Princeton Meadows HOA Locked in Pool Battle

The final holiday weekend of summer means cooling off in the water for many, but homeowners in the North Texas community of Princeton Meadows don’t want to go near the neighborhood pool. In fact, they could not get in if they wanted to. 

A chain and padlock secure the gate and a bright red City of Princeton violation notice is taped to the front. A glance beyond the gate tells you why. The pool is a deep green algae color with a thick film floating on he surface. 

"I'm upset. I'm angry. I've got a daughter and we'd like to be able to swim in there," homeowner Zach Hightower said.

"There's a green film on the top now and with the mosquito issues we've been having who knows what's capable of next," said another homeowner, Jerry Williamson.

Both Hightower and Williamson have lived in this community for two years. Williamson loves the neighborhood and plans to retire here but says the pool is just the latest issue and the home owners organization is to blame.

"That one board member is also the managing agent for the HOA, makes all financial decisions, has all access to financials. It's just not acceptable," said Williamson.

People who own here pay more than $500 a year in HOA fees. Many of the nearly 220 other homeowners feel they are not getting their money's worth because of issues with common areas and of course the current pool situation.

"It frustrates me. I pay my dues which compared to other neighborhoods are fairly expensive and the only thing we have to maintain is the pool and we can't seem to do it," said Hightower.

Earlier this summer the community got together to remove the HOA manager and demand financial records to see where their money is going.

A YouTube video showed the boisterous debate between 70 households and HOA manager Barbara Palmer, as they voted her out. She has refused to step down.

"So we filed suit in JP court which is what the Texas Property code says you have to do if you're filing suit for records. We were awarded that judgment and still we have not seen any of the backup information that we've requested," explained homeowner Lisa Caldwell.

NBC 5 spoke with HOA manager Barbara Palmer on the phone. She says there isn't money to pay for the pool upkeep because some homeowners have stopped paying assessments. Plus there have been lawyer and accounting fees due to the lawsuit. 

She has agreed to hand over financial documents for the HOA, but before doing so has presented the homeowners with a $15,000 bill for duplicating the documents.

"We just want transparency is all we want," said Williamson. A request echoed by other homeowners who spoke on the issue.

So for now the battle is at a standstill which makes the pool a visual metaphor for a very stagnate situation.

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