GILBERT, AZ - They moved into a Gilbert community thinking it was family friendly, but moms are saying it’s anything but that after a new policy was made for their community park.
Homeowners of the Vincenz community are frustrated after receiving a letter from their homeowners association stating organized sports was not allowed in their park.
Danette McOmber has lived in the community for years, and moved to the community specifically for the use of the park.
"I've got four kids and they have played in all kinds of leagues. Flag football, soccer, T-ball, and they've used this park,” said McOmber.
According to the HOA, the reasoning for the new policy is liability, parking, traffic, and safety issues. Issues McOmber said does not apply.
“Their primary reasoning is liability and that our HOA could be sued for kids playing in the park, so I got on the phone and called all eight leagues that my kids had ever played in and found that all of them had liability coverage,” said McOmber.
“The majority of the leagues have coverage just in case something happens. It wouldn’t fall onto the community park,” said another parent.
The Vincenz HOA reached out to the American Youth Sports Association in regards to the liability issue and found that they did not know Vincenz was being used for soccer practice.
According to the letter sent to homeowners, the AYSA representative responded in writing that they would contact the coaches to let them know they do not approve this uninsured use of private property for soccer use.
When ABC15 reached out to the managing association for the Vincenz HOA board, they responded after the story aired stating:
“Regarding the organized sports policy in Vincenz, there has been heavy utilization of the Vincenz common areas by organized sports teams which consist of both homeowners and the general public.
Due to the increased usage, damage, and potential liability involved from non-member use, the Board adopted a policy to restrict organized sports based on the advice of the Association’s legal counsel.
The intent of the policy is to preserve the common areas for Vincenz homeowner use and enjoyment. The Vincenz homeowners pay to maintain these areas through their Association dues.
The Board of Directors discussed the issue in Board meetings that were open for all Vincenz homeowners to attend.
The Board has a duty of care to the homeowners who live in Vincenz and the responsibility to protect and preserve the assets owned by the Association."
A number of homeowners are now collecting signatures for a petition to remove their HOA board members.
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