Saturday, March 26, 2005

Ridgeland may enforce neighborhood standards - The Clarion-Ledger
Fred Pilot found this piece about a city that is doing the bidding of HOA residents by becoming more like an HOA...

Parking your car in the front yard or encircling your back yard with cyclone fencing may become taboo in Ridgeland. And forget about plastering the front of your home with a mural or placing that portable wading pool in your front yard. The city of Ridgeland is considering creating overlay districts to preserve and protect its neighborhoods from these and other types of perceived offenses. If approved, the ordinance would offer a "laundry list" of items to be addressed in what will be called Neighborhood Preservation Overlay Districts. The ordinance will govern issues like parked vehicles, including recreational vehicles, fence sizes and types, house paint and shingle types. The Wheatley Ridge Neighborhood Association, comprised of Greenbrook, Brookfield, Squirrel Hill and Wheatley Place, championed the proposed ordinance after learning that covenants in their neighborhoods had expired, said Ward 3 Alderman Mike Crook, who lives in the Greenbrook subdivision.

Friday, March 25, 2005

BBC NEWS | UK | England | Merseyside | Asbo family banned from borough
Take a look at these mug shots and see if you want them for neighbors. I think they are looking for a new place to live...and how about this "anti-social behavior order"? I can think of some HOAs that would love to have that power.

A family of five have been banned from harassing anyone in England and Wales and also banned from their home borough of Wirral. A court was told the Bridge family's neighbours in Grosvenor Road, New Brighton, had "lived in fear" of them. District Judge Nick Sanders issued the anti-social behaviour order on Thursday at Birkenhead Magistrates Court.

Township hiring is a family affair
While I'm on the topic of dysfunctional local government...

When Wayne Township Trustee Dan Gammon needed someone to manage the township's firefighter training center, he didn't recruit statewide or even take out a classified ad. He awarded a $30,000 contract to his wife. And when Decatur Township Assessor Charles Coleman filled his eight-person office, he didn't look far. His staff includes his wife, son and daughter -- and he pays them a total of more than $143,000 a year. A review of the hiring practices of Marion County's nine townships by The Indianapolis Star revealed that elected trustees and assessors have relied heavily on their family members as employees and contractors.
"Best Living Argument for Privatization Award" goes to...

Sheriff Myron E. Freeman said Thursday that he expects to ask the Fulton County Commission for more money to provide security at the county's courthouse and jail.

This is the brain-truster who delegated a 51 year old, five-foot-tall, grandmother to escort rapist/murderer Brian Nichols to court, all by herself. Here's another great line from the "sheriff":"You can't discriminate based on gender," Freeman said. "A deputy sheriff is a deputy sheriff."

No. You can't. But that isn't the point. The point is that this mini-deputy, alone, obviously was not physically capable of restraining the 200 pound defendant if he decided to resist while his hands were free. Which is what he did, leading to four deaths and injuries to others. And the point is also that the judge and prosecutor had already requested extra security because Nichols had been caught trying to smuggle two shanks into the courtroom in his shoes. And the sheriff's response is that he didn't do anything wrong. Just give us more money.

This is why people give up on government and decide that privatization, with virtual secession from the public realm, is the only way to live a sane existence. Public officials like this are just walking, talking ads for privatization.

South O.C. Community Has Rabbits in Its Sights: The Mission Viejo City Council has given permission for one gated community to have rabbits shot on sight.

Happy Easter, Bugs.
Legal Affairs: Home Is Where the Heart Is*
*Provided your dog's weight does not exceed 30 pounds, your shutters are painted a tasteful hue, and your lawn is in accordance with the standards mandated by the architectural-control committee

This is Ross Guberman's excellent article on HOAs. I don't think I linked to this when it first came out.
10 Things a Homeowners Association Won't Tell You
Here's a blast from the past--still a good piece that bears reading.
Appeals court: Marine can't be forced to sell Jupiter home in flag flap: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Times Community Newspapers - Top Stories - 03/22/2005 - HOAs turn to private security, request more deputies
As the Sheriff's Office struggles to keep up with the growing demands of Loudoun's ever-growing population, some homeowner associations are turning to volunteer neighborhood watch programs and even private security firms to supplement the sense of community presence they say overextended Sheriff's deputies cannot always provide. Representing more than 12,000 families in eastern Loudoun, the HOA presidents of Ashburn Farm, Ashburn Village and Broadlands recently appeared at a county budget public hearing to support full funding of the Sheriff's Office. The speakers named the hiring of more deputies as a top priority for the county, citing their private efforts to reduce vandalism as an indication that the Sheriff's Office needs more people to patrol the streets.
Yahoo! News - Family Asked To Remove Giant Yellow Ribbon From Yard
Saul's brother constructed an 8-foot by 4-foot yellow ribbon sign just one month after he was deployed and put it in the front of the home. But, the managing agent for the Villas at Ingram Hills sent a notice to the family, stating that it was against homeowner violations and asked them to remove it.

The News-Press: Joe Adams - New condo watchdog supports term limits

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Landslide victims get more bad news | The San Diego Union-Tribune

CARLSBAD – The view from the swimming pool at the Marbella condominiums in La Costa is a breathtaking sight of rolling hills with a lagoon in the distance. But the more than 35 residents who crowded the pool area in yesterday morning's drizzle and who had perhaps moved into their homes with the view in mind were paralyzed with grim news. The earth is still moving because of incessant rains, several of the condominiums are uninhabitable and the owners are likely to incur more costs than they can afford. "I don't know if you're going to have to take out a loan or borrow money from your mom," attorney David Peters told the group of worried faces. "At this moment in time, we're on our own."