Evan McKenzie on the rise of private urban governance and the law of homeowner and condominium associations. Visit evanmckenzie.wikispaces.com for my published articles and services.
This is nothing new...Thank the Good Lord, they are not in Monroe County, PA where in some associations, in my experience and opinion, kids are "a problem to the standing regime," and this family would be homeless, due to some type of false charges, fines, liens, assessments, and fraudulent foreclosure. A "hate the kid, and the nice law abiding, bill paying, rule following, non deadbeat parent...and make them homeless mentality..." It is good this family is getting some attention from the media.
Interesting that the board (or its managing agent) would insist that no business be conducted in the "neighborhood". Would that prohibition likewise apply to the complaining HOA corporation burdening every lot?
The true victims in this story are the children whose parents have failed to teach them right from wrong.Mandatory membership in the HOA union is a condition of home ownership that these so-called "adults" voluntarily agreed to when they purchased their homes. But instead of teaching their children to take pride in following the rules for the benefit of the entire collective, they have set a bad example by allowing their children to be individuals who have no regard for their neighbors' property values.One of these irresponsible parents in the news story is quoted as saying that "It's a sense of camaraderie, they're having a good time. It's keeping them focused on a positive task." But how can a sense of camaraderie and having a good time exist without the direction and approval of the HOA corporate board of directors? It can't.The CAI exists to to promote things like camaraderie and a sense of community among neighbors who chose to live together in a communisty association. It is these renegade parents that threaten the tranquility and harmony we work so hard to create.As Brian Schwartz of the Independence Institute has written, "Since HOAs are very local and small, participants are often neighbors and hence have incentive to settle disagreements in a civil manner." An HOA's board of directors are volunteers, who give freely of their time to make their neighborhoods a better place for everybody to live, and can be very reasonable and benevolent if approached properly. But these parents didn't even try to work within the system for the sake of their children. They made no attempt to settle this disagreement in a civil manner.If these parents do not like the rules that they agreed to abide by as voluntary members of the association, there are mechanisms in place for changing those rules. Instead, they decided to teach their children that "you can do whatever you want to do regardless of rules. And then be the squeaky wheel to get attention and package inappropriate behavior in a way that appeals to the news media to bully an exception to the rules."Unfortunately, there is a real possibility that the HOA will incur thousands of dollars in legal fees necessary to enforce the rules -- legal fees that will be passed on to the homeowners, including the parents of other children.It takes a communisty association to think of the children, because these selfish, self-centered, and thoughtless parents obviously can't.
It's not as though conservatives and libertarians are not critical of efforts to quash entrepreneurial activity by young children. But only when the villain of the story is a municipal government. If the oppression is private (in both senses of the word), down the libertarian memory hole it goes."When Lemonade Is Illegal…" (Reason. August 3, 2005)"Small Girls Become Zucchini-Selling Outlaws (with Bonus Lemonade Stand Download)" (Reason. August 21, 2008)."Lemonade is Not A Crime" (Reason. August 6, 2009)"Anarchists Back Lemonade Stand Girl" (Reason. August 9, 2009)"Okay To Make Lemonade" (Overlaweryed.com, August 16-17 2000). No perma-link, so click here and scroll down. Although Overlawyered.com bills itself as "chronicling the high cost of our legal system," the HOA lawyers who steal the homes of widows, soldiers deployed to combat zones, and other ordinary individual Americans has never been a topic of a story at that web site. It's not for a lack of material, so some other motive is at work. Shame on you Walter Olson and Ted Frank! Shu should get them on her radio program so they can explain this oversight.
The libertarian Reason has another story about the government shutting down a lemonade stand.The story has 268 reader comments so far, and not a single mention of HOAs doing the same thing.And even though "The Reason archive, sadly, is jam-packed with lemonade-stand crackdowns," there is no mention in the Reason archive of HOAs doing the same thing, either.Such an omission says something about libertarian principles.
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