Skip to main content

Meeting Minutes for March 16, 2021

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, March 16, 2021 at 4 p.m.

Present (or attending via web conference) and constituting a quorum were:

Mark Novitski – Chair
Larry Roth – Vice Chair
Linda Lee Gibson- Assistant Secretary
Jenny Licht – Assistant Secretary
Joe Napolitano – Assistant Secretary

Also present (or attending via web conference) were:

Cal Teague – District Manager
Greg Urbancic – Attorney
Charlie Krebs – District Engineer
Chris Pepin – Field Manager
Christopher Dudak – PDM Assistant to the District Manager
Nancy Dudak – Premier District Management
Keith Gomez – Lee County Lands Division
Meredith Budd – Florida Wildlife Federation
William Freund – fStop

The following is a summary of the actions taken at the Habitat Community Development District Board of Supervisors Meeting.

FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESSCall to Order and Roll Call

The meeting was called to order and all Board members were present. Also present at the meeting were District Manager, Cal Teague, and Field Manager, Chris Pepin, while attending virtually were the Attorney, Greg Urbancic, Engineer, Charlie Krebs, Christopher Dudak and Nancy Dudak from PDM. Also attending virtually was Keith Gomez from Lee County Lands Division, Meredith Budd from the Florida Wildlife Federation and William Freund from fStop.

THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESSApproval of the Agenda

The Board reviewed the amended Agenda.

On MOTION by Supervisor Napolitano, seconded by Vice Chair Roth, with all in favor, the amended Agenda was approved.

FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESSAudience Comments on Agenda Items

Jim Meek commented that this is his last meeting as the President of the Bella Terra HOA. He stated that they got approval at their last meeting to purchase a new traffic hawk that will have night vision and other security features, but it can also operate during the day. They are considering a speed bump to stop traffic before it gets to the license plate reader camera, and also alert people that they need to get their driver’s license ready to speed up the visitor entry process. He explained that the security company they hired for the gates has the ability to go into the State system to verify license plates. Mr. Meek said that, while they cannot fine speeding delivery trucks, they can fine residents who speed. He emphasized that they will not allow people who owe fines to pass through the Gate. While he stated that speeding golf carts are an issue, if they do not have a Bella Terra sticker, they will be fined $100.

FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESSApproval of the Meeting Minutes

A. Draft Meeting Minutes for February 16, 2021

The Board reviewed the Meeting Minutes from the previous meeting.

On MOTION by Supervisor Licht, seconded by Vice Chair Roth, with all in favor, the Meeting Minutes from February 16, 2021 were approved as submitted.


A. Irrigation Contractor

i. Valve Replacement Update

The Chair said that the report submitted by Irrigation Specialists was a good recap of events, and that it is good that they can provide some maintenance remotely. Supervisor Licht asked about rainy season monitoring. The Chair said they can call Mr. Kring to shut the system down, and asked that the Field Manager coordinate with Mr. Kring to create a plan on how the sprinkler system will be managed during rainy season. The District Manager explained that rain sensors should shut it down. It was reported that two valves were replaced. Supervisor Licht asked about chemicals and snails, and the Chair explained that baskets strain out snails in the system. The Field Manager will get back with her for an explanation of what chemicals are being used.

ii. Intake Line Cleaning History Summary

The District Manager said that Mr. Kring reported that all pumps are checked at the intake in the lake quarterly and all electrical systems are serviced monthly.

B. Chair

i. Fences along BT Preserves

The Chair said that the County responded that they will not build a fence because they do not believe their water treatment plant is at risk. There was an estimate of $56,412.46 to install 2,972 linear feet of six-foot black chain link fence. The County was not willing to share the cost, so the Board did not continue the discussion.

ii. Accessing BT Preserves/Boulder Placement on Preserve Paths

The Board discussed placing boulders to stop people from walking in the Preserve to the Lee County access road. The Chair suggested they should post “no trespassing” signs where there are trails. There was an estimate from Triple J Sod to place six boulders near the Preserve cut-throughs for $2,074.64 to create an obstacle and prevent traffic. So the Board approved to post additional “no trespassing” signs where trails have been created. Since the trail cams were installed, no vehicles have been seen there.

iii. Speed Humps

The Chair commented that vehicles speed up again after passing over the humps. The Board discussed options to deter people from speeding in the community. They will address this again in August.

C. District Manager

i. FY 2022 Budget Discussions

The District Manager reviewed the Budget, with the Board requesting that $150,000 for the emergency exit, $125,000 for lake erosion and $150,000 for the storm sewer clean-out be included in the projected expenses for FY 2021. The Board asked that a reserve line item for solar light batteries be included. The District Manager said about $240,000 has been placed in reserves in previous years but would need to be a goal of the Board. They discussed prioritizing issues and having a workshop that would have to be open to the public.

ii. fStop Project Update

The District Manager presented the waiver from fStop. They Attorney had added language to protect the District. Meredith Budd said they will be happy to share pictures of the wildlife they photograph. She said they are excited about documenting the area’s wildlife, and she will be happy to work with the Field Manager in placing the cameras in the Preserve.

D. Field Manager

i. Field Report for March

  • The Field Manager said he noticed spike rush on Lake 25, so he requested Solitude to open the waterway in increments.
  • He has noticed erosion starting to accumulate around the community. He said nothing needs to be done immediately but it is on the Agenda item 6Diii.
  • Supervisor Gibson suggested that the Field Manager add a “no trespassing” sign behind L-25.
  • A solar light that was reported not working, the Chair observed working the day of the meeting, but the Field Manager wants to have it checked while it is under warranty.
  • Decorative foam around the Clock Tower was reported to be “squishy,” so the Field Manager will have all the foam checked. The Chair inquired about changing out all the foam to concrete or another more study substance.

ii. Project Updates

a. Stormwater System Inspection Report Update

The Field Manager and the District Manager spoke with the Project Manager for MRI to compare past inspections with the current ones. They agreed to review the tapes and if work that was billed in 2018 left debris, they would issue a credit and do the cleaning in that section at no cost to the District. They are also waiting on the revised cost for an inspection.

On MOTION by Supervisor Gibson, seconded by Vice Chair Roth, with all in favor, the Board approved a not to exceed amount of $50,000 for the Stormwater System inspection from MRI.

b. FPL Street Light Head Replacement

FPL installed a test light on March 12th. The Board and the Field Manager want to ensure that it meets their expectations before changing them throughout the community.

iii. Erosion Proposals Lakes 3, 5 and 10

The Board approved the proposal from American Shoreline Restoration for a not to exceed amount of $114,000. There was also discussion on washout responsibilities and this will be discussed at the next meeting. There are two proposals for Lakes 10, 5 & 3 from Lake & Wetland Management for dredge socks and American Shoreline Restoration for geotubes.

On MOTION by Supervisor Gibson, seconded by Supervisor Napolitano, with all in favor, the Board approved a proposal from American Shoreline Restoration for $114,000 for geotubes in Lakes 10, 5 and 3.

E. Attorney

The Attorney suggested the agreement with American Shoreline Restoration have the e-verify language.

He also reported that the legislative session is in full swing and there are several bills that could affect them. One creates the concept of performance audits for certain special districts. Another one would include additional information in the annual audit report. He said there are some other issues regarding the change in sovereign immunity that could alter insurance rates. He said he will keep them informed on changes. The District Manager noted that meeting notifications are on the State’s agenda for a possible change to allow communities to advertise meetings on the websites.

F. Engineer

i. Swale Behind 21027 Torre Del Lago Update

The Field Manager reported that the contractor who is doing the work recommended that they do cast iron instead of plastic at no cost to the District. They also recommend they put in a concrete ring around these iron boxes. He said that the Field Manager gave an example of circular concrete ring that would go around it. Typically, he does not recommend those in residential areas, because residents feel they have a commercial appearance. However, he said this works well. The District Manager said that the advantage of the ring is that it stops the drains from popping up and protects them from lawn mowers. The Chair suggested that once these are installed, the Vice Chair can write an article about it so residents know what they are.

On MOTION by Supervisor Napolitano, seconded by Supervisor Gibson, with all in favor, the Board approved installing concrete curtains around the inlets that need them for $1,400.

ii. Village and County Emergency Egress LDO status

The Engineer said that he does not have updated budget numbers from the contractors. He will give them to the District Manager when he gets them to distribute them to the Board.

iii. Emergency Access Road Electrical Plan and Construction Proposals

The Board discussed what is involved in moving forward with the Emergency Access Road Electrical Plan for electric, gate, concrete and additional expenses.

On MOTION by Supervisor Gibson, seconded by Supervisor Licht, with all in favor, the Board authorized a not to exceed amount of $95,000 to move forward with the Emergency Access Road Electrical Plan and Construction, excluding the irrigation and landscaping.

iv. County Temporary Construction Easement Agreement

The Attorney updated the Board on the County Temporary Construction Easement Agreement to make a smooth transition from the County to the CDD’s property. Keith Gomez said this will harmonize the intersections of the roads. The project is expected to be finished around 2024.

On MOTION by Supervisor Licht, seconded by Vice Chair Roth, with all in favor, the Board authorized the Chair to sign the County Temporary Easement Agreement with Lee County.

The Attorney, Engineer and Keith Gomez left the meeting at 5:15 p.m.


A. Guardhouse Issues

The Chair discussed his process for establishing height requirements for the Guardhouse. Supervisor Licht emphasized that many guests complain about getting stuck behind trucks at the Gate. The Board discussed the squaring off of the arches to provide 13’6” of clearance for trucks. The Field Manager, the District Manager, the Vice Chair and Master Board representatives will select a contractor for the project.

On MOTION by Vice Chair Roth, seconded by Supervisor Gibson, with all in favor, the Board authorized a not to exceed amount of $32,000 to square off the arches on both sides at the Guardhouse to provide 13’6″ of clearance.

B. Clock Tower Tile Retiling/Cleaning/Water Quality Analysis

The Field Manager reported that Culligan Water is working with Waterworks Pools to create software for a unit that will monitor water quality at the Clock Tower and could cost $10,000 to $15,000. He is working on a proposal.

They are scheduled to scrape off the calcium on the tiles March 24th. The Field Manager purchased an eco-friendly chemical that removes calcium buildup. The Chair stated that the chemical is a short-term solution, and the water softener is a long-term solution.


A. Financials for February 2021

The February 2021 Financials were discussed.

On MOTION by Supervisor Napolitano, seconded by Vice Chair Roth, with all in favor, the Board accepted the Financials for February 2021.


A. Estero Council of Community Leaders

i. Online Meetings & Community Report:

TENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisors Requests
  • Supervisor Gibson asked about signs that appeared in the empty front lot. She was told it was for a community Jeep Meet.
  • Supervisor Licht inquired if the Board can be notified when contractors are on site, such as the Preserve maintenance people she saw on the property. She also presented a draft revision of the HOA’s cul-de-sac maintenance agreement, which has the goal not to lose money while replacing plants that have aged out. The Chair said they need to get three bids and to have the same dollar amount for each community, and asked that they run the agreement by the Attorney.
  • Supervisor Napolitano commented on the photograph of tipping cable/electrical boxes and the Board discussed how to get them serviced. It was suggested that the Master HOA contact the Village/Lee County commission to require service providers to maintain their systems. However, it was stated that this is not a CDD issue.
  • The Chair asked the Board to monitor debris placed by homeowners in the roads and report them to Chris Dudak so he can send them a letter.
  • Peter Van Kampen said that a neighbor who participated in the Jeep event said they were all Bella Terra people. He said he will ask them to check in at the office the next time they are coming. He also asked about the chemical buildup at the Clock Tower and if Security is aware that people are walking along unauthorized Preserve paths.
  • Jim Meek thanked volunteers in the community for the comprehensive job they did in collecting data at the Guardhouse. He also thanked Board members for doing a good job.

There being no further Orders of Business,

The Chair adjourned the meeting at 6:04 p.m.

Next Meeting: April 20, 2021 at 4 p.m.

Secretary/Assistant Secretary
Chair/Vice Chair