June - HCR

June 2014
Howell Creek Reserve
Eagles Watch Newsletter
President’s Message
President’s Message
Conservation Explanation
Welcome Committee
“…this is the last paper
newsletter you will
receive… we are moving
to electronic distribution
of the newsletter”
Hello everyone.
I hope you are all doing well. This has been a busy month for the
HOA as we tackle many projects intended to enhance and streamline
operation of our Home Owners Association.
For example, this is the last paper newsletter you will receive in
your mail box because we are moving to electronic distribution of the
newsletter. Before I talk more about this subject, the Board of Directors,
on behalf of all residents, want to thank everyone who over the years
helped in some capacity with our paper newsletter. Specifically we thank
Janice Blachstein, Mary Weeks, Randi Even, Julie Matthies, Janet Altenhof
Linda Addalia, Elnora Gilchrist, Alma Stachurski, Andi Champagne, Marilyn
Kastory, Sal and Ann Barretta, John and Audrey Windorf, and Joyce Walsh
These folks routinely made the paper newsletter possible through
their loyal efforts and willingness to volunteer their time. They compiled
our newsletter content for the paper version, made it ready to publish,
and distributed the newsletter. Thank you all for your dedicated service
to our community!
So why are we changing to electronic distribution of the
newsletter? Because the process of producing and distributing the
newsletter is time consuming, inefficient, and cost more than it needed to
cost. Electronic distribution costs much less and eliminates the need to
mail or hand-deliver newsletters to each home. Starting in July all
residents are encouraged to visit the HOA website at http://hcr-ew.org
and subscribe to the newsletter. It’s easy. Subscribers will receive the
newsletter and other notices via email as they are published. If you can
receive email on your computer, phone, or tablet you can get the
newsletter electronically. You can read it at a friend’s house or at the
library by using one of their computers. There are now many more ways
Please see President’s Message on page 2
Property Manager – Diana McCreight
Vi s ta C o m m uni ty Asso cia tio n • PO Bo x 1 6 2 1 4 7 ,
Al ta mo n t e S p ri ngs , F l 3 2 7 1 6 -2 1 4 7 • 4 0 7 -6 8 2 -3 4 4 3 , ex t -2 3 1 •
dmccreight@vista -cam.com
Page 2
HCR-EW Newsletter
President’s Message from page 1
for you to get the newsletter and other information. Additionally, information of interest can easily be
distributed at any time; not just monthly.
The repair process for the erosion on the common property at the back of Howell Creek Reserve
is in work. We have submitted our repair plans to the St. John’s Water Management District as required
and are currently awaiting their approval. The permitting process takes from 30 to 60 days and could
take longer if St. John’s Water Management District has questions or requires changes to our plans. The
actual repair work will start approximately 2-weeks after we receive our permit approval. The repair is
expected to take about 6 days to complete depending on weather delays. Residents should expect that
Nandina Terrace between Lots 81 and 82 will be closed at times during this repair as necessary to effect
movement of materials. As soon as we receive approval of our permit, owners and residents who live on
Nandina Terrace along the back of Howell Creek Reserve will receive notice of the exact start date of
repair along with other pertinent details. This is a major repair effort that will involve the movement of
construction equipment and materials across the HOA common property; more to follow as we know
We are in the process of converting our pedestrian gate system over to a more reliable system.
This is the system that uses the key fobs. The pool system has already been converted. All fobs should
work at the pool now. If your key fob does not work at the pool, or any gate, it is a programming issue
not a bad key fob. The conversion at our pedestrian gates at our main entrances is in work currently.
Vista Property Management now has responsibility for the issuance of key fobs and for programming of
these gates systems. I could help you before because I had key fobs and programmed the system but I
no longer have any key fobs and do not know this new system. Please, do not contact me or any board
members about key fobs as we can no longer help you. Contact our property management company,
Vista, who will help you. Please remember Vista has office hours. This means that requests for key fobs
and programming can only be handled during business hours and key fobs must be mailed to you; please
plan accordingly.
Finally, in the May newsletter I asked for any owners interested in learning how to be on our
Board to please contact me or any Board member; to date no responses. I’m asking again: any owner
interested in learning how you can be on our Board to please contact me or any Board member.
Have a relaxing and safe 4th of July holiday.
Michael Meaney - President
Michael Meaney – President
Janet Altenhoff – Secretary/Director
Terry Even – Vice President
Ann Barretta – Treasurer/Director
Alma Stachurski – Director
Paul Arnold – Director
Andi Champagne - Director
Next Board Meeting:
June 25th, 2014, 6:30pm at Wedgewood Tennis Villas
HCR-EW Newsletter
Page 3
Conservation Explanation
Michael Meaney
The HOA has been dealing with an erosion issue in the back of Howell Creek Reserve. The erosion
is on HOA common property in a conservation area regulated by the St. John’s River Water Management
District. The process of repairing this erosion involves different engineering firms specializing in various
technical areas one of which concerns environmental subjects. During the process of repairing this
erosion we, the HOA Board, learned a lot of interesting things from these engineers about the purpose of
our conservation areas and why the St. John’s River Water Management District regulates them the way
they do. We want to share this information with you. You may be surprised at what I tell you and as a
result, hopefully, you will have a greater appreciation and desire to preserve and not disturb our
conservation areas.
The conservation areas exist primarily to remove pollutants before they get into our water system.
Here’s how I understand it all works:
Each lot in our community is designed to drain either to the front of the lot (A lot), or the back of
the lot (B Lot), or to both the front and the back (A-B Lot). Runoff such as rain or car washing water and
soap, oil, etc. on an A Lot, or the A portion of an A-B Lot, runs onto our streets then into our curb gutters,
then into the street collection drains and then into one of our five lakes. The lakes act not only to hold
the water but also as pollution filters. Pollutants settle in the lakes where grass, weeds, water lilies,
bacteria and the other critters of Mother Nature begin the process of breaking down the pollutants as
the water in the lakes ever so slowly makes its way out of the lake as overflow during heavy rains. This
overflow moves into the wetlands in our common areas where the natural pollution removal process
continues as weeds, grasses, bushes, and trees filter the water. Eventually, the water makes its way into
the small creeks that run along property like those along the Cross Seminole Trail, then into Howell
Creek, and then into Lake Jessup and finally into the St. John’s River, all the while being cleaned and
filtered by Mother Nature.
For a B Lot, or the B portion of an A-B Lot, the runoff is designed to flow naturally off the lawn
and into the undisturbed conservation area owned by the HOA where the vegetation in our conservation
area begins the natural process of breaking down and filtering pollutants. This route is much shorter
than the street route and provides less time for the filtering process to occur before the runoff gets to
Howell Creek.
Our conservation areas are owned by the HOA and are regulated by SJRWMD to ensure that the
natural pollution removing barrier that is our conservation areas remains intact and is left natural.
Our conservation areas and lakes are located and sized by design to account for the predicted amount of
pollution our neighborhood will generate. Clearing out the conservation area behind homes manually or
with herbicides, discharging pool drains and rain gutters into the conservation area, and landscaping into
the conservation area all serve to bypass the design and the natural cleansing process. That is why these
things are prohibited; not because we want it all to look natural.
Believe it or not, the correct place to direct any runoff from rain gutters, pools, and so on is to the
street because the cleaning route before this runoff gets into Howell Creek is much longer as runoff must
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HCR-EW Newsletter
go through at least one of our lakes and additional wetlands to get there. That means the water is
filtered more so it’s much cleaner when it gets into the St. John’s River.
One last point, as I’ve said earlier the conservation areas are HOA common property. Discharging
anything onto a conservation area is akin to discharging onto your neighbor’s yard. Your neighbor
probably would not appreciate you’re doing that so please don’t do it on HOA conservation property.
So there you have it. We, the Board of Directors, ask that if you are thinking about clearing
conservation property around your home that you not do so; allow the area to remain undisturbed. We
ask that if you have already disturbed conservation area that you stop any such activity and allow the
area to return to its natural state. We ask that you limit your improvement activity such as landscaping,
clearing, etc., to your own private property and not encroach on HOA common property. We ask that if
you currently discharge your pool into a conservation area please stop doing so and instead discharge
into the street. We ask that if your rain gutters currently discharge directly into a conservation area,
please stop this and direct them to the street side of your lot.
If you have read this far I thank you. I hope you learned something useful from this article as
have those of us who have been involved in this erosion repair process.
Welcome Committee
The Board would like to reinstitute the Welcome Committee. This committee would be the
first official contact for new residents to answer questions and welcome them to our community. If
you are interested in volunteering to be a member of this committee please contact Ann Barretta at
[email protected]
All information customarily contained
in subsequent newsletters such as
Community Information, Regulations,
Contacts, Baby and Pet Sitter
information has been moved to our
website at http://hcr-ew.org
Howell Creek Reserve Community Association, Inc.
PO Box 162147
Altamonte Springs, Fl 32716-2147