Friday, December 5, 2008

My Homeowners' Association Sucks

I knew it would happen sooner or later. The honeymoon officially is over! The grand high potentates of my Homeowners' Association (HOA) known as the Board of Directors have taken it upon themselves to chastise me for having Obama-Biden yard signs in the area next to my porch. I have an affiliation for these signs because they were given to me on election day by the Obama for America campaign after we canvassed Lakeland neighborhoods.

A few weeks ago, one of my neighbors told me that the HOA would say something to us, but I told my wife that I wasn't going to accept word of mouth, I needed to see the HOA rules in their original documentation. She also said that my signs could be seen from the Interstate which is actually impossible because again our gated community, though it faces the Interstate is surrounded by a wall, and the property is set back from the Interstate. Methinks that she told on me. In any case, since we moved in May, there has only been one HOA meeting that I was informed of, and that was held in June. Since then, not once have I or my wife, Shirre received notice of any HOA meetings or bylaws. Now they have chosen to contact me in the spirit of the holidays. I have scanned in and attached the "Notice of Violation" for your perusal as follows.

The "Violation" reads "12.34 No sign, flag, banner, advertisement, notice or other lettering shall be exhibited, displayed, inscribed, painted or affixed in, or upon any part of [Name of Residence] including without limitation and Home or Lot, that is visible from the outside without the prior approval being first obtained from the ACC; signs diplaying the wording, "for rent" or "for lease" shall not be approved by the ACC. Nothwithstanding the foregoing, any Owner may display on his Lot one (1) discreet professionally prepared sign not to exceed twenty-four (24") inches in width and eighteen (18") inches in height and attached to a 2x4 post no higher than three (3) feet from the ground. Such sign shall contain no other wording than "For Sale", the name, address and telephone number of one (1) registered real estate broker, or a telephone number of an Owner or his agent. In no event shall more than (1) sign ever be placed on any Lot at any time." So there you have it! Further, our RS Manager proceeded to highlight bolded words in yellow "Please remove the political sign from your yard. They are not allowed." Really now? (By the way, nice subject-verb agreement :)

I have to wonder, who are these people, and why do they care about the most minor and trivial things? What is it about my having professionally-made political yard signs on my property for which I'm paying hundreds of thousands of dollars that just gets under their skin? Certainly, an HOA is a private group, and as such can enact any bylaws or rules as voted on by it's private membership including myself and the esteemed BoD. At the same time, who is it that is offended and has reported on me? Other neighbors have porch furniture--albeit tasteful and expensive, holiday wreaths and decorations, holiday banners, "For Sale" signs in their windows, etc. Also one interesting fact is that my house is on the very back side of our subdivision which is separated from the Interstate by a stone wall. The only way anyone would know that I had signs in my yard was if they lived in my townhouse block and were thus parking or jogging/walking on my sidewalk. In other words most people even in my subdivision have to go out of their way to get to my condo, which is how I like it, thank you very much! In any case, the means of appeal is to write a letter stating my case to the high and mighty Board of Directors within 30 days of receipt of said letter.

1 comment:

Tom said...

The Bartlett Park Neighborhood Association has better things to do than make a fuss over yard signs. Several of my neighbors proudly keep up their Obama signs.
Many neighborhoods are going after "snipe" signs, but they allow signs in private yards that are a few feet back from the curb out of the city right of way.