Since first writing about the Duval County FFL Gold yard and their woes with the HOA, I have learned of many more homeowners in dispute with their HOAs or Architectural Review Boards/Committees. Once I realized the need for a group where homeowners could voice their concerns, problems, situations, etc. I created a Facebook group called “Homeowners for Florida Friendly Yards”. The response has been very positive and I thought an update on a couple cases would be timely. Please join the FB group and spread the word to others who are having difficulty implementing Florida Friendly Landscape principles.
The Duval County FFL Gold Standard yard that I originally began writing about now has two attorneys working on it and a pre-suit mediation date should be determined soon. The HOA attorney agreed to allow a retired lawyer who now owns a nursery in Gainesville to act as the mediator.
The homeowners in St. Augustine had their FFL plan rejected and have now appealed the ARC’s decision. The BOD are meeting on November 7 to discuss their appeal. While the covenants and restrictions specfiically encourage implementation of Florida Friendly Landscaping, it baffles me that the homeowners’ plan was rejected. After speaking with the homeowner today I learned the ARC is now requesting a sample of the mulch and the rocks/stones that will be used….perhaps this means they might allow the homeowners to continue? These homeowners sent a letter to Jacksonville’s Folio Weekly which was picked up as a newsworthy story. Susan Eastman has written an article about the opposition homeowners are facing when attempting to be “good stewards”. Her article will be published in the November 1, 2011 issue of Folio Weekly.
I drove through the rest of the neighborhood and saw two more yards with attractive landscaping, both of which were sent letters of violations, but not noticed” to remove the landscaping
The HOA meeting will be held at the South Branch of the St. Johns Public Library (US1 just north of SR206) at 6:30 PM on November 7, 2011. If you are planning to implement a FFL yard and live in a community with an HOA, you might want to attend to gain some insight into what you might expect from your HOA. Or just come and support others trying to be good stewards of our water resources.
Mediations have been won by several homeowners, but it’s difficult to find out much information about these cases since there has not been a portal for homeowners to gather…hopefully “Homeowners for Florida Friendly Yards” will serve the purpose. I do not know of any court cases that can be used in a defense should arbitration or a court case be necessary…if anyone knows of a case please share the information with your comment.
Unfortunately many HOAs are using an omniscient approach to deny integration of Florida Statute 720.3075 to be incorporated into their landscape guidelines. If you know of someone who has “fought the battle and won”, others would love to hear about it either in the comments below or on the FB page.
Please come to the HOA meeting on 11/7/11 or join the “Homeowners for Florida Friendly Yards” on Facebook and tell everyone your story!