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I got a news letter today from my association that I live in. I the letter also had 12 new rules that they wish to talk about and pass as set rules if approved by the owners. One of the rules is "time line for seasonal decorations to be removed" Well-he is my view of a association in the first place, I think they stink... And now they are trying to pass new rules that tell me or anyone else in the association what they can and can't do on their property. The meeting is Jan. 22, and you can bet that I will be at this meeting voicing my feelings on all these proposed rules.

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I agree....I would rally as much support as I could....

I didn't think these associations could come in and change rules after you had already purchased....aren't you like locked in to the rules at time of purchase?

These places are getting outrageous...I'm glad I live in the country...

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Yes. Line up support now!

Let's look ahead, though, shall we? They pass the rule. You can't start until a certain date, and they have to be down by a certain date. Surely there are enough supporters of your display that you can get the help needed to beat the rules?

Nothing hacks people off more than beating them at their own game! :)

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My tolerance for an HOA went south quick one Christmas. I was very sick around New Year's and couldn't take down my decorations. On Jan 7th, I got a very nasty letter from the HOA with threats of legal action if I didn't take down the Christmas lights within 3 days.

I hope you win this one. I know and understand what they're trying to do .. they're wanting to prevent people from leaving their decorations up literally all year long. Unfortunately, HOAs always go overboard on rules, etc .. something about human nature that a group of people want to control other people's lives. That's why I live in the country .. not because of city governments, but because of out of control HOAs.

Best of luck!

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jen grissett wrote:

I agree....I would rally as much support as I could....

I didn't think these associations could come in and change rules after you had already purchased....aren't you like locked in to the rules at time of purchase?

These places are getting outrageous...I'm glad I live in the country...

Yes they can change the rules. They have to give adequate time to discuss proposed changes before it goes to a vote. If the "vote" passes, you have new rules. This is why you need to be involved in the decision, and it wouldn't hurt to find neighbors that like your display to come to the meeting. You need support, especially if they want to restrict when you can have your yard decorated, since it can take a month or more to put up a large display.

Before I moved to Colorado Springs, I had an HOA telling me to water my grass even when the City of Albuquerque was cracking down on people with lawns. Do I get fined by the city or the HOA? :shock:

For holiday displays though, the language in the CC&R's was rather ambiguous. It only said that lights/decorations can only be but up "during the holidays" but didn't have dates. I put up a mini-light flag for Memorial Day and the 4th of July and didn't get so much as a nasty look. They were also pretty relaxed about taking Christmas lights down, as they didn't survey the neighborhood for violators until February.

The lesson here? Make sure the wording of the CC&R's is something you can live with. If not, ask to table the discussion until the next public meeting, then get more neighbors to support doing it "your way".

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Loftus001 wrote:

And now they are trying to pass new rules that tell me or anyone else in the association what they can and can't do on their property.

Uh, isn't that the whole purpose of a HOA? And that's also the reason I don't believe in them. That, and the fact I don't feel the need to pay $100 or more a month (in addition to normal taxes) for someone to 'manage' the neighborhood.

With a reasonable amount of zoning and city ordinances, HOA's are not needed, IMHO. The city tells me I can only have one shed, and that I can't run a cement factory in the back yard, and that's great. Having an HOA tell me what color I can and cannot paint my front door, or that I can't park in the driveway more than N days a week isn't something I believe in.

-Tim

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Larry Hazeltine wrote:

For holiday displays though, the language in the CC&R's was rather ambiguous. It only said that lights/decorations can only be but up "during the holidays" but didn't have dates. I put up a mini-light flag for Memorial Day and the 4th of July and didn't get so much as a nasty look.

Last I checked Memorial Day and the 4th were holidays.

Not trying to be snide to you, I'm just sick of the phrase "the holidays" supposedly being synonymous with that evil C-word.

-Tim

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Guest Bob_Moody

SECEDE FROM THE HOA !!!

Announce your intentions to secede from the HOA.. Declare yourself an INDEPENDENT HOME OWNER and reclaim your right to paint your house purple with yellow trim (I've seen this in Houston.. GACK), put up Christmas lights in August, and have a thicker carpet of grass over the summer.

HOA's and other such "Holier Than Thou" organizations need to be crushed. Leave the issues of zoning and city ordinances to 3rd parties like city counsels etc. People that sit on and actively partcipate in these kinds of organizations are not alturistic. They sit on these organizations because they want something to go thier way and with association comes the power to make it happen. They are the ultimate "Chicken Littles" in that they can convince all but the stong minded that thier ideas are correct and that if you dont follow thier lead then if thier story of doom and gloom comes to pass that it will ultimately be your fault and you wouldn't want that on your conscience.

Get a copy of the proposed rules. Take it to the streets and airwaves .. remember we have low-power FM xmitters and we know how to make signs. Put your message out .. go door to door. Start a petition to have these items removed from discussion. As a great law maker once said .. "Nip it .. Nip it in the bud" !!

In some cases, some of the HOA rules make sense (not the HOA) and should have been in the deed restrictions and/or zoning rules in the first place. Abandoned cars and appliances in the yard and on the porch, piles of tires, the running of some businesses from the home, barbed wire fencing etc. These are neighborhoods and peoples homes... not Sanford and Sons Salvage !! Now I don't have an issue with an HOA that levies no fees, has voluntary membership, and has no legal authortity becasue of a forced document. These "Community Groups" can use commuity spirit, fellowship and when needed even peer pressure to get Joe Neighbor to pickup the old tires in the yard etc.

Ok .. <taking a breath>.


  1. -- Bob

    DISCLAIMER: Any misspellings, misinterpretations or potentially offensive statements should be consdered as transmission error

  1. 01/05/06 - Not sure what happened but everything between OK..<taking a breath> and my name isn't posted. This section was actually a rational response to Loftus001's issue offeringreasonable suggestions. Without this section,my post appears as the rantings of a lunitic and not as the "tongue-in-cheek" poke as it was intended.

  1. As for the "HOA's and other such "Holier Than Thou" organizations need to be crushed. " comment...perhaps a little overboard for this forum and environment and I appologize.

  1. -- Bob




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tfischer wrote:

Larry Hazeltine wrote:

Last I checked Memorial Day and the 4th were holidays.

Not trying to be snide to you, I'm just sick of the phrase "the holidays" supposedly being synonymous with that evil C-word.

-Tim

Exactly! There are many "holidays" throughout the year. Since their language was ambiguous, I felt it was ok to decorate for every one of them! :D

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Larry Hazeltine wrote:

jen grissett wrote:

Yes they can change the rules. They have to give adequate time to discuss proposed changes before it goes to a vote. If the "vote" passes, you have new rules. This is why you need to be involved in the decision, and it wouldn't hurt to find neighbors that like your display to come to the meeting. You need support, especially if they want to restrict when you can have your yard decorated, since it can take a month or more to put up a large display.

Scott,

As the Vice-President of the our HOA, I can tell you most states have laws regulating how an HOA can change their rules. Generally in order for a rule to change (in my experience at least) the HOA must get yes votes from at least 2/3 of the entire membership, not the membership in attendance. Now you need to get a copy of your HOA by-laws to find out exactly what the process is to change/enact a new rule. Also,obviously look at the timeline they are requesting. Tome January 6th is long enough and concludes the 12th Day of Christmas therefore I think it is reasonable to ask that you have everything down by January 10th.

Another word about HOAs, ours is a voluntary HOA meaning you do not have to pay any duesunless you want to. This isone of the reasons we, as well as many others, moved into this neighborhood. In my position within my military unit I see a lot of the new people before they go house hunting. I always tell them to make sure they check out the HOA situation before they get set on a house. HOAs here in my part of San Antonio range from $12 a year to almost $100 a month! You need to know what you are buying into and who you are allowing to control your property before you buy!

Jeff Womack

Vice-President, Savannah Square Home Owners Association

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Jeff_Womack wrote:

I think it is reasonable to ask that you have everything down by January 10th.

It really depends. Here in snow country, it could be months before I'm able to get up on the roof and remove my icicle lights and santa on the roof. Or, if we get a warm spell, it could be this week. That said, we have all the 'clutter' out of our yard. All that's left besides the aformentioned roof stuff is some lights in trees and the star on the front of our house (which I just have to get the big ladder out to remove). The tree lights aren't even visible from the road, so why should any rules enforce that they need to be removed?

I've lived in two different homes without HOA's and have never had any issues with the stuff HOA's supposedly prevent (junk in the front yard, people running businesses from the garage, etc). That's because Plymouth knows how to create zoning and ordinances to enforce all that stuff at the city level. If my neighbor really wants to paint their front door barbie pink like the previous owner of my house did (no kidding, we replaced the door in the first week we moved here) I guess that's their right -- I'd rather have more freedoms on my own property than having a group of zealots telling them not to...

-Tim

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Guest Bob_Moody

mmaness wrote:

"Nip it .. Nip it in the bud" !!

Wasn't that famous lawmaker instead that famous law enforcer, Barney Fife?

DISCLAIMER: Any misspellings, misinterpretations or potentially offensive statements should be consdered as transmission errors.

Let me add errors in fact ot tact ... :]

-- Bob

President, Exhalted Ruler, Grand Poohba, Lord and Master of all My domain.

(all 1 acre of it .... )

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I am so glad we don't have this problem in the UK, so long as you are not breaking any electrical safety codes you are free to do whatever you wish ( with the exception of one poor couple in Scotland who were court ordered to remove their lights!!!)

It has been known (actually very common) for people to leave their icicle lights up all year out of lazyness.

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I think these are out of hand and most times a ridiculous way to keep the "right kind of people" in the neighborhood...back in TN we had to pass on a very nice neighborhood that we wanted to build in...it was a well to do area...we could easily afford the mortgage and other house expenses but no way we could have paid the poa fees of $125 month...and that was also going to be doubled because we were planning to purchase the lot next door as well...

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As a home designer, you wouldn't believe some of the things that I have my designs abide by. I design some very very nice homes but some of the associations around here are just flat out rediculas. And those all appear to be in the neighborhoods that have golf courses. Not only do I have to remember all of the city juristiction requirement (there are 9 around here) I have to remember all of the hoa requirements also. grrrrrrrrrr

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There has been some nice neighborhoods that me and my wife have looked at, but after the HOA requirements we said NO WAY. I am all for a nice neighborhood, but when I have to ask before I can put in a certain color plant in my flowerbed, that is just ridiculous. They had nothing about decorations, but I am sure after my first year there more rules would be put in place that would more than likely have me selling before the next lighting season.

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Jeff_Womack wrote:

I think it is reasonable to ask that you have everything down by January 10th.

Maybe in Florida, but like Tim says, in snow country it depends on the weather. It hasn't snowed here in 3 weeks, but I still had to use an ice pick to get some of my extension cords off the ground! (yes, they were unplugged before I started with the pick). I take my lights down the first "warm" day of January, but sometimes that doesn't come until the middle of February.

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Heehee...

I just got elected to the HOA board so I could manipulate it to my needs. They're not going to like me very much..

We HAVE to have an HOA by law, since we collectively (all HOA property owners) own common property, two ponds, and a swimming pool. Our dues are a little over $400/year, including pool usage (not bad compared to many, pool's worth that to me).

My measure for where an HOA's authority needs to intervene with private homeowners enjoyment ofthe use or their property? When what they do would definitely negatively impact property values. Hard to prove the definitely, so I lean way towards the property owner's rights. NC law changed some on 1/1/06 to better support individual homeowner's rights vs. HOA governance, reinforcing that HOA's are out-of-control mini-governments without proper checks and balances (like real government - lol).

Christmas lights? I'd pay more to be in a neighborhood with those showing an appreciation for Christmas.

As others have said, review the Restrictive Covenants carefully. Ours cannot be changed without a super majority of all homeowners approval (never gonna happen).

Moving Target in NC

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Here's how I (very luckily) dealt with the HOA when I lived in my condo:

"I make a motion that we disband the association. All in favor?"

"Aye","Aye","Aye","Aye","Aye","Aye","Aye","Aye"

"Motion carried. Let's go to the bar"

(heard from the back of the room:) "Hey, wait a minute...."

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Larry Hazeltine wrote:

Maybe in Florida, but like Tim says, in snow country it depends on the weather. It hasn't snowed here in 3 weeks, but I still had to use an ice pick to get some of my extension cords off the ground! (yes, they were unplugged before I started with the pick). I take my lights down the first "warm" day of January, but sometimes that doesn't come until the middle of February.

This week is full of 50+ degree weather and sunny days. Friday and Saturday will be 60 degrees each day. Quitwhining and take down those decorations! :}

BTW I lived in Colorado for 6 and a half years so I know what your winters are like.

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Jeff_Womack wrote:

Larry Hazeltine wrote:

This week is full of 50+ degree weather and sunny days. Friday and Saturday will be 60 degrees each day. Quitwhining and take down those decorations! :}

BTW I lived in Colorado for 6 and a half years so I know what your winters are like.

Already done, except for everything on the roof or in the trees. Too windy the last few days, and I have to work tomorrow.

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To pass a new rule, 75% of the homeowner must vote it in. We have 226 homes in the subdivision. Also-dues are $140.00 a year.

Where I live-Sherman IL is considered a wealthy town in this area. Homes range from $140,000 to $1.5 million. Each subdivision in Sherman is under a association.

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