guest blog by Deborah Goonan
Several weeks ago, I told you about a pending legal dispute between Plantation Resort 2 HOA vs. City House, a non-profit organization that assists homeless youths. Several months ago, City House purchased and remodeled a 5-bedroom home in PR2 HOA, for use as transitional living for young adults in need of a home. Shortly after the purchase, PR2 notified City House that it would not be permitted to use the home as intended, citing violation of its Restrictive Covenants.
Earlier this week, WFAA Channel 8 was notified that a confidential, out-of-court settlement has been reached. The video and transcript is linked below.
The dispute centered on PR2 HOA’s restrictions. The attorney for the HOA, Chad Robinson, had argued that the proposed use of the residence City House now owns – as transitional living for up to 8 young women that would otherwise be homeless – does not fall within their definition of “single family use.” Monica Velazquez, attorney for City House, has maintained that “single family use” pertains to how the property is used, not the people who live there. City House planned to use the residence to meet basic housing needs of its residents, all of whom work and attend school, but share expenses for rent, utilities and meals. The dispute was headed for court, where a judge would decide the matter.
But, in typical HOA fashion, a legal settlement has been reached, complete with a sealed file and a gag order. Rob Scichili of City House states that they have decided not to pursue the expense of litigation and to instead move away from PR2 HOA, where they are clearly unwelcome anyway.
Sound familiar? Ah, yes, the old HOA playbook: “We have rules here, and if you don’t like them, MOVE.” The HOA gets its way once again. Of course, with a confidential settlement, the public will never know the details of what was discussed by the parties involved. And that’s just the way the HOA likes it. I certainly hope that City House was at least able to recover its closing costs, remodeling costs, and relocation expenses.
Watching the video report made my blood boil. The arrogance of the two neighbors interviewed, with their not-in-my-back-yard attitude, was nothing short of outrageous, in my opinion.
Do all PR2 residents share these NIMBY views? Probably not, but they will all have to pay for the attorney fees and the legal settlement. They will all have to live with negative publicity for their HOA. Hard to say what effect that might have on their property values.
It seems like we publish at least one blog on NAW each week, featuring yet another story of HOA discrimination, harassment, or bullying. Talk about a huge deterrent for a buyer (or tenant) to living under the HOA regime. Anyone who cares about social justice, fair play, kindness, or compassion will be sorely disappointed under corporate governance by CC&Rs.
The previous blogs can be found