Poinciana HOA must hold new election, arbitrator orders

Article and Video Courtesy of The Orlando Sentinel

By Ryan Gillespie

Published July 17, 2017


A group of residents in Poinciana are challenging the results of a February election in one of the nation’s largest homeowner’s associations


With its request for a new hearing denied, the Association of Poinciana has decided to hold its new election Aug. 1, the group said Thursday.

Last month, a homeowner in the community, Martin Negron, was able to get the results of the association’s February election tossed out after an arbitrator ruled the community’s developer, Avatar, cast thousands of improper votes for candidates it backed.

Then the association asked for a new hearing from the state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation arguing the arbitrator ruled outside of her jurisdiction, and that even if the illegal votes weren’t counted, the election results wouldn’t have changed.

In her order this week, Terri Leigh Jones, said that owners of undeveloped and unplatted lots must prove how many homes it can legally build on the property before the owner is issued a ballot.

Jones also said Avatar held such an overwhelming advantage that it's possible it suppressed voter turnout in the community of about 50,000 between Haines City and Kissimmee.

“It is not possible to know how many homeowners did not cast votes because they believed that Avatar had an overwhelming advantage,” Jones wrote.

Negron filed the complaint after he lost the February election because he said Avatar cast hundreds of votes for vacant land it still owns in the community.

The arbitrator previously ruled that many of the votes were improper because the land was underwater or on lands where homes can’t legally be built.