Dana Pogar will be getting an early Christmas present from her homeowners association this year.
The Gilbert 5-year-old’s parents, Joel and Kerri Pogar, have settled a lawsuit filed against the Power Ranch Community Association in September after they were forced to remove a 12-foot-tall play set from their back yard.
The Pogars took down the set after receiving several "nasty-grams" from the association, they said, and then sued after it reappeared in a neighbor’s yard.
Joel Pogar said Friday the family has reached an agreement with the HOA allowing them to put a new play set in their yard. Pogar would not say whether the association will foot the entire bill for the $4,300 structure, but he did say he is happy with the settlement.
He hopes to have the new set in place by Thanksgiving.
"We came to an agreement that was amicable to both sides," Pogar said. "My daughter is really happy."
Pogar sold the original play set to a neighborhood landscaper who in turn sold it to the neighbor. He said the HOA acted unfairly because several families in the area have similar sets clearly visible from the street, but none received violation notices until he threatened to sue.
Residents Angie and Dave Buchholz received a violation notice in September for their 12-foot set — after the Pogars filed their lawsuit.
Angie Buchholz said when the family moved into their home in March 2002, they approached the association for permission to put up the set, even though the association’s covenants, codes and restrictions allow a maximum height of 10 feet.
The association sent them a letter instructing them to "obtain your neighbor’s approval of the canopy height," which the Buchholzes said they did.
But 18 months later, the family received a letter stating they needed to get more neighbors’ signatures. One refused to sign.
Now that the lawsuit is settled, Jeff Corben of the Carpenter Hazelwood PLC law firm said the HOA has agreed not to pursue any action against the Pogars, the Buchholzes or any other play set owners.
"If they’re happy, the association is happy," he said.