Where the sun don't shine: Residents, kids cry foul at rule banning unsupervised play outside

Lexey Swall/Staff 
 Nadia Mihyar, left, sits to watch her sons Laith Mihyar, 12, right, and Yousif Mihyar, 10, play outside in their neighborhood at Ole Village at Lely Resort on Thursday in East Naples. Mihyar and other residents of Ole Village are outraged about the neighborhood's rule that children under 18 from being outside without the supervision of an adult. Mihyar said several children have been stopped by security while walking or playing in their neighborhood. 'They (the children) are harassed,' said Mihyar. 'And they are allowed to be harassed by the rules.'

Photo by LEXEY SWALL, Naples Daily News // Buy this photo

Lexey Swall/Staff Nadia Mihyar, left, sits to watch her sons Laith Mihyar, 12, right, and Yousif Mihyar, 10, play outside in their neighborhood at Ole Village at Lely Resort on Thursday in East Naples. Mihyar and other residents of Ole Village are outraged about the neighborhood's rule that children under 18 from being outside without the supervision of an adult. Mihyar said several children have been stopped by security while walking or playing in their neighborhood. "They (the children) are harassed," said Mihyar. "And they are allowed to be harassed by the rules."

— When Tony Stein's children come home from school, they retreat to separate parts of their East Naples condo.

His 8-year-old turns on the TV. The 6-year-old plays on the computer. His 2-year-old sticks to her father's side, talking and talking.

Stein's 12-year-old son wants to play outside, but minors aren't permitted outdoors without adult supervision at Olé at Lely Resort. It's a rule that's been in the condo association's declaration since the development opened, but only recently has it been enforced.

Now that it is, some residents are crying foul and say they want out of the community.

"It disturbing," Stein, 44, said. "Maybe this should have been a 55-and-over community the way they act. They don't like kids."

But the community's developer, The Gateway Group, said "community association must impartially enforce the rules found in the governing documents," according to a statement to NBC-2. The Olé declaration of condominium says "all occupants under 18 years of age shall be closely supervised at all times by an adult to insure that they do not become a source of annoyance for other residents."

"We hope to have the situation resolved soon to everyone's satisfaction and to ensure the comfort and safety of all residents," The Gateway Group said in its statement.

That resolution might not come soon enough for Stein, who plans to move when his lease ends in June.

His son recently had friends over to play in the grass behind their home, he said. Security guards, who patrol Olé's manicured streets in golf carts, told the kids who didn't live in the neighborhood they had to leave, even though Stein claimed them as his guests.

"I called Gateway and asked 'What am I supposed to do? Keep my kids inside for two months?'" Stein said. "They said that would be a good idea."

Nadia Mihyar, 31, another Olé resident, said her two sons, 12 and 10, were stopped by security guards while walking home two weeks ago. Mihyar was driving behind her sons when she saw the guards, and told them she was the parent. The incident has scarred her children, she said.

"They're so nervous," Mihyar said. "I'm going to have to move. I can't stay here."

The community is in the midst of a management transition, and the condo association will assume the property from the developer next month, residents said. An employee at the administrative offices of Olé declined comment.

Steve Adamczyk, an attorney who specializes in condo and homeowner association law, said condo associations are not allowed to discriminate against families for having children and that the only age restrictions they can dictate are for communities for residents age 55 and over.

Because the condo's declaration includes a statement about minors, the condo board is allowed to adopt the rule, he said. But because the rule is difficult to enforce, it may not be reasonable. Reasonable rules, Adamczyk said, protect the health, safety and welfare of a community.

"What does 'closely supervised' mean? You can watch your kid drive away to school? The kid can't walk to his car to get his keys? Is it OK to watch them from the window?" Adamczyk asked.

Parents and homeowners in Olé could voice their opinions at board meetings, recall the board or challenge the rule through arbitration with the state division of condominiums, he said.

Annoyances at Olé have not reached a criminal level according to reports from the Collier County Sheriff's Office, which has only dispatched deputies to the community once this year for an incident involving a minor. In that case, a child was reported missing, but was quickly located, a department spokeswoman said.

Some older residents of the community were surprised to learn the rule existed. Aside from the occasional case of kids riding their bikes late at night or around the pool, they said they haven't been annoyed by children at Olé, supervised or otherwise.

"It's absurd," said Iggy Giangregorio, 63, whose grandchildren visit him from time to time. "Parents should use good judgement."

Resident Dwight Gammons, 79, said the rule will likely be reevaluated when the condo association assumes control of the community from the developer and residents have more say.

"This is not a senior place to live," Gammons said. "It's a mixed group. And we like that."

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Comments » 87

just_makin_it writes:

I will never buy or rent in an HOA neighbor hood, completely bogus rules. Get a life and stop policing the neighbors. Good Grief!

Beachglow writes:

Kids under 18 should always be supervised. Parents are lax in their attitudes, and these kids get hurt and then sue the condominium association.

If you don't want to live by the rules, by all means move.

LeavingNaples writes:

This is why we moved from ole. Too many rules and VERY Children UNFRINDLY. They use to tell us we couldn't bring snacks (chips, grapes etc.) to the pool to feed our kids because they sold over priced pizza. It's took bad it has STOCK Development all over it. They need new management.

kappa1997 writes:

Condo Nazi's are out of control.Most of their rules have no law to stand on. The above case is an easy court ordered rewrite of condo docs.

MisterK writes:

That's sad. Gateway Group is the developer and until an HOA board takes over they are the law. Lely Resort is getting a lot of bad press lately. Gateway Group may get some phone calls. What a bunch of p&@/:-'s.

MisterK writes:

in response to kappa1997:

Condo Nazi's are out of control.Most of their rules have no law to stand on. The above case is an easy court ordered rewrite of condo docs.

Aren't they still under developer rule? It's the Gateway Group that is writing the laws in Ole right now. And, in my opinion, this rule is ridiculous. A 17-year-old cannot exercise outdoors in Ole without direct parental supervision. A high-school student may want to go running. They better not get caught between their front door and the community entrance. Or, they'll be reprimanded and escorted home. That's insane.

Tarastomsgirl writes:

HOA rules are NOT LAW, cops can't even enforce it just let em play. All th cops can do is ask them to be supervised.. thats it..

Manners writes:

in response to Beachglow:

Kids under 18 should always be supervised. Parents are lax in their attitudes, and these kids get hurt and then sue the condominium association.

If you don't want to live by the rules, by all means move.

People like you should be supervised and censored. What a dingdong.

wonderful (Inactive) writes:

in response to LeavingNaples:

This is why we moved from ole. Too many rules and VERY Children UNFRINDLY. They use to tell us we couldn't bring snacks (chips, grapes etc.) to the pool to feed our kids because they sold over priced pizza. It's took bad it has STOCK Development all over it. They need new management.

I'm thinking that this is RIGHT next to that Calusa canal that they just carbon-dated like most of the fossils that live there, eh?

Just taking stock?

No1Uno writes:

in response to Manners:

People like you should be supervised and censored. What a dingdong.

People like you shouldn't have kids either.

Don't do, what you can't do right. Raising kids are no exception.

Nice not knowing you...

NeezDutz writes:

I think it is s----- but if it's in the documents and you didnt read them, your fault.
If you want overturned, give it a shot but it was in the documents when you moved in. it is what it is.

Heraclitus writes:

Wasn't it W. C. Fields who said "Any man who hates children and dogs can't be all bad"?

beetlejuice writes:

In this groundbreaking volume on the human rights of children, acclaimed analyst, political theorist, and biographer Elisabeth Young-Bruehl argues that prejudice exists against children as a group and that it is comparable to racism, sexism, and homophobia. This prejudice—“childism”—legitimates and rationalizes a broad continuum of acts that are not “in the best interests of children,” including the often violent extreme of child abuse and neglect. According to Young-Bruehl, reform is possible only if we acknowledge this prejudice in its basic forms and address the motives and cultural forces that drive it, rather than dwell on the various categories of abuse and punishment.

“There will always be individuals and societies that turn on their children," writes Young-Bruehl, “breaking the natural order Aristotle described two and a half millennia ago in his Nichomachean Ethics." In Childism, Young-Bruehl focuses especially on the ways in which Americans have departed from the child-supportive trends of the Great Society and of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Many years in the making, Childism draws upon a wide range of sources
read Childism & welcome to Naples
but if children are involved
run fast
very fast

sharks2009 writes:

in response to Beachglow:

Kids under 18 should always be supervised. Parents are lax in their attitudes, and these kids get hurt and then sue the condominium association.

If you don't want to live by the rules, by all means move.

Really......What is your definition of "always supervised"? What ever happened to the carefree days of youth. I am not talking about kids running around being destructive, I am talking about riding bikes, playing kickball ect..... There is nothing "lax" about allowing a kid to be a kid. At the age of 18 a "kid" can vote, and go to war to defend your freedom but you don't want them outside without their mommy? Hmmmmm

DOttFlorida writes:

"It's a s----- rule. s----- rules are meant to be broken!" - Col. Potter M*A*S*H - HOA POS have way too much free time on their hands to create rules no one with kids could possibly uphold. We are so glad we didn't buy or rent in Ole'. And we thought it looked like a great neighborhood. Yeah right! It's no wonder children are getting fatter. Idiots like these HOAs want us to coop up our kids inside. get a life Ole'.

FLGIRL347 writes:

This will not be the only neighborhood enforcing this rule, I'm sure there will be more. I was coming home one day in my community and saw a girl about 11 years old laying in the middle of the street and no parent in sight. On the other hand, kids being active outside (not in the streets of course) is a much better alternative to sitting in front of the tv or computer.

FreshFace writes:

This is the most asinine thing I've ever read. I grew up outside! The whole neighborhood played kick the can, ghost in the graveyard, hopscotch, rode our bikes, camped in our backyards. I'm thankful I was a child when being a kid was creative and fun.

FreshFace writes:

and I thought Veronawalk was strict. Come live here...kids are out playing all the time and it's fun watching them with all their energy. Yes, we had some "brats" a while back, but their vandalism was discovered and they were reprimanded (annihilated---I am kidding btw). It's sad that a couple of bad seeds would create such strict rules. If I had children I dont think I'd move into a gated community.

beetlejuice writes:

in response to FLGIRL347:

This will not be the only neighborhood enforcing this rule, I'm sure there will be more. I was coming home one day in my community and saw a girl about 11 years old laying in the middle of the street and no parent in sight. On the other hand, kids being active outside (not in the streets of course) is a much better alternative to sitting in front of the tv or computer.

wtf? Ever heard of game of chickenloser?
lay in middle of road
pray someone doesn't drive by
those alive
WIN

Challenged writes:

If you don't like rules, don't move into a condo. And if you voluntarily sign an agreement, don't whine later that is unfair. Should be a no-brainer. Why would you not live in a more child friendly environment?

Bramble writes:

Can't owners change the founding document rules?

And there could be real trouble with "security" people accosting children. How does anyone know who "security" is and not just some old perv?

unfatcat writes:

This is true in any of these condo neighborhoods and should be made known upfront to families interested in buying these properties.

Whether in condo documents or not, children cannot (at no time) bounce balls, play in the parking lot, play on the grass, skateboard or roller skate the sidewalks; or play games on the tennis courts/swimming pool without parents.

When looking for a family environment, the best family-friendly neighborhoods will have a basketball hoop or other children's activities. Avoid the botchi ball properties.

Even if rules don't prohibit children's activities, retired people will always complain about children's activities. In general, they retired and raised their families and don't want to deal with it anymore.

jlweasel writes:

in response to Beachglow:

Kids under 18 should always be supervised. Parents are lax in their attitudes, and these kids get hurt and then sue the condominium association.

If you don't want to live by the rules, by all means move.

"beachglow" The only thing glowing on you are your dentures you old bag. Leave the kids alone. Their old enough to drive a car for crying out loud.

what234 writes:

how many of you that are sideing with the HOA on this played outside unsupervised as a kid??

itmattershere writes:

The wealthy winning again.

AmericasTrueRecoveryBeginsIn2016 writes:

Yet another prime example of why condo associations are a joke, and how retired people with too much time on their hands are more trouble than they are worth.

If you don't want to be "annoyed" by kids, don't buy a home in a community with families in it.

Kids and parents shouldn't be punished because one or two grouchy, oversensitive curmudgeons don't like the sounds of kids at play.

Woodstocker69 writes:

Just to be clear, Gateway Group is a management company which manages the the property for the owner, STOCK DEVELOPMENT.

Doubtful1 writes:

How about read the rules before you sign? If you have a dog, for instance, perhaps don't move to someplace that doesn't allow dogs? If you have kids, read the by-laws that pertain to children? Why is it better to move to the end of the runway, then complain to the media that planes are flying over your house? And if you don't like the rules about children, don't move there? You can read, right? There is certainly no shortage of residences to choose from... maybe move to one that makes you happier, go "Occupy" someplace else? And NDN, what a fine effort to try and build controversy where there really shouldn't be any.

Robertofnaples writes:

An idea comes to mind here. Why not organize a thousand or so children, to walk through this condo commanders territory playing kazoos. Surround the Barney Fife rent-a-cop; while playing The Star Spangeled Banner. Keep this up every time this Condo Commander steps outside. Then when this Condo Commander raises thier voice, boom; The Stand Your Ground Law, comes into effect. Problem solved, no one will miss a "Dead" Nazi!!!

wes writes:

Once they all get together with the board and the lawyers and review the rule, they'll be told the increased liability will increase their insurance rates, so the rule will have to stand.

mama0605 writes:

Here is how it works - people can read rules before they buy; but Board of Directors have the right to enact rules without the approval of the owners. So people may have bought there or decided to rent there and then this rule was enacted.

Rules must be enforced or an attorney can state that all rules are null and void because of selective enforcement.

Is this rule legal - probably not - since it seems to target one group of residents - and this community is not 55 or over -

As to enforcement - the cops that patrol the area cannot arrest anyone but the owner of the units can be fined, and the fines could result in a lien; although the association can not foreclose on this type of lien – the only types of liens associations can foreclose on are those that are unpaid assessments; it can sit in the owners ledger and be collected when he sells or they can deny allowing the owner to rent the unit if all fees are not brought current.

The best and easiest way to take care of this, is to have all the owners sign a petition requesting this rule be revoked.

In addition, this rule could be looked at as a rule that required a vote - if it changed or restricted the rights of the owners to use or rent their units - any time a rule is enacted that prohibits use it should be voted upon; this is per Florida Statue.

Good luck - this is totally ridiculous and GOOD LUCK ENFORCING IT!!

Klaatu writes:

Now all Realtor's should let any potential clients know the "RULES" before they even show them the community. As it is the Realtors duty to disclose them. Let people know when their grandchildren come and visit they won't be allowed PLAY outside without supervision.
So have fun selling your units the your Nazi community !!!!

REALTORS DO NOT SELL ANY STOCK DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY'S !!!!

Here4Now writes:

Ole' should hire a Child Catcher, like in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Lure them in with treacle tarts, then WHAM, the cage slams shut and they're gone forever.

Here4Now writes:

Here you go - just like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUnhfv...

tampacoco writes:

I have my Grandkids most of the time and I'm watching them at all times. I wish more parents would watch thier kids and what they are up to. We have kids from ages 4-10 out at 9pm and no parents in site. But if something were to happen to them it would be my poor babies! I love kids and enjoy them, But watch your own kids and know where they are. We have kids in the pool and nobody watching them ,But the Adults that are at the pool. Lord forbid something were to happen to them it would be the condos fault and not the parents of these kids.

adventuresawait writes:

Southern hospitality

furball writes:

The moral of the story: READ the bi-laws before you rent! DUH

The renters are always picked on by the owners.

stopthemadness writes:

tell them to kiss your backside...I do and I live the the same community...I only wish the gadflys would go do something usefull...like mentor or read to a child....usefull life

naplesweety21 writes:

I'm so tired of these darn old people who act like there crap don't stink want everything there way.. Move to a 55 and older community!! These renters pay just as much as you do to live here.

Sanity writes:

Don't people research a place before moving in?

Here4Now writes:

The solution is simple. Fit each child with a shock collar, and give all the old farts in the neighbor a control button. If a kid so much as makes a peep, ZAPPPP. And don't differentiate - let 'em all get zapped - group punishment leads to peer control - works wonders.

swfl_ff writes:

Just when you think you have seen it all something even more ridicules like this rule comes along.

While I can understand a condo/homeowners association wanting small children supervised while in a pool or common area this rule is way over the top. You mean to tell me that a 12 yr old kid cannot ride their bike down a street or walk alone to a bus stop? Who ever wrote that rule has not a clue on how real people live.

Another reason that you would never catch me living in one of those places.

tnflga writes:

I am reminded every time I read the NDN of why I moved my children out of Naples. It is absolutely disgusting how children are allowed to be treated. The old farts continue to live up to being called "NAZI"S" every day. Zimmerman is a prime example of what our children have to fear in their OWN neighborhoods. Makes me sick.

justright (Inactive) writes:

Disgusting. I feel for those families and would never recommend this community to anyone.

DonkeyWhispererakaDuh_novan writes:

no kids outside?? How about a road test and vision test every year after 60?? sounds fair.

beerbong writes:

in response to No_bull_for_you:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Amateur comedian. Real funny.

cabagepalm writes:

It's a frickin condo. What do you expect. Kids run wild in GG Estates. Come on down.

lb5361 writes:

in response to No_bull_for_you:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Especially if they are black and wearing a hoodie! Children of Ole: STAND YOUR GROUND!

beerbong writes:

in response to furball:

The moral of the story: READ the bi-laws before you rent! DUH

The renters are always picked on by the owners.

Because renters have no stock in the community, when renters move in, the quality of life goes down. Sad but true.

beachykeen writes:

in response to NeezDutz:

I think it is s----- but if it's in the documents and you didnt read them, your fault.
If you want overturned, give it a shot but it was in the documents when you moved in. it is what it is.

Bottom line: read the condo/HOA docs before you buy/rent.

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