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Feud over shutters heading to court

Homeowners association sues couple

Monday, February 25, 2013
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The owners of this house on Sultana Street in Saratoga Springs are being sued by their homeowners association for not having shutters on their house.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber
The owners of this house on Sultana Street in Saratoga Springs are being sued by their homeowners association for not having shutters on their house.

— A Saratoga Springs couple who allegedly refused to replace shutters on their house in a deed-restricted community are the target of a lawsuit from their homeowners association.

Interlaken Homeowners Association says in a lawsuit filed Feb. 13 in state Supreme Court in Saratoga County that Charles D. and Kathleen R. Capozzoli defied the association’s orders to replace shutters after the couple removed them while doing work on their siding.

The association says the Capozzolis took the shutters off their half of a duplex on Sultana Street as part of an approved siding project and then asked the association’s Architectural Standards Committee in August 2011 for permission to not replace them.

The committee denied the request the next month.

So the couple appealed the committee’s decision to the Interlaken board of directors, and the board discussed the appeal during a closed session of a meeting in October 2011.

“The Plaintiffs were given a full and fair opportunity to present their arguments for reversal of the decision of the [committee],” the lawsuit says.

But the board was split on the matter.

“Seven members of the Board of Directors were present, a vote was held and three Board members voted in support of the Defendants’ appeal; three Board members voted to deny the appeal; and one Board member abstained from voting.”

Because the vote was tied, the committee’s decision stood.

As recorded in the Saratoga County Clerk’s Office in 2011, the deed restrictions do not spell out that shutters are required, but say that owners must get approval from the Architectural Standards Committee before doing any “alterations to, changes or repainting” on the outside of a building.

In the ensuing 16 months, the board has sent “many written notices” to the Capozzolis telling them to put the shutters back on their house, the lawsuit says.

“The Defendants, through counsel, have made it clear that they have no intention of complying [with] the … decision and will not be re-installing the shutters as directed.”

The association asks that the court order the couple to put the shutters back on their house and pay the association’s legal fees for filing the lawsuit.

An attorney for the association did not return a call for comment Thursday.

No one answered the phone Thursday afternoon at the Capozzolis’ listed home number. They have not yet formally responded to the complaint in court.

Residents of a housing development in the town of Ballston filed a similar type of lawsuit against a couple who installed pole-mounted solar panels in their side yard.

A local judge ruled in favor of the couple last year, saying that the deed restrictions didn’t specifically state that solar panels weren’t allowed.

The neighbors said then that they would appeal the decision.

 
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comments

February 25, 2013
7:18 a.m.
justapto says...

Every one was proclaiming how great living in these communitys would be. Not so great when straingers get to tell you that your civil rights end at the entrance. Never mind that housing decorative trends change, the need to cut imported oil, you have more cars or vehicles than can be hidden in your garage, you want a garden, you have pets, the grand kids want to stay over, etc. These associations are notorious for misappropriations of members funds, purchasing extravagent items, over spending on lawn maintenance and many boards getting special treatment from the contractors they hire to snow plow, do maintenance, cut lawns etc.

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