Dear VI Residents:
After a relatively “quiet” period in VI over the past several months, there was another auto theft this past weekend from the Carolina block. The vehicle was unlocked and still close enough to the key fob that the car could be started and driven away. If you have a key fob rather than keys I suggest you do what I did this afternoon: unlock your car, leave your key fobs where you usually do in your home and see if the car starts by just pushing the “Start” button. My fob was far enough away that the car did not start.
On the same night at about the same time there was a burglary to another unlocked car on Carolina Ave. and a firearm was taken from the vehicle. Please remember to remove all valuables, including firearms, from your car and make sure your car doors are locked at all times.
We had our first in-person VIHA General Meeting in January with the primary objectives of (i) providing attendees a review of 2021 and an overview of 2022; (ii) electing the VIHA Board for 2022 which includes 3 new members and, most importantly, (iii) describing the Deed Restriction (“DR”) revision process.
One of the things that Board and committee members have heard from VI property owners is that the Deed Restrictions (DR)s are “out of date,” etc… The Deed Restriction Revision Committee (“DRRC”) has been working hard over the course of the past 2+ years to identify DRs that need to be amended, eliminated or added and we are now ready to put the recommended changes out to vote by the community. As I wrote in my January President’s Letter, the decision was made to present 3 DR revisions per ballot rather than including all the proposed revisions at once. The three DRs that are included in the first ballot that you received a couple of weeks ago include:
Deed Restriction 03 – defines all setbacks and aligns with City Code.
Deed Restriction 13 – defines ARC approval requirements for exterior improvements
Deed Restriction 53 – fences, a new DR, defines materials and heights of fences
Note that DR 53 was previously approved but because of the “Revitalization” of the DRs that was completed in 2021, it must be balloted and approved again. The only changes to what was approved previously for DR 53 is to make the measurements clearer. The full list of current DRs can be accessed on our website at http://www.ourvi.org/deed-restrictions.html.
As a reminder, to amend, add or delete any DR requires the consent of 66.67% of the property owners in VI. Any ballot that is not returned is counted as a “no” vote. To date we have received completed ballots back from 44% of the VI property owners. If you have not returned your ballot, you will likely be contacted by a VIHA volunteer to make sure you received the ballot and, if you did, whether your failure to return the ballot was intended to be a “no” vote on these DR revisions. In the event that we do not receive the required 66.67% approval of the VI property owners that does not mean that these three DRs are eliminated or will not be enforced, it simply means that the changes that have been requested by the community will not be implemented and the DRs as currently worded will stand. As an example, if DR 53 is not passed then chain link fences will remain the only fencing option that can be installed in VI rather than the more attractive fencing materials that would be allowed under the revised DR (and that were previously allowed after the initial passage of DR 53 in 2015 until the Revitalization in 2021).
As you drive into any of the three entrances to VI, I hope you will notice the “No Soliciting” signs that have been posted. These signs a result of an incident reported by a property owner involving a door-to-door solicitor she felt uncomfortable with. Now that the signs are posted, the St. Pete Police Department (SPPD) has the authority to investigate any similar incidents. Please report them to the SPPD non-emergency line 727-893-7780 and they will send an officer to investigate.
I am still planning “VIHA Board Members in the House,” smaller meetings of Board members with residents of each street to hear of your concerns or ideas as to how to improve life in VI. Please contact me if you would be interested in hosting a meeting for your street in your home or on your lanai.
A couple of dates for you to put into your calendar:
Finally, many thanks to the 306 (59%) property owners who have paid their 2022 VIHA dues so far. Instructions for paying your dues can be found at http://www.ourvi.org/pay-dues.html. The 2022 dues are $200.00 and are the primary source of funding for all the VIHA activities including DR enforcement, beautification, utilities, insurance and other operating expenses. Your support is very much appreciated and necessary to keep up the appearance of our community.
Enjoy the spring, which is one of the most beautiful times of the year in VI.