Live in a Homeowners' Association and can still laugh?
Then, this is for you!


Article by Michael Van Dyk
Cartoonist Garry Trudeau is now making fun of the no-clotheslines rule that is found in all HOA covenants across America.  His daily satire reaches  millions, being as popular as Peanuts and Dilbert.   Don't miss it!

The rules on clotheslines, basketball hoops, lawn lengths and garage doors  are at the center of the debate on the legal power of some homeowners to  control the lifestyles of their immediate neighbors.  Some owners argue that  these rules support property values and keep neighborhoods from turning into  slums and tenements, only attractive to low-lifes and hillbillies.  High property prices in turn keep out drunken, bottle-throwing wifebeaters, slobs, druggies and, of course, black people.

Others argue that the detached, single-family home is a castle and nobody else should have any say, not even the county or city, in the decisions about lawn length and home color.  Painting your house polka-dot is a personal choice, like getting an abortion, and no government entity, neighborhood Nazi, or HOA board has any business telling you what to do with your life and your personal property, as long as your not directly affecting anybody else. 
That's the American Way.

But what about "property values"---the mantra of the control freaks.  "We need to preserve our property values!" they scream at board meetings.  Yeah, what about these property values? Are there any other values that might trump "property values"?

In the case of attached townhouses and condos, everyone recognizes the necessity of some degree of control over common architecture and common areas.  But it's time for developers, owners, the CAI, and state legislatures to recognize that property values are important, yes, but not quite as important as liberty.  This nation's founders recognized that liberty and property rights were inseparable. Many naive home buyers watch their liberty disappear as they give their property rights over to an idiotic HOA board.   Then they wonder what the hell happened. 

We need a moratorium in each state on the construction of HOA-controlled neighborhoods, so we can have some choice in new housing once again.  The effete snobs who want to live with Neo-Nazi neighbors and the cretins on their HOA boards can choose to do so, and we, the effete slobs who want to live in new houses next door to auto-repair shops, chicken farms, and, of  course,  black people can also have a choice.
That's the real American Way. 

Michael Van Dyk is the founder of SHORN (Secure Homeowners Rights Now) an advocacy group for homeowners living in mandatory membership HOA's. He is a former member of the Advisory Council on Condominiums for the State of Florida.  He currently serves on the Advisory Committee for the Center for Community and Condominium. 
Living at Broward Community College, Fort Lauderdale, FL.