Message from the Incoming President
HOA General Meeting Recap
By Adam Greschler
The first 2018 Hidden Springs/Estates HOA General Meeting had a record turnout with more than 50 residents in attendance. Homeowners, Board Members and guest speakers came together to participate in discussions ranging from Dr. Phillips Little League to when the “big dig” on I-4 be completed (hint: not anytime soon…). And while we weren’t able to cover every issue or field every question in the brief two-hour time slot, we did get some amazing information from the people in a position to speak with authority on their respective subjects.
District 1 Commissioner Betsy VanderLey was our first speaker, and she laid out in broad terms the local changes regarding the streets, off-ramps and on-ramps being affected by the construction on I-4. In addition, Dr. Phillips Blvd., Apopka Vineland Rd. and Wallace Rd. are all undergoing changes that should ease traffic and facilitate travel. As part of the I-4 "Beyond the Ultimate" project, a Diverging Diamond Interchange will be constructed at the Sand Lake Road/I-4 Interchange – the first project of its kind in Central Florida. See a video on this innovative interchange here:
Some homeowners expressed concerns about specific code violations they are aware of within our community. The commissioner gave the perfect answer: email her at District1@ocfl.net and they will send someone out there to investigate as soon as possible. Personally, I’m a big fan of that kind of efficiency. In general, you should report code violations via 311, and there’s even an app to make it easier (click here).
Furthermore, Commissioner VanderLey encouraged residents to sign up for the District 1 newsletter at www.OCFL.net/District1 to stay informed about projects and community meetings that impact our neighborhood.
For those wondering what is happening with the Dr. Phillips Little League location, for now it is staying where it is while they research the possibility of bringing it to one of our area schools. The original planned site at Dr. Phillips Community Park is no longer a possibility due to the sludge, which makes it too cost-prohibitive to build there. Until a new property is confirmed, the Dr. Phillips Little League will remain by the YMCA.
Commissioner VanderLey was aware of the recent issues with the loose pit bulls in our area and brought two experts with Animal Services to address our questions and concerns. Public Information Officer Alyssa Chandler (Alyssa.Chandler@ocfl.net) and Senior Animal Control Officer Len Gibson (Len.Gibson@ocfl.net) provided an update on what has been done and is still being done. Actions were taken against the owner, who received a $1,400 citation. So far, they have conducted more than 77 patrols to try and capture the dogs and have placed four traps in our area, which have been checked more than 150 times to date. So far, the traps have only caught some raccoons. If residents want to volunteer their property to have a trap placed, they are welcome to contact Animal Services. They said the last reported sighting as of the meeting was March 27. If you see these dogs again in our area, please take photos, note the time and location, and contact 311 right away. They said they would start a new report and there is not a master file or case number you need to reference. Remember, if you see something, say something!
Nicolle Masters with the I-4 Beyond the Ultimate Project was our next guest speaker. A whole new I-4 is coming to Central Florida! She gave a presentation on the history of I-4 and how, with Central Florida’s booming population, the infrastructure simply can’t manage the volume anymore. That was the motivation for the construction and also the motivation for future construction… I-4 is being completely transformed along the 21 miles that stretch from Kirkman Road to State Road 434. As they work to build a better I-4, get ready for four new Express Lanes, reconstructed interchanges, completely rebuilt bridges and an exciting new look and feel! Get more information on the project, view traffic via live feed cameras, sign up for construction alerts and more at https://i4ultimate.com.
Lieutenant Mike Rosier and Deputy Perry Troutman came up next and gave us some great advice on how to incorporate some better judgment in our daily routines to stay a little safer. About 75 percent of car break-ins, they said, come from people leaving valuables in plain sight within their vehicles. Windows are easily smashed and possessions stolen or, even worse, doors are left unlocked. Please stop doing that! If you must keep your valuables in your car, keep them in the trunk out of sight and lock your doors. Don’t invite crime, and it will be less likely to let itself in. Keep an eye on your home. Keep an eye on your neighbor’s home. Put up lights that will turn on with movement at night and, once again, if you see something say something! Our community will only stay safe if we keep it safe. If you’d like to join a Citizens on Patrol group, you can contact Jennifer Green. It takes just a few people to get it started. If you have the time and desire, please, please, please reach out to her at Jennifer.Green@ocfl.net.
We closed the meeting with reports from our own HOA Board Members. Donna Fontaine informed us all that the preliminary paperwork to have new or upgraded streetlights has gone through, and all residents will be mailed voting ballots at some point in 2019. We need more than 66 percent of ALL homeowners in EACH phase of Hidden Springs/Estates to vote in favor of this proposal for it to be approved. So… don’t forget!!! In 2019 we need your help to put in place the lights that help us keep out crime.
Treasurer Tina Dottino spoke about our budget and spending requirements. She reminded residents that the County does not maintain our entrances or common areas, so your annual voluntary dues are crucial for keeping these areas maintained and attractive. To see our current budget and expenses, be sure to check out her report in this newsletter. Our new fiscal year kicks off in September.
Karen Butler discussed all the events and volunteer opportunities that exist within our community, including Happy Hours, welcome baskets, National Night Out and more. If anyone wants to contribute items or gift certificates for our welcome baskets for new residents, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, the entire HOA Board is made up of volunteers. Men and women with families and jobs who devote a portion of their free time to making sure that Hidden Springs/Estates remains the vibrant, beautiful and exclusive neighborhood it has always been. If you can devote any time at all, please contact us at HOA@HiddenSpringsEstates.org. I promise we’ll get back to you quickly!
I’d like to thank everyone who took time out of their Saturday morning and came down to the Dr. Phillips YMCA. From our speakers to our HOA board members but most especially to all of you, the homeowners of our great community, your support and advice help us to keep moving in the right direction. Anyone with any questions at all can reach us at HOA@HiddenSpringsEstates.org.