Article Courtesy of First Coast News
By Ken Amaro
Published July 14, 2015
ORANGE PARK, Fla.-- There are 222 homes in Spencer's
Plantation and some of those homeowners are in a fight with the Homeowners
"It is a dictatorship," said resident Stacia Hood.
|First Coast News met with about ten
families on Wednesday evening to hear their concerns.
"Your HOA should be there to represent you," said Hood, "not to
be harassing you."
Residents dues are $250 a year. The board is made up of
homeowners who are elected to the board. They had three members;
today there are two.
people for leaning mailboxes or power washing driveways $1,000
fines," said Hood.
The fight between the two have gotten so ugly, resident Annette Weaver got a
court injunction against a board member.
"I have a restraining order to keep her away from me," said Weaver, "to keep her
away from my house."
Ben Ruffner, another resident, said he was accused of making threats to board
members and other allegations.
"I became a target of the board," he said.
Ruffner questions the election process that got the two board members on board.
"There was no secret ballot," he said. "It is required."
In a March letter, the HOA's attorney, the Jackson Law Group, wrote in part,
"The board was properly elected."
Even in June, residents did a petition drive and that led to a recall election.
"We had 129 members represented there," said Ruffner.
The vote was clear: Ruffner said it was unanimous to recall board members. But
on June 30, the recall election was declared void.
Among the reasons given: Some homeowners' right to vote was suspended because
their dues were unpaid.
The board's secretary and treasurer said the problem is just a handful of
"I did not make the rules," she said. "They need to be enforced."
Ilianita Rivera is wife of board president Jose Sanchez.
"I am very upset," she said. "They are lying."
Reese said the problem is residents don't want to adhere to the covenants and
"We wish they would stop this," said Reese.
A few months ago, the HOA's attorney sent a demand letter to several residents
asking them to "cease and desist."
But it is not over.
HOAs are regulated to some degree by the Florida Department of Business and
Professional Regulation. If there's an election dispute, residents can take the
issue to arbitration.
Spencer's Plantation homeowners plan to file for arbitration. No date has been
set and no one is waving the peace flag in this fight anytime soon.