By Jan Bergemann

Published July 12, 2013


One could fill pages about all the law suits that have been filed over “pick-up trucks” and where and if they can be parked in community associations. It seems to be a never-ending dispute.


Before starting to argue about pick-up trucks being commercial trucks, just make sure you understand that the chassis of a pick-up truck is more or less the same as that of an SUV – they just look different. Does that make an SUV a truck? And, make no mistake, nowadays many folks don’t buy pick-ups for commercial purposes – they just feel that a pick-up truck is fun driving -- or pulling their boat!


The most important court ruling about parking of pick-up trucks and association rules is in my opinion the court case of Eagles Master Association, Inc. v. Vizzi in 2008, later affirmed by the Second District Court of Appeals in 2010.

[ http://www.ccfjfoundation.net/CourtFlEaglesMasterCCSummJudgm.pdf ]

The issue: What commercial truck can really be considered “commercial”? 


You know the old saying: “What looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck – is a duck!” It seems that doesn’t always work with pick-up trucks – because nowadays many folks are using pick-up trucks for daily transportation, not just for commercial purposes.


And even the fact that a truck (or in this case a Hummer) displays advertising for a company doesn’t mean a court will consider it a commercial vehicle. Paul Wean, specialized association attorney from Orlando, and Susan Carpenter, a well-known CAM and the registered agent for the association at the time when the lawsuit was filed, cheered on the board of the Turtle Creek Homeowners' Association in Orlando, a community they both resided in, when the board decided to go after the owner of a Hummer, who parked his vehicle in his driveway. The board sued, claiming that it is a commercial vehicle, violating the association’s deed-restrictions, because it clearly displayed advertising -- "Tireflys lights for your wheels" was written on the sides of the vehicle.

[ See: http://www.ccfj.net/HOAFLTurtleCreeklawsuit.html ]

I guess these folks were surprised to see this lawsuit going “up in flames” – ending in a crushing defeat for the association in court -- to the tune of $57,111.50 -- not counting the association’s own legal fees.


That clearly leaves the question: When is a commercial truck really commercial? It seems judges have different opinions about the interpretation of the words “commercial vehicles” than some board members and their attorneys. The word "REASONABLE" plays a big role in these interpretations.


That leaves the most important question: Is it really worth going after these “violators” – even if the truck (or Hummer) in question is a perfectly good-looking vehicle that often just doesn’t fit in the garage?


And I guess that is especially the question asked by the owners in the Eagles Master Association in Tampa , whose board spent an estimated $380,000 of association funds in legal fees, just to prevent an owner from parking his pick-up truck in the driveway. The board’s attempt to prevent Vizzi from parking his Ford F-350 in his driveway ended in a crushing – and very expensive – defeat in two courts.

[ http://www.ccfj.net/HOAFLPickUpLegalFees.html ]


Was it really worth spending this kind of money to find out when a “commercial truck” is not really commercial and can't be parked in the driveway? Does anyone honestly believes that a good-looking pick-up truck parked in a driveway seriously reduces the property values of the homes and parcels in this community?

All fields are mandatory!

Select your rating:           



characters left

Powered by Citricle

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 !

Join the 

CCFJ Email List

For Email Marketing you can trust