Residents Upset Over Fountain Filled With Dirt

Article and Video Courtesy of 

WFTV Channel 9 -- ABC

By George Spencer

ORLANDO -- Daytona Beach

Published January 20, 2010



Some Lake Mary homeowners say a private landowner is ruining their neighborhood. One man owns the neighborhood front and fountain, as well as the retention pond, at the Hills of Lake Mary and neighbors said he’s trashing the areas and there's little the homeowner’s association (HOA) has been able to do to make the areas look better.


At the Hills of Lake Mary, what was the sparkling fountain at the main entrance is now a dirt pit.


“It stands out. People, just the common public, have gone by and noticed, ‘What happened to your fountain?’" resident Carol Linville said.


Turns out, it's not the neighborhood's fountain. When people bought homes there, residents didn't know part of the entrance was privately-owned by attorney William Glenn Roy. When the fountain began to leak after a car hit it and neighbors complained, Roy hired crews to fill it with dirt.

"It doesn't look like he wants to be reasonable," resident Charlie Jamieson said.


Roy owns the land and claims he's made fair offers to sell it and is now just doing what he sees fit with his property.


“I know he probably legally has a right to do what he's doing. But morally, I don't think its right,” Jamieson said.


At one point, Roy wanted to charge residents a usage fee, claiming that the run-off water from their property ran straight into the retention pond on his land.


“How can you charge someone for water run off from a public road?" Jamieson asked.


It is an odd dispute, but similar disputes can develop in many Central Florida subdivisions, especially those that went through several owners during development. Attorneys say there may be easement rights, which can block the private owner from putting up big walls or charging fees. But other changes, like turning a fountain into a pit, are tougher for an HOA to fight.


“This just really displays a bad taste in my mouth,” Carol Linville said.


Residents can try to claim a code violation. Otherwise, if they can't meet the owner's price to buy the land, they may be out of luck.


William Roy told Eyewitness News that residents of the HOA had been harassing him for months. He says the car accident that damaged the front fountain caused $90,000 in damage.