and Video Courtesy of Channel 9, Orlando
December 9, 2010
Fla. -- A Tavares woman spent thousands
on new landscaping featuring all environmentally-friendly plants that
don't require any water, but her homeowners' association doesn't like it.
So, WFTV researched what kind of rights homeowners have to fight their HOA.
O'Connor's favorite place is a few steps from her front door.
have such a strong passion for them. And I'm not sure it's not
genetic," she said.
trees, and shrubs cover nearly every inch of her Tavares lawn, much to the
distress of some of her neighbors.
don't like my yard," she told WFTV.
call it a jungle. Bill Herring is president of the Lake Frances Estates
Property Owners Association.
you like it?" WFTV reporter Berndt Petersen asked him.
445 homes in here, about 700 people, and I've got one person,"
one person the association's attorney has threatened with a lawsuit unless
she "governs herself accordingly." The HOA insists O'Connor's
yard "violates" the deed restrictions and is a breeding ground
for rats and snakes.
O'Connor says state law protects her little jungle, the "Florida
Friendly Landscaping Program," which states HOA rules may not
prohibit any property owner from maintaining native Florida plants, which
grow naturally in wooded areas across the state.
of O'Connor's neighbors say the HOA has gone too far.
just determined to have it look like all the other cookie cutter yards out
here," neighbor Joy Powell said.
O'Connor's landscaper says this yard doesn't come cheap.
looking between fifteen and twenty thousand dollars, maybe a little
more," Mike Africano said.
that's one of the reasons why O'Connor will stand her ground and fight for
I'm right," she said.
says every plant in her yard is approved by the University of Florida for
the state landscaping program. The HOA said it will get an expert from UF
to visit the yard.
takes issue with homeowner's landscaping