Family Allowed to Build Playset After Four-Year Fight

Article Courtesy of

First Coast News
Published March 14, 2009

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- A family at the Cimarrone Golf & Country Club has won a four-year fight to build a back yard playset for their children.

The decision comes just days after President Obama and the First Lady surprised their daughters with a similar playset at the White House.

"I received calls and emails with people


sending me the link. It was kind of like perfect timing with this," said Home Association Board Member Chanse Henderson.

According to Henderson, the family asked the board for permission to erect the playset four years ago, but was denied.

Henderson says the family asked the new board for permission after other families built playsets on their properties in 2008.

Several of the residents protested the request. They argued that a playset did not belong on a lot facing the golf course. The other homes were not on the golf course.

"One owner said it's the retired people versus the young family people," said Henderson.

In a three-page flier sent to residents who own lots facing the golf course, opponents wrote flying golf balls could hurt children and the playset could be an eyesore for golfers.

They also say playsets facing the golf course would lower property values.

"Is that playset at the Oval Office lowering the property value of the Oval Office? I seriously doubt it," said Henderson.

"Will we soon see 6-foot cedar fences, sheds and pit houses on golf course lots? Where do you draw the line?" one resident said at a board meeting.

"When we moved in here, we signed an agreement that said no swingsets if you're on the golf course. Does that bother me? no - but it is against the agreement," said resident Jeff Desmond.

The Architectueal Review Board of the community acknowledged that some homes should not have playsets because of the danger to the children. This home was not one of them.

Tuesday, the board voted 3-2 to allow the playset.

Henderson says some of his opponents have discussed recalling members of the board, especially those who voted to allow the playset. He says there's even talk of legal action.