Board Members Present: Jay Sourbeer, President Rolfe Hunt, Vice President
Jim Snider, Director Gus Martell, Director
George McNitt, Treasurer Jeff Storey, Director
Dina Brown, Secretary
Minutes of Meetings
The Glades Homeowner’s Association held a Board of Directors meeting on Thursday, August 17, 2017 at 6:30 PM, Central Time at the Gulf Coast Baptist Church, located 10620 Hutchinson Blvd., Panama City Beach, FL 32407. Twenty four owners were in the audience.
Jay Sourbeer called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM and welcomed those in attendance. This special meeting was called to discuss gating The Glades Community.
Quorum was attained with five voting board members present.
Speaker Paul Casto, Public Works Director, City of Panama City Beach
Mr. Casto started by saying in his 40 year tenure working for the City of Panama City Beach he doesn’t recall any community being approved to go from public residential to a private gated community. When the property was developed in the mid 80’s the roads were dedicated to the City by the Developer. The City was then responsible for maintenance of the water, sewer, street lights, yard debris and drainage in The Glades as well. In order for the community to become gated the City Council would have to agree to put a referendum on the ballot for the entire City to vote upon. Not just the residents of The Glades. The cost of placing the referendum on the ballot could be upwards of $5,000 unless it was on the ballot during a general election. The referendum would need a 51% approval vote in order to proceed.
If The Glades were successful in the vote they would then be wholly responsible for the maintenance of the water, sewer, street lights, yard debris, drainage and asphalt restoration. Mr. Casto stated there was approximately 2.8 miles of roadway in The Glades. During a recent restoration the City undertook 2.4 miles of straightaway road at a cost of $600,000 to resurface. The fact that the roads in The Glades are curved would probably add to the cost as well.
Mr. Casto reported that the City had spent over $350,000 in the last ten years on storm water alone in The Glades. The City is currently working with St. Joe to widen one of the main drainage ditches from 15 ft. to 30 ft. There are also plans to place pipes under Back Beach Road and a ditch through the wetlands in the effort to ease the flooding. The City is also seeking a grant for two more 54” pipes to pull the watershed near Lake Town Wharf.
The City has, from time to time, come in with its five man crew and cleaned out the swales but since the Developer didn’t put them in at proper elevation these issues will continue. The City has passed laws since The Glades were dedicated in 1989 to prevent such drainage issues from occurring again. Since many of the ditches are at or below the water table there is nowhere for the water to go. If a resident has an overgrown swale, Mr. Casto recommended they call the City and file a Storm Water Drainage Work Order Request Form because this isn’t an automatic service.
Regarding sidewalks, Mr. Casto stated that The City had recently put sidewalks in on Lindale Road between Front and Back Beach roads at a cost of $250,000 for a 1 mile stretch. If the community were interested in sidewalks he suggested they look to Safe Routes for Schools for a possible grant. He said the process is very labor intensive. He stated swales would have to be filled in and that there would be encroachment into some lawns. Elevation to driveways may be a problem as well. The Glades would have to meet certain qualifications to be approved for the grant and the School System would have to initiate the request for funding.
Rolfe Hunt made the motion to set up a committee to look into the feasibility aspect of sidewalks and the cost of such on North and South Glades Trail. Motion seconded by Gus Martell. Motion carried 5-0 Mr. John Jones volunteered to steer the committee and Thomas Trossen volunteered to assist.
Mr. Jones requested The City provide bigger “No Thru Traffic” signs. Mr. Casto said he would look into doing so.
Ray Williams, Former Glades Board President
Mr. Williams reported that The Glades entertained the possibility of gating the community ten years ago. At that time, Mr. Casto was helpful in putting together a forecast of the costs. At that time it was thought to cost $700,000 for just road resurfacing which amounted to an increase in assessments of $100 per month per resident. He noted that it would have been twice that cost for the other infrastructure maintenance. The community at that time was very divisive and many good people divide based upon their personal opinion of gating the community. Because it is a material alteration to the community it would require a 2/3 majority vote even before it went to the City Council to approve to place on the ballot.
Jeff Storey commented that there were 109 current Facebook members of The Glades website and urged all attending to remind their neighbors to join.
Jay Sourbeer thanked Mr. Casto and Mr. Williams for speaking. He stated that if there were still those that wanted to pursue gating the community they would need to give tangible support to the Board such as a signed petition to bring momentum back to this topic. Otherwise, at the point the Board does not have enough to support to pursue it at this time. Gus Martell made a motion to adjourn. Jay Sourbeer seconded. Motion carried 5-0
Meeting adjourned 7:43 PM, Central Time
Minutes prepared by: Dina Brown LCAM, CMCA, Secretary