Community rule to end woodworking? #2: Something more to think about...

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Blog entry by SergioC posted 02-12-2011 10:15 PM 4206 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The warning Part 2 of Community rule to end woodworking? series no next part

So I hadn’t really planned on updating so soon, but I’ve got to based on some of the responses. First, I fished out my HOA rules. Here is the actual language: “Garage doors shall be kept closed except when automobiles are entering or leaving the garage. All vehicles shall be kept inside garages, except that vehicles may be parked on the driveway, but only if the Owner’s garage or garages are fully occupied with the owner’s vehicles.”

First, for those that said basically we agreed to these rules when we bought the house. This is true in principle, I guess. Unfortunately, there aren’t many (any?) developed residential areas that aren’t governed by an HOA. It’s just a fact that nearly everything here is a new development. Once the developer’s loan is paid off (15 years?), the community votes to keep or dissolve the HOA. Of course I could choose to drive further or pick a neighborhood that had bad schools or any number of other tradeoffs. What we did do though, is speak to many, many people in the various communities we looked at. The one that we selected seemed to have a very reasonable HOA.

Also, for all of you that have no sympathy- every state that each one of you live in has ridiculous laws on the books that are not enforced (yes, even non-herders in Idaho). What if you woke up one day and the town or state you live in started enforcing all of those ridiculous laws? Google it, some are unreal. Would I say, “well, you agreed to that when you decided to live there…” Of course not. Land of the free? My you-know-what. Not really looking for a debate on this one- just looking to stir some alternate thought.

Also, as some of you mentioned, it’s the selective enforcement that’s part of the trouble. Careful analysis of the actual language in the rules say that not only does my garage door have to be closed all the time, I’m never allowed to open it for any other reason, even to get my lawnmower out: “Garage doors shall be kept closed except when automobiles are entering or leaving the garage.” Forget woodworking- I’m not even allowed to walk into my own garage! Is this their intention? No. Could they enforce that too, that residents are not allowed to ever open the garage? Sure, by this language.

I’m also thinking since it says “fully occupied with owner’s vehicles,” I’m thinking I could buy 20 cheap broken bicycles and spread them around and be OK, since in Florida a bicycle is legally a vehicle.

Seems like every case that goes to court, the HOA loses (or maybe that’s the only ones posted since it’s more exciting). There was a similar local case in Odessa, FL that I found where the person’s F350 didn’t fit in the garage. Not only did the HOA lose, they had to pay his $187,000 legal fee. Of course I don’t have money like this sitting around to fight them. But do hundreds of us? Yes. Jeeze I really hope it doesn’t get to that.

OK. So what’s next? No, I can’t join the HOA. Between my job and kids/family, I don’t have the time. I also have no desire to deal with the other 98% of HOA issues- only this one. Also, while I don’t know any woodworkers, I know all the people on my street whose garages are used for other things. We’ve heard an 80% majority vote is needed to overturn this, and I do have time to rally support for this, even if we have to go knocking on doors. Wait- solicitation isn’t allowed either. Darn.

10 comments so far

View dufus7441's profile


60 posts in 2836 days

#1 posted 02-12-2011 10:47 PM

I feel the garage is part of the house, and as soon as the hoa start making my payments, then they can tell what to do in the garage.

-- Paul

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 3231 days

#2 posted 02-12-2011 10:47 PM

so what happens if you break one of their rules? i mean its not like the police can ticket you right?

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 2981 days

#3 posted 02-12-2011 10:59 PM

This is one reason when I bought my house that I refused to consider any houses governed with or by HOAs!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View poopiekat's profile


4349 posts in 3698 days

#4 posted 02-12-2011 11:05 PM

I’d be more apprehensive about living in a neighborhood filled with people that are so willing to give up their own rights for the sake of neighborhood decorum. Yes, there are people who willingly give up their individual freedom for the sake of a rigidly controlled, draconian environment. I wouldn’t want to be around them, nor could I stand having to look over my shoulder every time somebody walks by the house. That ain’t livin’!!! Benjamin Franklin wrote, ”Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither … Here’s a distressing read:

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2886 days

#5 posted 02-12-2011 11:06 PM

Most garages have a “mandoor” entrance on the side. I doubt that the HOA would come looking into your garage to see if you were doing anything with the doors closed.
I had a three car garage in Las Vegas. Had to park my company truck in the driveway. One way into this HOA community..same way out. Funny thing after the “recyclers” went thru at 11:00 p.m. the small welding machine in the back of my truck disappeared. Their should have been parked inside…my comment is not printable here but suffice to say the garage was full or it would have been inside. I paid $150.00 a month(1994) for them to tell me what kind of landscaping etc. I could have. What I couldn’t do for improvements. They didn’t make my housepayment. I got suckered into this once, won’t never happen again. I can sympathise with you to a point but that’s all. Those people on the HOA are elected. I would suggest you find the time to address the board about your issues , otherwise you have to live with them, you bought it. I know that’s not what you want to hear but it’s a fact.

-- Life is good.

View ChuckV's profile


3110 posts in 3491 days

#6 posted 02-13-2011 12:50 AM

The rules do not specify that your garage space has to be filled with motor vehicles in order for you to park outside. There are other types of vehicles. One of the examples on Merriam-Webster is:
art as a vehicle for self-expression

Your garage is filled with woodworking as a vehicle for self-expression!

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View Jack_T's profile


623 posts in 2995 days

#7 posted 02-13-2011 01:59 AM

I agree with you Poopiekat. Having said that I did live in such a community when I bought my first home. It was a townhouse subject to a HOA. Prior to entering into the real estate contract I read the by-laws to make sure that pets were allowed, home many pets, what type of pets (dogs, cats etc.) and if there was any exclusions of specific pets (i.e. pit bulls, rotties dobermans etc.) I did this because I had two Golden Retrievers and I knew that I would have a problem if I violated them. Then when I moved in I made sure that I became very good friends with my neighbors so that no one would complain if I did something against the rules.

I no longer live in a deed restricted community (what communities that are subject to HOA’s are). I prefer my freedom.

Sergio be careful about noncompliance. The board has given you advance notice of its intended enforcement. You can anticipate that there will be a mass enforcement of the rule. It is a way to raise revenue. I am sure if you read your by-laws you will find that the Board has the power to fine homeowners for violations of the rules. Each day you violate the rules can and probably will be treated as a separate violation resulting in an additional fine. The fines are probably deemed to be additional HOA fees that are due and when not paid can become a legally enforceable lien on your property. The fines and late fees can add up very quickly.

You may be better off looking for someplace else to call home. Maybe a Woodworker friendly community. It may not be worth the fight.

-- Jack T, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3272 days

#8 posted 02-13-2011 07:01 AM

HOA’s seem very pathetic…I sure am glad I live in a rural country area. I hope your problem gets resovled in your favor..

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2852 days

#9 posted 02-13-2011 12:02 PM

To paraphrase Ben Franklin, “He who gives up freedom for security deserves neither.”

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View GaryD's profile


623 posts in 3333 days

#10 posted 02-14-2011 04:32 PM

I’ve got to say, as others have, when I looked for my house, I would not consider anything with an HOA, Had one in a condo complex my wife and I lived at when we were first together and swore I wouldnt go through that again. I realize down in Fla, that is easier said than done. AllI can say is good luck, hopefully you can find some happy ground with them.

-- Gary, Little River,SC I've Learned that the Lord didn't do it all in one day and neither can I

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