guest blog by Dave Russell
In 2011 a friend of mine sent me a news report about 3-year-old Cooper Veloudis who has cerebral palsy. Cooper’s therapist suggested that a playhouse be built in the backyard of the family’s home. The playhouse cost about $5000.
However, the Andover Forest Homeowners Association in Lexington, Kentucky, said little Cooper’s house had to go because the HOA says it’s a structure and is prohibited. Cooper’s parents were fined $50 a day until they complied. What the HOA didn’t say is that there are other such structures in the same development. But nobody seemed to really care about those.
This story literally kept me up at night thinking that little Cooper was basically being foreclosed upon by the HOA. Where were the folks down at Fair Housing or the Americans with Disabilities Act people? Couldn’t anyone have stepped up to the plate and defended this little tykes therapy house?
As usual, the Homeowners Association won, and little Cooper’s playhouse was ‘foreclosed’ upon by the big, bad and powerful HOA. Somehow, this story still haunts me like the Ghost of Christmas Past, but also reminds me to be a little more understanding with the children in my own HOA community.
I sure hope I’m not the only one who’s haunted by the Ghost of Christmas Past. In time, just like in the Christmas Carol, written by Charles Dickens, each board member and the pond-scum attorneys who represented Andover Forest Homeowners Association deserves a visit from one of Dicken’s ghosts.
If you are going to watch the news report linked below, you might want to have a Kleenex handy. I sure needed one.