RONALD G. LENZI, Appellant,
THE REGENCY TOWER ASSOCIATION, INC., Appellee.
final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit,
Broward County; David A. Haimes, Judge; L.T. Case No. CACE
Arslanian, Hollywood, for appellant.
M. Fiala of Vernis & Bowling of Palm Beach, P.A., North
Palm Beach, and Jeffrey Green of Kaye Bender Rembaum, P.L.,
Pompano Beach, for appellee.
Ronald Lenzi appeals the trial court's final judgment in
favor of appellee The Regency Tower Association, Inc.
("the Association"). Appellant argues that the
trial court misinterpreted the declaration of condominium
("the Declaration") by holding that the Declaration
enabled the Board of Directors of the Association ("the
Board") to unilaterally make any alterations to the
common areas of the property. We reject Appellant's
arguments and affirm.
owned a condominium at Regency Tower. In late 2016, the Board
voted to alter the flooring in the lobby of the condominium
building from Carrara marble to ceramic tile. In response,
Appellant filed a petition for arbitration attempting to
overturn the Board's decision. Appellant argued that
because the Declaration did not include a separate provision
detailing the procedure for approving "material"
alterations, section 718.113(2)(a), Florida Statutes (2016)
precluded the Association from unilaterally making this
material alteration. Section 718.113(2)(a) provides that if a
declaration "does not specify the procedure for approval
of material alterations or substantial additions, 75 percent
of the total voting interests of the association must approve
the alterations or additions." Id.
Association disagreed and filed a motion to dismiss for
failure to state a cause of action. It explained that the
Declaration was not silent since Article XIX, titled
"Right of Association to Alter and Improve Property and
Assessment Therefor, " stated that the Association had
the power to make "such alterations or improvements to
the COMMON PROPERTY" with merely the approval of the
Board. The arbitrator agreed with the Association, and held
that the phrase "such alterations or improvements"
was broad and encompassed material alterations.
alternative redress, Appellant filed suit in the trial court,
making the same argument that he made in the arbitration. In
response, the Association filed a motion for judgment on the
pleadings, again arguing that the complaint failed to state a
cause of action. The trial court granted this motion, and
entered final judgment in favor of the Association.
trial court's interpretation of a condominium's
declaration is . . . reviewed de novo." Courvoisier
Courts, LLC v. Courvoisier Courts Condo. Ass'n,
Inc., 105 So.3d 579, 580 (Fla. 3d DCA 2012).
construing the language of a contract, courts are to be
mindful that 'the goal is to arrive at a reasonable
interpretation of the text of the entire agreement to
accomplish its stated meaning and purpose.'"
Murley v. Wiedamann, 25 So.3d 27, 29 (Fla. 2d DCA
2009) (quoting Taylor v. Taylor, 1 So.3d 348, 350
(Fla. 1st DCA 2009)).
718.113(2)(a) states that "there shall be no material
alteration or substantial additions to the common elements or
to real property which is association property, except in a
manner provided in the declaration as originally recorded or
as amended under the procedures provided therein."
Id. It is undisputed that the lobby is a common
element of the condominium, and that replacing the flooring
as proposed was a material alteration. The issue before us is
whether Article XIX of the Declaration "specif[ies] [a]
procedure" the Association must follow to make
"material" alterations to the common property.
§ 718.113(2)(a), Fla. Stat. The Association argues, and
the trial court held, that the term "such alterations or
improvements" in ...