The Seascape Scene from President, Linda Schneider
11/17/2016 -This has been a very busy time of the year as we prepare for the Annual Owners’ and Organizational Board of Directors meeting. We apologize for the delay in getting the website posted but hope you will appreciate the many activities that have been underway as we prepare for the upcoming return of our owners and their guests.
This year Seascape’s Insurance Committee conducted a RFP. A RFP is a ‘request for proposal’ for our insurance policies. We currently have 9 policies which cover the numerous aspects of coverage for Seascape. This does not include health insurance or our Workmen’s Comp. policies. Many facets affect those policies. While these include deductibles that are set to cover each area, it also includes limits and values which must be attributed to each item. There are also items which cannot be insured. To assist in an evaluation for proper insurance coverages, values are consulted through a recent ‘reserve study’.
As an example, Dreux Issac is a company which does ‘reserve studies’ for communities and is the one Seascape has used for several years. Florida Statute 718.112(f)  requires condominium associations to fund a reserve account for certain capital expenditures and deferred maintenance. The statute requires all condominium associations to maintain reserves for roof replacement, building painting, pavement resurfacing and any other expenditure which is expected to exceed $10,000. These values are also important in determining insurance coverage. These studies must be completed for all condo associations containing buildings over three stories and are good for only a 5-year period.
The Insurance Committee invited three companies to participate in the RFP. These were BB& T, our current insurance company, Brown and Brown, and Insurance Office of America. Strict parameters were set by the committee so we would be receiving quotes that were ‘apples to apples’ quotes and an evaluation form was created to evaluate each company on the same basis.
This was not a ‘short-term’ endeavor by the committee. The process began as early as February, 2016. and each participant was to have their proposals in by November 1 in preparation for a recommendation at the November Board meeting.
Special thanks go to Tom Hopkinson, Rick Smith and John Marangola for all the time and effort they put into this endeavor. At the Board of Directors Meeting, the Board voted that Insurance Office of America will be providing the insurance for Seascape for year 2017.
Janet, Roger, and Dave have also been very busy. Not only has Janet been dealing with preparations for the meetings. She has been the ‘gofer’ for picking up the mulch that Roger and Dave have spread throughout the Community. She picked up 15 bags of mulch each day for the ‘guys’ to spread until the project was complete.
Of course, there is the annual removal of ‘turtle lights’ throughout the Community. November 1st is the close of ‘turtle season’ and the earliest date at which the lighting restrictions may be removed. This is a very time-consuming project for our staff.
Many of you may not be aware that there are three lights which illuminate the area for picnics and grilling where the grills and ‘tiki’ huts are behind the tennis courts. We recently replaced one of these lights over the tennis courts. Since the parts could not be ordered to repair the light, the fixture was totally replaced. Improvements were also made to other parts of the wiring for these lights. These lights may be ‘turned on’ by a toggle switch attached to the tennis court fence next to the center court gate.
We have changed out six small beach side tables and replaced table tops on three of our large tables. Each year we review and repair or replace tables and pool furniture as needed.
Earlier in the year we asked all owners who wished to have screen panels replaced to let Janet know. Elias Brother has completed the replacement of the screens those owners requested.
The lighting on one of our main entrance signs was not working and we had an electrician replace some of the wiring and the socket in the fixture.
The locks have been replaced on both restroom doors. These are lever type handles instead of the previous door knobs. Much easier for those of us with arthritic joints to use. The ‘push button’ code had not been changed.
If you are just arriving at Seascape, there are instructions in the office, provided by BroadStar, which should outline what is to be done to update your systems. This is necessary if your equipment has been unplugged, disconnected or unused over a period-of-time.
If you, or your guests, need help with your television or internet reception, call 239-214-0003. Janet will no longer be helping with television or internet problems. BroadStar wants to be able to register every call so they will be able to ‘get a handle’ on the problems the Community is experiencing to better rectify existing issues.
At the beginning of January, February and March, BroadStar is going to have help in the library to assist those arriving at Seascape. Janet will post a notice in the elevators with the dates that Kim will be available onsite to help.
Here is also a hint (from my electronically savvy son) if you wish to expand the range of your internet, whether at Seascape or in your home. Installation of a ‘range extender’ is an inexpensive and great addition to any area where you wish to extend the range of your internet.
10/12/16 –It’s already that time of year when those who winter at Seascape are gearing up for the trip. That means it is also time for Janet and me to work on finishing up the agendas and preparing everything for the upcoming meetings.
This year the Members’ Meeting is scheduled a week later than we have had it in the past. When surveyed at last year’s Owner’s Meeting, those in attendance indicated their preference for the 2016 meeting to be held on the 12th of November instead of the 5th. The meeting is at the usual time of 10:00 a.m. and will be held under E Building, as always. Preferably it will be a day with no rain, sunny skies and pleasant temperatures.
New equipment has been installed by BroadStar in all of our units. The Community now has HD TV in all units. The receivers for the HD reception are for the living room and one bedroom. If those who have a two-bedroom unit wish television in the second bedroom, an account will need to be setup by the owner and arrangements made with BroadStar
Upon your return to Seascape, if your receiver has been unplugged for more than two weeks it will lose its programming. You will need to call BroadStar customer service to get an ‘authorization hit’ sent to the receiver. Once it has ‘updated/rebooted’ your HD programming should be available.
To get an ‘authorization hit’ for your receiver or if you have a problem call BroadStar at 239-214-0003. If the plug you have the receiver plugged into is controlled by the light switch, be sure the switch is on and electricity is going to the HD box. This switch situation is found more often in the bedroom.
We are discussing the possibility of having a representative at Seascape one day a week during the initial time when most owners are returning to trouble shoot minor problems. Anything major would require a ‘tech’ to troubleshoot the problem. She would also have information about other upgrades available through BroadStar.
Your internet should work once the modem is plugged in and the rebooting is complete (locks in).
One of the summer projects Janet was to organize was to have the rusty Florida Power and Light transformers by D and F Buildings replaced. They recently replaced the transformer by D Building, but the work is yet to be completed by F. Prior to the work FPL notified the owners. Janet also posted the information in the elevators. During the time the work was underway Building D had no power. This meant the elevator did not function during the time it took to complete the work. There was also no internet or TV for the entire Community. The main gate (south gate) was affected as well.
When the F Building transformer is replaced before the end of the year, the TV and internet will only be affected in the F Building, not the entire community.
Other summer projects that have been completed include:
The furniture around the pool has been cleaned.
The pool deck has been painted.
All three ground floor trash rooms have been painted.
All of the newly installed fire doors on the E Building stairwells have been painted.
The palm trees were trimmed before Hurricane Matthew came into the area. We survived the hurricane with no significant problems.
As a last reminder, we have an automatic payment system set up with Florida Community Bank. The system is set up for Seascape to debit either quarterly or yearly maintenance fees out of an account of your choice. If you wish to set up this form of payment, Janet has the forms for you to complete.
9/8/2016 - There was a lot of publicity from the media and meteorologists about the severity of Hermine. We are happy to report that while we had high surf Seascape survived with no real issues. Actually Tropical Storm Colin, which occurred in June of this year, eroded the beach more than Hermine and left a 2-3 foot drop off near the water’s edge. Hermine smoothed out that drop-off, leaving the beach flat and easier for walking.
Pictures will be attached soon, courtesy of Janet, showing views of the beach and high surf during Tropical Storm Hermine. You will see that the waves are very near the seawall.
She has also provided pictures of the beach post storm showing how the sea oats and other vegetation survived the storm.
It was reported that turtles were having a difficult time getting up the drop off to nest. Now that Hermine has erased that drop off, turtles who might be late in nesting, will no longer have that problem. Turtle Time runs from May 1st to October 31st. As of August 4th Turtle Time is reporting 258 nests for this season. Of those, 58 have hatched so far, 7 nests were lost, and 397 were reported as ‘false crawls’. As far as Bonita Beach (to the Lee-Collier County line) the count is 151 nests, with 30 of those having hatched, and 3 nests lost.
During Turtle Time lights from your unit should not be visible to someone standing on the beach. So if you do not have the turtle gray glass installed to shield the lights from being visible from the beach, be sure to close your drapes. The Turtle Time members and employees from the City of Bonita Beach do check the beach at night for improper visible lighting. If in violation you may find a reminder on your unit door about the improper lighting. A violation can result in a fine.
Speaking of pictures, there is a picture attached of the South/Main entrance gate. There are cameras at this gate where Janet can view activity. Activity is also recorded. New directional arrows have been installed on the parking/driving area at the gate entrance for safety purposes when entering or exiting the gate, particularly to the parking area nearest the road in front of E Building.
Due to the permitting process, there is a slow down on installing the North gate. The hope is that the permitting will be promptly resolved and the North entrance gate installation can be completed by October.
Unfortunately, the beautiful Bismarckia Palm located behind the north Seascape sign by F Building has died. It was found to have been infested by Palmetto weevils. Once affected, the only choice is to cut down and remove the affected tree. The other palms have been treated for the insect. Since the vegetation in the area where the Bismarckia was located has grown so much, replanting might not be necessary. The site will be re-evaluated later and a decision made.
Six new metal fire doors and frames have been installed on the walkways of E Building. To save some of the cost on the project the Seascape Team is painting the newly installed unpainted doors.
On August 23rd the Board of Directors had a Board Meeting in conjunction with the Insurance Committee to review and discuss findings presented by Ali Pool of Insurance Office of America and Elizabeth Fountain, P.E., CFM of J. R. Evans Engineering. The purpose of the meeting was to determine if findings might result in being able to obtain a LOMR (Letter of Map Revision) to change the VE Flood rating (the highest flood rating) to an AE rating. Receiving an AE flood zone rating could significantly reduce the cost of Seascape’s flood premiums. Ms. Fountain presented information indicating the odds of rezoning for E Building appeared to be favorable. The final decision will be made by FEMA. Unfortunately, indications were that adjustments to the seawall would have to be made for D and F Buildings to possibly achieve positive results. Minutes will be forthcoming.
There will be four seats for the Board of Directors up for election this November. Currently the board is a five-member board, instead of the seven we have had in the past. This is due to one member selling his unit and one seat being open due to a member retiring. According to Seascape Documents the Board can function as a five-member instead of a seven-member board.
The number of candidates running this year can determine the size of the board. If three candidates should run, the board will remain a five-member board. If five candidates should run for the board, the candidate receiving the least number of votes would be seated for one year, instead of the traditional two-year term, and three board seats will be up for election in 2017. The size of the board can be determined by the elected board members if there is a six-member board. You will be receiving the First Notice of Meeting for the November Meeting of Members very soon.
This year has been a year of change for Seascape with five units being sold so far to new owners. Prices ranged from $340,000 for a one-bedroom unit to $594,000 for a two-bedroom unit. There are currently two units with contracts pending.
If you are planning renovation projects, this is a reminder from the March 5th, 2016 meeting of the time of the year when these projects are not to be undertaken. Please note the following from that meeting: Major renovations, including extensive demolition, removing interior walls, reframing, furring ceilings and walls, extensive drilling and fastening into concrete, bathroom and kitchen remodels and tile removal shall not be performed during the ‘high season’. The ‘high season’ is defined as December 18th through March 31st.
Note: Janet will be out of the office from September 19th through September 23rd.
New south gate
8/5/2016 - Many of you are probably experiencing the same weather are here in the Midwest. If you are, you may think you are spending your summer in Florida. Hot, humid and rainy pretty well describes the weather this summer. Compared to Florida temperatures, there have been many days that have been warmer here than in Florida. There has also been an exceptional amount of rainfall. If there were any year to appreciate air conditioning, this would have to be the one.
Our new gates have arrived and are awaiting installation. The wiring for the cameras is installed and will be tested before the gate installation is completed. The anticipated July 31 completion date is being pushed to the week of August 15th.
Janet will be taking a well-earned vacation from the 8th of August through the 12th of August. You might add the dates of September 19th through September 23rd as her remaining summer vacation dates.
While you are making note of Janet’s vacation days, the Annual Owners’ Meeting (Meeting of Members), following by the Organizational Meeting of the Board of Directors, will be the second Saturday in November, November 12th. This was discussed and voted on by the owners in attendance as the date of preference. The March Board of Directors Meeting will also be a week later on Saturday, March 11th.
Research, preparation and information for these meetings, including the budget for 2017, is already underway. Notices, as required by Florida Statute, will be forthcoming and mailed in September.
On April 1st, 2016 Seascape began payments to BroadStar on the NEW cable system. Please be sure they 5/2016 fees.
The only bill you should be receiving is for a third HD box in your unit, if you have contracted with BroadStar for the additional HD box. The Association is providing two HD boxes per unit.
Roger and Dave have been busy with numerous projects this summer. A current one is replacing/rebuilding the walkovers in front of E Building. They took all of the walkovers out, removed the dirt under them so they would drain better when it rains, and replaced or rebuilt them as needed.
Bain Sealcoating has delivered 20 new parking bumpers to replace those cracking or damaged. The staff has put new numbers on them and they have been installed. The numbers on the remaining parking bumpers have been ‘touched up’.
Janet continues to sign owners up for the new automatic payment program for the quarterly maintenance fees. This program, that many of you may use for other vendors or services, should be a more efficient, less time consuming and less costly program than the previous system. The automatic payment program is also available for owners who wish to pay the maintenance fees on an annual basis. If you are interested or have questions, please email Janet.
Just a reminder that there will be no change in the way you use your gate code with the new gate system. This system will also handle cell phone numbers instead of only a landline (as was the situation for many years) for your unit.
If you want the gate tied to your cell phone Janet needs to be made aware so that she can program it into the system. If you have not provided a number to her, she needs to be supplied with a phone number.
The ‘clickers’ work the same as they always have. So no changes are needed if you are using your ‘clicker’ or ‘home-link’. The phone number system is for your personal guests and friends visiting you or your unit at Seascape, not vendors.
ALL VENDORS ARE TO USE #001 AND SIGN IN AT THE OFFICE BEFORE GOING TO YOUR UNIT!
November Members’ Meeting and Organization Meeting of the Board of Directors, Saturday, November 12th, 2016.
7/11/2016 - Summer is flying by at an exciting pace. Even though November seems like it should be a long way off, it won’t be long before we will be preparing the budget for the upcoming year and planning the agendas for the November Members Meeting and the Organizational Board of Directors Meeting to follow.
Every year, in addition to occasional ‘surprise inspections’, the Seascape pool is inspected by the Lee County Health Department. As part of the pool inspection Roger opens the pool house for them to do part of their testing. Roger has been employed at Seascape since March of 2006 and has worked with numerous pool inspectors. We are very pleased to report the pool inspector’s comment to Roger was. “I wish everyone would take such good care of their pool, like you do.”
During Roger and Janet’s tenure at Seascape, the Seascape pool has never been ‘shut down’ due to an inspection or inspector’s concerns. This year Roger did not receive a single ‘write-up’ on the inspection report. This is significant as it is extremely difficult to have a pool inspection where the inspector does not site at least one issue. WAY TO GO Roger and Janet!!! Keep up the good work!!!
While on the subject of the Seascape team, Dave Evans, our part-time employee, has completed his first year with us as of May 14th, 2016.
Janet, our manager, will have completed 12 years at Seascape since beginning her tenure in late 2004. Her employment began with a major challenge as Hurricane Charley had ‘hit’ our area, including Seascape, during its August 9-15, 2004 visit.
Seascape is lucky to have such a solid management team who work well together and with the Board. It takes a “complete, well-rounded, professional and positive team” to create as fine a community as Seascape is.
Janet notes that Linda Schneider, our president, was also elected to the Board in 2004 and took on the presidency in 2005. Janet also comments that together we dealt with the results of the hurricane damage and worked to return Seascape to its pre-storm condition. Since then the goal has been to make Seascape the best it can be.
Except for the hurricane and one project, for which a line item was never included in the budget, (historically always resulting in a special assessment) all projects have been accomplished throughout these years without the need for special assessments. Under Linda’s and Treasurer Gary Swanson’s guidance, the walkways now have been added to the reserve budget, along with a reserve line for maintenance and upkeep. Gary, serving as Treasurer since 2005, has added a professional, positive spirit to the Board, adhering to the policy, as Linda does, of funding major improvements while trying to avoid special assessments. Gary has assisted in guiding the Association and making Seascape a financially strong and stable community.
One of the projects the Seascape Board has been working on has begun. The work on the new entrance gates is in the beginning state. Ramco has dug footings and installed posts for the main entrance gate. The camera at the main gate will be installed before the gate itself is installed. We have been told the anticipated gate installation date is before the end of July. Overall, the project is expected to take approximately two months.
All of your existing ‘clickers’ will work for entrance through the new gates. Janet asked that anyone who has not supplied a phone number for the gate entry system, let her know what number you would like programmed into the system. This can be a cell phone number as well, unlike our early gate system where only ‘landline’ phone numbers could be used.
The phone number Janet is asking you to supply is for your personal use to let your friends through the gate at Seascape. As far as vendors are concerned, ALL VENDORS NEED TO USE #001 AND SIGN IN AT THE OFFICE BEFORE GOING TO YOUR UNIT!
In a survey of the Community, Janet noticed that the mailbox numbers on the door of the individual mail compartments have faded due to sun and age. After researching many options for rectifying this remedy due to the age of the mailboxes, a decision has been found and the work has now begun. The interior and exterior of the boxes will be cleaned and the Seascape team will add new numbers to each mailbox. The numbers will be quite visible and should last for several years. As always, Janet found this solution without significant cost to Seascape and owners. GOOD WORK!
Roger and Dave have marked all of the compressors and disconnect boxes to your AC units with your unit number. The compressors and boxes are located on the roof. This had been accomplished as part of the roof replacement following Charley, and each time a unit was replaced the vendor was to have marked the unit number on the compressor and disconnect box. Over time this was not done or the numbers had faded due to sun and time. Re-marking the unit numbers on the AC compressor and disconnect box for each unit was one of the requirements of this year’s inspection by the City of Bonita Springs.
Please make sure when you install a new air conditioning unit you fill out the forms necessary for Board Approval and make sure to tell your vendor to mark your condo number on both the AC compressor and disconnect box.
Three fiberglass table tops have been purchased to replace some that were damaged. We have also purchased six eighteen-inch side tables to replace the small ‘beach’ tables in the community. Seven of our lounges have been sent out for repair/fabric replacement.
BroadStar has completed installation of an extra router for those who want to use their computers and other wireless devices at the pool. Please note the password for this modem: 25810DEF You might want to have it available for those guests you have at Seascape.
6/1/2016 - While it may be almost summer and many of us are looking forward to or enjoying days on the golf course, boating, or spending time with family and friends, at Seascape the work never stops. While the number of those in residence has dropped, this becomes the time of year to work on larger projects and complete work not accomplished during the ‘busy’ season. As always, your Seascape team is working diligently to keep Seascape at its best.
The Fire Inspector from the Bonita Springs Fire Department has recently completed one of the periodic fire inspections at Seascape. We had no major issues on his ‘to do’ list. There are only a few items noted that Roger will be tackling ASAP to ready the community for his re-inspection.
The fire pumps on each building have also had an annual inspection and ‘run test’. These test results are reviewed by the fire inspector to be sure all of the requirements of the City of Bonita Springs are met.
Among the current repairs accomplished, a compressor has been changed out on one of our pool heater/coolers by Symbiont Services. On Building D, a photocell had to be replaced. This cell controls the lights that come on during the evening hours on the building walkways and the exterior of the building. The problem was a melted wire leading to the photocell that caused it to fail.
Additional work includes all of the palm trees being trimmed and the coconuts removed in preparation of the Hurricane Season. Unfortunately, two lounges were damaged when the trees were trimmed. The vendor will be replacing the lounges at their cost.
Roger and Dave have cleaned all of the lounges and chairs and those we do not need with the decrease in residents have been stored away for the off-season.
Lines have been added for an additional pickle ball count to the north tennis court. Currently out of the three tennis courts, only the center court is lined for tennis only. The north and south courts are lined for both tennis and pickle ball. It would be appreciated if pickle ball players who ‘tie-down’ the net for pickle ball, release it when they finish play.
In the library the computer hard drive, mouse and keyboard have been upgraded. The previous computer was donated and we have had several years of good service from it. The time has come to move forward with a faster computer and improved keyboard and mouse.
Between the remodeling projects a few owners have been doing, Dave has been scrubbing the walkway floors of the D and the F building using our scrubber. Once Dave has completed Buildings D and F, Roger will scrub the walkways on Building E.
Janet is pulling together several projects for the summer. To follow is an overview of those projects:
Replacing condo doors to fiberglass doors. We strongly encourage you to become part of this project if you still have a metal door. They not only are hurricane rated, but the painting and maintenance is almost negligible. The surface is attractive with a wood grain finish.
Changing condo door locks to the Board approved Baldwin lock as requested by the owner.
The lever handle and deadbolt lock are the only approved lock for our doors.
Spall repairs will be accomplished on the areas on lanais where spalling was found during last summer’s lanai inspections. Janet will advise you before the works begins if you were one of those needing to have repairs. The vendor who will be doing the work, Elias Brothers, will need to enter your condo to access the areas for these repairs on the lanais.
Screen panel replacements for owners requesting screen replacements. We are still anticipating a 3-5 year schedule before discussion on replacing the screen frames on the lanais.
D Building is on the rotation for cleaning of the dryer vents. The project is on the schedule for July 21. Janet will be asking if any owner wants additional services by Lint Out.
A review of the parking bumpers for ones that are cracking and need to be replaced will be done. The cracked bumpers will be replaced at the end of July. Staff will stencil the numbers on the bumpers.
Roger will be replacing 19 ground storage locker doors with fiberglass doors. The old fiberboard doors tended to split and warp, and were not a suitable door for an exterior application. The goal is to make all the locker doors exterior fiberglass doors. Door handles will not be installed on the new doors. The door handles frequently damaged the adjoining locker if the door was left unlocked or the day windy. The locker key should be used to open the door.
Janet has been working with Florida Community Bank to move us forward into a system which many of our counterparts have initiated for collecting their quarterly maintenance fees. Many of the businesses you deal with already may use this type of program. Janet will be emailing you information concerning this system and a form for you to complete. Once forms have been completed and the system in place it should be a new convenience for all. Janet asked that owners be informed that the information needed is no more than would be available using our current form of payment.
Several times it has been brought to your attention that when you have any kind of deed change/transfer of ownership and title, Janet should be notified. Another of Janet’s projects this summer will be to review Lee County records to update our records.
A change in the deed is made not only when you sell or transfer your unit (even to another family member), but also when you put your property in a trust or change a trust. According to our Documents the change of deed requires paperwork be completed for Board Approval and updating of those records which the Association is required to keep on file.
When a name change of ownership is made in the deed (even from family member to family member) the change is to be approved by the Board. With this process, as with a sale or transfer, a $100 fee is due to the Association.
You also should note that a deed change (even into a trust) changes your status if you rent your unit. If you were previously grandfathered when the last rental policy was changed, which was March 6, 2009, you are now under the current rental restrictions. This means rentals are not to be less than 30 days and there are to be no grandfathered rentals of less than 30 days.
The following is provided from our documents: Any transfer of ownership not authorized pursuant to the terms of this Declaration shall be voidable unless subsequently approved by the Association.
Please contact Janet if you have transferred your title since the above date.
One of the BroadStar technicians has recommended you turn off your HD box when you are not using the TV. That way any updates will be sent to the box and eliminate the need to do the Quam Scan.
IF YOU WANT AN ADDITIONAL HD BOX FOR YOUR CONDO FOR A TV IN ADDITION TO THE TWO PROVIDED, CONTACT BROADSTAR BEFORE JUNE 30TH FOR TO SCHEDULE AN INSTALLATION.
The monthly cost is $10 for the additional HD/Digital box.If you want a DVR the monthly cost is $15. Scheduling for the box before June 30th will save you the activation fee. BroadStar can be contacted at 239-214-0003.
Here is an interesting article by Casey Logan of the News-Press concerning homeowners’ insurance. This was published in the NEW-PRESS on May 27th.
Hurricane insurance: 13 things to know before the wind blows
Casey Logan, a business reporter for The News-Press, didn’t know much about homeowners’ insurance until recently, because it was a subject he had never covered. He did lots of research, in an effort to provide insights heading into the 2016 hurricane season. There’s so much information out there about insurance, it’s impossible for a homeowner to know everything. To make it easier, he compiled this list of 13 things to know.
1. First, let’s start with the basics. The Atlantic hurricane season runs June 1-Nov. 30. Most longtime residents of Southwest Florida, particularly Lee County and north, remember Hurricane Charley, which made landfall Aug. 13, 2004, as a Category 4 storm. Among areas hard hit: Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, Captiva, Pine Island, Sanibel, Fort Myers Beach and parts of Cape Coral.
2. The Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, better known as the CAT Fund, is in the best shape ever. The state-created fund should have $17.4 billion available this hurricane season. The fund has been building up for 10 years because a hurricane has not made landfall in Florida. The last one was Hurricane Wilma, a Category 3 storm just south of Naples on Oct. 24, 2005. The fund was created in 1993 during a special legislative session after Hurricane Andrew. Its purpose is to protect the state’s interest in maintaining insurance capacity by providing reimbursements to insurers for a portion of their catastrophic hurricane losses.
3. Hurricane deductibles are percentage or dollar deductibles that are higher than for other causes of loss. They are calculated as a percentage of the dollar amount of coverage on the dwelling or as a flat dollar amount like a standard deductible. By Florida law, the application of hurricane deductibles is triggered by windstorm losses resulting only from a hurricane declared by the National Weather Service. Hurricane deductibles apply for damage that occurs from the time a hurricane watch or warning is issued for any part of Florida, up to 72 hours after such a watch or warning ends and anytime hurricane conditions exist throughout the state.
4. What is “replacement cost coverage” and why does it appear to be more than my home’s value? When you file a homeowners claim, the insurance company calculates how much to pay you by evaluating cost to replace your property with new property of the same kind and quality. But here's the critical distinction: If your policy covers your personal property (your home's contents) for its actual cash value, the insurance company deducts depreciation from your personal property’s overall value before arriving at a figure. The longer you own your house or personal property, the more depreciation becomes an issue and replacement cost coverage becomes more critical. Your check will usually be less, sometimes significantly less, than amount it will cost to restore, repair or replace the damage or loss. However, if you have replacement cost coverage, the insurance company will pay what it costs to repair or replace your damaged possessions at today’s prices without deducting for depreciation.
5. Flood insurance is part of my homeowner’s policy, right? No, not typically. You may be required to have a flood policy if you are in a high-risk flood area. Even if you live in a low to moderate risk area, however, it is wise to consider buying flood insurance since about 25 percent of all flood insurance claims come from those not in high-risk areas.
6. Why has Citizens Property Insurance, the state’s insurer of last resort, made an effort to "depopulate" — or push customers out to private companies? The entity was taking on too much risk. By shifting more of the risk to private insurers, it is taking more of the burden off the shoulders of all Florida policy holders.
7. What is a take-out policy? A private insurer interested in participating in the Citizens “depopulation” program, also known as the take-out process, must submit the documentation to the Office of Insurance Regulation for review and approval. If your policy is selected, you will receive a letter from Citizens informing you a private insurer wants to take over your policy. No action is needed to accept the take-out offer, but you can decline it through an opt-out process. An opt-out form is included in your takeout offer. If you would like to decline the offer, you must return the opt-out form within 30 days. However, Citizens warns opting out of a take-out doesn’t exempt customers’ policies from being shopped in its Property Insurance Clearinghouse. Citizens submits policies up for renewal to the clearinghouse to determine whether private coverage is available. If a private policy is available with a premium equal to or less than the Citizens premium, the Citizens policy will not be renewed.
According to Citizens spokesman Michael Peltier:The next notices from Citizens, some of which will contain more than one take-out offer, are expected to start going out in November. If you have more than one offer and you’d like to select one of the private insurers, you will need to indicate your choice and return the form to Citizens. If you do nothing, Citizens will use an algorithm, as it has done in the past, to choose one of those private insurers for you. The new law kicks in July 1, but the next assumption period begins Jan. 1. Citizens estimates 15 percent of people who get take-out offers will get more than one offer in a given assumption period.
8. If I leave Citizens and the private insurer ends up raising my rate, can I go back to Citizens? Maybe. You’ll have to reapply as a new customer, rather than as a renewal. Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill in April that provides more information to customers targeted for “takeout” by private companies since many customers complained of steep rate increases in their second year with their new insurers. State law prevents Citizens from raising rates more than 10 percent a year, but private insurers have no such requirement.
9. A spike in Citizens water claims in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties is driving up insurance rates there and, to an extent, everywhere else in Florida.
10. How do I know the untested private insurers who have entered Florida in the past decade will be able to come through for me during a major hurricane or a rash of hurricanes in a short period of time? The Office of Insurance Regulation has taken steps to ensure you’ll be in good hands, according to Peltier, the Citizens spokesman. However, many are untested in such a scenario, so it’s wise to do research on the companies before settling on an insurer.
11. Meteorologists from Colorado State University forecast a near-average Atlantic hurricane season this year, predicting 12 tropical storms will form, with five becoming hurricanes. A tropical storm has sustained winds of 39 mph. It becomes a hurricane when winds reach 74 mph. Of the five predicted hurricanes, two are expected to be major hurricanes — category 3, 4 or 5 — with sustained winds of 111 mph or greater. For the U.S. coastline, there is a 50 percent chance of a major hurricane making landfall in 2016. For the East Coast, including all of Florida, the chance is 30 percent. Keep in mind the El Nino pattern that has protected Florida lately has disappeared.
12. Floridians pay the nation’s priciest home insurance premiums, averaging $2,115, up from $2,084 a year earlier, according to statistics released in February. Florida led Texas ($1,837) and Louisiana ($1,822) for the most expensive average premium for standard homeowner policies, according to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The information is the latest available from the group, based on 2013 premiums. Florida’s premiums are nearly twice the national average of $1,096. Homeowners in South Florida, particularly in coastal areas, tend to pay more than the state average because models say it is the most at-risk in the country for a land-falling hurricane.
13. Don't get complacent. $17.4 billion (the amount the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund has available) is a lot of money, but consider this: the costliest hurricane, based on insured property losses to Florida, was 1992’s Hurricane Andrew. It caused $24 billion in damage to Florida and Louisiana (in 2016 dollars). “Every private insurer in Florida is insured to handle a 1 in 100-year event,” said Lynne McChristian of the Insurance Information Institute. “What if we have a two in 100-year event? What if we have a one in 200-year event? Insurance companies are conservative. What happens if there’s more than one hurricane?”
Sources: The News-Press research
Scheduling information for your calendars: Dates for the Seascape November Annual Members and Board Meeting is Saturday, November 12th
The March Seascape Board Meeting will be Saturday, March 11th.
5/9/2016 - It’s that time of year! Yes, TURTLE SEASON has begun. Each year beginning May 1 sea turtles arrive to nest on Florida beaches as they have for millions of years. Two months later, tiny hatchlings emerge from their sandy nests and travel toward the water using the seaward horizon as their guiding light. Artificial light visible from the beach is said to confuse the hatchlings and instead lures these tiny creatures inland and away from the water. It is reported that thousands of hatchlings die because lights along the beach are not turned off or shielded properly.
Between May 1 and October 31, Lee County beaches are monitored for sea turtle nesting and hatching success and for individual property owner compliance with lighting restrictions. No light source should be directly visible from the beach. Beach residents must shield all lights that can be seen from the beach from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. Light can travel great distances so shielding is important to reduce visible lighting along the beach.
Home owners will be asked to correct any violations and/or citations may be issued.
During Turtle Season, between May 1st October 31st, this means our staff has changed out the bulbs on the lights at Seascape to the required low wattage, colored bulbs, and under building and walkway lights have been shielded. Therefore, it will be very dark when you move around the property after sunset. It has been suggested that you carry a flashlight to use as you move around the property.
Turtle Season also has other restrictions those in residence must follow. Everyone in residence must close their shutters at sunset. If you wish to sit on the lanai after sunset, no lights are to be visible from the living area or on the lanai.
If you have drapes which will block any light coming from the unit, you may have lights on in the unit, as long as the light is blocked from being viewed from the beach.
Should you have installed the approved turtle gray doors, you may have lights on in your unit but the shaded doors must be closed to block the light. Closing drapes or blinds and keeping interior lighting at a minimum is still suggested.
Lights may not directly or indirectly illuminate the beach. Even reflected light can disorient sea turtles. Interior lights can illuminate the beach.
Janet will be sending information concerning the recent switchover to HD/Digital TV viewing and a change to the internet to ‘up to 20mgb per unit’.
BroadStar has completed the installation of all the HD/Digital boxes on two televisions in each unit, generally this has been the living room and a bedroom of your choice. Arrangements were made for a member of the Seascape team to accompany the ‘techs’ from BroadStar into any unoccupied units.
In the past, a considerable amount of Janet’s time has been taken up with reporting any internet or cable problems you made her aware of by sending an email to our the BroadStar account manager. BroadStar now wants each owner to call into their ‘call center’ to report all problems. They will first try to help you correct the problems over the phone. The numbers to call are 239-214-0003 or 239-449-6330.
Any guests staying in your unit will need to use your name when calling and will also be required to report the condominium address to the ‘call center’.
The television channel lineup in now accessible via a button on the remotes. A paper copy of the channel lineup is also available in the library.
BroadStar left the boxes that the HD/Digital converters came in. These contained extra wiring, connectors, etc. should you wish to change some of the device positions following their installation. The boxes can be discarded in the recycling containers if you don’t wish to keep them.
Due to the size of the HD/Digital converter BroadStar sometimes had to install the boxes in an alternate location at the side of a piece of furniture. Once you return to Seascape you may wish to re-organize the placement. ‘Techs’ were not permitted by BroadStar to move furniture or furnishing for installation.
PLEASE NOTE: You will not have TV reception if your television is not connected to a HD/Digital Converter box. So if you have a two-bedroom unit, with a total of three TV’s, the third TV will not work unless it is connected to its own HD/Digital converter.
If you wish to have a third converter box, you will need to contact BroadStar at 239-214-0003 or 239-449-6330 to have an additional box installed. There is a $10.00 per month charge for the additional box.
BROADSTAR IS WAIVING AN ACTIVATION FEE FOR THE ADDITIONAL CONVERTER BOX IF THE BOX IS INSTALLED BEFORE JUNE 30TH. AFTER THAT DATE A $40.00 FEE WILL BE CHARGED TO HAVE THE CONVERTER BOX INSTALLED. S0 CONTACT BROADSTAR BEFORE JUNE 30TH IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THE EXTRA BOX.
There are a very few owners who still have older televisions which could not be connected to a HD/Digital converter box.
Modem/routers were connected in one of two ways. Some were connected to your current router. If this is the case, the user name and password you were using will still work.
If your old router was disconnected and an Arris router installed, you will find your user name will be ‘ARRIS’ and a four-digit number. This will be found on the back of the Arris router where the cable is connected to the router. Your password is the string of numbers after the words: ‘Pre-shared key’.
You can change the user name and password by calling BroadStar at 239-214-0003 or 239-449-6330 or going online to the website assigned to Seascape at www.Broadstar.com/Seascape.
Should you decide to sell your unit, all the BroadStar equipment must stay with the unit. This would be the Arris modem/router and the two HD/Digital converter boxes. If for any reason this equipment is not left, there will be a charge of $65.00 for each modem/router, and $200 for each HD/Digital converter box. THIS EQUIPMENT IS TO REMAIN WITH THE UNIT!
FYI: Our gate project is moving along. Work is ongoing for gate cameras which will be installed at the main gate during the gate installation. Internet access is also being upgraded for the pool area.
4/13/2016 - You can tell the winter season is coming to an end. The lines of traffic are less and the wait for seating in restaurants is becoming shorter. Even the walking ‘beach traffic’ is less.
Approval for our new gates was unanimously passed by the Board of Directors and the contract for the gates to be fabricated has been signed. It will take 4-6 weeks for the gates to be fabricated and ready to be installed. Since it is illegal to use the entrance or exit gates as pedestrian gates, an ‘emergency pedestrian exit’ location had to be established. The recommended area where space is available is adjacent to and tied into the north gate. This pedestrian gate should have a push button combination lock allowing for entrance and exit to and from the community and will be installed at the same time as the gates. There will be a sidewalk on and off the property for safe entrance and exit at this area. The approved gates will all be completed well within the Board approved allotted expenditure. Once the entrance/exit gates are installed and functional, we can then look into moving forward with additional fencing and pedestrian gate/s, with finished walk/s, to further secure the property. Your current clickers and the telephone entry system operation will remain the same as you are using now.
Following meetings with Ali Pool of IOA, an insurance agent specializing in flood remapping, and Elizabeth Fountain of J. R. Evans Engineering, who specializes in services related to flood zone mapping and analysis, flood protection analysis and flood proofing services, the Board held a Board of Directors meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to vote on whether to contract with Ms. Fountain for the purpose of reviewing the current flood zone.
If successful in obtaining a change to our current flood zone, the premiums for our flood insurance could be lowered. The process will take a minimum of 6-8 months, but more than likely may take even longer, until a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) would be received with either a new zone distinction or refusal of a revision.
BroadStar attended the Saturday, March 5th Board of Directors meeting. At that meeting they offered a program for an upgrade in both the internet and cable service. Currently all modems are being ‘swapped out’ for a modem/router combination in one device. BroadStar has recommended this device be installed in the living room. BroadStar says the service offered by the new modem/router should now be available throughout the unit, up to and including the lanai. There will also be an increase in the internet speed available to each unit.
For your internet service the password and user name for the condo are written on the paperwork BroadStar left in your unit on the counter or is listed on the back of the modem/router on a label. The pre-shared key is the password. If you want to change either of these, call BroadStar and they can walk you through the process.
Cable boxes for Digital and High Definition programming are also being installed. The lineup with the new boxes not only offers digital, and where programming is available, high definition video programming. The channel lineup has 200 channels, includes Sirus XM stations, and Dish music channels. An updated TV program guide available on the controller is also part of the improvement. A printed program guide should have been left in your unit. Additional copies are available in the library. Over the summer additional equipment change-overs will occur as part of the improved service.
We know there are transition problems. For Janet to ‘field the complaints she has to email BroadStar and follow up with another email contact to the owner. This is extremely time consuming and requires many extra emails and conversations that could be taken care of with a phone call directly from the owner. Therefore, we STRONGLY encourage you contact BroadStar directly at 239-214-0003 to schedule service and a tech to correct the issue.
On last month’s posting everyone was asked to cover the lounges with towels to prevent damage from sun tan lotion and to not use the spray lotion when on or near the pool furniture because of staining. Unfortunately, many have been observed not using towels and continuing to spray sun tan lotion while lounging on the chaises. Damage from lotions was a problem with the old strapped lounges, but is more obvious with the fabric ones. Please reiterate to everyone residing in your unit, whether family or guest, the importance of using towels and not using spray lotions. Reminder: The stray lotions also causes staining on the walkway surfaces.
An additional notation for your benefit: Several of the communities have reported that cards sent to grandchildren or family for various holidays, have not been received. Many were mailed from drop boxes located on the condominium property. It has been suggested that anyone who has experienced this contact the USPS.
3/18/2016 - Another month has flown by and finally the weather is becoming more seasonal. No one can complain about the beautiful days and the comfortable nights. Even the humidity seems to be lower, making each day very pleasant.
We can also tell it is spring by the birds singing their ‘Spring songs’ each morning, and the voices of the ‘snow birds’ echoing around the complex. You can’t describe the season without commenting on the traffic, which is the first comment from almost everyone. No one should plan on getting somewhere in a hurry. It just isn’t going to happen.
Here at Seascape the days are busy. Roger and Dave are kept busier than ever with all the cleaning and maintenance this time of the year requires. Roger also continues with his regular mowing and edging, and spending time policing the grounds to keep the lawns looking great. The landscape service has been doing a good job with the trimming of the shrubs and other plantings. It’s hard work for everyone and takes a team effort to maintain our property to a level which meets our high standards. Seascape staff regularly scrubs the walkways with the scrubber in an attempt to keep the higher traffic areas clean. Assistance from everyone taking the time to clean up their own messes would be appreciated. If you have a spill that doesn’t come up, contact Janet immediately so we can address the area to prevent staining. Don’t forget that you are NOT to use door mats outside of your doors or spray suntan lotion anywhere on or near the walkways. Covering the lounges with towels prevents damage to the lounges from sun tan lotion. Do NOT use the spray sun tan lotion when you are on or near the pool furniture or furniture along the sand/gulf area. We’ve found it stains the fabric and the damage cannot be reversed.
The palm trees are not only creating a lot of yellow pollen, but have a number of dead fronds. Roger and Dave are trimming those they can reach as part of keeping Seascape shining during Season.
All the fire extinguishers have been inspected and correctly tagged. In a previous posting we reiterated how important it was to know the location of the extinguishers, which are on the walkway, and to share that information with your guests. It is also important to know the location of the “pull stations”. This was discussed in a previous website posting too. You might look back to the November, 2015 posting for a review on the location and use of the pull stations.
As Janet has informed you, the 2015 audit is complete. If you would like a copy, email her and she will send one to you. You will see from the results that Seascape is very sound and moving forward in a positive manner each day.
Should you wish to change the lock on your condo door, you will need to purchase the approved lock set through the office. A designated lock was approved by the Board of Directors to maintain the uniform appearance required by Seascape’s Documents. The lock is a Baldwin lock with a lever type door handle and a deadbolt that matches.’
There may be some upcoming changes to your television and internet systems. The Board of Directors is working with BroadStar to update the video system to digital and HD and improving the internet service. We will keep you posting as we move forward in attempting to make changes. This will all be accomplished within the current contract.
If you are having guests visit you, even for a day, please make Janet’s job easier by registering them in the office and obtaining a temporary parking pass for them. You can do this prior to their arrival. When she makes her rounds and finds a car without the appropriate parking pass, you can expect that car will be tagged. There are no charges for a guest who is visiting you when you are in residence.
2/17/2016“Where has all the sunshine gone?” While a twist on a song lyric, it certainly seems appropriate in describing the weather at Seascape this past month. Although the sun does occasionally make an appearance, the weather is far from typical for this time of year in Florida. Add in a lot of wind and you may find this year has been a real disappointment for anyone wishing to work on a quick tan. The temperatures have been far from warm as well.
Preparations our already underway for the scheduled March Board of Directors Meeting. Work continues on researching the options available to us on entrance gates to enhance the privacy and discourage trespassers to our Community. As usual, discussion will be held on summer work and projects. The meeting will have a full agenda
Unfortunately, we recent had 11 cars broken into. One of the neighboring communities had an additional 3 cars entered at the same or near the same time. There was no damage to the cars, but the glove compartments were riffled and the contents dumped onto the front seat.
The sheriff’s department has taken reports on all of the incidents at Seascape and has increased patrols. They are strongly advising owners to double check that their cars are locked and avoid having anything visible on the seats, or anywhere in the car where bags, merchandise of any kind, or even coats and jackets can be seen from the exterior of the car.
For residential security the Sheriff’ Department is also suggesting that if someone comes to your door, if you have ‘peepholes’, use them before opening your unit doors. Keeping your unit doors locked at all times, even when you are in the unit or leaving for just a few minutes, is another recommendation.
In case of emergencies use 911, but if you need to contact the Sheriff’s Department for a non-emergency situation, the number is 477-1000.
Roger and Dave continue to work to keep Seascape looking its best. With all the wind it has been particularly frustrating to keep ahead of the blowing sand, leaves and debris. No sooner have they cleaned up the community than another ‘blow’ has come though and they are starting over.
There have been and continue to be a number of meetings on multiple subjects involving the City Council, the City of Bonita Springs, the Local Planning Agency, and the local fire department, results of which could affect Little Hickory Island.
The City Council has hired a consultant from Florida Gulf Coast University to evaluate the Bonita Springs Comprehensive Plan, also known as EAR (the Evaluation and Appraisal Report) and determine if it reflects current state law as well as implements the City’s vision. There have been several scheduled public meetings, beginning in late September and ending in January. As far Little Hickory Island, there are many with concerns that the summation of these meetings could result in the building height restrictions being lifted, particularly those specific to the Island, increased density would be permitted, as would construction of currently unlawful commercial entities and the repeated requests addressing errors in that occurred from a previous study of the Comprehensive Plan would not be corrected.
The next City Council Meetings will be Wednesday, February 17th at 9:00 a.m. at the City Hall. Another meeting will be held on March 2 at 5:30 p.m. where public opportunity to speak on agenda items will be given.
Another group, Toole Design Group, has been hired to report on creating a vision for the road system. It is called Bonita Beach Road Visioning: The purpose is reported to be to create a vision for the Bonita Beach Road Corridor. Again concerns have been raised that the desire to enhance the use of roads for additional bike lanes and pedestrian traffic might create issues on Little Hickory Island. Public input is important to this process and several meetings have been held. There is still a meeting entitled ‘Informal Office Hours’ scheduled for Tuesday, February 23rd from 4-7 p.m. This same week on Thursday, February 25th from 6-7:30 p.m. a Public Workshop will be held for the community to present opinions to the Toole Design Group.
There has been discussion on a new fire station on Hickory Island. The fire commission is considering a site on the island near Bonita Beach Road and McLaughlin Boulevard. The discussion concerns whether the community wants a fire station on the island and what equipment might to be stationed there. The location is where Century Link had a building. There is reported to be another location also under consideration.
The Public Town Hall Meeting hosted by the Bonita Springs Fire Control & Rescue District to discuss the proposed fire station location on Hickory Blvd. is noted below.
What: Public Town Hall Meeting for Proposed Site for Hickory Blvd. Fire Station Who: We invite you! This meeting is open to the public. When: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at 5:00PM Where: Bonita Springs Fire Station #4, 27701 Bonita Grande Dr., Bonita Springs 34135
Specifically, the Bonita Springs Fire District was approached by RYD International, LLC, who is willing to donate property at the intersection of Hickory Blvd. and McLaughlin Rd. for the proposed Fire Station. Part of this meetings discussion will be whether or not to proceed with accepting a proposed site offered by RYD. There are additional ‘trade-offs’ involved in the proposal which could be aired at the meeting.
Seascape has been having their own share of meetings. In addition to the meetings about entrance gates, a meeting was held with BroadStar, our cable and internet provider. Another meeting has been scheduled later in February for further discussion.
The dryer vents on the ends of the buildings will have to be replaced. With the amount of wind we encounter, although the inner door remains closed, the outer is ‘flapping’ in the breeze. The company has provided a re-designed unit with weighted doors, which should improve the situation.
A lift will be required to install the new vents. For those needing or interested in having their lanai screens replaced, screen replacement will be included in the vent replacement project. Combining the projects will assist in reducing the cost of a lift for screen work. Please email Janet if you have interest in having your lanai screens replaced. She will be sending an email shortly with further information.
12/12/2015 - Weather at Seascape has been interesting. While the heat and humidity has abated some, the weather continues to be very changeable. There have been some perfect days, but the weather has certainly been unusual for this time of the year. The Seascape Team continues to work to keep Seascape at its best. Among those accomplished activities is repainting the furniture in the breezeway, really improving its appearance.
For added excitement in the Community, this past week we had breaks in the water lines in the parking lot. The break was located under the drive in front of E Building. A photo of the mess is located on the Welcome page of our website. Janet and Roger both put in an exceptionally long day to ensure all those in residence had water. A ‘boil water’ recommendation was posted until the lines were cleared. As a result of the break an area of the parking lot encompassing about three quarters of the length of E Building, from under the walkway edge to the center island will be re-asphalted. After a curing period the area will need to be sealed. Funds for the asphalting and sealing will come from the Reserve Line Item titled as Paving. The funds for the repair of the water lines will come from the Reserve Line Item titled as Building Systems and Components.
Thanks to several members of the Community the Christmas Decorations are up. While the ladies decorated the Christmas tree in the library, the men helped put up the lights around the pool house eaves.(See pictures on 1st page of website.) Roger and Dave not only helped with hanging the lights in the pool area, but finished up the decorating by hanging wreaths in various locations and putting the bows on the Royal Palms along the street in front of Seascape. You can also see a number of Christmas trees on the lanais throughout the Community. There is no doubt Christmas Season has arrived at Seascape.
From Seascape to you, we wish everyone a very Happy Holiday and Happy New Year.
11/25/2015 - The Annual Meeting of Members and the Board Meeting are now over. They were held on November 7th, so you may anticipate the minutes will be out to you shortly.
We have a new first at Seascape as the Board now consists of six members. Our Documents permit the Board of Directors to have from 5 to 7 members. We welcome Dave DeGraff to the Board of Directors.
Linda Schneider wanted to thank Diane Corcelli for her many years of dedication and service to Seascape, as a Board Member, and for planning the many social events that she has hosted throughout the years. Diane has certainly earned her retirement. She leaves open two positions for others to fill. We wish Diane all good things in the years to come and again want to THANK HER for her gracious years of service!!
Linda thanked Al Eckloff for his service of 4 years on the Board. Al also has decided not to run for the Board this year. Al served as vice president this past year. During his years on the Board he was always available and willing to help, do research or offer support where needed. His assistance throughout these years for the numerous projects and activities was sincerely appreciated. We know Al will enjoy the extra free time.
Dave DeGraff submitted his official paperwork to run for the Board and is now the Board’s newest member. During the Board meeting Dave was nominated to take the Secretarial position from which Diane retired. He graciously accepted the position. A hard position to fill, particularly as a new Board Member and steeping into Diane’s shoes. We wish Dave well and know he will enjoy the new position.
The following are your Board Members:
Linda Schneider President
Ken Drenth Vice President
Gary Swanson Treasurer
Dave DeGraff Secretary
Susan Pouch Director
Gary Borrell Director
The 2016 budget previously sent to all owners was approved by the Board. The maintenance fees will remain the same at $1,678 a quarter.
Those who pay the annual amount or complete year in January will receive a 2% discount off the total/yearly fee. The amount due for the year is: $6,578, due in January. Thank you to all those who choose to pay this way. Janet and Gary, our treasurer, are happy to report that everyone at Seascape is current with their maintenance fees.
At the Board Meeting Janet offered helpful direction should anyone become ‘stuck’ in the elevator. Should you become ‘stuck’, push the button that says “Push to talk”. The address of the building is on a recorder. After that address is stated, a ‘live’ person will come on the line. The ‘live’ person/answering service for Oracle Elevators, will communicate with you and then dispatch the fire department and the Oracle Maintenance personal for assistance. This is a 24-hour answering service. This would be valuable information to have available in you unit for all owners, family and guests.
Another useful informational item that you should have available is the phone number of Florida Power and Light 239-262-1322. Should the power go out, all effected should call the Florida Power and Light number. A short while ago we had a power outage and only one person, plus Janet, called FPL. The response time was delayed due to FPL not realizing so many people were out of power. They did respond quickly once Janet arrived for work that morning and saw that the power was still off. When the technician arrived for the repair he said they did not have many calls so they did not feel there was a large outage. Any time there is an electrically outage, all effected need to call FPL.
Janet also provided information should a fire occur. Should you have a fire in your condo, of course first call 911. In addition, on each floor of the buildings is a pull station. These pull stations are painted red with a white pull. After you call 911, go outside your unit and pull the lever on one of these pull stations. The alarms will go off in all the individual condos.
In Building E these pull stations are in a glass box, which should be broken with the small hammer tied to them. Then pull the lever in the middle of the box. In D and F Buildings the pull stations are not in a glass box. Please review the pictures to become familiar with the pull stations.
The fire alarm system is also a monitored system. Simplex Grinnell will also call the fire department and dispatch management when these pull stations are activated. Note and review the pictures to familiarize yourself with the pull stations.
At the Board Meetings owners were asked to volunteer for committees for 2016. Committees for Seascape serve at the pleasure of the Board as advisory committees. The following is a list of current committees:
Boat Dock Committee, which is comprised of three boat dock owners and one community member (non-boat dock owner)
Anyone interested in assisting on a committee please e-mail Janet.
Last month we shared information on the condo door locks. The Board approved locks are currently on special for a reduced price of $126.00. We cannot guarantee how long this price will be reduced as the locks are made available to owners for the same price as the Association pays.
The cost would be for the Baldwin deadbolt lock and lever handle set that match. If you want to replace the locks on your condo door, the lock set can be purchased at the Seascape office. Janet orders and keeps several on hand to be available as needed.
Work continues with Roger and Dave replacing the rope on the sand walking paths off the walk-overs to the beach and sea wall beachside. They’d found when one of the pieces of rope needed to be re-tied, it just fell apart with age.
This might be a good time to note that sea oats and beach vegetation are protected species. Please use only the designated crossover areas to access the beach. Both the tiki hut picnic tables by the tennis courts and the grill area have been stained with a waterproof stain. Both grills have been painted.
The tennis courts have been pressure washed.
BroadStar, our cable and internet company, will be replacing any RCA modems that remain in any of your units. They will contact Janet, and she will in turn let you know when this will be scheduled. She will also post information in the elevators to let your guests know once she becomes aware of the scheduled days.
New Bromeliads have been planted at the north Seascape sign and the Beach Sun Flowers located at the north parking lot/beach area have been replaced.
Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends.
10/08/2015 - Can you believe it’s down to a month until the date for the Annual Owners’ Meeting and the Organizational Meeting of the Board of Directors? It’s been busy at Seascape and the time has really flown for everyone. Janet was able to take a few days of vacation time and has now returned and is again working toward completing the many responsibilities she has at Seascape and continuing to prepare for the meetings. The budget has been finalized and is being reviewed. You will soon be receiving additional information for the upcoming meetings. Summer is always a time when Florida receives most of its rain. Over the last 30 years the average yearly rainfall in Bonita Springs has been reported to be 53.23 inches. The record for a single day of rainfall is 10.70 on October 2, 1951. In 2015 from January to June, Bonita Springs had already reported over 21 inches of rain and the wettest time of the year was yet to come. This summer was no exception in the amount of summer rainfall. There was an exceptional amount of rain, some of it in the form of a heavy driving rain. New gutters have been installed on the small roof towers at the end of the building on the north and south towers (stairways) of E Building. The purpose of the gutters is to help with drainage when rains are heavy and help divert water from getting into the stairwells. Other work occurring at Seascape includes the painting of all of the curbing around the palm tree/plant beds outside the elevator/breezeway lobbies in all three building entrances. Other landscape work that has been accomplished is new sod having being planted in the lawn by the tennis courts. This work was done by Personal Touch, our landscape company. There has been some work on the tennis courts as well. Some sections of fencing on the tennis courts have been replaced. New door closures have been installed on the tennis gates facing Hickory Blvd. Here is an important notation for all owners who mail their quarterly maintenance checks to Seascape. Upon occasion it has been found that should a new mail sorter be sorting the mail, they do not realize there is an office in Building E. The sorters feel each piece of mail should have a unit number on the envelopes and will send back the mail as being undeliverable. To avoid a problem be sure to address your envelopes in the following manner: Seascape of Little Hickory Island (Attention: Office) 25810 Hickory Blvd. Bonita Springs, FL 34134 Please make it a practice to include ‘Attention Office’ on all correspondence on mailing going to the office.
Should you wish to update the appearance of your condo door locks or want to change the locks for any reason, Janet has the Board approved lock set required in the office. The cost is: $132.36. Checks are to be made payable to the Association.
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the November 7th Annual Owners’ Meeting and the Organization Meeting of the Board of Directors.
09/12/2015 - Preparations for the November Annual Meeting of Members and the Re-organization Meeting of the Board of Directors has already started. When the month of August arrives, it’s time to look at the budget in preparation for the next year, prepare notices for the upcoming Members’ Meeting and to send correspondence asking if any owners wish to run for the Board of Directors (Notice of Intent to be a Candidate). Included with this mailing are two forms: a Candidate Information Sheet and a Condominium Association Candidate Certification Form.
Janet is currently involved in the preparation of the budget for 2016. This will be mailed to owners in October with other information concerning the upcoming meetings. Please review all information carefully and respond as directed. If you have questions on voting or any other aspect of the required information, please email Janet. The Election Committee can only count those votes which are correctly completed. If information is missing or anything left unsigned (where indicated) your vote cannot be included in the count.
Members of the Board of Directors at Seascape serve for a two year term. Florida Statute requires that to be eligible to be considered to be a candidate for the board, an owner must give written notice of their ‘intent to be a candidate’ at least 40 days before the election date. They may provide an information sheet, no larger than 8 ½ by 11 inches. This must be returned at least 35 days before the election.
Within 90 days after being elected, each newly elected director must certify in writing to the secretary of the association that he or she has either completed the educational curriculum administered by a division approved condominium education provider, or state on the specified form that they have read the association’s declaration of condominium, articles of incorporation, bylaws, and current written policies. He or she must certify that he/she will work to uphold such documents and policies to the best of his/her ability; and that he/she will faithfully discharge his/her fiduciary responsibility to the association’s members. According to Statute, failure to timely file the written certification or provide an educational certificate will result in suspension from service.
I would strongly recommend the education classes for all member of the board of directors. These classes keep members up to date on changing Statutes and nuances of Condominium Law. Knowledge is also gained from professionals speaking on many facets of overseeing a condominium community.
This year there are three seats on the board of directors open for election. Our Board is a seven member Board where the terms are staggered with three seats being elected one year and four the next.
As part of the Members’ Meeting, we are working on having a guest from the Lee County Sheriff’s Department. Tentative arrangements are being made to have Chad Edwards, the deputy who patrols our specific area, at the meeting to speak about trespassers and our complaints on the trespass issue.
Since it is hurricane season we’d like to reminder everyone not to try to reach Janet if you have concerns about a potential event. The Seascape Team will be busy preparing and securing the Community in case a storm does come our way. Updates about the storm will be promptly added to the website (SeascapeBonita.com) and if there are concerns about possible damage to any unit, Janet will personally contact that owner.
In fact, with the recent forecast concerning Hurricane Erika the Seascape staff set to work immediately and had secured all of the outdoor furniture and checked all of the hurricane shutters to be sure they were down. There is a procedure for preparing the community in the event of a storm and you can count on the Seascape Team to do their best to be sure the community is secured and ready to face the storm. Since Erika decided to not come our way, the Staff took the opportunity to scrub all the tables, chaises and chairs that were being stored.
As in every summer and throughout the year work continues non-stop at Seascape. The palm trees, which were trimmed in February, were full of coconuts and needed to have dead fronds removed again. Johnson’s Tree Service recently completed this task.
Dave has repainted the D and E Building ground floor trash rooms.
The wood has been replaced on the west side of the north pool house. Now that this work has been completed, the pool houses will be painted.
After painting the pool deck, the furniture in the pool area will be scrubbed, as will the furniture previously stored for the ‘off-season’.
The walks between the Buildings D and F and the patios have been sealed with a clear sealer.
Due to Seascape using the heating/cooling system to maintain the pool at a constant temperature all year we have an increased amount of maintenance with the pumps. A loop pump and contactor were recently replaced in the system, along with a bladder tank.
Combs Oil Company was called to refill the gas in the generator under E Building. This tank holds 200 gallons but it only needed 94 to ‘top off’ the tank. If you are not aware, we are required to run the generator on a schedule each week. The generator runs automatically every Tuesday.
Fencing between both of the tennis courts was replaced by Gatekeepers and different door closures were installed on the gates facing Hickory Blvd. on the tennis/pickleball courts. A new closure was also installed on the gate to the south leading to the boat dock/grilling area behind the tennis courts.
Bain Sealcoating repaired a pot hole near the car wash and a new sign has been attached onto the hose box.
You should have received your new gate code which becomes effective October 1, 2015.
An important reminder from last month about the gate codes below:
Due to the installation of our new telephone gate entry system, you may find your ‘clicker’ may not work when you first arrive at Seascape. If this occurs take your ‘clicker’ in to Janet. She will need it for a few hours so she can re-program it into the new telephone entry system.
The new system DOES allow for cell phone numbers to be programmed into the telephone gate entry system. This means that when a guest arrives you can let them through the gate using your cell phone by pushing 9, just as you can with a ‘landline’ telephone. Janet will need to know which number you want her to program into the system.
NEVER GIVE OUT THE OWNER’S CODE. THIS CODE IS FOR YOUR PERSONAL USE ONLY.
A VENDOR IS TO CALL THE OFFICE FROM THE GATE USING #001 TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE COMMUNITY. THIS APPLIES WHETHER JANET IS IN THE OFFICE OR NOT.
The Board is looking forward to a report from the Landscape Committee at the Board Meeting in November concerning new gates for Seascape. They will then be working to make a determination on the type and style of gates, and plans to be presented to owners on fencing and pedestrian gates.
8/10/2015 - It must be Florida if you see temperatures in the 80’s but it feels like 100 or more. Of course you need to add in a chance of rain every day and a great deal of humidity. If you check the weather forecast this is what you will see as this weather pattern is persisting.
In spite of the weather Roger continues to install new ground storage doors. He has 10 doors that he is currently working to get installed. While Roger is working on the door replacement, Dave, our part time staff member, has been putting a fresh coat of paint on the ground storage lockers to keep them looking fresh.
Roger has also installed new aluminum grates on exhaust areas on all three buildings. Being aluminum these will not rust like the ones previously purchased and installed from Home Depot. This is a great improvement because the previous grates would rust within a short period of time and we had to continuously repaint them.
All of the small balconies on the bay side of F Building have been pressured washed by Roger.
He has also built new PVC frames around the trash containers in the areas of the chaise lounges near the beach. The old frames were made of wood slats and were rotting and falling apart. The new ones have a much cleaner and fresher look that the previous wooden frames.
Due to remodeling projects in owners’ condos occurring in all three buildings, and the number of vendors coming and going this summer, we have delayed pressure washing the buildings until all the major work has been completed.
We ask that everyone having work done in their units let their workers know that if they do not clean up after themselves, charges will be levied since our staff now has to take time away from their work to clean up the vendors’ messes.
Janet is reporting outside workers/vendors are not respecting the Community or Seascape property. It is more difficult for the staff to enforce the rules and keep Seascape clean and well cared for if owners do not inform the contractors/subcontractors of the rules at the start of a project, and the importance of keeping all areas clean and undamaged.
Here are some summer projects completed by professional painters for owners. This work has all been for owners as a result of a review of the Community.
Work has been completed for those owners wanting their windows/sliding glass doors painted.
New screens for the walkway sliding glass doors on E Building are currently being ordered for owners.
The painting has been completed for those owners with hurricane shutters on the walkways who wished to have the rusting/flaking end covers on the shutter header repainted.
One evening in July the fire alarm went off in D Building. It was frightening since all the alarms were sounding in the interior of each unit. One of the owners called the Fire Department, who responded quickly. Janet was informed and immediately came to the Community. She and Dave awaited Simplex Grinnell arrival to fix the problem. They remained on the property until the problem was repaired that night by Simplex Grinnell, which was until 3:00 a.m. The
‘culprit’ was a wire which had shorted out.
As anticipated the pipes under all three buildings have started to rust. These have been touched up with paint. All floor storage closets doors (metal) have a new coat of paint, as do the trash room doors (metal).
Due to the installation of our new telephone gate entry system, you may find your ‘clicker’ may not work when you arrive at Seascape. If this occurs take your ‘clicker’ in to Janet once you arrive. She will need it for a few hours so she can program it into the new telephone entry system.
As another reminder, the new system DOES allow for cell phone numbers to be programmed into the telephone gate entry system. This means that when a guest arrives you can let them through the gate using your cell phone by pushing 9, just as you can with a ‘landline’ telephone. Janet will need to know which number you want her to program into the system if you use both a ‘landline’ telephone and a cell phone.
NEVER GIVE OUT YOUR OWNER’S CODE WHICH YOU RECEIVE ON YOUR QUARTERLY STATEMENTS. THIS CODE IS FOR YOUR PERSONAL USE ONLY.
THIS ALSO APPLIES TO ALL VENDORS WHO MAY BE COMING TO YOUR UNIT. A VENDOR IS TO CALL THE OFFICE FROM THE GATE. THIS APPLIES WHETHER JANET IS IN THE OFFICE OR NOT. SHE WILL COMPLETE THE ENTRANCE PROCESS FROM HER CELL PHONE.
A lot of effort and work goes into seeing the code does not become general knowledge. It only takes one owner giving the code to a vendor, friend, renter or anyone else for the work and effort to be in vain.
The Board will continue to work toward installation of new gates for the Community. They are working toward having further information available once the Landscape Committee meets and the Board and committee members are able to physically review and evaluate both the sliding telescoping gate system, which is now installed and functioning at another complex, and a sliding gate system. Due to code we are unable to have a ‘swing’ gate such as Bonita Beach Club installed.
Since we have had several problems with trespassers in the pool, discussion has been held on installing locks on the pool gates. A survey of the Community will be forthcoming. Janet is currently organizing prices for a lock system. By employing a system that could tie into the new telephone entry/gate software we would be able to run reports showing unauthorized entrance into the pool area.
Janet is also getting prices for cameras for the entrance gates. The new phone entry gate box has been scratched and the shrubs at the main entrance continue to be driven over. With a camera system we would be able to see who is doing this damage. Further discussion will be held at a future Board meeting.
With all of the shark bites and sightings in the news lately, the Bonita Springs City Council has taken up the subject at the recent August 5, 2015 meeting. They had on their agenda a request for the Council to approve and authorize Mayor Ben Nelson to send a letter to the Fish and Wildlife Commission to petition them to further regulate ‘chumming’ because it creates a nuisance on Little Hickory Island where there is predominantly human activity.
Work also continues by one of our neighbors from Bayscape, along with a group from Bonita Beach Club. There have been pictures of the sharks from both our beach area and the bay, and interviews by NBC-2.com.
Once again there are no units currently for sale at Seascape.
07-06-2015 - Weather at Seascape has been in the 90's almost every day for the month of June. So, if you are a lover of hot weather, this is the place to be. Throw in a daily shower or two and high humidity levels and you will have no doubt that you are in Florida.
In spite of the weather, work continues at Seascape. The beautiful large Yucca tree that has been a main stay on the road side lawn of the property has been trimmed and thinned out. There was a time we were somewhat concerned that we might lose this landmark due to its height and the electric lines running across the property. Thanks to the installation of even taller poles for the electric lines and 'sprucing up' of the tree, we can now enjoy many more years of its beauty.
Roger has been particularly busy this past month. He has pressured washed the wall between Bonita Beach Club and F Building in preparation for it to be painted.
Replacement of the ground storage locker doors began in the spring. Roger is continuing to replace the doors with exterior fiberglass doors. Some of the old doors are warped, won't open easily, or are split at the bottom. Some have even had the bottom of the door's interior frame fall out. It is the goal to replace all the ground storage locker doors with exterior fiberglass doors over time. Those doors in the worst condition are being replaced first.
At one of our recent fire inspections, the Bonita Springs Fire Inspector asked that we replace some of the exit signs. Roger has replaced 15 of the exit signs with new signs.
You will see Roger out checking the pool and keeping it in A+ condition for swimming year round. To show what a great job he is doing, I am happy to report that we once again passed the yearly pool inspection by the Lee County Health Department with 'flying colors".
Our part-time worker, Dave, has painted the wall between BBC and F Building.
He is also repairing small holes in the doors of those ground storage lockers we will be replacing in the future. He is working to get all of the ground storage lockers wiped down and painted as needed.
As many will remember, we had a main line water break in front of E Building 'in season'. Following the repairs, the area was re-asphalted and sealcoated. When the work was completed some imperfections in the sealcoating were noticed. Janet call Bain Sealcoating, who did the work, and they came out and re-sealcoated the area the last week of June.
I am happy to report that due to Janet's diligence in calling Bonita Springs Water Utility and reporting the break in the main water line in front of E Building, we did receive a credit of over $5000 for the water loss from that leak.
The telephone entry gate system has finally failed. Janet has been trying to work through some intermittent static problems in the gate telephone system for some time. These problems were exacerbated by the age of the system and lack of available repair parts.
Janet arrived at work to find the entry gate phone box did not have a display screen, nor would the system open the gate. This left our only option was to replace the entry gate system with a new one prior to installing one at the time we replace the current gates.
GateKeepers has ordered a new telephone entry system which should be up and running during the first week of July. We have been assured that the new system will be compatible with whichever gate system we choose going forward. This will be either a telescoping gate system or a sliding gate system. The lack of space to pull off the street and open onto the property will not permit the installation of a swing gate, such as was recently installed at Bonita Beach Club. Nor would we be able to get a waiver from the City of Bonita Spring to allow for permitting for installation of a swing gate.
Janet will now have to program all of the owners' names and numbers into the new telephone entry system's computer software. The new system does allow long distance phone numbers, so if you have discontinued using a land line and using a cell phone, you may want to use your cell phone to open the gate. To do this you will need to let Janet know what phone number you want programmed into the gate system. This will permit a guest to call your unit from the gate. You will then be able to open the gate from your unit.
We do want to make you aware that if your cell phone number is used, should someone push your name on the directory, the call will ring through even when you are away from Seascape. The phone number that will come up on your cell phone will be 239-992-2647.
Janet suggests that should you wish to use your cell phone number in the gate system you add the above number to your contact list in your phone directory, naming it 'SEASCAPE GATE'. This will assure you that the incoming call is from the entry gate system.
If you have any questions please contact Janet.
Janet has made two visits to the complex where the telescoping sliding gate has been installed and is now functional. She has also talked to the manager of the complex. She has found the community is very pleased with the gate system. The only complaint was that the out gate has been hit and damaged due to lack of patience in allowing the gate to open enough to permit an exit. In other words, the parties damaging the gate tried to exit the gate before it was sufficiently open. The community has installed a camera system which has recorded the incidents.
In regards to required replacement of hot water heaters every ten years, all owners with tanks that are ten years old have been notified. All of the units have responded to whether they had an a/c float switches and the switches are now installed in all units.
The following are other projects owners are financially responsible for. Janet will be seeking group prices where applicable and scheduling the work for owners who have requested the work.
Painting of walkway windows and sliding glass door frames.
Re-screening for window screens and sliding doors along walkways.
Replace metal entry doors with less maintenance fiberglass doors.
Don't forget to let Janet know if you want to replace your walkway windows or sliding glass doors. There are several along the walkways that are in poor condition.
Lanai screening is also owner responsibility, so if you have screen problems Janet can add you to a list for replacement.
The inspection of the lanais for spalling and the lanai railings has been completed by Janet and Larry West with Elias Brothers. We anticipate having a report from Elias Brothers on the results of the inspection available at the November meeting.
Several owners have replaced hot water heaters while hot water tanks that will fit into our utility closets are still available. If you are interested please contact Janet.
6/5/2015 - Another month has quickly flown by and the Florida summer weather pattern with a daily chance of showers has begun. Temperatures in the area are predicted to be in the 90’s during the day and 70’s at night. Throw in a little humidity and you know you are in south Florida.
Its obvious Seascape is the place to be as we are experiencing a situation we haven’t for several years. There were many years when very few units were available for sale in our community. Recently years found that several have been on the market. As of now, all those units that were on the market have been sold. Currently there are no units for sale at Seascape.
In response to the wishes expressed in three polls to owners concerning smoking, Seascape now has a ‘smoke-free’ policy for the community. “Smoking”, which is defined as carrying, burning, or otherwise handling or controlling any lit or smoldering product containing tobacco, cloves or similar products, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, e-cigarettes or vaporing is prohibited on all Seascape property, including lanais (i.e. all Common and Limited Common Elements, including lanais).
The smoking ban is all-inclusive; it includes owners, residents, tenants, guests, employees, contractors, vendors or anyone performing a service for an owner or the community. The Florida Indoor Air Act currently contains language covering employees and those providing a service or where work is being performed. In support of the new policy all ashtrays have been removed from every floor of all three buildings. The holes have been filled and the areas repainted.
We appreciate all owners being compliant with the smoking ban and ask you to make sure your guests are informed and aware of the new policy as well.
Summer work is underway in the community. With the decrease in population at Seascape, Roger has cleaned all the lounges and chairs. Those extras we don’t need during the summer have been stored.
Every year the buildings are pressure washed to remove the salt residue to help maintain the paint and sealant of the buildings. Building F pressure washing has been completed.
Roger has planted new plants at each entrance sign. The seasonal replacement cost of the new plants and the labor to install them is not included in the work covered under the landscape maintenance contract.
Dave, in his part-time capacity, continues to consult with Janet and Roger on projects that need to be completed. He is currently repainting the numbers on the car stops in the parking lot.
Superior Fire Protection has completed a fire pump test on all three buildings. This is required on a regular basis.
The light globes on Building E have all been removed and cleaned. Those lights which are required to be shielded for ‘Turtle Time’ have been covered with the required shields. Due to this you will find that there is little exterior lighting available at night and we encourage you to be extra cautious when moving around the community.
On this note, if you do not have the ‘turtle gray’ tinted glass in your slider or windows visible from the beach, the drapes should be drawn at night or steps taken to ensure light cannot be seen on the beach coming from your unit. This lighting ban will be in force until October 31st.
All units have now been inspected for the required A/C float switches and Janet will be contacting those owners who do not currently have float switches. She will organize a ‘group’ price for those needing the switches. The requirement to have float switches has been in place for many years at Seascape and it is now also code.
Janet will next be walking the community to review and inform owners who need to have their sliding glass door frames (on the walkways), screen frames or bedroom window frames repainted. The expense will be up to each owner. A group price was offered for this last year when the building was repainted. Several owners did take advantage of this opportunity.
If you would prefer to have your sliders or windows replaced please let Janet know. If there are enough, group pricing might be arranged for the owners who wish to have their sliders or windows replaced.
Likewise, on replacing the screening on the lanais, Janet does keep a list of requests for lanai screen replacements. Group pricing also helps in sharing the cost to cover the lift to replace the screening.
Hot water tanks continue to be installed for all owners requesting this installation. Please re-read last month’s info on the hot water tanks. Note the changes in the tank’s physical size which will impact us in the future on installing a hot water tank of the current gallons.
Janet’s next project is putting together prices for owners who wish to have their metal unit door replaced with a fiberglass door. These doors are hurricane rated and instead of having to paint them annually, if not more often, the maintenance is negligible.
We will continue to monitor and seek information on installing gates at Seascape. We want to be sure the type of gate selected will be the most suitable for the location and best meet the needs and purpose for installing new gates for many years.
5/7/2015 - The activity at Seascape has definitely slowed. It is time to wind up the this past season’s busy schedule, begin to focus on summer tasks and undertake the list of repair projects and activities.
We have been informed the new sliding/telescoping gate installed by Gatekeepers at Fountain Lakes is up and functioning. Janet has received the name of the manager of the complex and we will be monitoring how the gate is functioning and the community’s opinion and satisfaction with the gate. We are also searching out opinions on the other two sliding gates we have received quotes on.
In preparation for possible installation of the walk gate on the north end of the property, we have made arrangements with an owner to exchange the location of a parking space. This will give us access to a convenient location for the creation of a walkway through a gate to the street once a gate system is installed.
Two landscape companies have suggested alternate plantings to replace the Sea Grapes on the south side of Seascape between our complex and Dolphin Way. These plants would create a shrub wall to act as a natural barrier between the two communities and should be a deterrent to trespassers. This is only the start of the many steps under consideration and planning for new entrance gates and walk gates for the community.
May 1 is the start of ‘Turtle Time’. In preparation for ‘Turtle Time’, which runs until October 31 the turtle lights have been installed throughout the community. We will be transitioning the community to all amber lights over time. Currently we have enough of the costly amber lights to do the parking level and F Building. The red bulbs, which are also considered within the spectrum acceptable for ‘turtle time’ lighting, are being used on D Building. An inspection is to be done by Michael Kirby, Environmental Specialist, City of Bonita Springs Community Development, to ascertain if the community meets the City’s specific requirements.
If you do not have windows and sliders with the turtle gray glass tint you are required to close your drapes or be sure there is no light visible from your unit which can be seen from the beach. The City of Bonita Springs will do periodic inspections throughout ‘turtle season’. If unacceptable light is visible from your unit you may find a ‘ticket’ on your door reminding you of the ‘turtle season’ requirements. Please make every effort to comply with the rules in force from May 1 through October 31.
Janet is in the process of verifying that each of our units has ‘float switches’ installed on our air conditioners. ‘Float switches have been required at Seascape for many years. In 2003 the following was included as a revision to the Florida Building Code 307.2.3: As an alternative to a separate drain line, an approved water level detector or float switch device shall be used to control overflow by automatically shutting down the equipment or appliance that produces the condensate.
Having a float switch will protect both you and your neighbors unit should you’re a/c unit not drain properly. Instead of the water overflowing into your and your neighbors units, the a/c will shut off. If you have a float switch and notice a significant drop in you electric bill it may signify your a/c is not draining properly and has shut-off. Once Janet is aware of how many units don't have a float switch, she will organize a project to have an air conditioning company install the switches for all those that need them.
A project currently underway is replacement of the hot water tanks. Information was provided last month on the reasons why you might consider replacing your hot water tank if it is close to 10 years old.
Call Janet immediately if you would like your hot water tank replaced. The price is $600.80 for a 30-gallon, low boy, Rheem brand unit. Performance Plumbing is the company replacing the tanks. They will replace tanks until their supply is no longer available.
Surge protectors have been installed on all of the buildings fire alarm systems. This was approved at the last Board meeting when the Board voted to sign an up-graded maintenance contract on these systems. On the renewal contract it clearly stated that electric surges would no longer be covered.
The new floor scrubber we purchased to clean our membrane flooring has been sent out for a yearly maintenance check. Alpha Chemical and Janitorial Supply will be replacing the brushes and both the front and back squeegees as part of the maintenance care.
During June the dryer vents will be cleaned on F Building. Janet will send out information prior to doing the work being accomplished. Extra services will be offered if you need or would like to have the work done.
Personal Touch is the landscaping company who has been doing the landscape work at Seascape for the past two months. They will be starting the summer pruning. They have already done a complete check of our irrigation system and have changed some of the sprinkler heads. In the monthly contract with them they are to weed, trim all the shrubs, and fertilize the lawn and shrubs. Roger will continue to do the edging and mow the grass.
We would like to welcome David Evans aboard as a part-time staff member. David is retired from General Motors and is formerly from Indiana, but now resides in Naples. David will be helping Roger with the list of summer projects and work on a part-time basis as determined by Janet.
4/4/2015 - You can tell Easter is here as our families are beginning to arrive and more and more children are enjoying the pool and playing on the beach. The weather is definitely ‘beach weather’ and the water in the gulf is warming up.
Work on researching options for new security gates is continuing. At the March Board of Directors meeting an overview was given on information provided by the first vendor we contacted. This was on sliding telescoping gates and the vendor was the same vendor we use for our current gates. The upside of this type of gate is the amount of space needed for installation and the speed at which the gates open and close. As noted at the meeting, research would continue since we want to get at least three different quotes before review by the Landscape Committee and a recommendation from them to the Board of Directors is made.
Since the March 7th meeting we have met with two other vendors who are providing us with information on sliding gates which do not telescope. This type of gate would be slower than the sliding telescoping gate. We are being told a sliding gate should be less maintenance because it is on a wheel, while the sliding telescoping gate has to have a track. It does take more space to install a sliding gate.
All the vendors are providing examples of where they have installed gates like those they are quoting so we can review any problems those communities have experienced, and learn their level of satisfaction with the gates. We are also looking into any permitting issues we might encounter.
We do not anticipate installing the gates this summer as once all the preliminary work, including engineering and drawings are completed, it could take an additional 90 days for the permitting process. In addition, the gates would be custom-made for our community, and that will take some time.
Separate quotes are being provided for two walk gates and fencing of the open areas at the front of the property. We are anticipating the possibility of ‘phasing’ the project due to the cost. Owners must vote to approve the installation of the walk gates and fencing as this would be a change to the Common Elements; while the security gates would be considered a replacement.
We met with BroadStar, our cable and internet provider, in January. We strongly advised them that we felt our internet and cable services were subpar and the internet speed extremely slow. We are now being provided with an increase in internet speed at no additional charge until November, 2015. At that time a decision will have to be made as to whether we wish to continue to receive the new bulk speed. If so, the cost of the internet would be increased.
For anyone wishing to try digital upgrades, BroadStar is offering a special promotion at Seascape for new orders for digital cable. The offer starts now and will continue through November 1st, 2015. A special promo code will be provided to new digital customers and the cost of the upgrade will be $10 per month. This includes one set top box needed for receiving digital cable. The activation fee of $50 is being waived and residents can put the box on vacation during the summer for $5 per month.
On November 1, 2015 BroadStar is proposing that if the Board accepts an extension of 5 years to the contract, the bulk payment would increase $10 per unit per month. The bulk cable would include a ‘Top 200+ digital channels and 1 HD set top box per unit. The price would not be increased again until January 1, 2017, at which time the cost would go up $5 per month per unit.
Anyone interested in trying the digital cable offer should contact BroadStar directly, as the upgrades will be billed directly to the unit owner. Be sure and tell them you are a Seascape owner.
It’s hard to believe it is time to prepare for ‘turtle season’. Turtle Time lighting will go into effect on May 1st. It takes quite some time to change out all the bulbs to turtle light approved bulbs and to install the required shields on each of the walkway and under building fixtures.
Remember that if you are in residence from May 1st through October 31st you must close your drapes or have sliders and windows in a turtle gray tint that blocks 40% or more of the light emission from inside the unit to the beach.
Since the last posting we had a major water leak occur in front of Building E. The repair required the parking lot be excavated to reach the broken pipe. This work was done by Season Paving. The pipes were replaced/repaired by Performance Plumbing. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, when Seaton Paving was filling the hole and compacting the sand, they noticed that an area was ‘soft’. They excavated the area again and found that another pipe, ‘teeing’ off the original pipe, was now leaking. The original leak was from a 3” line and the pipe had a split on the underneath side. The second leak was from a 2” water pipe that pulled apart. We are happy to report that all the leaks were repaired, the hole has been refilled, the area asphalted, and as of this week, resealing of all damaged areas accomplished.
Janet and Roger are both to be praised for their quick and organized response to the situation. They both put in many extra hours to see the repair project through to the end. Thanks to both of them for their commitment to Seascape. The two vendors Janet called also responded promptly. We do not often see projects so large being done during season and it was good to see everyone in action and doing such an efficient and professional job.
There are new federal energy rules taking effect in April that will mean changes for anyone buying or installing a new hot water heater.
On April 16, 2015, the Department of Energy’s new energy efficiency mandates (as part of the National Appliance and Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) will go into effect. The update will affect household appliances manufactured in the U.S. This affects us due to the resizing of the hot water heaters to meet the new standards. Hot water tanks manufactured after April 16th are anticipated to be wider and taller, an obvious problem with the limited space for installation in our community. Janet has been communicating with Performance Plumbing on the problem and they have reserved some tanks that can be installed in the current area we have available. Let Janet know if you are interested in installing a new hot water tank.
Be aware that tankless water heaters have been prohibited at Seascape due to the lack of electric power available to service them coming into the community. We were told by multiple electricians and FPL that the tankless units could cause problems in the breaker boxes in the individual units and ‘brown outs’ in the community.
It also seems to be the season for our pool pumps to start giving us problems. In March the pool heating pumps had to be replaced. Symbiont Systems, who service our pool heaters, did the replacement. In addition to this our chlorine pump quit functioning. It had already been re-built once so a new one was purchased.
Not only have we been dealing with leaks in the parking lot, but due a couple of reports of moisture in owners’ electric breaker boxes, we had Elite AC inspect the roofs on all three buildings. They sealed the roof flanges on the roofs of D and E Building. F Building was in good shape and no work was needed. Our last leak was water leaking down a trash chute of E Building on the ground level. The leak was found on the 1st floor and Superior Fire had to cut through concrete to replace a fire sprinkler head. Let’s hope this is the end of our leaks. We have certainly had more than our share this past month.
After 17 years of overseeing the social activities we have enjoyed at Seascape, we regret to report Diane Corcelli is retiring. Her creativity and enthusiasm has been unequaled as each year we were offered a variety of themes, games and even some athletic challenges. I hope you will all join me in thanking Diane for her outstanding commitment to providing enjoyable activities and events for the community, and for all the time and effort she has given throughout the years.
On the upside, Diane will still be writing and hosting the February skit enjoyed by so many. No one knows what the play will be for this next February, but you can be guaranteed that it will be every bit as creative and hilarious as were the characters in “Passing the Wind”, “Golden Girls Come to Seascape”, “Gold Diggers and Sugar Daddies”, and this years’ rendition of “All in the Family”.
Thank you, Diane, for all the pleasure you have brought to the Community throughout the years.
We are looking for volunteers and ideas for parties/social events for the upcoming year. Please contact Janet if you have any interest. This would be for hosting a single event of your choice, with a group of other volunteers of owners (and renters) helping, much as we did with the highly successful ‘States parties’ some years ago. The first event would be in November around the time of the fall Owners’ and Board of Directors Meetings.
We already have an offer from an owner who would be willing to continue provide equipment and run the highly popular Las Vegas night for a party as he has done in the past. This evening could be expanded with other similar activities. An owner has also volunteered to help oversee the New Year’s Bunch. Let us know what other activities you would enjoy and help plan.
2/5/2015 -It’s hard to believe that February has arrived and the New Year is already well under way. January was such a busy month. It seemed it was over even before it began.
An item we had been working on was obtaining a new ‘mitigation’ report. Due to our insurance company requesting an updated ‘mitigation report’ on the new form, (since the old form had been replaced with an updated one) a new mitigation verification inspection has been done. You should have received an emailed copy of that report from Janet. Should your homeowners insurance request a copy of the ‘mitigation report’ on the new form, a copy of this form should meet their request. Some insurance companies will give you a credit on your homeowners insurance if you have had the inspection, meet certain criteria and supply them with the ‘mitigation report’.
If you are in residence at Seascape you may have noticed that FPL has been doing work at night along Hickory Blvd. replacing electrical poles. Although there has been some discussion on suspending the work until later in the year, we are currently being told that work in the Seascape area will be performed sometime in mid-March. While this work is being accomplished we may experience some power outages.
There is a Board of Directors Meeting scheduled for Monday, February 16th for the purpose of discussing the recommendations of the Insurance Committee. The Committee is offering suggestions for reducing the deductibles on certain of our current policies and providing the cost impact for doing so.
A number of responses have already been returned on the ‘smoking poll’. This will be an agenda item at the March 7th Board of Directors Meeting. The Board appreciates the time you have taken to respond to this and the previous inquiry.
If you have not returned a response for the ‘smoking poll’, please do so ASAP as the Board will be sending out a copy of the proposed rule, taking into consideration your responses, 14 days prior to the March 7th Board of Directors meeting. This is required by Florida Statute Sections 718.112(2)(c) and 720.303(2)(c): Both Condominium and HOA Boards are to deliver notice of the Board meeting to the members at least fourteen (14) days in advance if the Board intends to adopt, change or otherwise consider rules regarding the use of the unit or the individual parcel. We appear to be among the last of the communities along the strip who have not gone to a stricter smoking rule, most including banning smoking on lanais.
Our neighbors at Bonita Beach Club have completed the installation of a new gate system which closes off their entrance entirely and provides an additional gate for all foot traffic. Both the entrance and exit now have full gates instead of the type of gate with only arms.
This past week the control box on our south gate was hit by a delivery truck. It also damaged our sprinkling system. There was additional damage to Dolphin Way’s sprinkling system. The concrete base had to be broken up and removed so that Dolphin Way could repair their leak from the damage.
Our north gate was recently repaired as it was not always responding to a signal from the ‘home link’ or the ‘clicker’. Due to the age of the gates and the potential cost to repair the damage done to the south gate, there is some discussion as to whether the current gates should be repaired/replaced with the installation of a new type of gate entry system. With the change to the entry to BBC, a gate similar to theirs that would further enhance security has been suggested. The greatest complaint being aired from the new system at BBC is that the gate system is slower on the entry side and currently a short back-up in traffic on the circle has been occurring.
Seascape’s north gate has been repaired and is now functioning normally. A temporary solution for the south gate is under consideration until a further discussion and a decision can be made.
Those preparing for bed late on the 4th were surprised to see a John Deere tractor going up and down the beach. The beach was first lightly plowed and then dragged to smooth the beach and work on breaking down the drop-off that has yet to improve. The work went on into the ‘wee’ hours of the morning.