Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Cheval West community likes life in the quiet lane

Tim McClain, 47, is president of the homeowners association at Cheval West.


Tim McClain, 47, is president of the homeowners association at Cheval West.

CHEVAL — Only residents, authorized guests and approved vendors may enter the three gates of this enclave, which stretches from Van Dyke Road north to Lutz-Lake Fern Road, and from N Dale Mabry Highway west to the Brooker Creek Headwaters Nature Preserve. The community boasts wetlands, lakes, a country club and two private golf courses.

Entrances are staffed around the clock seven days a week by hired security personnel who log visits and continuously circle the wide streets noting unusual activity and enforcing deed restrictions such as street parking, signs and trash.

In keeping with U.S. Census boundaries, the Times' data groups Cheval with neighborhoods to its north. But community leaders say that when analyzed alone, their records indicate that no more than "a handful" of crimes took place in Cheval last year.

Tim McClain, president of the Cheval West Homeowners Association, moved here 11 years ago after living in a more lax deed-restricted community. The married father of four owns a staffing company in Pasco County.

North of Tampa talked recently with McClain, 47, about crime and the secluded community.

Does the Sheriff's Office regularly patrol here?

Not at all. Our 24-hour community service staff and one person who "roves" report anything amiss, occasionally a stolen bicycle or a deer hit by a car, but mostly fender benders or an open garage door. They carry an automated external defibrillator in case a resident has a heart attack.

They have no law enforcement authority. Anything serious like petty theft, trespassing, DUI or domestic violence, they call the sheriff. A "rover" goes to every scene with the fire truck or ambulance, so every incident is reported.

We pay state troopers to come into Cheval twice a month to monitor speeding and stop sign compliance.

What's the difference between Cheval West and Cheval East?

Cheval West is newer and larger, with about 780 homes. We are a Community Development District with annual assessments to maintain internal infrastructure, roads, drainage, gates and landscaping. Home prices range from $200,000 to $2 million. Several subdivisions are named for wine or liquors such as Chardonnay, Chantilly and Chambord.

Cheval East has about 500 homes, many valued over $1 million. They have a paid rover but have never been a CDD.

What are some of the common infractions?

Issues might be a dirty roof or a mailbox missing numbers, mold, overgrown weeds or trees that need trimming.

Sounds pretty idyllic. What DO you worry about?

We go home at night and feel safe in the sense that you don't have people running in and out, no solicitors knocking at your door, no abandoned vehicles or houses looking horrible. … These days, for most people, their biggest worry is paying the mortgage.

Amy Scherzer, Times staff writer

Cheval West community likes life in the quiet lane 04/08/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 8, 2010 3:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Watch: Just a whole lot of Roger Moore being an extremely cool James Bond


    Debates over who played James Bond the best will go on for at least as long as the Bond franchise itself — and there's no sign of that coming to an end any time soon.

    Roger Moore filming on location in England in 1972.
  2. Interview: Felicia Day talks internet geekdom, her path to 'Mystery Science Theater 3000' before Megacon Orlando


    Felicia Day said her entire career path was influenced by the pre-internet role-playing game series Ultima.

    Felicia Day as Kinga Forrester in the new Mystery Science Theater 3000 on Netflix.
  3. Brian Ballard's lobbying shop in Washington get a big contract


    Ballard Partners, the Florida lobbying firm led by Brian Ballard, is quickly ramping up in Washington and just landed a high-profile contract: the government of Turkey.

  4. Tampa teenager gets rescued by Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson in 'Baywatch'


    For child actor L.J. Ruth, meeting his idol was easy as falling off a pier.

    L.J. Ruth, 13, was born and raised in Tampa. He is a child actor/model/voice artist and is currently in the movie Baywatch alongside Dwayne Johnson. Photo via Instagram.
  5. Report: CEOs got biggest raise since 2013 with Charter Communications CEO on top


    NEW YORK — The typical CEO at the biggest U.S. companies got an 8.5 percent raise last year, raking in $11.5 million in salary, stock and other compensation last year, according to a study by executive data firm Equilar for The Associated Press. That's the biggest raise in three years.

    Charter Communications CEO Thomas Rutledge -- whose company took over Bright House Networks last year -- was the highest paid CEO in 2016, according to a study carried out by executive compensation data firm Equilar and The Associated Press. 
[Associated Press file photo]