I think some condo owners need to get a life.
BY JOE KOLLIN | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
June 14, 2008
MARGATE - John J. Madden, 84, likes to spend an hour or two after lunch sitting in a chair on the grass along the lake behind his condo, playing with his two 22-inch-long remote-controlled powerboats.
It would be an enjoyable pastime for the retired Boston police officer except the condo association has rules that say you can't use motorboats in the lake and you can't sit on a chair on the grass. It's a noise and safety issue, they say.
Eighteen unit owners in March signed a petition to the board complaining about the noise from the boats. They called city code enforcement as well.
"I can't sit on my patio and read the paper on Sunday and not hear the boat," said Doreen Zappala, a former president of the board of the 468-unit Coral Gate Condominium complex.
She also insists the rules can't be selectively enforced.
"Mr. Madden is a nice man, but if he falls and hits his head on a rock and kills himself, is the condo liable if the family says we should have done something to stop it?" she asks.
However, Norman Zimmer, 78, a current board member, said the association should leave Madden alone. The rules mean real motorboats, not toy boats, and Madden isn't disturbing anyone by sitting on a chair on the grass, he said.
"I think it's wonderful. It gives the man something to do, it doesn't hurt anybody," he said.
Madden, a great-grandfather who comes from a family of mariners, is a longtime boat owner and is still a member of the Dorchester Yacht Club in Boston. His last real boat, he boasts, was a 32-footer.
"I can't afford a big one anymore, so I got these as a hobby," he said of the toy boats, which cost $300 each.
After Zappala's petition drive, the association attorney sent Madden a letter demanding he comply with the rules. But nothing further was done.
So residents complained to Margate Code Compliance about the noise. Officer Dan Topp responded but said he didn't find a problem.
Madden made an appointment for Topp to check the sound level of the boats. If the noise exceeded the legal limit, he promised to quit using the boats.
At noon Friday, Madden prepared his boats. Topp and Code Officer Jackie King set up a decibel meter 50 feet from the edge of the lake.
Sitting on a chair on the grass along the lake's edge, Madden revved the engine on one boat for a split-second. Topp got a tentative reading of 77.7 decibels. The daytime maximum for the area is 60 decibels.
But because the sound was so brief, the reading was inconclusive, Topp said.
The boat then conked out and Madden couldn't restart it.
The code officers packed up and left. Madden said he will take the boat to a hobby shop for repair. If the cost of repairs is more than he can afford, he will toss the one noisy boat and stick to the quieter, battery-powered boat, if the association determines that battery power is legal on the lake.
Even if the repair cost is reasonable, however, he'll have to think twice. He promised to scrap the motorboat if the decibel level is too high.
That won't be easy because he loves the toys.
"When they're working, I'm on top of the world, I'm an 84-year-old kid," he said.
I think some condo owners need to get a life.
D1ckhead bought a place on the water, it is well known that boats tend to frequent places where there's water. If he doesn't like it he should move inland, or better yet next to an airport and then complain about the plane noise.
Where do I send money to this guy so he can fix the boat and make it louder
Give it enough time and the legislators in congress will pass a law stating that RC boats will have to pass emission laws too!! Things are definitely getting out of control!!!
I think some people are so unhappy with their life they look for things to b!tch about so that no one can be happy doing what they enjoy. im really starting to hate people these day's.
on a better note, i wonder what kind of boat he is running. i used to race these every chance i could when i was a kid. since i bought my Donzi i haven't even started mine..
Just to give you an idea on the stupidity of home owner associations:
1. Jupiter Island proposed outawing dual rear wheel service vehicles on the island because they were creating ruts on curved roads. Was defeated when over-weight limits were going to be jeopardized by using trucks that were "too small." Liability concerns ended this proposal. They didn't want to spend the money to widen the roads so they figured narrow the trucks and the problem would get solved for free or at the service people's expense; nice thinking considering Jupiter Island is the wealthiest community in the USA.
2. Jupiter Island also wanted to outlaw leaf blowers and make the landscapers hand rake leaves/debris because the blowers were too noisy.
3. My neighborhood is now considering banning pickups. Currently 1/2 ton or less are allowed but ONE homeowner thinks they are offensive and wants to go to a "no pickups period" policy. Fortunately this will not get approved since there are a couple of pick ups on every street and most people "need" them for work or towing boats etc.
I say that we send down a couple of OSO ''hipbreakers" to straighten out the *****y old geezers......
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