Homeowner's Puerto Rican flag can stay up for now, HOA reviewing its policies
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - A homeowner of the Rolling Hills Estates is happy to hear her home owner’s association is reviewing its policies, after she brought them into question over a flag flying outside her home.
United States Army veteran and Puerto Rico native Frances Santiago is proud to have the attention of her community’s HOA. Earlier in August, the HOA asked her to remove the Puerto Rican flag or be fined. Santiago has since been fighting the issue because the HOA’s bylaws don’t specify which flags are prohibited.
“I think that it’s time to review everything and update everything,” said Frances Santiago, concerned citizen, “everything should be in writing, that’s why I’m fighting.”
The HOA sending Santiago a letter reading in part, “Your request has highlighted some challenges to our current governing documents.” It continues, “The board will be reviewing these issues to fully determine how to best address the issues of flags in the community.” The board informing Santiago it does not intend to take any action against her, at this time.
“I’m at ease because I don’t face a fine right now but let’s see how this goes,” said Santiago.
Santiago is urging the board to make the rules clear and equal, so no one can misinterpret their decisions.
“We live in a community that is very diverse, there are a lot of people here from other states, other countries, so that helps stopping a lot of problems,” said Santiago.
The homeowner hopes the HOA seeks resident input before updating the bylaws.
“If you’re gonna change a rule, you should do it openly, so everybody knows what’s gonna happen and everybody should have a vote in it,” said Santiago.
Santiago believes doing so could ensure this issue never happens again.
“Creating a rule that is equal for everybody, you know that if they say something it’s because it’s written down and is for everybody not because you’re from here or somewhere else,” said Santiago.
The HOA’s letter also remind Santiago this issue is nothing personal to her or to the Puerto Rican flag.
The News Station requested an interview with the Association President but was told the matter is being addressed within the community and the board has no further comment.