Buckhorn History

 

Homeowner's Association History

How the Association Started


Our homeowners association began in 1990 with a group of sixteen homeowners going door to door to ask for donations for the start-up fees. Homeowners who participated:

Jill Billings

Donna Smith

Priscilla Brinkman

Mary Solanis

Larry Carlson

Bill Suggs

Eileen Carlson

Gail Tate

Sheila Crudele

Ester Quintana

Joyce Delaney

Linda Wells

Val Knapp

Helen Zusazo

Bill Knapp

Mary Zlegelbauer

Michele Slagle

 

With one hundred and fifty-seven members and a total of $3,700.00, we had the money needed to hire an attorney. The attorney for Buckhorn Estates Homeowners Association filed the papers for a non-profit organization on January 23, 1991. The first official board meeting was April 10, 1991. The following slate of officers were elected:

John Billings - President
Ed Semans - Vice President
Paul Cowdin - Treasurer
Linda Wells - Secretary
Priscilla Brinkman, Steven Sharp, Shelly Sagle, Nick Hardwick and Diane Durazzo - Board Members.

We were chartered by the state on March 7, 1991. The first general meeting was August 12, 1991 at Buckhorn Springs Country Club. The goals for the Homeowners Association were:

  1. 1.To be a strong and united voice on local community issues; county zoning, schools, streets, utilities, etc. that directly impact our quality of life.
  2. 2.To organize and empower the enforcement of existing deed restrictions and zoning regulations.

  3. 3. To undertake and accomplish community improvement projects.

  4. 4. To be the source of social activities to bring the community closer together.

 

How the Association Started Again

In March 2001, residents whose homes are on the boundaries of Buckhorn Estates and Mulrennan Orange Groves (now known as Buckhorn Preserves), received a letter announcing a “Community Meeting” on March 6, 2001, in the “packing shed” of the grove property. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the rezoning of the property. During this meeting it became clear that Daton International wanted to rezone the property to put up 490 homes, some as small as 1,200 square feet, on 5,500 square foot lots and connect up to seven of our streets to their subdivision. There were several issues voiced concerning street safety, increased traffic, crime, street cut throughs and litter.
The general attitude of the community of Buckhorn Estates was such that several residents got together and discovered there was no Buckhorn Estates Homeowners Association because there was no Board of Directors. As a result, the corporation status required by the State of Florida had expired. It was decided then to do everything in our power to bring our community back together by restarting Buckhorn Estates Homeowners Association.

March 12, 2001, several of our residents attended the Zoning Hearing Masters meeting, as well as the residents who were by then meeting. We introduced over 200 letters and signatures from homeowners in Buckhorn Estates who opposed the connecting of our streets to the new development. We also coordinated residents with colored badges and provided information on what to expect.

March 19, 2001, a General Meeting was called of the Buckhorn Estates Homeowners Association at the Buckhorn Springs Golf and Country Club. The purpose of this meeting was to elect a Board of Directors and to inform residents of the upcoming Board of Commissioners meeting on April 24, 2001. Elected to the Board that night were: Kenny Faliero, President; Kevin Dorsey, Vice-President; Rex Bush, Treasurer; Jennifer Faliero, Secretary; Beverly Bush, Member At Large; John Baldwin, Member At Large and Gayle Baldwin, Member At Large. As the previous Association had been inactive for over two years, the new Board found a variety of issues that had to be addressed. These included two years of unopened mail, unpaid bills, undeposited checks and their status as a non-profit corporation had expired.

April 2, 2001, Hillsborough County’s Hearing Master’s Report was issued. This recommended the streets of Buckhorn Estates and the new development be connected for pedestrian traffic only.

April 4, 2001, Kenny Faliero and Rex Bush met with Daton International and their attorney. They negotiated an increase of the minimum square footage of houses from 1,200 to 1,500 square feet and the smallest lot size in the new development would be 6,500 square feet. Most important of all, they persuaded Daton International to rearrange their site plans so that only three of the previous seven roads would connect and those roads would be closed to vehicular traffic and only available to pedestrians.

April 17, 2001, Incorporation of Buckhorn Estates Homeowners Association was reinstated.

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The rest of the story: April 24, 2001, buses were rented to assist homeowners in attending the Board of County Commissioners meeting where they were to decide on the rezoning request. BEHA prevailed. There would be no vehicular connections to Buckhorn Estates, only sidewalks. County officials and realtors calculated that the average homeowner in Buckhorn Estates saved between $7,000 and $12,000 in property values due to these changes. That is approximately $6.5M in total value for our community!

 

The Story of Buckhorn Estates Neighborhood Park
1989-1995

    When we bought our home in Buckhorn Estates in January of 1989, the purchase price included something called “impact fees.” When we looked into this, we found that these fees were provided to the county in an escrow account for such items as community parks. Since children in our neighborhood had no place to play, we began to investigate how these impact fees were applied.

    We talked to county planners and our county commissioner. Throughout this process we were in regular contact with Mr. Pete Fowler, Manager of Hillsborough Parks and Recreation Department. The assistance of Pete and his people was much appreciated.

   One of the first things we learned was that Buckhorn impact fees did not guarantee a Buckhorn Community Park; County Commissioners would make this decision. It appeared the process would require four things.

  1. There must be no park within five miles.
  2. There had to be a place for the park.
  3. Residents had to approve of the park, and
  4. The County had to agree and make the arrangements: land purchase, approval of funding

    It turned out there were two possible areas, one where the park is currently located, and another on the south end of the community. That location, because of its proximity to the Lithia-Pinecrest-Bloomingdale Avenue intersection, appeared to be too expensive. Community approval was not that easy. We went door-to-door seeking support. Most were for the project. Homeowners whose property would be along the park’s boundaries expressed the most concern – rightly so. They were worried about noise and after-hours activity. We tried to accommodate their desires as much as possible. One of our first meetings with park officials was December 10, 1990, at the Brandon Recreation Center at Sadie Park. There were also community meetings at Buckhorn Elementary School.

     Ultimately, we took our proposal to the County Commissioners. We had a number of people testify, and we were able to secure their agreement. The land for our Neighborhood Park was purchased on July 31, 1991. The next step was for an architect to draw up the blueprints. Upon completion of the blueprints, the county then conducted another Neighborhood Meeting to give our community a final opportunity to view the plans before construction was to begin. The decision was made to have the park feature a water fountain, a basketball court, a jogging trail, and a playground for the children. Restrooms were not constructed so that people living outside the community would be discouraged from using the facilities. Plans were approved by the County Commission in June of 1991.


    In April 1992 the money for the construction of the park became available. Funds totaling $290,000 were set aside to accomplish this project from impact fees collected on the building of our homes! Construction began in March of 1995. Ribbon cutting and the Grand Opening were December 2, 1995 at 10:30 a.m.

And as Paul Harvey says… “Now, you know the rest of the story.

Bonnie Braden
Gayle Baldwin

* Adopted by the Board of Directors, March 2002