11/13/2013 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)
Merrit Island, Florida – A man was fined by his homeowners association in Florida for Magnolia trees planted by his home that were deemed too short. As reported by ABC News, Patrick Fitzgerald, 51, and the River Grove Homeowners Association have undergone mediation following his being fined $100 a day or $5,000 for the trees.
According to the association board, trees in the right-of-way area are required to be at least eight feet tall. The board’s president notes in the report their primary issue was the area’s aesthetics and an overabundance of trees.
Fitzgerald, who says he agreed to pre-suit meditation to avoid a court battle, reportedly spent $2,000 on an attorney and mediator fees. He is quoted by ABC News as stating, “Trust me, I didn’t want to spend almost $2,000 to protect two trees.”
A proposal was drafted by his attorney that forgives the fine if the trees are removed within 20 days.
Seth Chipman, an attorney for the homeowners association, is quoted as stating of the dispute, “This particular homeowner’s association plan has developed so there are large majestic trees lining the streets…If you drive through the homeowner’s association, that vision is coming to a reality. Throughout the association there are live oaks and magnolia trees that are 10 to 15 foot height. They’ve taken root and are getting pretty big, so they don’t want minor seedlings being planted.”
This report is provided by Justice News Flash – Florida News
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