The Eagles homeowners group will appeal ruling over pickups parked in driveways


Article Courtesy of The St. Petersburg Times

By Rodney Trash

Published April 24, 2009

ODESSA The homeowner association that tried, unsuccessfully, to defend a policy prohibiting residents from parking pickups in driveways is ready for Round No. 2.

With less than a handful of residents in the audience, the Eagles Master Association board voted Monday night to appeal the ruling of Hillsborough Circuit Judge Martha Cook, who once called the restriction "utterly unreasonable."

"We're hoping to in essence overturn the final judgment as it relates to the ruling of parking of pickup trucks," said Jonathan Ellis, the attorney for the Eagles.

Tension between the association and homeowner A.J. Vizzi surfaced in 2001 when the Eagles sent him a violation notice for parking his pickup in his driveway, rather than the garage. It was the first of at least 80, according to Vizzi's count.

The association sued him in December 2006. Vizzi said his subdivision was exempt from the restriction and filed a counterclaim challenging the authority of the Eagles' board.

Cook sided with him in the pickup matter Dec. 12, but made no decision on the counterclaim, which Vizzi withdrew on Feb. 20.

Vizzi was at the meeting Monday when the board took the vote. He said he can't understand why the association pursues this case.

"They're not collecting dues," Vizzi said. "They're running out of money and needing to borrow. Now they're going to spend $100,000?"

Last month, the Eagles and Vizzi filed motions for attorney fees and costs. Cook dismissed them on April 3.

The Eagles has until May 3 to formally file its appeal.

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