NAPLES — 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."