Article Courtesy of The Palm Beach Post
By Kevin Thompson
Published November 16, 2017
LAKE WORTH — Brenda Smith has lived in Lake Worth more
than 10 years. The 53-year-old retired office manager said she loves the
city and its residents.
“Lake Worth is amazing,” Smith said.
About 2½ years ago, she paid $53,000 for a unit on 212 N. K St., a Hovianna
XII condominium three blocks down the road from where she lives. Her son,
Allan, 25, now lives there.
“It’s a wonderful
community, it has the courtyards and everybody is friendly
with each other,” Smith said.
But there is one thing Smith, president of the condo board,
has complained about the past few months — being told by a
city code compliance officer to take down the courtyard’s
“Our fence is against coding violations for the type of
fence it is,” Smith said. “But it was installed over 10
years ago and looked beautiful.”
Yolanda Robinson, Lake Worth’s code compliance manager,
confirmed Smith’s story.
“The fence didn’t meet the historic guidelines and there was
no permit for it,” Robinson said. “And we don’t allow the
kind of fence they had.”
Robinson said the condo has a PVC fence, which has become a
popular alternative to traditional wood picket fences or
metal rail fences.
The fence Lake Worth’s code compliance department
asked the condominum owner to take down at 212 N. K St.
Smith spoke with a representative from the Historical Preservation Board,
but said she didn’t get anywhere. “Nobody can see this side but us,” Smith
said. “We were told we would’ve been charged $500 a day if we didn’t remove
the fence in 30 days.”
That’s what Smith said she did, removing the front and back part of the
fence in the summer. “Now we have prostitutes running through, trying to
sleep in our courtyard,” she said.
Another owner, Kicka Mears, said the situation has been horrible for
residents. “We’re trying to make things better here,” said Mears, 41.
“Junkies are now hanging out there and we’re afraid things will get stolen.
It’s just not right.”
But the issue is not over yet.
Code recently asked to have the side fence removed as well.
“We’re having problems with vagrants running through our property since we
removed our fence and there have been problems with theft,” Smith said. “If
we can leave the side fence, we’ll be as happy as we can be.”
Robinson said Tamica Clinton-Bush, the code officer Smith has dealt with,
gave the property’s owner a door hanger which says he has 30 days to remove
But Smith said that may not happen right away.
“We’ve been having roof issues, so our property manager hasn’t gotten to it
yet,” she said. “Honestly, our property manager is really slow on things and
until he gets something in writing, he’ll probably sit on it. The expense is
not there for removing the side fence right now.”
Robinson said the condo board can apply for a permit to put up an allowable
“We’re not telling them they can’t have a fence,” she said. “We’re just
telling them they can’t have that type of fence.”