Tag Archives: Home Assoc

Little Boxes

Yes, I know I’ve posted this before, but because we get new readers here every day, many will not ever have heard this Pete Seeger classic. Enjoy!



Victories Are Rare!

It’s not often when a beleaguered homeowner gets a chance to beat up a bullying Homeowners Association, but I do love to see it happen.

I remember my own battles with a Homeowners Association in Morrison, Colorado. My wife had just been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She had no visible symptoms whatsoever, but the president of the HOA said he would not allow ANY accommodations for a disability. He told us, “well, you’ll just have to move downtown.” I was blown away at his bluntness. But this HOA president, Hatch Wroton, told me, “You know, in a restaurant people just kind of lose their appetite around gimps. They don’t want to see them.”

That was my new awakening that HOAs were too exclusive for blacks, gays, Jews and ‘gimps’ like my wife. Wroton was the former Martin Marietta scientist who designed some of the spacecraft which were destined to land on Mars. But this neighborhood will never escape from the legacy of this anti-Semitic, anti-homosexual, anti-Negro board and its president. There are others to take their place, of course, and the hatred will wax and wane.

But the message is that the extreme bigotry of my HOA is NOT unique. It goes on everywhere.

The story linked below is about a disabled Marine pilot from California who was also treated horribly. They wouldn’t give him access to the community swimming pool. It apparently made the other residents uncomfortable. Never mind that the federal government found their actions illegal. There’s a settlement. The HOA insurance company will pay the elderly couple a hundred thousand bucks if they just take their disabled, disfigured military hero to some other neighborhood.

Photographed in July 2013, Cynthia Campbell kisses her husband, Allen Campbell, to calm him down after he talked about his complaint with their homeowners association. The retired South Natomas couple have settled the case for a six-figure sum – provided they move out after they accused their homeowners association of denying Allen Campbell, a disabled former Marine pilot, access to the community pool.

(link to story on disabled Marine)


Mommy and Daddy Are Going To Jail!

guest blog by Nila Ridings

Excuse my language, but WHAT THE HELL is going on at Raintree Lake in Lee’s Summit, Missouri?

This family project of building a playset is about to land the parents in JAIL. All because the stain they used on the wood is purple. And since when do HOAs have the legal right to put somebody in JAIL? Isn’t JAIL where criminals go? Tell me what is criminal about purple? Or a playset. Oh! That’s right we’re dealing with an HOA here. Now, this all makes sense.

I know people who live in this Raintree Lake HOA. I’m not sure how happy they will be to see their neighbors hauled off in handcuffs to JAIL over the color purple. And I know they will not be happy having their dues burned up in legal bills! I need to ask them if their HOA has built a jail for those who they think did not follow the CC&R’s? Perhaps this is the up and coming thing with HOAs? I’ve always felt like I was living in a JAIL since I moved into an HOA.

I can hear it now. “Hi Dad, it’s Marla. We’re in JAIL because we stained the girls’ playset purple! Can you come down with some bail money so we can get out of HOA JAIL?”

The internet discussions are about starting fundraiser websites to help this family fight to keep their playset. So sad. Good money being donated and spent to fill the pockets of HOA attorneys…again!

Folks, in the big picture of life would somebody please clue these Raintree Lake HOA board members in on how insanely ridiculous they are conducting themselves. When I think of the massive issues we are facing in America and worldwide, it really irks me that bullies on HOA boards are relishing the idea of destroying lives and bank accounts over nonsense. And purple paint is total nonsense!

When will the legislators wake up and see what damage is being done to homeowners by people with evil intentions?

Thanks to Scott McDonnell at KMBC for covering this story. I have tried for years to get this television station to help us educate homeowners about HOAs. Finally, I see progress is being made!

(link to KMBC story on the purpose swing set)


One Person One Vote


Our frequent guest blogger, Deborah Goonan, alerted me to an excellent documentary which could ultimately go straight to the heart of the fight against the HOA disease. It’s produced by the Annenberg Foundation and reviews two of the most important U.S. Supreme Court decisions of the 20th Century, Baker v. Carr and Reynolds v. Simms, which were both decided in the early 60s.

The Court essentially ruled that the 14th Amendment, enacted 3 years after the civil war, should have made all citizens equal. But as the decades rolled on it became obvious that because of unequal state apportionment of legislative districts, people in rural counties had much more voting power than high density cities. The court essentially ruled that equal rights means equal voting power. It overturned 150 years of precedence and all legislatures had to reapportion their states so a roughly equal number of people resided in each voting district. There’s been frequent gerrymandering, of course, but that’s a story for another time.

There was another major milestone that happened about that same time. The country decided that blacks had just as much right to vote as whites. Congress enacted and the President signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and many southern laws which restricted black voting rights were overturned.

The amazing thing that should interest us…is that these two court decisions and the Civil Rights Act led immediately to the creation of the modern HOA movement which decided that by incorporating housing developments and then controlling them with HOA mini-governments, they were able to once again subvert the one person one vote principle. Actually, it was more perverse than that. Most HOAs allotted one vote per parcel owned. It was an arrogant refutation of three of the most important government decisions of the century.

“We’re private corporations. The Constitution allows us to handle our people in whichever way we want. You can’t tell us how to treat our ’employees’ and ‘investors.'”

But that could be the Achilles heel of the HOA movement. These are our homes we’re talking about. This is where we live, where we’re supposed to be able to find ultimate privacy, shelter against abusive government (HOA officers and property managers). But this is the one remaining bastion where the one person one vote principle falls apart. We get one vote per property owned. For example, the investor who owns 50 parcels out of a hundred home development (even if he doesn’t live in the community) may get 50% of the vote, so the neighborhood looks the way he wants it, regardless of the wishes of all the other neighbors. He may easily, and probably will get himself installed as lifetime president of the board.

One person one vote. Think about it folks. As you watch the 26 minute documentary linked below, ask how this might be applied in your own HOA.

(link to the Annenberg documentary)


Funny, But Only Mildly HOA-Related

This one has been circulating recently. It involves a tiger, a police stop, and a Washington State kid who’s already wise to the ways of his Homeowners Association.

(link to real smart kid)