Letter to the Editor: An Open Letter to Wilton Station

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Members of the Board,

 

I read the article in the SFGN newsletter concerning your reluctance to install the pool lift at the Wilton Station swimming pool, and felt compelled to respond. I find your attitude and actions to be disturbingly short-sighted and contrary to the atmosphere described on your web page.

You state that the site boasts a resort-style pool/spa area. Apparently, it is resort-style only if you are not disabled. Then it becomes unusable, or usable only if you can afford to hire someone to place the assistance device required for the disabled person to enter and exit the pool. That is rather like calling corn syrup “maple-style” and expecting people to accept it as maple syrup.

The whole point of the Americans with Disabilities Act was to empower those with disabilities to lead a life comparable to one who is not so afflicted, to give them the independence which you or I enjoy in our day-to-day activities. To then make it impossible for David (and the other disabled persons involved) to use the facility as you or I can, without the assistance of another person, takes that independence away. This smacks rather loudly of discrimination. As a world-class facility it would behoove you to support the spirit of the ADA. Supporting merely the letter of the act is small, very small.

I remember the day I visited Wilton Station and toured the “state-of-the-art Sales Center” and the amenities area. While the salesman touted the benefits of living there and its “world-class resort” character, he failed to mention the parts that may not be available to you because the board would suddenly be less interested in you, the customer and resident, and more interested in what it would cost management to actually be world class.

I read in your online disclaimer that the information contained is for information only and, in essence, does not necessarily conform to what you are really selling. It also states that oral representations cannot be relied on. This seems to mean that when you say that the spa/pool facilities are provided for all tenants, what you really mean is that it is available for tenants who do not need to manhandle a cumbersome machine into position in order to use it. That, unfortunately is rather like saying that everyone can vote, if you pay your poll-tax.

When you unleash your salesmen to say whatever they have to in order to make a sale, knowing that you can always retreat to “the law does not require us to fulfill these oral offerings,” you are, in my opinion, running a con game. Although I may have considered renting at Wilton Station at one time, since I will shortly be convalescing following knee surgery, I will not waste my time listening to what you claim to offer and trying to discern what you are really offering in its place. I must also discourage others from entertaining any thought of buying, renting or investing in your development.

Were you to modify your stance and BE rather than merely claiming to be world-class, I would, of course, reconsider my position. Until then, I must consider you merely another of the sleazy, money-grubbing real estate developer schlocks for which Florida has become notorious over the years.

 

Sincerely,

John Terry


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