Judge rules Bimini Bay developer must

sever ties with HOA 


Article Courtesy of The Orlando Sentinel

By Mary Shanklin

Published December 28, 2013


A Polk County circuit judge has added his voice to those of legislators and homeowners in trying to distance Lake Mary developer David Meadows from a homeowner association Meadows created in 2001.

Circuit Judge Wayne Durden last week ordered Meadows to sever ties with the homeowner association of the Bimini Bay townhome community in north Polk County. The longtime Central Florida builder was arrested last year on charges of stealing from the association.

Homeowners have complained for years that although they pay more than $100 a month in association fees, their fire-charred clubhouse has been condemned, some units are streaked with mold and the community has unpermitted trash piles.

"At least presently this allows the homeowners to get to control their HOA, which is what they've been fighting for more than two years," said Orlando attorney Brent Spain, who represented a Bimini Bay property owner in trying to remove Meadows from the association. "He had resigned in late June but made himself a special consultant to the board, and he appointed his niece as president of the HOA."

Neither Meadows nor his attorney could be reached for comment Thursday.

Meadows' management of the half-built subdivision had become so problematic that he was arrested last year on multiple counts of embezzling funds from the association. He is awaiting trial on those charges. His arrest prompted the Legislature to pass a law prohibiting HOA board members from serving if they've been arrested for stealing from the association.

Last week, Durden ruled that Meadows should have turned over control of the association to property owners in 2008, seven years after the developer created the association.

Bimini Bay townhome owner Jose Fernandez, who was represented by Spain, attempted last year to force Meadows out based on a seven-year turnover rule the developer put in place when he formed Bimini Bay in 2001. But the association, controlled by Meadows, refused and amended its bylaws to keep Meadows in control, according to Durden's ruling.

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