Sidewalk Chalk! It’s a Mortal Sin!!!

Sidewalk Chalk. It washes off in the first rainstorm. It can be hosed off in about twenty seconds. Why would a Homeowners Association care? Because when fascist leaning board members with an ‘agenda’ get elected they look for the tiniest of reasons to file suit and snatch the entire amount of your home equity. It’s not paranoia, it’s what happens it neighborhood after neighborhood across America. The Homeowners Association┬áMovement is wildly out of control.

In Hays County, Texas, board members of the Elm Grove Homeowners Association found a victim to help bolster neighborhood finances; it was Melissa McCrary who bought her home just four years ago. She thought it was a kid-friendly environment.

Neighbors in her part of the ‘hood’ started getting letters from the HOA saying that sidewalk chalk drawings were a violation of the covenants. It was called ‘a friendly reminder.’

Sidewalk Chalk art of any kind could lead to a lien, a lawsuit, a quick auction of the house to a friend of the HOA attorney, and violators would find themselves penniless out on the street.

OK, Folks? How about buying a home in the Elm Grove Homeowners Association. How much do you think property values are worth now?

(click here for story on Sidewalk Chalk)



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Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

3 thoughts on “Sidewalk Chalk! It’s a Mortal Sin!!!

  1. rto

    Conservatives, libertarians, Republicans, etc., frequently gripe about

    – “zero tolerance policies”,
    – “lack of common sense”,
    – “over-burdensome regulations”,
    – “making everything illegal”,
    – “taking of private property”,
    – “child-unfriendly policies”,
    – “disrespect for the American flag”,
    – “mistreatment of military service members and veterans”, and
    – “parasitic attorneys” and “frivilous litigation”.

    H.O.A. corporations have all of these things.

    Yet when the political Right isn’t silent when H.O.A. corporations are abusing individual American home owners, it’s because they are often defending — or at least rationalizing — the actions of H.O.A. corporations.

    If a municipal government had fined the family for the kid’s sidewalk chalk drawings — with that fine backed by the threat of foreclosure — the Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Jon Caldara, et al., would be howling that this is “another example of what’s wrong with government”. But when private corporations do these things, it’s OK because…, um,… read Atlas Shrugged.

    In its very critical review of Atlas Shrugged (Dec. 28, 1957), the conservative magazine National Review wrote that

    the strenuously sterile world of Atlas Shrugged is scarcely a place for children. You speculate that, in life, children probably irk the author and may make her uneasy.

    The same can be said of H.O.A. corporations. And that’s something the “family values” crowd should do some serious soul-searching about; along with those who think that Texas is a policy model for the rest of the nation.

  2. rto

    Some more thougths on the political Right and H.O.A. corporations’ war against children :

    When an H.O.A. corporation in Florida wanted to ban children from playing outside, Kevin Shutt wrote that

    So while my heart tells me that a rule forbidding children from outside play is ludicrous and anti-everything childhood should be, the rational, logical libertarian in me says that the HOA probably has that right.

    And why wouldn’t a libertarian come to that conclusion? The “common elements” are property that belong to the H.O.A. corporation, not to the “home owners”. This distinction is not a trivial matter.

    Two years ago, Radley Balko wrote that incidents of government agents shutting down kids’ lemonade stands is “Creating new little libertarians“.

    These incidents led libertarians to celebrete Lemonade Freedom Day.

    If over-bearing government actions create “little libertarians”, what are heavy-handed H.O.A. corporations going to create?

    Hint: Kids in H.O.A.s are not going to grow up sympathetic to the conservaitve and libertarian ideas that

    – corporations are simply benevolent entities,
    – it’s impossible for a corporation to have too much power,
    – all rights are property rights,
    – a some-document-called-a-contract has moral authority

    Telling people who are being abused and oppressed that they agreed to be abused and oppressed is only going to work for so long, before they start looking for their rights elsewhere. Telling parents that they agreed to have their children abused and oppressed is going to produce an even stronger backlash.

  3. Marten

    Any update on this? We’ve been having the same problem with an older community where kids are becoming more common (though the board is adamant that there are no records saying this is the case, everyone knows this is the case). We moved here thinking it was child-friendly, now I go to bed crying that my kids are having a miserable childhood. I can’t afford to move us.


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