WFNA Bulletin Board
A quarterly meeting is to be held on October 19, 2009, at Wiindsor Hall, 302 Briarcliff Circle, Savannah, GA. 31419 The principal speaker will be the newly appointed temporary Metro Chief of the Chatham-Savannah Police Department, Assistant Metro Chief Willie C. Lovett, Chief Lovett filled the post for a year when former Chief Dan Flynn (another import) left, prior to the hiring of now former chief Michael Berkow. Lovett will refill the post again now that Berkow resigned after less than three years to return to Los Angeles for a job. Lovett has again asked that serious consideration be given to appointing him as the permanent chief. Crime stats were reduced during Lovett's prior one year service. Former chief Berkow leaves Lovett as Savannah's crime stats are greatly increasing.
Dues paying members will be receiving their Fall Newsletter announcing the meeting. Public notice will also be given by signs posted at each of the brick markers at the main entrances to the area. This is an especially important speaker who will be talking on crime in Savannah. He will speaking about what he intends to do about it. Lovett is a 36 year veteran and has a highly impressive background. You will want to attend the meeting.
The Association is now presssing for local residents to join in a Neighborhood Watch program, an important way we can help the police reduce the crime rate that Chief Lovett inherits from Berkow. The co-chairs of this program will be speaking briefly at the quarterly meeting and accepting your application to participate.
Residents are warned to see Item 2 below concerning sex offenders and to check it frequently. There seems to be an influx of offenders that have moved into the Savannah area, or maybe it is being given added attention since the Jessica Case in Florida where a young girl was abused and buried alive by a sex offender living in the neighborhood. The offender actually briefly stayed in our area, was question by our police, then proceeded to Augusta where that police department's officers arrested him for return to Florida.
If you want help in reporting a property maintenance or zoning problem through the Association, contact Dianne Thurman, Chair of the Association's Property Maintenance Committee: email@example.com
The Association serves as a conduit of complaints, bringing residents' complaints to the attention of the proper City agency and following up on those complaints with the agency involved.
Your Association is involved with the City authorities in a number of ongoing projects, one recent major one is the suggesting where the new "slow down speeding car mats" should be placed. We know that most residents would like them in front of their own houses, but we had to select a limited number of trouble spots as the City limited the number of mats available for each area. We suggest that you register your complaints about speeding cars with the police. If possible, give them the tag number of the car, the time of occurence and a brief decription. Record the time and the police officer's name who takes the commplaint. Also complain to the Association if the car speeding continues on your street. Speeding continues to be a serious problem in most residential areas. Unfortunately, the police can not be everywhere, but it helps for them to be notified of especially troublesome areas.
YOU CAN'T PLEASE EVERYBODY - The local paper carried a letter from a WF resident complaining about the waste of tax money on flowers, and other beautification at the intersection of Windsor Road and Largo Drive. Some of us, the majority we believe, thought removal of the former bedraggled nail studded palm tree, the proliferating homemade signs, and unplanted bare ground was greatly improved by their replacement with the planting of shrubs, flowers and the oak tree. But, there is always someone who thinks differently, isn't there? One recent complaint is from a resident that accused the Association of endorsing a local politician. The resident also demanded her dues be returned as "she was a new resident who should have received membership free for the first year." The Asociation wrote her that we do not endorse anyone as an Association - we note that individual Board members may have their personal opinions, but the Association does not endorse candidates. Note that we must as an Association work with whoever is in office; we thank them when they support our projects; we protest when they do not. Note in this case the Board decided to refund the resident's dues even though she had joined the Association prior to the time the Association offered free dues for first year of a new resident. We have since discontinued this offer.
l. Necessary Building Permits
We notice that in some areas garages are being enclosed to make an additional room. The protective covenants of a subdivision usually require at least one garage or one carport per house, sometimes more; enclosing the garage is generally a violation of these covenants. Building a garage or carport in front of the required setback of the house is also a violation. Additionally, the City requires a building permit for such additions be posted and visible on the premises during construction, though presence of a building permit does not always mean the construction is not in violation of the convenants or building setback line (generally, 25 to 50 feet from the street). For those neighbors who object to such construction as a violation, you should call the Savannah Department of Inspections (now known as the Department of Development Services)and discuss your objection. Also call and let the Association know of your objections.
Listed below are requirements for adding a carport/garage to your existing property:
Tents are considered temporary and are only allowed in the rear yards in residential areas.
A site plan must be submitted for review and approval by the City's Zoning
Services for temporary tents and temporary carports. They can be reached at
Permanently attached carports are allowed in residential areas and they can
be located on the side and front of the house in addition to the rear yard.
For permanently attached carports, a building permit including a
construction plan and site plan must be submitted to the City's Development
Services Department (formerly known as Inspections Department).
One key element in the review is the total land coverage of all roofed
structures on the lot cannot exceed 30% of the lot size.
If you have any questions regarding temporary tents/carports or permanently
attached carports, please contact the City's Development Services Department
2. SEX Offenders List
http://www.familywatchdog.us/Search.asp is the web address for a website into which you can put your address for a listing of nearby local sex offenders.
The site has a picture of the registered individual, his name and his address near your home, also showing a map of the area with the location of your home and that of the subject's home. You should double check the names on the website with those listed on the Georgia Bureau of Investigation sex offender website located at www.ganet.org/gbi/sorsch.cgi?
ILLEGAL Posting Signs
Our Association newsletters repeatedly call for an end to the posting of signs on trees, posts, and poles, or in city medians and plats. It's illegal- as well as unsightly. The people posting the signs almost never return to pick them up. This creates a further unsightly mess. As a past association news article stated, the "final straw" occurred when some people started using the new, young trees on which to post their signs. Recently signs were plastered on area Stop Signs, obscuring the words on the sign - definitely not a good idea. Signs not only "litter", but are an unsightly habit the Association intends to end. We enjoy "Garage Sales," but not picking up the signs. Try putting your ad in one of the local newspapers.
4. Traffic - Speeding
Speeding on the streets is a constant problem, particularly on those area streets that are used as "through streets" by drivers on their way through the Windsor Forest area. It also is a bad habit of some of our residents who should know better. The only solution is to put pressure on the PD Traffic Unit and the 4th PD Precinct, which covers our area. Call regularly about speeders and record the name of the officer with whom you talk. You might also call or write the Chief's office if the problem does not receive attention. There is no excuse for the rate of speed some drivers use in driving in Windsor Forest. Register your complaints with the Association. It will also contintue to complain and ask that speeding tickets be given out to drivers - not only on Abercorn, but the residential streets. We won't give up and neither should you.
5.The Windsor Forest Garden Club membership is open to men and women; it meets monthly September to May, 10 am, 4th Tuesday, at White Bluff Methodist Church; visitors welcome. Meetings feature expert talks on all phases of horticulture; dues are $10 annually. It's also a great way to get to know your area neighbors. Contact the WF Association if interested. The Association owes them for the support they have always given us. We think every member of the Garden Club is also a member of this Association.
6. Inquiry of the Zoning Department relative to operation of a business in the residential area of Windsor Forest and surrounding residential areas determined that:
a. There must be no customer, employee, or other traffic to and from the residence.
b. There must no no changes made to the residence.
c. There must be no signage, i.e., no signs such as "Amway," "Notary Public," etc.
Note: There are at least three very limited exceptions involving boarding not more than two nontransient guests; a family day care home; a beauty parlor, details for which we suggest you contact the zoning office at 651-6530.
7. We are entering a battle to have the City Council adopt a workable ordinance to compel Landlords to maintain their property, just like homeowners have to do. Additionally, we are questioning the necessity of placing a traffic circle at the intersection of Windsor Road and Largo Drive, effectively destroying the attractive circle we worked so hard for. It would be in a school zone, bring more cars into our neighborhoods, increase the speed of the cars that would no longer be forced to stop at the intersection. In our opinion, a traffic circle would bring no positive benefit to our neighborhoods; it would benefit only those citizens living primarily elsewhere who wish to speed through our neighborhoods faster and faster. We have met with a representative of the city and will have other meetings to express our opinions; meetings will also be scheduled for public input.
8. The Association has found that it is difficult to get something done regarding vacant houses that appear abandoned, resulting in overgrown lawns and even roof problems. A house on Dover Circle (solved)and another on Colony Court (solved) were particularly troublesome - as the long suffering neighbors can attest. We will persist and eventually solve such aggravating problems. Bureaucracy is aggravatingly slow at times. We wish the legal beagles who worry about the "rights" of absentee owners would have the same consideration about the "rights" of resident citizens.
9.� Honestly, we think some neighbors have rooms and rooms of junk that they gradually bring out to the curb each week: mattresses, old sofas, broken furniture, toys, bottles, etc. We don't see how one three bedroom house can produce so much junk for the curb every week.
l0.� The heavy planting of trees in our area has ended. There will be some replacements necessary, and some of the older and less substantial trees will have to be removed, but for all practical purposes the heavy planting of trees from which we have benefied has been completed. Stretch your imagination and visualize how the area will look in ten or less years with the shade trees. font face="arial,helvetica" size="-1">
11. >While residents have generally (but not completely) stopped posting "garage sale" signs in the Windsor Rd./Largo Dr. circular plat, we note there is developing a habit of posting the signs on isolated light poles. Please don't; it's illegal.
13.Remember the faithful, old palm tree that stood for so long in the circular plat at the intersection of Windsor and Largo? There were so many nails in it that the City had to take it down. Please, no nails in trees or light/phone poles! The trees eventually die and the phone and power linesmen get very unhappy when they "burn a pole" when their climbing boot spikes slide on hitting a nail.
12.As a result of our inquiry, the Association was advised by the City Manager's Office that the current City Ordinances provide: "Roll-Out Carts shall be placed at the curb by 7:00a.m. on the morning of the scheduled collection, but no earlier than 5:00 p.m. on the day prior to scheduled collection. Roll-out carts shall be returned by the resident to the rear or side yard location no later than 7:00 p.m on the day of collection." In addition, the city "roll-out cart shall be the only acceptable container for the disposal of residential garbage."
This prohibits leaving receptacles in front yards, sets the earliest the receptacle (5:00p.m.) may be placed at the curb the day before collection (normally Sunday), and prohibits the persistent use of unofficial receptacles.
14.If you do not belong to the Association, let us invite you to sign up. The Association is more than ten years old, and has distributed many newsletters with applications for membership. There's another one below that you can copy and mail in.
We have been taken to task more than once by non-members making a complaint who act offended when asked if they are a Association member. No, it is not necessary for a resident to be an Association member in order to make a complaint, but we do get a little puzzled when the caller repeatedly calls and wants to know details and just why a delay may have occurred in correction of the problem. We welcome complaints from all residents, but please understand if we also ask you when you call if you are a member. It's a hint that we would like you to pitch in and help the "rest of us volunteers." The shrubs, flowers, etc. at the three entrance markers are bought and paid for with dues. The weeding, etc. is done by volunteer members. Try helping.
Did I put that as tactfully as I should have? Probably not! But try to understand, anyway. We have decided to distribute quarterly newsletters only to members by mail. For the benefit of non-members, we will periodically leave any extra newsletters in local stores.
Here's an application for non-members:
Join the WFNA Association � Support and Protect your Neighborhood
( ) Yes, I would like to help in some way. Please contact me to discuss what I can do.
( ) No, I prefer to be an inactive, but supporting member.
( ) Families: $20 annually
Mail this application with your $20 check ) to WFNA, P. O. Box 60635, Savannah, GA 31420
15.�Your Association opposed opening of Largo to White Bluff Road, since it would bring a volume of traffic through our neighborhoods. One high-volume road is enough (Windsor Road). Largo will not be opened; a major building development known as Coffee Pointe now stands in the way.
residents persist in leaving their garbage receptacles in front of their houses
throughout the week (in violation of the city ordinance), we are now working
with the assigned area Property Inspectors, for a resolution of this problem. Unfortunately, we have determined that a few of our residents show a determination "not to cooperate." We would rather resolve the problem by persuasion, not court action. We think all of us, for instance, can agree that maintaining 5 garbage cans (or even one can)in the front yard throughout the week is not something we should tolerate. It is similar to the neighbor/resident, who waits until after the weekly trash is collected, then immediately puts
more junk to sit at the curb all week.
17 Interestingly, a troubesome residence problem has been solved with the sale of the residence and the move of the sloppy resident to the country where he can be free to park his vehicles wherever he wants - and his distance neighbors won't likely care if he cuts his lawn - or even has one. His former house already looks a 100% better, and the current resident is placing his trash receptacle behind his house after the Monday pick-up. That is one way to solve the problem.