Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Help Me Howard: Lake and Sprinkler
In the old west, people would fight over water rights. In South Florida, they just get irritated. One South Florida woman lives on a lake, but is being told she can't use the water that laps up into her backyard. So who controls the water next to your property? It's why people have Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- When you see a beautiful lawn in South Florida you know it doesn't come easy.
Theresa Ferayorni, No Lake Access?: "If I see something dying, I will clean it out, fertilize it, talk to and then it's alive."
Theresa Ferayorni works in her Parkland yard every day to keep herself busy and to go deeper, to keep her mind busy.
Theresa Ferayorni: "And I have had so much tragedy. My husband died, my daughter was killed by a drunk driver."
But planting and pruning and and mixing and matching ornaments, makes her smile. Of course to keep her yard looking like this, we all know she needs one essential ingredient- water.
Theresa Ferayorni: "See, it goes under the ground and under the pipe and it's connected underneath there."
Theresa runs her sprinklers twice a week by drawing water through a pipe from the lake behind her house. It's attached to a duck to keep it from sucking mud.
Theresa Ferayorni: "There's a motor and the water. That's how I get my sprinklers going."
But after being in the lake for five years, her association sent her this letter that said: "Drawing water from the lake is not allowed."
Theresa Ferayorni: "They are telling me that the duck in the water does not look good and you can't even see it unless you come through the backyard but other people have it."
Theresa is right. When you look around Parkwood IX, some of her neighbors also irrigate their lawns from the various lakes. From Skyforce HD we counted six other yards with irrigation lines attached to ducks.
Theresa Ferayorni: "I am very upset about this. Why should I have to take it out? I am not hurting anybody."
The irrigation pipe was never a problem for the five years it was there, but Theresa says a neighbor complained to the association, which saddened her.
Theresa Ferayorni: "Neighbors are supposed to stick with one another and you went behind my back and reported me."
But the bottom line, as you can see from the air, the pipes to irrigate yards are common in the association. And Theresa's argument- why pick on me?
Theresa Ferayorni: "I don't think its fair. And it's not bothering anybody. It's right there in the water. It doesn't even move."
Theresa owns the property going up to the lake. So Howard, the simple question- who controls the water in the lake?
Howard Finkelstein: "In this case, the lake is controlled by the association. They can set the rules for who can use the water but they have to apply the same rule to everyone and cannot allow some to irrigate and not others."
I then spoke to Parkwood IX's Bob Furtaw who was a polite and helpful as he could be. He said the association was not interested in fines, just compliance. He said Theresa never asked for permission to install the irrigation line. When I asked about all the other homeowners who have the same irrigation lines, he said they were grandfathered in when the homes were built in 1995. He then said, if Theresa wanted to fill out the paperwork to ask permission for the irrigation line, the board would consider it.
Howard Finkelstein: "It would be a smart move by the association to allow Theresa to irrigate from the lake because others were given permission years ago. To deny her now could be considered selective enforcement. That's illegal and a battle a good association doesn't need."
Theresa is now officially asking to keep drawing water from the lake like her neighbors do and is hopeful the association will allow it.
Theresa Ferayorni: "I am very happy I contacted Help me Howard. They are great people
Johnnie U, 7News Photographer: "Especially the handsome photographer."
Theresa Ferayorni: "Yes, and the photographer."
Patrick Fraser: "Johnnie U, she is pulling your leg. Only your wife thinks you are handsome. And in a way, Theresa is doing a good thing by using the lake for irrigation. Otherwise she would be pumping water from the Public Utility, costing her money and using good drinking water. Hope they let her continue to use the lake like her neighbors do."
A problem draining your patience? Tired of drowning in frustration? Contact us. We don't have a green thumb, but we do have a lawyer who can soak us with knowledge. Or so he says.
CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
EMAIL: email@example.com (Please include your contact phone number when emailing)
REPORTER: Patrick Fraser at firstname.lastname@example.org