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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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AstroTatDad
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/22/13

Loc: Los Angeles - San Diego
The battle with HOA has began.
      #5940526 - 06/25/13 09:38 PM

We own are condo, but is pretty much ran by HOA (FUN) a few days ago we got a letter from HOA stating that I need to remove "the observatory" LOL ok! I have a PVC frame with black materiel that is used to block light from the people next door and the pool area which the lights are on all night long. I told HOA I will take it down when they start to follow the CITY rules! I looked in to it through the county of San Diego and the pool area lights are to be off at 11:00PM according to San Diego County.

These lights are so bad that they light are bedroom up on the 2nd floor. My front viewing area would be a very great area to observe, we live right on red/orange zone. The front faces North/East and some East/South. If the pool area lights were off it would be great viewing, because to the east there is NO lights hardly and not that far east is a green zone.

So I sent HOA all the info I found from the county, we told them if it is not changed we will get a hold of the board which they will have to change it, so we are trying to be cool.

Also LOL get this, They will start to fine us for having the light blockers up. This is crazy, I know its the people next door too! They know we are out observing, just 2 months ago he put in a BIG ghetto light that lights up all are area in front of our place. This is why I made the light blockers, with out the light blockers I can't even use the scopes out there

So yeah, guess we will see what happens.. can't wait to move out of here.

Anyone else dealing with something like this? You should look in to it, because we can do something about it. If you live in San Diego check this out http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/pds/docs/LightPollutionCode.pdf I'm sure it's the same almost anywhere like this in the US. It don't hurt to look in to it, if your dealing with something like this.

I will keep you guys posted

Edited by AstroTatDad (06/25/13 09:47 PM)


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SkyGibbon
super member


Reged: 02/09/13

Loc: Las Vegas, Nevada
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: AstroTatDad]
      #5940603 - 06/25/13 10:38 PM

HOAs are pathetic.

That is all


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Rick Woods
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/27/05

Loc: Inner Solar System
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: SkyGibbon]
      #5940626 - 06/25/13 10:51 PM

I've never understood why anyone would willingly put themselves under a HOA's control. As I understand it, they can actually take your house, if push comes to shove...

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AstroTatDad
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/22/13

Loc: Los Angeles - San Diego
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5940634 - 06/25/13 10:55 PM

agree Rick, my girlfriend has lived here for 10 years, I moved in about 8 months ago. I'm helping her get rid of this place so we can buy a house when we get married. We are hoping to have all this done by next summer. And yes I will be building an observatory. I'm counting the days.

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Achernar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: Mobile, Alabama, USA
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: AstroTatDad]
      #5940653 - 06/25/13 11:15 PM

I have the same problem with a neighbor leaving bright floods on all day, all night, every day. I am about to put up light blockers that can be put up and taken down at will along my side of the fence. At least I don't have a control freak run by small minded people HOA to deal with. I wish you luck in getting out of that hellhole neighborhood. In the meantime, you could make and use light blockers that can be disassembled and stored when not in use just to tweak your very rude neighbor and the HOA. As far as I am concerned, what they are doing is infringing on your personal space and liberty. I would not stand for that.

Taras


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zonamav
journeyman
*

Reged: 06/01/13

Loc: southern arizona
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5940696 - 06/25/13 11:55 PM

Quote:

I've never understood why anyone would willingly put themselves under a HOA's control. As I understand it, they can actually take your house, if push comes to shove...




Well depending on your region, its possible that most affordable housing whether it be condos or homes are part of a HOA so there isn't a choice. Or the rare affordable neighborhoods that aren't part of an HOA, are sometimes a dump because people don't take care of their neighborhood.

But back to the topic at hand, I would try to create something removable that can be broken down and reassembled. Not optimal, but hopefully workable.

Or go nuclear, and turn in your HOA to the city for complaints about breaking the light pollution. First I would try all alternative solutions first though.


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okieav8rAdministrator
I'd rather be flying!
*****

Reged: 03/01/09

Loc: Oklahoma!
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: Achernar]
      #5940697 - 06/25/13 11:55 PM

It's hard to get away from such neighbors. It seems every neighborhood has one or two who want to light up the rest of the neighborhood. So that's why I'm actively looking for 10 acres in the country. Means a longer commute to work and to see family and friends, but it also means peace and quiet and an environment more conducive for astronomy.

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CharlesW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5940699 - 06/26/13 12:01 AM

I just took a look at the county's publication that advises people concerning public pools. http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/deh/water/pdf/publications_poolop377.pdf
It looks like your HOA is mandated to leave the lights on from sunset to sunrise. I'm not sure you'll get any traction on that issue.


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Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5940829 - 06/26/13 01:56 AM

Use the IDA and look into the City's regulations on light pollution. If there aren't any rules (doubtful, it' California), go to your city board meetings and get it changes. You need to be involved in your HOA as well. This is the time to go on the offensive and use your knowledge to educate others on what you're trying to do.

Finally, get to know the jerk next door. Some times this stuff can be finished as easily as saying hey, you wanna have a beer and take a look at the moon?


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AstroTatDad
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/22/13

Loc: Los Angeles - San Diego
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: Raginar]
      #5940851 - 06/26/13 02:44 AM

thanks guys, yeah I'm gonna talk to my neb 2 doors down he has lived here for 20 years. He has a few goto scopes, 12" and 20" dob. he said he has been over it and tried talking to them. So he just uses his smaller scopes out back and takes his bigger scopes to the dark spot which is about 35 mins away.

I'm just going to be in the back as well, it's dark and have no lights and just start going to are dark site more often.

By the way, my light blockers I made I set up around 7:30 - 8:00pm then when I'm done I take it down. there not even left out side I put them in the garage. so that is why I think it's the guy next door that complained.

The area we live in is a good area, but there is a lot of older people around, there always complaining about the kids playing "in the day" lol. I just don't think they like us, lol.

But it's cool, we are getting ready to sale this place and buy a house away from here. The area we have been looking is away from the city and is in a green zone. Plus we will only be 15mins away from our dark site. so it will all work out in about a year. for now I guess I will have to deal.

thanks everyone.


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celtictexan
member


Reged: 04/02/13

Loc: Amarillo Texas
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: SkyGibbon]
      #5940907 - 06/26/13 04:59 AM

Quote:

HOAs are pathetic.

That is all




+1


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celtictexan
member


Reged: 04/02/13

Loc: Amarillo Texas
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5940909 - 06/26/13 05:04 AM

Quote:

I just took a look at the county's publication that advises people concerning public pools. http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/deh/water/pdf/publications_poolop377.pdf
It looks like your HOA is mandated to leave the lights on from sunset to sunrise. I'm not sure you'll get any traction on that issue.




I bought a place in the country, someone else moved in 5 acres down from me. First he puts this giant 5 globe front light in then puts a big mercury vapor light on his shop. Looks like the sun stayed up around him. I use to could set up anywhere now I have to hide behind my shop or be blinded from the side. People that are scared of the dark should stay in the city.


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jgraham
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/02/04

Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Soci...
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: celtictexan]
      #5940983 - 06/26/13 07:38 AM

Hmmm, does the HOA have anything against trees? Nice, dense, fast growing poplar trees. Privet hedges grow pretty fast as well. Strategically placed forsythia may also be effective. Stagger them so that they look random, but provide line of sight shade. Last, but not least, temporary light shades, put'm up when you observe, take'm down when you are done.

Juat a thought...


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Smittty692k4
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/05/11

Loc: East Bernard, TX
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: celtictexan]
      #5940986 - 06/26/13 07:46 AM

While I'm not in HOA's control, my neighbor's lights blind me sometimes as well. The worst is when they have to take their little poodle/chihuahua/terrier thing outside at like 11pm to make "tink-tink" or potty or whatever they ungodly call it after my dark adaption has hit high gear.

My other neighbor is a 4th grade science teacher. He understands.

Regardless, I have no qualms about calling/texting/knockin on their door asking if then can turn off their driveway light that so lovingly lights up my driveway where I observe.


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Escher
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/30/07

Loc: Fenton, MI
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: jgraham]
      #5940987 - 06/26/13 07:49 AM

I dont understand how a temporary structure can even be an issue... any chance you can post the verbiage from the HOA rulebook? I mean if you are only using the blockers for a couple of hours periodically, then whats the issue?

I'd be looking for a loophole really hard... and making friends with the HOA - buying them donuts at meetings, etc...

I lucked out with my POD - the city folks thought it was interesting and the Gentleman who issues variances actually helped redraw my lot plan and told me how to set the POD up to avoid issues with lot lines and line of sight, etc.....


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bumm
sage


Reged: 01/07/11

Loc: Iowa
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: celtictexan]
      #5941034 - 06/26/13 08:34 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I just took a look at the county's publication that advises people concerning public pools. http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/deh/water/pdf/publications_poolop377.pdf
It looks like your HOA is mandated to leave the lights on from sunset to sunrise. I'm not sure you'll get any traction on that issue.




I bought a place in the country, someone else moved in 5 acres down from me. First he puts this giant 5 globe front light in then puts a big mercury vapor light on his shop. Looks like the sun stayed up around him. I use to could set up anywhere now I have to hide behind my shop or be blinded from the side. People that are scared of the dark should stay in the city.




If I ever move, it would be to a spot out in the country, but THIS possibility is my main fear in making such a move. I've read of this happening many times, and have seen instances where such things developed. Someone builds out in a dark area, then a neighbor with a fear of the dark moves across the road. Same thing happens with shooting ranges... City folks move nearby, then want to shut down the range, which was there long before they came. Why do people move into a rural area, then want to turn it into a city environment???
Marty


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: bumm]
      #5941042 - 06/26/13 08:39 AM

Hey, we don't want no sciency stuff here, all we need is a pool and something to drink, and lots of light to watch all the ladies at the pool............then this guy goes and puts up all this plastic blocking my view...

Thank You....your local HOA


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tezster
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 07/14/09

Loc: Missisauga, Canada
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: AstroTatDad]
      #5941066 - 06/26/13 08:56 AM

I live in a row townhouse, which effectively runs like a condo with a board. There can be a very large grey area in terms of what is and isn't allowed. And as most people who live in these type of communities come to realize, enforcement of the rules is driven by complaints: if there are no complaints, then no one could care less. Being on good terms with one's neighbours is extremely important in these type of environments.

Yes, it's restrictive, but this is the reality people who live in condos have to live with.

There is simply no way for me to observe DSOs anywhere around my home (I would need to wear a blindfold to block out all the stray light), so I have resigned myself to lunar/planetary observing from my patio.

Having said that, I think it's strange that you would get a letter to take down your 'observatory' when you only have it up temporarily. At first, I was thinking maybe you have the PVC structure up all the time? And simply attach the fabric/tarp up to the frame when you're observing, but this doesn't seem to be the case. I don't see how they can enforce this particular rule - what can they do when they come around to inspect your unit during the day and you don't have it up?


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shawnhar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/25/10

Loc: Knoxville, TN
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5941093 - 06/26/13 09:14 AM

HOA's are the devil.
Went through the same thing, even the "children are not allowed to play except in designated areas at designated times".
Never again.
Rules against starting a pig farm I can understand, telling me I have to park my car 2 blocks away while I repair something on it or that my patio furniture was too close to the back door, etc......grrrrr HATE them.

Edited by tecmage (06/27/13 06:59 PM)


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galexand
sage
*****

Reged: 07/10/12

Loc: Bloomington Indiana
Re: The battle with HOA has began. [Re: AstroTatDad]
      #5941112 - 06/26/13 09:38 AM

I'm real opposed to HOAs, and I'm just obnoxious enough I would personally be flooding the organization with legalese nastygrams.

But some advice, if you want to actually win, and you know which neighbor...might help to just bring the guy some cookies or a nice cigar or some imported coffee...you know, sit down and have a chat like friends. Depends on how much time and patience you have.


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