You may have already heard but there has been a person walking and riding a bike around Royal Harbor that has been seen looking into peoples windows and accessing their back yards and sea wall areas. Several people have reported this to the police as non-conforming behavior. If you would see something like this just call the police. They will come out right away and check it out.
You may also know that there is a big city election coming this year. There are 7 people running for council seats and the mayor has a challenger. It appears some do not like the present course the city is on. To help you understand the issues there are several forums being held where you could go see these candidates. Here is one.
Tuesday, February 11, 2020 in City Council Chambers; 735 8th Street South
At our annual meeting, we will also have a time set aside for this. The annual meeting will be held at the Naples Sailing and Yacht Club on Monday, Feb. 24. We plan to start at 9 am and dedicate the first hour or so to letting the candidates introduce themselves and give a short (5 minute) introduction and election speech) Then at approximately 10, we will take a short break and then resume with our annual meeting. So this will take a little longer but may give you valuable insight into the various candidates.
Do not forget the Royal Harbor garage sale will be Feb 8. Applications can be received from Donna Krall by emailing her. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Everyone needs an application as they are free but required from the city. This is a good time to clean out the garage/attic, spare room etc. We usually have a LOT of people come to this.
We have Royal Harbor slate of nominees that will be voted in at the annual meeting. They are: Maureen Minker, Kimberly Alvord, Gayle Napoli, Debra Alvarez, Greg Guliani and myself. Those who will be continuing three year terms are: Mike Kehoe, James Doane, Ed Thieme, Mike Rinaldi, Fred Hoffman, Donna Krall.
We are getting ready to close up the membership list for the printing of the Royal Harbor Directory. Board members have been trying to locate all those who have forgotten to sign up. Hopefully you are not one of them.
Lastly, I am asked to remind you that there are lots of people here now and many of them take evening walks because the weather is so nice here. Many times they are also walking dogs or grandkids and are not wearing light or reflective clothing and are not carrying flashlights. They are hard to see.
Keep this in mind as you rush to get home. Nothing will ruin your day more than an accident.
I was asked to remind you all that evenings are darker now so you should carry a flashlight and wear light-colored clothing if you are taking your evening walks. We all know the speed limit is 25 on most city roads but also we know many are in a hurry and forget. So be careful when walking and when driving.
We are still signing up memberships for next year’s directory. If you dropped yours off and we were not here please stop to get your RCC card.
Yesterday Baker Park officially opened I attended and took a few photos so I could show you how beautiful it is. This is only a small sample as I did not walk around the features like the docks and over the bridge and along the riverfront. However, it is now open so you can all go and take a stroll through. Here are some of the photos I took of the event.
Another heads up. Michelle McLeod, city councilperson, will be going door to door in Royal Harbor on weekends next month to meet each of us. She is running again for a second term. Welcome her and tell her your thoughts on the city.
There are a few things going on you may wish to know about. Some good news to start… let’s look at canal work in Royal Harbor. The East Naples Advisory Board has had a bathymetric survey of our canals done. The prospect now of having the rocks and outcroppings removed in our canals is now expected to occur in the next 2 years. This is a great start but still a long way to go. I am told the committee has several items still under review. One is a concern that even if the canals are completed to the proper depth, shoaling around the entrances to the canals and along the shoreline of the bay and back bay may need dredging. However, the homes that border the bay are not included in the East Naples Bay Taxing district so at this time there is no funding for this. A solution is being sought for this.
Another ongoing problem in Royal Harbor is happening. Those of you who have lifts have found that you are having problems getting your boat off the lift at low tide. What has occurred while you were away for the summer is that the silt that flows through the canals settles in the divots that were dug out under the lifts. When the lift lowers then it hits bottom sooner because the bottom of the canal has raised up from the silt. Now the problem is how to get it cleared out again. Homeowners want to just push it out of the way. Some have used boat prop wash to blow it out, others used vacuum hoses and others have just dug it out again at low tide. Seems simple but I am told the city has determined that these are not to be allowed. From what I understand, if you want to remove the silt, you have to suck it on to dry land and then remove it. If you are having this problem you should call the city to find out exactly where this stands.
HALLOWEEN IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER. The Halloween walk, trick or treat night is scheduled for 5:30 to 7 pm Halloween night. Be sure to look over the Halloween notices we will be sending out so you can get in on the fun.
Florida Power and Light or FPL has become more amiable to discussions of burying power lines. Board members are continuing efforts to this end. Like all things, it is a process. I hope to have more information as we go along this year. It is sort of like being asked to push a rope up the road.
Last month our Royal Harbor website was hacked. Since it is read-only, the hacker was limited to the administrator’s powers. However, should you find something in there not looking right you might notify Ed Thieme as he is the administrator.
Our discussion of Truck Parking in Royal Harbor came to a halt since we had so few people actually respond or weigh in on the problem. We received less than 10 responses and of those not all were for it. We will focus on areas of more concern.
We are currently reviewing our Royal Harbor entrance signs. Some people think that we should update these. We have a volunteer architect looking to see how they might be updated or replaced and at how much this will cost. The HOA is solely responsible for these and the city only gives approval.
The city of Naples is planning a big remake along Gulf Shore Boulevard. They are asking residents to weigh in. This is for city residents only. Here is the link to take the survey. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HNVJGYP
Did you know City code requires all Royal Harbor residents to have their house numbers affixed to their sea wall?
Summertime and we all spend a lot of time watching the weather to see if we appear in any cone of hurricane probability. So far things have been pretty quiet here. Karen looks like she is going north for now as does Lorenzo both on the radar already. We have turned the corner on the season though and are now on the backside with only a few more weeks of continuous waves coming off Africa. Not to say a storm cannot happen at any time but the probability goes down and vacationers and would-be home buyers are more likely to be here in fair weather times.
If you are here and driving around you likely have seen the many new housing and commercial starts in our area. Rhonda and I went last week to preview the new Mattamy Bay Arboretum, that is now up along Bayshore Drive down by Botanical Gardens/Windstar area. These are 1400 SF and up units that are villas and townhomes. They are connected units in row homes. These models were all decked out and priced in the $300k to $400K range. They were very nice with tall ceilings, big bathrooms, pretty nice views and all come with garages. There is a sales center set up but you would be well served to go with a REALTOR if you are looking to purchase. They might have some ‘Open to the public’ days so watch the paper. They have other developments in SW Florida and they have a web site. For renters, there is the Springs at Hammock Cove. They are down by Publix on Thomasson Drive. They have a web site if you would like to see what to expect. They have a lot of locations in Florida. We noticed they are wood Frame buildings. Mattamy Bay is cement block construction. We think these will be competition for the condos in our area. Royal Bay, Royal Arms, Sandpiper Bay Club, etc.
There is a new owner for the vacant parcel attached to Sandpiper Bay Club that borders Marlin and Sandpiper. You may have noticed the stretch of land between the road and the mangroves along Sandpiper has grown into weeds. Several residents have called the county and city to see who is going to maintain this and when they are going to do it. Right now it continues to be an eyesore.
Back in June, the East Naples Bay Taxing District hired a survey firm to go through the canals and do an underwater survey to determine depth and debris in the canals and I guess to see if dredging was needed since the last round this was left undone. I do not have any data on this, but expect we will hear something soon.
I told you all at the beginning of the summer that we were talking to FPL about underground wiring. We were not the only area interested as you well may ascertain and the outcome is that we were not selected at this time by FPL as one of the areas they may “experiment” on and do a trial area. This does not mean we are doomed forever to power lines but it does mean we will likely not be the first to get this done. Bummer.
Also we talked last Spring about the truck situation in Royal Harbor. To refresh your memory this concerned the blocking of the roads by service providers trucks. I mentioned that in Port Royal the city allowed a ban of truck parking over a certain size. While a few people felt this was a great idea some felt that banning truck parking was over the top. To be fair only about 10 people responded so maybe there is not enough of a problem for residents to care about.
As we gear up for this season, we are, as always, looking for people interested in Royal Harbor who would be willing to serve on the HOA board. If you are such a person and would please identify yourself, someone from the board’s nominating committee would contact you about serving. Our terms are for 3 year periods but reaffirming every year.
A Royal Harbor resident sent me this photo a few weeks ago. Keep an eye out for these as we have some volunteer trappers who will come and try to catch and remove them. They have multiplied and become a problem on Marco Island.
I guess you all know by now the RaceTrac gas station decision has been postponed until October. So everything on that is at a standstill.
At the last presidents council meeting I attended the Fire Dept informed us of a new APP being used now in Naples. It is for volunteer help with people having heart attacks in the city. The app called Pulse Point can be put on your phone and will alert you if someone nearby is having a heart attack. If you have taken the class and have the app on your phone, you will be alerted to where the person is and also to where the closest defibrillator is located. Then you may start CPR and send someone to get the machine. My understanding is that the sooner aid is given the better survival rate the person afflicted has. Persons acting to save lives are not subject to lawsuits according to the instructors. More on this later or you can go to the city website for more information. Pretty good idea though.
Also on the city website is a survey request from the 5th avenue people. We are all aware that 5th is the main street of Naples and the businesses there and the city council are always looking for feedback on how residents feel the street is developing. Some like the new stores; others feel that there are too many Real Estate offices and restaurants and not enough little shops. Regardless, this is you chance to voice you opinion.
The city just did a new solid waste study. The city has not had a rate increase in this area in 15 or more years so a study was needed. No one has been complaining about the service or the rates, and after a long presentation, it does appear the price may be going up about 70 cents a month. We will see what council votes on.
We will be getting the new directories next week. So, if you want yours and you are here in Naples I should have them by the middle of the week and you can stop by and pick it up. We will also have a “Directory Pick Up Open House” Friday and Saturday afternoon from noon to 4pm. We will plan to be here at that time until 4 pm so you do not have to call, just stop and we will give you yours. After that, we will hand out some and mail the rest.
Lastly, on the Naples web site there is a short survey regarding storm water runoff. This really is a problem in some parts of the city and when it rains big in the summer many streets get flooded. There is also an issue regarding the 7 out-flow pipes that are spread down the coast that channel street run off out into the Gulf. Most really do not know about these but the State of Florida does not like this procedure. The pressure is on to replace it, but no one seems to know what direction to take. I mean it rains, it collects and eventually it all goes to the Gulf or the bay. Isn’t this just Mother Nature at work?
I have had several people contact me about the next door email program they have been invited to join. This is NOT part of the Royal Harbor Association. Another REALTOR tried unsuccessfully to start this a year or so in Royal Harbor but most people did not want their emails out on another list. As far as I know this is just a marketing tool and a way to gain lists of property owners emails. It is a nation wide program.
I have the new RCC cards and I am planning to mail them out next week when I can get volunteers to do it. If you want yours now, you may stop here and pick yours up. We ordered each family one card. They cost us $8 each so this will be your cost if you want another or extra one. Call me ahead so I here to get yours ready for you and make a note you have picked it up.
The new entry into Royal Harbor sign is now installed on Sandpiper Street. It took forever to get the OK and permit from the city to replace this sign. Working with government is frustrating, but thankfully our liaison from the city, Bob Middleton, helped and we got this done. We paid for this out of your annual $50 dues, just like we paid for the other two monuments and our electricity used there for lighting. This is a good reminder to all for when you are entering Royal Harbor.
Work on the sewer line is going on and should be completed soon so the detour sign will go away. It has led to more people stopping at the 4 way though.
I still have about 50 people from last year who have not renewed their membership. Please get this done this week if you can. Next week we will be sending out our board members to finish up this drive. They will be knocking on your door to get you signed up. I do not know why this is always such a monumental task.
ANNUAL MEETING Since this is an ‘off election’ year we are not going to have an evening annual meeting and invite the city manager, Mayor, council persons, police chief and fire chief etc. Last year we had as many people on the agenda as we had from the community which shows there is not a lot of interest in coming to meetings. So we will have our ‘regular’ February meeting be the ‘annual’ meeting. All members are invited to attend. We will send our financial report out ahead by email. More details to follow after we meet next week to iron out the details.
Another change in our normal operation is that we are now going to offer the first year membership to the association free. So if a new member moves into Royal Harbor all we need is you to get their names, email and address and send them to us and we will put them on the membership rolls. This will recycle every calendar year. So please help us get everyone enrolled.
As you can see I am still acting as president of the association. I have agreed to continue awhile longer. Like it or not. HA HA