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Homeowners, HOA clash over backyard gazebo

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- There's a battle brewing between two Las Vegas homeowners and their HOA. The issue centers around a gazebo housed in their backyard.

"I feel like a prisoner in my own home," said Tyrone Foster, a homeowner.

Foster and his family are fed up with dealing what they're calling a shady situation.

"I put a lot of work into this thing (the gazebo)," Foster said.

The gazebo sits behind Tyrone and Laura Foster's home located in the far north valley.

Since 2008, the mother-son duo says they've used it for everything.

"I come out here every morning between 5 and 6 o'clock, and read; I meditate, I exercise, and I have anxiety, so this is really relaxing to me," said Laura Foster.

But relaxing is not the word these Aliante residents would use to describe the past 6-months of going back and forth with the HOA.

"I'm here worried about a gazebo, of all things, a gazebo," Tyrone said. With all the other problems that people have in life, that I have personally, so I'm just very upset about this."

The Foster's say after having this gazebo in their backyard for 10 years, they never expected to get letters from their HOA telling them to take it down or face hefty fines.

They were told a fine of $100 will be issued immediately, and that those fines would continue every 14 days.

The Fosters started receiving fines in April, but they received their first violation notices in November 2018.  The documents read that Prominence at Aliante Homeowners Association is, "unable to locate an approved arc application for the gazebo."

The fosters claim no one ever told them they needed one until now.

"I'm thinking, this must be some sort of joke. It's been sitting here for 10 years, and you all have never noticed it?"

8 News NOW made some calls to dig deeper into the Fosters' questions, but the answers they were looking for came in the form of a statement from Camco, the management company for Prominence at Aliante.  But, then Camco retracted that statement and told 8 News NOW not to use that statement.  Instead, they sent a second statement:

"We are so grateful for the opportunity to comment, however, our response/actions are based on the wishes of the HOA board."

The Fosters say they didn't know they needed to apply for a permit for the gazebo back in 2008, so they just submitted an application.

"We sent in the request that they asked to get it approved; the neighbors approved, and they denied," Tyrone said.

Since the two sides were still in obvious opposition, so the Ombudsman's Office was called in.

"It's a fine-tooth comb, and we have to look at all the cases closely," said Ombudsman Charvez Foger, Nevada Real Estate Division Ombudsman for Common Interest Communities.

Ombudsman Charvez Foger says homeowners and HOAs can come to them when an issue arises in their community.

A complaint can be filed or they can have an informal conference with a professional mediator.

"Bring both parties together, if they both agree to come together, to try to rectify the issue," Charvez Foger said. "If there is an actual violation that I find in the complaint that I sent, then I send it to my compliance section where we will do an actual investigation, and find our findings from there.  We make our assessment and send them a letter either that they have to take down the thing or the board is incorrect in their assessment of penalizing them."

The Fosters say they didn't know this is a step they could take.

"It's something that we'll think about now," Tyrone said.

The Fosters say they're also weighing other options.

"I'm almost ready to move; to sell my house, and just get out," Laura said.

The Fosters say they'll bring this issue up with their HOA again at an upcoming open forum scheduled for May 20.



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