24 April 2007

Tales From the HOA

It's been a while since I had a good story to tell about our local Homeowner's Association...
But spring has sprung, so it was only a matter of time.

I received this via e-mail today...

I need to let you know that I had a message on my home answering machine last night when I arrived home. It was a neighbor making a compliant against the yard keeping at your residence. The complaint specifically stated that the yard was commonly left to grow tall then cut short allowing the clippings to remain in clumps throughout the yard. I did view your yard and agree that the grass clumpings are obvious and detract from the appearance of the yard.

In an effort to more closely match the yards of your surrounding neighbors, I must ask that you improve the upkeep of your yard. This will likely include more frequent mowing, trimming and perhaps raking of yard clippings. Please respond and advise if there are any concerns with improving the appearance of your yard.

Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter.

Now, I'm no rocket scientist (oops, wait...I am), but one would think that with the frequency and amount of rain lately, they would understand that it's not exactly a mystery as to why the grass has been "commonly left to grow tall"...

(Actually, I think this has only happened like twice or maybe three times in the past three weeks, due to excessive rains and by my having such a FREAKING AWESOME lawn)

But, then, what can one expect??
The new president of the HOA board is the husband of a woman (also on the board) who has had it out for me for quite some time, because I don't let her pick on the rest of her neighbors...

So, of course, my response...

Only issue I have is when the frequency of rain and schedule issues at work/home do not allow me to mow more frequently. Most of the time, I do attempt to mow before the lawn gets as tall as it has these past few weeks, as it tends to cause my mower to bog down, thus causing the clumps of clippings observed by aforementioned neighbor. However, when scheduled religious activities and observances, work or foster care issues arise which do not allow me to mow on days where mowing is appropriate (on days where it isn't raining and the grass is not sopping wet), the grass tends to get taller than I would like.

If the neighbor in question would like to come talk to me and listen to my explanation personally, I would be more than happy to oblige and we could most likely come to a mutual agreement without involvement of the HOA heirarchy.

In the meantime, I can attempt to mow more frequently, and perhaps re-mow over clumps when they occur.


p.s. I guess I should ask whether something needs to be done immediately, or was this a "do better" request?

I guess I'll see how much ire I can raise in these folks before they threaten me with legal action.

I'm actually surprised they aren't laying the smack down on me for having a dead tree (due to a premature spring and subsequent re-freeze) in my yard. Being as how I don't plan on replacing it until the growing season starts in the fall......


  1. mow the yard organically. Raise your mower to the highest setting, leave the clippings (it's natural fertilizer). This cuts down on weeds since the grass blocks the sun from weed seeds and stops crabgrass. Those hard patches of grass that don't really grow. Crabgrass is akin to a scab on your yard.

    I read this in organic gardening magazine. Although it doesn't sound like you are having trouble with your lawn.

  2. Actually, that's what caused me to get the nastygram in the first place...I've always left my mower on the tallest setting (because I want the roots to grow long), and always leave my clippings.

    Apparently, the clippings were clumping which is the issue...probably time to get a new blade for the mower or something...

    I ended up buckling under and raking up the clippings into a big pile. My first instinct was to rake them out in the street and set them ablaze.

    Then reason won out and I raked them all up into a corner where I've been trying to get grass to grow (and weeds to die).

  3. I wonder if the HOA would be as swift to offer help and assistance as they are to find fault and nitpick? Just curious. God was very wise not to put my husband and me in that neighborhood. My mama used to say, "When you have one finger pointing out the faults of others, you have nine fingers pointing back at yourself." Sounds like the HOA needs a crash course in Mom's philosophy.

  4. What exactly would be your punishment if you didn't comply? Do they have a HOA Dunce cap you must wear? An UGLY LAWN OF THE MONTH sign for your yard?
    Public flogging? I ask because I know our subdivision requires membership in the HOA, yet some people never seem to pay their dues and haven't been forced to move.

    Hey, maybe you could join a religious group that prohibits clipping disturbance!

  5. Last fall, they wanted to charge people $150/month for not having the proper number and quality of trees and shrubs.

    If a person had an extra $150/month laying around, I wouldn't think there would be much of an issue with putting the stuff in, myself...


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