Friday, September 03, 2004

Little Pink Houses...
Tired of living in a gray house among dozens of other gray houses, Debra Cullom painted her family's Leawood, Kan., home pink. We're fun, friendly and loving people, and we wanted our house to show that," she says. "It was pretty boring and bland before."

But neighbors are red hot about the new paint job and are circulating a petition to demand a change. Homes association members are debating the color choice.

"We have no list of approved colors or blacklisted colors," says Danne Webb, an at-large director of the neighborhood association. "However, the board's position is that the paint color isn't in harmony and conformity with the neighborhood."

Meanwhile, colorful exteriors are popping up in other young subdivisions where neutral hues have been the norm. Paint manufacturer Behr is selling lots of butter yellow, pale green and light blue exterior paint along with the standard taupe at Home Depot. Large, newer homes are being repainted in unusual colors like peach, purple -- and pink.

Poverty in the Suburbs
Yesterday it was rats. Today it's poverty. Fred may be right after all. Check out this article in The Nation from political scientist Peter Dreier:

Hidden in a Census Bureau report on poverty released in late August is a factoid with significant political and social consequences. Poverty has moved to the suburbs. Or, more accurately, poverty has expanded to the suburbs. Today, 13.8 million poor Americans live in the suburbs--almost as many as the 14.6 million who live in central cities. The suburban poor represent 38.5 percent of the nation's poor, compared with 40.6 percent of the total who live in central cities.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Las Vegas SUN: Rats haunt residents of upscale community
Fred Pilot think this may be evidence of a Biblical curse being visited on HOAs. I say you have no proof until you have a plague of locusts. What's your opinion?
Residents of the upscale Sun City Anthem retirement community in Henderson tolerate the coyotes, jack rabbits and desert squirrels that try to hang on to what once was their habitat, but homeowners draw the line at rats.

Roof rats, non-indigenous rodents that over the last decade have haunted posh Las Vegas communities including Spanish Trail and the Scotch 80s, are trying to establish themselves in Anthem at the south end of the Las Vegas Valley, scurrying about properties and at times working their way into million-dollar homes.

Several residents of the Pulte Homes/Del Webb community of more than 5,000 residences believe its homeowners association is not taking strong enough action to control the problem that has caused some homeowners to avoid their own backyards at night.

The developer and a homeowners association member say they are taking aggressive action to control the problem, noting that not only do they have to deal with the roof rats, but also indigenous rats as well as other desert critters.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Homeowners gaining rights | The Arizona Daily Star ?
Fred Pilot caught this good article, loaded with links to material on the new laws in AZ:

Associations finding their powers curbed
By Scott Simonson

When a Midtown homeowners association made Michael Bryan take down the sign in his window supporting Howard Dean for president earlier this year, Bryan struck a blow for thousands of homeowners in the Tucson area.

Bryan, who was finishing law school at the University of Arizona, did some research and found out that the no-signs rule in the Crest Ranch Homeowners Association, near North Campbell Avenue and East Prince Road, had state law on its side.

So Bryan talked to Rep. Tom Prezelski, D-Tucson, and they changed the law.

Bryan put up another political sign in front of his home on Wednesday, a day when eight of 10 new state laws took effect to regulate homeowners associations.

That sign will stay up, thanks to the new law that says homeowners associations in Arizona must permit political signs around election time.

The new laws also expand other rights for homeowners and require associations to assume more of the responsibilities of public governments, such as holding open meetings and avoiding conflicts of interest.

More changes may be on the way, according to two Tucson-area state representatives who helped sponsor much of the recent legislation, as HOA issues continue to be a topic in the new legislative session.