1. #1
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    Default Coral Springs--Residents to Fire Department--"Close the gate please!"

    Open gates stir tiff in Springs

    By Sallie James
    Staff Writer
    Posted October 4 2003

    CORAL SPRINGS Police and firefighters responding to emergencies in the upscale, gated Grand Isle neighborhood have been put on notice: Lock the gates when you leave, or don't come back.

    Miffed because an electronic security gate to the private community was left unlocked three times in six months, the homeowners association is blaming rescue personnel and threatening to lock them out if they don't shape up, according to a letter sent to Coral Springs City Manager Michael Levinson.


    "The Grand Isle Community would like to put you on notice that if this happens again, we will discontinue your access to the community and also issue you a fine," warned the Sept. 19 letter, signed "Board of Directors, Grand Isle at Wyndham Lakes H.O.A."

    The ominous-sounding letter has left Levinson fuming.

    "It's so ridiculous. It's unbelievable. The audacity to say they are going to discontinue our access to their community," Levinson said.

    It's also not possible, said attorney Gary Poliakoff, an expert in homeowner association law.

    "If the police have a reason to enter, they don't have a right to bar them," Poliakoff said.

    In addition, the association also has no authority to collect any sort of fine, Poliakoff said.

    The 88-home neighborhood west of Coral Ridge Drive and north of Wiles Road is peppered with two-story homes that sell for upward of $300,000.

    Grand Isle resident David Jones, a homeowner association board member, said that if the association has to file a lawsuit and take the matter to a judge for compliance, it will.

    "I am aware of no law that would allow them to keep us out when we are responding to emergency calls," said Coral Springs deputy attorney John Hearn.

    Police Chief Roy Arigo said police and firefighters have keys and are supposed to relock the gates after they leave. Arigo conceded they may occasionally forget.

    Fire Chief Donald Haupt Jr. said that if the gates were relocked after every vehicle, response time would be affected.

    Barring police and fire personnel from a neighborhood is something that would not sit well with insurance companies, Hearn said. Hearn is sending the homeowners association a letter warning of the liability issues at stake.



    Sallie James can be reached at sjames@sun-sentinel.com or 954-572-2019.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  2. #2
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    Post Follow Up

    Miffed neighbors want gates shut on police

    By Sallie James | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
    Posted October 6, 2003



    CORAL SPRINGS -- Police and firefighters responding to emergencies in the upscale, gated Grand Isle neighborhood have been put on notice: Lock the gates when you leave, or don't come back.

    Miffed because an electronic security gate to the private community was left unlocked three times in six months, the homeowners association is blaming rescue personnel and threatening to lock them out if they don't shape up, according to a letter sent last month to Coral Springs City Manager Michael Levinson.

    "The Grand Isle Community would like to put you on notice that if this happens again, we will discontinue your access to the community and also issue you a fine," warned the Sept. 19 letter, signed "Board of Directors, Grand Isle at Wyndham Lakes H.O.A."

    The ominous-sounding letter has left Levinson fuming.

    "It's so ridiculous. It's unbelievable. The audacity to say they are going to discontinue our access to their community," Levinson said.

    It's also not possible, said attorney Gary Poliakoff, a homeowner association expert.

    "If the police have a reason to enter, they don't have a right to bar them," said Poliakoff, whose Fort Lauderdale firm specializes in such cases. "Not for public safety purposes."

    The association also has no authority to collect any sort of fine, Poliakoff said. The 88-home neighborhood west of Coral Ridge Drive and north of Wiles Road is peppered with two-story homes, many with a waterfront view. Homes sell for upwards of $300,000.

    Grand Isle resident David Jones, a homeowner association board member, called the gate problem a "training issue." He said board members hope to resolve the issue amicably.

    "After their call is completed, they need to at some point to reset the box," Jones said. "This is private property and we can discontinue access. Leaving it wide open is inviting thefts and vandalism."

    But if the association has to file a lawsuit and take the matter to a judge for compliance, it will, Jones said last week.

    "I am aware of no law that would allow them to keep us out when we are responding to emergency calls," said Coral Springs deputy attorney John Hearn, adding that associations can bar people such as solicitors. "When we receive a 911 call, we are being invited into the property and we will respond to that request for assistance."

    Sallie James is a reporter for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, a Tribune Publishing newspaper.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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