First Coast News
By Ken Amaro
Published August 02, 2005
FL -- Kin Kaplan is a very soft spoken person, but not when it comes to
"Where are the kids suppose to play?" she asks.
Kaplan is angry over a recent letter from her homeowners association.
Watch VIDEO NBC 12 NEWS
angry. Tears have been shed [and] there has been a lot of arguing."
over an order to get rid of her backyard playset.
"They told us to take it down or they will put a lien on the house,"
The Kaplans love the house in the Meadows at St. Johns and thought they were
doing everything right.
"We asked if we could put up the playset before we built it and was told
it is okay," says Kaplan.
The approval, she says, came from members of the old board of directors. But
it doesn't count to the new board.
"They claim I didn't get it in writing, so it doesn't count," says
The covenant is clear on no sheds, no portable structures. The architectural
review committee is also clear on its rules that say playsets should be in the
rear of the house, pending approval.
Kaplan says regardless, she and several others are being told to remove the
playsets becasue they are too high and invade on someone's privacy.
Frustrated, Kaplan and her neighbors have started a petition drive to change
the covenant. All they want is a place for their kids to play.
The management firm says it is doing what was instructed by the board of
directors by telling the homeowners to remove the playsets.
Kaplan says the current board plans to resign this week and they plan to help
a new board get elected. Residents are hoping the new board will
be more forgiving.
A consumer tip: Before buying property where there's a homeowners association,
a condo association, or a co-op, find out if there are covenants and by-laws
and what they allow or disallow.
Ask your realtor if the property is deed restricted.