In Greek mythology, the Hydra was a terrifying sea monster that had many heads and used them to devour innocent seafarers. Our hero, Heracles, forced the Hydra into the open and began chopping off its heads. But each time a head was severed two new ones grew back. It seemed like a hopeless task but Heracles was undaunted. He finally figured out that if he used a torch to cauterize each severed limb they failed to regrow.
Good neighborhoods are quirky. That’s because people are quirky, and their quirks keep us all smiling and make the world go ’round. The problem with Homeowners Associations is that they’re bland, bleached, with a sameness that brings everyone to the same level. Standing out from the crowd is a well-known guaranty of getting yourself sued.
The New Territory Residential Community Association in Sugar Land, Texas is having a conniption fit over some ‘yard art’ in front of one family’s home. Other families have decorative lions in their front yards. But the Hentschel family has put up some beautifully made statuary that’s unique: metal sculptures of a velociraptor and a T-Rex.
Just this week, a Colin County, Texas judge threw out an HOA’s case against owners of a home used as an Orthodox Jewish synagogue. The legal battle began in 2013, when an owner by the name of David R. Schneider independently sued the Congregation Toras Chaim and the owners of the dwelling, Mark and Judith Gothelf, for allegedly violating restrictive covenants specifying “single family” use. The HOA intervened in the case in 2014, shortly after Mr. Schneider was elected to the Board of Highlands of McKamy IV & V HOA.
Not in a million years would I have predicted this one. But perhaps the most ethically challenged senator in Texas state history has lost his bid for re-election.
For 24 years, John Carona has reigned supreme. From his position as Texas State Senator he has built a multi billion dollar company managing 8000 homeowners associations across the country. Around his HOAs he has built banks, insurance companies, landscaping firms. Homeowners who had the misfortune of living in those neighborhoods learned more than anyone else what the phrase ‘lawn Nazi’ means.
Homeowners Associations can, indeed, wreck your life. So there isn’t much humor in the anti-HOA movement. Still, it’s great to see a homeowners rights advocate in Texas making such a good video and sharing it with the rest of the world.
Turn up the volume, click on the video, sit back and enjoy!