Homeowners Associations

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.

Colorado: Penalty for flying the ‘Betsy Ross’ flag sets off star-spangled fight

Colorado: Penalty for flying the ‘Betsy Ross’ flag sets off star-spangled fight

Flags in HOAs are always a contentious issue..  As someone who has served on the Board of Directors of MY HOA, trust me.  I know.  Its a big headache.  Mindful of that, I can see an HOA banning all flags but the American flag, and maybe the state flag…again, in an HOA.  Otherwise, people would fly all sorts of God-knows what.  And HOAs are all about uniformity, and so on.  But, this is kinda that fuzzy/grey area…  And, since its a predecessor to our current American flag, I’d yield on the side of allowing it…especially on “Flag Day.”