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Demise of an Observatory... Death by HOA

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#51 Starman27

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 07:36 AM

Absolutely! get on the HOA and work from within. It may also be instructive.

#52 Edd Weninger

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 10:09 AM

More easily said than done. One has to be elected. About 250 lots and voters where I am - I know about a dozen neighbors.

#53 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 12:22 PM

More easily said than done. One has to be elected. About 250 lots and voters where I am - I know about a dozen neighbors.


Attend the meetings.

Provide your input.

Actually throw your hat in the ring when elections come around.

Most HOA's have trouble getting enough people to run to fill the boards.

And at the very least, you get to know everyone currently on the board and they get to know you.

Make friends in the right places.

#54 Perseus_m45

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 03:42 PM

to be honest with you I can't even imagine living in a place with a HOA .
mike h

#55 rockethead26

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 04:09 PM

Pensacola, FL here. ... Unfortunately, in this city, if you do not have HOA, trash can live and build next to your beautiful home.


Wow, I guess because I do not share your wealthy values and don't need someone to tell me how to use my property "properly", I'm trash. Real nice! :bow:

#56 dr.who

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 10:54 PM

Not an attorney not offering legal advice...

Out of left field but... Under ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and/or FFHA (Federal Fair Housing Act) a "reasonable accommodation" must be granted by the HOA to the homeowner to fully utilize and enjoy his/her unit.

For example the No Pets rule that many HOA's have would not apply if the home owner needed a service animal. A service animal doesn't mean for a wheelchair bound or blind person. It also can be a "companion animal" for mental heath reasons.

For your "mental health" you need to be able to do AP. In order to do AP you need an observatory that is situated to maximize the viewable sky area. That is your front yard.

All that would be required is a letter from a doctor documenting your "condition" and stating that a "reasonable accommodation" is to have the observatory. .. :rules: :grin:

#57 Calypte

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 11:06 PM

to be honest with you I can't even imagine living in a place with a HOA .
mike h

If a neighbor chose to leave junk cars up on blocks, dripping oil, on their driveway, or if a neighbor chose to paint their house purple and orange, you might feel differently.

#58 rockethead26

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 11:26 PM

to be honest with you I can't even imagine living in a place with a HOA .
mike h

If a neighbor chose to leave junk cars up on blocks, dripping oil, on their driveway, or if a neighbor chose to paint their house purple and orange, you might feel differently.


Probably not. I'm a firm believer that it's a fair trade to let other folks do with their property as they wish in return for being able to do what ever I want to do on mine. It's the simple old golden rule.

I live in a very mixed neighborhood. It's quiet and calm and has no crime. Everybody says hello to one another when out walking. There are a lot of kids. The houses run the gamut around here from the "Homes and Gardens" look to guys with "Keep Out", "No Trespassing" signs and military style vehicles parked in their driveway and yes, a few have dead cars on the sides of their houses.

It's the nicest, if not the prettiest neighborhood I've ever lived in including one HOA neighborhood in Florida that was a PITA. Nobody gets in anyone's business here. If I want an observatory in my back yard, I'll get a permit from the city and build it. That's the way things should be.

I think people give up too much for the imagined benefits of a HOA. There are a lot of nice neighborhoods in this country that function just fine without the busy bodies.

#59 Calypte

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 01:02 AM

to be honest with you I can't even imagine living in a place with a HOA .
mike h

If a neighbor chose to leave junk cars up on blocks, dripping oil, on their driveway, or if a neighbor chose to paint their house purple and orange, you might feel differently.


Probably not. I'm a firm believer that it's a fair trade to let other folks do with their property as they wish in return for being able to do what ever I want to do on mine. It's the simple old golden rule.

I live in a very mixed neighborhood. It's quiet and calm and has no crime. Everybody says hello to one another when out walking. There are a lot of kids. The houses run the gamut around here from the "Homes and Gardens" look to guys with "Keep Out", "No Trespassing" signs and military style vehicles parked in their driveway and yes, a few have dead cars on the sides of their houses.

It's the nicest, if not the prettiest neighborhood I've ever lived in including one HOA neighborhood in Florida that was a PITA. Nobody gets in anyone's business here. If I want an observatory in my back yard, I'll get a permit from the city and build it. That's the way things should be.

I think people give up too much for the imagined benefits of a HOA. There are a lot of nice neighborhoods in this country that function just fine without the busy bodies.

Our old neighborhood in San Diego didn't have purple and orange houses, but we did have problems with derelict cars. We gladly accepted an HOA in Temecula. In that particular community, the HOA monthly assessment was only $33.60 by the time we left, which mainly paid for maintenance of some common areas (i.e., no amenities), but at the same time gave us some protection against unmaintained or shabby properties. We left, not because of the rules, but because the dark sky we had when the neighborhood was remote was long gone, and the neighborhood had become quite noisy.

#60 TCW

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 01:03 PM

To each his own. If people choose to collectively give up many of their rights to live in a community ruled by tinpot despots then that is their choice.

Not mine though.

#61 amicus sidera

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 01:33 PM

To each his own. If people choose to collectively give up many of their rights to live in a community ruled by tinpot despots then that is their choice.

Not mine though.


Not mine, either.

Didn't Samuel Adams say something regarding "the tranquility of servitude" versus "the animating contest of freedom"? Used to be that Americans knew how to handle tyrants... or at the very least remain out of their clutches.

Seems that many of us now run headlong into the embrace of "tinpot despots" (nice turn of phrase, btw :grin:)...

#62 aatt

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 02:17 PM

The build was approved.What an annoying situation. Call an attorney and have the HOA foot the bill for removal etc.I am glad I don't live in a HOA. My yard is landscaped for biological diversity, but if I was in HOA I would have been run out on a rail long ago.

#63 TCW

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 02:26 PM

My yard is landscaped for biological diversity, but if I was in HOA I would have been run out on a rail long ago.


Is that what weeds are called now? :lol: :roflmao: :lol:

#64 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 02:32 PM

Not everyone has the luxury of being able to avoid HOA's and for some people, they have more advantages than disadvantages.

I live in an Hawaiian HOA (the worst possible kind) and have a 20' steel shipping container sitting in my driveway.

At first there was no way that they were going to let me keep it. I asked "what if it fit in my garage?" and they said "in that case, you could keep it." Then I asked "Can I get permission to build a 1-car garage at the back-end of my driveway if it matches the trim, style and colors of my house?" and they said "yes". Then I asked "what if it were only a few inches bigger than my shipping container?" and they said "it would be okay" Then I said "what if it were attached to my shipping container?" and they looked at me, grinned, sighed and said "okay"

My strategy to deal with HOA's is to go to all of the meetings, always vote, talk with the compliance guys, make friends, volunteer to help with various activities and always be honest and open when dealing with them. Never promise one thing and then do another.

I hope this helps.

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#65 TCW

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 02:37 PM

That was creative. I want to get two containers, space them about 12 feet apart and put a roof over them. My wife is not enthusiastic about it though. ;)

#66 dr.who

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 07:08 PM

Bravo Mr. Erickson! That was positively brilliant!

On a personal note I agree with you in principle regarding going to all meetings, making friends, voting, etc. It is very good advice! However in practice I find that as I age I do not suffer fools and petty bullies lightly. Thus my attendance at such a meeting would be shall we say... Counter productive. And getting elected to the board would be as well for the same reason. ;)

#67 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 07:14 PM

Bravo Mr. Erickson! That was positively brilliant!

On a personal note I agree with you in principle regarding going to all meetings, making friends, voting, etc. It is very good advice! However in practice I find that as I age I do not suffer fools and petty bullies lightly. Thus my attendance at such a meeting would be shall we say... Counter productive. And getting elected to the board would be as well for the same reason. ;)


Well I'm not exactly a spring chicken myself!


For me, what helps is:

1. Treat everyone as a friend until proven otherwise.

2. Treat everyone as if they were the most interesting person you have ever met.

3. Never forget that all people were placed on this earth for our own personal entertainment.

4. In 100 years you, I and everyone we know will be dead and our own great-grandchildren won't even know our names.

#68 rockethead26

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 07:19 PM

Not everyone has the luxury of being able to avoid HOA's and for some people, they have more advantages than disadvantages.

I live in an Hawaiian HOA (the worst possible kind) and have a 20' steel shipping container sitting in my driveway.

At first there was no way that they were going to let me keep it. I asked "what if it fit in my garage?" and they said "in that case, you could keep it." Then I asked "Can I get permission to build a 1-car garage at the back-end of my driveway if it matches the trim, style and colors of my house?" and they said "yes". Then I asked "what if it were only a few inches bigger than my shipping container?" and they said "it would be okay" Then I said "what if it were attached to my shipping container?" and they looked at me, grinned, sighed and said "okay"

My strategy to deal with HOA's is to go to all of the meetings, always vote, talk with the compliance guys, make friends, volunteer to help with various activities and always be honest and open when dealing with them. Never promise one thing and then do another.

I hope this helps.


Excellent!!! :waytogo:

#69 Glen A W

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 07:26 PM

While it sounds good to get "involved," I would be careful to let that last only as long as it is a positive experience for you. I have learned the hard way that these people who can't be dealt with simply can't be dealt with.

They are mean and ruthless, and you probably are not. They are better at making you miserable than you are at dealing with it. I really believe the best bet in these situations is to ignore them if possible, and move otherwise. You need to determine right from the start if the HOA is full of nuts or not. Many of them drive out the good people and then it is really nasty business.

At my old snotty neighborhood, I had it happen about ten years ago that I noticed two clumps, each about 24 inches across, of a different, thick grass coming up in the yard. Since the neighbors all had decorative coarse grass clumps, I was excited - I'd have a couple and they'd be free, too!

The neighbors watched each others' houses closely so they knew I grew those. They called the code cop and he sent a letter stating that since my grasses had not been "cultivated," I had to cut them down! My clump grasses looked just like anyone else's. It was a joke.

I don't know how they make it in the world. It is hard for most of us to do it, and yet they have time for this madness. We had nonstop vandalism at night and it proved to be a church deacon doing it. At least they left my observatory alone, as I wisely walled it in.

Glen

#70 TCW

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:24 PM

You hit the truth of HOA boards and other similar organizations. Ruthless power mad jerks gravitate towards these positions and drive out anyone that is not just like them. Most people just don't have the energy to deal with these despots and give up. Not to mention that HOA boards have the budget to hire lawyers to retaliate and you may not.

A local HOA ran up bills of over $100K in one of their little wars that the home owners were liable for!

#71 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:33 PM

You hit the truth of HOA boards and other similar organizations. Ruthless power mad jerks gravitate towards these positions and drive out anyone that is not just like them. Most people just don't have the energy to deal with these despots and give up. Not to mention that HOA boards have the budget to hire lawyers to retaliate and you may not.

A local HOA ran up bills of over $100K in one of their little wars that the home owners were liable for!


The jerks only get into power when all of the good guys stay home and don't get involved and don't vote.

Same thing happens in politics.

#72 Glen A W

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:54 PM

I just feel we have reached a point where there are enough of these mean people that we see more and more of us hiding away. They say civic group participation is at a low. I don't think it is just because people don't care - I think it is because of the disordered people who are rampant in our society now and hurt others.

We have an informal, unorganized group of us who observe in my back yard because we enjoy it. There are no equipment contests because we use each others' stuff when we are out there. No egomaniacs are involved. Once you get the power structure in place, no matter how small the power might be, it seems to attract trouble. Pitiful, that they will be that way over so little power.

Glen

#73 amicus sidera

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 09:43 AM

I just feel we have reached a point where there are enough of these mean people that we see more and more of us hiding away. They say civic group participation is at a low. I don't think it is just because people don't care - I think it is because of the disordered people who are rampant in our society now and hurt others.

We have an informal, unorganized group of us who observe in my back yard because we enjoy it. There are no equipment contests because we use each others' stuff when we are out there. No egomaniacs are involved. Once you get the power structure in place, no matter how small the power might be, it seems to attract trouble. Pitiful, that they will be that way over so little power.


Glen, it's my understanding that somewhere around 5% of the population is comprised of certifiable psychopaths; while relatively few of them are serial killers or ax murders, they all share the common trait of having no feelings, no compassion and very little inner life. They initially survive in society as children by mimicry, that is, observing the emotions of those around them and then learning to mimic them as necessary to blend in.

By the time they reach adulthood many of them have become very skillful at manipulating others for their own ends, as they have no conscience to restrain them. These individuals are drawn to positions of power and authority, and upon attaining them, tend to perform in a remarkably unsympathetic and inhuman manner; inhuman, because by any reasonable emotional and spiritual standards, they are decidedly other.

Knowing how to spot, and then avoid them, is a life lesson best learnt sooner rather than later.
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#74 highertheflyer

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 10:38 AM

Mounting the scope on a simple pull trailer housed in the garage seems to be the way to circumvent HOA rulings. Happened years ago with large 12 foot satellite dishes coming to roost in the USA.

And I do wonder how a Home Owners Association would fight an "Underground Tornado Shelter" in this bread basket of America and its means for insuring that the HOA would not be held responsible in the death of an individual.

Perhaps within hurricane infested regions, a "Safe Hurricane Shelter" above ground to protect from flying debris?

So may they consider a lawsuit following deaths/destructions..

Jim

#75 Raginar

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 10:43 AM

It's interesting as a military person looking at the civilian population. I find that most civilians just lack the ability to expand beyond the social circle they grew up in. It's not that people are 'mean' or 'disordered', it's that people lack the ability to ask their neighbors over for dinner and don't really think beyond their little social circle.

Case in point, I have a great neighbor. But everything is always on his terms if we're going to socialize and it's usually tied to his family. If I ask him to do something, it's probably going to be a 'no' because he has family events planned 'ad infinite' in the local area. On the flip side, my other neighbor is a foreign professor. His family is just like mine and we hang out all the time.

I think the demise of society is greatly over exaggerated :). You just have to get to know people and build bonds with them.
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