A recent editorial by the South Jersey Times focused on the tragic and untimely death of a 25-year-old HOA community resident that is being blamed on an overly restrictive association rule. Tori Gerstenacker (pictured below) was struck and killed by a motorist while crossing Route 70 in Evesham Township. She parked her pick-up truck at a shopping center across the busy highway because the HOA for the Delancey Place community where she lived has a rule against parking commercial vehicles.
According to her roommate, Gerstenacker regularly parked at the strip mall because the homeowners association warned her that it would tow her truck if it was parked in the community. The roommate says she drove a Ford F-150 pickup truck similar to those several other Delancey Place residents park in the community without drawing the ire of the association. The difference is that Gerstenacker’s truck featured the logo of the company she worked for, identifying it as a “commercial” vehicle.
The editorial concedes that blaming the Delancey Place association for Gerstenacker’s death is not fair. “Several other circumstances could have contributed, including how much care she took in crossing a busy, dark state highway, and the actions of the motorist who struck her. (The driver stayed at the scene and cooperated with investigators),” it reads.
However, it also states that associations should avoid putting their residents between a rock and a hard place. It notes that there are no side streets along Route 70 where residents of the area’s multitude of developments can conveniently park non-conforming vehicles.