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Lakeland family claims discrimination by homeowners association

Family says battle began when HOA sued over paint color, then escalated

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — A Lakeland family is going public, creating a website to document what they call discrimination by their homeowners association. 

It's called therealcoolsprings.com. It's just the latest twist in a neighborhood dispute we first told you about in March. 

The Cool Springs Homeowners Association sued the family over the paint color on the trim of their house. That suit is still working its way through the court system, but now the homeowner has found another way to fight back.

"We were pushed out of the neighborhood. We believe it was discrimination," said homeowner Bill Goetz.

The Goetz family still owns this house in Lakeland, but he and his wife now live a few miles away. What began as a battle over painting his trim to this unapproved color has taken a turn for the worse.

"We feel this no fair, " said Arianna Goetz, homeowner.

"This is much more deeper than a paint issue at this point," said Bill Goetz.

RELATED: Lakeland family being sued to force them to repaint trim on their house

Bill Goetz believes because he has a mixed-race family, he is being treated differently than other homeowners. On his website, therealcoolsprings.com, he points out emails obtained by his lawyer that show there was another "unapproved paint situation" in the neighborhood that he says the board let slide.

"I believe it's a discrimination issue at this point there is, this is what we feel. I have emails that show we were treated differently than a family down the street with another paint issue," said Bill Goetz. 

The website also highlights what he said are violations at other homes. Bill Goetz said the board did nothing about those. He added the reason for his website is to educate potential homeowners of his experience, but he said the the homeowners association is trying to silence him.

"I just got a notice they threatened to sue me about my website," said Goetz.

A lawyer representing the homeowners association told the Local I-team there has been no threat to sue Goetz, but a letter regarding his website sent August 3rd by HOA layer Peter Baskind said in part, Baskind told the Local I-team race is not a factor in this situation. He did say there were "a couple of problems"with the website but declined to give further details.

Goetz said he has no plans to take down the website or change it. The lawsuit over the paint trim is still ongoing in civil court.