ACCORDING TO HIS HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION (HOA) THEY DO. MR. GLASER, SAYS THE PRESIDENT OF THE BRADFORD PLACE HOA, MR. CHARLES SIEKMAN, SAID THAT THEY WERE “TOO COLORFUL” AND DEVALUED THE NEIGHBORHOOD. HE SUGGESTED THAT MR. GLAZER REPLACE THEM WITH FERNS AT THE HOA EXPENSE.
DESPITE THE FACT THAT BOB VILLA WROTE IN LAWN AND GARDEN THAT “GOOD LANDSCAPE CAN ADD UP TO 20% OF THE VALUE OF YOUR HOME.”
And according to Joan Honeyman of Honeyman Landscape architecture in Washington, D.C., “A professionally landscaped property is a sure ticket to quick resale. It gives a home curb appeal, a sense of place and value. It’s the first thing you see. That first impression can add 20 percent to your home’s value.”
While his HOA is demanding that Mr. Glaser remove the flowers, Mr. Glaser says that in 2013, the then president of the HOA said he could plant flowers within the boundaries of the mulched beds. The same president granted his neighbor, Mr. Teta permission to plant a flowering garden around his patio.
Case law supports Mr. Glaser and Mr. Teta under “Justifiable Reliance,” as they took the president by his word.
On November 3, 2015 Mr. Glaser received a certified letter from the Bradford Place management company, First Service Residential demanding the flowers be removed within 30 days or the association would remove them and bill Mr. Glaer accordingly, which he did not.
Then on April 4, 2016 Mr. Glaser received a letter from Kaye Bender Rembaum LLC of Pompano Beach and Palm Beach Gardens, FL demanding removal of the flowers. This time he was given 10 days and the threat of further action.
According to their web site “Kaye Bender Rembaum is a full service commercial law firm devoted to the representation of more than 800 community associations throughout Florida.”
This is indeed ironic, because the Bradford Place Board of Directors “is dedicated to protecting the investment made in your homes, enhancing the appearance of our community.”
Kaye Bender Rembaum’s letter cited Section 7.1 of the Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions of Bradford Place:
Section 7.1: PURPOSE: The APPROVING PARTY shall have the right to exercise architectural control over all IMPROVEMEMNTS, to assist in making the entire SUBJECT PROPERTY a community of high standards and aesthetics. Such architectural control may include all architectural aspects of IMPROVEMENTS including, but not limited to, size, height, site planning, set-back, exterior design, materials, colors, open space, landscaping, water scraping and aesthetic criterion.”
What Kaye Bender Rembaum may not realize is that according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension website, “Florida-friendly landscaping is now part of state law. Florida Statute 373.185 prohibits government entities and homeowners associations from enacting or enforcing any governing document to prevent homeowners from implementing Florida-friendly landscaping principles.”
“The mission of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, UF/IFAS, is to provide scientifically based agricultural human and natural resource knowledge that citizens use in making decisions which contribute to an improved life.
Extension programs strengthen decision-making, knowledge application, economic security, environmental care and leadership skills for all citizens. Issues addressed are identified through citizen, community and university involvement.”
According to Statute 373.185, “The principles of Florida-friendly landscaping include planting the right plant in the right place, efficient watering, appropriate watering, appropriate fertilization, mulching, attraction of wildlife, responsible management of yard waste, recycling of yard waste, reduction of storm water runoff, and waterfront protection.
We believe Mr. Glaser is being singled out for his apparent violation and we will show you why. This would essentially be “selective enforcement.”
This is a post on March 5, 2012 on Avvo.com, an online legal services marketplace based in Seattle, WA by Stuart M. Address, a civil rights attorney in Stuart, FL.
“The key here is ‘selective enforcement.’ Under the HOA statute and applicable case law, while the HOA has the right to enforce its Declaration of Covenant, its By-Laws, and its Rules and Regulations, it must do so in a consistent manner. Evidence that you have been signaled out for selective enforcement could void the HOA’s attempted actions. It actually doesn’t even matter is the selective enforcement is based on discrimination or them not liking you or even just stupidity, they cannot selectively enforce; it may constitute a waiver.”
Here is why we believe the Bradford Place HOA, who hired Kaye Bender Rembaum to selectively enforce him to remove his plants, is singling out Mr. Glaser.
Mr. Glaser’s flowers; all within the boundary of the mulched area.
Another house down the street where the homeowner planted roses. They are pretty colorful.
This is a Triple Robellini planted in HOA president Charles Seikman’s yard. Not only was it planted, but it violated covenants because it was not planted within the mulch boundary and grass was dug up to plant it.
One view of flowerpots on a walkway to another house. According Mr. Glaser, HOA Covenants allow flower pots allowed in moderation. Too many is a violation.
View two. That’s a lot of flowerpots. Also, notice at the far end of the walkway on the left the homeowner planted a Hibiscus plant.
Besides the aforementioned issues, Mr. Glaser’s problems with the Bradford Place HOA don’t stop there.
Mr. Glaser said the HOA president (who lives in Iowa – all five of the Bradford Place HOA Board members do not live in Bradford Place) advised him he is not allowed to have a sign on his property. Here is the sign in his backyard, which no one would ever see.
The sign was given to him by his sister.
Now here’s a sign or call it artwork hanging from another house right next to the front door, not in back. If you look closely you can see the hook.
Additionally, Mr. Glaser said he was advised by the HOA president that his bird feeders and chimes were not allowed.
But in walking throughout the community as we did to check out the flowers, we found these chimes and bird feeders at other residences.
There are two other points worth mentioning.
- Mr. Glaser has an HOA planted magnolia tree in his front yard surrounded by his flowers. The leaves have been and are covered with mites and there has been no effort by the HOA to treat the tree.
- There was an HOA meeting the first week in March, 2016 and the subject of Mr. Glaser’s flowers came up and no one objected.
So why are they, once again, signaling him out?
According to Association Evaluation, which is dedicated to bettering the lives of current and future residents in association-governed communities worldwide, HOA “Bully boards” are so prevalent that the term is commonplace lingo among community association property managers and real estate attorneys. It’s a moniker used to describe condo and homeowner association (HOA) boards that are so drunk with power, they resort to abusing their subjects – the owners.
In addition, owners place emotionally painful loss of their rights to pure and simple enjoyment and face the fear of fines administered by “kangaroo courts” where board directors play both judge and jury.”
They set the standard for rating community associations through fact-based analysis.