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Suit on property upkeep dropped

A homeowner says the Meadow Pointe association has addressed his complaints on its maintenance.

By BRIDGET HALL GRUMET, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 4, 2003

DADE CITY -- Disgruntled Meadow Pointe homeowner Daniel Portalatin has dropped his month-old lawsuit against his neighborhood association, saying the group has agreed to better maintain his property and his Wesley Chapel community.

"Basically, they asked me to put a list together of things that I felt should have been addressed," Portalatin said Monday. "We came to an agreement, and as a result, I dropped the lawsuit."

Portalatin filed the suit Jan. 31 against H.S.I. Properties and association manager Colin Stutesman, who he said had "willfully ignored my complaints to properly maintain my landscaping, sprinklers and street." Portalatin also said Stutesman had failed to maintain security gates, provide adequate trash bins or oversee repairs.

"When I filed the lawsuit, a week later they fixed the gates, they started mulching and they began to clean up the neighborhood," he said.

"I think the lawsuit gave them a kick in the butt," he added.

As part of the agreement reached last week, Portalatin said, the association will regularly replace the mulch in homeowners' yards, touch up the paint on their homes and address other complaints, such as leaky roofs.

Portalatin isn't out of the courthouse yet, however.

He joined seven other homeowners last year in suing Sedgwick Developers, a subsidiary of Premier Design Homes, accusing it of building homes that have leaky roofs, defective appliances and other shortcomings.

Sedgwick has also sued Portalatin, saying he is hurting the company's reputation by falsely accusing the builders of shoddy worksmanship.

Both lawsuits are pending.

-- Bridget Hall Grumet can be reached at 352-521-5757 ext. 23 or toll-free at 1-800-333-7505, ext. 6108, then 23. Her e-mail address is bhall@sptimes.com .

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