Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Madness of HOAs

One of my readers contacted me earlier this month.

Apparently, she committed the unforgivable sin of planting perennial peanut in her yard.

Now she's facing an ongoing lawsuit by her Homeowner's Association - check this mess out:

www.SanctuaryAtOakCreek.com

Though I'm not a legal expert by any stretch, this whole lawsuit seems rather silly, particularly since the Florida-Friendly Landscaping law should supersede some of the local neighborhood nonsense.

"In February 2007, we were sent a violation letter from Melrose Management that demanded we remove dead sod in our easement area.  We were under water restrictions at the time and waited until May 2007 to replace the sod withperennial peanut, a Florida-friendly groundcover.  Our HOA documents allow for 90% of our lot to be planted, covered, and maintained in grass or other natural vegetation. The groundcover is/was allowed by our documents; apparently someone on the "board" didn't like it.  The board's selective enforcement continues to this day: they claim certain landscaping changes are "not in keeping with the community aesthetics".  Whose community aesthetics?"

HOAs: Evil... or just horrid?

Good luck, folks.

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5 Comments:

At October 18, 2014 at 3:13 PM , Blogger Leon said...

The sole reason HOAs exist is because some people do not trust their neighbors to do the right thing and want to be able to slap them on the hand if they do. Naturally, it works both ways.

I used to think HOAs were devil's span and that we need to get rid of this aberration ASAP. Then I realized they're just voluntary collective agreements - what's wrong with that? If HOA members allow a few blue-haired ladies on a power trip to take over - well, it's your HOA, start a revolution. Better to die free and all that ... :)

Anyway, back in my HOA hating days I came up with this bullet-proof recipe to kill them in case someone wants to try it: the sole source of HOA financing is members fees. No members - no HOA, mission accomplished, happy gardening :)

 
At October 18, 2014 at 5:19 PM , Blogger Survival Gardener/David The Good said...

Heh. Good thoughts. I know... voluntary collective agreements. Perhaps we'll see changes as the economy deteriorates further and gardening moves from a hobby to a need.

It's the collective part on these things that rarely works out. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a group of folks say "Let's all join together and do something great" only to end up with a sad mess at the end.

 
At October 18, 2014 at 8:38 PM , Blogger Leon said...

>Perhaps we'll see changes as the economy deteriorates further and gardening moves from a hobby to a need.

No doubts. I remember an interview with a government ag guy from Cuba and they asked him how they were able to implement permaculture so fast - basically, it went from a totally new crazy hippie thing to a being a part of every farm or garden in 2 years - and he said: "Well, it just happened by itself, since there was very little food and everyone was hungry".

> It's the collective part on these things that rarely works out. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a group of folks say "Let's all join together and do something great" only to end up with a sad mess at the end.

True but in no way limited to HOA. Seems to be more of a general characteristic of any group of humans over a certain size :)

I could never live in one of them Nazi chicken coops myself though. If I fancy perennial peanut this year - I want to be able to grow perennial peanut everywhere, get off my land, lady! :) There is a price to pay for that freedom, naturally - one of my neighbors has 5 dead trucks parked on his front lawn for each running one, the other has a gun practice every Sunday and the third hasn't mowed his lawn in years. And there is not a jack I can do about that. Not that I want to - these things don't bother me none, which is why I live here. And yes, the third one is me, actually :))

 
At October 19, 2014 at 6:51 PM , Anonymous ChrisC said...

One word-horrid.But then I would never live where someone can tell me what color to paint my house,amongst other things.It may be fine with some,but it's not for me.

 
At November 24, 2014 at 11:18 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

In some parts of the country, HOAs are INvoluntary collective agreements and owners either pay their HOA fees or lose their homes to foreclosure. Unfortunately, those tend to be the same parts of the country where every residential development has a mandatory HOA. Where I Iive, HOAs have been mandatory in every development for several decades now, so there are few to no non-HOA options. .

 

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