Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Backyard Battle

I'm not anti HOA (Home Owner Association)-- truly I'm not -- but the one we have here is driving us crazy and costing our landlord dollars. Mark thinks people who live in our development are part of the HOA but I don't think so, because if they are they aren't very neighborly. We had one in Oregon, not the best but better than this group.

I think HOAs have a place. They keep neighborhoods from turning into used car lots and hobbyist garages. They help homes maintain value by holding owners responsible for upkeep. I like that my neighbor can't park his RV on the street for weeks on end. But the fees and charges can be extreme.

Anyway, I guess this HOA gives home owners two years to landscape their backyards. I have no idea when our landlord purchased this house or why he didn't comply with the two year guidelines but we agreed to landscape the backyard in exchange of one month's rent. First up was the patio which Mark completed in the unbelievable heat of July. We've got trees planned but were advised to wait until the temperature came down before planting. So Mark has been doing what he can to prep the backyard for the plants when they get delivered. So not sitting on butts here.

Landlord got a final notice about the backyard and one about a missing plant in the front yard (one that died last summer, we didn't bother replacing because it didn't affect the look of the yard in our mind) last week. A notice, threatening fines. Mark submitted the backyard plan to them yesterday -- was told he needed to pay a fee (talk about nickling and diming to death) which of course he referred back to our landlord.

Long story short...we aren't the only people feed up with this. There is actually one owner who is talking about suing the HOA. We talked with him a few weeks ago and gave him our email but so far haven't heard back, our landlord is on board if it happens though. Tonight is an HOA board meeting. Mark is going on behalf of our landlord. He's taking documentation and these photos of the backyard (taken yesterday morning):

That's the 'play' area. We've got a load of sand coming in to fill it and it is where the pool will go in the summer and the trampoline in the winter.

The MOUNDS of rock and rubble and construction left overs Mark dug up is staggering. These three (small, medium, and large) piles are of the rock he thinks he can reuse within the landscaping.

Better view of the rocks.

We'll be creating a rock garden in this area. We've ordered a palm for the corner.

Because of the slope along this fence Mark created a planter box/retaining wall. He picked up some Russian Sage to plant there as soon as we get our dirt delivery.

That diagonal piece of wood in the corner is marking where a shade tree will go. My pick is a Pink Dawn Chitalpa...I fell in love with one we saw back in July. Hope we can find another one.

1 comment:

Lynn Boyle said...

that's so ridiculous!!! your right they are worse than ours. sorry your stuck with all the blahhh.. anyway how are you? need to play catch up.. soon i hope