This is a tough time of year for many Coloradans. Our summer skies are filled with flashes of lightning; a gorgeous sight from a distance, but dry lightning can play havoc when the vegetation is dry. Over the past few days more than 500 homes and a number of businesses have been destroyed here. One of the most devastating fires was in the Black Forest, a hilly, tree-filled area just north of Colorado Springs. At the time of this writing, the fire is still burning, only half controlled.
Over the next few months, I’ll be monitoring the news from there very closely. Many of these homes are in subdivisions controlled by a Homeowners Association. In recent years, storm and fire devastated HOAs have been completely unreasonable with homeowners who are trying desperately to rebuild. There are cases in Florida where homeowners have been slammed with fines because the tarps used to cover damaged roofs were not of a uniform blue color. No kidding! And in New Mexico, a homeowner was sued because he was living in a small trailer while trying to rebuild his burned-out home.
From a Constitutional standpoint Homeowners Associations are fundamentally flawed. They have nothing to do with democracy, and everything to do with fascist minority control over the majority. And when Nature, herself, demands that neighbors cooperate to recover from disaster, Homeowners Associations often go to extremes to make sure cooperation is impossible.
In my heart I hope that Colorado residents work together to recover from this nightmare of flames and ash. In my mind, I know I’ll be doing stories on those who are doing their best to increase the emotional and financial damage to their fellow neighbors.
That’s right. Board members know there is no better time to kick people than when they are already down!
May the rain extinguish the fires and may the re-building begin. All the best to those who have been devastated by these fires.
Was out to dinner with my new friends from Colorado last night. Their home burned down last year. They did not live in an HOA, and loved their lost neighborhood. The whole neighborhood was completely lost. He told me he has and never will live in an HOA. As he put it, “the restrictions do not guarantee home values. The only thing restrictions guarantee is division”. Well said.
Peggy, your friend stumbled over the biggest and dirtiest secret of all, and he’s a genius for doing to. HOA homes DO NOT gain in value over non-HOA homes. That’s the ongoing lie fed to us by Realtors who are even more gullible than we are. When you add up all the fines, fees, restrictions, legal costs and embezzlements by board officers and kickbacks to board members for ‘services’, that’s a direct deduction from the equity you thought you had in your home. This is a national scam that DEMANDS attention from the FBI and U.S. Attorney. Please, please buy my book. Make your neighbors read it. Then send it to your legislator. In fact, if you buy an autographed copy from my website, NeighborsAtWar.com, please give me the name of your legislator. At my cost I will mail him or her a FREE book with a handwritten note that says, “This book was ordered especially for you by one of your constituents and donors.”