By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Here’s another shocking report of violence in an association-governed community. A domestic dispute over HOA issues escalated when a woman fired four shots at her husband.
It happened in a Boynton Beach community. Aspen Leaf Drive is an upper middle class neighborhood, with homes valued around $400,000.
According to the Palm Beach Post, Lisa Barreca was involved in a domestic dispute with husband, Eric, at the time of the shooting. Police reports indicate that both were arguing over ‘HOA complaints’ at the time of the altercation. Lisa says Eric pushed and slapped her before she grabbed her .380 Ruger handgun from her car, and shot her husband, sending him to the hospital with gunshot wounds in the head and the back.
Reports indicate that Eric Barreca is in stable condition.
Details on the exact nature of the dispute are not available. However condo President Damien Farraiolo, a Delray Beach police officer, tells the Palm Beach Post that he and the Barrecas have a long history of HOA disputes, and describes Lisa Barreca as the neighborhood ‘condo commando.’
The report details behavior typical of an obsessive neighbor who feels empowered to harass and bully fellow homeowners in the community about minor aesthetic violations. At one point, according to Ferraiolo, Lisa Barreca served a 3-month stint as board Treasurer. But she was removed from office, allegedly because of her tendency to fine homeowners for every petty offense.
Owners and residents of Aspen Leaf Drive are understandably shook up, and fearful of what Lisa Barreca may do upon her return, if she is released on bond.
The latest report of HOA violence should serve as a wake-up call for policy makers, community planners, and public health officials.
Clearly, there is a pattern of abuse that festers in the over-regulatory environment of an association-governed community.
What’s more important — property values or harmonious neighbor relations?
Should we be creating an environment that enables unbalanced personalities and bullies to boost their self-esteem at the expense of their neighbors?
The solutions are simple: abolish the power of association-governed communities to punish neighbors with fines. Throw out all the HOA rules that have nothing to do with protecting the health and safety of the community — basically, scrap most of the CC&Rs. And insist that local law enforcement intervene if a real nuisance exists, because, after all, our tax dollars already pay for local police departments.
It’s time to stop appeasing overly-sensitive and intolerant neighbors. The sound of children playing is not a public nuisance. Although a blue front door might be an ‘eyesore’ to some choosy homeowners, it’s not worth initiating a costly lawsuit, and causing a neighborhood war.
When people are willing to harm their family members, their neighbors, or themselves over disagreements about the placement of a basketball hoop, children skateboarding in the cul-de-sac, or a neighbor parking his car in his own driveway, it is time for some serious reevaluation of our priorities.
‘Condo commando’ accused of shooting husband long feuded with HOA
LOCAL By Jorge Milian , Olivia Hitchcock and Hannah Winston – Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Posted: 5:57 p.m. Tuesday, February 06, 2018
BOYNTON BEACH —
A 53-year-old Boynton Beach woman who shot her husband and herself Monday night had residents in her neighborhood living in fear and left the community’s homeowners association president feeling lucky he wasn’t targeted.
Lisa Barreca is facing a charge of attempted first-degree murder after she shot her husband four times, including once in the head, following an argument at their home on the 3800 block of Aspen Leaf Drive, off Lawrence Road south of Hypoluxo Road.
Eric Barreca is hospitalized in stable condition, police said. Lisa Barreca sustained a non-life threatening gunshot wound to her right thigh and remained hospitalized Tuesday. She did not make an appearance in bond court.
Lisa Barreca shot her husband about 7 p.m. Monday after they argued over homeowners association complaints, according to an arrest report.
That was no surprise to neighbors who said Lisa Barreca was “obsessed” with perceived code violations around the Aspen Glen community and had a longstanding beef with Damien Ferraiolo, the HOA president who is also a Delray Beach police officer.
For a glimpse of the community and photos of the Barrecas, see this WPTV video report.