By Jan Bergemann

Published October  6, 2017


Even if you didn’t suffer any damages to your property from the recent hurricane, mark my words: You’ll pay for it – latest when your insurance premiums will go up significantly!


Every time there is a hurricane hitting Florida – or parts of it – we see mainly the same kind of problems: Flooding, damage to homes hit by trees and lightly built homes with wind damage.


Here is my take on it: We will see this problem as long as the State of Florida still allows new buildings to be built in zones where flooding is unavoidable, allowing lightly-built homes to be erected and have tree-huggers call the shots on not allowing homeowners to remove dangerous trees to be properly pruned or removed.


When you watch the pictures after the hurricane, you’ll see more or less the same problem areas: Flooded areas, now including new homes which didn’t exist the last time that area was flooded. Our building department still allows new homes – and condominium buildings -- to be built in streets that will flood every time there is a storm – or even just very heavy rain.


You’ll see houses damaged – especially here in Central Florida – by big old oak trees that finally succumbed to all kinds of tree-diseases and bugs! But the “tree experts” from cities and counties will fight you all the way, if you, as a property owner, ask for permission to remove a tree endangering your home. And some cities and counties have made it an extra source of income burdening homeowners with high costs of tree removal permits. Common sense: non existing!


And as much as I can understand that there are families who can’t afford to own a home built like a bunker of the Atlantic Wall, it makes little sense to me when lightly-built homes are erected, over and over again, with the knowledge that the next storm will flatten it again.


I am not against the idea of every family having the right to own their own home, but I surely can’t understand why that has to happen at the expense of all the neighbors whose property insurance will go up every times these homes get flooded and/or destroyed every time we have a hurricane here in Florida.

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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: http://www.ccfj.net/.

Educational Website: http://www.ccfjfoundation.net/.

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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