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Rules, Laws and You - A reminder

Updated: Sep 14, 2022


Hi all, I normally attempt to make news updates and posts here entertaining. I'm struggling with this one, however, because this one is dry, critically important, and necessary; Not fun.


Our neighborhood is a good place, and the current Board and other volunteers are trying to make it a great place, to live.


We do our best to keep the neighborhood attractive, safe and inclusive and yes, sometimes this means having to enforce rules, issue letters, fines and liens, and if the worst comes, foreclosures. We will always behave fairly and consistently, but if ignored and despite sentiments from some, to the contrary - our HOA has teeth and will use them.



Our HOA has the right to be more restrictive than the County and State but not less so. As a result, we are, as I believe prior boards were, always attempting to straddle the often fine line between the intent (spirit) of the rule/law, which can often be open to interpretation, and the letter (how it is written) of that rule/law. This delicate balancing act is for the benefit of the community as a whole.


As you know, no rule or law matters if it is not enforceable by some authority with the legal ability to punish wrongdoing. Our HOA Board has that for our community, Pasco County has a number of enforcement agencies and officers, as does the State of Florida all the way up to Federal law itself.


Each of those enforcement groups can find and act upon any of the issues within their jurisdiction themselves but often rely on receiving complaints from the people and businesses within their jurisdiction. Our neighborhood receives most of its complaints from neighbors and not from Board members or our property management partner. Some of our more vocal neighbors want to bring Pasco County Code Enforcement and Sherriff's Office officers into the neighborhood to clamp down on violators. They have every right to do so and violations are violations but I wanted to give everyone a heads up.


The enforcements carry penalties that are very often severe and with little to no recourse for you. The lightest will request a fix within a measured period of time. The most extreme; financial penalties, undoing of expensive work and escalating to foreclosure and/or incarceration.


Two of the most severe and most commonly talked about recently are:

Here's an extract from the parking law:

Sec. 106-32. - Class I parking violation. (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to stop, stand or park a vehicle, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the direction of a police officer or traffic control device, in any of the following places: (1) On a sidewalk;


And here's an extract for the drainage easements policy:

ARTICLE II - RESTRICTIONS - Section 3.01 - ...No structure, planting or other material shall be placed or permitted to remain which may damage or interfere with access to, or the installation and maintenance of, the Easement Areas or any Utilities or drainage facilities, or which may change the direction of flow or obstruct or retard the flow of water through drainage channels in any Easement Area, or which may reduce the size of any ponds, lakes or other water retention areas (herein referred to as "Retention Areas") which are shown on the plat or which may be constructed in such Easement...


Here's an attempt at a simple guide to the biggest and most likely complaint areas.

Issue Area

PERMITTED?

Reason - Jurisdiction

Commercial Vehicles

MUST Cover vehicle signs and branding. NO wrapped vehicles left on driveway.

NO ladders etc. on vehicle.

Neighborhood aesthetic - FSHOA

Changing/obstructing water flow through Easements - (possible if extending driveway to 24ft as permitted since 2018)

NOT Permitted

Neighborhood flooding issue - FSHOA

Parking extending across or onto sidewalk

NOT Permitted

Safety Violation - Pasco County

Window Unit A/C

NOT Permitted

Neighborhood aesthetic - FSHOA

​Structure built nearer than 7.5ft from a SIDE lot line.

NOT Permitted

(20ft for corner Lots)

Neighborhood aesthetic & flooding issue - FSHOA

​Structure built nearer than 15ft from a REAR lot line.

NOT Permitted

(Except pool/enclosures - 5ft limit)

Neighborhood aesthetic & flooding issue - FSHOA

Above ground pools

NOT Permitted

Neighborhood aesthetic - FSHOA

Parking on the street overnight

NOT Permitted

Safety Violation - Pasco County

The list above is far from exhaustive but shows some of the major areas. For certain violations the only available remedy might be that you have to undo the work. That will prove costly. Avoid that risk, in advance, by ensuring that all vendors are licensed and that you have applied for and been approved by all the governing bodies who have jurisdiction over the outcomes of your project.


We have an active and very busy Architectural Control Committee and a full application process. Other issues fall to our Compliance Committee and I've covered some of what they look for, in my blog post here.


I encourage you to get educated on what you can and cannot do, seek permissions and play by the rules, if nothing more than to save money and not have neighborhood vigilantes turn you in to the authorities. This is the best and most polite, advanced warning I can give.



As always, to stay up to date on everything going on at Fairway Springs please use the variety of channels here.

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