• Jul 29, 2010
Man pays nearly $200,000 to park truck in his own drive – click above to watch the video

Beware of the home owner's association. Considered this country's most basic, ruthless unit of government, HOAs are typically organized and manned by retirees with little better to do than tell you what to do with your property – something A.J. Vizzi recently learned the hard way. When Vizzi purchased his home in Odessa, Florida, he was told he would be allowed to park his Ford F-350 Super Duty in his home's driveway, even though the neighborhood's rules forbade keeping vehicles anywhere other than the garage. The truck didn't fit in the home's garage.

The local HOA soon changed its mind, and before long a lawsuit ensued. In 2008, a judge ruled in Vizzi's favor, but the association quickly appealed the decision. In March, a second judge sided with Vizzi, and the courts awarded him $187,000 in legal fees to be paid by the HOA. In total, the association claims that the ordeal has cost over $300,000, including the cash it now has to pay to Vizzi. Take a look after the jump to watch a local news report on the legal battle. Thanks for the tip, Sea Urchin!

[Source: My Fox Tampa Bay]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 118 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm the president of my neighborhood's HOA and not all of us are anal like this. I grew up in a neighborhood without one and it was horrible. Broken down cars in the streets, purple houses, super decks, etc.

      I don't ask for uniformity from people, just respect. I also encourage folks to talk things out instead of coming to complain to me. It's their neighbor, they need to be able to communicate their issues with each other.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @freddych Thank you for someone else using the word "ass-hat"
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well maybe you guys don't see an issue with it, however, it was pretty bad. We also had the group of 10 pit bulls in the back of one neighbor's yard that actually got out and attacked my mother. So yea, that neighborhood sucked. People didn't respect each other, they always played their music too loud when they were washing their cars, they would park their cars in the grass, build tacky sheds in their back yards then not keep them up... the list goes on and on.

        I mean, if you guys would perfer to live in a neighborhood where you have to listen to lound music at 2:00 AM just because your neighbor likes the song, or hear the cops come by every other day because someone is fighting in the middle of the street, or listen to a domestic dispute between a husband and wife turn into domestic violence then be my guest.

        I moved into my horrible HOA neighborhood to get away from that mess and I don't mind one bit. It's not like people paint their houses every day or even every decade anyway. And its not like we really tell them "no" either.

        However, BS like having a parked car that hasn't moved for 2 years and is collecting dust in the front grass isn't cool.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That just means you havent been president for long enough. Soon enough, you will become just as anal as the asshats that spent over $300,000 on this law suit.
        • 4 Years Ago
        What's wrong with keeping a (broken down) project car in your driveway, having a purple house, or having a big deck? Maybe it isn't to your taste, so don't do it on your property, but if someone wants to do it on theirs, it is their business.

        As long as it isn't endangering others in the neighborhood (i.e. no pitbulls left to roam about unleashed and unfenced, no piles of garbage that attract rodents and raccoons, and no shooting off firearms in your backyard) whatever someone decides to do on their own property should not be regulated. I live in FL where there are far too many HOAs. When I purchased my home I specifically told my realtor that I was not interested in looking at any houses inside of gated communities or in neighborhoods with HOAs. We already submit to far too much regulation in the modern world, and I'll be damned if I am going to stand for anyone telling me what color to paint my house, what kind of car I can have parked in my driveway, or what kind of landscaping I can have in my yard.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Or you could, you know, just move into a better neighborhood... I moved into a neighborhood just last year, no HOA, and guess what? None of the problems you speak of.

        If you pick a nice neighborhood to live in you don't need to worry about your neighbors, or having an HOA to take care of something that neighbors themselves should with each other.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Broken down cars and purple houses? God forbid, how ever did you survive? [rolleyes]

        It is people like you that make Homeowners' Associations as despicable as they are.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Glad you're level-headed. My father-in-law was the president of his, too, and had the same attitude. Even then, he got so tired of all the busy-bodies he moved. I would have to. Seemed to me many are what I call fascists-too-lazy-to-march. Up here in NY it's the same go-round with co-ops boards. One reason Hillary Clinton has the big mansion is because she couldn't get approved by the co-op board at the condo in Manhattan she wanted.

        This pickup thing with HOAs has been going on all over the place. One in a suburb of Dallas tried to rid a man of his F-150.
        http://www.autoblog.com/2008/08/18/dallas-hoa-prohibits-parking-f-150-in-driveway-lincoln-mark-lt/
      • 4 Years Ago
      The HoA deserved to lose if they OK'd his vehicle (to get a sale and more incoming fees) then reneged.

      I personally would not live in a subdivision that controlled what I drove. Though those people would prefer I not live there either, so it's a wash.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "who wants to look at that"

        then Move!!!!!!!!!!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        It sounded like there were two levels of HOA; the neighborhood and then the greater planned community. The Neighborhood was ok, it was the Planned Community that had the problem. There was probably an asshat on his block complaining. (Glad to work asshat into this!)

        There could be rules against commercial vehicles, and they don't say why he needs a SuperDuty. Where is the trailer or RV? Those would fly the Association to the moon...Maybe he already parks it somewhere else.

        What if he had a cement mixer in his driveway? Who wants to look at that?



        • 4 Years Ago
        Given the hardhat seen in one shot, I'm guessing he works construction (or, with the size of the house and $200K legals he fronted, owns a construction company) and uses the truck to move equipment.
        • 4 Years Ago
        JohnAngelo - What the hell business is it of yours what he has on his driveway or not!?! God people like you drive me off the wall.
        • 4 Years Ago
        and since HOA fees are paid by the emembers of the HOA, he is actually partially paying himself (like cops with income taxes)... but the HOA has to pay this out of their dues/fees. time for a special assessment!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Crazy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I hate HOA's so bad it makes my head explode. I would rather the resale value of my home went into the negatives than ever have to deal for one second with an organization telling me how I an use my property. There are public nusiance laws to deal with really crazy stuff. However, if someone wants to paint their house purple or have a super deck, I say, GO FOR IT!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just another reason I don't like neighborhoods.

      Although my fiancee's dad was the HOA prez of the neighborhood they live in....they only had the stupid stuff like matching mailboxes and stuff....nothing insane like this.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "In total, the association claims that the ordeal has cost over $300,000, including the cash it now has to pay to Vizzi."

      Oh, poor them! That's what they get for trying to tell a guy where he can park his truck on his own property. There's just something unAmerican about that.
      Paul W Stanfield
      • 4 Years Ago
      I really hope his atty,sues each and every single HOA board member,and the assoc for damages in addition,maybe the neighbors will wake and rid themselves of the morons calling themselves board members,their pathetic,not to mention stupid,also lame.etc,etc,etc
      ENRICHED77
      • 4 Years Ago
      Someone said it right, it is usually the property management companies that are to blame. I have a great deal of experience with them. In many cases, they are just a bunch of bumbling idiots, flaunting power that they used to have. That has changed allot, at least where I am from, as it is evident that, with the economic downturn, they have completely lost their handle on the situation.Green pools, brown lawns, yellow weeds, a rainbow of problems that threw them a curve ball. It tells me that they are indeed a bunch of fools, wasting time and money on ridiculous issues.My community just experienced a similar issue with the HOA, and guess what, the HOA lost and paid also. But who really foots the bill??
      • 4 Years Ago
      The hell? That guy's HOA won't let ANY vehicles be parked in the driveway?

      Well then, I'll just take my Veyron, Zonda, and Phantom to another neighborhood.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The main problem is how ugly that damn house is.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Valiant and well-fought battle by the HOA. Hope they take it to the SCOTUS.
        • 4 Years Ago
        So do you work for the Eagles? You're a moron. This is stupid that he can't park in a drive way HE PAID FOR. He deserves at least the $187K he got back. The guy shouldn't fight about his property like that. I understand what HOAs are for, and that's all fine and dandy, but that was ridiculous.
        • 4 Years Ago
        holy crap! of course im kidding.
        GreenMonstah
        • 4 Years Ago
        Your kidding right????
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good for him. God, I hate HOAs. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear Americans hate freedom.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's the irony. The land of the free is so controlled by rules and unions - you actually have more personal freedom in a place like China.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Cfoo:

        No. Dealing with an HOA is not like dealing with Chinese secret police tapping your phone lines and blocking your Internet communications.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think it all comes down to maintaining inflated property values.

        I would never buy a home that had the HOA playing Mafia protection to the neighborhood though.. i think the only people who are okay with it are uppity snobs.
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