Residents speak out against Pasco community HOA using drones

By Saundra Weathers, Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 10:04 PM EDT

Residents of a Pasco community are speaking out against the use of a drone by the community's association, though they aren't sure they have any real say in the matter.

  • Concord Station resident notified online that HOA using drone
  • HOA's purpose in using drone unclear
  • Residents concerned about invasion of privacy

Residents of the Concord Station community said they got a notice online alerting them that the homeowners' association would be flying a test drone Tuesday. Officials with the community said a drone was used today at 200 feet instead 50 feet of because of the wind.

They also used a vehicle with a camera mounted to a car to see if that’s a better option.

Resident Joe Denuncio said he did a double take when he first heard the plan.

“I’m still confused -- I’m not sure what the drones, the purpose of the drones, what they’re using it for,” said Denuncio. “I don’t want a drone flying over my house, you know, seeing my backyard. Who knows?"

"We live in Pasco County," he continued. "I may like to sunbathe nude. I‘m sure nobody wants to see that and I don’t want to look up and see a drone over my head.”

Denuncio said he first heard about the drone flight on the community’s Facebook page. In the post there were some people who were on board with the idea, while a number of others felt the same way Denuncio does.

The people who are opposed to the drones had a number of concerns, like the invasion of their privacy and the drone shooting video in their backyards.

Resident Jeremy Baczkiewicz said he’s prepared to take action legally.

“If the drone is flying above my property, I’m going to consider that a trespass to our property and we’re going to take appropriate measures to make sure that we protect our privacy rights,” said Baczkiewicz.

Community's response

We took those concerns to Terra Management, the company that helps manage the community's homeowners' association. Company president David Felize went into some detail about what they plan to do with the footage.

“It helps us to understand all the physical characteristics of the community for the purpose of avoiding homeowner hassle later on, not to create it,” he said.

According to Felize, the HOA needs the video for documentation, because they’re no longer run by the development company. He wanted to assure residents the drone video would be a one-time thing for the HOA.

He added that communities making video diaries isn’t uncommon, but using a drone above the homes is a first for their company.

As far as privacy, he said invading it isn’t the goal.

Felize also said the video would be for the association to use, and that could possibly include using it for promotional purposes one day. He had a message for residents who might not be thrilled with that possibility.

“HOA’s are just a composite of all the people that make it up,” he said. “All of the homeowners are members. If the homeowners don’t like what the board is doing, they have a right to come to a meeting and voice that.”