Sometimes, The Good Guy Wins

A few days ago, I wrote of a Homeowners Association in Hayden, Idaho that threatened to sue a homeowner who put up excessive Christmas lights and decorations. HOA officials were upset because the display attracted lots of traffic to the neighborhood.

But isn’t that what we all do at Christmas? We drive around looking for the most beautiful light displays. It’s a time when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. I know plenty of Jews, atheists and agnostics who drive around admiring all the wonderful decorations. “Peace on Earth, good will to men,” is how the song goes. And that message resounds through all religious barriers.

In any event, the national backlash against the West Hayden Estates Homeowners Association had an impact. The HOA now says it doesn’t plan to sue the homeowner after all. Some stories have happy endings. I really like this one.

(link to KREM-TV story on Christmas dispute)


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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 “Sometimes, The Good Guy Wins

  1. Nila Ridings

    Since I was a little girl this neighborhood display has been a tradition to see. I don’t know if they have an official HOA but I have been told that everybody is required to participate. And newcomers to the street are advised at the time of purchase about the displays and traffic. The holidays would not feel the same in Kansas without this one!

    And…….this is what happens where there is no HOA and the neighbors lobby with the Prairie Village City Council. Such a contrast from the decades of lights to the final picture. It seems every visitor from near and far had the “Falmouth” house as it was called on their “must see” list. So indicative of how times have changed when even a person with the spirit of Christmas in his heart and a love for bringing joy to others couldn’t succeed.


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