plan need to be submitted, but 5 copies of it to the building department. Lisa told me the contractor is supposed to take care of all of this. Right.
Susan from Suncoast paving called me a few hours later asking if driveways would be included in the bid she is sending the property manager. I told her no, the homeowners wouldl be responsible for driveways. I told her I was working to get a site plan and it was a complicated process. She agreed saying she has 10 jobs on hold because the communities don't have an updated site plan. Susan told me this is hurting her business. If the city doesn't have a site plan, then one would have to be created which would cost upwards of 2k.
This is probably why seal coating hasn't been done or even considered in the past years. The red tape, and costs make it something the board decides to table. The other reason is that board members change, and most decisions of a board are made by the president who is the presiding officer. Think about it, the president who wrote the newsletter quote below was not voted in 4 years ago. Someone else was voted as the new president and the existing president walked away, they're done at that point. So any knowledge of future projects was lost. The board was researching the project 4 years ago, and a new board came into power. Not only did the board change, but so did the property manager. That answers the question when people ask why seal coating wasn't followed up when the board knew about it 4 years ago. It was a different board back then.
10/21/07 - On Thursday I placed a phone call to Lisa Bernstein at the City of Plantation engineering department. It was not returned on Friday. The secretary also tried to call her, and didn't get a call back. On Friday I met with the property manager to discuss seal coating and get information for the budget meeting. Besides the issue of how many handicapped spaces are required, there are other issues that are much bigger. First of all, before any seal coating or paving can begin, a site plan has to be submitted to the city. Quatraine III does not have an updated site plan. You may say there's one in the documents and we can use that. The answer is no. A community in the town of Davie tried to submit their 18 year old plan and the city laughed at them. What the city is looking for is a drawing that shows exact dimensions of each property, elevation specs, water table, etc. When unrolled, this document covers an entire desk. The cost to produce one of these documents can run 10k and there really isn't a way to get a bid on one. An architect starts the job and bills for it, similar to an attorney. So if anyone out there knows an architect who can draw up a new site plan for Quatraine III, please post a message in the Yahoo forums. It's funny, I was looking through my old paper work organizing my board documents, and ran across the May 1st, 2003 newsletter called the Quatraine III Voice. I'm going to quote a paragraph from that news letter.
"Seal Coating is in a holding pattern at the moment. Our contractor, Atlantic Paving, has been working with the City of Plantation department responsible for this, and it turns out that they require a detailed map of the development showing all current parking before permits are issued. It appears that we may have to abide by Americans with Disabilities Act regulations and include some handicap parking. One of our board members is going to research this to find out if we have to confirm to ADA rules since we are not a commercial business, but if we do, residents are going to have even fewer parking places available for extra cars."
Well there you have it, history repeats itself. The board was looking at the same issue 4 years ago, and came up with the same problems.
The next issue is money. The ball park figure to re-pave the community is 200k - 250k. A special assessment of approximately $1500 per home would be required to raise the needed money. Ok, if we can't re-pave the community, then what about seal coating? That costs approximately 40k and also needs $1,125 for restripping, $1,500 for thermal plastic at the entrances required by the city, and $1,900 to paint the curbs. Does Quatraine III have approximately 45k saved up for seal coating? No, which is why the roads were patched last year. Seal coating was too expensive at the time and the patches need 6 months to cure. I called Susan over at Suncoast paving and verified that a site plan is required, she said yes it is. Suncoast patched up the roads in 2006, and gave us a bid for seal coating. The previous assessment was spent on landscaping, sidewalk repair, fence painting, and other projects dealing with hurricane clean up. So where does that leave us now? Quatraine III brings in approximately $21250 of income each month (170 homes x $125). That money is spent each month as a budget is followed. Most of it goes to cut the grass, irrigation repair, and attorney costs for violations. What we bring in is what we spend. Currently there isn't a line item on the budget for future road repair. What about the reserves? Is there enough money there? Yes, but a 45k road repair job would take the reserves down to a very low level. While I was at the property manager's office, I obtained a detail check listing from the beginning of the year to current. This information will be reviewed by the president, myself, and the treasurer before the October 30th budget meeting. The detailed check listing by category is an eye opener to say the least, it really shows us where the money has been going and what needs to be trimmed from the budget. Every check, every expense is there in black and white, and the board is reviewing it. Now what? The board will continue to get information about seal coating, and continue looking over the budget numbers to prepare for the October 30th meeting.
10/16/07 - The budget meeting is scheduled for October 30th at Volunteer Park at 7pm. The next regular meeting is to be determined because November 21st is the day before Thanksgiving. A new date will be scheduled. I spoke with the property manager about paving the community. The ball park figure to repave the community is very high, a special assessment would be required, much more than the last one of $600 a person. A site plan needs to be submitted to the city to determine how many handicapped spaces are required. Therefore, the board still doesn't know if only one handicapped space is needed across from the pool. If you'll notice, the parking lot of Publix was recently re-sealed. While it looks nice right now, the cracks can still be seen. So re-sealing is really up in the air as to whether it helps or not.
10/11/07 - Newsletters were distributed through out the community. If you didn't get a copy, it's right Here. When I ran for the board, one of my running points was communication. So I hope everyone keeps the news letter for future reference. Just to let everyone know, it takes a few weeks to make the news letter because the entire board reviews it, corrections are made, it's printed at Office Depot for about $37, and then I distribute it. The next big event for the board is the budget meeting. Yes, the subject of paving the entire community will be discussed, but that's a very expensive project. Native Sun cut the grass for the first time, let's hope everyone is happy with the work. They really wanted to do a good job to start.
10/01/07 - The board has seen the messages posted on the Yahoo forum about the seal coating and will do more research on the subject. Yes, more than one person reads the forum, even if 1 person responds. That's because the secretary started the Yahoo group years ago. Therefore, the secretary is the un-official spokes person for that forum. Communication on the Yahoo forum does work. It can take a couple months before action can be taken on an issue. Bids have to be obtained from the property manager, votes on the bid must be made, motions passed, contactors hired, then the work can begin. The board appreciates the feedback from homeowners posted on the Yahoo forum.
With the recent rains, you would think water restrictions would be lifted right? Wrong. In fact, on this day, it was reported that Miami opened the flood gates to let millions of gallons of water drain into the ocean. Too bad they can't build a pipeline back to the lake. I wrote the SFWMD an e-mail asking them about the recent rains. Their response was...
Thank you for writing
to the South Florida Water Management District for clarification on water
restrictions. Most of
remain in place because a few rainfalls are not enough to make up for the
massive water shortage incurred over 18 months.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,
which is in charge of
You may be interested to know that the District is working with many local governments to encourage the development of alternative water supply sources to help reduce the demand on our aquifers and surface water. In Fiscal Years 2006 and 2007, the District funded 142 alternative water supply projects with a total of $84.9 million in funding. For Fiscal Year 2008, the District recently approved another 72 projects that will receive $45.9 million in funding. These newly funded projects will provide 81 million gallons of water per day.
Office of Government and Public Affairs
South Florida Water Management District
09/23/07 - At the previous meeting, discussion about why fences have to be 5 feet came up, and the same style as what was previously installed (shadow box). The homeowner mentioned that Quatraine IV has 6 foot fences and that it conforms to city code. The reason fences have to be 5 feet and the same style as before is found in the by-laws which read.
Fences. No fence, wall or other structure shall be erected upon any
portion of the PROPERTY, except as originally installed by Developer, if any,
and except any approved by the Architectural Control Committee in accordance
with Article V of this Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions, and in
accordance with applicable laws, rules, ordinances and regulations of the City
The key line in the sentence is "as originally installed by Developer."
Just to let everyone know, the master association voted against allowing Quatraine IV to put up 6 foot fences, but they had already done it at that point. Quatraine IV did it because of security reasons claiming they had robbers and they could easily jump a 5 foot fence. Their president and others of the community went along with it. To fix that situation would have meant suing them, and at the time the master association was broke because of the hurricane cleanup. There was no money to hire a lawyer, and the case would have gone to mediation where QIV probably would have won anyway. Quatraine III does not want 6 foot fences and the board has taken the people who have installed a 6 foot fence to the attorney.
Next, a homeowner wanted to know what gives the by-laws power over city laws. This person called the by-laws "ficticous documents." The documents are real, and the statement that gives them power is found in Florida Statues 720.
The powers and duties of an association include those set forth in this chapter and, except as expressly limited or restricted in this chapter, those set forth in the governing documents.
If you don't have a copy of the by-laws, it is your responsibility to call the property manager and buy a set. When you moved into the community, you agreed to abide by the by-laws.
A homeowner at the meeting cited Broward County laws about dogs on leashes and the idea of installing pooper scooper signs around the property.
(e) At Large shall mean not on the owner's property, and not under restraint or the direct control, custody, charge or possession of the owner, or other responsible person. "Direct Control" shall mean immediate, continuous physical control of an Animal at all times, such as by means of a fence, leash, cord or chain of sufficient strength to restrain the Animal.
It is also against the law to allow an Animal to habitually bark, howl, or whine; damage the property of another person; or maintain an Animal in unsanitary conditions that causes offensive odors, is dangerous to the Animal or to the public health. City ordinances apply except in unincorporated areas of the county. Call your city Code Enforcement Section for details. To file a complaint in unincorporated areas, you must have two signed affidavits with one affidavit by an individual not related to the person originating the complaint. The person originating the complaint must also accompany the Division to court if the case goes to trial.
Each city sets its own limit on the number of adult dogs and cats residents can own. Some also have age limits on the number of puppies and kittens. We strongly recommend you call the appropriate city for the latest information on their pet limits. These laws are subject to change, that's why it is so important to call. Plantation Police Department (954) 797-2100.
A single gram of dog waste can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria” (Van Der Wel, B. 1995. Dog pollution. The Magazine of the Hydrological Society of South Australia 2(1).) Dogs can be a significant host of giardia and salmonella.
Broward County laws state the following about pooper scooper.
Sec. 4-8. Permitting Animal to Commit a Nuisance.
(a) It shall be a violation of this section for any person who owns or harbors any Animal to permit said Animal to defecate upon:
(1) The sidewalk of any public street; or
(2) Any public park or beach, or school ground, other than in areas designated for that purpose; or
(3) Any private property not belonging to the owner of the Animal unless said person makes an immediate effort to remove any feces deposited by the Animal;
(4) Any swale or street right-of-way serving to convey storm water to a canal, lake, or other receiving water; unless said person makes an immediate effort to remove any feces deposited by the Animal.
The homeowner is tired of seeing people walk into our neighborhood and let their dogs poop on the grass, which is why they want signs put up.
09/19/07 - A meeting was held at Volunteer Park. The messages posted on the Quatraine III Yahoo message forum were heard. Please welcome Native Sun as the new landscaping company, they will start in October. A bid to hire Eagle Painting to paint the exterior of the fences was approved. They will only be doing the areas that have not been painted yet. Seal coating of the entire community will not be done and is tabled indefinitely. The reason for this is due to new laws that state there must be handicap spaces. If the community is seal coated, 34 handicap spaces would be required taking those away from guest spots. The parking situation is already bad enough as it is. The board is looking to hire a company to re-strip the lines in the community. If you want to seal coat your driveway, that's fine, you're on your own. Sidewalk pressure cleaning will take place in November. Tree Trimming will also take place in November. I mentioned the fact that the trees out front under the power lines need to be included with this trimming. A motion passed to go back to bi-monthly meetings, the next one will happen in November.
A homeowner expressed concerns about the parking situation. Cars are not supposed to park around the culcesac circles. They block other cars and the garbage truck from getting thru. Homeowners should find guest spots in other culdesacs even if it means walking a little farther. A homeowner expressed concern about the pooper scooper situation. They want signs put up around the community that have a dog pooping with an X thru it. They brought information from the Broward web site stating the pooper scooper and leash laws.
09/05/07 - A few weeks ago a homeowner asked me if they could install a security camera on the side of their garage as a deterrent to crime. Will a security camera stop people from breaking into your car? Not always. On a recent news story, a homeowner in Miami was robbed, even with a security camera filming all the action. The robber walked up to the car, broke the window, and took a GPS system. The footage was played on the local news. The rule on installing security cameras is they are the same as carriage lights on a garage. It's a modification to the outside of the home and the board is following the by-laws. You need to fill out an AMF form and get board approval before installing them. The AMF form is on this web site, and needs to be sent to the property manager. Also, if you do run a camera outside your home, make sure to paint the wires the same color as the house. If you want to hang a camera inside a window looking outside, that is allowed without a form and much easier than the outside models.
09/06/07 - A master association meeting was held at the Parc Court clubhouse. The 2008 budget was approved.
Repairs to the Quatraine3 sprinkler system
have been made. Hopefully this will help with the irrigation problems and
dying grass. The biggest drawback is poor design. The
irrigation system is a single, continuous loop with 3 pumps. Each pump controls
15-16 zones and cannot be run simultaneously. The water restrictions on
multi-dwelling complexes of greater than 5 acres state we can only water twice a
week from 12:01 AM to 8:00 AM on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays or Sundays.
Because of the loop system, in order to get as many zones done in the allotted 8 hours, each zone is run for only 20 minutes. That's 3 zones in an hour to do a total 24 zones, meaning we can only get half the community watered on one day, and the other half done on the other day, effectively watering once a week for 20 minutes!
08/22/07 - The sprinkler pump on 99th avenue has been repaired. This should help with the dying grass. The clocks have also been checked to make sure they turn on twice per week as allowed by the SFWMD.
08/18/07 - It is with sad news that I report a mother duck and 4 of her young were killed on Saturday 08/18/07 near 99th Ave. It appears to be a deliberate beating, which happened before 6am. 2 baby ducklings survived and are being cared for by another board member. If anyone has information about this terrible act, please post a message on the Yahoo group forum. The board has told people not to feed ducks due to the mess they leave. But killing innocent animals is a crime and the board wants to find out who did it.
In other news, it occurred to me why the grass and landscaping of Quatraine III is dying. Why? Because of water restrictions. We can thank the SFWMD for that. Let's hope a hurricane hits lake Okeechobee. Maybe then the restrictions will be lifted, but I doubt it. The SFWMD wants to keep holding all of South Florida hostage. I wonder what Broward County and the City of Plantation think of this now? They're the ones who want boards to spend money on new landscaping, but what's the use if it can't be watered.
08/03/07 - Believe it or not, even with all the recent rain, South Florida is still under Phase II water restrictions. Personally, I think this is a joke. The SFWMD was responsible for draining the lake in the beginning of the year. Now they're calling for year round water restrictions. If you ask me, this is like holding South Florida hostage when it comes to water. There's a link on their web site asking what you think.
Personally, I think the SFWMD needs to go away and the department fired if they're going to drain the lake each year and hold South Florida hostage. So go ahead and vent if you want.
07/28/07 - The board is still frustrated with the job the landscaping company is doing. Terry met with Nina a month ago to discuss the situation. Of coarse the easy answer is to just fire them, but the board is trying to give them a chance. Landscaping is the largest cost of the community, and the board understands how important this is. Personally, I'm frustrated with the landscaping situation. A large portion of the $102,000 special assessment was spent on landscaping, and now some of it is dead. Many pretty flowers were planted, lots of plants along the fences, and now they're gone or burnt. The community looked great when it was planted and mulched, but some of it has died. Why is this? Because the plants were seasonal and not meant for the hot summer months. I didn't know this at the time. A similar situation was discussed at the Broward Beautiful meeting that Lisa and myself attended a few months ago. Broward county gives money for landscaping projects, but they found the projects are not maintained and die a year later. Hindsite is always 20/20, the board had people screaming that the special assessment money needed to be spent. It was, on many projects which have been documented on this web site and a recap that was given to all homeowners in a previous newsletter. I've told the board I'm not happy about the seasonal plants that died. As to the landscaping company, it's almost as if they need to be supervised while they work. This is impossible, because board members have day time jobs, and the property manager is also working at their office. If anyone would like to weigh in on the landscaping situation, post a message on the community forum so everyone can see it.
In other news, the secretary has been reading thru previous minutes to find all Rules and Regulations passed by the previous boards. Rules and Regulations are motions passed by the board in addition to the by-laws. I posted the Rules and Regulations that I'm aware of from the current board in the Restrictions section of this web site. But there are others to be posted. The big question is how to get these rules out to the community and how to enforce them. The board is currently deciding how to do this.
As I told you below, I was approved to have hurricane impact windows installed on my home. That job has been completed and I'm very happy with the work. The PGT windows were installed, and passed inspection. If you'd like to see the windows, head to the far northwest cul-de-sac, and look at the 3rd house on the left which is 9938 NW 9th CT. The job took a week, and it was like most house projects, it involved some work. For example, we decided to buy new window sills from P&D tile located near the Sawgrass mall. We painted the window frames, and the frames on the outside of the home needed to be repainted. This will be done by a pro painter. In other words, there was some extra work to be done. But in the end everything looks great. Below are pictures of the job during the install, and completed. Click each picture to make it big, then back to return here. Needless to say, the new windows give the house a clean look, and it's a nice feeling to know the house is protected at all times. If you'd like information on PGT windows, send me an e-mail. The neighbor 3 doors over from me did the job and he's looking for more business.
Window overlooking the garage, during the install and after the install.
Window next to front door, during and after the install.
Downstairs bathroom window, during and after the install.
Looks good doesn't it? And remember, as a storm approaches, I won't have to cover my windows. I'm sure a few people will think I'm crazy, until they find out I've got impact windows. I still have the old aluminum shutters which will be used for my patio and the downstairs windows. But for the upstairs, I'll leave them as is.
Here's another project that is good to do. Regular maintenance of your AC unit will keep it running good. If your unit leaks water out of the air handler, that means the drain pipe is clogged and needs to be cleaned out. The AC unit will normally shut down if the drain pipe is clogged. What is needed to clean out your drain pipe is a garden hose, and duct tape. Attach the garden hose to the drain pipe at the air handler and blast out the dirt that is stuck in the pipe.
This is what the drain pipe looks like coming out of the house. Dirt collects in the drain pipe and clogs it. Mildew also forms near the pipe as it comes out of the air handler. That's why they recommend you put bleach in the pan every few months. My air handler has a pipe where I can pour bleach.
Another project that needs to be done every few years, is the foam tube that covers the return line. As you can see in this picture, I've just replaced my foam tube and secured it with duct tape. The tube can be purchased at Home Depot for about $7. Notice I've secured the ends of the black tube with duct tape.
07/11/07 - Palm and Turf Management will be spraying fertilizer on the front area of the community on Friday 07/13/07. This is done by the master association and is only for the front area.
07/01/07 - Newsletters were distributed throughout the community. If you didn't get the newsletter and would like to see it, click here. Along with the newsletter was an AMF (Architectural Modification Form). Now there's no excuse for not having one. If you don't know what an AMF is, check the FAQ link up above. The walk thru with Potters was completed by Terry and Nina. Potters will be trimming back the bushes and shrubs, so don't freak out when it happens.
06/27/07 - There have been numerous complaints posted on the Quatraine III Yahoo group message board located here. Most of them are about the landscaping of the community. The complaints have been heard and the information has been passed on to the property manager who will work with Potters to make things right. A walk thru of the community will happen with Terry and Nina. The master came thru and cleaned the front sidewalks with bleach on Saturday morning 06/23/07. Problem was some people (including me) walked their dogs on it. This irritated the dogs paws, we had to walk in the grass, and I had to wash the paws off when I got home. Even though the Q3 board has decided to use hot water, the property manager says that using bleach is the only way to really clean the sidewalks. Yes, it kills the grass on the edge of the sidewalk, but it grows right back. The main pool door was scraping the pavers. A work order was entered to fix it. Many people complain that they call Brock Property Management and don't get a call back. If this is the case then please call again within 48 hours. The board asked Jane about missed calls, and in each case she says she got the call. Recycle bags are only for recycled material. If any garbage is left in them, they won't be picked up.
Something the board is frustrated with is the rental situation. The board is looking thru old minutes to see if any motions were passed regarding transient rentals. Section X paragraph 18 of the by-laws talks about transient rentals, those who stay less than 2 months. Renting is not a good idea because renters destroy walls, carpet, steal appliances, put cement down pipes, and have six months of free use of property until finally evicted. Renters also ignore association by-laws, don't fix problems with homes, and ignore any violation notices sent. You might say that it's the owner who is responsible. Yes it is, but most of them live in Jamaica and are very hard to reach. Just search the internet for landlord horror stories and you'll find many of them. You'd be surprised, people will dress up and look rich, flash a bunch of money, get into the home, then squat on it until evicted months later. In other cases, the homeowner checked references, the renter had a good job, was rich, but stole everything and didn't pay. Don't give a prospective renter the keys to your home to check out. They'll move in and stay until evicted. Don't rent your home to anyone, it's a bad decision.
06/24/07 - I was approved to have hurricane impact windows installed on my home. Many people have installed the white accordion shutters, but when they are closed, the house is dark, and they rattle during a storm. Impact windows cost much more than white shutters, but the convenience factor is better because there's nothing to do as the storm approaches, plus the home still has light because the windows are not covered. The company I'm using will install PGT windows, you'll hear about them if you haven't already. Impact windows are the new trend for hurricane protection. First it was those bulky aluminum panels (which I currently have), then it was white accordion shutters, and now it's PGT windows. If you'd like information,, send me an e-mail. Another thing I have information on, is a GPS tracking system for a car. It's made by www.lifetrak.net and yes, it works. I can locate my car on a map anytime. This system costs about 1k, and the car can be shown on a map 24/7. Each time the car is located it costs about 25 cents. Locates are bought in advance. It's great if you have a young driver and want to know where they are at any time. If you're interested in a GPS system let me know and I'll give you the information.
06/20/07 - A meeting was held at Volunteer Park. Mr. Jens Skaar was appointed to the board as a director, congratulations. The board now has 7 members again. The job to install brick pavers at the pool is complete, it was finished on 06/17/07. Besides a few loose tiles near the men's bathroom, the board is happy with the job. You may have noticed the grass was not cut in a few days. The reason why is the recent rains put Potters behind schedule. The board is aware of it and the property manager is working with Potters to get them out here.
I gave a report on the master, and it was decided to continue using Potters to cut the front area of Quatraine III. The master will still take care of the sprinkler system along the sidewalk, the lake, and pressure clean the sidewalk out front. For the master, All County Irrigation (Victor) takes care of the sprinklers, and they are scheduled to come out the 2nd Tuesday of every month. Allstate Resource Management takes care of lake treatments, and they are scheduled to come out the 1st week of each month. You should see someone in a boat when they come out. Power Pressure cleans the sidewalks, and they are scheduled to come out the 3rd week of each month. So now you know when the master vendors are scheduled to be on property.
A few AMF forms were reviewed. A couple of them were denied because they didn't have enough information. If you submit an AMF form, submit a form for each job you are requesting with detailed information. One homeowner had two jobs on one form, one was ok, the other was lacking information. The entire form had to be rejected because it's Yes or No when it comes to an AMF form. During the open forum, a homeowner spoke up about receiving a violation notice. It turns out he's never submitted an AMF form for some work he had done to the house. The board gave him an AMF form to fill out and discussed changes he can follow to remedy his situation. You may get an AMF for right here.
As to what I said about removing trees, yes, the board did tell a homeowner they would remove a tree if the homeowner got a permit. But in that case, the tree was a hazard because the roots were coming up thru the street. If the tree is simply a nuisance, then the homeowner is responsible for the cost to remove and replace the tree. A homeowner mentioned that the trees along the back canal were not trimmed when Potters came thru to trim the neighborhood. The property manager recalls that the contract stated the main area would be trimmed, and not the back area along the canal. The property manager will call Potters to get clarification on this issue. I brought up the fact that our sidewalks are very dirty because of the black olives. The property manager stated that pressure cleaning is scheduled to be done in a few months after the black olives are finished making a mess of everything. Doing it now won't really help, because the mess will come right back. However, the board is still interested in having it done because the sidewalks need to be cleaned.
If you have a problem, question, or received a violation letter and you're not happy about it, contract the property manager. If you received a violation letter, and fixed your problem, you still have to call the property manager to let them know the job was corrected. Click the FAQ link up above for the address and phone number. If you are planning any work to your home, fill out an AMF form and mail it to the property manager.
06/15/07 - The next meeting is Wednesday June 20th. Since meetings are only held quarterly, it would be a good idea to show up if you'd like to complain about something. The pool is being resurfaced with brick pavers. It should be open in a few days. Did the board purposely plan to have it closed on the weekend? No, that's just the way it worked out. The job would have taken more than 5 days anyway. With the recent rains, the black olives have made a mess of the fences and sidewalks. I went back and listened to the annual meeting, because a homeowner asked about a tree where the roots were coming up, and they were concerned that kids would trip and fall. The board told the homeowner to get a permit to have the tree removed on their own. If the board tries to get the permit, the city won't approve it, but if a homeowner gets the permit, they'll have better luck. If the homeowner gets the permit, the board will pay to have it removed. Then the decision about whether a new tree has to be replanted in the same spot will be made by the city. Therefore, any homeowner who wants to have the black olive trees removed from their property, go get a permit from the City of Plantation and state that you've slipped and fell from all the debris on the ground.
06/06/07 - A master association meeting was held at the Parc Court club house. Contracts were reviewed, including J&L property management. It was decided to renew Jim's contract for 1 year with a 30 day no cause out, his previous contract was for 3 years. I and Ted Dieck of The Colonnades met with Jim a week before the meeting and "cleared the air" about many issues that have built up in the past. Ted wrote up his findings in a 3 page document and presented it to the board, it was recorded in the minutes. Ted felt the problems of the past were caused due to a lack of participation from all 5 communities and that firing the property manager was not the correct decision. Hopefully this marks a new beginning where all 5 properties work together to make things fair. Yes, I know that sounds corny, but the message was sent that things need to change. The next meeting will take place after the summer in September.
05/26/07 - A homeowner asked about having a play ground set in the their back yard. They filled out an AMF form with a letter stating why they want it. The structure would barely be visible from the street and the homeowner has always been on time with payments. However, the request was denied because the height of the play ground is taller than the fence line, which is 5 feet. The board can not have selective enforcement and must treat all homeowners the same. The violation committee will now have to revisit the 5 foot restriction, because there are a few homes in the neighborhood which have structures in their back yard which break the rule. A few months ago, another homeowner was sent a notice because they had a plastic shed in their back that went above the fence line by 1 foot. This person came to a meeting a pleaded their case, but the board can not make any exceptions. If you want to put something in your back yard, it can't go above the fence line.
5/17/07 - A homeowner had an emergency situation with their AC unit. Their Freon line was accidentally cut, and they needed to re-located their compressor. They filled out the AMF form, and e-mailed it to me. This is great, but the form still needs to go to the property manager, then it's sent to the board to vote on. Even in an emergency situation, the board members need to review the AMF form. The board thanks the homeowner for filling out the form and asking for permission before having the work done. Many homeowners are re-modeling their kitchens. On certain floor plans, the plumbing and AC lines go right thru the support wall in the kitchen. Some people might mistake the Freon line for a plumbing line and cut it. Once the line is cut, it's impossible to replace it without ripping out the walls. The request was denied because placing the AC compressor on the side of the home violates Plantation code. The Freon line will have to be run down the back of the home and the compressor stay where it is.
The board makes walk thrus of the community and the property manager sends out violation notices. This is done to uphold the by-laws and keep all homes looking the same. A homeowner asked for an extension of time to clean their roof because they wanted to hire a certain roofer to make repairs and that worker was injured (meaning he couldn't start working for a few weeks). The homeowner sent the property manager a request for an extension, and the 2nd notice was in the mail at the same time. The homeowner questioned why they received a 2nd notice. This can happen if the letters are in the mail at the same time. The bottom line, if you need more time to correct a problem (dirty roof), then send a letter to the property manager stating it. The request for more time will be noted on the violation log and the letters will stop. All violations are noted in a spreadsheet log that is reviewed by the board on a regular basis. The violation log has a status column which shows the response from the homeowner. Those who are working with the board to correct a situation will receive extra time. Those who ignore the letters will be turned over to the attorney. When the situation goes to the attorney, the homeowner pays for attorney fees, which can run into the thousands.
Phase three water restrictions are in effect. Watering is only allowed 1 day a week. That would be a Saturday (Address ends Odd) and Sunday (Address ends Even). For washing cars, that's done on the landscape watering days from 4-8am and 5-7pm. Wash your car so the water drains into the grass, not the sewer. Click the link below to view the PDF.
05/10/07 - Potters is onsite to trim trees. They will start from the front of the community and work their way to the back. Notice was given that if you wanted trees in your back yard trimmed, to call them at 954-214-7153 and arrange for it to be done at your cost. The pool will be covered with 1" brick pavers. Details are still being worked out on when the job will start.
05/03/07 - A master association meeting was held at the Parc Court Clubhouse. A motion to hire a cleaning company for a one time service to pick up the grounds of litter was approved at a cost of $95. A bid for the same company to clean up debris around the lakes was asked for. A motion that the master will pay 5k towards the improvement of the perimeter of Quatraine IV was approved with some conditions. Quatraine IV will pay above the 5K the master gives them. Quatraine IV is allowed to plant purple shower, but they must pay any additional costs associated with taking care of these shrubs. The planting won't begin until the drought is over, and signed contracts must be presented before the work begins. There are a few other conditions, but basically, this should put an end to the mess from last year. Just so everyone knows, I made a motion that Quatraine IV pay for it all, but no one made a 2nd to that motion. This was a compromise so the master can move on without involving attorneys.
04//29/07 - It appears that trying to blast the paint off the pool deck will not work. Several years ago, a coat of paint was applied to the cement deck with Sharkgrip. This caused the surface to be hot and slippery because it was painted, not stained, and the surface was not acid etched first. 2-3 years ago, an attempt was made to fix the problem by putting Cool Deck on top. This also didn't work, as both surfaces are coming up in spots around the pool. Trying to get the old surface off with a pressure cleaner and orbital sander is expensive, and the costs can go up depending on how hard it is to get the two coats off. The solution the board is looking at is to put 1" pavers over the existing surface. This would involve no prep work, and the on going costs to pressure clean the surface is less. If an area needs to be fixed, the pavers can be removed and replaced keeping the look the same. If the existing surface is cleaned, and a new coat of Cool Deck is put on top, there is no guarantee it will stay down, it needs to be pressure cleaned quarterly, and if a patch is needed, the color will look different. Pavers only need to be pressure cleaned once a year, and sanded every 3-5 years ($1000). Unless someone has a better idea, this is the solution the board will be going with.
By now, you should have received a letter stating that Potters will be onsite in May, and that trees in the back yards are your responsibility. You may call Potters at 954-214-7153 and ask for John if you would like your trees trimmed at a reduced rate since they will be onsite. Also, Greg Moore has resigned from the board and we wish her the best. The president of any HOA is in the "hot seat" dealing with vendors and the property manager, which takes a lot of time. Terry Stulgis will take over as President and Shari Bernhard becomes the new Secretary. The other board positions remain the same and a director position is available.
04/18/06 - The pool was supposed to be closed the week of 04/16/07 for resurfacing. But the contractor came out, started the job trying to blast the surface with a 5000 PSI presssure cleaner, and realized the entire surface would have to come up for the paint to stick properly. The pressure cleaner was not powerful enough to blast all coats of paint off the cement. The contractor stopped the job and will now advise the board on new options. Resurfacing the pool has never been an easy job, and it appears this trend will continue. If anyone has ideas on resurfacing the pool, please let us know.
04/14/07 - Phase two water restrictions are in effect. Watering is only allowed 2 days a week. Click the link below to view the PDF
You may also visit the web site here.
A homeowner asked me about the paint colors and why they have weird names that don't match the actual color. The board tried to get the original colors but they were no longer available. Why paint colors have weird names is beyond me. For example, why is Gray called White Intense and Yellow called Montgomery White? Beats me. Next the homeowner asked about the shrubs and trees in front yards. It is your responsibility to replace them if a tree or shrub dies. The association "maintains" them, the homeowner has to replant. Next, if you have a question and you're not sure who to ask, call the property manager first. The reason I bring this up is many people seek out the President and knock on their door asking questions. The leads to the President quitting because they get bugged so much from homeowners and vendors. If you call the property manager, they'll pass the information on to the board.
04/04/07 - A Master Association meeting was held at the Parc Court Clubhouse. The annual meeting was held to elect Officers/Directors. A quorum was established and the representatives of each community were present and remained the same. The meeting was adjourned and the organizational meeting was held. Jeff Brigman (Parc Court) was elected President. Ted Dieck (The Colonnades) was elected Vice President.
Discussion about the landscaping in front of Quatraine IV took place. Michelle stated that Quatraine IV would like to plant Purple Showers in addition to what was being replaced (Philodendrons) and that they (Quatraine IV) would pick up the cost of the extra fee. I stated this would complicate everything and voted against this stating his board (Greg and Shari) were present and didn't approve, along with I. Discussion ensued for 30 minutes with much bickering. Michelle eventually motioned to have each master representative ask their board what they thought of allowing the Purple Showers and to meet again in 30 days. The problem with allowing Purple Showers in Quatraine IV is that it changes the look of one property (Quatraine IV) while the others have the look of Philodendrons. I voted No on the motion, however the motion passed. The next meeting of the Master is May 3rd at which time a decision is to be made as to whether to allow Quatraine IV to plant Purple Showers.
Jeff read a letter signed by the president of Jacaranda Lakes, and the Mayor stating the City of Plantation’s willingness to have the public works department obtain specifications and bids for labor and materials to repair the referenced bridge (The Red One between Parc Court and Jacaranda Lakes) with the understanding that the City of Plantation would then proceed with the repair provided that Jacaranda Lakes, Central Park North Master Association/The Waves, and the City of Plantation would each share equally 1/3rd the cost of the repair. Jeff asked for clarification on this. Jim gave some information stating this has been an on-going issue for 2-3 years. Jeff stated he was hesitant to sign anything until he knows how much the repair will cost. Ted stated the current letter is to get approval for the bids. Jeff asked Jim to get more information from the Mayor's office. Jim later got more information and said the cost of the bridge would be $30,000 of which 1/3rd would be paid by the master. The City of Plantation will also pay half to install the brick signs with gold lettering you see at the entrance to most neighborhoods. Each one of these signs costs about $20,000.
Water Restrictions Update – The board is aware of the water restrictions and advised Jim to have the clocks changed.
04/01/07 - Newsletters were distributed thru the community. Please keep the paper for future reference. The newsletter is posted at the pool if you didn't get one. The pool is scheduled to be resurfaced the week of April 16th, it will be closed the entire week (weather permitting). A sign will be posted at the pool with status updates. This will not be a repeat of last year where the pool was closed for over a month.
03/29/07 - I and Lisa attended a Broward Beautiful meeting at the City of Plantation. Sean McSweeney from from Broward County gave the presentation. Basically what happens, is Broward County has money available (between $1500 and $10000) as a matching grant for projects that will improve the community, usually an entrance way that needs work, or a median that is empty. This could be something the master and Quatraine3 look into for future landscape projects. The information for Broward Beautiful may be found here.
03/24/07 - The master association held a walk thru of the 5 communities looking at the landscaping. Steve from Lawn and Landscape Plus was present. The findings of the walk thru will be discussed at the annual meeting on April 4th.
03/21/07 - A meeting was held at Volunteer park. A motion passed to hire a new construction company to fix sections of the sidewalk that were done incorrectly. Look for the repairs to be done in a couple weeks. The idea of a sign at the entrance of 99th Ave has been tabled until the sidewalk repairs are finished. A motion was passed to have the pool resurfaced. The target date for this is mid April weather permitting. It will most likely happen near the end of April and the pool will be closed for at least 5 days. A motion was passed to have the storm drains cleaned by a professional company that provided a very thorough bid proposal. The target date for all trees to be trimmed in the neighborhood is May, this has already been contracted. The palms will be trimmed in November. A motion was passed to make the board meetings quarterly. I voted against this motion because I feel the meetings should happen by-monthly so homeowners can voice their concerns. The board can have special meetings as needed and there is still the Budget meeting which will happen in November and the Annual meeting in February. Homeowners who have problems are asked to contact the property manager first, post a message on the official web site, or you can send me an e-mail and I'll forward it to all board members. Two homeowners spoke during the open forum. One mentioned he had two nuisance trees that needed to be removed. The homeowner spoke to Keith Shriver (Urban Forester) from the City of Plantation, and told the homeowner to get a letter from the board giving permission. Keith Shriver (Urban Forester), will issue a permit and the trees can be removed. Once that is done, the board will replant two trees in another area of the community. Another homeowner asked for clarification regarding a shed in his back yard that is slightly higher than the fence line. It is ok to have a plastic shed in your back yard, however, it can not go above the fence line. The homeowner will not be allowed to keep the shed at that height.
I have a PDF of the water restrictions that took effect on 03/21/07. Since Quatraine III is over 5 acres, the odd/even water schedule rules don't apply to the main sprinkler system. If you'd like to view the PDF, click here.
03/18/07 - I is hiring a roofing company to pressure clean his roof. The name of this company is Ameriacoast (Latite) Roofing and their phone number is 954-480-2686. They are charging $350 for the first visit which includes patching 12 tiles. Then it's $175 each year after that. Remember, the board can't directly recommend contractors because of law suit issues. If people weren't sue happy, then the board would recommend contractors and get group rates, but it doesn't work that way in the current world, therefore everyone is on their own. Be sure to do your homework when hiring a contractor. Do you know why there are no swing sets anywhere? Because of sue happy lawyers. Quatriane III used to have swings next to the pool once upon a time.
I found out that a Quorum for the purpose of the annual meeting is 86, which is 50% + 1. In Article VIII, Section A, Item 5 of our by-laws reads, "A quorum for the transaction of business at the annual meeting and any special meeting shall consist of a majority of all members who must be present either in person or proxy..." When the by-laws were written for all the communities in our area, they used the same language. What does this mean? If you want to force an election to happen at the annual meeting, then 86 people must show up in person or by proxy. Basically, that means you need to knock on all the doors in the community and get about 65 proxies, because there are usually about 20 people who show up for the annual meeting.
03/13/07 - The walk thru for the master association has been moved to Saturday March 24th at 10am in front of Quatraine IV. All members of the community are allowed to attend.
A homeowner e-mailed me saying there was a
dead animal in one of the cul-de-sacs and vultures were picking at it.
The homeowner was scared because kids play in the cul-de-sac.
They were instructed to contact Broward County at 954-359-1313 or the City of
Plantation at 954-797-2200. The next community newsletter will be drafted
up and go out after the next board meeting. Look for the newsletter near
the beginning of April. If there's something you'd like to see in the
newsletter, please let me know by using the e-mail link at the bottom of this
03/07/07 - A master association meeting was held at the Parc Court clubhouse at 6pm. A motion was made to accept the resignation of Barry Hubbard as The Colonnades representative. His e-mail was entered into the minutes. No representative from The Colonnades was present at this time. Since The Colonnades owed 4 payments, a motion was made to move $3250 from reserves to the operating account to pay the landscaper, and to send The Colonnades a demand letter. Discussion ensued about the landscaping in front of Quatraine IV. The Quatraine IV representative (Michelle) read a demand letter from the Quatraine IV attorney saying that work must be done within 30 days. The work she wanted done was the complete re-landscaping of the front of Quatraine IV with a special assessment. The Parc Court (Jeff) and Quatraine III (I) representative said that we're in no position to special assess until The Colonnades starts paying again. The other problem is the landscaping in front of Quatraine IV was removed by Quatraine IV without authorization from the master association. No motion was ever made to remove the landscaping in front of Quatraine IV. Therefore, the master feels they are not responsible for re-landscaping. Just when the meeting was about to adjourn, a representative for The Colonnades (Ted) showed up and joined the meeting. He told everyone how the previous property manager left checks in a desk drawer and didn't send them out. The property manager was let go and The Colonnades is now self managed. He told everyone a check was in the mail, it arrive the next day. The decision to send a demand letter and transfer money was put on hold, although the motions stayed in effect pending the outcome of receiving checks. A walk thru was scheduled for Saturday March 17th at 10am at the entrance of Quatraine IV to look at the landscaping. Another check was being sent from The Colonnades. The annual meeting was confirmed for April 4th, 6pm at the Parc Court clubhouse for the purpose of electing officers.
03/02/07 - Asplundi came out and trimmed the trees in front of the neighborhood. This is great news because now the community won't lose power in a storm. In case you don't remember, when hurricane Katrina came thru on 08/25/05, Quatraine3 lost power for a week because a tree shorted the wires near the lake. There was no damage to the wires, the short tripped a box and FPL didn't come out for a week because they were taking care of everyone else. I know this because I was there when the FPL worker came out and reset the box. He came out in a little pickup truck, pushed the switch with a long pole, and Quatraine3 and the Publix shopping center had power again. The same thing happened after Wilma came thru on 10/24/05, Quatraine3 was without power for a week. Publix has solved this problem by installing a huge generator behind their store. So while the front of Quatraine3 may look naked, it actually serves a purpose to have the trees trimmed, and they will grow back. The board will hire a certified arborist to continue trimming the trees away from the power lines. Remember, if you want to trim trees in your back yard, it is best to hire a certified arborist to do it. The board is not responsible for trees in your back yard, you are. The City of Plantation has very strict laws about tree trimming, only 25% at a time. That's all the city cares about, is the tree canopy. These laws actually come from Broward County, but Plantation takes it to another level. If the city had their way, there would be trees everywhere and you wouldn't see the sun because the canopy would cover everything up. Whenever people mention the word tree trimming, it's like a bad word, you don't say it, because the city is like big brother. Anytime someone mentions tree trimming, people say the same thing, that the City of Plantation are tree nazis. While they may have good intentions with the tree canopy, it actually causes a mess in hurricanes, because people don't trim trees on a regular basis, they become top heavy, and fall over in a storm destroying fences and tripping power lines. The city thinks everyone is following their strict rules, but the opposite is happening. People are not trimming trees at all. Wanna know something else? Landscapers and nurseries don't want to sell trees to homeowners living in Plantation. Why? Because of the strict laws. I know this first hand because I had to replace two trees, and nurseries wanted nothing to do with Plantation.
On to another topic. A homeowner sent me an e-mail asking for last years minutes, and financial records. This usually happens when someone is receiving letters from the attorney. I hadn't been checking the e-mail box because no one was sending me anything since this is not the official web site. Sorry about that, I am now forwarding e-mail from the address below to my main account. The minutes may be found here.
To use the web site, you have to create a user ID and register. A board member will approve the registration (this can take a few days), and then you will have access to the minutes. For the financials, homeowners have the right to visit the property manager and inspect the documents, read Florida Statutes section 720. To do this, you must contact the property manager, set up an appointment, and you will have 8 hours to inspect the documents at the office. You will hear the term, "reasonable" in terms of what you may ask for. For example, if you want photo copies, there is a limit of 25 pages, and after that, there are "reasonable" fees charged for more copies. http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=Ch0720/ch0720.htm
The big thing homeowners need to take care of these days is pressure cleaning their roofs. Walk thrus of the community are on going, and those with black roofs will receive a letter asking them to have it pressure cleaned.
I'd like to explain something about the violation process. No one likes to receive a letter from property manager or an attorney. People take out their frustration on the property manager, but they are just doing their job sending the letter. The property manager is the messenger in all of this. You've heard the phrase "Don't shoot the messenger" right? It is the board of directors who are actually sending the letters. What the board is finding, is that people procrastinate repairs, and wait until the case goes to the attorney. When this happens, the homeowner pays attorney fees, which can add up to thousands of dollars. How can this happen? Attorney's charge $195 per hour. When a homeowner sends the attorney a rebuttal letter, the attorney has to read it. They bill this at .2 hours times $195. Then the attorney chargers time to draft the response letter and file any legal documents. When the letters go back and forth for a few weeks, the fees add up to thousands. It is best to begin repairs as soon as possible after receiving a letter from the board and avoid going to the attorney. If you are having problems and need more time, contact the property manager, or come to a board meeting and state your case. Some homeowners respond to an attorney letter by hiring their own attorney to fight the case. This usually won't work. Why? Because the by-laws state that the homes must stay the way the developer built them. Meaning no alterations may be made to the exterior of the homes without board approval. If a homeowner wants to sue the board, the case goes to mediation first, and the by-laws will be cited. In other associations, cases are turned over to the attorney after the first letter. In Quatraine3, cases are turned over to the attorney after 3 letters.
02/21/07 - The annual meeting was held at Volunteer Park. There was a total of 18 people who showed up in person or by proxy. There was 3 proxies, which means 15 homeowners were represented at the meeting in person. There was actually about 20 people in the room. This did not make a Quorum for the annual meeting, therefore, no election took place, the current board rolled over, and they will serve 1 more year. After that, the Annual Statement was read to everyone in attendance highlighting what had been accomplished during the year. The Annual Meeting was then adjourned and a regular board meeting was started. Old business had a discussion about the concrete repair work of the sidewalks. It was decided that the job is not acceptable because the fixed sections are cracking. The property manager had spoken to the contractor many times about this issue. The contractor thinks the job was done to specification, the board does not. A proposal to have the annual Review of the financials prepared by Gerstle, Rosen & Goldenberg, PA passed. The president asked me if the master association should file a lien against The Colonnades to make them pay their unpaid assessments. I said it would come up at the March 7th meeting. During the open forum a homeowner suggested the drains be cleaned since they clog up during storms. The president asked the property manager to get a proposal for that job. Another homeowner asked who is responsible for landscaping the front area of the homes. It was told that the homeowner is responsible, and that the association Maintains the front but does not replace landscaping. This is also found in the by-laws. Another homeowner expressed concern about the violation letters, stating he received one, then a letter from the attorney demanding money, and that he didn't receive a 2nd or 3rd letter from the board. The president acknowledged the statements. Another homeowner asked where the laws made by the board can be found since they received notice about painting their bricks a certain color that was done by a previous owner. The president said the by-laws state no changes can be made to the exterior of the home without approval of the board.
Click here to return to the home page.
To send an e-mail, click here firstname.lastname@example.org
Cube Farm Fired