Parents say new restriction takes some fun out of summer
posted by: Dan Boniface written by: Dave Delozier
LAFAYETTE – Eagle Place Townhomes is a community where you will find a lot of children. Bicycles, scooters and children’s toys are common on patios. What you don’t see as much of anymore is children playing outside.
“We got, on our door, a letter that stated that the children cannot be outside unsupervised,” resident Cindy Paterno said.
Paterno has lived at the Eagle Place Townhomes for almost two years. Her three children all like to play outside.
“It is just making it really difficult for them to enjoy themselves,” Paterno said.
The letter Paterno found on her door was given to all the residents of the community.
The letter stated: “All children are required to be supervised at all times. Not only have we had children injured recently while not being supervised, but the unsupervised children are also vandalizing our property. This will no longer be tolerated.”
Residents like Craig Root, who has two daughters ages 5 and 8 are upset by the change.
“It made us upset to hear that our kids wouldn’t be allowed to play with one another without having a parent five feet from their side all the time,” Root said.
Since receiving the letter, he has tried to accompany his daughters outside to play as often as possible, but during the summer months it can be difficult.
“They’re being cooped up in a house during the summertime when it is beautiful outside. You know it is rough on them,” Root said.
The letter from Eagle Place Townhomes concluded with, “Each time we find a child unattended they will be instructed to go home until an adult can accompany them outside.”
9NEWS made repeated efforts to contact Riverstone Residential for a response to the concerns by residents, but we were told the spokesperson for the company was not available.
It is the opinion of 9NEWS legal analyst Scott Robinson this restriction is possibly a violation of amendments to the Federal Fair Housing Act. That act protects residents against discrimination based on family status.
The act does allow for restrictions based on health, safety and welfare. That is why there can be age restrictions at swimming pools for unattended minors. However, in the opinion of Robinson, it is unlikely a reasonable person would find similar safety concerns in common play areas.
9NEWS inquired with another legal firm specializing in housing law and they shared Robinson’s opinion that this restriction possibly violates the amendments to the Federal Fair Housing Act.