Venetian Isles Homeowners Association, Inc. St. Petersburg, Florida September 18, 2016 “State of the Isles”
I opened the June 2016 Presidents’ Letter with the statement “summer is upon us and Tropical Storm Colin was an early reminder of the need to make sure our homes are in “storm shape” and that all the items necessary for sustaining our families are safely secured just in case.....” TS Hermine “piled on” and tested VI for the better part of three days; however, outside of some damage to trees the common areas of VI fared well. There continue to be seawall failures throughout the neighborhood, which will be a focus of our General Meeting on Thursday, November 3. More on this later. First, I’d like to provide some neighborhood updates on neighborhood social events that I hope you will be able to participate in:
Oktoberfest – the traditional VI “end of summer” party is being revived thanks to the efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers. As I have spoken with VI residents over the years that I have been President of the VIHA, the return of this event has been the most commonly discussed topic. Oktoberfest is scheduled for Saturday, October 15 from 5:00pm – 7:00pm in the far southern end of Kansas South. Tickets are $10.00 per adult with kids free and are available from your block captains or online at www.ourvi.org. VI residents and businesses have donated a number of items to make this event a success and we are heralding the return of the “Michigan Ave Grillers.” We ask attendees with last names from “A – R” to bring a “side dish” and “S – Z” to bring a dessert. I hope you will be able to join us for this event which we hope to make a staple of life in VI in the future. This event is not sponsored by the VIHA and all residents of VI are welcome. Please call Julie Scanlon at 525-0477 with any questions.
4th Annual VI Golf Tournament – Tom Testa will be the “commish” of the 4th Annual VI Golf Outing planned for Sunday, October 30 at Mangrove Bay Golf Course. The event will start at 12:00 with a lunch and a shotgun start will follow at 1:00pm. You don’t have to be a “golfer” to participate, just willing to come out and have some fun with your neighbors. Flyers with information on this event will be circulated throughout the neighborhood and information is also available on www.ourvi.org as well as the ability to pay via PayPal. This event is open to all residents of VI.
First Annual VI Fishing Tournament – plans are being made for this inaugural event for the “anglers” in the neighborhood. However, with the failure of the City’s sewer treatment plants during TS Hermine, the date for this event will be pushed back to later in the year or early 2017. Please contact Rick Sandon on Iowa South if you would like to be part of this event.
Now, on to some of the other business of VIHA.
Fall General Meeting – the General Meeting will be held on November 3 with the business part of the meeting set to start at 7:00pm at Lutheran Church of the Cross. A “social hour” providing you with the opportunity to meet and talk to your neighbors will start at 6:00pm in Fellowship Hall. This social hour is being sponsored by Kristen Naruns of Northstar Realty, who will provide refreshments and light appetizers. Northstar is one of a number of firms who will be sponsoring future events in VI and advertise in the annual Directory of Homeowners provided to VIHA members. Please make every effort to patronize these local businesses, many of which are owned by VI residents, whose commitment adds to the quality of life in VI. Items to be discussed at the General Meeting include:
- Grand Canal Seawall repairs – City of St. Pete Engineering Department
- Signs of “danger” for personal residence seawalls – Rueben Claussen
- SPPD overview of criminal activity – Don Herring, SPPD Community Policing Officer
- City Update – Ed Montanari, City Council (invited)
- Brief review of activities of the VIA Committees
- General discussion / Q & A
Neighborhood Beautification – the Royal Palms for the VI entrance from the Overlook Drive Bridge are scheduled to be installed the week of September 26. The installation of these palms will significantly enhance this entrance to our neighborhood. The purchase of the palms was funded from the City budget for the bridge replacement. VIHA funds paid for the reclaimed water hook-up and the new irrigation system..
Traffic Calming – Excessive speeds within VI has long been an issue and has been a focus of mine since becoming your President. Representatives from the City Department of Transportation attended the January 2015 VIHA Annual Meeting and briefed VI residents on traffic calming initiatives that are available to St. Pete neighborhoods and the process under which they could be implemented. Subsequent to this meeting, the VIHA established a “Traffic Calming Committee” to study the issue of excessive speeds on Overlook Drive and Grand Canal Boulevard. Despite passive speed reminders, such as the large sign reminding you to “Slow Your Speed” and efforts of the SPPD, excessive speed is still an issue. In the most recent City conducted traffic study on Overlook Drive, southbound traffic averaged 38 MPH, 52% higher than the 25 MPH speed limit throughout VI. This problem has become so pervasive it has caused one VI resident to buy his own “radar gun” and provide the City with additional traffic studies. The Traffic Calming Committee has spent a considerable amount of time discussing the issue and has recommended the installation of a “speed table.” A speed table is approximately 3 inches high with 12 feet of travel length and is designed to reduce speeds to approximately 15 mph when driven over. A speed table is different from a speed bump, which causes traffic to reduce speeds to approximately 5 MPH. The Traffic Calming Committee received the requisite number of signatures from residents of Overlook Drive and presented their plan to the VIHA Board at the September 6, 2016 meeting. The Board passed a motion approving the plan and forwarded a letter to the City stating same. Subject to further review by the City and funding requirements, the speed table would be installed between 4712 and 4717 Overlook Drive. VIHA Board Elections – Nominations for the 4 officers of the VIHA as well as 5 at-large directors will be accepted between October 15 and November 30. A complete list of the nominees will be posted to www.ourvi.org by December 15. Voting for officers and at-large members will conclude with the Annual Meeting, scheduled for January 26, 2017. Any member of the VIHA can be nominated. Significant opportunities also exist to contribute to VI on one of many committees including: Arbitration; Architectural Review; Beautification; Communication; Deed Restrictions; Deed Restriction Revision; Finance; Hospitality; Membership or Traffic Calming. Committees are a great way to meet more of your neighbors and have an impact upon life in VI.
The next VIHA Board meeting is October 13, 2016 at LCC Day School starting at 6:00pm (please check www.ourvi.org). I’d encourage you to attend and advise the Board of any items of significance within VI. I look forward to seeing you at the Oktoberfest on October 15, October 30 Golf Tournament and at the November 3 General Meeting!! Plenty of social activities on the horizon.
In early September and we are coming out of the “dog days” of summer but entering the biggest risk period for hurricanes. We always hope for a season without any major storms but please make sure you are prepared, especially if you are new to the area.
On July 5, about 40 VI residents enjoyed “VI Night at the Trop.” It was an exciting game that went into extra innings against the Yankees. Everyone had a great time and received a free Rays hat!!! Many thanks to Mark Brenman for coordinating this event.
Many residents have been asking members of the VI Board to facilitate more social events in Venetian Isles. In line with those requests, we have the following scheduled:
Oktoberfest – the “signature” social event for VI will be held October 19 on Kansas Ave., South. Contact Julie Scanlon at email@example.com for details or to help with the event.
Fishing Tournament – planning for the “first annual” is well underway and is scheduled for 6:00am – 2:00pm on October 19. Awards will be presented during the Oktoberfest. Committee members Alex Beacham, Scott Gault, Terry Hedden and Eric Johnson would appreciate your input and assistance. Please email VIFishing@yahoo.com if you’d like to volunteer.
The General Meeting has been set for Thursday, October 17 at Lutheran Church of the Cross starting with a “social” at 6:30pm followed by the meeting at 7:00pm.
Finally, Don Herring, from the SPPD, notes the following:
Patrolling officers note a number of garage doors remain open late in the evening/early in the morning. Please remember to close and lock your doors.
Vehicle break-ins have declined but please remember to remove valuables from your cars including the key fob and lock the doors.
Let’s all continue to make VI a safe and attractive neighborhood.
I hope to see you “around the Isles!!”
Rich Scanlon VIHA President firstname.lastname@example.org
This letter was also published in the September issue of Life on the Isles