HOA Threatens Cop Fines For Parking Patrol Car In Driveway

A HOA threatened a Clearwater police officer with huge fines if she keeps parking her police vehicle in her driveway.

East Lake, FL – A homeowner’s association (HOA) has told a Clearwater police officer to stop parking her marked police vehicle in her driveway or face fines for violating neighborhood rules.

"The first thought is, it a joke? Like this is the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard of,” attorney Dan Parri told ABC News.

Parri spoke on behalf of the Clearwater police officer and her husband, who is also a law enforcement officer, and said the couple is being threatened with hundreds of dollars in HOA violations if they continue parking her police SUV in their driveway.

He said that Clearwater police officers are given their police vehicles to take home because it saved on response times and deterred crime in the neighborhoods where police live, ABC News reported.

“Every place that I’ve ever lived, if I had a police cruiser parked next to me I felt safer,” Parri said.

But Holiday Isles Management, the HOA managing Cross Pointe in East Lake Woodlands, doesn’t agree, ABC News reported.

Florida law permits HOA’s to ban the parking of “commercial vehicles” from parking in driveways.

However, an opinion issued by then-Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist in 2005 determined that police cars were not considered commercial vehicles.

The HOA doesn’t think the opinion applies to them.

Holiday Isles Management said the officer’s police cruiser violated HOA rules because it was issued by a “government agency,” ABC news reported.

"They don’t have that vehicle for the purpose of profit,” Parri argued.

He said that however the HOA’s rule was written, it didn’t make sense to enforce it, ABC News reported.

"Maybe there are bad rules sometimes,” Parri said. “You don’t enforce those rules, you change those rules!”

He said that law enforcement officers face tragedy every day working for the community and they don’t need to deal with needless stress at home.

"We just hope that they can come home to their family and just live their lives but it’s like now they are being harassed by this association,” Parri told ABC News.

The Clearwater chief of police stood up for his officer and issued a statement on Tuesday.

“The actions of this association to changing the rules is disappointing to say the least,” Clearwater Police Chief Dan Slaughter said. “If you are going to change the rules on them, it seems logical to provide a grandfather clause that the association will honor. Not a grandfather clause they changed their mind on honoring.”

"The community has demanded officers be dedicated community servants and respond, day or night, to emergencies,” Chief Slaughter continued. “This officer and her spouse have served her community admirably. When Irma hit our community, they put their kids on a plane to relatives because they both had to work during the storm recovery.”

Both the police chief and Parri told ABC News that they planned to talk to local and state lawmakers to demand they pass a law prohibiting HOAs from going after first responder vehicles parked in driveways.

Comments (144)
No. 1-41
Mpafr012
Mpafr012

Police vehicle is not a "Commercial Vehicle" it is a Government vehicle. Where does the rules say "Government Vehicles" can not be parked on a driveway?

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

So, put the thing in the garage. Anti-marijuana laws make no sense, but police enforce them vigorously unless and until they are changed (and this sometimes takes decades).

AnnykaV
AnnykaV

I've always had mixed feelings about take-home programs, not everyone wants to advertise they're a cop to their neighbors, especially today.

That said, I loved living in an apartment complex where vehicles from 3 different agencies were parked on the same parking lot arm I was in - a trooper, a city cop, and a deputy.

gfc1963
gfc1963

Like to see how this goes.

BaseballFan
BaseballFan

If you go to google maps and view the satellite image you can count 20-30 different houses that have cars in the driveway. They should make a bundle on fines. I would love to have a police car next door to me.

Elvis5R
Elvis5R

Let's put out the title and mailing address of this HOA and flood them with written letters proclaiming our disgust and outrage on their profane position.

K-9 319
K-9 319

These HOA's have gotten way out of hand. It's about time they got some common sense issued to them.

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

Police officers are no more exempt from the HOA rules than anyone else. If you move into an ares that has an HOA, you agree to abide by the rules, else you face financial consequences. Yes many rules in the HOA do suck, and it's likely the HOA board is wrong here, but that is how they are interpreting the rules If you don't like it, either elect new board members, of file a lawsuit requesting an injunction against the HOA.

If you don't like the rules, the answer isn't to simply ignore them, you need to change them, as described in the HOA's governing documents. If the rule said "only non-commercial vehicles owned by the homeowners can be parked here," would the outrage be the same?

Whether you like cops parking in your area is irrelevant. Personally, I don't care either way, but I would support the officer parking both of their cars in the driveway. This HOA feels it's against their rules, and their board is taking appropriate action. It's a super local issue. if you don't like how the elected board is doing something, follow the procedure to change the HOA bylaws or get new board members elected.

heftt
heftt

I had a police officer park in front of my place, and the "NO Work Vehicle" is also a Rule at my HOA. People would drive by,see the police car, knock on my door asking for directions to Wal-Mart, SAMS,etc., and other crazy questions at my private residence. I joined an HOA BECAUSE they Had RULES! I always disliked Purple/Pink houses, that some people think they look like nice.

RetAFVet
RetAFVet

I think this HOA rule is crazy. And if I were a board member, would fight to allow the officers SUV be exempt. However, the complaints and arguments reference the HOA rules are funny. What I read is...I don't like their rules so I'm going to argue and complain. Which means, everyone else should follow the rules, but I shouldn't if I don't like them.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

follow the rules and comply. they apply to you too.

HAWAIIBLUE
HAWAIIBLUE

This is what it has gotten to. The audacity of the person or people to even bring up a matter of this. I’m not saying that police should have special treatment, or they’re better than any other person in the neighborhood, I’m just simply saying, it’s for the visual aspect and deterrence. But on the other hand. I wouldn’t want to really advertise where I live with such a big target in my driveway so I’d just put it in the garage, or not take the vehicle home. The free gas really isn’t worth my family’s safety.

JBo
JBo

Investopedia definition of commerce:

Commerce is the conduct of trade among economic agents. Generally, commerce refers to the exchange of goods, services or something of value, between businesses or entities.

merlin9
merlin9

Quit answering calls in that neighborhood. Can't have "commercial vehicles" cluttering up the hood.

Isueyu
Isueyu

Here's the info for the president of the HOA board. He's a REALTOR!!!! Shouldn't he be the first one happy that a LEO and their patrol car are his neighbors!!!! Board Members Cross Pointe Homeowner’s Association Board of Directors and Management Companies Chuck Bachteler President And here's his face book page. https://www.facebook.com/ChuckBachtelerHomes/

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

I don't think it's out of line. I haven't seen a squad car in a driveway, except for conducting business, since I can remember. My HOA has the same rule "no commercial vehicles", which means "no work vehicles". That means no Bob's Plumbing" no Public Works Utility Trucks, no Fire Engines, no Ambulances, no limos.. you get the idea. It's not an anti cop thing.

vwiles34
vwiles34

I say they get in there police vehicle and ride through the neighborhood looking for violations. Not just cars, but those to call in the building inspector and fire marshall. And on the next few holidays police set up a few DUI checkpoints in the neighborhood.. If anyone asks why such strict enforcement is being taken in the area the police chief should simply say the HOA made it clear they wanted things done that way by the police.

EJFD
EJFD

in Frenchtown NJ my friend who is a Chief of police going retired soon this week h has unmarked police car in his driveway in case of emergency like big fire or major call he would get in his car and get to places fast

pelparkboy
pelparkboy

Hello and "Thank You" to all those who serve and protect all our lives.
I reside in South Florida in an HOA (Home Owners Association) where the adage that states, "Absolute Power Corrupt Absolutely" has never been truer. When talking about (most that I've lived in and spoken with others who live with one) HOA rules and bylaws that govern your lifes existence, one might say, you can move if you don't like it, but there are most time extenuating circumstances why one can't. Back to the issue of this writing, In my cul-de-sac, there is a local sheriff and although our rules allow him to park his squad car in his driveway, it prohibits him from parking in a guest spot. Why you might ask, Don't Ask...IT'S THE RULES"! Well, we on our street asked him to park in the guest spot and told the association to send the fines to (divided equally) us on the street. When asked why we simply stated that the street is safer because (not that criminals have brains) if seeing a police car in a guest spot they'd have no idea where that gun packing cop lives, so go ahead and "pick the house". This would be my suggestion to the officer and all his neighbors. Have him park in a guest spot and just go from there. you'll all feel better and (the association will as well) safer for this action.

CLG.
CLG.

Can't make this silly cramp up.

Cstuartsr
Cstuartsr

The HOA is the most ignorant useless thing a community could have. It must be run by a liberal!! Who wouldn’t want a patrol car parked in a area?? It shows criminals that a officer lives here you better not screw up!!

RETDEP170PCSO
RETDEP170PCSO

There was a time, before our politicians began the war on police, when communities would provide incentives to officer's with take home cars.

RetCanMilSpouse
RetCanMilSpouse

Clearly, the HOA doesn't know the difference between commercial and fleet. They are not always the same.

Hopefully, this gets worked out before the association can change the wording in their rules.

Gramercy
Gramercy

HOA management personnel (those "elected" by the community itself) have a tendency to field POWER and love doing it. They feel they are the HAVES and the unelected, the HAVE NOTS! See it every day in my community! Their reasons for being on the Board and enforcing "rules" are really selfishly imposed once they are members..and that is the way it is! Change the darn rules! And I do agree..not a commercial vehicle...a GOVERNMENTAL VEHICLE!

Stanracer
Stanracer

The world is going crazy!🤔

NomonK
NomonK

I have a police Officer living across the street. I welcome him and I'm so appreciative of our police department allowing them to drive the cars home. It has slowed traffic speed and has removed a lot of the drive through. It has been a Blessing for our neighbors. Those that may disapprove are probably the same ones that would love to spend, run stop signs and rack their loud engines.

artw44
artw44

HOA; dictator wanna be, worthless liberal jerks. I have no clue why anybody would want to live in a HOA community. You come in my yard to measure howtall my grass is, you might end up with a mouth full of it.

pat901$aol.com
pat901$aol.com

Really gives other HOA's a bad rap....use common sense..!!

Badge204
Badge204

If you are renting HOA can do as they wish. The best thing the department can do. Send out flyers to residents. Ask their opinion. Get a couple of property owners to request a open HOA MEETING. Take a vote on this item.
As for the title of commercial veh.
It is vehicles registered as so. Used in a business with advertising and DOT MARKINGS AND REG PLATES. The government that is supported by the taxes of this community is not working as for profit entity. This is nothing more then a POLICE HATE BY A PROPERTY OWNER. They filed a complaint with. HOA. Their written rules are spelled out by old real estate laws.
I believe commercial VEHICLES ARE DESCRIBED in the by laws. I have never seen it stipulate marked units of police. Now if you worked for a limousine or taxi service for hire yep that is commercial. That police veh. Actually belongs to the citizens of that condo unit PAID FOR VIA TAXES COLLECTED BY THE HOA AND FOR EACH PROPERTY OWNER.

A shame Chief. Stand with your officers. Or better yet make the unit a UNMARKED UNIT. GET A AERIAL PICTURE OF ALL OTHER SAME STYLE VEH PARKED. Good luck god speed. Ps we have a nut who walks around complex with a camera. Files several complaints a month

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Some of you are suggesting that the police retaliate against HOA members in various ways.

That is a good way to get a new rule passed by the HOA: no law enforcement officers allowed to live in houses in the community.

Then no worries about retaliation if the HOA does something that a resident policeman dislikes.

Woobie46
Woobie46

Guess what...you can't send an email to the asshat who runs the HOA and also sells realestate. His facebook will not allow it, even though it has a specific place on the page that says "Send an email". So I guess he's heard from many of you...which is GREAT! What a fool...

sizzle937
sizzle937

And the police will not respond to any calls from the neighborhood.

Jailkeeper
Jailkeeper

This right here is why I will never live in a neighborhood with a HOA.

JMK2244
JMK2244

I, personally, would appreciate a police car parked in my neighborhood! It would certainly make an impression on criminals. In addition, this is so ridiculous and another idiotic attack on cops. Enough already!!

Mic911
Mic911

"deterred crime in the neighborhoods where police live"...why would they even want to do this? Only in Florida!! My son lives iin Clearwater with an HOA, they are pretty cool..

Justice4All2
Justice4All2

CEO Robert Babcock: rbabcock@holidayislespm.com Phone number of the company 727-548-9402, Rachael Dennis, President: rdennis@holidayislespm.com, Address: 11350 66th Street North, Suite 124, Largo, FL 33773 Maybe they will get lucky enough to get whacked by the hurricane this weekend.

This is stupid is as stupid does. They wouldn't even do this in Commiefornia where I live.

DarrellB
DarrellB

Simple. Sue for an injunction. Get a judge to issue a preservation order. Hire and investigator to find out what the HOA's real agenda is. Then sue the crap out of them and use the winnings to pay off the house so you can sell it for all cash and move someplace without an HOA ! ! !

Pr35
Pr35

My husband was a cop and we lived in a HOA, way before they became so popular. Ww escaped with our lives. He quipped one time, “the first HOA was developed by the Taliban”.

maksdaddy09
maksdaddy09

I rent currently, however I have heard nothing but horror stories about HOAs. Hell even a cartoon movie made fun of them. I will opt out before I have someone tell me how I can live in a place they don't pay for.

LAW169
LAW169

What a dirtbag. You and angry people like you are the problem in our country right now. Nothing makes you happy. Always playing the victim so you can get headlines. What a sham.

jdixon
jdixon

I went searching for information before I made a comment. According to the HOA rules it clearly states that government vehicles with flashing lights are prohibited from being parked in the driveway. Here is the rule from the HOA.
No motorized wheeled vehicles of any kind and no boats, or commercial vehicles may be kept or parked on the Building Plot, unless they are completely inside a garage attached to the main residence, except that private automobiles of the occupants, which bear no signs and do not have printed on the sides of same reference to any commercial undertaking or enterprise, and which do not have modifications related to a commercial and/or governmental purpose such as flashing lights or additional steel bumpers, may be parked in the driveway or parking area on the Building Plot. A law enforcement vehicle or any other vehicle issued by a governmental entity, while maybe not considered a commercial vehicle, shall not be parked in such driveway or parking area (unless same is unmarked and has the appearance of any other unmodified standard passenger vehicle). A police vehicle, to the extent same will not fit within the garage if cleared for its intended use, may be parked in the driveway if necessary for emergency response time
(http://crosspointehoa.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Cross-Pointe-Declaration-Final-031813.pdf) Section 2.13.

The big thing would be for the agency to write a letter to the HOA and state that the reason for the car is to effect better emergency response times.