Gilbert couple suing HOA

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

GILBERT, Ariz. -- A Gilbert couple are suing their homeowners association in part for violating fair housing laws.

Stephen Vroman is confined to a wheelchair and in order to stay healthy he needs to exercise. His doctors agree that given his disability aqua therapy is the best form of exercise.

"It was great for weight-bearing muscles and bones and stretching out and everything," Vroman said.

He was able to put in a backyard swimming pool in his Gilbert-area home, but due to complications he needed to make some addtional modifications to the yard.

"I needed a shade structure because I was having trouble with autonomic dysreflexia," he said.

Vroman told 3TV the disease affects his body's ability to regulate its temperature and if not carefully monitored it could lead to a stroke.

In order to help him transition from inside temperatures to outside and then into the pool, he started building a shade structure in 2012.

"Made sure it was architecturally sound and also that it matched the home," he said.

He even made sure to get all the building permits necessary from the Town of Gilbert and have an inspector come out.

Vroman said he thought he was doing everything right until a few months into the project.

"We got a note on our door saying some of the neighbors didn't care for it and we were caught a little bit off guard by that, they also said that it was a setback rule it needed to be 10 feet away from the actual back fence," he said.

That note came from the Coronado Ranch Homeowners Association.

The Vromans admit they did not seek HOA approval before starting construction but once they were contacted they say they put the project on pause in order to get approval. They did not get it.

After appealing the board's denial and filing a complaint with the Attorney General's Office last year the Vromans said this has dragged on long enough, leaving them no choice but to file suit.

"I have suffered extremely not only physically but emotionally," Vroman said.

Their attorney, Roger Wood, said they are asking a judge to allow them to leave the structure in place and complete it.

"The law says that when you have a disability and you have a need like Steve has that you can ask for a reasonable modification to what the normal rules would allow," Wood said.

3TV reached out to the Attorney General's Office seeking comment on this case, a spokesperson said they do not comment on open complaints.

Our call to the Coronado HOA Board president was not returned.