SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Thousands of San Diegans pay monthly fees to a homeowners association that's supposed to maintain their neighborhood, but a group of Tierrasanta residents says their HOA's plan to beautify their area is getting them surprise bills.
The Villa Portofino development is picturesque with winding paths and green trees, but many of its fences have been in disrepair for years. A project to replace them about seven years ago never finished because of money issues.
Last year, residents approved a controversial proposal to install fences made of fake wood. The catch? An incremental fee increase.
But it's not so simple.
Now, some say they're getting surprised by extra bills in the mail. One requiring $125 to drill through concrete to install fences for their homes. Other residents say the bills were above board.
Shaun Kiever doesn't even know when his fence will get replaced, though his fees already went up.
"Termite inspectors come around, and they've looked at the area and said they're not great quality," Kiever said. "They're being eaten alive from the inside."
Chuck Dayton, the HOA president, said the vote passed by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.
He said the board tried to make homeowners aware of any potential extra charges, but some aren't discovered until work starts on the 45-year-old homes.
Dayton said residents get a notice with instructions on how to dispute the charges with the bill.
Some residents purposely didn't vote to keep the turnout low enough so the HOA couldn't legally move on any of the options, but that effort failed, and now the fences are going up.