BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The Spanish Isles Homeowner’s Association repeatedly warned the Palm Beach County School District and Whispering Pines Elementary School that land directly in front of the school belongs to the HOA and must not be used for parking.
When the warnings were ignored, the HOA voted to authorize a towing company to remove cars. Towing signs were installed in front of Whispering Pines Elementary School Friday afternoon.
“The school board was aware of this,” said Spanish Isles HOA Secretary Joe McTague — an attorney who does not represent his board but was authorized to speak to BocaNewsNow.com. “They were put on constructive notice.”
At issue is a significant piece of land that runs the entire length of Whispering Pines Elementary School, directly in front of the school. Property records confirm that the Spanish Isles Homeowner’s Association owns the land, even though it is across the street from the Spanish Isles development.
School personnel, aides, and parents have parked on this grassy area for years if not decades. Principal Barbara Riemer — even after the school district was reportedly notified of the issue — continued to instruct parents to park on the grass. With the school locked down during the day, there is no other place for cars. The school abuts the busy Lyons Road.
The Spanish Isles Homeowner’s Association recently underwent a bankruptcy reorganization. Now on its own, with a brand new board, the HOA says it’s standing up for what’s right.
“Over the past couple of years (traffic and parking have) become a nightmare,” said McTague. Now that we have a Board, we are trying to respond accordingly.”
Whispering Pines was built for a few hundred students in the early 1980s. Enrollment is now near 1000.
The towing signs, installed Friday afternoon, were removed Monday morning. The HOA has no idea who took them or why they’re down. The Palm Beach County School District did not respond immediately to a request for comment. PBSO had a deputy in front of the school for much of Monday morning.
As for the end game, McTague said there is no demand at this point other than for parking and traffic to be brought under control.
“We may not be able to do something about the traffic,” said McTague, “but we are able to do something about the parking.”
Whispering Pines parents remain confused. Principal Barbara Riemer has not provided alternate parking plans to parents who first heard from her in a robocall Sunday evening, more than 48 hours after the towing signs were installed.