The Vines Community Association Newsletter

The Vines

Issue #132, March 23, 2023

Board News

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Board Meeting

The Annual meeting will be held Monday, March 27 at 9am in the dining room of the Estero Country Club and via Zoom. The Zoom link will be emailed to you the Friday before by Pegasus. The annual meeting will be immediately followed by a Board meeting then an organizational meeting to select officers and assign committees.

Topics for discussion will include:

Election of Vintage Trace representative

Security cameras for the railroad tracks

Update on the lake bank restoration and aerator installation

Status of Ian related repairs

Update by Rail to Trail task force

Status of FPL utility pole installation

Discussion of options for interim improvement in the hedge

Chainlink fence repairs

Financial Statements, Board Meeting Minutes, Important Documents & More

The VCA portal on the Pegasus site allows residents to view the above mentioned information as well as much more. Login with your email address and password. If you do not have a password, Pegasus can provide you with one.

Pegasus Web Portal

Reminder: Submit A Claim for Your Loss Assessment to Your Insurance Company

Florida are requires that Condo owner's policies provide a minimum of $2,000 of loss assessment coverage with a maximum deductible of $250. Homeowner's policies are not required to include this coverage but most do.The amount of loss assessment coverage listed in your policy is the maximum that will be covered for a single event regardless of how many assessments you receive. This loss assessment coverage is not subject to your hurricane deductible. This coverage can be added or increased for a small sum to cover future Loss Assessments.

To file a claim contact your insurance company and submit the invoice received from your neighborhood association as well as the one from the VCA. Include the minutes from the Special Assessment meeting provided by Pegasus.

Special Assessment Meeting Minutes

If your insurance company requests further information submit the detail below or refer them to Ashley Richardson at Pegasus. Please note that an additional column with detail by unit was added since it appeared that some insurance providers were having difficulty with the math.

Ian Loss Assessment Detail

Volunteers Needed to Develop a Disaster Plan

Hurricane season is nearly upon us again. It became apparent in the aftermath of Ian that our homeowners' preparations and our disaster plan were outdated and inadequate. The VCA is forming a committee to develop a new disaster plan. We need your assistance. Anyone interested in serving on this committee should contact Deborah Moulton at

Perimeter Barrier Restoration

Our perimeter barrier consists of a hedge inside a chainlink fence around the entire property, plus a 6 foot wall bordering both sides of the main entrance, an automated gate at Nuthatch Lane and a staffed gate at Vintage Parkway. We have two gaps in this barrier one at each end of our community at the railroad tracks. As you are all aware all component of this barrier sustained damage during Ian.

We have been working diligently to develop options to improve the appearance and functionality of this barrier. Despite great efforts and many hours of work these plan are not ready for presentation to the community. The following summarizes the tasks to completed and some of the challenges we are facing.

To repair the chainlink fence:

  1. Obtain a building permit.
  2. Obtain permission from Belle Lago, Osprey Cove, Walmart and the owner of the lot across from the carwash to access the fence from their properties. The alternative is to denude the back side of the hedge.
  3. Completion of FPL's pole replacement project.

Status: We have 1 quote with 2 more expected by April15. The chainlink fence will remain in place even if a wall is built with the possible exception of a section immediately south of the entry wall.

To repair the entry wall:

  1. Obtain a building permit.
  2. A survey may also be required.

Status: We have 1 quote to match the existing wall. Because of its contours and limited length the price per foot is extremely high. If it is decided to replace the hedge with a wall we would want this wall to match, therefore replacement at this time does not seem practical. Replacing the two most damaged sections with one concrete wall panel and one recycled plastic wall panel as samples is under consideration.

To replace the hedge with a hedge or wall (Note: the hedge on the Southside bordering Belle Lago, Osprey Cove and Walmart would remain as a hedge. The wall would be on the Northside and Westside only.):

  1. Conduct an engineering study to make the necessary grading changes to repair erosion and hedge removal damage. We have been unable to get an engineering firm to even return our calls.
  2. Submit and obtain approval of a limited development order. This is just paperwork but requires the engineering study and possibly a survey.
  3. Remove the existing hedge and grade as specified in the engineering study. As yet we have been unable to identify a contractor willing do the necessary grading.
  4. Obtain quotes for installing a coquina walking path vs sod in ground exposed by the hedge removal and grading.
  5. Obtain a quote if curbing is required by the engineering study in some sections to accommodate a walking path. A hedge will require more feet of curb than a wall due to plant width.
  6. Completion of FPL's pole replacement project.

Additional requirements for replacing the hedge with a hedge:

  1. Request a deviation from a Village ordinance that prohibits the replacement of more than 10% of existing vegetation in any one year. While it is likely to be granted it is not assured.
  2. Locate several thousand plants of sufficient size. Stock was limited before the hurricane due to construction demands and has been further depleted since the hurricane. Plants are sold and priced by the container size not by height. Normally a 15 gallon plant would be between 4.5 and 5 ft, currently they are between 3.5 and 4 ft.

Status- Hedge with Hedge: We have 2 quotes that include removal of the existing hedge and providing and installing replacement plants. We are in the process of obtaining a 3rd quote. These quotes do not include grading.

Additional requirements for replacing sections of the hedge with wall:

1. Obtain a quote to insure the wall.

Status-Wall: We have obtained several quotes for providing and installing both concrete and recycled plastic walls. These quotes do not include grading.

FPL Utility Pole Replacement

FPL informed us that they will be replacing utility poles in our area. Their plan is to access the poles from our property on the entire Northside and on the Westside from 19163 to the 19033. As part of their plan they intend to remove 34 12 foot wide sections of hedge in these areas. The VCA has negotiated compensation of $54,222 for the damage to the hedge.

While FPL has scheduled this project to begin in July their vegetation removal sub-contractor has scheduled their work to begin in the next few weeks. Unfortunately this will create unsightly and unobstructed views of the campgrounds and neighboring properties.

We are trying to confirm if they will also be removing sections of the chainlink fence. If so we will also be negotiating for compensation to replace/repair the fence. Any fence repairs will be delayed until FPL has completed their project.

The Hedge

It's not white fly but our hedge has developed a new pest problem that is causing the leaves to fold in half, curl and turn brown. It has been sprayed and hopefully will stabilize and develop new leaves. Age in addition to the stress caused by Ian and the lack of rain has left the hedge extremely vulnerable to pests and disease.

Installation of Aerators and Lake Bank Restoration

Installation of 44 aerators has begun with plastic jugs marking the installation locations. These aerators are not fountains but a small column of water may be visible. They will increase the oxygen levels in the lake and help retard algae growth. Over time they will also decrease the amount of chemicals required to maintain water clarity and chemistry.

The branches in the lakes will also be removed within the next few weeks.

Restoration of the lake bank at Fairway Bend will begin in mid April following completion of the aeration project.

ARC Forms Are Not Just for Vintage Trace

Exterior modifications and renovations to the neighborhoods, such as painting, lighting, signs, tree removal and new landscaping must be submitted on an ARC form and obtain prior approval of the ARC and the Board.

All interior modifications and renovations within the neighborhoods must follow the rules, regulations and approval requirements of that neighborhood.

Annual Maintenance Review

Pegasus will be conducting a walk along Vintage Trace this spring to identify maintenance issues that need to be addressed on both VCA and private property. This annual review was postponed due to Ian. We recognize that time to complete repairs may need to be extended due to pending insurance claims and the difficulty in getting contractors to respond. Extensions will be granted on a case by case basis.

Rails to Trails

Our Rails to Trails Committee has been hard at work planning our opposition to the bike rail trail bisecting our community, including a group that canvassed for signatures from the neighboring communities of San Carlos Park and Granada Lakes on petitions opposing the rail trail through their backyards.  The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) of Lee County had its meeting on March 17, 2023.  We had a great showing of support for our opposition and presented the petitions, including the Vines petition with over 400 signatures.  We also presented the report of our professional planner, Charles Thomas.  Several of our members were speakers, and special thanks to them:  Tom Rubbelke, Barry Freedman, Steve Novasad, Allison Gouge, Diana and Bruce Ackerman.

For the first time, the MPO Planner and the Friends of BERT presented potential bridges that could take the path over Vintage Trace Circle and keep the users on the path.  However, they are still pressing to have the path use all of the railroad tracks and not go around The Vines.

The MPO approved the report and agreed to move onto the next stage, which is planning, design and engineering.  The MPO acknowledged that unless they reach agreement with the railroad company and have the funds to purchase the railroad, the project will be stalled.  The Committee is getting ready for the next steps in our opposition if that happens.

that the MPO has approved the feasibility study for the trail if you are selling your home it must be disclosed that a public trail through our community along the railroad right of way is a possibility.

No Parking Allowed

Please remind your landscapers and contractors that NO parking is allowed on the VCA side of Vintage Trace Circle. Vehicles must park on the homeowner's side of the road only. In addition, parking is not allowed adjacent to the center islands.

Vehicles parked on the wrong side and along the islands have been causing traffic problems and safety issues.

Estero News

Do you want to know what is happening in Estero? Do you want to get involved? Click on the link below to learn more about Engage Estero and its mission and its impact on the development of Estero click on the link below.

Visit Engage Estero Website

Important Contacts


Village of Estero

Your Councilmember is

Jon McClain


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Non-emergency police:


Hurricane hotline:



The Vines Community Association is managed by:

Pegasus Property Mgt.,

8840 Terrene Ct.

Bonita Springs, FL 34135


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