ORLANDO -- As plans for a Caylee Anthony memorial remain in flux, a homeowners association representing many residents nearest to the proposed site says it’s asking authorities to investigate the project.
In a letter addressed to the state Attorney General, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Sentinel, an attorney for the Chickasaw Oaks Phase Three Homeowners Association expresses “great apprehension and alarm” about the proposal.
Memorial plans were announced in August by Bring Kids Home, a 501(c)(3) charity based in New Jersey.
The project was initially described as an intricate, $200,000 memorial walkway and reflecting pool in a wooded area off Suburban Drive, where 2-year-old Caylee Marie’s remains were found in 2008.
In the letter, Karen Wonsetler, the HOA’s attorney, writes that the charity is soliciting, though “they do not own the land on which the memorial would be built, nor have they shown proof of the permitting or approval of the project.”
The Attorney General’s Office and Sheriff’s Office said Friday they either hadn’t yet received or hadn’t processed the letter.
In an email, BKH executive director Eric Segura acknowledged he “is aware that zoning approvals and public hearings would be required” before any construction.
“If the memorial is not wanted by the neighborhood, the memorial will be built at a different location and BKH has other uses for the property,” Segura said n Friday.
The HOA letter also references a Sentinel report, in which former longtime volunteers expressed concerns about the charity’s leadership and the viability of project.
Those volunteers provided emails from Segura that indicated one volunteer was forced to resign after he requested to see the charity’s tax documents. The BKH director has denied that claim.
Wonsetler said the association is uncomfortable with the group soliciting donations before purchasing or rezoning the property, and had been discussing taking action for some time.
“BKH did not seem to be responsive or well-established,” Wonsetler said Friday. “The association has been concerned for a number of months with what it feels has been improper solicitation of funds.”
Wonsetler also said members of the association have asked for tax documentation from the charity and have not received them. Segura denied receiving such requests.
The HOA will discuss the issue at a meeting Monday. Wonsetler said members oppose rezoning the property, and are also concerned a memorial could increase the flow of visitors and traffic to the site.
The property is not currently owned by BKH, and is not zoned for commercial use.
Caylee Anthony’s remains were found off Suburban Drive in 2008. The girl’s mother, Casey Anthony, was charged with her murder but acquitted of that charge in July.