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The only good thing about a Central Florida Homeowner Association’s proposed ban on letting kids play outside is that it has caused so much outrage. The Persimmon Place HOA’s new list of proposed rules includes no running, no playing tag, and no “act[ing] boisterously on the association property.”

That’s not to mention no playing at all in “common areas” or parking lots. And children must be “under the direct control of a responsible adult at all times.”

What happens to kids who break the rules? Their families could get slapped with a $100 fine.

HOA board member Kim Scott said of residents with children, “They came in and rented (a home) in a community that does not have a playground and is not conducive to children. Then they expect the children to play in the driveways and parking lot. You wouldn't see them playing in the parking lot at Walmart or Kmart, but they come here and turn the children loose.”

The proposed ban is not only ridiculous, it may even be illegal, since it discriminates against families with kids. As long as children are allowed at Persimmon Place, the HOA should seek to accommodate, not restrict, their right to play. Let's tell Kim Scott and other HOA members to scrap this outrageous ban.

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Letter to
Persimmon Place HOA Board Member Kim Scott
Field Office Director of the Orlando HUD Office Paul C. Ausley
I am writing in the hopes that your HOA will not follow through on its proposed ban prohibiting children from playing in common areas and "acting boisterously" on your property. The proposal not only discriminates against families, but it restricts an activity that is vital to the health and happiness of children.

Instead of keeping kids indoors, or burdening parents by requiring adult supervision at all times (yes, toddlers should be supervised, but kids in their later elementary school years are perfectly capable of playing outdoors on their own), I ask that you consider alternatives to accommodate, not restrict, a child's right to play.

Please further understand that children need to play to work off excess energy, and this includes running and acting "boisterously." I am certain that you and your HOA can work out a compromise that allows for this behavior while not unduly aggravating adults in the community.

Do not criminalize your neighborhood children. Outdoor play is not only natural, but absolutely necessary.

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