Special Report Courtesy of
CHANNEL 8 -- ON YOUR SIDE
Published March 13, 2010
A man who parked his truck in his driveway has won a long legal fight with
a homeowners' association that actually began in 2001.
A.J. Vizzi has lived in The Eagles golfing community in northwestern Hillsborough County since he built a two-story house on a lake in 1997. For a few years, he parked his pickup in the driveway and didn't hear anything negative about it.
That all changed in 2001, when he said he received a violation notice from his homeowners association. "Up until 2001, I was here for four years before they ever even told me I was in violation of any of their covenants," said
He uses the large Ford F-350 to get around town, and to haul a fifth-wheel trailer when he and his family go camping. It won't fit in his garage.
The violation turned into a lawsuit in 2006. A year later, a Hillsborough circuit court ruled in Vizzi's favor. In 2009, the homeowners association appealed. On Wednesday, the Second District Court of Appeal upheld the lower court's ruling.
That means the truck can stay.
"The family's gone through with the lawsuit, about three and a half years of anguish," said Vizzi. "And they've always harassed me about something that I've known, since I built the house, that I should have been able to do."
His attorney, Dan Anderson, said the odd thing is neighbors voted to do away with the no-pickup rule, but the association board never implemented the change.
"I think it's one of the most ridiculous lawsuits I've ever seen and quite frankly, I'm not sure why the association filed it in the first place," said Anderson.
Now Vizzi wonders if he will recover almost $200,000 he has paid in legal fees. A judge has ruled Vizzi should be compensated, but the association can appeal.
Jonathan Ellis, attorney for the association, did not return telephone calls seeking comment.
Eagles homeowners group will appeal ruling over pickups parked in