Jewish residents of a complex of homes believe they are being mistreated due to their religion.
The Boca Raton West Shul is roughly a two-mile from the Avalon neighborhood in Boca.
Before a neighbor installed a gate into his fence and allowed shulgoers to utilize it as a shortcut, Orthodox families had to travel a considerable distance.
Around a dozen Orthodox families are at the Avalon, and the gate has made the walk more accessible.
However, a few months after it was put in place, the Homeowners’ Association filed a lawsuit against the homeowners, alleging the gate presents a security issue because it adds a second point of entry to the semi-private neighborhood.
Residents, however, told the CBS12 News channel that the “security worry” is unfounded.
One local remarked, “You have homes with no fences, homes with short fences, and homes with metal fences.”
In reality, the television crew saw other residences in other places without any fences while also discovering short and damaged fences on the same side of the complex.
According to the neighbors, the gate being utilized by Shabbos observers is safely locked when not in use.
Another resident added, “Once we discovered this wasn’t anything new to the neighborhood and only Orthodox Jews were utilizing it, we knew it was more than just, ‘Oh, you can’t make a change to your property.'”
No improvements shall be built, installed, painted, erected, removed, planted, or maintained on or on any lot if the same shall be visible outside of such lot, according to a section of Avalon’s bylaws addressing gates and fences.
Outside of the property, it is impossible to see the gate.
One neighbor questioned, “Why is it so commonly accepted that we can voice worry for Orthodox families, but if you substitute that with Muslim families or African American families or put ethnicity here, there would be an immediate crisis call to the media.
Guy Shir, the lawyer who brought the lawsuit, was contacted by CBS12 to find out whether or not properties with minimal or no fencing are also being sued. They also questioned which ordinances the gate breaks.
Shir promised to answer the queries in reply, but weeks later, he still hasn’t.
The walkway and the gate are currently being used by about a dozen Orthodox Jews, according to an anonymous letter written to a nearby complex shortly after the case was filed.
The letterer claimed to live in Avalon and warned that more would move in if it weren’t stopped.
On Friday, the homeowners’ association board announced that an ADL complaint had been made, that the board had spoken with the ADL, and that the problem had since been resolved.
No more information was provided.
Meanwhile, they have declared that the issue of whether gates should be allowed on the perimeter of the complex will be resolved by residents’ vote this week.