Fire Pit Between The Roads

guest blog by Nila Ridings

Let’s all meet down at the fire pit. You know the one in between the busy streets. The one where kids will be crossing in the darkness and might forget to check for traffic. Or somebody driving drunk might jump the curb and wipe out the crowd.

Prairie Village, Kansas is an upscale area developed by Jesse Clyde Nichols (you’ve read about him in Evan McKenzie’s book, Privatopia). It’s commonly referred to as “Perfect Village.”

Some HOA board members authorized a landscaper to build a fire pit as a community gathering place between busy city streets and on city property. The city planners have put their foot down against this HOA. And I applaud them for doing so! HOA boards never cease to amaze me. I don’t know if it’s their pompous attitudes, ignorance, or endless need to control others. But it was a delight to see this story on the news tonight.

Although, I’m sorry for the landscaper with good intentions who got caught in the crossfire. His heart was in the right place. He just had a blind faith and trust in the HOA board…just like millions of other Americans do!

So, don’t meet me at the fire pit. By the time you’d get here, it will be gone!

(link to KMBC story on the fire pit)


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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.

1 thought on “Fire Pit Between The Roads

  1. Dave Russell

    I agree. The landscaper had good intentions, but as we all know well, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize this was a pretty dumb idea.

    Can you just imagine driving down the street and seeing flames? Looks like it would be a total distraction to motorist. This is like something you would see Jethro Bodine, from the Beverly Hillbillies, construct in his neighborhood.

    What was this HOA thinking? One thing you can say about HOAs, there’s no shortage of stupid, and this HOA has absolutely proven it. Props to the city planners for shutting down purgatory.


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