Poinciana, Florida - The courts have sided with Poinciana's HOA again in a feud that's been running for years now. Homeowners there are turning to GoFundMe to raise money.
Channel 9's Field Sutton found out what they want to pay for, and why they believe people all over central Florida will want to donate to the cause.
The question here has always come down to who really controls the Association of Poinciana Villages, and who gets to spend the money that it has to spend. But after a series of legal setbacks, the question is what do the homeowners who are upset do now? Opponents of the APV and developer AV Homes take a cynical point of view: that the companies are pocketing money collected from tens of thousands of homeowners, instead of invested into this community.
"The thing is, every single time the election comes up, I got railroaded." said resident Martin Negron.
Homeowner Martin Negron says he loses every HOA board election because AV homes owns enough land, with enough votes. to swing it for whoever the company wants.
"They have the funds and the resources to wear the little guys down." Negron added.
The court battles he's lost were opportunities for pro-homeowner regulation lost to a pro-business court. That's what convinced Keith Laytham to start this GoFundMe.
"There's so much money involved in this Homeowners Association, that without government regulation and control, people can just go off wild on this whole thing." said Laytham.
Today the HOA’s lawyer told me in part, “The entire frivolous lawsuit has resulted in an unnecessary use of the Association's resources. In regards to future elections, we will continue, as we always have, to follow all the proper procedures as directed to us by the State of Florida and the Circuit Court."
Negron and Laytham say there's nothing frivolous about it, or the appeal that's coming.
"A victory for us is a victory for the other homeowners in the state of Florida. Because they won't have to fight the battles and spend the money on the lawsuits and with the lawyers that we're having to spend today." said Laytham.
That's why they want your help.
We have two things online for you. One of them is the complete response from the Association of Poinciana Villages. The other is a link to that GoFundMe so you can check it out yourself.
In Poinciana, Field Sutton Channel 9 Eyewitness News.
Statement from APV Attorney, Tom Slaten:
“The GoFundMe page appears to have been created by a homeowner whose claims against APV were recently dismissed by the courts. The homeowner may be ordered to pay APV back for its attorney fees spent fighting the homeowner’s rejected claims. Just recently, the Polk County Circuit Court dismissed Martin Negron’s motion to intervene in our elections process after he sought to reduce the number of votes that can be cast by some property owners. The judge presiding over this challenge ruled that Mr. Negron’s request was both untimely and failed to establish a right to intervene to challenge other property owner’s voting rights. The entire frivolous lawsuit has resulted in an unnecessary use of the Association’s resources. In regards to future elections, we will continue, as we always have, to follow all the proper procedures as directed to us by the State of Florida and the Circuit Court.”
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