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Old 07-19-2016, 07:00 PM   #21
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I am no expert in landscaping but I have been reading my share of condo restrictions in recent years.

My reading of the covenant is that you did indeed made a material change to the appearance of the lot. If you added a few small flowers sprinkled about, then I think that would be in scope of the exception.

One idea would be to apologize to the board and suggest that a committee be formed to evaluate future landscape strategy. Of course you and/or your wife would offer to participate in the committee in a cooperative and open minded fashion.

If you want to do your own thing without oversight you should probably look to a traditional single family residence unencumbered by restrictive covenants.

-gauss
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:03 PM   #22
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This has not been my experience. Some HOA bylaws are sensible, but many are just for aggrandizement of the enforcers. Not to mention the selective enforcement which is all too common.
Isn't selective enforcement often caused by nearby co-owner complaints?

Not all co-owners have a similar tolerance for bending the rules. Your relationship with your neighbors may also come into it.
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:12 PM   #23
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I would state, in writing, that if a violation occurred it was unintentional, and that the previous plantings have been discarded. How does the HOA want me to proceed? I would be more than willing to accept their guidance and move on. If lucky....they'll just agree to the planting of what you already purchased.


Some fights just aren't worth my time....and this would be one.
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Since they already denied your initial appeal, I'd find a local school or women's shelter or church and donate the waiting-to-be-planted new plants, and go to home depot, pick up a few replacement azaleas and Euonymus and be done with it.
+1 to both. We just closed on a condo. As I view it the HOA is responsible for the outside and we are responsible for the inside so I don't know why you would start messing around with the plantings outside even to begin with. If they were in poor shape or ugly, pressure the HOA to replace them but IMO in this case you and your DW, while obviously with the best of intentions, went beyond where you should have so it is time to retreat.... you lost the battle and will not win the war.
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:41 PM   #24
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Aren't the HOA Board members elected by the homeowners? Then run for a position yourself and throw the bums out! While you are at cut their pay and benefits.
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Old 07-19-2016, 10:05 PM   #25
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Aren't the HOA Board members elected by the homeowners? Then run for a position yourself and throw the bums out! While you are at cut their pay and benefits.
Its a volunteer position with out pay and benefits.
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Old 07-20-2016, 06:25 AM   #26
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Fighting an HOA can be a futile effort. Anyhow, it looks to me like the shrubs next to the house just need trimming, and then I would replace the smaller ones in the front that do look unhealthy and unattractive.
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Old 07-20-2016, 06:48 AM   #27
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Another reason to never live at a place with an HOA. I couldnt imagine someone telling me I cant plant a certain plant. What an abuse of power. Some people need a hobby I suppose. Glad I live on a 30 acre spread where I have no neighbors!
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Old 07-20-2016, 07:58 AM   #28
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Its a volunteer position with out pay and benefits.
Exactly my point.
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Old 07-20-2016, 08:10 AM   #29
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Depends on your covenants Chuck - in my HOA, a change to the rules requires a 2/3 turn out to consider the majority valid. Similar quorum also required to vote out/in boardmembers.

In a neighborhood of over 700 homes (mine), it takes quite a groundswell campaign to get rid of people and/or change covenants. So, if only 300 people vote, the current board and/or rules stay, no matter if 100% of the 300 vote one way or the other. We replaced the board this year and everyone is already bitching about the new folks - why anyone would volunteer their time is beyond me - thankless job.

Depending on the rules in your state, HOA's have quite a leg up on avoiding change. That has both pluses and minuses depending on your individual neighborhood.
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Old 07-20-2016, 08:35 AM   #30
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anyone else glad they DON'T have a HOA?


I am
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Old 07-20-2016, 08:59 AM   #31
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Another reason to never live at a place with an HOA. I couldn't imagine someone telling me I cant plant a certain plant. What an abuse of power. Some people need a hobby I suppose.
+1

'Stepford' communities where everyone's place has to look exactly the same and everyone has to be carbon copies of their neighbors is too much like MegaCorp politics.
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Old 07-20-2016, 09:13 AM   #32
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Actually, the condo that we just closed on a couple weeks ago will be our first experience with a HOA. I'm sure that there will be some annoying inconveniences, but at the same time i appreciate that the rules will hopefully bring some consistency and order to the complex.

As an example, our condo rules do not allow any window shades other than white or off-white, but I don't see that as a big deal... I can have any color I want on the inside as long as what shows outside is white or off-white.
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Old 07-20-2016, 09:15 AM   #33
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HOA boards have tremendously broad powers when it comes to interpreting the covenants and by-laws, so it's usually an expensive exercise in futility to try to fight them. And they typically have legal insurance that will protect the other homeowners from exorbitant legal fees arising from lawsuits, so the HOA will be happy to fully engage without fear of going bankrupt if they are sued by a homeowner.

OP, your best strategy by far (if you wish to go ahead the plantings) is to meet with the HOA board in person, explain your position very nicely, calmly, and in the most friendly way possible. Then offer to work with the person (or committee) responsible for reviewing architectural changes to come up with a compromise. Buddying up with the architectural member(s) of the HOA board is the most promising way to get what you want without a protracted conflict with the board. Believe me, you do not want to go down that road. I say this as someone who has served on my HOA's board in the past and has seen it all, including lawsuits. Not pretty.
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Old 07-20-2016, 11:40 AM   #34
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If you have your receipts for the plants you bought, return them and buy what is approved by the HOA. If you don't have the receipts take them back and explain to the nursery what happened and see if they will do a swap. Most nurseries are good about that kind of thing. Hopefully, you are a little wiser now.
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Old 07-20-2016, 12:17 PM   #35
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Even though the OP and his DW bought the condo, it is his DD and her family that have to live there. She probably doesn't care that much about the landscaping to become a rabblerouser, does she?

I agree with the above posters to just replant whatever was there to begin with. Life is just too short to make this a battle.

PS my DH has been waging war too, but on the non-native daylilies he planted decades ago that are invasive and a pain in the butt to eradicate. I know your DW's choice of daylilies is not the same plant but that is the kind of thing the HOA may be watching out for. Just do what they want--your DW can work her magic other places where it will be appreciated.
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Old 07-20-2016, 12:26 PM   #36
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anyone else glad they DON'T have a HOA?


I am

I'm glad I do have an HOA. Good for keeping the riff raff at bay.


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Old 07-20-2016, 12:31 PM   #37
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I'm glad I do have an HOA. Good for keeping the riff raff at bay.


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our city code seems sufficient for that purpose...planning and zoning is also very active here
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Old 07-20-2016, 12:46 PM   #38
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our city code seems sufficient for that purpose...planning and zoning is also very active here
That's good. I'm unincorporated, and our county's planning and zoning is only active if someone tries to put up windmills or power plants.
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Old 07-20-2016, 12:50 PM   #39
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That's good. I'm unincorporated, and our county's planning and zoning is only active if someone tries to put up windmills or power plants.
how about having to shovel your sidewalk within 24 hours of snowfall?

yeah, I moved to a house with no sidewalk lol
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Old 07-20-2016, 01:00 PM   #40
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I'm unincorporated also. Seeing how many scofflaws we already have with an HOA, I would not be able to live here without it.

Unfortunately, (always just a few) some people don't care about their neighborhood until the day the decide to put their house on the market.
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