April 07, 2011

Play Haters! Florida HOA bans outdoor play

The only good thing about a Central Florida Homeowner Association’s proposed ban on letting kids play outside is that it has caused so much outrage. The Persimmon Place HOA’s new list of proposed rules includes no running, no playing tag, and no “act[ing] boisterously on the association property.”

That’s not to mention no playing at all in “common areas” or parking lots. And children must be “under the direct control of a responsible adult at all times.” What happens to kids who break the rules? Their families could get slapped with a $100 fine.

The proposed ban is not only ridiculous, it may even be illegal. We reported a similar story last year about a condo association in Methuen, Mass., which was fining families $500 for letting their kids play outside. The association was subsequently charged by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for discriminating against families with kids.

This song says it all:

HOA board member Kim Scott said of residents with children, “They came in and rented (a home) in a community that does not have a playground and is not conducive to children. Then they expect the children to play in the driveways and parking lot. You wouldn't see them playing in the parking lot at Walmart or Kmart, but they come here and turn the children loose.”

Here’s a bright idea – instead of effectively banning outdoor play, why not build a playground? Or at the very least,  can a “common area” be designated a play area, and can drivers using the parking lot exercise some common sense and try their darndest to avoid colliding with playing children?

As long as children are allowed at Persimmon Place, the HOA should seek to accommodate, not restrict, their right to play.

Join our online petition to tell Kim Scott and other HOA members to scrap this outrageous ban.


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