Thom Woodward, Sartell
Watab Springs Homeowners Association
Some 15 years ago, a new housing development – a private neighborhood in Sartell – spurred reactions from interest to misunderstanding to disdain. Watab Springs, on the corner of Pinecone Road and 2-1/2 Street, features a waterfall, pond with two fountains, flowered grounds and private streets. Watab Springs isn’t a gated-community like many in Florida or the Southwest, but the residents own their own streets as well as the waterfall, pond and surrounding grounds, providing a common, shared backyard and park.
Watab Springs homeowners pay taxes to Sartell like others in the city. Watab Springs homeowners also pay $140 monthly associations dues to cover maintenance of Cheval Drive and Bantam Road, upkeep of the backyard (pond, fountains and flowers), lawn mowing, snow removal from driveways and streets (not the city) and refuse hauling/recycling.
Misunderstanding that Watab Springs is a private neighborhood continues. Signs on the street say “private road” or “private park” and “no trespassing,” but the signs are too often ignored. Joggers and dog-walkers cut through the park; children on bikes and skateboards cruise on through; wedding parties pose in front of the waterfall; Pinecone motorists use the streets to avoid backups at the stoplight on 2-1/2 Street.
It’s nice “visitors” find the neighborhood peaceful, bucolic and convenient, but they are trespassers. They cause a potential liability for the Watab Springs homeowners. They stare into open patio doors. As one girl did recently, they leave their dogs’ droppings on the sidewalk.
There aren’t many Sartell homeowners who would welcome interlopers trekking through their backyards to play, party, peer or poop. We would appreciate the privacy all homeowners cherish.