and Video Courtesy of ABC Action News WFTS
By Heather Leigh
October 18, 2019
CLEARWATER — A battle between a Clearwater police
officer and her homeowners association has lawmakers in Tallahassee
officially filing legislation to put the issue to bed.
This comes after ABC Action News reported the story back in August.
Management is the company that manages the HOA. They
tell us they can make recommendations and consult for
the HOA, but they say final decisions lie with the HOA's
The HOA of Eastlake Woodlands sent the Clearwater police
officer and her husband a letter that threatened them
with violation costs if they didn't stop parking a
marked police cruiser in their driveway.
The family told the HOA they were grandfathered in by a
former board president but the HOA did not recognize
that letter at first. After ABC Action News reported on
the story twice, the HOA changed its tune and decided to
honor the grandfather letter but told the family if they
sell the house, they must inform the next owners of the
"My gut reaction was 'this can’t be real, this flies in the face of
common sense,'” said Chris Sprowls, a House Rep. for District 65.
Sprowls even posted about it to Facebook and linked our article saying
it’s time to clarify the law. Ed Hooper, State Senator in District 60,
"Having that visible deterrent in plain sight — if I were someone who
was looking to [commit a crime] that, it would certainly tell me like
maybe stay out of this neighborhood,” Hooper said.
"It’s a waste of a lot of peoples time and it’s
beyond silly." Dan Parri, a family friend of the officer involved. But
he says it needs to be done because he doesn't want this to happen ever
Hooper and State Representative Chip LaMarca spoke in Tallahassee about
HB 307 and its companion bill in the senate they filed for the 2020
legislative session Wednesday morning.
The officer and her family say they are excited about the bill and the,
"potential for it to help all law enforcement throughout the state."
The Clearwater police chief, Dan Slaughter, says it's
crucial officers get take-home cars because they need to be able to
respond from anywhere at a moments notice.
"A car is not a perk," he said, "It's part of our emergency strategy."
He found out about the issue back in August -- months later he's
thankful to see lawmakers tackle the issue on a state level.
"Even in law-enforcement we have a rule that if you miss use laws and
bills or authority then you lose it. And I think that’s what really
happened here," he said.
Holiday Isle Management says it is looking forward to clarifying the law
and released the following statement:
"We don’t necessarily bear the same opinion of situations that our
boards do. We can lead them to water but we can't make them drink.
Sometimes management is in an awkward position where we have to follow
the directive of our board to help them enforce their governing
documents. We may not always agree with the direction the board goes,
but we must continue to work with them as clients.
Holiday Isles does not make the decision on how the association laws and
rules and regulations are applied to each individual homeowner or
tenant. That is defined in the associations governing documents and is
the decision of the board of directors on how and when the laws are to
be implemented and enforced.”
TO VIEW HB 307