and Video Courtesy of Channel 9, WFTV
By Janine Reyes
September 19, 2015
OVIEDO -- An Oviedo couple said they're being singled
out by their homeowners association in a battle over a tree.
The HOA wants the couple to replace a large tree the couple removed from
their front yard, but the couple said they've since learned the previous
tree was damaging their home underground, and they're refusing to plant
a new one.
Christopher Bain said the tree's
roots grew into the foundation of his home, causing
structural damage and flooding.
He said experts told him there was no space underground
for the tree's roots to expand due to utility lines.
"We have the subpanel for electrical feeding this whole
side of the community," Bain said.
Bain said the tree started causing trouble shortly after
they purchased the home.
"We were starting to get water into the front family room of the house,"
Bain removed the tree and initially told the HOA he'd replace it, but
there's only 2 feet of space to plant one due to the underground lines.
"If I were to plant that tree in the center of the 2
feet, as soon as that tree grew more than a foot in
diameter, I would violate another HOA covenant or city state
and federal ordinances," Bain said.
Bain shared his research with the Chapman Groves HOA, which
denied him. But others in Chapman Groves are lacking large
The board president would not discuss the tree troubles,
referring Channel 9 to Pinnacle Property Management, which
has not returned our calls.
"They just still want a tree planted without any
regard to the damage it will cause to a utility, the violations it will
cause to city, state and federal rules or the damage it's going to cause
to my home," Bain said.
Bain called the city for help, but city officials said it's an HOA issue
and that they would not intervene.
Bain said he's not sure going before City Council will help either since
the HOA president is married to the mayor.
Channel 9 reviewed the covenants and restrictions of the HOA, and the
guidelines do not call for a large tree in the front of homes, but it
does give the HOA full discretion on landscaping changes.