tampabay.com

Association seeks rules for all 13 neighborhoods

By AMBER MOBLEY
Published June 29, 2007


What's okay and what's a no-no for homeowners varies among Northdale's 13 neighborhoods.

But, perhaps, not for long.

Starting with Gables I, the Northdale Civic Association is initiating a rules renovation in an attempt to bring uniformity to the area.

The newly drafted deed restrictions give guidance about grass and landscaping, mailbox conditions and driveway extensions - issues the old deed restrictions left to the homeowner.

The new restrictions require homeowners to stash away holiday decorations within a month of the holiday.

And they will limit how early garbage can be put out for collection and specify how soon the empty bins must be brought in from the curb.

One change from the old deed restrictions to the new ones makes for a $135, 000 difference.

The old restrictions stated that "no dwelling shall be constructed on any lot or parcel at a cost of less than $15, 000" in order to "assure that all dwellings shall be of a quality workmanship and materials." The new restrictions boost that number to $150, 000.

With many communities' deed restrictions ready to expire - some in a matter of months - the time is right, said Frank Giordano, who's heading the deed restriction renewal effort.

Updated deed restrictions for the next 30 years for Gables I were submitted for county approval earlier this month. Bay Levitt is next.

Because revising deed restrictions can be a lengthy process - the process for Gables I took nearly a year - the Northdale Civic Association plans to file deed restriction extensions for all of the communities by year's end, which will enable the group to revise them at any time and beat their expiration deadline.

"If you let them expire without doing anything about it you need 100 percent participation to start them up again, " said Giordano. With 2, 750 homeowners in Northdale, "that's near impossible."

Revising deed restriction only requires a majority.

Giordano assures that the changes won't be extreme.

"We don't want to make it where you can't put a sign in your lawn to support our troops, " he said, referring to an incident in nearby Westchase that brought national attention.

"We're merely trying to make it where our community's neat, " he said.

So far, the Northdale Civic Association has shouldered the nearly $5, 000 cost of renewing deed restrictions for Gables I. Giordano estimates that filing extensions alone for the remaining neighborhoods could cost about $3, 000.

The Northdale Civic Association, currently with 850 members, is urging homeowners to join - a $35 annual fee - and help out with the cost.

Amber Mobley can be reached at amobley@sptimes.com or 813 269-5311.