By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Here we go again, with yet another HOA making community rules that appear to target families with children.
KTNV’s Joe Bartels visits mother of four, Kristi Milk, in a planned single family home community in Centennial Hills, near Las Vegas. Milk shows a copy of Valley Crest HOA’s recent newsletter stating that roads and walkways are not be used as a playground. She recently discovered a little known rule on the HOA books that prohibits riding bikes and scooters, or using skates or wagons on the streets or walkways.
The rule comes as a surprise and huge disappointment to Milk. She says her kids have nowhere else to ride their bikes, because the nearest parks are located across busy roads and highways.
It simply isn’t practical to load up four kids and their gear in the car, minivan, or SUV, and drive at least a mile, just to find some open space, and get some fresh air and outdoor activity. And it’s certainly not safe for young children to cross roundabouts and divided highways to get to get to the City park.
How would Valley Crest kids get to the park anyway, if they can’t ride their bikes or skates on the sidewalks? Clearly, these are #StupidRules.
Legal experts say those rules also discriminate against families with children. So Milk filed a Fair Housing complaint with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
A link to Valley Crest HOA website provides no public information, and no access to the governing documents that contain the community rules and policies. The entire site is password protected, for members only.
A Google maps image of Valley Crest (featured in this post) clearly shows that its spacious single family homes are crammed onto small lots, practically built on top of one another. Although many of the homes come with private backyard pools, the community has no open space for children to play, for pets to run around, or for adults to enjoy.
Sad to say, the subdivision looks a bit like a rat’s maze, with its two exits and a half dozen cul-de-sacs.
Which leaves one to wonder, how did we get to the point that communities and entire cities consist of countless miles of narrow roads with dead ends, connected by a handful of busy streets that funnel vehicles in and out of residential neighborhoods with houses packed tighter than sardines in a can?
And, what is the point of a sidewalk — if you can find one nowadays — if kids can’t use it to get from their house to their friends’ homes?
There’s no bike lane or shoulder for many of these roads. In fact, it’s as if the roads and sidewalks were mere afterthoughts, squeezed into the development plan after dividing the land into as many home sites as possible.
The ridiculous, potentially discriminatory HOA rules of Valley Crest HOA are the inevitable consequence of overcrowding, too much housing density, and failure to plan for the reality that children exist and need room play.
Las Vegas mom says HOA has ‘no playing’ rule on the booksJoe Bartels12:40 PM, May 18, 20189:20 AM, May 19, 2018
LAS VEGAS (KTNV) – Playing outside is just part of growing up. Whether you rode bikes, played with sidewalk chalk, or hopped on a pogo stick, it usually meant being on the sidewalk or street. But in Kristi Milk’s neighborhood that’s not an option for her 4 kids, according to the HOA rules.
“It is not an age-restricted community, so this was one of the last things that I thought would be an issue,” said Kristi Milk.
Milk lives within the Valley Crest community near Elkhorn Road and Grand Canyon Drive. She recently noticed something in her HOA’s monthly newsletter that caught her eye.
“We are not to ride bikes, skateboards, skates, any wagons of any type within the development,” Milk recited.
The full text of the rule includes the phrase “streets and walkways within the community may not be used as a playground area.” Milk did some digging and found the little-known rule was on the books for the Valley Crest homeowners association.
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