Thanks to relentless grassroots support from homeowners and community association professionals, the Community Associations Institute's Florida Legislative Alliance has successfully lobbied to amend language of a potentially harmful telecommunications bill. CAI, the nation's voice for condominium, cooperative and homeowners associations, called the amendment a victory for common property protection.
Language in HB 3775 would have allowed telecommunications providers to enter community associations and install wiring and equipment without permission. In essence, this bill would have prevented community associations from controlling, managing and protecting their common property. Alliance representative Dick Spears described the original language as "onerous and harmful to the property rights of homeowners," when testifying before the House Committee on Utilities and Communications on March 18. "We believe that mandatory entry and forced access are inimical to the freedoms of economic choice and the property rights we Americans cherish."
After weeks of intense lobbying, the Alliance-working in conjunction with other concerned groups-secured support for language that removed the forced entry provisions in lieu of a requirement that the Public Service Commission study issues associated with the delivery of commercial and residential telecommunications services.
The Commission will report back to the legislature Jan. 15, 1999 and make policy recommendations. This language was included in final compromise legislation that passed the House and Senate as renumbered HB 4785. The bill is expected to become law.
CAI's Florida Legislative Alliance will now turn its attention to the Public Service Commission to ensure that community associations and their homeowners are well represented as forced entry issues are further examined and debated.
The Community Associations Institute is a nonprofit association created in 1973 to educate and represent the nation's 205,000 community associations—condominium associations, homeowner associations and cooperatives. CAI members include homeowners, associations and related professionals and service providers.
MEDIA CONTACT: Blaine TobinPhone: 703-970-9235