(WSVN) - A big benefit of condo ownership is all the amenities, but imagine forking over hundreds of dollars in association fees for features you can’t even use. The Nightteam’s Kevin Ozebek has tonight’s 7 Investigates.
Forget taking a dip in this pool. Ducks are wading, trash is floating and a motorbike is peeking out of the green, murky water.
Levi Rosenfeld, Fountainview resident: “I actually moved down here from New York to enjoy the sun, but instead, it is clear that if I want to enjoy the sun, I have to go to the beach.”
And you probably won’t want to throw a party in the nearby clubhouse.
“This used to be where the pool table used to be.”
Instead of game tables, there is garbage, and lots of it.
Tony Miller, 7News photographer: “Oh, my God, it smells so bad.”
The stench is unbearable for 7News Photographer Tony Miller and condo owner Alejandra Zapata.
Alejandra Zapata, Fountainview resident: “Every time I come out at 6 or 7 in the morning to go to work, you get a smell of feces, of human feces.”
Alejandra bought her unit here at the Fountainview Condos in North Miami 18 years ago. Here’s what the pool looked like then compared to now.
Alejandra Zapata: “This used to be very pretty, a really nice pool area.”
In the past few years, she and other owners say this common area has gone downhill.
They’ve caught homeless people sleeping in the clubhouse, and when we looked inside, we spotted plates of food and a bed with stuffed animals.
Levi Rosenfeld: “Everyday we have to call the cops on them ’cause people are crashing over there, camping over there, crapping over there.”
Dario Malchiodi, Fountainview resident: “I’d like to see this taken care of or even torn down.”
There are five buildings here at Fountainview, each with its own association and president. The pool and clubhouse belong to all five buildings, but board members tell us off camera for the past few years, the five presidents could not agree on how to fix the problems.
Alejandra Zapata: “I want to see change.”
But now, change is happening. After Alejandra reached out to 7 Investigates, we reached out to the county. It had already placed liens and fines on the property, but now, it declared the Fountainview an emergency case and will send a team to “board up the clubhouse and drain and cover the pool” if the associations do not do it themselves.
And the Florida Department of Health has posted these signs declaring the pool a threat to safety.
Alejandra Zapata: “I am very excited that we are finally getting a voice, that we’re actually getting something done. I think because Channel 7 got involved.”
But even better, just this week, the five association presidents signed off on this proposal to demolish the pool and clubhouse. Owners are overjoyed.
Levi Rosenfeld: “Clearly, as soon as you guys got on the job, all of the sudden, we will demolish, as everybody had wanted to do.”
Alejandra Zapata: “I want to thank you guys for everything.”
So now, after years of staring at this eyesore, demolition could be just weeks away.
Miami-Dade County says it is now moving forward to hire a contractor to secure the clubhouse and pool until they can be demolished.
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