Homeowner Association

bus_driverJuly 26, 2008

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Here is a link that might be useful: HOA turf war

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Wow, I hope she wins!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 6:00PM
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At least she has trees and some other plantings. I have a friend with a neighbor across the street who took out his lawn and trees and convinced the city not to plant any city-owned trees on his lot. His yard is all gray road-base gravel and concrete. Not a stick of green, nor a potted plant. It looks like a prison yard, front and back. Mulch and trees are pleasing. I like well-done xerascaping. Her yard doesn't look beautiful but her heart is in the right place, it seems.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 9:15PM
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Her yard in that little picture looks far more pleasing than the browning weedy mess that is next door.

With no specific grass requirements in the covenants, she will hopefully have an easy win.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 1:37PM
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Good for her.

Back in CO, where I grew up, a guy in our neighborhood installed astroturf instead of grass. The city made him remove it and plant grass. Seems the law there required some grass on residential lots, but also had a maximum too.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 10:58AM
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although i HATE HOA's, this is really her fault for buying in an HOA area and then not following the rules. people who wish to have any say in how their house looks should NEVER buy in an area controlled by the HOA nazis.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 12:05PM
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Why oh why do people who want to do their own thing buy in HOA's and then push the envelope?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 6:51PM
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The HOA covenant didn't say "must have grass". A court will decide if trees, bushes and small plantings is enough to be "consistent with the neighborhood". What's consistent? If she uses the same plants as her neighbor, except grass, is that less consistent then the next house over who uses grass, but completely different shrubs, trees and flowers?

The covenants for most HOAs are vague, and left to the interpretation and approval of home owner committees. Those types are just begging to be challenged in courts, where a judge or jury will decide the interpretation.

If the covenant had been specific as to the need for grass in the front yard, then I'd tell her to go pound sand and plant some grass.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 8:08AM
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She COULD plant grass .. that would fit in her xcape yard big bunchs of it .. .. myself i think a low maintianceyard is smart .. .. the HOA wants conforminty and she sure doesnt seem that type .. good for her I hope she wins as well .. after all grass is expensive to keep looking nice .. who is gonna pay her waterbill?or the chore boy to cut and clip it into conformity ..
Low-Maintenance Landscaping With Ornamental Grass and Mulch

Whether you mix ornamental grass with shrubs, trees and flowers or let it stand alone, you'll want to apply mulch around ornamental grass (see sidebar, "More on Mulch, Deer Control"). Replacing lawn grass with a combination of mulch and ornamental grass can reduce yard maintenance requirements. While this may not be feasible for large areas, it is certainly an option for small plots of land. Remember, maintaining lawn grass goes beyond mowing time

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 11:27AM
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If every one of her neighbors has grass, then it would be "consistent" of her to have grass as well.
Did she ASK her HOA before making suchg a radical move? I think it is clear that she did not.
I can't believe some of the whacked-out "I hope she wins" opinions I'm reading. Puh-leaze! Most people would be p-oed to have that yard right next door to them.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 6:03PM
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miles, no not MOST people. but certainly most people who sold their souls to live in HOA controlled areas. personally I, and most folks i know, would not mind. of course, in my area we still feel strongly that a person has a right to ENJOY their property as they wish.

if you(generalization not you specifically) are the type who has to be told how to paint/landscape/park/remove the trash/etc, then you live in an HOA and no longer have to think about anythign because they will tell you what to do. but if you wish to have the freedom to do as you please with your own property, then you should NEVER buy into a HOA area.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 12:36AM
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Well, I think it's a neat and tidy yard, no weeds, no overgrown grass, so I would have no qualms about living next door to her. With even more trees and bushes going in, it will be streets ahead of the other boring lawn patches you can see in the background. Frankly I'd think hers was the only interesting garden in a vast stretch of uninspired clone yards.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 9:44PM
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As long as she keeps it neat and tidy (no weeds growing everywhere) I think it's ok.

The house across the street from us has lawn in the back yard and bark in the front. They have multiple pots of beautiful flowers setting in the bark as well as several planted trees. It looks just fine and really causes you to take a second look at their home.

Where I live, the HOA's don't have any teeth. You would have to sue the party yourself to make any changes in something that you found *objectionable*.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 11:35PM
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Thinking people who live in communities with an HOA do it because they want to be told what to do is ridiculous. ThatÂs why people join cults, not HOAs.

Many people (including myself) live in covenants-controlled communities because we don't want our property values and quality of life to be negatively impacted by our neighbors' poor judgment, apathy, and/or lack of responsibility. Ironically, other people move into HOA communities because they appreciate the attractive homes and well kept yards. But then they donÂt seem to think the rules should apply to them.

Like everyone else IÂve heard and read plenty of stories about abusive HOAs and maybe this is one of them - especially since grass isnÂt implicitly required by their CC&Rs. Our rules are similarly worded but thereÂs language about having a minimum percentage of grass, trees, plants, etc. I donÂt have a blade of grass in front of my house but I do have is a well-balanced xeriscaped area with a dry creek bed and a variety of drought-tolerant plantings. We put a lot of thought and effort into our front yard and weÂve received nothing but compliments  never a complaint. Low-maintenance drought tolerant landscaping doesnÂt have to be a sea of brown or grey.

I remember when one of our neighbors covered the front and back of their unfenced 1+ acre corner lot with 3-4" river rock and only 3 small evergreen trees planted on a (rock-covered) mound. This elicited a citation from the HOA because there was so little greenery and frankly, it looked pretty awful.

It sounds like this woman has every intention of improving on what sheÂs already done without planting grass, so maybe a compromise can be reached. In any event, I agree with the posters who said you shouldn't move into an HOA community if you don't intend to follow the rules. In this situation, however, it sounds like the rules are open to interpretation.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 6:48PM
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yadax, actually what i should have said was if you want everyone else to be told what to do then move in to an HOA. people don't like tha tthe HOA can tell THEM what to do in many cases, but they hardly ever mind when the HOA tells one of their neighbors what they can/cannot do!

personally i would never live in an HOA community. i would rent a 1968 single wide trailer next door to teh garbage dump first.

like i said, in THIS case she should be allowed to do it. but honestly she should never have moved there to begin with.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 9:25PM
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