Yes, I was one of those trapped in Boulder, Colorado when walls of water streamed out of the canyons and smashed into the town. There’s just no way to describe the terror of trying to escape a flood with walls of water several feet high crashing into your car in virtually every intersection. If the amounts of water that flooded Boulder County were turned into equivalent snow amounts, this storm would have produced a blizzard that amounted to 18 feet of snow! I started trying to get out of town at about 5pm and finally poured myself into bed nine hours later. This is usually a thirty minute drive for me.
As regular readers of this blog already know, I never recommend books other than my own! But once you read Neighbors At War! The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association, then I heartily recommend another one. I probably read it twenty five years ago, but while packing up books I ran across this oldie but goodie. It’s super short and clever, but it’s a fun read!
29 Reasons Not To Go To Law School, by Ralph Warner & Toni Ihara. Ignore Amazon’s high prices, you can probably pick a used copy up for a buck or two.
A recent issue of Realty Times discusses what thousands of victims of Hurricane Sandy already know: Homeowners in HOAs Co-ops and Community Associations aren’t eligible for storm coverage.
Huh? What’s that again?
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, says Homeowners Associations are private businesses. As such, a homeowner who’s damaged in a major disaster can’t get federal grants. If they’re lucky they might qualify for loans, but by buying into a Homeowners Association a homeowner is actually just a shareholder in a business enterprise, not a real homeowner.
The good doctor and his wife really wanted to follow their HOA’s rules and regulations. They also wanted to keep harmful fertilizers out of the Intracoastal Waterway near Jacksonville.
They filed the necessary paperwork for a “Florida Friendly” yard. After getting no response during the customary 30 day waiting period, they started their landscaping project.
Whoa! The official “HOA Double Standard” raised its ugly head in the form of a nasty lawsuit!
Dr. and Mrs. Sidle had followed all the HOA rules, but the HOA didn’t bother to follow its own. So, off to see the judge they went. The court ordered mediation and the HOA board gave complete representation to the mediator to settle the case. Everyone agreed and the couple planted all the approved flowers. They were even presented with the first-ever Gold Certified Florida Friendly Landscape Award in Duval County.
The problem? The HOA president didn’t like the mediator’s decision and demanded a full-blown trial!
Ultimately, the judge ruled in favor of Dr. and Mrs. Sidle. Sadly, the Sidles weren’t awarded their legal fees. And all their neighbors will undoubtedly get slammed with a special assessment to pay for the board’s arrogance and ignorance of Florida law.
No mention of the current board’s status, but I hope this board president gets booted into the Intracoastal Waterway with all that soggy St. Augustine Grass draped around his neck. The Florida Friendly Landscape Award sounds like a winner but this board president has proven himself to be a real loser!