Category Archives: California

Corruption in Hotel California

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it in the future. When you’re investing your life savings in your home, don’t trust anybody. Don’t trust the Realtor. Don’t trust the county’s master plan, and above all do not trust your HOA. Homeowners in Chula Vista, California are learning about what all west coast residents know as ‘Californication.’

They bought into a peaceful valley where traffic was minimal, wildlife was everywhere, no smog was in the air. Life in the Eastlake III Homeowners Association was Heaven on Earth. The master plan showed their pristine way of life would last forever. But that kind of promise evaporates the minute land developers start knocking on doors. All of a sudden builders began jamming high density neighborhoods all around, packing in low quality homes like sardines in a can.

Eastlake III is no longer the promised land. The Homeowners Association is embroiled in legal disputes, recall elections, charges of corruption, violence threatened. Police are being hired to maintain the peace in HOA meetings.

Promises are like…. no, discretion says “don’t go there.” Let’s just say that promises are hollow. And promises made by a Homeowners Association are especially worthless.

(link to story in the San Diego Reader)


Little Free Library Must Go Says The HOA!

guest blog by Nila Ridings

Jennifer Fontanilla of Stockton, California had no idea she could not erect a Little Free Library in her front yard. Well, let’s say she had no idea her LeBaron Estates Owners Association could prohibit her from keeping the Little Free Library she won and then erected.

It’s got a bright yellow door and gives the impression literacy is just tempting inquiring minds of the young and old to open it. Take a peek inside. Find something interesting. And take it home to read.

OMG! What if there was a copy of Neighbors At War The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association by Ward Lucas in there? What if Miss Jennifer and her neighbors learned the TRUTH about the risks of owning in the HOA? What if they came across this website and read these blogs about abusive bullies on the HOA boards? What if she has no idea the board members can spend massive amounts of money to drag her into a lawsuit, a jury trial, and foreclose and take her home and life’s savings? All because she was providing FREE BOOKS to her neighbors to READ! Tell me dear readers, has there ever been a greater sin?!?!

The Little Free Library movement has gone global. To me, it’s a wonderful thing. I’ve been known to put books in the ones in my area, but NONE OF THEM ARE IN MY HOA! I would love to build one and fill it with books. But I know I would have to figure out a way to live in it because my HOA would definitely foreclose and take my townhouse if a Little Free Library appeared anywhere near here.

The ignorance in America continues to grow. Shouldn’t we be willing to do anything possible to encourage learning? Are we really this stupid to believe a Little Free Library across the street is going to depreciate property values? And are we willing to pay dues so a bunch of bullies can sue the neighbor that has a Little Free Library that most everybody enjoys?

When will we stand up and say, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH?

Jennifer Fontanilla has another ‘hearing’ about this issue on July 14th. Can we figure out a way to show our support for her from all across America?

A special thank you to Record staff writer, Nicolas Filipas for exposing more insanity from a California HOA.

(link to Little Free Library story)

California Does The Right Thing During Drought

We discussed this recently: the California bill to forbid Homeowners Associations from fining homeowners who allow their lawns to go brown.

The drought in the Southwest is historic, with water to Southern California all but going dry. The Central Valley is dry, the Colorado River is almost a dry basin. Commercial irrigation in much of the state has evaporated. People in Los Angeles County who suddenly can’t get drinking water from the tap are going to be astonished.

Despite the water disaster, arrogant HOA boards have been fining homeowners who don’t water their lawns enough. It took a state law to forbid HOAs, their management companies and their lawyers from ordering homeowners to ignore drought warnings. And now all those board members are whining that they have a new law they have to obey.

Strange that HOA boards can be so short-sighted. No concience, I guess.

But that’s why we keep electing them, right?

(link to story on drought legislation)



And We All Give Thanks

By coincidence the celebration of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving begin in the same few hours this year. And I am thankful for all my friends in many faiths… and even those who are skeptics. But you can all have faith in this: I respect you and am thankful for all of you.

Ward Lucas

Is It The Kids? Or Their Race?

I never want to jump too quickly on the ‘race bandwagon,’ but this one is really weird. The story is from Northern California.

The Tennis Villas at Blackhawk Homeowners Association has banned the three children of a mixed race couple from playing outside, from trick-or-treating and from using any of the common areas in the gated neighborhood. Seth and Carolynn Neri say their children have been ‘targeted’ by the HOA. One of their sons wrote a letter to all thirty neighbors introducing himself and asking them to change their minds about the ‘no playing’ rule. Two letters came back marked, “No!” and “No Way! Move.”

The Neris’ lawyer says the actions are in violation of federal housing law and a lawsuit has been filed against Tennis Villas and Community Association Management. The lawsuit alleges that the president of the HOA board told the Neris that some people in the neighborhood were upset that the new family was a mixed race couple.

The HOA board and its management company have not returned phone calls to the media.

Believe it. They never will.

But when those thirty neighbors start paying special assessments for all the legal bills and inevitable federal fines and civil judgments they’ll soon be racking up, they might get the message.

(click here for story from Contra Costa Times)