South Bay homeowner said HOA wrongly towed his car

HOA said there are rules about parking

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A South Bay homeowner contacted Team 10, saying his homeowner’s association towed his car even though he has parked in the same spot for years.

Cecilio Nazareno has lived in the Rolling Hills Ranch community since 2005. “It’s a nice neighborhood,” Nazareno said.

He has never had any problems with his HOA until recently. Navarro went on vacation with his wife late last year for a couple weeks.

He parked his car in front of his home, but when he returned it was gone. “We were shocked because my car… was missing,” Nazareno said.

He thought it was stolen, but when he contacted property management, someone told him it was towed. “The person that I talked to knew it was my car. [He] said we towed your car because it was abandoned,” Nazareno said.

The bill was more than $600. “It’s a lot of money for me, especially being retired,” the military veteran said.

Navarro said there were two warnings on his windshield, but he obviously did not see it since he was out of the country. “Give us time to correct it. While you're on vacation and your car is parked, you don't have time,” Nazareno said.

Team 10 contacted the property management company and got a response from Rolling Hills Ranch Community Association. General Manager Haley Murphy cited a rule that said certain vehicles cannot “remain parked on any street adjacent to the Property for more than twenty-four (24) continuous hours.”

However, Team 10 found the rule was for oversized vehicles, not regular sized cars.

Murphy then pointed out a different rule: “Any vehicles which would be considered abandoned over 72 hours are subject to regulations… and vehicles that can’t be driven must be kept in the garage or removed.” “I said, how can you say abandoned? I used that car and parked here since 2005,” Nazareno said.

“When I was in the military I would leave it here for weeks on out.” Team 10 asked why Navarro was being towed now.

Murphy would not answer that specific question, but cited yet another rule that said: “Any vehicle parked for more than 72 hours in the same space is subject to tow with no further notice.” Murphy said that because he lives in “the gated section of the community with private streets,” there are additional restrictions on parking. Nazareno said he, along with several of his neighbors, have never seen this rule.

Attorney Dan Zimberoff is not affiliated with the case, but sees a lot of issues similar to Nazareno’s situation. “It’s really the three P’s you see a lot. Pets, poop, and parking,” Zimberoff said.

He said it is in the interest of both sides to resolve issues before it goes to court. One way is mediation. There are both formal and informal processes.

Nazareno no longer has the car, but still hopes for his money back. “For those board members and for those managers that are out there that spend a lot of time trying to get that homeowner, really, if they spent half the resources and the time on trying to build community, then everyone would be in a better position,” Zimberoff said.

Murphy would not give Team 10 the total number of vehicles towed, but wrote “the Association has always employed a security company to monitor common area property and perform parking enforcement.”

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