See below for a helpful list of frequently asked questions regarding the Hidden Shores Homeowners Association
How much is the HOA assessment?
The Hidden Shores Homeowner Association assessment is $375.00 as of 2023. To avoid late fees, please submit your payment by January 31st. Don't forget to include your Proprieties address with your payment.
Where do I send my payment?
If you have a coupon, send your payment to:
Hidden Shores HOA, Inc
C/o Etheridge Property Management
908 Gardengate Circle
Pensacola, FL 32504
If you do not have a coupon, send your payment to:
Hidden Shores HOA, Inc
C/o Etheridge Property Management
908 Gardengate Circle
Pensacola, FL 32504
Please include the address of the property you are paying.
What is the assessment used for?
The HOA uses the money to meet its day-to-day financial obligations, including electricity for street lights; common area landscaping and maintenance; management and accounting costs; insurance expenses; non-collections-related legal fees; newsletter printing and postage; annual meeting expenses; rules enforcement expenses; and reserve fund obligations. The existence of these activities and amenities supports the property value of every homeowner. The amount of money collected does not cover the actual amount of labor needed to run the Association. The HOA relies heavily on the contribution of countless unpaid hours by Board members and other volunteers. If we had to rely exclusively on paid employees and contractors, the dues would need to be several times higher than they are now.
Will the Board of Directors ever raise the assessment?
The Board of Directors may raise the assessment from time to time in order to keep up with higher expenses, depending on the needs of the association. If the community documents do not stipulate the maximum increase allowed each year, Florida State Law does limit any increase to no more then a 20% of the current assessment level.
What if I don't pay my assessment?
Not paying your assessment can be related to not paying any other bill, such as a home mortgage or credit card bill. The Board of Directors has implemented a collection policy and schedule of fees. If your assessment is received late (15 days) or not received at all, a late fee will be imposed on your account. If an owner continues to withhold payment, the Board of Directors can and will seek legal action and/or place a lien on the property to recover all unpaid assessments. In addition, the owner will be responsible for all legal costs associated with recovering the assessments. It is in the best interest of the owner to contact the Board of Directors immediately if you are unable to pay your assessments. The Board of Directors is willing to work with owners in order to collect the assessment without placing an additional burden on the owner.
Can I pay my assessment yearly?
Yes. You may pay your entire years assessment in advance. Just send in your payment by January 31st. You may also send in the balance of your account for the year at any time.
I'm behind on my payments. Can I set up a payment plan?
The Board of Directors wants to work with you, not against you. Collecting the assessment is important to the success of the community. The Board has currently set up a payment plan.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Who is the Board of Directors?
Hidden Shores Homeowner Association is a non-profit corporation and by law, a governing body is required to oversee its business. The Board of Directors is elected by the owners, or as otherwise specified in the CC&R's which also provides the rules by which the Board of Directors operates.
What is the difference between the Board of Directors and the HOA?
The association consists of all owners within Hidden Shores. Each and every owner is a member of the association. Membership is not optional. The Board of Directors consists of those owners who have been elected to conduct the day-to-day business of the association and make the decisions that affect all owners.
How do I get on the Board of Directors?
The Florida State Legislature passed a law effective August 12, 2005 requiring all Associations to conduct their annual elections by mail ballot (ARS 33-1812). A few months prior to the election, a letter is sent to all owners asking for resumes from those interested in being placed on the ballot. If you are interested in being placed on the ballot, simply submit your request by filling out the necessary information when it arrives in the mail.
When and where are the Board meetings held?
Board meeting information can be found on the Home page. Meeting information, time, date, location, purpose, etc. will always be posted on the property 48 hours prior to the meeting.
When is the annual meeting held?
The annual meeting is generally held in January of each year. Prior to the annual meeting, all owners will receive notification in the mail specifying the exact date, time and location of the meeting.
What happens at the Board meetings?
The Board of Directors conducts the association business at the board meetings. Owners are given a brief period of time at the beginning of each meeting to comment on that meeting's agenda. The Board may or may not respond to the comments made during this time. Once the open comment period has ended, owners are invited to watch and listen to the discussion and decisions made by their Board. Generally, the Board does not interact with owners during the meeting, as this tends to take away from the limited time the Board does have to conduct its business. However, the Board may leave time at the end of the meeting to take additional questions.
ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW PROCESS
Why must I submit an architectural change request?
There are many reasons to submit an Architectural Change Request Form. One of the biggest reasons to submit a change request is for your own protection. In the future, those who serve on the Board of Directors and/or architectural control committee may choose to change the design guidelines. If a guideline were to change that puts you in violation, having an approved request allows you to be 'grand-fathered', thus preventing you from being cited for the violation. Another reason for submitting the request is to show other owners in the community that the changes you make are considered aesthetically pleasing, although another owner may not like your taste.
Do I need to get permits prior to any work being done?
If the work to be completed requires any permits or licenses from the city, county or state, it is your responsibility to research and obtain those permits and submit them along with an Architectural Change Request to the architectural committee. The association, Board of Directors or architectural committee is not responsible for researching or obtaining permits on behalf of the owner.
I have a question regarding an architectural request, whom do I contact?
If you have a question about an architectural change request that you intend to submit or have already submitted, please contact the Hidden Shores Property Manager.
I submitted an architectural request, but have not received an answer?
There are several possible reasons you may not yet have received a response regarding an architectural request you submitted. It is also possible that your request was already reviewed and the response is being processed. If you would like an update on your request, please contact the Hidden Shores Property Manager
What types of changes can I make?
Generally, any change that is visible from a neighboring property, the street or a common area must be approved prior to beginning any work. You contact the Hidden Shores Property Manager with any questions you may have. A good rule of thumb is that if you are in doubt about a change you wish to make, you should submit an Architectural Change Request Form.
I am looking to build a privacy fence. How high is it allowed to be?
Max is Six Feet. Before building it you should submit an Architectural Change Request Form.
Please also See the Stanta Rosa County Planning and Zoning Residential Zoning and Fence Requirements. You should review this document and contact the Hidden Shores Property Manager with any questions you may have. A good rule of thumb is that if you are in doubt about a change you wish to make, you should submit an Architectural Change Request Form.
Do I need approval for changes in the rear or side yard of my property?
If a change is visible above the fence line and can be seen from a neighboring property, a common area or the street, then you must submit an Architectural Change Request Form and get approval prior to starting any work.
Can I install a storage shed in my rear yard?
If the storage shed is visible above the fence line and can be seen from a neighboring property, a common area or the street, then you must submit an Architectural Change Request Form and get approval prior to starting any work. In addition, there are certain requirements for installing such structures, such as materials, colors, etc., so check the guidelines before proceeding.
Can I install a satellite dish or wireless network antenna?
Yes. but, in October 1996, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a rule that preempts Association restrictions on satellite dishes less than one meter in diameter, wireless cable antennas less than one meter in size, and standard TV antennae; however restrictions that do not impact a viewer’s ability to receive video programming services remain enforceable. Thus, our Association can require an owner to comply with rules governing the means, method, and location of the antenna installation as long as no unreasonable delay or cost is involved. This includes requiring unobtrusive placement, screening, and other reasonable steps to minimize the visual effect on the community. Before doing so, you MUST Submit an Architectural Change Request Form.
Do I need approval to build a swimming pool?
If a feature of the pool (waterfall, slide, etc.) will be visible above the fence line, then you must submit an Architectural Change Request Form. However, the construction of a pool may not encroach upon any common area or common wall without prior approval.
Can I expand my driveway/walkway or otherwise pour concrete in my front yard?
You must submit an Architectural Change Request Form and get approval from the architectural committee prior to performing any work in your front yard. A diagram / picture should be supplied with the request showing layout / dimensions / measurements and other important information regarding the work to be completed.
Can I ...?
If you wish to make any change and that change is/will be visible from a neighboring property, a common area or the street, you should submit an Architectural Change Request Form and get approval prior to beginning any work.
Who sent me a violation letter?
Etheridge Property Management sends violation letters for all violations observed during an inspection of the community or reported by another owner. The letter you received states the specific violation and the date is was reported.
Do all violations warrant a letter?
Etheridge Property Management sends violation letters for all violations seen during inspection and all violations reported by other Owners. It is possible that some violations are not observed and thus no violation letter sent.
I received a violation letter, but the violation does not exist?
Errors do occur and we apologize. If you received a violation in error, please contact Etheridge Property Management so the situation can be discussed and corrected.
May I leave a boat, sports equipment, trailer or similar vehicle parked in my driveway?
Such vehicles may be parked on a paved driveway of a lot or parcel for the sole purpose of loading or unloading for a time not to exceed 48 consecutive hours. Longer parking or storage of such vehicles that is in view of a neighboring property is a violation of article 4, section 9 of the CC&R's.
I have visitors coming, where should they park?
Vehicles belonging to any guest or invitee of a homeowner may park on any roadway for a period not to exceed 10 hours so long as the parking does not violate any city law, obstruct any driveway or inhibit traffic.
How do I report a violation of a CC&R?
If you see a violation of the community documents, you can report it to Property Management. Please have as much information available as possible when reporting a violation, such as address and specific information such as a license plate, make and model of a car.
WHOM DO I CONTACT?
How do I report a power outage?
Report a power outage to Gulf Power automated Residential Customer Services line by calling 800.487.6937. Be sure to enter your account number (located on the top left portion of your bill) so they will know where the power outage is.
How do I report a street light that is out?
Street lights are maintained by Gulf Power. Gulf Powers Operations Department will be happy to assist in calling in the repair on your behalf. Simply call 800.487.6937. Please include the pole number, or location and the specific problem when calling.
How do I report a broken water pipe or water leak?
If you have or see a water emergency, such as a broken water main/fire hydrant or water gushing from the middle of the street, please call Midway Water Systems at 850.932.5188. Remember that the Midway Water Systems cannot repair leaks on the customer side of the meter.
If the water emergency involves an area of Association responsibility, such as sprinklers, etc., please contact Property Management.
How do I report suspicious activity?
If you feel that life or property are in immediate danger, dial 9-1-1. To report non-emergency suspicious activity, please see the question below.
If I need law enforcement - NON EMERGENCY, whom do I call?
You can contact the Santa Rosa County Sheriff Department by phone at 850.939.1440.
If someone's dog is running free, to whom do I report this?
Try to contact the owner. If this is not possible or the owner is a repeat offender, contact Santa Rosa County Animal Services at 850.983.4680 or 850.983.4681.
My neighbor's dog won't stop barking, to whom do I report this?
First, you should try to make contact with the owner and make them aware of the problem. Generally, dogs are left outside when the owner is away and the owner may not be aware of the problem. If this is not possible or the problem persists, contact Santa Rosa County Animal Services at 850.983.4680 or 850.983.4681. You may also contact Property Management to have the Association send the owner a letter.
If someone's cat is running free, to whom do I report this?
Try to contact the owner. Agencies do not generally respond to calls regarding cats as cats are considered 'free roaming' animals.
How do I report a problem/emergency with an area of association responsibility?
If you see any problems within an area of Association responsibility, please contact Etheridge Property Management at 850.484.2611 and let them know of the problem.
Who do I contact to get involved with neighborhood activities?
The Board of Directors is always looking for owners to participate in neighborhood activities and to get involved with assisting the Board of Directors by serving on any number of committees. If you are interested in a community project, serving on a committee or would like to be involved with what the Board of Directors is doing, please contact Property Management or attend the next Board meeting.
ADDITIONAL COMMUNITY INFORMATION
Does the association carry insurance?
Yes, the association does carry liability insurance that covers only the association. Each individual owner is still required to carry their own personal accident and liability insurance. Personal property is not covered under the association policy.
Who is responsible for maintaining the landscaping?
The Board of Directors contracts with a licensed and bonded landscape company to maintain all common areas within the community. Occasionally, the Board of Directors may seek bids from landscape companies to verify that the current contract is within the fair market value or to hire a new landscape company. If you have concerns or questions regarding the landscaping or the landscape company, you are encouraged to contact the Property Management.