Easter-egg hunt brings trespass warning

Article Courtesy of The News-Journal

By Mark I. Johnson

Published April 28, 2011

EDGEWATER -- An Easter Egg hunt accelerated the ongoing conflict between residents of the Persimmon Place town home community with the issuance of a trespass warning to a member of the homeowner's association board of directors, an incident report said.

The friction heated up Sunday when renters Jennifer Flanagan Blatt, 40, and Shonna Maitland Magee, 33, complained to police that association treasurer Merrie Beth Lane, 71, was "very confrontational" and had "harassed" them, the report said.

"Today, Easter Sunday, we were setting up an Easter egg hunt and (Lane) confronted me, telling me we can't do that," Magee wrote in a signed statement to Edgewater Officer Robin Bell.

Officer Bell presented Lane with a trespass warning without incident, the report said.

Magee said Tuesday she is tired of Lane approaching her children every time they are outside.

"She is like the kid police," the renter said.

Lane said Tuesday she was acting in her capacity as a member of the board when she went onto Magee's porch after the egg hunt to voice concerns about a "slip and slide" Magee was setting up across sidewalks.

Lane had previously requested a parent placing eggs in her flower bed to stop and returned the treats already there. Lane said once the event was over, she had been told the hunt was a premeditated effort to harass her.

Longtime residents like Lane have voiced concerns about the safety of unsupervised youngsters, whose parents rent or own units in the community tucked off U.S. 1. She and others are pushing a change in the homeowner's association by-laws that would effectively keep the children inside or limited to small patches of grass outside their residences.

The homeowner's association members were scheduled to vote on that proposal today, but Lane said the board decided last week to postpone a vote until a complete bylaw review could be completed.

"None has been done since 1995," she said of the 48-unit subdivision's bylaws. "We want to bring all the documents up to date."

She added the board of directors hired a legal firm specializing in such matters to scrutinize the subdivision's rules and will bring them to an owners' meeting when it is complete.

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