Article Courtesy of the Miami Herald


A Weston homeowner association that tried to force a resident to park his pickup truck in his garage was being unreasonable, a Broward County judge ruled Monday.

The Villas of Bonaventure sued Irene Pasquel, whose boyfriend, Dan Salvetti, owned the truck. Salvetti's indiscretion: parking the truck in the parking lot instead of a garage. 
The offending truck, a $26,000 blue 2000 F-150 GMC Sierra, was clearly in violation of homeowner association rules, Bonaventure officials said. The condo rules say all trucks must be hidden from sight.

Salvetti and his girlfriend protested that the truck was no different from the SUV their neighbors were allowed to park in the lot.

Judge Steven G. Shutter agreed.

"Virtually all sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are truck-based, and almost all are larger than this pickup,'' Shutter wrote in his ruling.  "Cultural perceptions evolve and change. Personal-use pickup trucks do not carry the negative implication they might have 25 years ago. In no way could the parking of these vehicles interfere with the quiet enjoyment or the property values of the condominium residents.''

The case - which focused only on Salvetti's truck and did not question restrictive covenants in general - won't set a legal precedent for restricting the authority of homeowner associations.

"But clearly this ruling gives the impression that the courts are not going to uphold restrictions that are so vague and ambiguous,'' said lawyer Lee Glassman, who represented Pasquel.

"This was a condo-commando mentality.''

The couple has moved to Country Isles, another Weston community with similar rules. But they still wanted to make their point, Glassman said.

Salvetti and Pasquel were not available for comment Monday. Neither the Villas of Bonaventure officials nor their attorneys returned calls from The Herald on Monday.