Homeowner: HOA complaints will not derail Winter Haven train display

Article Courtesy of FOX 13 NEWS Orlando

By Ken Suarez

Published November 30, 2018

WINTER HAVEN - A Winter Haven man says his holiday train display won’t be de-railed despite the protests of his homeowners' association.


John Solobello fell in love with locomotives when he was just five-years-old. Ever since, he has been collecting trains and working on layouts.


Last year, he invited his neighbors in the Villages at Spirit Lake to his house to see what he had set up in his backyard.

Solobello says it went off without a hitch. This year, it’s a different story.

The Villages at Spirit Lake is a gated community. Solobello posted a sign out front with the gate code.

That didn't go over well with the homeowners' association. The sign mysteriously disappeared, according to Solbello.

The president of the HOA, Frank Johnson told FOX 13 that making the gate code available to anyone who wants it is a security issue and Solobello could be fined if he continues to do it.


“It’s a little depressing,” commented Solobello. “You want to try to do something to bring people closer together, then something like this happens.”

Solobello is hoping that people who want to see his trains just follow other drivers in. He has no intention of backing off.

“I want to do it each year, and more stuff, and change the layout,” he told FOX 13.