Each year, communities across the Sunshine State share best practices in Florida community living with the hope of being recognized as a Florida Community of Excellence.
While it’s good to be recognized, it’s also a smart way for communities (both built-out and currently under development) to raise awareness and boost long-term interest in their master-planned community and their well-run Homeowner Associations (HOAs).
What better than a pipeline of people interested in sharing your address?
Categories include Safety and Security, Financial Management Innovation and Green (water conservation inside and outside the home). Here are some highlights from this year’s crop of master-planned community winners.
• Property owners in friendly Summerfield, Florida’s Stonecrest community also showed they could be friendly to Florida’s water supply by creating a five-year plan for landscaping and water conservation. The Del Webb-designed community for active adults 55 and better took home honors at Community of the Year in the HOA category and was given “Trendsetter” honors for Neighborhood Emergency Response Teams.
• Evergrene (Palm Beach Gardens) was honored for resident and board volunteerism
leading to Florida-Friendly Landscaping. As a result, metered irrigation costs were reduced by $81,000 from 2012 to 2013. Evergrene cut water use another 10 percent in 2014.
• Despite the economic downturn, the self-managed HOA at St. George Plantation in Florida’s Panhandle reviewed its interest rate options and community reserve fund to find they could pay off a loan on their clubhouse and save about $800,000 in interest. The HOA has also gone paperless. This will likely free-up some dollars for marketing.
• With its HOA managed by FirstService Residential, K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons at Delray Beach undertook efforts to fund specific charities through its own lifestyle programming. Rather than simply plan events that were enjoyable for residents, a stronger sense of community was built by making the events fundraisers for cancer research and toys for hospitalized children.
For a complete list of 2015 Florida Communities of Excellence award winners, click here.