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Sun Feb 10, 2013, 08:58 AM

A yard sign (Obama for prez) led to a 400k court fight....

By Justin Jouvenal, Published: February 9

The feud that consumed Fairfax County’s Olde Belhaven would span four years and cost the community as much as $400,000, and it was ignited by one of the smallest of sparks: an Obama for President sign.

The modest placard Sam and Maria Farran planted in their yard during the 2008 election put them on a collision course with the neighborhood homeowners association. It was four inches taller than the association’s covenants allowed.

“Need I say more! This would lead to chaos,” a neighbor fretted in an e-mail about the precedent that would be set if the sign wasn’t removed. “Our property values would be put at risk.”

Such HOA disputes are as suburban as cul-de-sacs and two-car garages, but few metastasize into legal battles that spend years in the courts, break legal ground and bankrupt the HOA.

Most damaging of all, though, was a move probably unprecedented in area neighborhood feuds: The common area that is the literal and metaphoric heart of Olde Belhaven was put up for sale last year to settle its debts. It appeared that “the square,” as some called the neighborhood, would no longer have a square.

“It destroyed our community,” Maria Farran said.

more

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/fairfax-homeowners-group-humbled-by-court-battle-with-residents/2013/02/09/d46f9bec-6652-11e2-93e1-475791032daf_story.html

Stupid HOA.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:00 AM

1. "Stupid HOA"? Stupid residents who couldn't manage to place a sign that fit.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:12 AM

3. Read the story- The HOA was wrong

They didn't have the right to issue fines and also retaliated. Stupid HOA.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:13 AM

4. Did you read the full article? nt

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 01:30 PM

10. I did. This couple sounds like they just didn't feel like living up to THEIR CONTRACT.

I didn't make it silly or overbearing; but I don't live in an HOA development FOR THAT VERY REASON.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 01:33 PM

11. The judge disagrees with you regarding who wasn't living up to what contract nt

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:15 AM

5. Why side with the HOA on this?

I could understand if this sign was four FEET oversize, however a mere four INCHES?

The real reason isn't behind the size of the lawn sign anyhow....it wasn't the 'correct' sign.

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Response to Earth_First (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 01:28 PM

9. And I could argue that DU'ers support it because it was "the right sign".

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Response to Earth_First (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:27 AM

14. Size?

I could understand if this sign was four FEET oversize, however a mere four INCHES?


Four inches is massive to the kind of man who would get off on the power of being HOA President for a suburban townhouse development.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:04 AM

2. One of many reasons I would never live in a place that has an HOA

The classic line that epitomizes their attitude “Our property values would be put at risk.”
My attitude is "Good, that keeps my taxes lower"

People that buy houses as an investment instead of a home annoy me greatly.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:59 AM

7. You would be OK with losing tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands

On a house?

I disagree with the HOA. I think they're nosy busy bodies in general. I also wouldn't want to live in an area with an HOA. That's a separate issue. Another thing to consider is that if all home values drop, taxes don't usually change. Taxes are often a piece of the pie in relation to all other pieces.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:46 AM

6. The dicatorship board wasn't amused.....

The Farrans were angry. They acknowledged that the sign broke the rules but said it seemed like an assault on free speech to go after a minor violation during the height of an election. Their response: cutting the placard in half. They planted “OBA” and “MA” signs in their front yard.

The prank did not amuse board members. And they decided to act.

I'm just guessing here but a NO OBA MA would have been okay.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 01:21 PM

8. The library I work at rents out our meeting room to a number of HOAs every month.

Really the most unlikeable people at the library, by far. Full of themselves and their big-fish/little-pond power trips.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 01:46 PM

12. LOL...the HOA is responsible for lowering their property value

Who would want to live with such anal neighbors?

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 02:55 PM

13. The other homeowners

should sue the HOA, which was certainly not acting in their best interests.

To spend that much money (!?) fighting the "bad" homeowners--OMG absurd.

But this is Murka, where people have nothing better to do.

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