The President's Corner


Email Sent 5/19/2022 by President Stephen Meuler - HOA Updates

The Willowbend Board is ready to proceed with the sod replacement project. You should see the work beginning before the end of this month. We will be starting with the front lawns on Habitat Blvd. We ask for everyone's patience as we work our way through this project. Please do not interfere with the work being done by LMP. They will have their instructions as to where the sod is to be replaced and in what order. Do not try to redirect their employees. Do not contact Sentry asking when your yard is to be taken care of. Let us complete the project. We will advise all homeowners when the work is completed. If at that time you believe there is still an issue with your yard then contact the landscape committee or a board member and we will address your issue. Thanks in advance for your cooperation and patience.

You may also have noticed that the weekly mowing of the lawns is being done on two days with the fronts of the houses on Wednesday and behind the houses on Thursday. This is due to the ongoing staffing issues that LMP along with many companies is experiencing.

The Board has discussed the schedule of our monthly meetings. We realize that our community has many people that work during the day and thus are not able to participate in these meetings. Thus, we have decided to hold some of our meetings in the evening. The Board meetings will still be held at the same location - Our Savior Lutheran Church. Due to their scheduling, evening meetings will have to be held on a Wednesday rather than a Thursday. Our next regularly scheduled board meeting will be held on Wednesday June 8th at 5:30 p.m. As always, the meeting notice will be posted and a reminder sent. We will likely hold one evening meeting per quarter. This will be done on a trial basis to see if we have any community interest in attending.

I want to thank everyone for the encouragement and support that has been shown to the new Board!

Stephen Meuler
Willowbend HOA

Email Sent 4/27/2022 by President Stephen Meuler - Willowbend Update!

After the election last week, the new Board held their organizational meeting to select officers for the coming year. The Willowbend HOA Board and their positions are as follows:

Stephen Meuler - President
Joe Trentacoste - Vice President
Scott Brundrett - Treasurer
Paul McClain - Secretary
John Santiago - Director at Large

We thank Jack Berkowitz and Carmine Vitolo for their service this past year.

We have a lot of work to do this year. Major contracts are up for renewal, notably the contracts for landscaping and cable/internet. We have work remaining to resolve open issues related to the reserve accounts for Willowbend. Our governing documents still reference Lee Wetherington (developer) and as we saw with the recent election, several areas of our documents are quite vague and indeed some areas may be contrary to current Florida statutes that govern HOA's. These documents need to be re-written with the assistance of an attorney and then taken to the entire membership of the community to be voted upon.

Willowbend is a wonderful neighborhood and a great place to live! Our home values continue to rise with some homes in our development now selling in excess of $800K. Amazing!! The Board is committed to doing our part as managers to maintain our high standards. I am well aware that the number one complaint is the condition of the grass in many areas. A significant amount of money has been spent on sod replacement in the past few years only to see it once again die in many areas. We will be working carefully with LMP to get to the proper solution. It doesn't make sense to just replace sod without addressing soil conditions, fertilization, pest control and irrigation.

We also ask that each homeowner take seriously their part in maintaining high standards for the neighborhood. Is your roof being kept clean (as required by our rules)? Does your house perhaps need painting? Does the yard light on your property need to be painted? Has your driveway ever been cleaned?

It has been so encouraging to see many homeowners doing renovations to their landscaping. Believe it or not, shrubs have a life span! Dead trees and shrubs should be removed. If nothing has been done to your landscaping since the building of the property. Please take an honest look and see if perhaps it is time for some refreshing. All of these small things will help to maintain the property values for all homeowners and protect our investments in our homes. It really does make a difference!

Lastly, I want to assure you that I am committed to seeing that Board meetings are held with all members showing respect for each other. We can (and will) disagree without being disrespectful. As always, homeowners are invited and encouraged to attend Board meetings. All of us on the Board look forward to working for and with all of you in the coming year.

For the Board,

Stephen Meuler
Willowbend HOA President

Email Sent 4/20/2022 by President Scott Brundrett - Willowbend Landscape Committee Notice

Dear Homeowners.

The Willowbend Homeowners Association, in conjunction with the Landscape Committee and the Board, are extending the moratorium on requests for any additional sod. Sod will no longer be considered as a replacement for any shrubs, bushes or trees on ARC requests. Effective immediately if a homeowner replaces an EXISTING AREA of sod or grass, the HOA will be responsible for the irrigation and maintenance of the area.

This moratorium conclusion is based on the following: First, our 20+ year old irrigation system cannot support any new areas planted with sod or grass. Second, the county allots only a certain amount of water to each community for landscape purposes. Willowbend must not exceed this amount. Sarasota County has been in the first stages of a water shortage for the past several years.

As we all know Florida does not have a limitless water supply. Therefore, the HOA and Landscape Committee strongly recommends that areas be improved with water efficient landscaping such as the use of ground cover or mulch. Any landscape changes will continue to require an ARC approval as stated in our By-laws.

Thank you for your cooperation with this matter.

Willowbend Landscape Committee and the Willowbend Board of Directors