Demise of an Observatory... Death by HOA
Posted 20 July 2014 - 08:11 PM
Posted 20 July 2014 - 08:48 PM
Posted 21 July 2014 - 08:57 AM
Footbag/Adam: No lawyers. As much as I hate to admit it, its a small community and I see/talk with these people frequently. For me, its just not worth it to go to (legal) battle against my neighbors.
lambermo: Like everything else... a plan has to be submitted to the Architecture Review Committee (ARC) for approval. Since I live on a hill/side of a mtn and passersby can look down on the house/roof, I doubt that the ARC would approve it.. Secondly, even if they would approve it, I would not longer trust that the approval was permanent.
Christopher Erikson: Interesting that you offer that solution... my brother-in-law has a friend that says he can construct/fabricate an observatory to look like a tree. Cost is a whole-nother matter. Lawyers... sorry, not me.
GJJim: Thanks. I agree with you completely.
piaras: Sorry, no lawyers for me. Too expensive and I don't want to fight my neighbors. I really like the area I'm in, so I don't plan on move.
Glen A W: Yes, I was disappointed to learn that the HOA members actually took into consideration what the realtors had to say. As for move to darker skies... I've had an SQM meter installed on the Obs. for well over a year, recording and logging sky conditions. A typical dark night here is 21.1 to 21.4... plenty dark for me.
Proteus5: As I mentioned earlier, I'm not one to go to battle against my neighbors. In the current scheme of things, its just not worth it and I'd rather not "waste" my money fighting something that there's no indication that I could actually win.
dawziecat: Thanks for your feedback.
Calypte: Thank you. I've been through the CC&R's. They didn't spell out that the structure was prohibited. We did follow the rules. The board did not say that it was against the CR&R's... they said that they had the authority to override approvals by the ARC... which they did.
Digital Don: Thanks for the feedback. I'm going to avoid the use of an attorney and not fight my neighbors.
TCW: Yes, I do have the originals and the ARC's approval. Interestingly, the ex-HOA board president emailed me a copy of them about a week after the letter. I think even he was a bit miffed at the rescinding of the approval.
rimcrazy: Our home is situated on the side of a mtn/steep hill. The back yard is not the best for me for the following reasons: (1) The house would completely block most everything from the zenith to the east and the neighbors house and trees blocks most everything to the south. (2) We have about 6 to 8" of rocky topsoil followed by fractured granite. Any type of digging back there is an immense pain in the butt. (3) The HOA would still have to approve plans... and I just don't trust them any more.
Posted 21 July 2014 - 09:18 AM
Posted 21 July 2014 - 11:10 AM
Posted 21 July 2014 - 12:56 PM
Posted 21 July 2014 - 02:56 PM
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Posted 21 July 2014 - 05:28 PM
John, I will say that I'm sad to hear that this may cause you to sell most of your equipment and quit astrophotography. If I may be so bold as to suggest that you take a period of time to gather your thoughts - let the dust settle and ponder your options. If you still feel like selling your gear, then so be it... but by waiting you just may discover other options that permit you to continue in this wonderful hobby.
Posted 21 July 2014 - 06:04 PM
Are there places close by you can buy or rent where you can set up an observatory?
Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:09 PM
Posted 21 July 2014 - 08:07 PM
Posted 21 July 2014 - 09:04 PM
Posted 21 July 2014 - 09:19 PM
I am sorry to say, this kind of thing sounds like someone was looking for a fight. I know that once they got going on us in our neighborhood, it was nonstop for two decades. Most of the neighbors were our friends, and some were victims of the fascists too, so it was a confusing situation. It was unclear who the complainer was and we could never find out. But I don't think they can be beat. They play mean.
Posted 21 July 2014 - 09:47 PM
Posted 21 July 2014 - 11:44 PM
Posted 22 July 2014 - 04:36 AM
What ever you do don't fly an American flag. That really makes the Mrs. Grundys see red.
Yeah, and don't even think of flyin' the Stars 'n Bars!
Posted 22 July 2014 - 06:43 AM
Posted 22 July 2014 - 06:48 AM
You need lawn art. Gnomes, pinwheel flamingos, one of those semi submerged concrete crocodiles.
Posted 22 July 2014 - 09:42 AM
Posted 22 July 2014 - 10:48 AM
The purposes of HOAs vary. Some HOA's are established merely to ensure the upkeep of the community's appearance; some include maintenance of amenities such as swimming pools, gym facilities, meeting rooms, even golf courses. Accordingly, the monthly assessment paid by homeowners varies widely. I only paid $33.60 monthly in my old HOA, but the assessment in fancy ones can be $100s. Infractions to rules or judgments in an HOA can be enforced by fines, which accumulate if unpaid. They have the force of law. They constitute a lien on the property which must be paid prior to selling the property.
Prior to living in a community with an HOA, we lived in a community where a few homeowners kept derelict cars on their property, or some would not maintain the exterior appearance of their homes. These things affect the value of everybody's home, but there's not much nearby homeowners can do about it. An HOA provides some protection. We now live in a rural community (dark skies!) with minimum 2-1/2 acre lots and no HOA. But the price of no HOA is that properties can be as nicely kept or as junky as individual owners wish, and there's nothing much we can do about it except maybe to call in county code enforcement in extreme cases.
Edited to add: Most communities don't have HOAs. Their popularity has waxed and waned according to the legal environment and whatever marketing advantage the builder feels they may yield. HOAs are often targets for lawsuits, and such lawsuits can encumber everybody's property. If the OP decided to fight rather than cave (which apparently has been his decision), then he could create real trouble for his HOA. I worked in new-home sales for several years. Some customers wanted an HOA, to maintain the appearance of the community; other customers were horrified by the expense and expected restrictions.
Posted 22 July 2014 - 03:19 PM
The purposes of HOAs vary. Some HOA's are established merely to ensure the upkeep of the community's appearance; some include maintenance of amenities such as swimming pools, gym facilities, meeting rooms, even golf courses.
The HOA needs to provide an observatory as one of the ameneities.
Posted 22 July 2014 - 05:10 PM
There's a development in Borrego Springs, CA, that has one. But I don't know if the HOA maintains it or just an interested resident.
The HOA needs to provide an observatory as one of the ameneities.
Posted 22 July 2014 - 11:48 PM
The absolute best defense against a renegade HOA is to bite the bullet, go to all of the meetings and get on the board.
I find it amazing that the one tried-and-true solution I have found has been completely ignored and not received a single reply!
It's just like voting. If you aren't involved, how can you gripe about the results?