WATERBROOK FALLS HOME OWNERS ASSOCIATION

Waterbrook Falls is a 260-unit development in northwestern Jacksonville, Florida near Interstate 295 and New Kings Rd.(US1). Convenient location is a big advantage of living in Waterbrook Falls with much of northeastern Florida within a one-hour drive. The I-295 loop around Jacksonville passes only a mile or so away. US1 is a major northwest/southeast highway with quick access to downtown and Nassau County.

Waterbrook Falls includes single-family homes ranging from 1,200 to over 4,000 sq. ft. Construction started in 2004 and Waterbrook Falls reached capacity in 2010. The three sections of Waterbrook Falls are accessible from Garden Street via Lancashire Drive, Quail Trace Lane and Timber Falls Lane.

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Waterbrook Falls HOA Meeting

Saturday, June 12th   9AM

Entrance Park, Garden St. & Lancashire Dr.

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ANNUAL ASSESSMENTS

PAYING WITH CREDIT CARD

PROPOSED ACTIVITIES

KEEPING STREETS OPEN

PROHIBITED PARKING

DON'T FEED WILDLIFE

LAKES & DRAINAGE

BASIS & PURPOSE

CSX TRAIN PROBLEMS

ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW

NUISANCE REPORTS

COVENANTS & RESTRICTIONS LINK

GARBAGE PICKUP

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ANNUAL ASSESSMENTS

Cost is $275 per lot.   Invoices are mailed in December.   Deadline for payment is January 31st.   For 2021 assessments, the deadline was 1/31/21.   Overdue accounts are subject to late fees.

Depending on financial conditions, a credit may be allowed for lot owners with paid-up accounts.   For 2021, the credit was $50, so the effective assessment was $225 for those who had no delinquencies as of January 2021.  Qualifiers who paid the full $275 receive an extra $50 credit for 2022.


PAYING ASSESSMENTS WITH CREDIT CARD

Waterbrook Falls annual assessments may be paid using your credit card.  A nominal service charge applies to cover card company commission costs.

Contact Community Manager Vina Delcomyn.... Awakenings AMI at 904-291-9598

Of course, you can avoid the service charge by sending your check or money order via postal mail to Waterbrook Falls HOA c/o Awakenings AMI; 4213 County Road 218 Suite 1; Middleburg FL 32068


PROPOSED ACTIVITIES

Waterbrook Falls HOA Board is gauging interest in activities for 2021.   These will be discussed at the June 12th Board meeting.   If you can volunteer to organize, assist or participate in either of these activities, please attend.

***Community Yard Sale: The first one in December included around two dozen sellers.

***Food Truck Friday (or other day): Possibly 4-8pm weekday or 12-3pm Saturday.   Sufficient interest needed to attract a good variety of truck owners.

If there is another activity that interests you, come and tell us.   Volunteer to organize, assist or participate.


KEEPING STREETS OPEN

To ensure safe street passage and emergency vehicle access, please allow sufficient space when parking in Waterbrook Falls (and elsewhere).

A ten-foot "fire lane" is recommended.   Width of most vehicles is 6 to 7 feet.   Streets are 18 to 20 feet wide.   So two vehicles parked opposite each other leave little room for street traffic.   Also increased probability of "fender benders" and "hit & runs."

Sec. 804.1004 of Jacksonville's ordinance code states

Parking not to obstruct traffic

(a) No person shall park a vehicle upon a street in such a manner or under such conditions as to leave available less than ten feet of the width of the roadway for free movement of vehicular traffic or in any portion of a traffic lane.

(b) Where streets are not completely paved or curbs provided, the parking of a car shall not usurp more than 12 inches of the paved portion of the street.

(c) Violation of this Section shall constitute a class A offense.

Street blockages should be reported using JSO's non-emergency phone number 630-0500.

If emergency vehicle access is potentially blocked, cite "dangerous illegal parking."   Photos may be helpful.


PROHIBITED PARKING: COMMERCIAL VEHICLES IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS

Section 656 of the city ordinance code prohibits parking of commercial vehicles in residential districts. Only short-term parking for loading, unloading, service work, etc. is permissible.

To report illegal parking, phone Jax Sheriffs Office at 630-0500.

Scroll down to the NUISANCE REPORTS section of this page for more on reporting ordinance violations.


DON'T FEED WILDLIFE

Feeding ducks, geese, racoons, etc. seems harmless but causes problems for neighbors when animals return and congregate.   Please do neighbors a favor and refrain from feeding wildlife.


WATERBROOK FALLS LAKES

Ten larger lakes in Waterbrook Falls form a complex stormwater management and drainage system.   These lakes are connected above and under the ground to control rainfall and minimize flooding.

A series of small dams and other devices help maintain minimum levels in lakes, so none run dry.

After heavy rains, most standing water on streets and lots should be gone within 12 to 18 hours.   Keeping storm drains on streets clear helps get rid of excess water quicker.

Stormwater lakes are found in all three sections: Quail Trace, Central Lancashire Area and Timber Falls.   General water movement in Waterbrook Falls is from NW to SE.   The Quail Trace output goes toward town along an easement that starts near Iowa St. and Garden St.

Our system does not receive outside funding.   Maintenance is paid by Waterbrook Falls HOA (and residents).  We employ certified technicians to ensure that our stormwater management system is kept up to standards mandated in agreements with the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) and Army Corps Of Engineers (ACOE).

References

Waterbrook Falls Covenants & Restrictions, Section 10.26 & 10.27

Also Article XI for Conservation Easement Areas

SJRWMD File Number 4-031-85330-2

ACOE # 2002059000 (IP-W)


BASIS & PURPOSE

Often asked is why Waterbrook Falls HOA exists.   Why are annual assessments required?

In the 1990s, Florida's Legislature incentivized creation of HOAs so much that it is nearly impossible to own a home in any subdivision built since then without being subject to an HOA and assessments.

HOA participation is an encumbrance on each lot owners's deed.   By taking possession, a new owner agrees to pay assessments and abide by restrictions.   For rental properties, the owner is responsible for ensuring compliance.

Only those willing to live in older homes or build on outparcels not included in Planned Unit Developments (zoning language for subdivisions) can escape being part of an HOA along with the assessments and restrictions that accompany them.

Before construction starts, PUDs require approval of a site plan by local state and federal government.   Also a means to perpetually satisfy legal obligations such as complying with growth management rules, conservation easements and water management edicts.   Agencies demanding compliance include the St. Johns Water Management District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville planning and code enforcement authorities.

For the most part, government does not pay for installation or maintenance of drainage, associated retention ponds and water control devices.   As years pass, erosion and decay take a toll.   With our infrastructure nearing the 20-year mark, this is a growing concern.   Over the years, your Board has created an adequate reserve fund.   Otherwise, owners might pay extra assessments when failures occur.

Legislators love HOAs because they shift responsibility for infrastructure and maintenance over to subdivision lot owners who pay property tax and also annual assessments.   Some developments go even further when developers establish Community Development Districts (CDDs).  Residents pay an extra line on their annual property tax bills.   Fortunately, Waterbrook Falls is not a CDD though there are some in Duval and Nassau counties where residents pay HOA assessments, CDD tax plus regular property taxes.

Government planners and agencies required Waterbrook Falls developer, Kendale, to satisfy many stipulations before granting approval to begin construction here in the early 2000s.   The developer used loans to fund upfront costs of roads, drainage, sidewalks and other infrastructure.   The developer apportioned these costs into the selling price of each lot.

Lenders required Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions to protect their collateral.   When the developer left here in 2010, a resident-controlled Waterbrook Falls HOA assumed responsibility for the developer's commitments.

Today, agencies still expect drainage and conservation areas to be maintained to specific standards.   Code enforcement gets upset with lack of landscape maintenance.   If inspectors find violations, all residents are subject to fines and special assessments.   If an HOA becomes inactive, a "receiver" may take over.   Assessments go up and residents lose control.

The MAIN purpose of Waterbrook Falls HOA is to keep these agencies satisfied.   Your current volunteer directors--Randy Williams, Dexter Smith and Billy Williams--have served many terms.   They are happy to provide their time and service to benefit owners and residents.   Along with Community Manager Vina Delcomyn, our job is to "keep the doors open" by satisfying our obligations to SJRWMD, ACOE, Jax Code Enforcement, etc.   We also keep common areas insured, entrances looking presentable, non-private property mowed, electric and irrigation bills paid, etc.   Fortunately, the city does maintain roads.   If we had gates, lot owners would be responsible for road maintenance too.

As residents and owners volunteer their time and talents, activities can be added.   If you have an idea for a new project or activity, develop a plan, recruit volunteers to assist and present it to the board.



HOAs AND THE LAW

Florida Statutes Section 720.403 lists two purposes of home owner associations:

(1) Protecting structural and aesthetic elements of a residential community.

(2) Maintaining streets, easements, water & sewer systems, drainage, utilities, conservation & open areas, recreational amenities and common areas.

Mandatory home owner association membership for all Waterbrook Falls property owners was a condition attached by the developer to the deed of each land parcel in Waterbrook Falls.   Most subdivisions built since the 1990s include similar requirements.

The Waterbrook Falls Home Owners Assn. is chartered by the state and the IRS as a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation.   Until 2010, it was controlled by the developer.   It is now governed by directors who are residents.   Each lot owner has one vote to elect directors at annual meetings.   Owners who cannot attend may file proxies to cast their vote.

All owners participate in providing funds.   Liens may be placed on properties if owners are delinquent in paying annual assessments.   Liens prevent title transfer until satisfied.   Eventual foreclosure is permitted under Florida law to satisfy overdue assessments.   Liens also may prevent refinancing.

HOA funds may not be used for improvements on privately-owned lots within Waterbrook Falls.

HOW ASSESSMENT INCOME IS SPENT

**Expenditures mandated by local, state and federal regulations: conservation areas, drainage system, etc.

**Retention pond maintenance, algae control

**Park, common area and right-of-way landscaping & maintenance

**Entrance signage, Garden St. fencing and post maintenance

**Liability insurance

**Common area electricity, lighting, irrigation and water costs

**Management expenses

**Corporate registration fees, accountant & bank charges

**Costs to collect amounts owed and enforce covenants

RESERVE FUNDS

Likelihood of major expenses increases as time passes.   For example, drainage system components are critical for proper runoff and flood prevention.   These are very expensive to refurbish or replace.

Having adequate reserve funds prevents special assessments for each owner when infrastructure components fail.

A high priority over the past several years has been to build up our reserve funds.

HOW HOA FUNDS ARE NOT USED

**For improvements to individual lots and privately-owned areas.   Only common areas and rights-of-way are eligible for funding.

**To pay directors.   Waterbrook Falls HOA is governed by volunteer directors who reside here.



STOPPED TRAINS & BAD NEIGHBORS

By Billy Williams

I detailed complaints about CSX trains blocking crossings on Trout River Blvd., Old Kings Rd. and Dunn Ave. at the District 8 Town Hall meeting with council representative Ju'Coby Pittman.

Nothing has changed.   Stopped trains continue blocking thoroughfares for 30 minutes or more causing dangerous traffic backups to spill over onto New Kings Rd. near the I-295 exit.   Longer trains and a cramped nearby intermodal rail yard have translated into long waits at Dinsmore crossings.

While most understand the need to tolerate reasonable train crossing delays, CSX practices have become outrageous.  Their CEOs have bragged about improving profitability by running longer trains using fewer workers.   See https://www.actionnewsjax.com/news/local/conductor-csx-cuts-creating-longer-trains-delays-for-neighbors/572535o4l

CSX apparently assembles and disassembles increasingly long trains in their intermodal yard while crossings are blocked, sometimes up to 30 minutes or more, causing long lines of vehicles. Trains stop and inch forward as more strings of cars are attached or detached.   As I stated to Councilwoman Pittman, CSX should either improve/enlarge their yard or use shorter trains.

Complaints to CSX in the past (going back many years) have resulted in vague promises to improve in the future.   But how far in the future?

There are fines for blocking crossings but these are small.   According to an article in the Florida Times-Union, headlined Blocking Baldwin on June 26, 2018, CSX settles large batches of fines eventually for pennies on the dollar.   According to the article, "CSX trains routinely block roads (including US90) for periods that can just take minutes or can run into hours, according to local officials and residents."   CSX declined three interview requests for the article.

Hours? Perhaps we should feel fortunate!

CSX is a bad neighbor and they apparently have little regard for those inconvenienced, including busses, police, fire trucks and rescue vehicles.   Norfolk Southern Railroad is an example of a good neighbor.   Their Garden Street crossing is rarely blocked by a stopped train.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Fines should be increased, ordinance wording tightened, enforcement stepped up and no lowball settlements accepted.   Besides complaining to city council and CSX, you should make notes of times that you are inconvenienced by a stopped train blocking a crossing, especially if the crossing is blocked over five or ten minutes.   Include the location, date, duration and times that crossings were blocked.   Videos are good for flagrant cases.   If enough people do this, more pressure can be brought to bear.   Urge others in area communities affected by stopped CSX trains in Dinsmore to join in.

Put your time to use while you sit in your car waiting for CSX trains to clear crossings.   Utilize your portable internet communications devices to spread the word.   Let me know when you log a dozen or more stalled trains that block crossings for more than ten minutes.   Contact details are at the bottom of this page.


ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW

Section 6.1 of the Waterbrook Falls Covenants and Restrictions mandates that many external changes to homes and lots be approved by HOA architectural reviewers before these changes are made.

Prior approval is required for:

Significant landscape alterations/improvements.

Replacement of grass areas in yards with other material.

Fences

Patios

Structures including sheds, screens, enclosures, walls, etc.

Drainage components

Driveways

Large yard objects and devices

Home exterior color changes

Roof color or material changes (metal, etc.)

Other major external improvements

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At present, architectural review is NOT required for:

Temporary portable items that are removed in a timely manner

Shrub and flower beds

Small gardens

Normal landscaping procedures and minor improvements.

Doghouses, tables, chairs, childrens play items and other small backyard accessories

Repainting exterior with same color.

Roof replacement with same color & material.

Applying for architectural review is free and simple.   Request a form from Community Manager Vina Delcomyn (see contact details below).   Describe your proposed changes, attach a hand-drawn sketch or survey plat of your lot showing where a proposed fence, building, etc. will be located.   For structures, indicate the color and materials to be used.

**Please note that many properties include easements for utilities, access, etc. Fences and structures cannot block these easements.

**There are setback requirements, especially in front yards.

**No improvements may be made to areas designated as conservation, buffers, etc., even on private lots.   Your deed survey should indicate these areas (often shaded on survey plats).   There are heavy fines imposed by state and federal regulators for disturbing these areas under conservation easement.

**Most major improvements require application for and receipt of a building permit from Jacksonville building and zoning.   These requirements often change and when asked, B&Z representatives have given conflicting answers and opinions in the past.   Be sure to get answers and opinions in writing--or at least record the official's name along with time and date for future reference.

**The City of Jacksonville Ordinance Code is online via www.coj.net and can be used for reference.

**We will approve applications prior to a city building permit being applied for or issued.   But be sure to get one if required.

With Google Earth and other internet resources now available to regulators, you may get unfriendly visits from government officials if you make "undocumented" improvements.


NUISANCE REPORTS

***Loud noise, illegal parking, street obstructions, disturbances, etc.: Jacksonville Sheriffs Office non-emergency 904-630-0500

***Zoning & Code Violations, Commercial Vehicle Parking Violations: Jacksonville Municipal Code Enforcement

https://www.coj.net/departments/neighborhoods/municipal-code-compliance%EF%BB%BF

http://www.coj.net/departments/neighborhoods/municipal-code-compliance/what-we-enforce---

***Disabled/Abandoned vehicles, unsatisfactory/unsafe conditions on streets & other city-owned property, garbage problems, etc:

http://630city.coj.net or phone 904-630-CITY (630-2489).

***Streetlights, JEA matters 904-665-6000 or jea.com and look for View Current Outages Or Report An Issue


GARBAGE PICKUP

Under contract from the city, Advanced Disposal provides garbage pickup in Waterbrook Falls.   Have garbage out by 6AM.

Yard waste pickup is Weds.   Limbs must be under 5ft long.

Regular garbage collection day is Thursday.   Residents provide their own cans.

Recycle pickup is every other Tuesday using carts provided.

Advanced Disposal website is http://www.advanceddisposal.com/

OK for Recycle:

**Paper (mail, newspapers, magazines, paperback books, phone books, Brown paper bags, cardboard 2' x 3' or smaller, catalogs)

**Metal (aluminum cans & baking pans, steel food containers)

**Plastics (numbered 1,2,3,5,7; detergent bottles; cleaning solution bottles; food & beverage containers)

**Cartons (milk, juice boxes, soup)

**Glass (green, brown, clear bottles and jars.) No lids

Do Not Recycle:

Batteries, Styrofoam, Needles, Aerosol Cans, Propane Tanks, Plastic Bags

For TVs and other large electronic items, appliances, tires....call 630-2489 to request pickup.


WATERBROOK FALLS COVENANTS & RESTRICTIONS

Click here to read.

An email to n4uf@jaxradio.net will get you a copy in reply, if link doesn't work.

Waterbrook Falls covenants and restrictions are posted on the Duval County Clerk website duvalclerk.com

Choose Online Records in the upper left part of the main page.   Then choose "Acclaim Official Records"

Then choose "Name" under "Official Records Search"

Put "Waterbrook Falls LLC" in the Name box.   The document type is Restrictions (RST).

Waterbrook Falls LLC is the developer's corporation.   The basic documents are dated 2/4/2004.   The developer made subsequent modifications that can be viewed using an advanced search but the thrust is spelled out in the 2/4/2004 filings.

PLATS

Plats are diagrams of lots and structures.   Your deed usually contains a plat which includes measurements of your lot along with utility easements. conservation areas, etc.   These are important if you desire to make improvements.

The developer filed plats of the entire Waterbrook Falls subdivision.

Unit One, filed in January 2004, includes the central area along Lancashire Dr. and adjacent streets. Unit Two (June 2005) includes most of the remainder of the large central part of Waterbrook Falls.

Unit Three (July 2006) includes the Timber Falls and Quail Trace areas along with the westernmost part of the central part.

To view plats, access Waterbrook Falls LLC (as shown above).   Choose PLAT as document type.

Several versions of purported Waterbrook Falls CCRs have been circulated.   The only version with legal standing is posted on Duval County Clerk of Courts website.



WATERBROOK FALLS HOA NEWSLETTER

It's sent by postal mail to all addresses of record in August and December.   Additional issues published as circumstances warrant.   If you are not receiving the newsletter, contact Community Manager Vina Delcomyn.

2020-2021 Waterbrook Falls HOA Officers

Billy Williams--------President
Randy Williams----Vice President
Dexter Smith--------Secretary

Community Manager

Vina Delcomyn
Awakenings AMI
904-291-9598
Vina.Delcomyn@AwakeningsAMI.com


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JaxRadio.net Editor

Billy Williams
PO Box 9673, Jacksonville FL 32208
904-765-3230
n4uf@JaxRadio.net