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By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
What is it about homeowners and condo associations that leads to neighborhood war against parents and their children?
The problem begins in the planning stage, with architects and urban designers that work with developers to come up with cost-effective ways pile homes close together or stack them several stories high.
Matters go from bad to worse when the design of the community leaves little ones no open space to run and play, or to ride their bikes and scooters.
So naturally, kids end up playing in conrete driveway courts, or confined green patches of grass in the common areas between buildings. Sometimes they end up in the streets that end in a cul-de-sac.
Everyone who has ever been a parent knows that kids quickly outgrow the tot lot. And it isn’t always practical to hike or drive them a mile or more to a common “park” that’s either mostly ornamental or — more likely — the only place in the community where residents can take their pets for their daily walks.
And, yes, sometimes children can be noisy, especially when outdoors playing and interacting with other children.
Unfortunately, confined common spaces tend to amplify sound waves or become echo chambers for the sounds of laughter, shouting, or quarrreling amongst the kids.
News flash: this is normal, healthy kid behavior.
But it seems that most every neighborhood has “that” neighbor. The one who expects complete tranquility, peace, and quiet at all times. The one who believes that any parent who allows their children to play within earshot of their home is being selfish and inconsiderate.
And it doesn’t seem to matter how many times this situation is repeated, how often current and former residents file fair housing complaints, ultimately prevailing after years of investigations and bitter and costly lawsuits. Some HOA and condo boards continue to harass owners and their children — even screaming obscenities at the kids — with the ultimate goal of forcing them to move out of the “community.”
It’s yet another form of discrimination, justified by rules and restrictions that residents have supposedly “agreed to” by choosing to move into their homes.
And more than 100 pages of common interest community regulations in the Davis-Sterling Act have done absolutely nothing to prevent discrimination, harassments, and neighborhood conflict.
Families say homeowners association drove them out
5:39 PM, Feb 12, 2018
54 mins ago
CARLSBAD, Calif. (KGTV) – Some North County families say they were forced to move from their homes or live in fear of retaliation from their homeowners association.
Now they are suing the HOA in part to get the bylaws changed.
“We moved here because there’s a park near the complex and great schools,” said Amy Lass.
Lass says she and her husband liked the area so much, when they had kids they bought a bigger unit in the complex so that they could stay.
That safe and seemingly family-friendly environment also inspired Melissa and Nate Speer to rent in the community.
“It’s such a family community and neighborhood that this area you feel like it would be the same thing,” said Nate Speer.
But, both families say that family-friendly appearance was just an appearance.
In reality, they say some neighbors and the HOA turned their lives into a nightmare.
“If you didn’t have kids you could kind of do what you wanted, but if you had kids it was like they were after you,” said Speer.
Read more (Video):
The Brindisi HOA at Aviara is managed by an Associa company. As you can see, there is very little public information available on the community’s websites. Nearly every detail is hidden behind a password protected, resident-only firewall.