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Court Rules Against Neighbors in Feud over Skateboard Ramp

August 11, 1989

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ A homeowners’ association that allows basketball backboards, treehouses and swing sets has no right to ban skateboard ramps, an appeals court ruled.

The Hanover Woods Homeowners Association, pointing to its rules prohibiting ″obnoxious or offensive″ activity, sued Roy Lathan and his family last year after he built a skateboard ramp to reward his sons, Roy Jr., now 17, and Jason, now 13, for making their schools’ honor rolls.

Circuit Judge S. Joseph Davis Jr. told the Lathans to tear down the 10-foot ramp, and the Lake Mary family complied. But Lathan appealed, believing ″we were being discriminated against.″

On Thursday, the 5th District Court of Appeal agreed.

″In height, the ramp does not exceed a basketball backboard, and it is closer to the ground than a treehouse,″ Chief Judge Winifred Sharp wrote. ″A large swing set is wider. A playhouse or treehouse is more complex in structure.″

Lathan said Thursday he had spent more than $10,000 on legal costs during the past two years, and he hopes to recover those costs from the homeowners’ association.

″I’ll get it all back,″ he said. ″If I think I’m right, I’ll go to the wall.″

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