Wesley Chapel homeowners express concern after HOA sends violation letters

Pasco County

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — One local homeowner’s association recently said not so fast to Christmas flags being hung on people’s homes.

A couple of homeowners in a Wesley Chapel neighborhood received a letter that said they were in violation of their community’s standards.

The homeowners put up Christmas flags on their home in the Larkenheath subdivision, but the HOA said they would have to pay a fine if they didn’t remove the flag because it was not authorized by the HOA.

Christie Como has lived in the Larkenheath community for 15 years. She put a “Merry Christmas” flag on her home and received a letter from the homeowners association on Thursday telling her the flag was unauthorized, and she needed to remove it.

“I thought it was a joke, are you kidding me, now you’re trying to prohibit us from displaying things for the holidays,” Como said. “It’s never been an issue.”

The letter says according to Larkenheath standards: U.S. flags, military flags and flags that are a certain size are the only flags you can have on your property.

The letter goes on to read that homeowners could face a $100 fine per incident.

Como who is also on the HOA board said she was unaware of the rule. Needless to say, she told 8 On Your Side she was frustrated.

“Due to this violation and my feelings about the situation I brought the flag out front because I think this rule is ridiculous,” Como said. “This doesn’t decrease my homes value, it doesn’t cause an issue with my neighbors.”

Sylvia Gentle is part of the Larkenheath Architectural Committee and lives next door to Como. She agreed with the letter the HOA sent out.

“No one is saying we don’t want any lights but we need to follow by the rules,” Gentle said. “They’re made for all of us, not just some.”

Larkenheath HOA President Marilyn Manning sent 8 On Your Side an email Friday afternoon that said all issues had been resolved, violations were closed and there were no fines issued anymore.

Manning said after getting complaints about the flags and violation letters sent, they found that Larkenheath documents were in conflict. The HOA closed the violation letters, won’t fine any homeowners and will allow large decorative flags.

The HOA will also update its documents in January to reflect this change.

Full statement below:

In regards to this issue, it has all been resolved, the two violation letters sent have been closed as of last evening and large decorative flags are allowed in Larkenheath year-round.  Upon complaints about the flags and violation letters sent, the documents were reviewed and it was found that Larkenheath and MPIII documents were in conflict.  Residents were informed the flags are acceptable and the documents for Larkenheath will be updated in January 2021 to reflect this.  

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