AUSTIN (KXAN) — A family in Round Rock is in a dispute with their homeowner’s association over a pool and water-slide built for their immunocompromised son.
Six-year-old Jonah Greene was born with a failing kidney and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and several other health conditions beginning when he was one. Due to his ongoing medical concerns, he is unable to swim in public pools.
But that doesn’t keep him from jumping in his family’s personal waterpark.
“They said he would never walk and look at him! He’s a fish, he just loves to swim,” said Jonah’s mother, Christina Greene.
Last year, a massive donation was made to the family.
The family was set up with a nearly 7-foot-tall water slide and connected waterfall which spills over massive boulders. Jonah is visibly ecstatic as he plays in the more than $100,000 gift presented to his family.
“He gets to enjoy the water now. Something he could never do while on dialysis,” Greene said. “This is his everything. He plays out here, he swims and we use it as physical therapy as well. It’s good exercise for him.”
But the Paloma Lake Homeowner’s Association notified the family, beginning last year when the additions were built, that there are several infractions. The HOA told the family that the water slide is 2.5 feet too close to the neighboring fence-line and the slide is 10 inches too tall.
Homeowners are responsible for requesting permission and providing construction details if they want to build a pool. Rick Greene, Jonah’s father, said the blueprints for the project originally fit within the HOA’s parameters.
But unforeseen problems arose during construction which led to the slide’s extra proportions.
The Association owes all residents a duty to enforce community rules. These rules are recorded in the deed records before an owner buys a home to make sure there are no surprises. Then, before building a pool, an owner must request permission and provide construction details. This process protects both the owner and the Association if the contractor does not follow the plans. In July of 2019 while the pool was being constructed, the Association learned of issues with the pool and sent a letter asking the owner to stop work. Unfortunately, the work continued. Although the Association did not cause the current problem and quickly notified the owner of the issue, the Association has cooperated with the owner on timing and has requested that the violations be cured by the end of June. By that time, the owner will have had an entire year, including the winter season, to work with his contractor to correct any mistakes. In the meantime, the pool may still be enjoyed by the owner.”Paloma Lake HOA
“I understand the rules, but there has to be exceptions every now and then,” Greene said. “This is a big deal. Just to have him here with us. The time that he has on earth is very precious.”
An attorney representing the HOA board said it had the right to issue fines to the family all along, but it still hasn’t up to this point. The family is pleading for a little grace from the board and his neighbors.
“Ask the community of our neighborhood, what do all the other neighbors say? If the mass majority says ‘Don’t give them an exception,’ than that’s what the neighborhood feels,” Rick Greene said. “So far, no one has had any objection to it.”