frequently asked questions

Are there alligators in the lake?
YES. They come and go via walking from surrounding lakes in the area as well as swimming through the storm water system into our lake. We have seen them both small and large from time to time, and have had several removed by a trapper. We are working on installing additional signage around the lake with warnings. 

For your safety, do not swim in the lake, do not taunt the alligators, DO NOT FEED THEM and we also recommend exercising care when near the edge of the lake, especially with regard to children and small pets. If you see one, call or text Ron Beahm at 941-315-1185 and he will call the local trapper from the Florida Wildlife Commission. The photo to the left is our trapper with a gator he caught in June, 2020.

Why does the the lake turn blue sometimes...and why does it smell bad sometimes?

We are fortunate that our lake is now very healthy due in part to our new aeration system installed in 2019; but one of the downsides is that with very clear water, the algae on bottom grows faster with the increased sunlight that reaches it. To override this, our lake maintenance company periodically adds a harmless coloring to filter the sunlight. You will sometimes see an ATV or a small boat making the rounds and spraying the lake perimeter. The algae dies and floats to the top, which can cause an odor until it dries out and finally sinks. There is another foul smell from time to time that does NOT come from our lake. Directly across 17th Street from us is one of the Sarasota County water reservoirs which treats water in large ponds and eventually becomes reclaimed water. Sometimes if the breeze is blowing our way, it stinks!

What's happening with the 17th Street hedge project?
We are excited about the vast improvements made to our neighborhood, helping all of us to maintain the value of our homes. Thanks to the grants from Sarasota County and our residents, we replanted the original hedge a number of years ago. Not all of the new plants thrived and we look forward to planting some new ones or finding an alternative to add beauty and privacy to our community. 

What is the bubbling we see out in the lake? Can we fish in the lake?

The bubbles you see are not the Loc Ness Monster! That is our aeration system at work. This was originally installed in 2007 and updated in 2019. We stocked the lake with sterilized carp, which are recommended by our lake management vendor and available only with a State permit. The carp help by eating much of the harmful vegetation. We will also be adding other algae deterrent bottom feeders. The goal of all this is to have a healthy, algae-free lake with a minimum of chemical controls. The one drawback to this is the need to restrict fishing. Since these fish are sterile, they cannot replenish themselves and of course they must be purchased. Consequently, to deal with this and help solve the problem of outsider fishing, we posted a number of “No Fishing Permitted” signs around the lake. 

Am I allowed to lease my home in Country Meadows?

Short-term rentals are not allowed, but yearly leases are. Please read the details here before you think about renting your home: Amendment to our Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions. The lease must be at least ONE YEAR in length. Any agreement for the rental of any property cannot be entered into until the 548th day (18 months) following the date the owner took title to the parcel. As on owner in Country Meadows, you MUST share these documents with your tenant and be sure they know they are required to follow the conditions and rules. We also require that homeowners fill out and submit the Lease Application Form prior to leasing your property. Only those names on the lease can reside on the premises.  

I am selling my home in Country Meadows. What do the buyers need to know and do prior to the closing?

We require that you fill out and submit the Sale Application Form and a $100 check prior to closing on your property. Also, the Buyers' Realtor, Title Company or Attorney will need to submit an Estoppel Letter along with a check for $250 to our HOA to be processed. Please refer to our Resources Page for all details about Estoppel Letters. Please allow at least 14 days for these forms to be reviewed, completed and returned. (The payment and form cannot be done electronically).

Are we affiliated with the Country Meadows community in Bradenton?
No! If you are trying to contact them, here is their website: https://hoa-community.com/country-meadows-hoa-bradenton-fl/

We need to re-roof our house. What procedures should we follow?
You will need a licensed roofing company, as a permit is required; submit a sample of the shingles to us with theArchitectural Form which can be found on our Resources page.

We want to enclose our lanai - we want to add a swimming pool; is this allowed?

A permit is required for these also, along with theArchitectural Change Formto the Architectural Committee members listed on the forms.

What about playhouses and yard sheds?
No outbuildings are allowed; swing sets are allowed, but subject to approval. (See Covenants and Restrictions, Page 8, Section 12- Go to our Resources page).

Can we park in the street or on our grass?
We understand that you may have gatherings at your home and guests may need to park in the street temporarily, however, overnight parking in the street is not allowed, nor is parking on the grass. (See Covenants and Restrictions, Page 7, Section 11 - Go to our Resources webpage for download) 

What day is trash and recycling picked up by Sarasota County?

Monday is our pick-up day. there are 3 separate pickups - one for solid waste (your regular household trash), one for recycled items, which go in the special large, blue rolling containers provided by the county, and another pickup for yard waste. Per our Covenants, do not place your items on the curb before 5:00PM on Sunday. Please return your empty containers as soon as possible following pickup on Monday. They must be placed out of site in between pickups to maintain the neat appearance of our community. If you have special items that you need to discard and information about preparing yard waste, read more here: Sarasota Trash and Recycling

Can we run our sprinklers every day?
No. Per Sarasota County, you can only water on specified days and hours.

If we see a resident violating the rules of our community, what do we do?

If you would like to report a Country Meadows Home Owners Association violation, please email with the address of the violator and type of violation.

What do I do if I have difficulty reading or understanding the Country Meadows website?
Country Meadows of Sarasota Homeowners Association, Inc. (“Country Meadows”)  is committed to providing an accessible website. Please refer to the lower half of our HomePage for Accessibility options.          

If you have further questions, feel free to call or email anyone on our Board