By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Just when I think I’ve heard about every possible HOA conflict, I read a news report like this one.
Across the US, there are some planned communities targeted to pilot homeowners with private aircraft. Each home comes with its own airplane hangar, and the community has its own runways. That enables the homeowners to conveniently store their aircraft on site, and fly to and from their own homes in their private aircraft.
As you might imagine, this is definitely a niche market in real estate, and the properties come at a hefty price.
In 2006, Melvin Stanley, a flight enthusiast, purchased a home in Spruce Creek Fly-in near Daytona Beach, Florida. However, over the years, trees in a wooded area near the runway have grown too tall, prompting the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) to shut down one of the night runway approaches. That limits the safe approach and timing of landings for owners.
Why would you buy a home in a Fly-In community if you thought you couldn’t actually land your aircraft as expected?
Of course, Stanley and other homeowners did not have any idea that the runway approach would be neglected. The reported estimated cost to clear or trim trees to restore the nighttime approach is $42,000 to $62,000, for an Association with a budget of over $2 million.
The Board voted 4-3 against cutting or trimming the trees. That’s hard to believe for a community that is supposed to cater to the flight enthusiast.
Additionally, visiting pilots that are unaware of the hazard risk personal injury or fatalities because of these unsafe flying conditions. That exposes the HOA to substantial legal liability, according to a lawsuit filed by Stanley’s attorney, Daniel Webster, on his behalf.
This Daytona Beach News Journal article provides more details.
Tall trees cause turbulence as pilot sues Spruce Creek Fly-In