Published February 18, 2007
leaving hoop outside
NAPLES: A Naples family has
been fined hundreds of dollars for breaking a community rule when all
they wanted to do was play some basketball.
Many communities have by-laws. They
are designed to keep the neighborhood a pleasant place to live. But a
North Naples mom says her Delasol community is taking one rule too far and
says it is killing the family spirit that drew her there.
In Ginger McKenzie's neighborhood, the
basketball hoop has to be put inside. It's a rule the single mother wasn't
aware of until a letter from her community's homeowners association told
her she was breaking it.
The community by-law says a basketball hoop
cannot sit outside a home between dusk and dawn.
"Insane? Yes, I think it's going
overboard," said McKenzie. "I'm not a big burly guy weighing 200
pounds with muscles, so it's just very difficult."
She and her 10-year-old daughter Haley are
a good team. But McKenzie says when it comes to dragging the hoop inside,
they have a tough time. It was something the association didn't want to
"They didn't seem to care why I didn't
take it inside - they didn't care. So, I felt insulted because you know,
these are my neighbors," said McKenzie.
Even after McKenzie began bringing the hoop
in and appeared in front of board members to explain herself, she was
slapped with a $500 fine.
McKenzie says the association is making an
example of her - selectively enforcing rules that are too strict to begin
When McKenzie started reading through her
by-laws, she realized she was breaking some rules she didn't even know
existed. One of them stated residents are not even allowed to leave your
garage door open unless you're coming or going from your house.
But some neighbors say rules are rules no
matter how ridiculous they may seem.
"The rules are what the rules are, and
you knew it when you moved in. But do I care? No, it's a family
community," said neighbor Kim Levitan.
But McKenzie and her daughter think all the
rules are hurting that family feel.
"It's like you give up the simples
pleasures in life because of a rule," said McKenzie.
No members of the Delasol Homeowners
Association were available for comment.
McKenzie says she admits she should have
read the rules more closely, she just feels that the board is being
unreasonably rigid about whole thing.