HOAs

Pennsylvania family ordered to take down Jesus Christmas display after neighbor said it was ‘offensive’

A Pennsylvania family was ordered by their homeowner’s association to take down their Jesus Christmas display after one of the neighbors reported it as offensive. Mark and Lynn Wivell of Adams County, a Gettysburg subdivision, said they put up their Jesus display last Saturday, FOX43 reported. “As part of our Christmas decoration, we would display the name Jesus to point out to everyone that we in this family believe that the reason for the season is to celebrate the birth of Jesus,” said Mark Wivell told FOX43. But the homeowner’s association wasn’t having it. On Sunday, the association told the family to take down the sign after a neighbor complained it was offensive. The homeowner’s association also claimed the display was a sign, not a decoration – which is a violation of the rules, USA Today reported. “After taking a look at it, it isn’t in accordance with normal Christmas decorations,” Bud Vance, the Courtyards president, wrote in a statement to the Gettysburg Times. The Wivells insist they are following the rules. “We have ordinances with regard to Christmas decorations, and my Christmas decorations comply with the HOA ordinances on Christmas decorations,” Wivell said. The Wivells also said many others supported their right to display the sign. “When this happened, we were really shocked,” Lynn Wivell said. “We have gotten tremendous support from our neighbors here at the Links and that just makes us feel so good.” The family said they have no plans to take down the sign until January 15, when the association requires all displays to be taken down. Family members said they are unsure which neighbor was offended. “People get offended by different things, but just because something offends you, doesn’t mean the whole world has to change to accommodate you, so I would say please be more tolerant,” Mark Wivell said. Board members told FOX43 in a statement that it was “unfortunate” they were being portrayed as Scrooge. “It is, indeed, unfortunate that our attention has been unnecessarily redirected in this manner with a suggestion that Scrooge is alive and well in our community,” the statement read. “Many of our families will be in church on Monday with their spirit diminished by this attack.”

Well, then you shouldn’t have told the Wivells to take their “Jesus” sign down.  These spineless borad members are idiots.  And, this is the sorta thing that gives HOAs a bad name.  Having spent some time serving on the Board of Directors (BOD) of my HOA, I’ve seen both sides of such things.  And, I can empathize with those who complain when some neighbors do things that may diminish the value of the homes in the community, and/or do things that can be offensive to the majority of homeowners.  But, you need to use a little common sense.  Christmas is a federal holiday.  No, it’s NOT “Winter Solstice” day, or “Winter Holiday..day.”  It’s Christmas.  Period.  And, Jesus IS “the reason for the season.”  Those who have a problem with it need to get the heck over it…or move to another country.  We’re so very grateful to see President Trump supporting the phrase “Merry Christmas” which the White House is now putting on it’s Christmas Cards.  The last 8 years, Obama’s cards said, “Happy Holidays.”  Glad that politically correct crap is behind us..

Texas neighborhood tense over World War II tank parked outside multimillion-dollar home

A history buff in Texas shelled out some $600,000 for a fully functional World War II tank — but now that it’s parked outside his multimillion-dollar home, it’s ruffling feathers in his neighborhood. Attorney Tony Buzbee of River Oaks said he bought the tank overseas last year. “Took a year to get here, but now it’s on River Oaks Boulevard,” Buzbee told KHOU Houston‏. “This particular tank landed at Normandy. It liberated Paris, and ultimately went all the way to Berlin. There’s a lot of history here.” However, the homeowners association sent him a letter saying the tank “impedes traffic” and causes a “safety issue” and “serious concerns for neighbors,” according to the report. “It’s not violating any ordinance, but for some people it makes the homeowners association uncomfortable,” Buzbee said. He added that he’ll move the tank to his ranch in east Texas before long. “The problem is there is no action they can take,” Buzbee told KHOU. “They can ticket it or they can try to tow it, but the truth is unless I decide to move it, it’s not going anywhere.”

No kidding!  How cool would it be to have your own fully-functional tank?!  I mean, c’mon..    Anyway, to see a couple photos of this tank, click on the text above.

Starnes: Texas homeowner told to remove “noxious & offensive” pro-police flag

Rodney Ivester, of Corinth, Texas, is the kind of guy you’d like as a neighbor. He maintains a tidy lawn, doesn’t make much of a racket and he flies an American flag. About three weeks ago, Rodney decided to post another flag alongside Old Glory – to honor law enforcement. It’s a black & white version of the U.S. flag adorned with a blue stripe. He told me that posting the flag was a small way that he could honor the memory of the five police officers gunned down in Dallas in July. “I love my country and I wanted to show my support for law enforcement and military personnel,” he told me. “I put the flag up so that I can honor the fallen officers and support those that are in the heat of the battle.” Rodney’s neighbor is a police officer and he was genuinely touched by the simple gesture – a message of solidarity. But the other day, he received a terse note from the Oakmont Country Club Estates’ property owner’s association. It turns out that someone had complained about the pro-police flag and it had to come down. They accused him of violating a covenant. “No noxious or offensive activity shall be undertaken on the property, and nothing shall be done which is or may become an annoyance or nuisance to the neighborhood,” they wrote in bold letters. He was given explicit instructions: “Please remove the altered American flag from your property and store out of public view.” Now, Rodney is not a rabble-rouser. “I don’t cause problems, but I do want to support my community and those that serve,” he said. “I do not understand the attacks on good folks supporting their own country.” I called the property owner’s association to get their side of the story but they have not returned my call. “They stepped on my rights as a U.S. citizen and patriot,” Rodney told me. “This is an attempt to suppress my First Amendment rights while simultaneously disrespecting America and the police.” It certainly would appear that way – I mean calling a pro-police flag a noxious activity? Sweet mercy, folks. Rodney asked the property owner’s association for a copy of the rule that he supposedly violated – but was given no clear answer. “They said another resident complained and they said if one person complains they have to take action,” he said. He also pointed out that other homeowners fly all sorts of flags – supporting athletic teams and the Lone Star State. Rodney tells me the pro-police flag is still flying – in defiance of the property owner’s association. That defiance could lead to fines of nearly $100 per day. “The neighbors around me cannot believe what is going on with this or that it’s even an issue,” he said. Rodney is a good fellow. He’s a church-going man who enjoys sweet tea and the chicken fried steak at Babes. That flag waving outside his home sends a message to law enforcement. Rodney Ivester has their back. And when it’s all said and done – I reckon they will have his back, too. -Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is “God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values.” Follow Todd on Twitter@ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook

I used to sit on my HOA’s Board of Directors, and have a couple years of HOA management experience under my belt.  I can tell you what this HOA is doing is easily beaten by Rodney in court should the idiots on his Board push the issue.  In fact, if I were him, I’d threaten to sue them in court, and if they didn’t back down, I’d sue.  If they allow all sorts of other flags (other than the American flag), then they have to allow him to fly his.  Otherwise, the courts will see it for what it is; singling him out…and that always loses in court.

Judge rules Missouri family’s purple swingset can stay

A Missouri judge has ruled that a suburban Kansas City family’s purple swingset won’t need to have its color changed after a homeowners’ association threatened the family with fines or jail time. “We’re super excited, we’re very happy,” Marla Stout, who owns the swingset, told Fox4KC at a neighborhood barbecue Sunday celebrating Friday’s ruling. Stout told “Fox & Friends” earlier this month that she painted the swingset purple at the request of her two young daughters more than two years ago. But it was only this summer that the homeowners’ association for the subdivision the Stouts live in told Marla that the color was not in harmony with others in the neighborhood. Stout also told Fox4KC that she received a letter from the homeowners’ association saying that she hadn’t gotten the playset color pre-approved. Another letter from the homeowners’ group said the lawsuit will cost the Stouts “far greater than any principal [sic] you are trying to prove.” Stout said that when she and her husband Jack offered to repaint the swingset gray, the association refused. “We got very frustrated,” Stout said. “There’s somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 homes in our community. There’s all kinds of colors. There’s people with bright purple doors. There’s trees that are the color of this swing set.” After an initial hearing Aug. 21, the ruling in the Stouts’ favor came down Friday. Now Marla Stout said she believes the homeowners’ association should apologize to the entire neighborhood. “It’s been very embarrassing for our community and its cost every resident in this community a lot of money and reputation,” she told Fox4KC. “I think it said a lot that the judge took a week to review the case, review the facts, review everything,” said T.R Hoefle, the family’s attorney. “I’m thrilled with the decision she made.”

And, of course the HOA has yet to comment on this decision…because they just had their asses handed to them in court. And, an outstanding verdict by this judge! Having spent some time on the Board of Directors (BOD) for MY HOA, and having spent a couple years as an HOA manager managing HOAs in the greater Denver area, I am intimately aware of what a good HOA is, and what a really bad HOA can be. I’ve seen the full spectrum…and boy howdy are there some really bad ones out there! The thing you can do is either run to sit on your HOA’s BOD OR be sure you attend the annual homeowner’s meeting, as well as the monthly BOD meetings. Know what the BOD is doing, and make sure your voice is heard. If you don’t, then it’s like failing to vote.. you have NO right to whine/complain.