By EMILY NIPPS
Published June 19, 2005
CROSS CREEK - Ever since the city of Tampa told Heritage Isles developers and residents three years ago that they needed to open their gates to the public, homeowners there have been on a quest to make their community private again.
If everything works out the way they plan, that could happen by next year.
At a recent budget workshop held by Heritage Isles' Community Development District, the topic was discussed along with what it might cost to add more attendants to monitor a 24-hour gate.
Bill Kouwenhoven, communities manager for Lennar Corp.'s North Florida Land Development Division, who serves on the CDD board, said the privatization of Heritage Isles' roads could happen as early as November or December.
Currently, Heritage Isles operates a security gate that must be opened to anyone who wants to enter because the roads are owned by the city. To shift control of the roads to the homeowners association, the city requires 80 percent approval from Heritage Isles homeowners.
But before that happens, the homeowners want Lennar to repair problems with the roads, especially before it turns control of the community over to them in October 2006.
"Some of the roads have had flooding problems, some of the roads are uneven, some have uneven manholes," Heritage Isles resident Jack Meehan said. "First we want to fix the roads, then we want to get the roads privatized, then add extra guards. That's the order of it.
"We don't feel citizens should have to pay for the repairs."
The CDD board estimated the added security would cost about $50,000 a year on top of the $157,000 it already would cost in 2006. The board also discussed initially keeping the gate secured and manned at the Grand Isle Drive entrance off of Cross Creek Boulevard, but not at Sandy Pointe Drive.
Also happening in Cross Creek Boulevard neighborhoods, Arbor Greene's CDD members discussed some of changes they hope will improve transportation issues in their gated community. A tall security code box was added to allow school buses to enter, and additional speed limit signs have been posted on Arbor Greene's main roads.
In its hopes to further deter speeders, the CDD may add speed radar warning signs once the board gets approval from the Tampa Police Department.