SSPOA GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES
NOVEMBER 27, 2018
Call to order by President, Chuck Licis and Pledge of Allegiance - 6:32 p.m.,
No new members at tonight’s meeting.
Sherriff’s Report - Capt. Catala thanked everyone who turned out for the clean up at the jumping bridge on November 9th. He mentioned that this Saturday, December 1st, is the Key West Triathlon and the northbound lane from Stock Island to Rockland Key will be closed from 6:45 a.m. to approximately 10:45 a.m. for the athlete’s safety.
Lt. Coleman informed us that December 8th is the Christmas parade which runs from Bay View Park to Duval Street and December 9th is Christmas on the Farm from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. On December 15th Baby’s Coffee will have a gathering with Santa present, face painting etc.
Lt. Coleman said the heavy traffic on US 1 will continue over the holiday period. The Cow Key Bridge will be renovated soon which will add to the traffic problem.
A SSPOA member added that the Sugarloaf Craft Show is at the school the weekend of December 1st and 2nd.
Speaker - Michelle Coldiron the newly elected District 2 County Commissioner introduced herself and said her overall objective is to maintain the balance between tourism and the needs of the residents. She asked to hear what the member’s thoughts and concerns were. She said she will be happy to answer any questions from the community and can be reached at her office at 305.292.4512, her cell at 305.360.7666 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. She also invited residents to stop by her office at 25 Ships Way, Big Pine Key. Ms. Coldiron talked about Goal 109 and that she supports not increasing density county wide just in Stock Island and Rockland Key and agreed that workforce/affordable housing should fit in with the character of the community. She received many questions from SSPOA members regarding the proposed affordable housing project at the entry to South Point , particularly related to traffic issues, distance from places of employment and use of the limited waterfront associated with the project. Ms. Coldiron’s administrative aid is Katie Atkins. Her email is Atkins-Katie@monroecounty-fl.gov
Treasurer’s Report – SSPOA has $9,783.53 in the checking account, $54,220.05 in savings and $0 debt. SSPOA’s fiscal year runs December 1st to December 1st , income at present is $28,629.50, expenses are $32,854.38, resulting in a loss of approximately $4,000. Currently the newsletter goes to all residents of Sugarloaf as paper copy with a goal of moving to electronic newsletters.
Membership - Letters will be mailed out soon for membership dues. You can pay dues on line by going to the website ‘sugarloafer.org’. Please add your telephone number so that you can be contacted if there is a need in an emergency. Currently, we are updating the data base so please ensure we have accurate information.
Social - The Christmas/Holiday social will be held Sunday, December 9th, 2018 at Mangrove Mama’s from 1:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. Please join us for a joyful afternoon. Your membership dues cover the cost for you and your spouse/partner. Any additional guests will be charged $30. A buffet consisting of ham, turkey, roast beef, shrimp and scallop scampi, hogfish picccata, roasted red skinned potatoes, fresh cut green beans, tossed salad, rolls, butter and dessert will be provided as well as mimosas.
Beautification – No report.
Marine/Environmental – No report.
Public Policy – The Goal 109 planning commission recommendations will be voted on at the BOCC meeting in Marathon on January 23rd. The consideration of Goal 109 is expected to begin at or soon after 3p.m. Members are encouraged to attend.
Old Business - Joe Walsh has applied and been granted the reservation of 88 ROGOs for affordable units in order to apply for tax credits. These break down as 60 units for the larger parcel, 27 for low income and 33 moderate income and 28 low income units for the smaller parcel. The ROGOS will be held for 1 year. The granting of the ROGOs does not indicate approval for the project. The project must go through the formal application process.
The board has met and agreed that SSPOA should retain counsel to prepare for opposition to this development. John Moore made a motion to allow the board to access funds available currently to do so. Seconded by Kim Gordon. Unanimously approved.
Jack Marchant informed us that SPHLLC and their attorney, Andy Tobin, have agreed to include input from the entire Sugarloaf community in this action and have invited two additional members from SSPOA to join in the decision making process. The details of this arrangement will be formulated between SPHLLC and SSPOA in the near future.
Chuck closed the meeting by reminding the membership to make sure their concerns with the affordable housing project are communicated to Michelle Coldiron as she transitions into her role as our elected Commissioner, particularly as one of her first appointments will be a new District 2 planning commissioner who will be critical to the future planning decisions that affect our community.
A motion to adjourn was made by Jack Marchant and seconded by Kim Gordon.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:59 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, email@example.com or Boellard at 305-289-2589, firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 – 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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.