SSPOA General Membership
Meeting – April 24, 2018
Call to order and Pledge of Allegiance – 6:28 p.m., Attendance 32
No new members attending tonight’s meeting.
Sheriff’s Report – Capt. Donnie Catala and Lt. Dennis Coleman presented the report. Once again Capt. Catala told us Sugarloaf Key is a very safe community. He talked about the wildfire in Big Pine Key that burned about 75 acres over this past weekend. A military Black Hawk aircraft dumped 660 gallon buckets of water over the hot spots on Sunday night. Only a couple of homes were damaged.
Lt. Dennis Coleman mentioned that the key deer are moving farther south including into Sugarloaf Key in search of fresh water. Please be careful driving to protect the deer.
Treasurer’s Report – SSPOA has $17,100 income from dues, $2,555.00 in expenses for a net income of $11,508.51.
Membership – Cindy Urban reported we now have 339 members.
Stephen Patten was appointed to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council in the alternate citizen-at-large position for the Lower Keys. Members representing diverse stakeholder interests ensure public participation in sanctuary management.
Cindy mentioned that local resident, Will Benson, is the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary volunteer of the year.
Cindy reminded the members that Keys Energy Services tree giveaway is Saturday, April 28th either at the Cudjoe substation or at the James Street office.
Social – Jack Marchant announced the first social for next season will be held October 18 at the Sugarloaf Lodge Tiki Bar. Jack will be changing the menu from spiral ham to roast beef sliders. There will be two more socials scheduled for January 17 and March 7, 2019. An email reminder will be sent closer to the date. The potential dates for the Holiday Party are Sunday, December 9 or 16. Location to be determined.
General Membership meetings for next season are October 30, November 27, January 29, February 26 and March 26. It was decided the April meeting would not be held. Board of Directors meetings are open to all members and will be held on the third Tuesday of each month. The Board Of Directors meeting dates will be Sept 18, Oct. 16, Nov. 20, Dec. 18, Jan.15, Feb.19, Mar. 19, Apr. 16, and May 21, 2019. Location to be determined.
Marine /Environmental – Peter Reveno informed the group there is an abundant amount of grass in the Tarpon Creek approach extending into the back country towards the Gulf.
Beautification – Huguet Pameijer informed the group that a new maintenance contract has been signed with Peter Mitrega. Huguet spoke to Julie Cheon of FKAA about plantings around the list stations. New guidelines will be forthcoming soon. Huguet met with Judith Clarke of Monroe County regarding SSPOA’s restoration plans. The County will assume responsibility for the grading of the Right of Way between the road and the bike path, as proposed in Phase 2.
Public Policy – Stuart Schaffer spoke of proposals regarding Goal 109. This program would accelerate the development of workforce housing by increasing the density of suburban commercial by 50% which would increase the workforce housing density along a good portion of US1 in the Lower Keys from 18 units per acre to 27. Goal 109 also would modify the process whereby affected residents could object to these projects. There is another proposal that would increase density for affordable housing projects on hotel/motel property. All these could affect our community. SSPOA has already taken a position against these proposals. The Monroe County BOCC will be considering them at upcoming meetings.
SSPOA will be asking its membership to send emails to the BOCC opposing certain of the Goal 109 proposals. The letters should be individually written not just a resend of the SSPOA request.
Stuart updated the group on the Sugarloaf Bridge Reconstruction. The Federal government will not be covering costs so the County will have to pick up all expenses. They are still considering whether to elevate the bridge by an additional 12 inches.
Post Irma Debris Removal update – The owners of six lots have said they are willing to discuss their use in the cleanup of the canals. The sonar inspection did not find a significant amount of debris in our canals.
US 1 and Sugarloaf Boulevard canal restoration - A feasibility study is being performed by an engineering firm and a draft of the report should be received by early May.
The SSPOA Board is opposed to the proposed 1000 foot tower on Blimp Road which was intended to improve communications in post storm situations. It was felt it would not be effective in this situation.
Discussion was held regarding the gated community appeal in Key Largo. There is a proposed single house community petitioning the County for a waiver of the vacation rental regulations. SSPOA weighed in to oppose the appeal.
SSPOA is also watching the Floating vacation rental situation. Because they are not on land, they are arguably exempt from the 28 day restriction.
Pam Pameijer updated us on the Hurricane Preparedness Guide . Pam thanked all members who sent input. Once it is completed, it was proposed to make it available on the SSPOA website and in the Sugarloafer.
SSPOA is requesting volunteers to assist with the move of the newsletter from print to electronic. If you are interested please email email@example.com.
If anyone has a pontoon boat they would like to donate to SSPOA, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. This boat would be available for canal clean up and mangrove trimming.
It was requested that anybody with ham radio experience let a member of the Board know by emailing email@example.com. This could be valuable help to improve communications during a hurricane event.
Huguet Pameijer presented the Beautification Plan pulled together by the committee consisting of David Bellenger, Mary Olson, Cindy Urban and Nora Laubenstein. The plan is a three phase plan as follows:
Phase 1.The replanting of coconut palm trees along the Boulevard. Presently there are 129 trees at the South or East side and 97 on the West or North side. Twenty-eight trees are missing on the South side. Five trees are missing on the North side near the power lines and would be replanted depending on the homeowner’s preference.
Phase 2. Replanting of 7 coconut palms behind the South Point Drive entry walls. Seek permission from Monroe County for grading and laying sod along Boulevard bike path.
Phase 3. Replant Royal palms on the North side of South Point Drive and bougainvilleas to flank the entry walls. Organize a sign at the entrance to Sugarloaf Boulevard identifying the area.
The implementation of this plan will rely on the help of property owners along the Boulevard to water new vegetation and generally be vigilant during the initial establishment period. The committee will implement an Adopt-a-Tree program to ensure the trees are watered. The watering schedule for new trees during the first week is 20 gallons of water every other day, at month 1 - 20 gallons twice a week, at month 2 - 20 gallons once a week and thereafter as needed in periods of drought.
The committee presented cost options for Phase I of the Beautification plan. Options presented were:
1. Purchase from Home Depot @ $600, installation by SSPOA contracted landscaper.
2. Purchase from mainland, volunteers transport, install, brace trees of 6 foot trunk. Cost @ $2, 520.00 or more, rental of truck, materials and equipment.
3. Purchase from BayShore Nursery 28 trees 7-8 Feet overall @ $ 95.00 ea, plus installation costs for total $4,000.00.
The membership voted to authorize the SSPOA board to approve the expenditure of up to $8,000.00 for the purchase of larger, more mature trees for Phase 1. Motion Made by Bill Hunter, seconded by Stephan Patten. Members approved. The board will consider an implementation plan at its May meeting.
Adjourned at 8 p.m.
SSPOA General Membership
Meeting – Feb. 23, 2016
Call to order and Pledge of Allegiance – Vice President Darrell Dye called the meeting to order at 6:33 p.m. and led the pledge.
Introduction of new members in attendance – Bill Wasson (Jamaica Lane)
Introduction of guests in attendance – Vera Vasek and Phil Frank from the Upper Sugarloaf Residents Association
Sheriff's Report – No report.
Guest Speaker – Monroe County Senior Director of Code Compliance Cynthia McPherson and vacation rental inspector Francie Boellard explained that they have offices on Stock Island, Marathon and Key Largo addressing illegal waste disposal, noise ordinance violations, illegal vacation rentals, abandoned vehicles, canal blockages, unlicensed contractors and other concerns with four inspectors in the Lower Keys. A new ordinance addresses “unreasonable” noise and does not rely on a decibel level. Construction is limited to 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday. Property owners are expected to maintain vegetation so as not to pose a navigable hazard in residential canals. They get a 30-day courtesy notice (60-day notice for mangroves due to permitting) before a judge sets a compliance deadline, after which daily fines and liens are leveled. Drones must be registered with the county, but are not currently addressed by code compliance. Inspector Boellard investigates suspected vacation rentals on evenings and weekends and reports several cases in Sugarloaf Shores of rentals of less than 28 days. Anonymous complaints should include the address, activity and advertising. The office sends 4-7 rental cases to court monthly. If violators admit guilt, agree to costs and comply with a cease and desist order, they are given additional time to remove Internet advertising. Code compliance routinely cooperates with the county tax office to get results. Contact Lower Keys Code Compliance at 305-292-4495, McPherson at 305-289-2508, firstname.lastname@example.org or Boellard at 305-289-2589, email@example.com. Noise and other disturbances should be reported to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office nonemergency line 305-745-3184.
Treasurer’s Report – Jan Diamondstone reported a net income of $7,013.57 since the beginning of the season in December with more membership dues expected. The Vanguard savings account balance was approximately $54,000 having drawn it down only $6,000 to pay for sewer protest expenses. The remaining cost of approximately $25,000 was taken from the general operating account.
Membership/Social Committee – Cindy Urban reported 311 members with a goal of 350. The February social drew 103.
Beautification Committee - Darrell Dye noted orders for more than 300 bags of fertilizer. Lift station landscaping is partially complete by the sewer contractor. More work days will be scheduled for the South Point entrance and the Sugarloaf Blvd. bridge.
Public Policy Committee – Stuart Schaffer reported that he will continue the push to get the Heritage Trail completed although no funding is available in 2016. And the goal is to get the county more involved in canal restoration along the culvert at the Sugarloaf Blvd entrance.
Marine/Environmental Committee – A chair and members are still needed.
Shallow sewer well water quality monitoring – Jan Diamondstone asked the membership to authorize up to $6,000 over 12 months for independent water quality testing in the locations agreed upon with Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority. The other half of the cost is being covered by Cudjoe Gardens POA, our partner in the shallow well protest. Cornelis Pameijer seconded the motion. Approved with no objections.
Sugarloaf Shores water quality monitoring – SSPOA member Diane Johnson joined Florida Extension Service sea grant agent Shelly Krueger in explaining ongoing testing at six canal sites in Sugarloaf Shores. Every other month, water is tested for nitrogen, phosphorous, chlorophyll, dissolved oxygen, salinity and more. High levels of nitrogen were reported only five times 1999-2014, but current readings are consistently high due to a variety of causes including fertilizer runoff.
Board Elections – Cindy Urban read the slate of officers and asked for further nominations. Hearing none, the following board members were elected:
President Chuck Licis
Vice President Darrell Dye
Secretary Gena Parsons
Treasurer Michelle McCann (replacing Jan Diamondstone)
Past President Bill Hunter
Board Member Mia Howe
Board Member Jack Marchant
Board Member Cornelis Pameijer
New board member and PPC Chair Stuart Schaffer (replacing Cindy Urban)
Next general membership meeting – March 29, 2016 at 6:30 p.m., social at 6 p.m. with the guest speaker being Judy Clarke, Monroe County Engineering Director, seeking input on replacement of the Sugarloaf Blvd. bridge.
Adjourned at 8:20 p.m.
SSPOA General Membership
Meeting – January 26, 2016
Call to order and Pledge of Allegiance – President Chuck Licis called the meeting to order at 6:31 p.m., and led the pledge.
Sheriff's Report – Several members of the MCSO were present, including Sheriff Rick Ramsey. He reported that crime was down 8.3% in Monroe County in 2015 and a total of 26.7% since he took office. Reminder that most crimes in our neighborhood are crimes of opportunity, so remember to lock your car.
Treasurer’s Report – Jan Diamondstone reported at this time there is about $1400 in new income in the checking account.
Membership/Social Committee – Cindy Urban reported that membership is at 268 and still receiving more applications daily. Current members will be listed in the February Sugarloafer. She announced the Feb. social date was changed to Thursday, February 18, at the Sugarloaf Lodge Tiki Bar 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Beautification Committee - Darrell Dye reported that fertilizer is on sale and can be ordered until Feb. 17. There are two kinds - palm special & super fruit. He reminded members that this sale is only once a year and for members only. He talked about the success of community work days and invited members to please join in and help. Work still needs to be finished on the south side of the bridge on Sugarloaf Blvd. The county cleaned up around bridge after we worked there and it will be now easier to mow. A new royal palm will be purchased to replace a dead tree at South Point entrance. It has been brought up to the committee that there are several fire ant nests on the bike path. Once sewers are complete, beautification around the pump stations will begin.
Public Policy Committee – No Report
Election – 2016 SSPOA Board slate of officers was presented (see copy in the Feb. Sugarloafer) and will be voted on at the February meeting.
Next general membership meeting – Feb.23, 2016, at 6:30 p.m., social at 6 p.m.
Guest Speaker –Judy Clarke, Director of Engineering for Monroe County will discuss the new bridge with bike path on the boulevard.
Speakers - There were many Monroe County Representatives at the Meeting: Commissioner George Neugent, County Administrator Roman Gastesi, Asst. County Administrator Kevin Wilson, Kevin Maddox, Christine Hurley, growth management director, Cynthia McPherson, code compliance, Mitzi Crystal, transportation planner, Mayte Santamaria, planning and environmental services and Kevin Maddox. Also present was Fire Chief Callahan.
Commissioner Neugent – It will be a great new year. Tourists account for 52% of the infrastructure tax. Our traffic problems seem to be the only problems.
*The Canal Restoration Project was brought up and Neugent said the culvert at the entrance to Sugarloaf Blvd. is not one of the canals in the project. He wondered why we were worried about that culvert. Is it for beautification of our entrance? FDOT is not responsible and the county doesn’t know what its role is supposed to be. Sue Hadden, who was SSPOA president 18 years ago, said SSPOA had made the same request then to no avail. Now, due to the buildup of mangroves and muck, it is much more complicated matter as DEP has to be involved because of mitigation and removal of mangroves. Colin Hannaford stated the muck here is much worse than Big Pine and Geiger Key, both of which are in the canal project.
*Neugent talked about the Trauma Star Helicopter Stickers, warning the stickers do not protect you 100% from being transported on the privately-owned Lifenet Helicopter when Trauma Star is unavailable. He recommended insurance, which he said is relatively cheap, to cover the expense of Lifenet if necessary.
*Yard and solid waste pickup was brought up by a resident. Neugent would be willing to discuss changing yard waste to two days and solid to one.
*He was questioned about completion of the four-mile stretch of the Heritage Trail through Sugarloaf. He said $7 million is needed and DEP is responsible for trail and for getting funds from FDOT. Four fishing bridges are to be reopened. It was suggested to forget landscaping and use those funds for completing projects.
Roman Gastesi - Stated the county budget was going very well.
Chief Callahan – Callahan reiterated the county's desire to keep the firehouse where it is. The county still won't touch the building and property with an active agreement with Keys WiFi and they won't take the property if it includes a cell tower and support structure.
Kevin Wilson – Problems from the sewer project are constantly being fixed.
Christina Hurley discussed the 35-foot height limit and who qualifies for higher heights due to rising water levels. Homes in AE flood zones are not eligible to be raised to the new limit. She said we should request a letter of understanding regarding the Sugarloaf Lodge.
Adjourned at 8:15 p.m
SSPOA General Membership
Meeting – Dec. 1, 2015
Call to order and Pledge of Allegiance – President Chuck Licis called the meeting to order at 6:31 p.m., led the pledge, and asked for a moment of silence for World AIDs Day.
Introduction of new members in attendance – None.
Sheriff's Report – Capt. Don Hiller’s introduced his new second-in-command at the Cudjoe Substation. Lt. Donnie Catala is a Conch and 27-year employee of MCSO. They reported a slow time for crime in our area following arrests of marine burglars that are allegedly part of a larger crime network on Florida’s East coast. With the recent rash of car burglaries in Key Haven, residents were reminded to lock their cars and homes so as not to present crimes of opportunity. Security cameras and motion detector lights also deter criminals. Residents should report suspicious persons to MCSO using 911 or the nonemergency number 305-289-2351. The Sheriff’s Office cleaned up the Loop Road during the summer including painting over graffiti on the bridge and will return upon request.
Treasurer’s Report – In Jan Diamondstone’s absence, Chuck reported Dec. 2014-Nov. 2015, a total income of $34,143.72 and total expenses of $35,940.67 putting the general fund balance at -$1,796.95 ahead of membership dues starting to be collected in December. The Vanguard savings account balance was $59,891.
Membership/Social Committee – In Cindy Urban’s absence, Chuck reported that membership renewal letters will be mailed in early December. Members are encouraged to return their $50 fee ASAP. Jack Marchant reported that the SSPOA holiday party will be at the Sugarloaf Tiki Bar, 1-3 p.m. on Dec. 6 with 11 appetizers, free mimosas and a cash bar. A crowd of 75-80 is anticipated. Jack noted that the event was held last year at Kaya’s, but the new owners of the Fish restaurant declined to offer their services.
Beautification Committee - Darrell Dye tentatively set Dec. 14 as the cleanup day for the South Point entrance to remove recent regrowth of invasive species, trim palms and apply mulch. Members will receive an email asking for assistance with this project and a future cleanup to remove invasive species around the Sugarloaf Blvd bridge. Sewer system lift station landscaping will commence once FKAA completes its work including placing blocks around the lift stations. Members will be able to order palm and fruit fertilizer at a reduced rate through SSPOA in January with delivery in February. Cindy Urban and Donna Dye are trying to arrange garden tours in Sugarloaf Shores for early 2016 with the assistance of the Key West Garden Club. Interested parties should contact Cindy or Donna or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, next year, SSPOA hopes to sponsor a holiday decorating contest.
Public Policy Committee – Chuck issued a call for a new committee chair to work with county officials to address issues important to our community. Interested individuals should contact Chuck at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Chuck, Bill Hunter and Donna Dye spoke at the November county commission meeting in opposition to the Ragnar Relay due to safety concerns particularly in areas such as Sugarloaf where the Heritage Trail has yet to be completed.
Sewer Settlement – To settle the accounting associated with the SSPOA/CGPOA petition, members were asked to approve $5,631.25 for payments to the lawyer, paralegal and engineering consultant. Since that amount was $2,201.81 beyond the $20,000 authorized in July, member approval was required. A motion made by Cornelis Pameijer was seconded by Bill Hunter and approved unanimously.
Sewer Connections – Continued infrastructure delays will postpone our notices to connect until first quarter 2016 and possibly as late as the middle of 2016. However, property owners are encouraged to contact contractors now to get on the waiting list. Visit http://cudjoewastewater.com/ for information on the permitting process, a list of contractors, how-to guides and more. Update: On Dec. 3, FKAA Executive Director Kirk Zuelch stated that 120+ properties have been connected and all pump stations should be operational by Dec. 31.
Fire House – SLVFD board member Bob Adair reported no progress in the volunteer association getting out of a contract with Keys Wi-Fi for a cell phone tower onsite that county fire officials say prohibits rebuilding the fire house at the current location. Plans for a flagpole-style stealth tower would require less county approval. The SLVFD Association is considering other options for the property, however, members questioned deed restrictions. Members of the SSPOA board will continue to work with the firefighters to seek a solution. Bill Eardley suggested a SSPOA resolution and petition against the cell tower.
Upper Sugarloaf Key Residents Association – Chuck noted the newly-formed group that could serve as a sister organization similar to Cudjoe Gardens POA.
Board Nominations – SSPOA is now taking nominations for the 2016-17 Board of Directors. Nominations should be made to email@example.com or at the January meeting.
Next general membership meeting – Jan. 26, 2016 at 6:30 p.m., social at 6 p.m.
Guest Speaker – Monroe County Tax Collector Danise Henriquez and staffers Pam and Jessica outlined their aggressive approach to illegal vacation rentals. Since the tax collector’s office took oversight of the Tourist Development Tax from the county clerk’s office on Jan. 1, 2015, it has cleared 988 of 1088 cases using tools including property liens, bank account seizures and referral for prosecution to the state attorney. The result is $180,000 in previously uncollected tax revenue. Bright orange notices went out with tax bills informing 55,000 property owners about the need for compliance. Staff monitor websites such as airbnb.com and craigslist.com for illegal transient rentals and fraud. The burden is on the property owner to prove the sales and TDC tax has been paid. The tax office works with the Tourist Development Council, municipalities and code enforcement to target illegal activity. A new phone line – 1-855-422-4540 – takes tips and callers can remain anonymous. Tips can also be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sections A through F of Sugarloaf Shores (all of the compact residential areas), are zoned improved subdivision, which prohibits rentals of less than 28 days. Owners are required to have an occupational license, pay 12.5% combined sales (7.5%) and TDC (5%) tax, and not claim a homestead exemption on the property.
Adjourned at 7:44 p.m.
Oct. 27, 2015
Call to order and Pledge of Allegiance – Chuck Licis called the meeting to order at 6:29 p.m.
Introduction of board members – Present: President Chuck Licis, VP Darrell Dye, Secretary Gena Parsons, Past President Bill Hunter and members Cornelis Pameijer and Jack Marchant. Absent: Treasurer Jan Diamondstone, members Cindy Urban and Mia Howe
Introduction of new members in attendance – Ila Sutton DeAbreu, Joshua Peele, Fred Redmond, Cindy and Shawn Verne, and newly-active members Fred and Barbara Newman.
Sheriff's Report – In Capt. Don Hiller’s absence, Deputy Emil LaVache reported no major incidents on Sugarloaf. He reminded members of the Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm open 1-3 p.m. on 2nd and 4th Sundays. Nonemergency calls to MCSO: 305-289-2351.
Treasurer’s Report – In Jan Diamondstone’s absence, Chuck reported that SSPOA has sufficient funds including $59,000 in a Vanguard account from which we will be paying sewer project legal fees, if approved by membership at the next meeting. Members can expect further communication once total expenses are calculated.
Membership/Social Committee – No report due to Cindy Urban’s absence. Jack Marchant reported that the holiday party will be either be at the new Fish restaurant (formerly Kaya) or a catered event from Chef Dave (Sugarloaf Pizza) and Chef Jack adjacent to the Sugarloaf Tiki Bar.
Beautification Committee - Darrell Dye reported that the county has mowed the right-of-way and is continuing to trim coconut palms. Volunteers will be requested via email for continuing island maintenance including cleanup at the South Point entrance and around the Sugarloaf Blvd. bridge. Sewer system lift station landscaping will commence once FKAA finishes. Members can order palm and fruit fertilizer at a reduced rate through SSPOA once annually in January with delivery in February.
Public Policy Committee – Chuck issued a call for a new committee chair to work with county officials to address issues important to our community. Interested individuals should contact Chuck at email@example.com.
Marine Committee – A chair and members are needed to revive this committee to take on issues such as canal restoration, in particular, the flow-through at US1 and Sugarloaf Blvd that has become chocked with mangroves and debris. Contact Chuck at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fire House – Monroe County Fire Chief Mike Callahan and administrators assure us they still plan to build a new fire station on Lower Sugarloaf. Their desire to build on the existing site has been stymied by the SLVFD’s pending contract with a cell tower company that would encumber the property and restrict the size of the new facility. The SSPOA Board will increase contact with the volunteers to try to expedite the process rather than have the county locate the new station on an alternate site such as near the entrance to South Point.
Sewer Settlement – As reported to members via email, Facebook, sugarloafer.org and the media, SSPOA settled with Monroe County, FKAA and DEP over use of the shallow injection wells at the new Cudjoe Regional wastewater treatment plant. The agreement allows for use of the shallow wells while the deep well is built over the next year. Flow will be restricted to 50% of projections with suspension of invitations to connect if significant contamination is detected during required monthly monitoring. SSPOA also won approval for a dedicated generator as power backup for the deep well. Volunteers will be needed to help make sure FKAA conducts the required monitoring of nearshore waters.
Sewer Connections – Invitations to connect could go out to Sugarloaf Shores property owners in late November/early December meaning we would be charged the base amount of $28 beginning January 1 and the base plus flow calculated on water usage starting in February. Homeowners have 30 days to connect. Property owners are encouraged to begin the permit process and/or contractor hiring now, although our actual hook-up date could be pushed back due to infrastructure completion delays. Visit http://cudjoewastewater.com/ for information on the permitting process, a list of contractors, how-to guides and more. FKAA is expected to hold an informational meeting specifically for Sugarloaf after invitations go out.
Sewer Project Paving – The hike and bike path paving is complete. SSPOA is approaching the county about continued issues of pooling water on South Point and on certain streets.
Heritage Trail –FDoT is planning landscaping, but no funds are budgeted to complete the trail through our area despite a fatal bicycle accident this year.
Bridge Reconstruction – Sugarloaf Boulevard bridge is due to be replaced in a few years with the county open to widening the roadway to include a hike/bike path.
Neighborhood Courtesy – Remember to pick up after your dog and prevent a barking dog from becoming a nuisance. Noise complaints should be addressed to county code enforcement. Illegal rentals should be reported to the tax collector’s office, which has been successful over the past year checking for licensing and tax payments. On Sugarloaf, the minimum rental allowed is 28 days.
Palm Mold – A resident ask about the mold growing on the boulevard’s coconut palms and spreading into yards. The county extension agent should be able to help assess the problem.
Marine Thefts – With recent arrests, thefts have abated, but FWC Officer and resident Steve Dion reported that the investigation continues.
Loop Road – Since the Johnson property conveyed to the state, cleanup has commenced, but more is needed.
Sammy Creek cleanup – SSPOA will check into getting a prisoner detail to clean up high tide debris.
Next general membership meeting – Dec. 1, 2015 at 6:30 p.m., social at 6 p.m.
Adjourned at 7:44 p.m.
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SSPOA General Membership Meeting
April 28, 2015
Call to order and Pledge of Allegiance – President Chuck Licis opened the meeting at 6:32 p.m.
Introduction of new members in attendance – Andrew McDurmon on Coral Drive.
Sheriff’s report – Capt. Don Hiller once again assured us that we have a “really safe neighborhood” and reported only minor crimes of opportunity such as fishing gear being stolen. He encouraged residents to continue to call in suspicious vehicles like the mobile auto repair van recently reported. A deputy on each shift comes through our neighborhood at least once daily. Residents can file a premises check request with the Sheriff’s Office to have deputies keep a close eye on their property while they are away. He noted that our newly-paved roads are resulting in speeding and the SO will place radar signs along Sugarloaf Blvd. He also reminded us that medications and flares can be dropped off at the Cudjoe substation for proper disposal.
Treasurer’s report – Jan Diamondstone reported an income of $12,483 since Dec. 1, 2014.
Membership and Social Committee – Cindy Urban reported 339 members. Approximately 90 people attended the April social. The next social will be in December.
Beautification Committee – Darrell Dye reported on the cleanup of the South Point entrance. Volunteers removed Florida holly and other invasive species. Herbicide will be applied and the area will be mulched and gravel will be placed behind the sign. Invasives will also be removed at the Sugarloaf Blvd. bridge. The boulevard palms are in good condition, and Darrell is watching for whiteflies which have been seen in neighborhood yards. He recommended residents apply systemic now. When work on the lift stations is complete, the landscape design committee will submit a plan to the county for making the area more visually appealing.
Public Policy Committee report
Sugarloaf Fire Station - Bill Hunter reported that the SLVFD and the county remain at an impasse with the volunteer firefighters’ association holding to its lease for the cell tower and its offer to deed the building and lease the land to the county for a new fire station. He also noted that the cell tower company has not yet made application to the county for a regular tower or a stealth tower, either of which would take up 18% of the usable space on the property and possibly prevent a new firehouse from being built at the current location. Bill and the SSPOA board will continue to monitor the situation and convey the concerns of the community.
Discussion among the board and members led to concern that if an agreement cannot be reached with the SLVFD, that the county will consider an alternative site. Jan stated that Good family property at the entrance to South Point is under consideration and that, as a South Point resident, she does not want the firehouse there. Some SSPOA members voiced dismay that the volunteer firefighters would not take into account the desires of the community that has supported it for decades. One member declared that the firefighters will not be able to count on donations from the community because of how they have handled this situation. (Visit www.sugarloafer.org or the SSPOA Facebook page for further updates.)
County height limits - Bill reported that the county has held one public hearing on the proposal to raise the height limit on buildings and another meeting is scheduled for May. He will continue to monitor and promote the SSPOA position that the height limit should not increase.
Canal restoration – Colin Hanneford was commended for taking the lead on this issue. He said a report showed the water quality “good” in canals south of the Sugarloaf Blvd. bridge, “medium” in the next set of canals with “poor” quality in the canals closest to US1 due to lack of flow-through. FDoT contracts maintenance of the canal/culvert on the boulevard at US1 to ICA – Intrastructure Corps. Of America, which says it will send a representative to inspect the culvert and determine needed repairs. Colin is convinced that we would have better canal water quality if we had better flow-through at that point in addition to the cut (the bridge) between the sounds. It was also noted that the canal at the bridge over Shore Drive is being choked off by mangroves and that efforts should be made to alleviate that situation as well.
Sewer Project – Chuck Licis and Jan Diamondstone reported that the county approved funding a deep well that will take at least two years to complete due to permitting, bids, etc. Startup of the plant is uncertain. SSPOA is encouraging additional testing and analysis to establish a baseline and better determine the effect the shallow wells will have if the plant is put into operation prior to the deep well being finished. Jan added that there is a growing movement to slow down the process of connections using the shallow wells until more study can be done and we receive reasonable assurance that the wells will not pollute nearshore waters, but that FKAA appears unwilling to conduct further testing. At present, FKAA plans to begin operations in June. The hearing date on the legal appeal by SSPOA and the Cudjoe Gardens POA is set for July 20 and it is uncertain if we can get the start date delayed until after that hearing.
Bike path paving – Chuck Licis reported that it is out to bids and should be completed before paving crews leave the Lower Keys. As for repairs to the newly-paved streets and other inquiries regarding the sewer project construction, residents should contact Stephanie Bruno at FKAA 305-745-3991.
Website – www.sugarloafer.org is functioning with more information being added. It, along with the SSPOA Facebook page and emails, will keep members up to date on issues of community concern. Mia Howe appealed to members to provide items for the print version of The Sugarloafer newsletter as we enter the slower summertime.
Community Character – Membership approved the document with one edit to delete a statement about preference for which side of the highway the Overseas Heritage Trail is completed. Motion by Cindy Urban. Second by Bill Eardley.
Bridge fishing – Residents are urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office with a description of the fishermen and their vehicle. SSPOA will also remind the sheriff that he promised to get a sign that says bridge fishing is illegal.
Next general membership meeting – October 27. The SSPOA board will continue to meet through the summer.
Adjourned at 7:59 p.m.