Cypress Isles News

The official newsletter of the Cypress Isles Homeowners Association
Spring 2002 Edition - Published Quarterly

In This Issue
Board to Hold Elections on April 16th
Either Show Up or Send a Proxy
Wanna Direct?
Entrance Lighting
2001 Finances Break Even
Neighborhood Watch
UGT - The Saga Continues
Yard of the Month
Hats Off Commendations
Show Us Your Numbers!
Tree Replacement
Storm Water Project Stagnates
New Lights for Crystal River Drive
Contact List (removed from the Web version of the Newsletter, please email the Webmaster for questions/comments)
Spring Clean Your Property


Board to Hold Elections on April 16th
The annual meeting of Cypress Isles homeowners will be held on Tuesday April 16, 2002 at 6:30 PM at the Orange County Library, Alafaya Branch, 12000 E. Colonial Drive (across from Steak 'n' Shake). If you attend the meeting, you can elect the Board of Directors for the next year.
Several of the current Directors have expressed interest in serving another term, while others have decided to take a break. We thank those departing Directors for their valuable service to our community; and, if they are re-elected, we thank the returning Directors, for providing needed continuity.
We also welcome the involvement of new Directors and other volunteers, such as committee members, since these people are our future leaders.
Subsequent Association meetings will be on May 21st and June 18th at the library.

Either Show Up or Send a Proxy
In your mail in mid-March, you received the Annual Meeting notice along with a proxy. If you can't come to the meeting, please send in the proxy. Hand-deliver your proxy to the Secretary, Jean Thomsin, at 600 Divine Circle, or mail it to the address at the bottom of the proxy so that it arrives 24 hours before the meeting.
What is a proxy? Homeowner proxies are used to establish the 30% quorum that is needed to hold the yearly meeting and board members elections. If a quorum is not reached on April 16th, it will cost our Association about $100 for mailing another Annual Meeting Notice and proxies.
But that proxy is not your vote. Unlike other proxies you may have used, these are not proxies to vote on behalf of homeowners. So if you want to vote, you have to show up at the meeting.

Wanna Direct?
Any homeowner in Cypress Isles can become a Director in two steps. First (1), either submit a "Candidate Information Sheet" to the Board at any time before nominations are closed on April 16th, or get nominated from the floor at the April 16th meeting. You should have received a "Candidate Information Sheet" in the mail along with the annual meeting notice in mid-March. Second (2), go to the April 16th meeting and get enough votes.
It helps to have at least attended some meetings and be knowledgeable about the Neighborhood and Master Docs, as well as meeting procedures, so you're not coming in "cold."

Entrance Lighting
Larry Sheeler reported that all contractors were geared up to do the work, but Orange County continues to introduce additional steps into the permitting process, which continues to delay the project and frustrate those working on it. Larry hopes that his engineering contact can expedite the permit, but the project may not be done by April 16th.

2001 Finances Break Even
The Cypress Isles Board of Directors came within a half-percent of breaking even in 2001. Unanticipated interest income added about $700 to the year's revenues, while unanticipated grounds maintenance used about the same amount. Was it sound financial management or just luck? Yes.










 Mgt & Admin Exp.



 Maintenance Exp.

 $ 7,909

 $ 6,746

 Net Income

 $ 97

 $ 0

Neighborhood Watch
By Cookie Symons
- Neighborhood Watch Coordinator
Good News!!!! We had a nice quiet quarter. There were no reports of any problems, but we should still be alert. We all need to remember a few simple things.
* Lock your cars and don't leave anything of great value in the car overnight.
* Keep your shrubs trimmed below the windows, not providing anyone a hiding place to gain easy access to your home.
* Use light timers when you are away or on a regular basis. Motion lights are also a good idea.
* Keep your garage door closed.
* Check your front door for flyers. Most of us don't use our front doors, and flyers are a good indication that no one is home.
* If we all stay alert it may just be a quiet second quarter.
A safe and happy spring from your Watch Coordinators.

UGT - The Saga Continues
By Claudia Rilea
Ed. note: The ugly green thing (UGT) at the main entrance was first reported in our fall 2001 issue. It was then covered with an ugly grey thing, remaining a UGT. The writer has compiled this comprehensive background and update:
We have been in contact with several different Adelphia representatives since the new access box was installed at the west entrance. Lee Blackwell made the first contact to express our concerns and was told it would cost $3,000 to move the box. At that time, Adelphia offered to move the box if our homeowners association would bear half the cost - $1,500 - or replace the green access cover with the simulated "rock" at no cost to us. Lee asked them to replace the green cover with the "rock".
Unfortunately, the "rock" did not solve the problem. Our homeowners were still dissatisfied with the look of the entrance. We have contacted two additional representatives, at various levels of responsibility, without a successful resolution. The two main objections raised by Adelphia thus far are that moving the box is a complicated and time-consuming project (and therefore expensive), and that Adelphia has always had an access box in the easement - without anyone objecting before. We learned that for Adelphia to offer its enhanced digital service with Internet access, they were required to install fiber optic cable. The fiber optic cable is sensitive to heat, thus the size and shape of the original access box had to be changed.
We contacted Jim Evans, the Orange County Cable TV Coordinator to determine if any local ordinances, or building codes affected the size, shape or location of the access box. There are no restrictions imposed by the County. Mr. Evans provided us the name of Adelphia's general manager, who will be our next contact. We plan to appeal to their desire to provide excellent service - to both their current and potential customers - in an effort to encourage Adelphia to relocate their access box and restore the aesthetic beauty to our main entrance. So don't give up hope! The saga continues…

Yard of the Month
Each month the Architectural Review Committee (ARC) conducts monthly property inspections with our Penn First property manager to assess the overall condition of the neighborhood and determine the "Yard of the Month" award winner. The first three Cypress Isles Yards of the Month were:

Joe & Julia Rebelo of 606 Divine Circle (January)
Phil & Kelly Bernhardt of 13214 Spring Haven Court (February)
Richard & Wendy Lowe of 819 Spring Island Way (March)

The Y.O.M. sign is displayed the following month. Congratulate these winners if you see them.

Hats Off Commendations
Remember those property inspections from the "Yard of the Month" article? Each month a few of them result in "door-knockers" - friendly reminders to move, trim, maintain, replace, remove, or repaint something. (See "Spring Clean Your Property" for details) Out of 140 homes, Cypress Isles had only 22 new doorknockers these past three months. The March reminders were mostly for weeds. (As a note of comparison, we have it from a reliable source that a neighboring community's ARC gave out door-knockers to over 90% of its residents.)
Kudos to Cypress Isles for such a low number of door-knockers, and for being one of the best looking, well maintained neighborhoods in the community!









 Hats Off




On the flip side, homeowners who do exceptional property maintenance receive "Hats Off" awards from the ARC. After a slow start in January, six homeowners have received Hats Off commendations. It's a win-win thing.

Show Us Your Numbers!
The house numbers on many homes have either been removed, covered, or have otherwise disappeared, and should be replaced. Your house number must be visible from the street. The painted numbers on the curb fade over time, and do not qualify as a "house number." Not only are visible house numbers part of our community standard, they could also save your life in the event of an emergency.
Please, as you drive down the street towards your house, put yourself in the place of paramedics at 3:oo a.m. How fast could they find your house number? Will they have to guess which house they need to go to? ("That's not it, Mary…there are no numbers on this one either…Joe, should we back up? I don't know, let's check the next one.")
Would you want your life, or the life of a loved one to tick away while the guessing game continues?

Tree Replacement
Bad tree, bad tree, what'cha gonna do? Cypress Isles documents require that all dead or damaged trees be replaced. Now you can do it for free.
Board Secretary and Master Gardener Jean Thomsin has developed a plan for Cypress Isles homeowners to obtain free trees from Orange County.
The project will happen in two waves. The first wave is for homeowners who have officially dead, or no trees, and for some homeowners on corner lots where an extra tree would be nice. First wavers have received letters from the Board explaining how they can get free trees if they commit to correct planting and conscientious tree maintenance.
The second wave is for anybody who has a bad tree or is otherwise dissatisfied with his or her street trees. (editor's note: That would be us.) Second-wavers can contact Jean Thomsin for free trees in the near future, after May 1st.

Storm Water Project Stagnates
Remember when very heavy rains overflowed the storm drains and rainwater flooded the streets and several front yards? No homes were flooded, but the Master Association was concerned enough to contact Orange County about the problem. Orange County maintained that the drain system could handle all rainstorms smaller than the "100-year" storm, so we must have had three "100-year" rains in two years.
Undaunted, the Master Association Operations Committee is working with the project engineer to find ways to handle those pesky "100-year" rains.
The solution, when it happens, will include a working balance between Mother Nature and Orange County. The only thing certain at this point is that the solution will be complicated.

New Lights for Crystal River Drive
Thanks to Penn First, Crystal River Drive is scheduled to receive additional street lighting, to make travel through that wooded area less dark and creepy at night.
When residents on Crystal River Drive complained about the lack of street lighting by the woods, Penn First Management wrote to the Orange County Comptroller's Office- Municipal Services Taxing Unit (MSTU) Section about the problem. After research and follow-up letters, the MSTU Section approved amendments to the existing MSTU for Bradfordt Lakes and Cypress Isles to add the additional streetlights on Crystal River. Florida Power Corporation has been directed to install seven (7) additional street lighting fixtures and poles on Crystal River Drive, and is expected to finish the work within 12 weeks.

Contact List -(has been removed from the Web copy of the Newsletter, please see the distributed copy for contact numbers or send an email to the Webmaster)

The Cypress Isles Newsletter was printed by Kinko's Copies in the Waterford Lakes Townes Center, then delivered by fearless volunteers.

Spring Clean Your Property
In a few weeks you will receive a letter addressing "Spring Cleaning" issues that affect all of our homes. The letter is a reminder to all homeowners about their responsibilities to maintain their properties. A draft version of this letter, which was leaked to the press, revealed several directives. Here are some highlights of the upcoming letter:
* Submitting Architectural Review Board Document Applications (ARBs).
* GIGO- Garbage in, Garbage Out, and where to store your can in-between.
* Maintaining healthy and growing landscaped areas & plants; replacing the not-so-healthy.
* Parking - what & where you can & can't.
* Got mildew? It's gotta go.
* House need painting? Paint.
The ARC and the Board are committed to making Cypress Isles the best-looking Neighborhood in Waterford Lakes. If you have any sense, you will be too.



Cats Laid Off
Embattled firm Arthur Andersen has reportedly laid off 450 cats, citing a sharp decline in shredding requirements. The cats, which still have all their claws, could not be approached for comment.

Near Miss
Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is really quite as satisfying as an income tax refund. -- F. J. Raymond

Live to laugh, laugh to live!
… The late Milton Berle