Winter 2002 Edition


In This Issue
Holiday Decoration Winners
Projects, Projects, Projects!
Rock Covers Ugly
2002 Budget Approved
Neighborhood Watch
Hat's Off Update
Yard of the Month
Mixed Metaphor of the Month
Pruning Trees and Shrubs
Come to the HOA Meetings
Wanted: Board Member
Contact List - (removed from Web version for privacy reasons)
No Parking / Less Parking, Please
CI Website


Holiday Decoration Winners
It was a dark and festive night, wrapped in wintry wonder and festooned with electric brilliance as the three wisepersons journeyed from Bradfordt Lakes through Cypress Isles to select first, second, and third place in the holiday decoration contest. And the winners are:

1st - Kathy & Wayne Anthony
2nd - Gary & Kimberly Haight
3rd - Richard and Wendy Lowe

Congratulations to the winners, and to all who decorated their homes for the holidays!


Projects, Projects, Projects!
By Larry Sheeler
Hello to all our neighbors! The Board of Directors has been busy keeping your homeowners association running smoothly. Here is a look into what has been happening.

First is the lighting of our entry walls. After months of delays, we have finally found a contractor to do the directional boring necessary without demanding the right arms and first-born child of each homeowner! Penn First Management is in the process of obtaining the county permits and, with crossed fingers from everyone, we should have the project completed by the end of February.

Another project involves the street trees that were installed, or should have been installed, by Centex in front of each of our homes. The covenant agreements require that a tree of equivalent or higher quality must replace any tree that dies. A number of trees have died and the Board has been exploring the unique issues surrounding street trees in Cypress Isles. As all of us who have dug in our yards know, our soil is mostly clay not good for planting trees. We are extremely fortunate to have our own resident Master Gardener, Jean Thomsin, not only as a homeowner, but also as a valuable member of our Board. Jean has researched the horticultural aspect of the problem, consulted with numerous other professionals, and made recommendations to the Board about which trees will do best in our soil. The fruits of his research are posted on the Cypress Isles Web Site at

Jean is also working to facilitate the installation of free trees from Orange County, provided that the homeowners who get them agree to plant and care for them. Those homeowners with the deadest trees have received or will soon receive a letter from Jean explaining what can be done. The BOTTOM LINE is that every home must have an acceptable street tree, and we can help.
The Board has also been busy lobbying the Waterford Lakes Community Association (the master association) with two concerns. The first is rising storm-water when we get our infrequent, but bountiful, rains. The master association storm-water committee has been discussing the issue with the project engineers and with Orange County. While there is no resolution yet, the committee hopes to make progress in the near future. Storm-water management is a very complex issue that must be addressed with great care.

The second request is for additional streetlights on Crystal River Drive between Cypress Isles and Bradfordt Lakes. As those who have been in this area at night can attest, it is REAL DARK!!! So dark that some folks tend to lurk in the dark and participate in activities that they wouldn't do if it were well lit. The master has been communicating with Orange County about this issue and we are hopeful of achieving success. Stay tuned for up-dates.

Highlights of other projects are:
· Orange County Deputies will continue off-duty patrols in 2002.
· Insurance coverage for the entry walls was increased from $1,000 to $20,000, which is more realistic.
· Delaminated letters were replaced on our entry signs
That's all we have for now. Come to a Board meeting to see what is in store for the future!

Rock Covers Ugly
Through the efforts of Lee Blackwell, Adelphia Cable replaced the large green box, commonly called the Ugly Green Thing (UGT), at our first entrance with a fiberglass boulder, commonly called the Ugly Grey Thing (Still UGT). Legend has it that a fake sword is embedded in this fake rock that only the superficially pure of heart can remove. But I don't believe it.
Some homeowners are working on ways to encourage Adelphia to relocate the UGT to where it will not be an eyesore in front of our entrance feature. Look for more information on this topic to come out soon.

2002 Budget Approved
The Cypress Isles Board of Directors approved the 2002 budget at their meeting on October 16, 2001. The new budget is 8.4% larger than last year's budget.














 Mgt. & Admin







Income is from dues, late fees, and interest. Maintenance includes grounds maintenance, lake and waterway management, lights, fences, and signs. Management and Administration includes management fees, security, insurance, copying and postage. Details are available from Board members upon request.

Neighborhood Watch
By Cookie Symons
- Neighborhood Watch Coordinator
As we start a new year we are hoping to have fewer problems than we had in 2001.
Around Halloween some lawn ornaments disappeared, and during the Christmas holidays other lawn ornaments disappeared. Although there were some problems, this past quarter wasn't as bad as last summer.
DO YOU KNOW THESE CARS? On December 27th about 1:30 in the morning, a small silver 4-door car was observed riding through the development with young girls hanging out the open windows, tossing garbage cans and throwing eggs at homes. A black Firebird-type car with red lettering on the right fender was following, and appeared to be an accomplice. At this time we do not have tag numbers but the cars have been seen in the area before.
The week of December 30th it was reported that American flags were taken from some homes along Spring Island Way. Please remember, if these flags are being displayed at night they should have a light shining on them, which may help to prevent their theft.
It's not just Cypress Isles -- I have spoken with neighbors in other subdivisions who have had similar problems with car stereos stolen and some property vandalism. Along with keeping our cars locked and our garage doors closed, we all need to stay alert to cars or individuals up to no good. If you see cars involved in theft or vandalism, try to get their tag numbers. If you are a victim of theft or vandalism you should report it to Orange County Sheriff's Office NON-EMERGENCY line at 407-727-2400 (DO NOT CALL 911). Then let your block captain know so the phone chain will work. If you are not able to reach, or don't know your block captain, call one of the coordinators at the bottom of this article and we will assist you.
On behalf of Neighborhood Watch, the coordinators wish you all a safe and Happy New Year.

Hat's Off Update
Although the Board has not yet formalized the criteria for the Hat's Off awards, there is general agreement that these letters of commendation should be given out for various property improvements above and beyond the norm, and not just for fixing a previous violation. Your regular mowing, weeding, edging, planting, and general lawn maintenance does not qualify. For that we have…

Yard of the Month
Contrary to the belief of some, the Architectural Review Committee looks for the good things in our neighborhood, not just reasons to issue violation letters and late notices.
Starting this month, the Architectural Review Committee will be cruising the neighborhood looking for the best looking yard to honor as the Cypress Isles Yard of the Month. January's YOM will be awarded at the beginning of February. Chip Crane graciously volunteered to make a sign and we are anxiously awaiting the placement of the sign in a deserving yard.

Mixed Metaphor of the Month
"We were busy tackling other fish to fry."

Pruning Trees and Shrubs

This article is a condensation of "Pruning Landscape Trees and Shrubs"

by Edward F. Gilman and Robert J. Black,

researched by Jean Thomsin, Florida Master Gardener.

Pruning is the selective removal of plant parts to improve health, control growth, or enhance fruiting, flowering, or appearance. Pruning should be a routine part of home-ground maintenance.

Pruning Trees
It is best to prune trees late in the dormant season or several weeks following a growth flush. The worst times to prune are when leaves are forming. Do not prune trees that are under stress.
Know the characteristic form of a tree before removing any live branches to maintain the same basic shape. First, prune out dead, diseased or broken twigs and branches. Then study the tree form, select the best-spaced and positioned permanent branches, and remove or shorten others.
When training a young tree, prune back branches below the lowest permanent branch to about 8" from the trunk; do not remove entirely. Removing the lower branches too soon will result in a poorer quality plant. Large branches (1-1/2" or larger in diameter) require three special cuts to prevent trunk bark stripping.
Pruning Palms
Care must be taken when pruning palms not to cut or otherwise injure the terminal bud or the whole tree will die. Remove palm leaves by cutting them from the underside to avoid tearing the fibers of the palm's stem.
Pruning Shrubs
The first step in pruning a shrub is to remove all dead, diseased, or injured branches, branches that touch each other, and those that look out of place. Pruning cuts should not be visible, but located inside the plant, covered up by remaining foliage.
Pruning Hedges
The two important factors to remember when pruning formal hedges are (1) prune while new growth is green and succulent, and (2) trim so the base of the hedge is wider than the top. Hedges with narrow bases will lose lower leaves and branches because of insufficient light.
Want to know more? The Cypress Isles website has the complete, illustrated article.

Come to the HOA Meetings
The next three Association meetings will be at the library at 6:30 PM on:

February 19, 2002

March 19, 2002

April 16, 2002

These are third Tuesdays of each month. Synopses of previous meetings are posted on our website .

Wanted: Board Member
Our fearless leader, President Lee Blackwell, has resigned from the Board due to a dramatic increase in his business demands. We thank Lee for his tireless efforts in helping make Cypress Isles one of the BEST neighborhoods in Waterford Lakes! Lee has left a large pair of shoes to fill, and we are contemplating who among us is up to the challenge. The Board will fill Lee's Director position with a member of the community and then we will determine who the president will be.
If you have considered being on the board, this is a great opportunity to serve your community and try it out for a few months until the annual meeting in May. You might like it, and we need more good people. Interested? Call Neil Thomas at 407-306-8459, extension 106, and ask for an application.

Orange County owns the streets, so the Association cannot stop people from parking there. Still, it would be nice to de-clutter our not-so-wide streets by parking in your driveway when you can. This message is brought to you as a public service.

CI Website
By Dennis Bode
The Cypress Isles web site now has links to the Waterford Lakes website with information about area restaurants, movies & attractions. The CI web page also has copies of previous CI Newsletters, Board of Director Meeting Minutes, and The Fountain of News. If you have suggestions, requests, or questions about the CI web page, send an email to the web administrator:




this page was updated 2/6/2002