Legislative hearing on condo problems set for Tuesday in Davie

By Joe Kollin 
Staff Writer 
Posted October 23 2003 

Hundreds of Broward County condominium owners peeved at their boards of directors are expected to express their ire next week at a public hearing called by a state House committee.

The Select Committee on Condominium Association Governance, created last month by House Speaker Johnnie Byrd, will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday in Bailey Hall at Broward Community College's central campus, 3501 Davie Road, Davie.
I think we'll have a big crowd," said state Rep. Ken Gottlieb, D-Hollywood, the committee's vice chairman, on Wednesday.

Anyone who wants to speak will be allowed to sign up at the meeting.

The committee conducted its first hearing in southwest Miami-Dade County last month. With almost no advance publicity, more than 400 people showed up to complain about fraud, lack of accountability and lack of enforcement of state condo law, according to the panel's chairman, Rep. Julio Robaina, R-Miami,

"Apparently, there is a new wave of associations bypassing Florida statutes and their own bylaws," he said. "I've made it very clear that the state needs to beef up these laws to protect the condo owner."

The last major study of condo problems was in 1990 and 1991. The result was several laws designed to rein in the power of boards.

The new committee, which consists of seven members of the state House, has not scheduled other hearings but is expected to conduct more before making recommendations for new laws to Byrd.

"We expect to report by January so by the start of the [legislative] session we'll hopefully have a bill ready to present," Robaina said.

The regular session starts on March 2.

The hearing will be limited to condo issues.

Gottlieb said he can't predict what the major complaints will be. But the complaints, he said, "will help us make condo laws better and improve the quality of life for everybody."