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kginfla

Terrible Lighting added to common areas

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Please help.  

While I believe intentions were good, the Board / management has hired someone to install lughting throughout the community.   

Unfortunately it is being done so haphazardly, with lights so bright the are blinding, wirh the light color so intense it only makes everything touched by it look washed out and indistinct and worse makes areas outside its glare seem even darker than before. 

The placement of fixtures is just terrible even if they weren't overly harsh and often aim directly at eye level.

No plan was submitted to the community to vote on, i dont believe a licensed electrician performed the work, no permits have been pulled (that i can find) and no bids for the job were posted on our website. 

 

What can I do?  I am a fan of using lighting to improve the aesthetics and safety of the community but they dont solve either of those .  To make it worse, non LED lighting was used! ugh.

 

please advise 

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A lot depends on the law regulating HOAs in your state, and you did not say in what state this is taking place. I might guess from your member name that you are in Florida, but that's just a guess. It also depends very much what the HOA covenants, conditions, and rules say about the powers of the board. If enough other neighbors in the HOA agree with you, then look at the rules to see if you can force a vote on the issue to get the lighting redone or, failing that, plan to remove the board at the next election and get in board members who will fix it.

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Sorry, forgot to clarify.  it is indeed Florida .

I can't find any specific wording regarding the powers of the Board.  Is there a usual location or chapter title where such info would likely be noted?

And R&Rs dont specify any process for making common area modifications, other than specifying that owners must seek approval for any changes that would impact common elements. 

 

Would I be incorrect in assuming if not otherwise indicated then common area changes (lighting included) would follow community voting guidelines for any common area modifications? 

 

Also, I confirmed that no permits were pulled for the electrical work, nor was the job subjected to our 3 bid (and publication of contract, bids, plans etc).

Can't yet confirm if a licensed electrician was involved.

 

I want to stop them before they spend more money... neighbors who also dislike lighting don't want to rock the boat - retaliation is common here unfortunately. 

 

Any suggestions?

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47 minutes ago, kginfla said:

I can't find any specific wording regarding the powers of the Board.  Is there a usual location or chapter title where such info would likely be noted?

 

Chapter 720 of the Florida statutes covers HOAs. Part I of those statutes will have the rules you are interested in. Section 720.3055 requires that all  HOA contracts for goods and services that will not be completed within one year must be in writing and that if the total cost of those goods/services will exceed 10% of the annual budget then the contract must be done via a competitive bid, but the statute expressly states that it is not required that the lowest bidder be selected. The rights and obligations of the association are addressed in § 720.303.

 

54 minutes ago, kginfla said:

Any suggestions?

 

Yes. Take the various HOA covenants, rules, etc to a local attorney familiar with HOA law for assistance and advice. Without reading all those documents I cannot tell you whether the board is violating anything with this work or what remedies you have, if any, to stop the work at this stage.

 

56 minutes ago, kginfla said:

I want to stop them before they spend more money... neighbors who also dislike lighting don't want to rock the boat - retaliation is common here unfortunately. 

 

One of the reasons I decided long ago to never buy in a HOA controlled area if at all possible.

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On 8/9/2019 at 11:52 PM, kginfla said:

What can I do?

 

I'm sure you can do any number of things, but I doubt you have any ability to get your HOA to undo what has been done just because you don't fancy the lights that were used.  I supposed you could try and find like-minded neighbors to vote out the current board and who will vote in a new board that spends even more money on this.  Whether you can take any legal steps beyond that will depend on the CC&Rs of the community.

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Does the fact that they failed to publish the contract , installer info on our website AND didn't pull permits for the project (something of a habit now) give me better standing in my dispute?  There is no added language in Declarations or Regs regarding changes to common areas by Board, only by owners.  Wouldn't that mean the state's default regs (i.e. changes to common areas must be voted on) would be in force?

And its not that I simply "don't fancy the lights".  There are correct and incorrect ways to use lighting.  By using inappropriate fixtures (also not LED) with massive lumin /lux ratings , that face directly at drivers and pedestrians.  It is a random mix of fixture types, heights, bulb type/shape and light colors and of course varying degrees of crazy brightness.   You could peform surgery safely  near the fixtures (if not for the glare) but due to incorrect color and extreme over-lighting it has created extreme dark areas (per a lighting expert this is caused by both the color rendering of the specific wavelengths and lux levels) 

And yes, in addition to the above, it looks terrible.  Without exception house guests comment on the lighting which has significantly changed the appearance of the once charming,  lush grounds.  The entire area resembles a parking lot in a rough section of town.  One friend has decided against putting an offer on a unit because of how unattractive it is after the sun goes down.

 

Please , does anyone have any legal advice?

20190507_202706.jpg

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If that is what the rough areas of your town look like, I want to live in your town. It is unclear what steps you have taken to address this with the current HOA, or if you are alone in your dislike of the new lights. There is no obligation to install lights or use bulbs you prefer. As these have already been installed there are limited remedies available. Even if they were not done with proper permits, the remedy wouldn't be to remove them necessarily. That one potential buyer disliked them and chose not to live there is not legal reason to force a change.

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8 hours ago, kginfla said:

Please , does anyone have any legal advice?

 

You need to take the CC&Rs and any other relevant documents to a local attorney for review.  Any legal advice obtained from anonymous strangers on the internet is inherently unreliable.

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