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HOA Issues

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I reside in Wake Forest, NC and have two issues. First, we have rocks along

the front lawn of our house where our grass meets the street so that people

don't park on our grass (no sidewalk buffer here). These rocks are like small

boulders about 1' x 1' in irregular rock shapes and are about 1' off the

street. HOA claims that a child was getting chased by a dog, ran on our

property and tripped/fell on one of the rocks and got real cut up as a result.

HOA has indicated that we need to remove them. Do I need to? I feel the child

should never have been on our property and dog should have been leashed.

Second, I recently planted some wax myrtle trees along my property line for some

privacy. One of my neighbors complained to the HOA. HOA has indicated

that I needed approval before landscaping. However, I read the

convenents several times and do not see any mention that approval is

needed for landscaping.

Below is the only section of the convents with any sort of mention of landscaping. I appreciate any input.

Section 9.1 Architectural Climate Committee. Except for original construction performed by or on behalf of Declarant or as otherwise in these convenent provided, no building, fence, electric pet fence, sidewalk, drive, mailbox, or other structure, or improvement or anything attached thereto visible from the outside of the structure or improvement shall be erected, placed, altered, or maintaned withing the Subdivision, nor shall any exterior addition to or change (including any change in color) or alteration therein made, until the proposed building plans, specifications, exterior color and finish, plot plans (showing the proposed location of such building or structure, drives and parking areas), general contractors and all subcontractors, all construction schedule shall have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Board of Directios of the Association, or by any architectural control committe appointed by said Board of Directors. Refusal of approval plans, location or specification by said Board of Directors or achitectural control comittee may be based upon any reasonable ground, including, without limitation, lack of harmony of external design, color, location or relation to surround structures and topography and purely aesthetic conditions which, in the discretion of said Board of Directors or architectural control committee shall deem sufficient. After approval by the Board oF Directors or architectural control committee is fiven, no alterations may be made in such plans except by and with their prior written consent. One copy of all plans, specifications and related data shall be furnished the Board of Directors or architectural control committee for its records.

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madisontex said...

Do I need to?

What does your HOA rules state about this specific issue?

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The section you posted below could arguably require prior approval from the HOA before planting the trees. If I'm reading that section from a HOA standpoint, I would argue that the trees are a de facto "fence" that requires the HOA's greenlight just as if the fence were iron or a wooden privacy fence.

As far as the rocks, I would look to see if there are any covenants that relate to safety. If not, my guess would be that they are just concerned about either getting sued or, at a minimum, placating the parents of the child by seeming to take action.

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Thanks... In the event that the HOA is insistent I needed prior

approval, would I be able to fight their claim? Would that have to be in

a court of law?

Certainly you could fight their claims, it just would largely depend on how they brought those claims and how they pursued this matter in general. In other words, would they issue a fine/assessment for the trees and rocks, or would they take you to court to enforce the HOA rules's impossible for me to say since I don't know the people at the HOA. A lot depends on how seriously they want to take this matter and whether or not it's worth their time/money/energy to pursue this matter. Some people would say nothing at all, others would send some sternly worded letters and then do little else, some would take you to court in a heartbeat.

How you fight their claims, and whether or not you would have a chance of success is tough to say without having read all the HOA agreements and also knowing the facts of your particular case. So in short if this looks like they aren't going to back down you would be well advised to at least consider consulting with a local attorney who handles these kinds of cases.

Best of luck.

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