Town of Troy trampoline issue causes turmoilAt first glance it appears to be a run-of-the-mill squabble between residents and a homeowners association. But when the neighborhood is very upscale and a law suit develops over a modestly priced piece of playground equipment it’s a bit more unusual.
By: Jon Echternacht, Hudson Star-Observer
At first glance it appears to be a run-of-the-mill squabble between residents and a homeowners association. But when the neighborhood is very upscale and a law suit develops over a modestly priced piece of playground equipment it’s a bit more unusual.
Records in the St. Croix County treasurer’s office shows the neighborhood in the Troy Burne Golf Course area to be liberally dotted with homes ranging in value from about $600,000 to over $1 million, according to 2008 assessments.
Nevertheless, the $700 trampoline has generated a law suit filed in circuit court by Troy Village Homeowners Association Inc. against Andrew and Joylynn Auderieth, owners of the property at 252 St. Anne’s Parkway who installed the piece of equipment.
The lawsuit alleges the Auderieths violated an association covenant by locating the apparatus within 20 feet of all common lot lines.
The Auderieths maintain the location of the trampoline was approved by officials who were only concerned about sightlines and never mentioned the 20-foot setback requirement.
“The trampoline sits about 4 feet off a lot line against a wall of trees planted by the neighbors,” Andrew Auderieth said during a telephone conversation last week. “The reason we chose the location was because it was totally hidden.”
Andrew said it was necessary to build a retaining wall to provide level ground for the trampoline. He wanted to make sure once he started the landscaping work, it would be OK.
He argued that on June 5 the board approved his plans with only the condition that “reasonable sight lines be approved after installation,” according to court documents.
On June 9 at about 9 a.m. Auderieth started the landscape work when things apparently took a left turn.
At about 10 a.m. Michael Colloton, president of the five-member board of the homeowners association, ordered the landscapers to halt saying there was no authority to install a trampoline, court records said.
“I have no idea what happened,” said Andrew. “There are a number of other formal procedures that have been implemented, including fines and liens, to remedy a situation other than a lawsuit.”
The lawsuit was filed on July 13. Judge Edward F. Vlack will hear the case. Mark J. Gherty of Hudson represents the homeowners association. Roman Blaschko of St. Paul represents the Auderieths.
“The residents are 95 percent behind us,” said Joylynn Auderieth.
Andrew Auderieth, 33, said he bought the trampoline at a discount warehouse store with a coupon for his two children who will turn 5 and 7 years old in October.
One member of the association wants to hear all the details first. “We didn’t know about it (law suit) until it happened. Why isn’t this out in the open?” said Olga Zender.
“I want to hear both parties and I think the homeowners association (members) should vote on it,” she said.
When contacted, Colloton declined to talk about the situation. “We have been advised by our attorney not to comment,” he said.
A scheduling conference in the case has been set for Sept. 29.