Venice Homeowners Association fines resident $ 2,500 for legally protected clothesline
VENICE, Florida – Venice resident Denise Wuetcher loves the Florida sun, especially when it comes to drying her laundry.
“The fresh air makes clothes smell good. It’s just a wonderful thing to do and it also helps the environment,” she told FOX 13 News.
In 2018, she submitted documents to the Verona Reserve Homeowners Association for approval to install a clothesline, which is actually protected by Florida law.
“You are allowed to place a solar panel or line dryer where it is most efficient, where you can get the most out of the sun,” said Wuetcher’s lawyer, James Potts Sr.
Wuetcher thinks that this place on his property is a specific place in his garden.
“In the morning the sun is there, but it’s not closer to the house. The other thing is if I place it too close to the house, the sheets or towels will rub against it. screen the porch and get dirty. ” she said.
Under Florida law, the HOA approved the request to install the line, but subsequently canceled it.
The clothesline location – the perfect, sunny spot in Wuetcher’s garden – is visible from the road, which the HOA doesn’t like.
“In February 2019, I received a letter of violation saying, ‘You didn’t do what you were supposed to do. We can see it from the street. You have to move it, “” recalls Denise.
From that point on, she was fined $ 100 per day.
The records show the fines accrued up to the maximum allowed, $ 2,500.
Wuetcher filed a lawsuit against the HOA, arguing that it is not breaking a specific rule.
“[The HOA] did not properly reference, or warn us, precisely which alliance or which rule we broke, ”said Potts.
Now, the HOA is trying to raise money to file a counterclaim against Wuetcher, calling him by name in documents given to every household on the Verona reservation.
“For lack of a better term, I think it’s a hit,” said Potts. “They are trying to make her as unpopular as possible in order to achieve their goals.”
Two years after the legal battle began, Wuetcher said she was not about to give up now.
“I think it’s important not to let them crush us. If I don’t stand up for this, what’s the next thing they’ll do? she asked.
Lighthouse Property Management manages the Association of Owners of the Verona Reserve. FOX 13 has contacted them several times for comment and has not received any comments.