All a mistake. That's the explanation from the Venice condo board which recently passed language that could have kept unmarried couples from buying there. Thursday board members with Casa Di Amici voted to correct the language. To the liking of those who said it was discrimination.
"Let the minutes reflect then that the proposed amendment was approved." Thursday they're voting to correct language in a rule which said sales of condos were limited to individual or husband and wife. They now say it was just a mistake by a former law firm. Dan Lobek now represents them on the matter. "When this amendment was proposed and drafted and went out for approval from the membership it was not the intent from any members or unit owners to discriminate."
The language struck a nerve with equal rights groups. It meant gay or any other non married couples aren't welcome. Julia Nowak owns one of the 160 condos. She is also a lesbian. She's happy with the move. . "Basically I guess you could say I won my point. Discrimination is terrible in any way."
However, she says the association knew about the issue as far back as March and voted it through in July anyway. "They are claiming the attorney's messed it up. They knew what was exactly in there. I explained it to them before."
In recent weeks the issue has gotten plenty of attention. Lobeck says thanks to Nowak the board did know of the issue awhile ago but in order to save time and money on expensive documents, they wanted to pass it along with a number of other new rules and then change this particular one. "Let this go through and be completed. Look at correcting this later."
Nowak says she doesn't buy the excuse. "I don't like the idea of ratifying something into the documents just so might be able to change it later."
Whatever the reasons it's expected to change now. board members like Bill Moniz apologizing to Nowak, other owners, and the community. "We want to move on with this. We do not discriminate against anyone in Casa Di Amici."
Hoping that Casa Di Amici which stands for "House of Friends" can make amends. "This is being corrected by the association not because the law requires it but because it is the right thing to do," says Lobek.
The new language is not a done deal. Within the next 45 days the owners of all the condos will have to vote on the amendment. It will only change if the majority approve.