Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Neighbors Seeing Red or Red Tape

Last night Mr. BT and I had a spare moment to turn on the TV (doesn't happen often). A short time filler came on (KVIE, public TV) called Rob on the Road, which explores California. He featured a man from Woodland that has turned his home into a really cool gas station museum.

Of course my next thought was, to wonder what the neighbors thought (traffic, eye soar etc.).

This thought made me pause. We have been going through all the motions to build a deck in our backyard. We have already applied and received CSD (community service district) approval ($85), and then I spend some time in Placerville applying for the building permit (and asking some other questions) ($350). Of course all our relatives think it is outrageous that we have to jump through so many hoops to build a deck in our own backyard.....and I am a little ticked off at how expensive the fees are, since we are doing most of the work ourselves.

All this to say, I wish there was a happy medium. Less red tape, neighborhoods with character and charm, but nothing too over the top.

18 comments:

RV6Flyer said...

lamaiahoffmann, I responded to you in the previous thread.

lamaiahoffmann said...

RV6Flyer-
Thanks so much for your perspective. That was the general feeling my husband and I had started to get (with the exception that Curtis Park seemed neighborly and fairly tight-knit), but the opposite of what our realtor had told us. I'm really glad to get confirmation from someone who has lived in all three areas of the impressions we had been forming.

patient renter said...

I would have thought the only red tape with that sort of thing would be put up by the HOA. I know the neighbors in my hood get flack from the HOA for putting stuff in their backyards, even though they're supposedly private.

husmanen said...

PR, could you 'volunteer' or be elected to the HOA Board?

This could influence the perspective of the Board, bringing their actions in line with the 'majority' of the owners in the area.

Unless, of course, you have a minority view and the Board would like to be more like Serrano.

patient renter said...

I think it's up to the homeowners to influence the HOA however they please (I'm a renter).

husmanen said...

Opps, sorry, I mean AB...

Buying Time said...

There is no HOA where we live...just CC&Rs which are governed and enforced by EDH CSD. Hence you have to go to them if you want to put in a pool, take out oak trees, build a deck etc.

husmanen said...

Just a note... I was in Serrano tonight, buying some stuff from Craigslist, and noticed the license plate frame from the owners of the house I visited, it read:

"Serrano's HOAs can kiss my A..."

I said I like your plate frame and they proceeded to tell me stories of all the crazy things that have happened in the last five years.

One of the best ones was when the school had open house a few weeks ago the HOAs organized a tow truck to come and tow eleven cars that violated the rules.

They did the same at soccer practice.

I guess it is good for some but this won't work for me.

RV6Flyer said...

My former co-worker purchased a spec home in Serrano last year. I couldn't and still can't believe the HOA horror stories she tells me.
They had set aside a good sum of money for furnishings and landscaping the back yard. They figured an 80/20 split, furnishings to landscaping. Well, after the HOA was done with them the ratio got flipped. The review board was so bad they dictated the color of the flowers in the back yard. BTW, their home is set deep into a 1 acre wooded lot, nobody can even see the back yard from the street. Needless to say, quite a bit of the 6000 sq ft house is still empty due to an overly restrictive HOA.

Paul said...

I recall years ago the EDH CSD dictating where I could put windows in houses that I was building, so they wouldn't look into neighbor's yards or because they didn't like the way the window looked on the outside of the house. This was when John Hancock Mutual Life/Pacific States still owned most of EDH and way before Bob Parker. Sounds like EDH hasn't changed for the better.

Cameron Park doesn't have the continuity of neighborhoods that EDH has, but it also doesn't have the HOA "we know what is best for you" mentality, either.

sacramentia said...

I live in Serrano and have had zero issues with the HOA. Haven't been fined in 3 years...

I know the license plate, her kids go to same school as mine. It's tacky if you ask me. She did agree to the HOAs when purchasing the home.

And the crazy homeowners at the end of Meadowview are the problem with the parking, not 'Serrano'.

patient renter said...

This stuff reminds me of a similar Serrano story from a friend who used to live there.

My friend had planted some flowers in her completely private backyard that apparently weren't allowed. A few weeks later she came home from work to find that they had all been ripped out and tossed on the side of her house. It was the HOA that had done it.

That's pretty hardcore, IMO. It seems to me that value is brought to a community through maintaining the safety and happiness of its residents more than by dictating the details of their private property. But people can always vote with their feet, as my friend did.

patient renter said...

I should add, the creepy part is knowing that someome from the HOA is coming unannounced and uninvited into the privacy of your backyard to inspect whether or not you're in violation of their dictatorial extrema.

sacramentia said...

"My friend had planted some flowers in her completely private backyard that apparently weren't allowed. A few weeks later she came home from work to find that they had all been ripped out and tossed on the side of her house. It was the HOA that had done it."

Really...that sounds like complete bullshit. Flowers?!?

Deflationary Jane said...

Lama,

Back in 98 I was looking at buying a house in Curtis Park.

We passed because of the crime issues which were bad even then. A neighbor told of getting mugged in his driveway at 8 in the evening right on the park!

This was when Sacramento had very low unemployment and before the influx of east bay refugees came to Sacramento. I can only imagine what it's like now.

Serrano's HOA sounds like Irvine, scary. Where I live now has no HOA but the development is tiny, only 6 houses and all the backyards open onto semi-cleared fields.

HOAs are my #2 deal killer. #1 is still bonehead prices.

patient renter said...
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patient renter said...

Really...that sounds like complete bullshit. Flowers?!?

I'm dead serious - it was about 6 years ago. If it happened to her I'm sure it's happened to others.

Kathy said...

Regarding the comment about HOA dictating flower color in a private 1-acre lot -- how is that legal? Can anyone with a background in law put some logic around that? I just don't understand how a HOA can exert that kind of control. If the homeowner refused, what would happen to them?