Special Meeting Minutes for July 18, 2023
Community Development District
A special 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, July 18, 2023 at 3 p.m.
Present (or attending via web conference) and constituting a quorum were:
Larry Roth – Chair
Norman Reno – Vice Chair
Linda Lea Gibson – Assistant Secretary
Jenny Licht – Assistant Secretary
Joseph Napolitano – Assistant Secretary
Also present (or attending via web conference):
Cal Teague – District Manager, Premier District Management (PDM)
Chris Pepin – Field Manager, Community Field Services
Charlie Krebs – Engineer, Hole Montes, Inc.
Greg Urbancic – Attorney, Coleman Yovanovich Koester, PA
Michele Till-Cazares – HOA Master Landscape Committee
Melissa Gindling – Assistant District Manager, PDM
Hank Jakiela – Resident
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 special 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, Charlie Krebs, the Engineer, Michele Till-Cazares from the HOA Master Landscape Committee, Melissa Gindling from PDM, and Several Residents. Participating via web conference were Greg Urbancic, the Attorney, and Hank Jakiela, Resident.
SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Agenda
On MOTION by Supervisor Licht, seconded by Supervisor Gibson, with all in favor, the Agenda was approved, as submitted.
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Audience Comments on Agenda Items
Michele Till-Cazares commented that the offer of $38,000 will help the Landscape Committee as they work in the community.
Diane Meek asked if the CDD monitors the irrigation lines, and she wondered if replacement of the irrigation lines has been considered, because there are continual repairs.
Jim Meek expressed his disappointment with the continual disagreements between the HOA and CDD, and he pointed out different items that the CDD and the HOA had exchanged in the past. He also believes that the HOA should have more say in what they are responsible for.
FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Discussion/Action Items
A. HOA Termination of Current Maintenance Agreement
District Manager Teague stated that, included in the packet are the notice from the HOA to terminate the agreement with the CDD, which will take effect on August 1st, and communication between Vice Chair Reno and the Landscape Committee. He gave a history of the agreements which had been established between the CDD and the HOA.
District Manager Teague stated that the CDD had assumed responsibility for a portion of the irrigation system, and landscaping duties had been split between the CDD and the HOA. He also stated that there had been difficulty when deciding who has responsibility for the cul-de-sacs.
B. Contract Implications
Vice Chair Reno summarized what had initiated the HOA’s request for changes in the agreement, including changes in their budget. He noted that the HOA had not spent all of their budget in previous years. In addition, since the HOA had already collected their dues for the third quarter, and terminated the agreement, he wondered what that money will be used for. His preference is that the HOA reduce their budget by $38,000, if the CDD assumes the landscaping of CDD property. There was also a discussion of prorating the Estate proposal on a monthly basis.
Vice Chair Reno also suggested that, if the CDD is responsible for landscaping, they could retain a contractor at the beginning of the year for the maintenance of cul-de-sacs and for landscaping. He suggested that the CDD assume responsibility for all irrigation, but District Manager Teague stated that the CDD cannot be responsible for that which is on HOA property. Vice Chair Reno stated that he had counted the trees and surmised that the maintenance of those trees is not cost prohibitive, but Supervisor Licht stated that the necessary removal of excessive branches is costly. Vice Chair Reno stated that the HOA should petition the CDD, if they want to undertake any modifications in the community.
Supervisor Gibson stated that she is happy with the current agreement, but she believes that the HOA should be held accountable for their maintenance activity.
Supervisor Napolitano stated that there had been a number of transfers of responsibility since 2015, and he does not believe that everyone is aware of what those are.
Supervisor Licht stated that the responsibilities of the HOA and the CDD had been clearly defined in the past, using the resources that were in place. She stated that Bella Terra is a beautiful community and has been well maintained, and the HOA and CDD just need to foster good communication for its joint maintenance.
Chair Roth wondered what will happen in the future if the HOA demands are not met. He also stated that he believes if the HOA is asking for changes in their budget, they could ask for other monies in the future.
C. Future Options for CDD Property Impacted
The Board discussed various options for proceeding. District Manager Teague suggested that the CDD could make an offer to pay a pro-rated amount of the $38,000 to the HOA until the end of the next fiscal year, which would allow more time to negotiate a new maintenance contract.
Attorney Urbancic suggested that the Board could develop a proposal now and ask the HOA if they accept it, and then reconvene this meeting to further discuss the specific responsibilities of the HOA and the CDD.
On MOTION by Chair Roth, seconded by Supervisor Licht, with 3 in favor and Vice Chair Reno and Supervisor Napolitano opposed, the Board agreed to extend the maintenance contract until September 30, 2024, to offer the HOA $3,170 per month for the reimbursement of services, and to request the extension of the current maintenance contract until September 30, 2024. The monthly reimbursement would be paid between January, 2024 and September, 2024.
On MOTION by Supervisor Gibson, seconded by Vice Chair Reno, with all in favor, the Board agreed to ask the HOA for a 90 day extension of the maintenance contract, if the HOA does not accept the proposal outlined in the previous motion.
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Audience Comments
There were no Audience comments.
SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Adjournment
Chair Roth adjourned the Special Meeting at 4:00 p.m.