Military family fights for access to neighborhood pool
JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - Two military veterans and their young daughters may be locked out of their neighborhood pool on the July 4th holiday. The reason? Their homeowners association said they don't have the right to have full access.
"My husband is like 'who are they trying to keep out of here?'" Judy Denker said. "Two veterans and two children. What are we going to do to the pool?"
Denker and her husband, Darren Denker, moved to Jeffersonville from Hickam Air Force Base near Honolulu after they were medically retired from the Air Force. They left behind the beach but hopefully not all the fun for their two daughters, 1-year-old Lanikai and 3-year-old London.
[THURSDAY AT 6: Find out if your ideas will solve the Denkers' pool problem]
"I like water," London said while playing in a rain puddle on the side of the road after a morning rain storm.
Right now that puddle is as close as she can get even though there's a swimming pool right behind their home.
The couple leased a three-bedroom home in Country Club Estates off Charlestown Pike last fall. Denker said the family stretched their budget, paying $1,800 a month, all because the leasing agent told them they would have full access to the subdivision pool.
"They gave us a key that said 'pool key,'" Denker said.
But when she and the girls showed up opening weekend, someone had changed the locks.
"I feel like they changed the locks because of us," she said.
The Country Club Estates Homeowners Association said giving the Denker family unrestricted access to the pool was against its rules and regulations. The rules state: pool access requires the "presence of an owner." When they signed those rules, the Denkers thought they would be given those privileges, in large part because homeowners association fees are included in their monthly payment.
One homeowner association member, who would not tell us her name, said the HOA doesn't see it that way.
"The rule is that the pool is for the owners of the homes," the HOA member said.
She told us to talk to the president of the homeowners association, Glen Driskell.
"Bylaws are bylaws," Driskell said. "Rules are rules."
"Do you want to clean the feces out of the pool, because that's what I would have to do," he said.
The owner of the property is now offering to cover any damages caused by the Denkers in return for the family getting full access to the pool. They're still waiting on the HOA's response to that offer.
In the meantime, Judy and the girls can enter the pool as a homeowners guest, but only if that homeowner is there to supervise.
"We have more respect for other people's property than most," Denker said.
Respect the family learned through years of military service. Not enough to keep them from being on the outside, looking in, on the Fourth of July.
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