By Jan Bergemann

Published April 26, 2024


The Florida Legislature has finally figured it out: ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW COMMITTEES were often used as dictatorial power tools. Boards appointed members of their “clique” to the committee – and the games began.


Approval or disapproval of applications for construction of a structure or other improvement on a parcel should have been decided by the governing documents, not by committee members – or board members – liking or disliking the owner filing the application. But that has often been the case – and the result was often: SELECTIVE ENFORCEMENT.


If Governor Ron DeSantis signs HB1203 into law, many of these abuses will have to stop. The powers of the ARC have been widely reduced.


Main component of these changes: The ARC has to give very specific reasons, even quoting the deed-restrictions, if denying an application.


No more “reducing property values” or “doesn’t fit into the general view of the community”.


Once HB293 -- Hurricane Protections for Homeowners' Associations – becomes law, the ARC power is even more limited. Even if the governing documents may say otherwise, applications for home improvements dealing with hurricane protection can no longer be denied. Color or location can be discussed, but all items named in this bill are exempt from denial.


The real question when looking at this bill: How will – and how can – all these new good provisions be enforced?

Will it take a lot of costly lawsuits – or will common sense finally prevail?

What say you?

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Jan Bergemann

Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice, Florida 's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group. CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in community  

associations. He moved to Florida in 1995 - hoping to retire. He moved into a HOA, where the developer cheated the homeowners and used the association dues for his own purposes. End of retirement!


CCFJ was born in the year 2000, when some owners met in Tallahassee - finding out that power is only in numbers. Bergemann was a member of Governor Jeb Bush's HOA Task force in 2003/2004.


The organization has two websites to inform interested Florida homeowners and condo owners:

News Website:

Educational Website:

We think that only owners can really represent owners, since all service providers surely have a different interest! We are trying to create owner-friendly laws, but the best laws are useless without enforcement. And enforcement is totally lacking in Florida !

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