Deer Lakes Owners’ Association
August 4th, 2021
From the Board of Directors, Deer Lakes
Deer Lakes Residents,
The Board would like to communicate updates and some friendly reminders.
Traffic Signal Project. As of August 25th, 2021, the signal project has been approved by both the County and City and the respective council meetings. Construction is targeted to begin within the next few months, dependent on availability of materials.
Playground. Since early 2019, the board has determined that the playground was in need of repair or replacement. We requested bids from a number of contractors to determine the proper and best course of action for the community. Once our bids and proposals came back, we found that we would need to replace the structure to be in compliance with local codes for playgrounds. We also found that even though the current playground was constructed where it is, we would not be granted any grandfathering to allow it to remain in its current location. This required a setback of 25 feet from all lot lines. This is why we looked at moving to to a location next to the pool. We have since revisited that and have selected a location between its current spot and the pool.
Over the past few months, maybe 4-5, we have had some residents make comments that the playground is a waste of money, not used enough, etc. There have been comments saying that the community should have to vote on this. This is not true, as the common areas are community property and the board has the responsibility to maintain it.
First, the playground actually has been encompassed in our reserves and funded since the reserves were set up.
Second, it is an amenity that provides value to the community related to overall desirability and individual property value.
Third, it is the responsibility of every Board of Directors to ensure proper maintenance of the common areas and amenities as it relates to the community as a whole. Each homeowner made a decision to purchase in this community based of a variety of reasons, and the playground, pool, gates, etc, may be a big part of that decision. That being said, the Board discussed this project at a number of times from mid 2019 to present. The Board approved to move forward with Phase 1 of the project in December 2019, and Phase 2 in December of 2020. This project is funded and contracted and will commence by year's end.
Pool. As many of you may know, we have done quite a bit of work on our pool over the past year or so. We had a leak that needed fixed, pumps and filters, etc. to maintain our pool up to code and good working order. Additionally, we are planning to have the pool surface redone along with the pool deck and restrooms rejuvenated.
Landscaping and Lawn Service. Paradise Landscaping has made the association aware of some current challenges they are faced with. The high level of rainfall has impacted the ability to mow due to soft ground. Attempting to perform some of the scheduled services would lead to damages to lawn areas such as ruts, tear out, etc. Additionally, there have been a number of employees lost due to illness. This has resulted in increased length of time to complete the scheduled maintenance. We have had one week postponed this year due to weather. That leaves us at a >95% completion rate for mowing. On a good note, Paradise has had an increase in applicants recently and they are currently working to plus up their teams to better handle their clients.
Reminder, this is a commercial contract for the entire subdivision. We did not encompass personal attention for items outside of that contract. In the event you feel you are not receiving the service contracted for, we ask that you do not approach the workers. This results in loss of service for others in the community, extended time to completed scheduled work, etc. The correct method to address this is with a call to Paradise, or an on line work order request. In the event that is not sufficient, you may also contact Fairway Management. We have the link to Paradise on our website also.
Assessments and increases. Everyone wants to keep our costs as low as possible. Keeping in mind that the following numbers are all approximates, we currently pay $345.00 per quarter in assessment/dues. This is up from our starting point of $270.00 back in 2003. Calculated out, that results in an increase of about 27-28% total over 19 years. Averaged annually, this is around a 1.45% yearly increase. (according the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, $270 in 2004 has the buying power of $396 in 2021) This would be a 46% total increase or an annual increase of 2.4%.
The Construction of the playground is not going to impact the current assessments each owner pays. This is why we set up reserve accounts. The cost of the update is budgeted and once complete, we will again plan for life expectancy and set aside funds in its reserve account. Since the board has already voted to move forward, and we are contracted, the playground project is going to happen.
Of our current budget, landscaping is the largest part of what we all pay. To put this in some perspective, the per household cost for landscaping services is approximately $219.00 of the $345.00 quarterly assessment. Monthly it is about $72.00 of $115.00. This not only includes weekly yard services for the homeowner, but for the common areas too. So, for the remaining $43.00 per month, we have a gated entrance, pool with a bath house and cabana, playground, lighted streets, sidewalks, a professional management company’s services, lake maintenance, facilities maintenance to include repair of lighting, cleaning of the pool bath house, maintenance of the Pineda and Gate walls, signs, and a budget plan to replenish and maintain reserve accounts to pay for long term maintenance of these facilities. Additionally, there are a number of other items we pay for on a routine basis such as Website services, utilities for the pool, bath house, gates, etc. The end result is that Deer Lakes is a community with a great value.
Contacting the association. The first point of contact for all community concerns is Fairway Management. Gates, remotes, payments, violations, etc. Additional methods are on the Deer Lakes Website
Website. Deer Lakes has a website that has been around for over 10 years. We highly encourage you to visit it and get familiar with all of the information provided. We will provide a newsletter along with links and tabs to access the Covenants, By Laws, contracts, meeting minutes etc. Many times, questions can be answered simply by reviewing the published information. Additionally, this is where you can find the link to any online meetings and agendas where appropriate. If you wish to contact the board, there is a contact form in which you may send us a direct message. This is monitored periodically, so if you have something needing immediate attention, please contact Fairway Management.
Weather is about to change, and we will begin seeing our usual gusty winds and storms. High wind gusts can cause a problem with the gates staying open, closed, or partially open. If this happens, please refer to the numbers on the new sign at the front gate. Fairway Mgt is your first call to make. If after hours, there is an emergency number to call for service. While we understand the need to get home or to work, transiting though the opposite gate (in through the out) can be dangerous and should be done only with great care.
This topic seems to come up quite a bit, and while we all understand the limits here in Deer Lakes, and that we all at one time or another have visitors, we do have covenants that spell out the expectations. In many instances, parking on the streets creates a situation where there is a hazard. Whether it impedes emergency vehicles, is too close to an intersection, around a curve, etc., or restricting the exiting of a vehicle from a driveway. Parking over the sidewalks is Prohibited by the covenants. This will result in a violation letter being sent to the owner. Please refrain from parking over sidewalks. Additionally, boats, trailers, RV's, etc. are not to be parked anywhere other than behind a fence in the rear of the property and must not be higher that 6 feet on a trailer in the yard. This is covered in our current covenants under Article III, section 14.
Pool and Playground use
All common areas and amenities are for the use of owners and their guests. Use of the facilities, amenities, etc., is to be done so with courtesy and respect for others. Loud music, profanity, and any other obnoxious behavior is not acceptable. Offenders may be cited for violations under the covenants.
Please remember to clean up after your pet. We have had a number of complaints of dog droppings on the sidewalks and yards. Additionally, all pets must be leashed in accordance with Brevard County statutes.
During the morning and evening, we have our gates set to remain open due to travel in and out of the community. This reduces wear on the gate actuators due to the increase in traffic going to and from work, school, etc. However, the gate has been an area where there has been excessive speeding. Additionally, the new gate system has a safety feature that will stop the gate when it senses an obstruction, but reacts a bit slow. If the gate is closing it will not stop in time for a speeding vehicle. The gate area is probably the least visible area in our community.
Trash Cans, bulk items on curb, etc.
Per our covenants, Trash cans should remain out of sight when not out for collection. Bulk trash is to be out no earlier than Monday for a Tuesday pickup. Any large amounts of yard waste must be coordinated with Brevard Waste collection.
As a reminder, the only signs permitted inside the community are “For Rent” or “For Sale”. All other signage, whether on individual lots, vehicles, etc. are not permitted.
Please keep an eye on the website for upcoming events.
Deer Lakes Board of Directors
Any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our management company at fairwaymgmt.com.