Meeting Minutes for December 19, 2023
Community Development District
The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Habitat Community Development District was held in the Bella Terra Clubhouse at 20070 Bella Terra Boulevard in Estero, Florida and also via web conference on Tuesday, December 19, 2023 at 4 p.m.
Present and constituting a quorum were:
Larry Roth – Chair
Norman Reno – Vice Chair
Jenny Licht – Assistant Secretary
Linda Lea Gibson – Assistant Secretary
James Meek – Assistant Secretary
Cal Teague – District Manager, Premier District Management, (PDM)
Chris Pepin – Field Manager, Community Field Services
Melissa Gindling – Assistant District Manager, PDM
Greg Urbancic – Attorney, Coleman Yovanovich Koester, PA
John Baker – Engineer, Hole Montes, Inc.
The following is a summary of the actions taken at the Habitat Community Development District Board of Supervisors Meeting.
FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS Call to Order and Roll Call
The meeting was called to order and all Board members were present. Also in attendance were Cal Teague, the District Manager, Chris Pepin, the Field Manager, Melissa Gindling from PDM, and Several Residents, including Bob Vaa and Diane Meek. Participating remotely were Greg Urbancic, the Attorney, and John Baker, Engineer.
SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS Pledge of Allegiance
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Agenda
Add 6Ciif: Drainage Concern at 21019 Torre Del Lago
Add 6Ciig: Street Sinking Issue
Add 7D: Proposal for Tree Trimming along Bella Terra Blvd
Add 7E: Proposal for Wind Sensor on Clock Tower Fountain
Add 7F: Cord Grass Trimming Proposal
Add 7G: Resident Request for Additional Stop Sign on Belvedere Ln.
On MOTION by Chair Roth, seconded by Supervisor Meek, with all in favor, the Agenda was approved, as amended.
FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Audience Comments on Agenda Items
There were no Audience comments on Agenda items.
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consent Agenda
A. Items to Be Pulled for Discussion
There were no items pulled.
B. Motion to Approve Consent Items
On MOTION by Supervisor Gibson, seconded by Vice Chair Reno, with all in favor, the Board approved all Consent Items, as presented.
C. Consideration of Items Pulled for Discussion
D. Consent Items
i. Draft Regular Meeting Minutes for November 21, 2023
ii. Financial Report for November 2023
iii. Project Tracking Logs
SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Staff Reports
A. Irrigation Contractor
i. Irrigation Line Treatments Follow-up
District Manager Teague reported that No Limit sent over a proposal for the flush valves, which he signed, because it was below the previously approved amount. No Limit will be starting this project at the beginning of January.
B. District Manager
i. FEMA Reimbursement Update
District Manager Teague reported that they continue to monitor the FEMA Grants Portal for the submission of an eligibility determination memorandum, and none have been posted as of yet. However, PDM did receive notice that one other community they manage was denied eligibility.
ii. Ownership Issues Follow-up
At the last meeting, Supervisor Meek volunteered to contact the HOA and ask if they would be open to a quit claim deed for the transfer of some or all of the properties which are identified as HOA property, and which should have been transferred previously to the CDD. He stated that his investigation revealed that an agreement had been reached, but the attorneys for both entities had never finalized the transfer. He stated that he will be meeting with KJ Moses and Priscilla sometime after the beginning of the year.
iii. Manhole on Serre Drive
District Manager Teague stated that a resident reported that they had fallen into an unsecured manhole, and that the water company was working in the area that day. Staff requested the gatehouse footage from the HOA, and they reported that no utility company could be seen in the footage. It was noted that the manhole cover in question appeared to be part of the stormwater system. It was also mentioned that the landscapers park near the area often, and perhaps their leaf blowers had dislodged the cover.
This issue has also been reported to the District’s insurance company, who will continue their investigation.
iv. Supervisor Annual Ethics Training
Training options for Supervisors were provided in the packet, and District Manager Teague and Attorney Urbancic presented an overview of the requirements. It was stated that the completion of the training must be verified on their Form 1 each year, and it was also noted that Form 1 will be completed electronically in 2024.
C. Field Manager
i. Current Field Report
Field Manager Pepin reviewed the report and the following issues were discussed:
The littorals have grown to a larger width in Lake 1, and a homeowner has complained that they are overgrown. Chris explained several options for lessening the width, but there was discussion on the fact that littorals help prevent erosion and control algae. The Board suggested sending a letter to the homeowner explaining the benefits of littorals and the removal process, and if the homeowner had further questions, to call Field Manager Pepin or attend the next Board meeting.
Chris reported that he had removed the wooden box on the aerator cabinet near Lake 4 again. Since staff was not sure which homeowner made the box, the Board asked staff to send another letter to both nearby homeowners to notify them that this is not permitted, and if it is placed on the cabinet again, the box will be discarded.
Chris suggested trimming some of the cordgrass, because it has grown very tall, but the Board decided to wait on this item, and trimming it when other vegetation is trimmed was suggested.
He reported that the contractors have completed some of the lake bank repair on Lakes 3, 7, and 9 and will return to complete it before the end of the year.
He confirmed that the new fern growth within the preserves was native.
A resident reported an area where asphalt near a storm drain was cracking, and Chris is obtaining proposals for repair.
He reported that the new trail cameras near the wildlife crossings have only captured one osprey so far.
Chris stated that an area of dead sod near the preserve will be replaced, because it was unclear whether this was caused by over-spraying or by the mowers.
He stated that there were several street sign issues this month, which required replacement or repair.
He reported that one jatropha tree had died.
Chair Roth mentioned that the nutcracker decorations on the clock tower may be causing damage and creating holes in the clocktower.
ii. Project Updates
a. Lake Bank Repair
The contractor is completing the repairs, but work was delayed because of the recent rainfall. He hopes to be completed by the end of the year. Chris stated that the homeowner near Lake 9 was happy with the repairs.
b. Alligator Signage
Field Manager Pepin reported that the sign has been installed near the guardhouse.
c. Sidewalk Repairs
Vice Chair Reno had included photos in the packet illustrating the poor repair of the concrete, and he stated that it needs to be removed and redone. It was decided that Vice Chair Reno will coordinate with Chris and the contractor concerning the correct way to install the concrete on the indicated areas.
d. Guardhouse Repairs and AC Quote
As requested, Chris has received a quote from Sunset Air with several different options and AC models with the cost ranging from $4,522.50 to $5,306.25. Supervisor Meek stated that he observed that the unit probably does not need replacement, just cleaning. After discussion, the Board decided that maintenance of this unit was an HOA responsibility per the terms of the agreement. They asked staff to send a letter to the HOA, informing them of their responsibility, suggesting the cleaning of the unit and not its replacement, and installing a new remote control.
On MOTION by Supervisor Meek, seconded by Supervisor Gibson, with all in favor, the Board approved staff to send a letter to the HOA, stating that the HOA is responsible for the AC unit, suggesting the cleaning and not replacement of the AC unit, and installing a new remote control.
e. Street/Sidewalk Cleaning Concerns
The contractor had confirmed that they completed a soft flush at the end of each day to the areas that were pressure cleaned, and they also stated that the project will be completed soon.
Vice Chair Reno suggested that the street sweeper has not swept the entire community, because many acorns remain on the street near his home. He suggested that one of the Supervisors should oversee projects to make sure they are completed as requested. Field Manager Pepin asked that any Supervisors send him an email with photos, if they have concerns about the street sweeping or pressure cleaning projects, so he can address this with the contractors.
f. Drainage Concern at 21019 Torre Del Lago
District Manager Teague stated that the homeowner had been sent several letters concerning their pool installation, and their response with photos was included in the packet. He had spoken with the homeowner, who stated that they are not responsible for the drainage issue. Field Manager Pepin noted that the pictures provided have no time stamps, and they both show the silt barrier failing.
The Board decided to pursue this issue and asked Engineer Baker to work with Field Manager Pepin, as well as, Vice Chair Reno, to inspect the swale to verify that it has been altered. They also asked Engineer Baker to attempt to determine if silt caused the swale drainage issue.
g. Street Sinking Issue
Vice Chair Reno’s photos were included in the packet, which illustrate an area of the street that is sinking. The Board asked Engineer Baker to investigate. If the sinking asphalt was caused by a sanitary sewer, staff will ask the County to fix it.
i. Trip and Fall Lawsuit Update
Attorney Urbancic stated that there was no update, except that there has been a change in legal counsel for the insurance company.
ii. Gatehouse Post Orders
Attorney Urbancic asked for a copy of the new post orders, which will be forwarded to him. Supervisor Meek mentioned that a new company has recently assumed security responsibilities, so this is a good time for Attorney Urbancic to review them.
Attorney Urbancic also reported on some pending legislative items. One is a bill that will increase the limits of sovereign immunity, a second is a bill which would allow credit unions to become qualified public depositories, and the third is a bill which would require groups that lobby special districts, such as a CDD, to register.
i. Emergency Exit Update
Engineer Baker stated that Collier Paving reported that they are 70% done but were delayed by the recent rain. Engineer Baker noted that the pavers will be placed on a layer of sand, with sod around them. Supervisor Reno also stated that he saw a broken irrigation head near the bricks, and asked staff to perform a wet check.
ii. Native Plant Options for Emergency Gate Area
Engineer Baker stated that they should be planted on the internal buffer, and he presented several suggestions for this area, including wild olive and sweet acacia. The Board asked him to forward a list of plants to Supervisor Licht. After discussion, it was decided that Supervisor Licht will work with Engineer Krebs to develop a planting proposal. There was also discussion concerning the location and method of installation of the plants. Staff will also develop a timeline about what occurred with Estate regarding the recently completed plantings that were not installed as intended.
iii. Roadway Inspection
Chair Roth stated that he had requested a roadway inspection with coring samples. Engineer Baker stated that Engineer Krebs is working on an estimate for a full pavement analysis.
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Discussion/Action Items
A. Cul-de-sac Planting Update
Supervisor Licht stated that she and Field Manager Pepin continue to develop a plan.
B. Concern Regarding Contractors Parking in Auxiliary Lot
Priscilla’s email, which outlines the overflow parking lot rules, is included in the packet. The Board noted that staff should be aware of these rules and pass them along to contractors in the future.
C. Concern Regarding Holiday Decorations on CDD Property
There was discussion on the appearance of the holiday decorations, which the HOA had installed on CDD property, and the Board asked staff to place this issue on the February agenda for further discussion.
A resident had requested to decorate the cul-de-sac on Cardeto Court, and the association is working on adding the CDD as an additional insured on their liability policy. The Board approved their decorations.
On MOTION by Supervisor Meek, seconded by Supervisor Licht, with all in favor, the Board approved the request to decorate the Cardeto Court cul-de-sac for the holidays.
D. Proposal for Tree Trimming along Bella Terra Blvd
Field Manager Pepin stated that he had received a proposal for trimming the hardwoods along Bella Terra Boulevard. He noted that Pristine Lakes quoted the cost of $120 per tree for a regular trim, and $160 per tree for a hurricane trim. The Board asked him to get additional quotes for hurricane trimming.
E. Proposal for Wind Sensor on Clock Tower Fountain
Field Manager Pepin stated that he had received a proposal of $3,300 from VIP Pools for the installation of a sensor system to control the bowls and geysers in the clock tower fountain. There was discussion about the cause of vegetation failure, and the Board decided to table this issue until February or March.
F. Cord Grass Trimming Proposal
This was covered in the discussion of the field report. The Board decided to table this item for now.
G. Resident Request for Additional Stop Sign on Belvedere Lane
A resident reported that there is a blind spot near the intersection of Belvedere and Velino, due to a neighbor’s truck parking spot, and they are requesting an additional stop sign. After discussion, the Board decided that there is no need for an additional stop sign, and there is no good place to install it. The Board denied this request.
On MOTION by Supervisor Licht, seconded by Vice Chair Reno, with all in favor, the Board denied a resident’s request for the placement of an additional stop sign near the intersection of Belvedere and Velino.
EIGHTH ORDER OF BUSINESS H.O.A. Report
There was no report from the HOA.
NINTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisor Requests
Supervisor Licht requested the installation of more muhly grass around the lakes. She will work with Field Manager Pepin on this project.
Supervisor Reno confirmed that he will email Field Manager Pepin regarding several current projects and stated that he is willing to assist as a Board liaison or project manager for certain projects.
TENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Audience Comments
Diane Meek commented about one area along Bella Terra Boulevard where the pressure cleaners only cleaned one half of the sidewalk. Field Manager Pepin will investigate.
ELEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Adjournment
Chair Roth adjourned the meeting at 6:04 p.m.
A Workshop Meeting is January 16, 2024 at 3:00 p.m.
The Next Regular Meeting is January 16, 2024 at 4:00 p.m.