by Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Following Darcy Spears’ recent KTNV “HOA Hall of Shame” report, Savannah Falls HOA board and management rethinks its aggressive towing policy.
Spears is a godsend for Las Vegas area residents dealing with abusive homeowners associations.
Due to her intervention, and after nearly a month of fighting with their HOA, the Winfield family’s car has finally been returned to them by the Code Blue Towing Company.
The HOA plans to pick up the costs of towing.
The Winfield family’s HOA towing nightmare
Savannah Falls management company, Terra Management, contracts with Code Blue Towing to enforce the community’s strict parking policy.
According to its CC&Rs, residents may only park their vehicles in their garages or driveways. Street parking is forbidden, and to be reserved for guests only.
The policy is a huge inconvenience for any family with more than two vehicles.
For one thing, garage space is limited, and most people use at least part of the space for storage. And, typical of high density residential development, driveways are very short and narrow.
There’s simply not enough parking space for many families.
Disabled residents need more parking space
As you might imagine, the no-street-parking policy is an even bigger problem for residents with a disabilities, like Kristin Winfield’s son.
Kamron Wilson, 15, is under medical treatment for cancer. The disease affects his ability to walk, so he uses a wheelchair.
Kamron’s parents often need to park in the street, in order to help him in and out of the car.
Because the family owns two cars, there’s not enough space for a loading and unloading a wheelchair on the narrow driveway.
Then, one day, the Winfield’s HOA towing nightmare began.
According to Spears’ report, on October 12, shortly after the Winfields parked their car in the street, to help their son out of the vehicle and into their home, Code Blue Towing came and hauled it away.
The family says their car was towed without warning.
The towing company shakedown
Code Blue then demanded $380 for towing services, before it would release the car back to the Winfields.
The family is struggling with medical bills, and was unable to pay $380 to get their car back.
Naturally, the homeowners reported their towing issue to the HOA, explaining their son’s illness and disability, and the need to sometimes park their vehicle on the street. The HOA did not immediately respond.
While waiting to hear back from their HOA, Code Blue Towing sent the homeowners an invoice for more than $800, threatening to sell their car at auction.
Next, according to Spears’ report, the HOA wrote the Winfields an email. They were refusing to make an exception to the HOA parking policy, and informing the family they’d have to pay big bucks to get their car back from Code Blue.
That’s when Darcy Spears stepped in. Her report (linked below) exposed the illegal, abusive, and heartless actions of Savannah Falls HOA, Terra Management, and Code Blue Towing.
HOA statement and reaction
Presto! All of a sudden, Savannah Falls HOA board and management had a change of heart.
The Winfields got their car back, and they didn’t have to pay one thin dime to the towing company.
Unbelievably, the board claims that it didn’t know about Kamron’s illness. But,to show concern, the HOA is issuing a temporary parking pass to the family.
The HOA is starting to rethink its aggressive towing policy.
Maybe the board can now figure out a more realistic solution to scarce parking?
How to resolve parking headaches?
As usual, this is a case of an HOA board being reactive to a public relations crisis, after bullying and injustice occurs on their watch.
It’s a case of the HOA relying too heavily on a management agent, hell-bent on enforcing parking restrictions that are supposed work in theory.
The problem is, real people, real families cannot always conform to impractical covenants and restrictions.
Unfortunately, most HOA restrictive covenants are written by a real estate attorney on behalf a developer — without any input from future residents.
And local government officials who approved Savannah Falls for the maximum number of homes – adequate parking be damned – helped to create this massive headache for HOA residents and board members alike.
Enacting a state law that requires a 48-hour towing notice doesn’t really solve the parking problem for Savannah Falls. Nor does it help countless other similarly crowded common interest communities in Nevada.
On the other hand, the combination of scarce parking and crazy unreasonable HOA restrictions, certainly works to the advantage of towing companies and their affiliated HOA management companies.
HOA Hall of Shame: Neighbors upset that their cars are being towed from in front of their homes
2:13 PM, Nov 9, 2018
Updated Nov 10, 2018
LAS VEGAS (KTNV) – Cold. Heartless. Inhumane. That’s how neighbors are describing their homeowners’ association after their cars parked in front of their own homes were towed. This may be the HOA hall of shame’s most shameful story yet.
Even the smallest steps are a big effort when you’re 15 years old and learning how to walk all over again. Kristin Winfield’s son Kamron has cancer that’s affected his mobility and he has to use a wheelchair.
Every move he makes takes patience, time and care.
“It’s very tiring and I have to use a lot of my energy to get in and out,” Kamron told us.
The Winfields live in the Savannah Falls homeowners association near Decatur and Elkhorn. The sign promises “the tradition of southern living” but they say it’s lost the traditional southern hospitality.
“It’s gone from a fun-loving family environment to something very cold and calloused,” according to Kristin.
HOA rules require homeowners to park either in their garage or driveway, leaving street spots for visitors. Like most people, the Winfields need part of their garage for storage. If they had a car in there too, there’d be no way to get Kamron in and out. And with two cars in the narrow driveway, there’s barely room to move, much less maneuver a wheelchair.
On October 12, their car was towed from the street in front of the Winfield’s house.
Read more (video):