Did a Board Member Invade Privacy?



To whom it may concern,

In April I received a letter, to appear at a hearing, from the Board representing Florin Estates.

At the meeting I was informed of violations written against me by the Board. There were 4 violations

1. They wanted me to move a vehicle that was parked on my property.

2. They wanted me to tear down a shed left on the property by the former owner.

3. They told me to put a new paint job on my house.

4. They told me to paint my deck.

They gave me 9 days to comply.

 I told them that the shed would be removed, and the car moved off the property, by the end of the day. They wanted a paint swatch for the paint colors on the house and deck. It took me several days to get swatches that matched the colors on the house. That left me less than a week to get the house painted.

After many attempts to get a painting company to come out and give me an estimate after several days one showed up. The contractor showed up and said he was not interested in the project after looking it over. I decided to have my ex-wife and her friends paint the house since she worked painting houses for several years. I took until almost the end of the month to get the house and the deck painted.

 I received a letter at the end of May it indicated that I was being fined for the month of May for not correcting the violations. I received the letter on a Saturday so I called the office Monday morning. I left messages and received a response on Wednesday that a representative would come out on Thursday to inspect my property.

I did not get an exact time when this would occur.

Thursday afternoon I went the office to find out when they were having someone come by. Cherie called Thomas Morla and he said he would meet at my house in about an hour. I drove from the office to my house and Thomas was across the street at the neighbor’s house. He came over when he saw me pull up.

I had contacted a contractor to come and do any repairs if needed. To my surprise the contractor was already there also. After I introduced the contractor to Thomas I asked him if he could see anything on my list of violations that still needed to be completed. He said well let's go take a look and began to walk onto the property. I said “hey wait a minute I thought that the inspection was for what could be seen from the street. He said “no, I need to check the whole property.” Just then my father walked up with his copy of the Florin Estates CC and Rs. He told Thomas that he had no right to go on my property and pointed out a section that stated so. Thomas said that wasn’t true and my father said he was full of shit.

Thomas proceeded to walk on to the property. I told him he had no right to go on my property and our interpretation was that the CC and R stated that the board only had authority over what was visible from the street. He said “That is a common misconception, the CC and R’s state that you must upkeep your property so we have authority to go anywhere on your property we see fit!”

As we argued he continued to proceed farther on the property. Not being a person of violence I did not know how to respond. Nearing the back of the property He noticed a section of wall on the house behind a shed that was not completed. He said Oh, this is not finished you are still in violation. I responded “I had not even noticed that area was not done.

Then I asked “So if I have something in violation on my property that no one can even see unless they come all the way back here I am still going to be written up. He said “well someone living in that house over there (pointing three houses down over the back fence) might complain.” I asked “Have any of my neighbors complained.” He responded “Well, No.” As he was looking around while we argued he said “There is some rust on your shed you need to paint it.” I asked “Is that another violation process or are you just adding it to this one?” He responded “You just get this done and I will come back and inspect again.” I asked “If I complete this are you just going to come back in a week’s time and find something else and keep fining me.” He said “Oh, no that won’t happen.”

As we walked back to the front of the property my contractor asked if he could get some paper work with a list of things Thomas wanted completed. Thomas said "No just finish what I said and I will come back and inspect it."

My contractor stated that he was unused to doing business this way that usually he would have an itemized list so there was no confusion on what had to be done. I will conclude for now. I could write several pages and will at a later date.

What cannot be conveyed easily is the feeling of helplessness at being told that I have no rights on my own property. My experiences with the board have left me in disgust. I do not believe they have the best interest of the residents of the park at heart.

The amount of money I have paid in fines with Thomas's guidance could have improved my property greatly. Instead I have little money to implement improvements and although I have completed all written violations I am still being fined weekly.

Your neighbor,

Ben Petersen

Lot 165