Riverwood Heron - Riverwoodflorida.org


Riverwood Heron - Riverwoodflorida.org
Riverwood Heron
The Backpack Kidz
I would like to take this opportunity to thank The Riverwood
Myakka Elementary School Backpack Kidz Team for their dedication,
time and support.
The volunteers include Anne Bertsch, Kay Marvin,
Lori MacPhee, Joan Dinning, Geri Kriska, Debbie
Fontaine, Marilyn Hollman, Dee Budd, Sue Rogers,
Susan Tapley, Sherry Favro, Laurel Hopper, Carol
Childs, Maryjo Champion, Lee Winslow, Patsy
Gordley, Mary Davis, Pat Neverett, Sue Rubeo,
Barbara Lancette, Mo Picard, and Marsha Vincent.
These ladies helped pack 165 backpacks for children that would otherwise have gone with little or no
food over the weekend. The results have been very rewarding. Reports
from the teachers state the children no longer come to school on Monday morning hungry and lethargic. They are able to focus and enjoy
their school work.
I would also like to thank all those that generously donated to the
program, including: Riverwood Men Golf Association, BOA Group
155, BOA Group 156, Riverwood Ladies Golf Association, The CAN/
AM Golf Tournament, Diane Paoli’s Diva Golf Group, Debbie Fontaine, Bob and Donata Eggers, Kay Marvin, Sue Rubeo, Helen Altamuro, Mo Gisborne, and Theda’s Tuesday Ladies Group.
Our goal for next year is to add our seventh school and to deliver approximately 1500 backpacks weekly to the seven Charlotte County Elementary Schools. Our projected cost for 2013/2014 will be $225,000.
Our goal beyond 2013/2014 is to add the three remaining Charlotte
County Elementary schools. We will continue to be a 100% volunteer program with all of the money we raise staying in the Charlotte
County school system.
If you would like to become a part of The Riverwood Myakka Elementary School Team, I would greatly welcome you to give me a call
or email me for more details.
With much appreciation,
Theda Bunker
[email protected]
Summer Parties
Summer has been moving along quite quickly here
in Riverwood and you can tell by the parties we have
sponsored. We kicked off the summer with a Memorial Day party to honor our servicemen and women. About 50 residents were in attendance and were
fed by Michelangelo's Restaurant and entertained
by our veterans who shared some VERY funny and
interesting stories. Thanks to Don, Augie and Stan
for their great story telling! The TGIF parties had a
fabulous first evening as we listened to Fred, our tennis pro, tickle the ivories on the piano. Many of our
Riverwood residents joined in singing along with
well-known tunes that Fred played. TGIF parties
will continue EVERY Friday for the summer 5:307:30pm inside.
Directors’ Corner
A “community association” is a residential development in which the owner is bound to
membership in an organization by a set of governing documents that require adherence to a set
of rules and, often, the payment of assessments. Membership in the community association is
automatic upon purchase of a dwelling. Florida Statute 720.301(9) defines a Homeowners Association
as a Florida Corporation responsible for the operation of a Community 720.301(3) (i.e. property that is
subject to a declaration of covenants). A Homeowner’s Association does not include a Community
Development District, which is a local, special purpose government designed for planning and
financing infrastructure required to support community development.
The RCA (Riverwood Community Association) is the homeowner’s association (HOA) within
Riverwood. The RCA was formed to fulfill the Association’s obligations as set forth in the
Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CCR’s) to Riverwood. The Declaration
provides for the RCA to govern the Properties.
RESTRICTIONS (CCR’s) (Declaration)?
CCR’s are created prior to the development of the community association and are recorded with
other real estate documents in the same manner as a deed. The purpose of the CCRs is to establish
rules for living within the association. CCR’s cannot be violated. They are a legal and binding
contract by anyone who chooses to purchase property within the planned community. Unlike
statutes which often only provide minimum standards, CCR’s are typically worded in terms of
what “must” or “shall” be done.
Three major areas of responsibility for the RCA are:
1. Maintenance of common areas: Article VI: Maintenance, Section 6.1 relates to maintaining
landscaping and grounds within Community-Wide Standards. Section 6.2 delegates
maintenance by the RCA of any and all properties owned by the Association and provides
for “common expense to be allocated among all Lots as part of the Common Assessment”.
Section 6.3 allows for a separate agreement between the RCA and RCDD for the association
to maintain property owned by the CDD.
2.Environmental Preservation: Article XI: Section 11.4 “The Association shall be responsible for
implementing and carrying out the Environmental Preservation Guidelines established by the
Declarant….” This section specifically addresses both the Bald Eagle zones and the Gopher
Tortoise preserve. Section 11.4 states that the Association has responsibility for implementing
all environmental guidelines and requirements for maintenance, monitoring, and compliance of
environmental requirements established by all applicable governmental agencies.
3. Construction and Modification Review process. Article XIII: Section 13.2 directs the Board
of Directors to establish Modification Committees. The RCA Modification Committee has
developed policies in accordance with the Covenants to maintain community-wide standards.
These are available on the RCA Website (Riverwoodflorida.org).
The Association Board consists of 5 directors elected by all the residents of Riverwood (one vote/
lot). Directors are elected for two-year terms. The RCA Board is responsible for employing a
Management staff that includes a General Manager, Assistant Manager, and Activities Director.
The RCA Manager is responsible for employing or contracting with additional personnel, such as
security and janitorial staff and the Tennis Director.
The RCA By-laws designate specific Committees to carry out the responsibilities delegated to
the Association. These include the Grounds Committee which has four sub-committees: 1)
Landscaping, 2) Fire-Wise, 3) Environmental and 4) Out-Parcels. The Modification Committee
reviews residents’ requests for changes or additions to their properties to ensure compliance
with community-wide standards and specific restrictions as stated in the Covenants. Other
Committees, including Finance, Activities, Communications, and Safety and Security address
specific governance functions within the community.
The RCA Board of Directors and the Management Staff are available to answer resident questions
regarding the Association, responsibilities, and/or organization.
The Riverwood Heron
By Bill McSharry
A comprehensive Neighborhood
Common Area Landscaping Policy has
been prepared. This policy defines the
responsibility for landscaping in common areas within individual neighborhoods. Both this policy and the Tree
Policy covering addition, trimming and
removal of trees were accepted by the
RCA board, but will be reformatted to
be consistent with current RCA policy.
RCA Board member Tony Stagliano
plans to distribute copies of the Neighborhood Common Area Landscaping
Policy at the next RNC meeting so
that all neighborhood presidents are
aware of it.
Lisenko explained the various means of
communication that residents may use
to make requests for landscape work on
private property. The preferred method
is the on-line work order on the ArtisTree web site. This provides a permanent electronic record at ArtisTree.
Help in using this system is available
from the management office. Paper
work order forms are also available in
the Activity Center. In addition, residents may e-mail Dan ([email protected]) or his assistant Jeff Tamayo
( [email protected]). Dan said he is
willing to attend resident meetings or
neighborhood board meetings, given a
couple of weeks’ notice.
An ArtisTree
representative is
available to meet
with residents from
9:00 to 10:00 AM
every Tuesday at the
Activity Center.
From the RCDD:
By RCDD Board
Ever since it was published in RCDD and RCA meeting notes that a representative of the RCDD had been given authorization to enter into negotiations with Pulte
Homes for the potential purchase of Riverwood Beach Club, we have received an
abundance of email expressing strong opinions on the subject. The RCDD would like
to clarify some of the information and misinformation circulating in the community.
The first thing we would like to clarify is at this point no purchase has been made.
The Board of Supervisors has given one member of the Board the ability to negotiate
with Pulte Homes in order to determine if a reasonable, fiscally-responsible purchase
arrangement can be accomplished. Usually negotiations such as these begin with a
party making a non-binding offer, followed by counter offers, until an agreed-upon
price with suitable terms and conditions can be reached. This is what has occurred so
far with the initial offering of $250,000.
The second point which we would like to clarify is why we would be inclined to
make this purchase. We feel that The Beach Club is a valuable and unique asset and
amenity for our community. Very few communities are able to offer anything comparable to this one-of-a-kind beachfront getaway. We feel that special amenities like this
make Riverwood such a desirable place to live, and although The Beach Club has only
approximately 200 members, many of our neighborhoods, clubs, and organizations
have gatherings there throughout the year. Typically, in communities such as ours,
no one uses every amenity. The Fitness Center, the pool, the croquet court, the bocce
courts, etc., are often used by only a fraction of residents; however, this is certainly no
reason not to offer them to residents. This is especially true of something as rare and
unique as The Beach Club, and our RCDD Board feels compelled, as community
leaders, to do our best to preserve this valuable amenity if at all possible.
Of course, no purchase would take place until the Board or its representatives
complete an extensive due diligence. This would include not only details related to the
property, but also a comprehensive plan on how the facility would be operated.
We hope this answers some of the questions surrounding this issue and, as always,
all of the RCDD supervisors welcome email and feedback via our RCDD email addresses posted on our website.
By Russ Hoffman
Riverwood’s 2013 Firewise Day was held April 8 and was attended by about
45 residents. Presentations were made by Pat Mahoney of the Florida Forestry
Service, Bill Van Helden of the Charlotte Office of Emergency Management,
Riverwood Environmental Manager Russ Hoffman and Firewise Committee
Chairman Dan Chamberlain. The Charlotte County Fire Department was also
represented. Presentations covered a wide range of safety topics, including not
only fire safety and the use of home fire extinguishers, but also hazardous waste
disposal, smoke alarms, hurricane safety and the proper use of generators in case
of power outage.
The greatest interest was generated by a discussion about the prescribed burn
planned for the preserve area south of Club Drive between The Reserve neighborhood and the “big lake” at the end of Rivermarsh Drive. The burn is expected
to take place in the spring of 2014 after the eagles that nest in this area leave.
Prescribed burns are an environmental management tool used to reduce the
amount of fuel in the form of dead vegetation. This reduces the likelihood of
catastrophic wildfire. A prescribed burn is carried out according to a written
plan which has been approved by a responsible authority. The plan includes
specific weather conditions and a list of fire control equipment which must be on
site. The burn does not take place unless all requirements are met
The Riverwood Heron
Prescribed Burns
in Riverwood?
By Russ Hoffman
Riverwood plans to resume prescribed burns to control vegetative growth in some preserves. The first prescribed burn would take place during summer 2014 in
the eagle nest preserve between Club Drive and the big
lake. The goal is to restore a healthier, more sustainable
environment for plant life and animals found within this
naturalized area and make Riverwood safer from wildfire.
The purpose of this article as well as several planned
community meetings is to: address residents’ concerns
and describe the goals and procedures of prescribed
burns. The first town hall meeting will be held in the
fall. Florida Forest Service and Charlotte County Fire
Department staff will be on hand to describe the process
and answer questions.
Fire has been an important part of nature since time
began, especially in southwest Florida. It has sculpted
our land and helped to keep our flora and fauna healthy
for thousands of years.
In the early 1900s, forest services and land managers felt that the best way to preserve natural areas was
to suppress all fire outbreaks. Smokey the Bear told us
“Only you can prevent forest fires.” We all grew up hearing that all fires are bad.
We have since learned that many trees and grass species require fire, not only to prosper, but also to propagate. Without periodic fire, forest floors become full of
fallen trees and native plants start to disappear. They are
replaced by exotic (non-native) invasive plants which
further disturb the ecosystem. Now, Smokey says, “Only
you can prevent wildfires,” and the forest service conducts more prescribed burns than anyone else.
We expect resident concerns may include human and
wildlife safety, smoke management and landscape aesthetics. All concerns will be addressed at meetings and
in future Heron articles.
While the state eagle biologists, the fire department
and the forest service are anxious to resume prescribed
burns, we know that some residents are unfamiliar with
the practice. We want to respect everyone and answer
every question.
Centex successfully used control burns in past years
to reduce grass and brush in several preserves in Riverwood. Our mission is to enhance the natural beauty of
Riverwood and protect it from wildfire so that all residents and visitors may enjoy our community.
Both the Riverwood Community Association and
the Riverwood Community Development District
boards want your input. Feel free to email a comment or
question to [email protected] We will post
answers on the Riverwood website and in future Heron
receive 10%
off first order
‧Interior Design
‧Home Furnishings
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Brian’s Cell 941-276-0558
530 Rusty Marshall Drive
Englewood, FL 94243
(941) 473-3800
State Cert. CPC# 1457537
To advertise in The
Riverwood Heron,
contact Cheryl at
941-764-6663 Ext. 222
or email
[email protected]
“It’s my pleasure to serve the Riverwood Community”
Mark Fanstill (Rental Coordinator), Jan Fanstill (Agent), Anne Fowler (Agent),
Anita Baltierra (Broker/Owner), Debbie Venezia (Agent), Gina Iacone (Broker Associate), Greg Fabos (Agent)
4250 Riverwood Drive
Port Charlotte, FL 33953
Fashion Show
Funds Support
Local Charities
BOA Group #155 has designated funds from
the March Fashion Show to go the following
five Port Charlotte charities:
• $2,500 to Harry Chapin Food Bank
• $1,000 to Virginia B. Andes Volunteer Clinic
• $1,000 to YMCA Community Kids
• $1,000 to Backpack Kidz
• $500 to Sneakers for Kids
A Huge Thank You to everyone who contributed to the Fashion Show and helped make these
donations possible. You are awesome!
By Fish & Wildlife
Alligator Safety
In Florida, the growing number of people
living and recreating near water has led to a
steady rise in the number of alligator-related
complaints. Never feed alligators - It’s
dangerous and illegal. When fed, alligators
can overcome their natural wariness and
learn to associate people with food. When
this happens licensed State of Florida agents
will remove the nuisance alligator to a “gator
farm” where it is either kept for breeding
purposes, sent on to a natural habitat exhibit
or destroyed if it is dangerous to humans.