Tag Archives: Virginia

The Virginia HOA Power Grab

There was an interesting column from a blogger a couple of weeks ago about the bizarre proposed legislation in Virginia that would allow HOAs to fine ANY homeowner for ANYTHING as long as the CC&Rs didn’t specifically ban such fines. It has to be one of the biggest proposed power grabs in history. The column is fascinating and worth reading, in that it was written by an HOA president who opposed this fascist piece of legislative work.

But what really caught my attention is this columnist’s belief that this piece of legal outrage is supported by Republicans who traditionally oppose big government.

I’ve raged on in my own blog and my book that opposition to HOA dictatorships is not a Republican/Democrat/Left/Right issue. It’s about the rights of American homeowners to be left alone. It’s about the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, the Third, the Fourth, Fifth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth… the whole danged Constitution.

If Republicans in Virginia are pushing this bill then shame on them. If Democrats don’t have the guts to stand up to this then shame on them. If the brainless center-aisle legislators don’t have the stomach look with suspicion at the bill’s content, then shame. If this bill makes its way to the Governor’s desk, then the whole stenchy lot of these politicians should be frog-walked into the U.S. Supreme Court. I wonder what the court split on the constitutionality of this law would be?

Actually, that’s a little scary to think about.

(link to Virginia blogger)


Home Gardener About To Get Bashed

I have a lot of sympathy for Chris Gilson, a homeowner in the Brandermill Community Association in Chesterfield County Virginia. But I also have a prediction. He’s about to lose his home and his life savings.3p1[1]

After years of unsuccessful attempts to plant a lawn in his rocky front yard, he planted a vegetable garden, which has grown quickly. Now his HOA is fining him ten bucks a day until he removes it. The HOA says it’s going to assess that fine each day for 90 days. Gilson says he’ll be glad to pay $900 for the privilege of keeping his garden. But the poor fellow just doesn’t get it.

Disobey a mindless demand from your HOA and you’ll be fined, of course. But the HOA doesn’t like being scorned. So what’s waiting for Gilson at the end of those 90 days is a lien on his home, massive new fines, legal fees, debt collection costs, a lawsuit, and eventually the foreclosure and sale of his home at auction. His house, of course, will be auctioned for just a few thousand dollars. The most likely buyer will be a friend of a board member or a buddy of the lawyer that brings the lawsuit.  That ‘buddy’ will then kick back some money to the board member or the lawyer, and the home will quickly be sold and resold through a series of quick transactions. Those quick sale transactions are designed to make it impossible for Gilson to ever get back his home.

It’s the same kind of scam that cost Captain Michael Clauer his home while he was deployed in Iraq. His home was sold and re-sold in several transactions designed to make it impossible for him to get it back. The foreclosure against a serviceman deployed overseas was a blatant violation of federal law. So in Clauer’s case, a judge ordered a secret settlement that allowed Clauer to partially recover what he had lost.

Chris Gilson doesn’t have that kind of protection in the fight over his garden. He will lose. He will lose big time. With a scam as well-entrenched and as profitable as the HOA scam, very few if any people win. The one percent, or so, who actually win in court against an HOA end up with a massive net loss once the legal bills are paid.

Chris Gilson? Get out. Leave the neighborhood. This HOA will forever slander you, harass you, and vandalize you. Your daughters will be tormented by schoolmates. Anonymous calls will be made to your employer demanding that you be fired.

Chris? Are you listening?

Just believe me.

original source:  The Chesterfield Observer    http://tinyurl.com/o6ofhvr



‘Tis The Season To Be Folly

Ah yes, Good Friends. This is the season where bad neighbors are supposed to join hands, ill will is forgotten and life is reborn. After all, the Christmas holiday theoretically celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, the human form of God Almighty. The birth of Jesus and His subsequent ministry changed the world in a mightier way than any other man, religion, idea, or concept in history.

True Christian brotherhood should never have permitted the Crusades, or the enslavement of races, or a host of other things that Mankind has brought upon himself. Belief in Jesus Christ mandates that believers forgive, forget, and make a moral and spiritual change that amounts to a profound rebirth of the inner spirit. True Christian brotherhood also mandates that even non-believers and skeptics be given as much respect, consideration and love as those inside the faith. Christ was inclusive, not exclusionary, and Christ-followers do not have the right to assume themselves better, or wiser, or more blessed than non-believers, or to demand that non-believers change their ways and accept a belief system against their wishes and without question.

Christ-followers make just as many mistakes as those outside the faith, and human conflict doesn’t vanish simply because someone wishes another “Merry Christmas.”  No, strife goes on, and will always go on because all men and women, including Christians, are imperfect.

This blog is usually about that odd American institution known as Homeowners Associations, an invention originally devised to keep blacks, Orientals and Jews out of white neighborhoods. Doesn’t sound very ‘christian’, does it?

Some believers like to play the WWJD game when confronted with a controversial and puzzling life situation. WWJD?  What Would Jesus Do? Trying to understand the life and ministry of Jesus, in light of a given current controversy, which side would this incredible figure in history take?

For example, WWJD in a neighborhood where widows have their homes foreclosed upon when money is short and the HOA dues are late?  WWJD in a neighborhood where a child with Down’s Syndrome is forbidden from playing outside because the HOA won’t permit a porch enclosure to keep the child from wandering into the street? WWJD with a neighborhood where Negroes are subtlely steered by Realtors away from Caucasian enclaves? WWJD with a Homeowners Association that threatened to sue, seize and auction off a home where a child used firewood and branches to set up a temporary kids’ fort, or where a grandmother was told to face a lawsuit because her daughter’s backyard playhouse was pink instead of beige?

And what about neighborhoods that sue to force homeowners to remove Christmas lights that are set up to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ?

That last question is actually pretty easy to answer. Jesus was not a maniacal egotist. He would never have demanded that humans set up displays to celebrate his birth. He would have preferred that warring neighbors just find a way to treat each other with love and respect, lights or no lights.

Ward Lucas, author of:

Neighbors At War! The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association

Only Way To Battle Embezzlers is Use Their Names

Shawn Marie Bianco, of 109 Georgetowne Court was arrested by the Sheriff for embezzling from three organizations in Virginia. Two were Parent-Teacher Organizations. One was the Georgetown Court Homeowners Association.

She said she needed the money for several things, including braces for the kids’ teeth.

Oh yes.

She asked her friends not to mention her name anywhere.


Ward Lucas
Author of
Neighbors At War: The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association