In a decision that could have a positive impact on an association’s ability to enforce its parking restrictions, last week Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal finally issued its ruling in the case of Kuvin v. City of Coral Gables. Although the case involved a municipality’s right to enforce parking restrictions, much of the reasoning in the decision could be applicable to community associations as well.
Because community associations are not political subdivisions, an association would not be held to the stricter analysis the court applied to the City of Coral Gables. In the opinion, the court upheld the City of Coral Gables’ restrictive ordinance concerning trucks and stated that:
“The City may constitutionally pass ordinances to enhance or maintain the aesthetic appeal of the community and to protect the City’s residential neighborhoods against the lingering presence of commercial-looking vehicles.”
While an association’s ability to regulate the community on aesthetic grounds is generally acceptable if provided for in the association’s governing documents, and subject to other statutory provisions (such as Section 720.3035, Florida Statutes, in regard to homeowner associations), this ruling appears to extend the ability to regulate due to aesthetics to parking as well. The exact wording of your association’s documents in regard to parking would have to be reviewed to determine if the Kuvin case would be beneficial. Furthermore, whether such parking restrictions appear in the association’s declaration or by-laws, as opposed to a rule passed by the association board, may also be a factor in determining the enforceability.
No matter what your feelings are about the appeal of trucks, this case will certainly be used by associations looking to uphold parking restrictions based on aesthetic considerations in the future.