Article Courtesy of The
By Ken Jackson
Published July 27, 2017
The leadership of Friends of Poinciana Villages, a group that represents
thousands of Poinciana homeowners, are encouraging those deed holders to vote –
again – in a special election Tuesday for the Board of Directors in six of nine
villages that make up the 50,000-resident community.
This new election was made necessary by the Florida Department of Business
Professional Regulations, who found the Feb. 14, 2017 election was null and void
because the developer, AV Homes, cast thousands of votes that were questioned.
According to the tallies, AV Homes cast 10,039 votes, over 10 times the number
of resident votes, essentially drowning out that voice and putting developer and
investor representatives on most Village boards and in seats on the APV Master
Board, which meets monthly to set policy for the HOA.
It led resident and Village 7 candidate Martin Negron to file the DBPR
complaint. On June 23, the DBPR voided the election and ordered a new one. The
Association of Poinciana Villages, the homeowners association, unsuccessfully
appealed that decision.
“The developer had been given more latitude than allowed to cast votes for
future homes they claimed they were going to build,” FOPV spokesperson Keith
Laytham said. “Some of these lots are under water.”
FOPV attorney Jennifer Englert said a more reasonable number, which corresponds
to lots that are actually buildable and not covered by roads and utility lines,
would be closer to 500. Laytham and Negron hope that 1,500 residents turn out
and cast ballots.
“We feel confident (APV) will follow the law this time, but if there’s any
question about the legitimacy of the ballots, we’ll ask our lawyers what we can
do,” Laytham said. “We feel confident that for the first time in 44 years,
homeowners will be in control of the HOA rather than the directors who are
puppets for the developer.”
Englert said this new election is the first win for residents, and can earn
another Tuesday by voting.
“If they can have an overwhelming victory, so we don’t have to fight over
whether a lot is buildable, we can kind of end this,” she said. “If not, this
becomes a battle of attrition and APV hopes we just go away.”
Residents will be voting for members of their individual village Board of
Directors. Each village then chooses one board member to represent them on the
nine-member APV Master Board. Negron, who with other resident candidates, were
out campaigning last weekend, said he hopes for victory for residents on
“If we don’t, we’ll have to fight it again,” he said. “This time it feels
different, the homeowners want to take the HOA back. They have to take time on a
Tuesday (polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the APV office on Marigold Avenue),
but now there’s enthusiasm.”
APV counsel did not respond to a request for comment for this story.