Family fined hundreds for leaving hoop outside

Article Courtesy of

Ft. Myers


By Marisa Brahney
Published February 18, 2007


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Family fined hundreds

for leaving hoop outside


NAPLES: A Naples family has been fined hundreds of dollars for breaking a community rule when all they wanted to do was play some basketball.

Many communities have by-laws. They are designed to keep the neighborhood a pleasant place to live. But a North Naples mom says her Delasol community is taking one rule too far and says it is killing the family spirit that drew her there.

In Ginger McKenzie's neighborhood, the basketball hoop has to be put inside. It's a rule the single mother wasn't aware of until a letter from her community's homeowners association told her she was breaking it.

The community by-law says a basketball hoop cannot sit outside a home between dusk and dawn.

"Insane? Yes, I think it's going overboard," said McKenzie. "I'm not a big burly guy weighing 200 pounds with muscles, so it's just very difficult."

She and her 10-year-old daughter Haley are a good team. But McKenzie says when it comes to dragging the hoop inside, they have a tough time. It was something the association didn't want to hear.

"They didn't seem to care why I didn't take it inside - they didn't care. So, I felt insulted because you know, these are my neighbors," said McKenzie.

Even after McKenzie began bringing the hoop in and appeared in front of board members to explain herself, she was slapped with a $500 fine.

McKenzie says the association is making an example of her - selectively enforcing rules that are too strict to begin with.

When McKenzie started reading through her by-laws, she realized she was breaking some rules she didn't even know existed. One of them stated residents are not even allowed to leave your garage door open unless you're coming or going from your house.

But some neighbors say rules are rules no matter how ridiculous they may seem.

"The rules are what the rules are, and you knew it when you moved in. But do I care? No, it's a family community," said neighbor Kim Levitan.

But McKenzie and her daughter think all the rules are hurting that family feel.

"It's like you give up the simples pleasures in life because of a rule," said McKenzie.

No members of the Delasol Homeowners Association were available for comment.

McKenzie says she admits she should have read the rules more closely, she just feels that the board is being unreasonably rigid about whole thing.