Sinkholes in Ocala FL threaten homes and residents: so why continue to build homes in Sinkhole Alley?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Another Buyer Beware warning: know the sinkhole risk for the land of your new neighborhood. Buyers may assume that city and county governments would never allow a developer to build homes on limestone-rich soil that is prone to sudden collapse sinkholes. After all, some of Florida’s sinkholes are large …

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S. Ponte Vedra Beach areas planning MSTU for massive sand dune replacement project

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Today’s post provides another method of funding major community improvements, this one through the use of an ad valorem taxing unit. Many beach front home and condo owners have been unable to enter their properties since Hurricane Irma, when huge volumes of sand was swept away from beneath …

UPDATE: Braden River conservation purchase to be shared by Manatee County taxpayers

 By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   A week ago, I shared a post about a conflict involving Braden Woods homeowners, Manatee County, and developer Pat Neal. A 33-acre wooded parcel, surrounded by a mature planned development of homes on one-acre lots, has been the subject of controversy for the past several years. The land …

Braden Woods homeowners, River Club HOA voice opposition to County tax district

Manatee County sued by River Club HOA By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Floridian homeowners in the community of Braden Woods are split on their willingness to tax themselves for the next 30 years, to purchase and preserve a 33-acre wooded parcel from Florida developer Pat Neal. Manatee County Commissioners have delayed their vote …

How HOA and non-HOA communities address crime problems & prevention

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   As population density increases in some of the fastest growing real estate markets, crime rates also tend to go up. In many cases, municipal, county, and state governments have not increased the number of trained law enforcement officers to correspond with additional demand for services. The result is …

Legislative Highlights (Feb 2018) (Florida)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Florida Several bills have been proposed in the Sunshine State, and some of them are gaining traction in the Legislature (noted as Active), while others are not (noted as inactive) as of the date this post.   HB 377 (FL) (Inactive) This bill would amend the Homeowners Association …

Parking, towing dispute heats up in Hillsborough County Florida HOA

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities One of the biggest problems created by short-sighted planning in common interest communities is the scarcity of parking space. For example, in Kings Lake subdivision, Hillsborough County, Florida, driveway space is limited and streets are somewhat narrow. If your household uses the garage for storage, and the driveway only …

Honolulu Condo fire stirs controversy over sprinkler retrofits

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Fire fighters in Hawaii and other states say that fire sprinklers would have prevented loss of life and property in the recent fire at Marco Polo highrise condominium in Honolulu. Unfortunately, the fire that started on the 26th floor resulted in three fatalities, at least a dozen people injured, …

FL DBPR doubles down on requirements for new Poinciana elections

Order for new elections has been amended in favor of homeowner Martin Negron.   By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Following events in Poinciana, Florida, one of America's largest homeowners associations, it is encouraging to see that the tide is turning - finally, state agencies are beginning to acknowledge the assault on private property …

Condo industry investors unhappy about new consumer protections

New Florida statutes make it more difficult to force condo termination and apartment conversions upon unwilling owners By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Part of the mission here at IAC is to educate housing consumers by exposing the true agenda of the real estate industry. Hint: it is not to serve the needs of …