News around Tiara

January 2018 North Beach Association Meeting

On Monday January 8th the North Beach Association held its first Members' Meeting of 2018.    The NBA is open to anyone who lives on North Hutchinson Island and is willing to pay the $20 annual membership fee.  There are 2 or 3 Member Meetings throughout the year.

Jeri and Pete Bullock attend these meetings on behalf of the Tiara Towers owners who may not elect to join the NBA themselves.    At the Jan 8th meeting Cathy Townsend spoke.   Ms Townsend is the County Commissioner who represents us (5th District, which includes North and South Hutchinson Island, Lakewood Park, and most of the areas west of I-95).

Ms. Townsend shared with the meeting attendees a fairly long list of items currently before the County Commission or on Ms. Townsend's radar as of interest to North Hutchinson Island.

  • Construction work on the new North Causeway Bridge is on track to begin in 2019, slightly earlier than forecast.  The bridge will be at maximum height, 86' at its highest point.  Work is currently in design and permitting stages.
  • The project to replace the septic system in Queens' Cove with a sewer system is currently on hold.    It has been determined that the improvement to the environment that would be gained by the project is minimal and so it is on hold for the time being.
  • There are new docks at Pepper Park along the River, with completion this month.    The County is expecting a lot of use by local fishermen at the new docks. The next plans are to resurface the road and parking area.
  • RV parking at Pepper Park is being relocated to the West side of A1A, freeing up parking closer in to the beaches and tennis courts for cars.
  • There is a new sewer line going in at Sea Palms which will cross Highway A1A.     There may be construction delays due to the road  work related to this new sewer line.
  • Although the island can now be postal addressed as Hutchinson Island, neither Google Earth nor Google Maps correctly recognize that identification.    Ms Townsend's staff has filed the paperwork required to get Google Earth updated.
  • FDOT maintenance staff is going to try once again to address the flooding along A1A that occurs with every heavy rainstorm.    Options are limited since untreated rain water cannot be piped into the rivers.    Solutions to the flooding may include recutting the swales or deepening them.
  • HR Bill 7105 is will ask for a raise in the Homestead Exemption.   While this sounds good, Ms Townsend is advising voters that this raise will only be available to owners of residences appraised at $100k - $125K.    Most of the voters on Hutchinson Island will not see any property tax relief from this measure.
  • There is also a move to raise the sales tax in the County by 1/2 cent to 1 cent, with a 10 year sunset for this tax increase.   This sales tax increase can be used for infrastructure projects only.  The money raised by the sales tax increase will come from the residents of the County but also from the tourists and businesses that frequent St Lucie County.
  • The County has established an Emergency Operations Center at the Fairgrounds, 15305 W Midway Rd.   The Division of Emergency Management Operations Center provides a coordinating point for the effective management of local emergencies to catastrophic events in and around St. Lucie County. It is the lead organization in coordinating disaster response from a municipal level to state and federal.  If you would like to tour it you can attend the county-wide HOA meeting, to be held there on Thursday January 18th at 10 am, and afterward get a tour of the Ops Center.
  • St Lucie County has purchased the working area of the Port of Fort Pierce named the Indian River Terminal for $24 M.  They will finance the purchase with a Bond issue.  The County has made the 1st cut to receive grant money of $12M to develop the Port.   Check out this webpage for information about construction and projects at the port.
  • The County has developed an Airport masterplan which is available at this webpage and it has many details about the airport expansion planning.
  • Work is beginning on a new Mets Stadium in Port St Lucie.

    From TCPalms:

    St. Lucie County plans to start a $55 million renovation of First Data Field after the New York Mets spring training in 2018 and finish most of the work in time for spring training in 2019, team representatives said Monday night.

    The Port St. Lucie City Council voted unanimously Monday to approve the renovation plan, which includes constructing a concourse that would wrap around the field and provide fans with views of the bullpen beyond the centerfield wall.

    The 360-degree outdoor concourse is a popular feature that is being incorporated into many baseball stadiums, said Paul Taglieri, St. Lucie Mets general manager.

    Other improvements include the addition of 38,767 square feet to the stadium and clubhouse and the development of new softball fields, city records show. No additional seating is proposed.

    The stadium is home to the High-A minor league affiliate St. Lucie Mets and the spring training home of the New York Mets.


President’s Agenda for 2018

The Tiara Board of Directors has proposed its Agenda for 2018.   This is a list of items that the Board feels should be discussed and addressed during 2018.

Tiara Towers Agenda for 2018

  1. Monitor performance of Comcast and Level 4
  2. Monitor and manage on-going replacement of aging water heaters
  3. Continue modernization of cooling tower/HVAC infrastructure
  4. Oversee tennis court and spa renovation projects – pickle ball markings?
  5. Oversee repair of building exterior issues: spalling and cracks
  6. Prepare for painting of both buildings: bids for buildings, catwalks, railings, windows and sliders.
  7. Rust remediation & Paint remaining unit and stairwell doors
  8. Plan for elevator modernization: timing, phases and financing
  9. Replace pool area exterior lights in both buildings
  10. Replace pool loungers and tables
  11. Continue to explore conversion of pools and spas to salt
  12. Replace failing plants on both properties.
  13. Explore renovation or replacement of party room tables and chairs and possible re-purposing of party rooms.
  14. Begin planning and investigation for replacement/re-orientation of parking lot lighting.
  15. Continue to evaluate Tiara Rules, Parking, and Security needs and improvements
  16. Decorating Committee to continue with accessories and improvements for lobbies, hallways, elevator foyer, and Party rooms.
  17. Consider new tv’s in party rooms and fitness rooms.
  18. Introduce use of Architectural Review Committee and app forms for renovations requiring ARC review and approval.
  19. Consider making a pass/fail shutter inspection a condition of all unit sales


Architectural Review Committee

In 2017 the Board of Directors set up an Architectural Review Committee to oversee all major renovation projects undertaken by unit owners at Tiara.     Projects that require significant modifications to the unit must be approved ahead of time.    The Mission Statement and the form to be used were approved by the Board at the December meeting.  The Architectural Renovation form will be available from the website at Support / Helpful Forms and Documents or from David Pugh in the Maintenance Office at Tiara.

                          Architectural Review Committee

Mission Statement

The Architectural Review Committee was created to provide Association oversight, as an arm of the Board, of specific homeowner renovation projects (unit and/or garage) that may influence the integrity of the building and/or the well-being of Association members.  This oversight encompasses the following:

  1. Receipt and preliminary approval of Specific projects by the Committee and the Board with respect to contractors and workers involved, their credentials, some construction materials, and prospective timelines.
  2. Inspection of the work, in progress, to insure compliance with original proposal and Association Rules.
  3. To ensure compliance with all state and local ordinances that relate to the proposed project.

Projects Not Requiring Architectural Review

  1. Interior painting, wallpaper, paneling, wall tile, removal of popcorn, install of ceiling   finishes, replacement of electrical fixtures, replacement of toilets and plumbing fixtures, replacement of interior doors, installation of crown molding or trim, replacement of kitchen cabinets or bathroom vanities; replacement or install of new countertops. (Contractors who might be hired to complete this work must be licensed, insured and bonded)

Projects Requiring Architectural Review

  1. Replacement of exterior doors, sliding doors, windows, hurricane shutters.
  2. Install of floor tile (or some other product) and/or replacement of floor tile or some other product. The application of tile, stamped concrete or some other material (other than paint) to unit balconies.
  3. The replacement or relocation of existing plumbing or the install of new plumbing and/ or sprinkler heads/pipes.
  4. The removal (in whole or in part) of existing walls or the install of new walls.
  5. The relocation (or replacement) of existing electrical wiring or the install of new electrical wiring

Application Process

  1. Owners planning a renovation project requiring Architectural Review Committee and Board approval must submit the details of their project to Elliott Merrill and thus to  the Committee at least three weeks before the beginning of the project.
  2. This submission (on the appropriate form) should include the following: scope of work; contractors involved with proof of license, bonding, and insurance; copies of appropriate building permits (which may be obtained after Board approval); materials; timelines; and acknowledgement of Association rules regarding when work may be done and the responsibilities of owners and contractors (cleaning up in public spaces, not using our dumpsters, parking in appropriate places, using service entrance, work hours: 9:00AM-5:00 PM, Monday-Saturday.)

Approval Process

  1. The Architectural Review Committee will review the submitted application form and  submit their findings to the Board for approval.
  2. The Board will consider the findings of the Architectural Review Committee and render a decision in a timely manner.
  3. The Board retains full authority regarding the requested project. . .
  4. The Board may accept any or all of the Committee’s recommendations
  5. The Board may reject any or all of the Committee’s recommendations
  6. The Board may add conditions or modifications for approval as the Board deems appropriate.
  7. The Board will then, through Elliott Merrill, inform the owner of the Board’s decision.


Click here for the Architectural Review Form to open it as a pdf.

Arch Rev. Form

Opinion Survey Results

The Newsletter conducted a pool opinion survey in December which it mistakenly identified as a Board-requested survey.   We jumped the gun and the Board was not ready to take a survey.  Nevertheless the editors of the Newsletter thank you for your responses.     And the results were:   Sixty-three readers answered the survey and the results were split almost 50:50 between leaving the pool temps as currently set (84 degrees) and raising them a degree or two.



Private Parties at Tiara

From time to time an owner or renter may wish to use the Club Room in either building for a private party.    This is perfectly ok, and permission is granted by the Maintenance Supervisor at Tiara on a first-come, first-serve basis.    Here's how to reserve the room.


Tiara rules state that unit owners must get management approval for private parties.

Forms are available from the Maintenance Office and a $50 (refundable) deposit will be
given to the Maintenance Supervisor. A Notice (prior to the event) must be posted of a Private Party with date and time.

The Social Committee agreed to allow the use of items such as coffee pots, ice buckets, flatware, folding tables, and utensils. The unit owner holding the party should coordinate with the Maintenance Supervisor or a Social Committee member, prior to the party, to have any required items made available. Consumable goods, such as paper products, plastic ware, coffee, etc. are solely for the use of Association social activities events and not for private parties.

Please note that while you may reserve the Club room for your invited guests other Tiara owners and guests must be able to pass through the Club room to and from the pool area and will occasionally need to use the facilities in the Club room.

2018 Social Committee Activities

The first party of 2018 is almost here!     The Social Committee is hosting its Welcome Back! party on Friday, January 19th at 6 pm in the South party room.     All owners, renters and guests are welcome.     If you're new to Tiara, come and meet your neighbors!    If you've been away for a while, join the party and renew friendships.

This party will be a Meet and Greet Happy Hour.     You bring an appetizer to serve 12 and your own beverage of choice.

January 19th

6 pm

South Party room



Planning for 2018

The Social Committee is composed of everyone who wants to get involved and help to plan the parties at Tiara.    It meets several times throughout the year to decide on the schedule.     New owners and long-term renters are welcome to come to the first Planning Meeting of 2018, to be held on Monday, January 15th, at 10 AM in the North party room.   Bring your ideas, and a little bit of energy, meet your neighbors and have a good time.

Flood Insurance Declaration for 2018

From time to time Owners need to see what Flood insurance coverage Tiara carries.   The Tiara Flood Declarations document can be accessed here.    The 2018 Flood Insurance Declaration includes coverage for each building as well as separate coverage for both sets of garages.   You can view the Flood Insurance pdf file and download it and/or print as needed.     2018 Flood Insurance Declaration.

All of the Insurance documents for 2018 are available at under the menu item Support / Helpful Documents and Forms.


Continuation of Members’ Meeting in December

Update from Continuation of Annual Members’ Meeting

Dec 14, 2017 and Dec 21, 2017


The purpose of the Members’ meeting on Dec 14th was to approve the 2018 Tiara Budget and to tally Members’ voting for either Full or Partial Funding of the Reserves for 2018.    The Board approved the Budget but a quorum of owners’ votes, either in person or by proxy, was NOT met at the Dec 14th meeting and the meeting was continued until Dec 21, 2017.    

At the Dec 21st meeting it was determined that a quorum of owners’ votes and proxies was met and the voting on the 2018 Reserves could be held.     The Owners voted to fund the Reserves at a Partial level, which is the way the Reserves have been funded for the past several years.

With this level of funding the Quarterly HOA fee in 2018 will be $1942.00, as was noted in the Budget document mailed to all owners.


Happy New Year 2018

The editors and owners of the Tiara website and the Tiara Newsletter, Jeri and Pete Bullock, wish all our neighbors and friends a very Happy New Year!

As we begin 2018 we want to make it very clear that the Tiara Newsletter and the Tiara website are personal communication vehicles for owners and residents at Tiara Towers.   They are not official communications from the Tiara Board of Directors.

The stories and the postings are hopefully of some interest to the Tiara community but they remain the opinions and views of the editors and contributors.      Anyone is invited to author a news item or suggest a topic for sharing and it may be published.

Information about the Tiara Towers Condominium Association may be published from time to time at the request of its Board of Directors but only mailings from the Board via Elliott Merrill Community Management should be accepted as official communications from the Board.

Any future surveys or opinion polls posted should not be construed to be approved or sponsored by the Tiara Board.     As an example, the recent Pool survey was mistakenly labelled as a Board survey but was in fact not approved by the Board.

Anyone who creates a profile on the Tiara website in order to view the protected pages on the website will also be placed on the mailing list for the Newsletter.     If you do not wish to receive the Newsletters that may come out from time to time you may unsubscribe from the Newsletter by following the unsubscribe link on this Newsletter or by sending an email to to the webmasters at

Join the Bridge Group at Tiara

The Bridge group is looking for new players.      The group meets on Thursday evenings at 7 pm in the South Tower club room.   Everyone is welcome, singles or couples.   The play is fun, it's "party bridge", and the cost is $1 per evening.

Have you thought about joining the group playing Bridge in the evenings but thought "it's been too many years since I played" ?

Thanks to Barry Bragin (704 S) that concern can be put to rest.   Barry is offering refresher classes at 6:30 pm on Thursday, prior to the regular scheduled games.     If you've played at all and are interested in getting back to the game, let us know, and join us at 6:30 pm on Thursday January 11th in the South Party room.     After the refresher session you are welcome to join the regular games or just observe, whatever is most comfortable for you.

This refresher session is not for true beginners - we'd like you to have some experience with the game but even if it's been 35 years since you last played, it'll come back.  Join us!

If there's enough interest in an actual beginner's class, one might be considered later this year.

For the refresher sessions, call Barry or Eleanor Bragin and let them know you'll be there. 301-580-3537 or  301-512-9728

For the regular games, if you want to join the group, a courtesy call to Jeri Bullock (1505 S) would be appreciated.  510-914-0257