'Failed to submit proper plan:' Texas family sued by neighbors over playscape for terminally-ill son

GEORGETOWN, Texas — A Texas family faces a lawsuit over a playscape they built on their property. Their next-door neighbors filed the suit, claiming the structure was not built with the proper approval.

When 3-year-old Colton Costa learned he could pick which playscape his parents would buy, he went for the largest one — with the most slides.

“We’re trying to live in the now because the future is very scary with this kind of diagnosis,” said Colton’s mother, Kim Costa.

Colton was born with Hurler’s syndrome, a genetic disorder in cells, tissue, and organs. There is no cure.

“So, to see him get to run around and play and be as mobile as he is right now when he can be, you better believe we want to see it. We want him to be active and enjoy his life,” Kim Costa said.

Neighbors Richard and Carole Gottleib filed a lawsuit claiming the playscape cannot properly be screened from view.

At 14 feet high, it’s too tall. The Gottleibs say it violates HOA restrictions. They want the playscape taken down and legal fees. Through their lawyer, the couple declined to comment.

The lawsuit said installation of large objects, like a playground, must be approved by the Estrella Subdivisions Architecture and Design Review Committee, and that protocols weren’t followed in this case.

“The Costas failed to submit proper plans and specifications to the ADRC for review prior to installation of the playscape, and the ADRC failed to review and approve Costas playscape in advance as required by ADRC guidelines,” the lawsuit says. It added Estrella “failed to enforce” its own guidelines.

Kim Costa disputes that claim and says the Estrella Subdivision Homeowners Association approved the playscape for her son before it was installed. She said in a Facebook post that their neighbors “claim it brings down their property value” and call it an “eyesore.”

The lawsuit requests a permanent injunction, requiring the Costas to remove the playscape or comply with the guidelines.

“We won’t be settling and taking it down like they would like,” Kim Costa said.

On Monday, Ja. 20, in the time it took for Kim Costa to talk to KXAN, neighbors placed dozens of pink hearts and messages in her front yard.

“The love and support we have is amazing. Thank you to all of you praying for us and thinking of us and supporting us because it means more than I can say. Thank you,” Costa said, looking at the flowers.

KXAN reached out to the Estrella Homeowners Association and it said the Costas did submit the playscape properly for review. As to the final decision on approval, the president did not want to comment because of the pending lawsuit.