A mermaid living in the Fishhawk Ranch community in Lithia, Florida, can no longer swim in the pool, says the community's homeowners association.
Eden Sirene (or, as she's known by her nonmermaid name, Jenna Conti) was told she's not allowed to wear her fins in the pool, per the community's "no-fin" policy.
Conti wears a custom-made silicon mermaid suit whenever she hits the pool, much to the delight of the other residents and swimmers. Kids, in particular, love the sight of a real-life mermaid frolicking underwater in their pool.
But the Community Development District has gotten all Grinchy with it and says Conti's costume is a safety issue, because it's basically one big fin and apparently IT WILL MURDER THE CHILDREN.
"We love what's she trying to do, be kind to children and do something good for the community," Fishhawk chair Terrie Morrison told Fox 13 in Tampa. "We love her intentions -- it's simply that it violates rules."
For her part, Conti says her costume is safe and, furthermore, doesn't really count as the kind of fin the HOA rule is talking about.
"It makes me feel amazing, makes children smile, makes adults smile, everybody happy -- you don't expect to see a mermaid at the pool," she said.
Conti also says she's planning to hold a meeting with the board to appeal.
Until then, Conti and her mermaid costume of death will have to stay out of the pool. She says she's happy about the support she's receiving from the community and still plans on someday swimming at the Florida Aquarium.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.