Of dog poop, neighbor drama, and doing laundry on the porch: Adventures with my HOA

Husband and I bought a house last year in a really beautiful neighborhood where all the houses are built with rocking chair front porches and a certain Charlestonian-charm. The neighborhood, to keep its beauty and charm, has a really strict HOA and rules about what can be visible, how your yard should look, etc. This is done so that the neighborhood is attractive and that the home values will stay up since people will want to live here.

With all the rules comes almost constant drama. The neighborhood has a Facebook group where the homeowners come on asking for babysitters, or putting things up for sell, or, the most popular activity, bitch about the HOA.

The current drama is over placement of trashcans. Most of the houses in my neighborhood have the garages in the back and a series of alleys behind the houses allows us access to the garage. Apparently the HOA rules have always been that trashcans have to be hidden from view from both the street AND the alleys, but it has only been recently — when the HOA switched management companies — that the rule is being enforced.  Previously, as long as your trashcans couldn’t be seen from the road, you were good.

Most of my neighbors seem to have put in cement pads for their trashcans with screens like this blocking them from being seen from any direction by the road:

But because this set up allows for the cans to be seen from behind, where the alley is, the HOA has started sending out threatening letters to hide the cans from both sides or risk being fined.  This is apparently upsetting since buying more fencing is going to be expensive and make it kind of hard to access the cans.

My neighbors are upset enough at being called out by the HOA that they are now calling each other out for breaking HOA rules, I guess with the attitude of “If I’m going down, I’m taking everybody with me.” So far, I’ve seen somebody being called out for leaving their portable basketball hoop out in the driveway, for having an inflatable play space in their backyard, having political signs in their yard (which was later determined to actually be ok since the state Supreme Court has found that HOAs can’t limit homeowners from displaying political signs), letting their pet bunny get out of their yard too often, and leaving their garage door open too much.

My favorite tattle-telling entries, however, have been the ones that call out the neighborhood management for their total hypocrisy, because they are less petty and make me less uncomfortable.  Examples of how the neighborhood management should maybe think about putting the rock down while hanging out in their glass house:

This is in one of our parks; there is a company paid for by HOA dues to keep the green spaces pretty and well maintained:

And this is my absolute favorite, the current view of our neighborhood club house:

Meanwhile, I haven’t seen anyone post about this, but this is a sight that’s been available for over a week:

Washer-on-the-porch watch, day 4: say it with me, it's still there.

Yep, that’s a dryer. My neighbors dry their clothes on their patio. Because nothing says “classy neighborhood” and “increasing home values” like a dryer on the patio.

P.S. My husband has informed me that my picture of the cans behind the fence looks like a house where the big can is the house and the smaller can is a garage. I infer that this means the house has a random big white fence on two sides. So, I leave it to you, my wonderful readers…

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