Bay area hockey fan battles homeowners association over Lightning sign

Article and Video Courtesy of Bay News 9

By Kristy Wolski

Published May 14, 2011

 Watch VIDEO

Steven Paul moved to Providence Lakes in Brandon two years ago and in a flash he became a Lightning fan.

"Basically one of the first things I did when I moved down here was get season tickets," said Steven Paul. "I've been a hockey fan for awhile, but never really lived in a place where I could go have season tickets."

Paul was thrilled when his team made the playoffs.


"As soon as the Lightning clenched the playoffs," said Paul "they gave away the sign and T-shirts and basically a big goody bag full of stuff. I got home, put the sign in the yard and a few days later got a letter from the H.O.A."

The violation notice from the Providence Lakes Homeowner's Association stated that "absolutely no signs are allowed except security company signs."


That gave Paul an idea. He used a permanent marker to turn the "Go Bolts" sign into "Protected by: Go Bolts security."

"It kind of made me mad," said Paul. "I pay H.O.A. fees and I kind of hoped the money would go to something better than that."

Frustrated Paul then decided to see what else he could do to support his team within H.O.A. guidelines.

"I looked in the bylaws," said Paul. "And saw that flags are allowed."

So, Paul took a large blue Lightning flag, that had also been in the goody bag, and hung it from his garage.

Paul said he responded to the letter he received from the homeowner's association, questioning their community support. He said they offered to review his case, but he hasn't received a final decision.

Calls to the homeowner's association from Bay News 9 were not returned.

Meanwhile, Paul is also growing a playoff beard for a good cause. He's raising money for pediatric cancer research through the Tampa Bay Lightning's Beard-a-Thon.