Community trying to pull plug on cable system

A cable license application by KG Communications left city officials in the midst of a feud between some Keys Gate residents and their homeowners association.


Article Courtesy of The Miami Herald

Published on June 23, 2005


A battle fit for its own pay-per-view special played out Monday night at Homestead City Hall between the Keys Gate Community Association and its residents over the development's cable television contract with KG Communications -- a new cable company owned by Keys Gate developer Michael Latterner.

The debate took up most of the nearly four-hour long meeting, with Keys Gate residents basically asking the city council to protect them from their own association.

''As elected officials, you are our last line of defense,'' said Charles Albright, a North Gate resident.

The Keys Gate Community Association is run by Latterner's daughter Paige, not by the homeowners, because the development has yet to reach 90 percent completion.

This leaves all decisions concerning utility contracts in the hands of the association.

The cable license application to allow KG Communications to operate across Homestead ended up being unanimously deferred because a July 6 hearing between Adelphia Cable and KG over ownership of the ''ground cables'' in Keys Gate is pending.

The city will decide the application's fate at a special meeting.

However, before deferring the item Mayor Roscoe Warren told residents the council's hands were tied when it came to dealing with homeowner association issues.

''We can't get involved,'' said Warren. "That's a debate between the homeowners and the association. It's out of our jurisdiction.'' ***

Warren also told residents that the city has no legal right to interfere in a private matter and the council can't put itself in a position where it could get sued.

Before the deferral, residents said they were being forced into the situation because the Keys Gate Community Association already signed an agreement with the fledgling cable company.

So even if homeowners could go with another cable provider they would still have to pay for the association-approved company in their monthly maintenance fees.

''I signed into Keys Gate but this isn't what I signed on for,'' said Angel Lazo, president of the Keys Landing Homeowners Association in Keys Gate. "How can you sign a 10-year contract with a company that you didn't know?''

Latterner representative Steve Shiver said resident concerns were ''extremely valid'' and that a lack of communication between the developer and the residents was responsible for the problem.

Timothy L. Craig, president of The Shores Homeowners Council in Keys Gate, said that while he understood Mayor Warren's position, he still felt Keys Gate residents needed the city's support.

''When we agreed to live in the community (of Keys Gate) we gave up certain rights,'' said Craig in an interview.