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PREVIOUS COVERAGE | LWR board holds firm on landscaping rules

MANATEE — Restrictions and enforcement keep home values high, and the Summerfield/Riverwalk Homeowners Association will seriously strive to keep things that way, the group’s president said in a statement.

Shirley Surowiec’s one-paragraph statement was in response to recent stories in the Bradenton Herald about Summerfield Glen resident Joani Ellis, who is challenging the association over fines topping $2,000 she owes for having more than three decorative items in her front yard.

Ellis and some of her neighbors have been vocal that the homeowners association’s rules are sometimes trivial.

Surowiec said the association would not short-change Ellis in her appeal process.

But Surowiec gave no indication in her message that her board would relax any of its rules.

“The Summerfield/Riverwalk documents outline the legal procedure for enforcing violations,” Surowiec wrote. “The board of directors will not compromise the integrity of the process, but will allow the matter to follow proper procedures by reviewing Ms. Kautz Ellis’ submitted appeal and making its determination. The purpose of the restrictions is to protect the values within the entire community. Consequently, the enforcement of the association’s restrictions is taken very seriously by the board.”

Ellis took photos and found that other homes, including those of some Lakewood Ranch governance officials, were in violation of the excess decoration rule, leading to her charge of selective enforcement.

Ellis received a letter Thursday telling her that her latest accrual for violating the three-item rule was $700 on top of the $1,600 that has already gone to a collection agency, Ellis said.

Ellis’s next official action in her fight will be to attend the 7 p.m. March 25 Summerfield/Riverwalk Homeowners Association board meeting at Town Hall where she says her case is on the agenda.

“I am not trying to recover the $1,600 since that is old business, but my appeal is on the $700,” Ellis said.

Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 748-0411, ext. 6686.

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