CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla.- Neighbors say they are victims in their own homes.
A group of property owners in Punta Gorda say they are being picked on by community management, and that the Property Owners Association has taken deed restriction too far.
"These people act like we're the enemy," said Bob Hull, who has lived in the Deep Creek community for more than 20 years.
Hull sat in a room full of neighbors, eager to tell WINK News they are sick of being bullied by the POA.
"We did get one letter objecting to the fact that we had potted plants out in the front," said resident Vicki Perrella.
"They told me I didn't have enough plants," said Larry Allder, another resident.
"We had a bucket in our driveway and we got a complaint letter over that," said Lisa Hauser.
The neighbors say they've been bombarded with letters pointing out what they feel are petty issues.
"Do they have the right number of bushes on the side of their house? Not all of them! Do I care? No," Hull chuckled.
The residents believe the POA is actively looking for reasons to impose. That's why Hauser got an injunction against one board member, who she said was tresspassing.
"He was looking into peoples lanais -- looking into my neighbors lanais," Hauser said. "And I would watch him do this from neighbor, to neighbor, to neighbor."
WINK News sat down with current POA president Harvey Goldstein, who said he is simply following procedure.
"It's a strict, but fair process," Goldstein said. "The problem you have in a deed restricted community is that you cannot enforce selectively."
Goldstein said the group of homeowners who came forward does not accurately represent the Deep Creek community, which consists of roughly 3,300 homes.
"If you don't want to live in a deed restricted community, no one is forcing you to live here," Goldstein said.
A third-party law firm, hired by the POA, agrees. It says the deed restrictions are valid and should be enforced.
Goldstein has written a letter, which he expects to send to every Deep Creek resident in the next week, explaining the POA's side of the story.