Backyard hoop idea prompts lawsuit

A Seminole family sues the gated community's homeowners group that denied its request.


Article Courtesy of The Orlando Sentinel


Published July 30, 2007


SANFORD - Glen and Maria Pawlowski just want to put up a basketball goal for their two boys, ages 6 and 11.

Their homeowners association said no, however, even though the family proposed keeping it behind the garage and out of sight.

So the Pawlowskis sued the association this week, asking a judge to let them put a permanent pole in their yard and hang a hoop from it.

The pole would stand behind their new 4,200-square-foot home at the Estates at Wekiva Park, a gated community that backs up to the Wekiva River.

The Pawlowskis moved in last month. The dispute over the basketball hoop has gone on for months.

The association had nothing against kids playing basketball, said Bing Hacker, a vice president for Lennar Homes, the subdivision's developer and the company that until Thursday controlled the homeowners association.

Lots of families in the 100-home community have basketball goals in their driveways, he said. The association said no to the Pawlowskis because they want to build a "basketball court," Hacker said.

"The noise and disturbance in the backyard is not in keeping with the community," he said.

By "court" he means a slab of concrete, 25 feet 

Glen and Maria Pawlowski, have sued their homeowners association for the right to put up a basketball goal in their back yard. The Pawlowskis live at the Estates at Wekiva Park.

by 30 feet, that has already been poured. It would have a single hoop, directly behind the garage.

The "court" also would be where the Pawlowski children would play Four Square, Glen Pawlowski wrote in his rejected application.

On Thursday, the boys were playing pool with friends in the family's back room. That's what the Pawlowskis want their kids to do: Have fun. Spend time with their friends, but do it at home so the parents can keep watch.

"We're trying to create a kid-friendly atmosphere," said Glen Pawlowski, 51, co-owner of a company that develops and operates retirement communities.

He remains optimistic the dispute can be settled happily.

On Thursday, the homeowners association transferred from Lennar control to the homeowners. Pawlowski was elected to the association board, which he hopes will help him work out a solution with other board members.

The family has put a temporary basketball goal on the slab a few feet from the anchor bolts where they hope to erect a permanent pole.

Someone vandalized those bolts a few weeks ago, the couple said. That was upsetting. They called the Seminole County Sheriff's Office and filed a report.

"We are property owners, and we have rights," Glen Pawlowski said.

"All this over a basketball hoop."