A city judge has ruled in favor of a South Philadelphia family whose homeowners' association was trying to make them fill in their in-ground swimming pool.

Common Pleas Judge James Lynn has found that the Baldi family had not violated rules of the Reserve at Packer Park Homeowners' Association when they installed their pool in 2008. In fact, he wrote, the homeowners association itself "violated and/or permitted violations . . . in knowingly allowing numerous pools to be erected on homeowners' premises."

The seemingly small local dispute drew media attention last summer, when it was revealed that tensions in the neighborhood, an upscale, 230-home development on a triangular patch of land near FDR Park, were still high and the civil case was still unresolved.

The case went before Lynn for five days in September 2009. His ruling was dated Monday.

Further fanning the flames was a misdemeanor assault charge filed against Victor Baldi III in 2009. Michael DeFino, Baldi's attorney, said his client had been trying to take photos of other pools in the neighborhood when he was attacked by a mob.

In court filings, the alleged assault victim said that there had been no mob and that he had punched Baldi's car only to brace himself as the vehicle moved toward him.

Baldi was found not guilty of the charge during a waiver trial last summer, DeFino said.

An attorney for the neighborhood association did not return calls for comment yesterday.