The Whitfield Estates area is filled with beautiful homes built as early as 1948 up to now. Sprinkled in with basic Florida ranch homes are Ralph Twitchell Estates and contemporary homes. Tudors, Cape Cods and Key West style homes help to make this a most diverse neighborhood. It feels like the neighborhoods of old with canopied roads and lush landscaping.
To the unknowing buyer, the Whitfield Ballentine neighborhood would seem to be free of deed restrictions and home owner's associations and any manner of rules & regulations. They purchase homes here and then are dismayed to find out that RV's and work trucks are not allowed, boats cannot be stored in back yards, there are fence set-backs, shed restrictions and no long-term street parking. How could they not have known?
Unlike deed restricted neighborhoods whose rules and regs are policed and enforced by the Home Owner's Association, this neighborhood has what is called a "residential overlay" that is policed by the code enforcement arm of the county.
The county stepped in to protect this beautiful neighborhood that was established in 1948, long before HOA's existed as it found that many areas like this one were being over run with cars parking in the front yards, boats parked on the sides of the homes and an all together run down look.
The overlay puts just enough rules and regulations into place to provide an attractive ambiance for everyone living there and yet not so restrictive that they feel they are living in a patrolled universe! The problem is that unless the realtor who has the listing is aware of the overlay, it flies under the radar and most title companies are unaware of it. The voluntary homeowner's association now tries to reach out to every realtor with a new listing and send them a copy of it so that their buyer is not shocked after moving in.
This is one of Sarasota's most charming residential areas and the homeowners are thankful for the overlay.