Dear VI Residents:
The holiday season is upon us and I hope you and all your family are well and busily preparing for this special time of the year. The community takes on a whole new feel this time of the year as decorations light up our lawns and homes. If you have not purchased your seawall candles yet, please contact the candle seller for your block (a list can be found on the http://www.ourvi.org/ website. Candles should be set out on your seawall on December 24 at 6:00 p.m. with a “rain date” of December 25.
The following information was shared at the VIHA General Meeting on December 1:
- James Fuchs, our Community Service Officer from the SPPD, provided an overview of crime trends in VI. Happily, the review was very positive, but he emphasized that we continue to remove valuables from our vehicles and lock the doors. He also reminded those in attendance that golf carts being operated on City streets need to meet certain requirements which can be found at https://www.flhsmv.gov/safety-center/consumer-education/low-speed-vehicles/ .
- The Deed Restrictions (“DRs”) revisions that were approved earlier this year by over 66.67% of the property owners in VI were reviewed.
- Input was provided from those in attendance about the next set of DRs that the DR Revision Committee (“DRRC”) should consider deleting, modifying or adding. Suggestions included allowing:
o artificial turf in rear yards;
o boat houses to be constructed on docks;
o a “set back” of 20 feet from the street, reduced from 25, for properties in a cul-de-sac;
o a boat and trailer to be parked in a driveway for a limited number of days;
o “online” voting; and,
o Revising the threshold of 66.67% of property owner approval for subsequent changes in the DRs.
The DRRC will be meeting in early 2023 to start to assess which DRs should be addressed. If you have suggestions, please forward your thoughts to me and I will pass along to the DRRC. Just a reminder that any change to the DRs currently requires the approval of 66.67% of property owners.
The Annual Meeting and election of VIHA Board Members for 2023 will be held on January 26 at Lutheran Church of the Cross. The social starts at 6:30pm with the business portion of the meeting starting at 7:00pm.
Finally, I receive occasional notices from residents about coyote sightings within the community. Below is information from Councilman Ed Montanari’s office:
The City of St. Petersburg and Pinellas County Animal Control Services do not handle wildlife trapping. Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC) would be the best point of contact.
Although coyote encounters are increasing in frequency, and even more so with the dissemination of pictures/videos on social media, they do not usually pose a threat to people. The FWC advises keeping trash secure and not leaving food outside for pets. Additionally, they have some hazing practices that can help deter coyotes from urban areas. More information can be found on their website : https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://myfwc.com/conservation/you-conserve/wildlife/coyotes/__;!!KXanIhAVSRGrIOBFHcg!fphYxaILqXgB5NCBBx7dsbDtTjoO_yHugnLnaWM0ZscWmimqeDhIGvO_LB40jtuxEAysZ3u5ueomZp561V3sWvY$
If there is a coyote acting strange, FWC urges residents to contact their local office. We fall under the Southwest Regional Office (863-648-3200).
Other events in our community that we hope you would participate in:
o Holiday Food Truck and Food Drive – Brooke and Craig Kuhl will be hosting a Holiday Food Truck Friday at 2020 Carolina Ave on Friday, 12/16. Donations for the VI Food Drive will be accepted at the Food Truck Friday and on Saturday 12/17 at the corner of Overlook and Grand Canal from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Rumor has it, Santa may make an early appearance!!! All donated food and hygiene items will be given to the St. Pete Free Clinic Food Pantry. Last year we collected nearly 1,500 pounds of donated items.
o Monthly Neighborhood Walks – Join us every fourth Saturday at 9 a.m. for a short walk in the neighborhood led by resident Janice Drinkwine in partnership with Healthy St. Pete. Meet on the corner of Overlook and Grand Canal.
o Career Night – date TBD – We’d like to bring together the many talented professionals in VI and the many high school juniors and seniors and college students who could benefit from their guidance on career opportunities. If you’re involved in a field that you think might be of interest to graduating students, please let me know if you’d be willing to share insights about your position.
In addition to our primary role of enforcing the DRs, the VIHA Board continuously looks for ways to bring our community together and improve the experience of living in VI. If there is an event or activity that you think would be appreciated by VI residents, please let me know and the VIHA Board will try and facilitate it. Please note that all events are funded by donations and sponsorships, not by membership dues.
The entire VIHA Board hopes that you have a joyous, and safe, holiday season!!!!
Rich Scanlon, VIHA President