Another Lemonade Stand Crushed

I’ve whined about this sort of thing repeatedly: HOAs shutting down little kids’ lemonade stands just because some witch on the board thinks that kids’ activities destroy the neighborhood. Ah, how I long for the good old days when the presence of kids and their activities actually increased community property values.

Speaking of property values, I wonder if one of our Florida friends could track home sales in the Hawk’s Point HOA and see how they compare to home values outside any HOA? I would bet dollars to donuts that…naw, I’ll wait until the data comes in.

(link to Fox News story on shutting down of lemonade stand)


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Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

2 thoughts on “Another Lemonade Stand Crushed

  1. Deborah Goonan

    I am not a Realtor, so I don’t have access to sales data. But here’s what I was able to find out about Hawks Point, located in Ruskin, FL. It is close to Appollo beach in the Tampa metro area. Tampa – St. Pete is a hot market in FL right now.

    Hawks Point was created in 2007, as a CDD plus HOA, by Centex Homes. Centex Homes sold its development interests to Lennar in Jan 2012. Since that time, the CDD has been enlarged by annexing additional land, and the development has been replatted ( meaning that the master plan was modified to change the number and location of lots). Lennar has since admended the governing documents,

    The subdivision is divided into several phases, with homes available at three price levels. There are townhouses, villas, and two levels of detached single family homes. Generally, prices range from $150,000 – $275,000. HOA fees vary depending on which phase and level of services. Those with deeded lots pay about $170-185 per quarter. The condominium style townhouses and villas (mostly new construction) pay about $140 per month for full exterior maintenance and landscaping services.

    Amenities include a community pool, playground, fitness center, and clubhouse. This is a gated community, but the CDD maintains the roads, storm water system, irrigation and other infrastructure. The HOA handles the administrative stuff like covenant enforcement.

    Most of the recent sales listed on are new construction. There are a few resales that appear to be selling at 2008 price levels, meaning most people who purchased after that are realizing small gains after closing costs. The townhouse section originally built by Centex is directly adjacent to a fish farm, and there have not been any recent resales in this area.

  2. Deborah Goonan

    One other general observation: none of these big devlopers EVER include details about the CDD or the HOA on their home sales websites. NEVER. Nor do they regularly tell the buyer the name of the management company.

    And though some of these HOAs and CDDS do have a website, many do not. Of those that do, most are password protected. That means the homebuyer (or tenant) considering any of these communities does not have easy access to a copy of the governing documents, and has to rely on the real estate agent for information about assessments. It took me a good hour or so to find the information I did. A buyer needs to hire an attorney to represent their interests, and consider using a community evaluation service such as Association Evaluation.

    Or simply steer clear of deed restricted communities, if possible. In Florida, that’s extremely difficult to do.


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