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Mini lending library at hub of community dispute

Champions of literacy in the state of California may be interested in knowing more about an HOA dispute that is garnering attention on the other side of the country. In Florida, a homeowners association is demanding that one family remove a structure resembling a birdhouse from their front yard. A small mounted lending library, The Little Free Library reportedly features titles deemed appropriate for young children. The right of the homeowner to host the library box on private property was first addressed on Dec. 1, 2017.

The Bentley Woods' Community Association property manager mailed a letter to the homeowner asking the family to agree to move the library to community property or submit an 'architectural review" application by mail. The homeowner opted to keep the library in its present location. According to media sources, the homeowner's subsequent application for an architectural change was denied. No reason for the disapproval was specified.

Although the HOA is responsible for protecting property values, a number of local residents are questioning the disapproval. Some feel that the association's proposal to move the lending library is illogical. Sources indicate that approximately half of the community's households have signed a petition in favor of the denied homeowner. In addition to the removal of the mini library, a certified letter from the association's lawyer is demanding payment for attorney costs and fees.

The nonprofit Little Free Library movement, which began in 2009, now includes more than 60,000 book-sharing nooks worldwide. California residents who find themselves involved in a similar HOA dispute may find it beneficial to seek legal counsel. The lawyer may work to protect the rights of the homeowner and provide the household with information, advice and advocacy tailored to the particular situation at hand.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Oviedo homeowners association demands family remove Little Free Library from yard," Stephen Hudak, 05/06/2018

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