OVIEDO, Fla. — A Florida couple said they’re being singled out by their homeowners association in a battle over a tree.
The HOA wants the couple to replace a large tree the couple removed from their front yard, but the couple said they’ve since learned the previous tree was damaging their home underground, and they’re refusing to plant a new one.
A classic homeowner battle vs. HOA
Christopher Bain said the tree’s roots grew into the foundation of his home, causing structural damage and flooding.
He said experts told him there was no space underground for the tree’s roots to expand due to utility lines.
‘We have the subpanel for electrical feeding this whole side of the community,’ Bain said.
Bain said the tree started causing trouble shortly after they purchased the home.
‘We were starting to get water into the front family room of the house,’ he said.
Bain removed the tree and initially told the HOA he’d replace it, but there’s only 2 feet of space to plant one due to the underground lines.
‘If I were to plant that tree in the center of the 2 feet, as soon as that tree grew more than a foot in diameter, I would violate another HOA covenant or city state and federal ordinances,’ Bain said.
Bain shared his research with the Chapman Groves HOA, which denied him. But others in Chapman Groves are lacking large trees, too.
The board president would not discuss the tree troubles, referring WFTV to Pinnacle Property Management, which has not returned our calls.
‘They just still want a tree planted without any regard to the damage it will cause to a utility, the violations it will cause to city, state and federal rules or the damage it’s going to cause to my home,’ Bain said.
Bain called the city for help, but city officials said it’s an HOA issue and that they would not intervene.
Bain said he’s not sure going before City Council will help either since the HOA president is married to the mayor.
Channel 9 reviewed the covenants and restrictions of the HOA, and the guidelines do not call for a large tree in the front of homes, but it does give the HOA full discretion on landscaping changes.
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