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INTRODUCTION

This introduction was prepared to serve several purposes. It is meant to familiarize new residents in our community with how we are organized and managed along with a summary history. It is also meant to inform all residents regarding areas where opportunities to volunteer are available to become involved in our day-to-day operations by serving on one of our numerous committees. We hope you enjoy being a part of a wonderful community at Lake of the Woods of Jacaranda and will participate fully in the life of this marvelous area.

A Brief History of our Community

In 1917 Herman Kluge first came to this area as a timber cruiser for a New York company. His assignment was to survey the area and determine whether the virgin pine forest between Venice and Port Charlotte Harbor were suitable for commercial timbering. At that moment in history, lumber was urgently needed in Britain and France for ship building and other uses during World War I. In 1918, the Manasota Land and Timber Company built a large sawmill southeast of Venice. Three years later another company bought it and gave it the name of Woodmere. Although the town of Woodmere only existed for a few years in the 1920s, at the time, it had more residents than Venice. The Woodmere name survives in this area in the names of roads, parks and residential and commercial developments.

The holdings of the lumber company were a part of an 1884 753,000 acre State of Florida land grant given in to the Tampa, Peace Creed and St. Johns River Railroad, which later changed its name to the Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railway Company. The state deeded to any railroad 10,000 acres of land for each mile of railroad built.

Eventually the property where our community is located became part of the Jacaranda P.U.D (Public Utilities Development) and residential development began by Gulfstream Development Corporation. The first phase known as Jacaranda West, began in the mid 1970ís along the eastern end of Shamrock Blvd. Shortly after this, part of Jacaranda Boulevard. was constructed from Center Road to Alligator Creek. The golf course and county club at Jacaranda West was constructed at that time.

During the 1980's, East Village, Meadow Run and Quail Lake were developed along Venice East Boulevard. Indian Hills Boulevard replaced Sklar Drive as the connecting road between Jacaranda Boulevard and Venice East Boulevard. At the end of the 1980's, Gulfstream Development began to construct Lake of the Woods as it was originally called. However, it was discovered that another development on the other coast of Florida already had that name and so our community was incorporated in August of 1989 as Lake of the Woods of Jacaranda.

Initially, the only access to Lake of the Woods of Jacaranda was what is now known as the south entrance to Lake of the Woods Drive. The completion of Venice East Boulevard to Center Road was yet to come. It was during this period Gulfstream Development Corporation experienced financial difficulty and declared bankruptcy. Our community was in legal "limbo" during this time. Park Estates was being developed as a sub-development of Lake of the Woods of Jacaranda with the intention of making it a separate entity but still governed by the master association documents.

Eventually, Taylor Woodrow Communities purchased the Lake of the Woods of Jacaranda property. The new developer entered into an agreement with J & J Homes Inc., to rename the undeveloped section of Lake of the Woods of Jacaranda to the Lakes of Jacaranda. Like Park Estates, the Lakes of Jacaranda are a part of the master association but they also operate as a separate entity with deed restrictions of their own.

Grassy Oaks II became a sub-section of Lakes of Jacaranda with the original J & J Homes intent that all units would be maintenance free, therefore creating yet another sub-association of the master association. Because of marketing changes, J & J Homes later modified the status of this area and made only some of the lots maintenance free while the remainder of the lots are part of the Lakes of Jacaranda Association. Grassy Oaks is not part of the master association but some residents (lots) have an agreement to use the clubhouse facilities in The Lakes of Jacaranda.

The organization chart below shows more graphically how our association is organized.

    Lake of the Woods of Jacaranda HOA
(Master Association)
   
The Lakes of Jacaranda HOA Park Estate
HOA
There are two maintenance sub associations within the community, Grassy Oaks II and Grassy Oaks III. Some members of Grassy Oaks, a separate association, are also members of the Lakes of Jacaranda, Home Owners Association.

In Florida, homeowners' associations are the cornerstones of most planned residential communities such as ours. Homeowners' associations are organized under the Florida Not For Profit Corporation Act, modified by special provisions now grouped together in Chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes. As a corporation, a homeowners' association must have a Board of Directors that assumes responsibility for the preservation and promotion of the concept of planned residential living for which the community was created. That concept is different in different communities and is defined and described in detail in each community's Articles of Incorporation, Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions, and By-laws. They describe the processes and "rules" under which the community operates. Every owner should receive a copy of these documents from the seller when property in the community is purchased. All homeowners' associations are required to have at least one annual meeting at which the Board of Directors is elected. Board members are unpaid volunteers, and all members of the association (i.e. property owners) are eligible to run for the Board. Voting is strictly governed by the one vote per lot rule.

  There are five incorporated homeowners' associations involved in our particular community. The primary organization is Lake of the Woods of Jacaranda Homeowners Association, Inc. Incorporated in 1989; this organization is the entity that we refer to as the master community association.

At the next level, there exist two additional organizations. These are the Park Estates Homeowners Association, Inc. and the Lakes of Jacaranda Homeowners Association, Inc. The latter two associations are part of the master association. In addition to their own covenants and restrictions, these associations are subject to the terms of the master restrictions and articles of incorporation, bylaws and rules and regulation of the master community association. Finally, a third level exists that is associated with the Lakes of Jacaranda Homeowners Association, Inc. This is the Grassy Oaks II Residents Association, Inc. and the Grassy Oaks III Residents Association, Inc. These two residents associations encompass those lots referred to as the "maintenance free" associations. In addition to their own covenants and restrictions, these two residents associations are subject to the terms of the master restrictions and articles of incorporation, bylaws and rules and regulation of The Lake of the Woods of Jacaranda Homeowners Association, and those of the Lakes of Jacaranda Homeowners Association.

It is important to note that the community known as the original Lake of the Woods of Jacaranda is a member only of the master association. Similarly, Grassy Oaks II and Grassy Oaks III owners not in the maintenance free section are not members of the Grassy Oaks II and Grassy Oaks III Resident Associations.

Both Lake of the Woods of Jacaranda and Lakes of Jacaranda have five-member boards elected for 2-year terms, staggered so that approximately half are elected each year. Immediately after an election, the Board chooses from among its members a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer to serve for the coming year. All board meetings are open for residents to attend; however, residents do not have the right to participate in meetings unless requested by the Board. Meetings are generally held twice a month; notices of meetings are posted at least 2 days beforehand. Please refer to guidelines relating to rules and regulations governing membership participation.

The most important responsibility of the Board is financial: collecting money from residents, and spending it to maintain the community. The association is required to prepare an annual budget which sets forth the proposed expenditure of funds for the maintenance of the property and for the management of the association itself. This becomes the basis for determining the annual assessment fee that each property owner is obligated to pay toward the operation of the community. The financial records of the community must be kept according to generally accepted accounting principles, and a financial report must be provided to association members annually.

A second vital responsibility of the Board is the enforcement of the association's covenants.  Every property owner is presumed to have purchased his property with full knowledge of the restrictions and responsibilities imposed by the covenants.  These were designed by the developer in large part to protect property values; they have features such as architectural standards, property maintenance standards, rules concerning car parking, rules about pet care, etc.  Since many owners purchased their properties with the expectation that these rules would prevail, the Board has considerable power to enforce them, including the levying of fines, imposition of liens, etc.

If a homeowner receives a letter of non-compliance, the homeowner can immediately take corrective action or request a hearing before the next scheduled meeting of the Compliance Review committee. This committee consists of fellow homeowners as required under Florida Statutes. Please refer to LOWOJ RULES FOR FINES FOR VIOLATIONS OF COMMUNITY Declarations(s), Articles, and the By-laws and Rules and Regulations under DOCUMENTS . The application for a hearing is also included in this web page.

The Lake of the Woods of Jacaranda master association supports and is responsible for all "common area" throughout the community including the common grounds, roads, drainage structures, storm water retention ponds, lakes, wetlands, natural preserves, recreational area at the end of Cedarwood, entrances, etc. owned by the association. They also sponsor the organization of groups of resident volunteers for various community purposes, such as enhancing property security, dealing more effectively with disasters, organizing social functions, etc. They may also publish directories, newsletters, and other publications for the benefit of residents.

The Park Estates association owns its roads separate from the master association, but through a recent agreement between the associations they are maintained on the Lake of the Woods of Jacaranda master schedule by that association. Park Estates also enforces covenants and restrictions unique to the Park Estates "limited common areas". Limited common areas are those that are for use, only by members of a specific association. For Park Estates, these include roads, signs, sidewalks, drainage structures, entrance signs, a small internal park and landscaping.

The Lakes of Jacaranda association is, similarly, responsible only for their limited common areas including maintenance of clubhouse; pool, tennis courts, and landscaping that constitute the recreational facility.

To view all of the organization and its Board Members, click here

Management of the Associations

In addition to the Board of Directors, Lake of the Woods of Jacaranda and Lakes of Jacaranda associations employ a property management company, Keys-Caldwell Inc., 1162 Indian Hills Blvd., Venice, Florida, (941)408-8293, Attention Jim Kraut, Property Manager. This licensed property management company handles such functions as collection of fees, management of and disbursement of funds, hiring maintenance sub-contractors, and general communications with homeowners.

Architectural Review

Refer to the Covenants, Rules and Regulations for each association regarding the particular requirements for seeking approval to make improvements such as installation of solar panels, hurricane shutters, or any change to your exterior such as paint color, landscaping, etc. Architectural Review is the responsibility of Lake of the Woods of Jacaranda master association. Architectural review within Park Estates is also the responsibility of this association. There is a Memorandum of Understanding between the Board of Directors of Lake of the Woods of Jacaranda and the Board of Directors of Park Estates. The following recaps this agreement. A) Lake of the Woods of Jacaranda HOA, utilizing its Architectural Review committee (ARC), will continue to exercise architectural control over all buildings, structures and improvements to be placed or constructed upon any property with Lake of the Woods of Jacaranda in order to ensure the development of the entire community as a residential community of high standards and aesthetic beauty. B) Residents of park Estates wishing to make any architectural changes to their property must comply with the procedures established for the review of such changes to ensure uniformity in the enforcement of standards. C) Nothing in this Memorandum of Understanding is intended to restrict or influence the ability of the Park Estates Board of Directors to require higher standards for building, structures and improvements within Park Estates.

Lakes of the Woods of Jacaranda has two single purpose Architectural Review Applications. The documents are available under the DOCUMENTS on this web site. Note that the covenants provide that the ARC has thirty (30) days in which to review the application. No project shall be started prior to receipt of written approval from the committee. The committee meets twice a month, on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each Month. Meetings are held at 10am and homeowners are welcome to attend any meetings. The committee is made up of two (2) Board members and four (4) homeowners.

Bill Meints & John Siegfried 2007 as amended 2012 by Joe Beima

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