Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The mysterious case of the disappearing plastic men
More signs of impending anarchy in Maryland. You'd think with all those HOAs around that people would have learned to behave themselves.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Barking fines as noisy New York repents | International News | News | Telegraph
A better headline would be, "Fussbudget Mayor Runs for President...and not of his condo association." This just proves what I've been saying: cities are emulating HOAs.

Barking dogs and lawn mowers are among the main targets of anti-noise laws which have just come into force in New York. Having cleaned up the city's smoking and eating habits, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's civilising tendencies have turned to its famous din. From now on construction companies will have to put up "noise mitigation plans" at building sites explaining how they intend to minimise machinery and other noise. Rubbish trucks must stay at least 50ft from residential buildings between 11pm and 7am while ice cream vans can only play their jingles when the vehicle is moving.Noisy dogs will be penalised whether moving or not. Pets that bark continuously for more than five minutes at night or 10 minutes during the day could leave their owners with fines ranging from $50 to $175 for a first offence. Lawn mowers cannot be used before 8am and after 7pm on weekdays, or before 9am and after 6pm on weekends and public holidays. Loud music will be subject to fines ranging from $50 for a portable stereo offender up to $24,000 for a restaurant which ignores a first warning.
Boing Boing: Silver Spring's downtown is "private property" - no photos allowed
Amazing story from Mystery Reader about privatization run amuck. Who was that crazy guy who said that privatizing public space was leading to loss of civil liberties?

The town of Silver Spring, Maryland gave a private company $100,000,000 to redevelop its downtown area. Now the company claims that the entire downtown is a shopping mall, under its absolute control, without any civil rights. It has barred photography by the public, and insists that it has the right to treat citizens as mere customers.
Headlines: Owners ordered to vow HOA support or face suit | board, hoa, covenants - Gazette.com
Fred Pilot sent this charming story of HOA combat:

BLACK FOREST - Along the trickling headwaters of Cherry Creek, just beyond the pine trees of Black Forest, homeowners are squaring off against each other. A judge will decide who runs the Cherry Creek Springs Homeowners Association and its three-member board of directors. In the meantime, the HOA board is trying to force residents to take sides. Many residents of the upscale homes on 5-acre lots are outraged. “They are making us sign a loyalty oath,” said Haze Hutmacher, who built his home in 1998 and is among the original owners in the subdivision.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Telluride Daily Planet -At Ski Ranches, a subdivision divided
Fred Pilot sent this along:
This is your neighborhood, the Ski Ranches, an idyllic subdivision riven by boiling rhetoric, complaints about spending and charges that the homeowners’ board has been illegally seated. Welcome home. Of course, not everyone’s leaping into the lobster pot. Many of the residents, part-timers and investors who make up this community of 148 homes and 55 lots, are staying out of the fray. Board members blame a “vocal minority” for sparking the turmoil. Still, the conflict has left bruises, residents said. Finding volunteers has gotten harder, and one board member is stepping down to get out of shooting range. Some owners are even reluctant to build, and real-estate agents are hesitant to show homes in the Ranches.