July 18th, 2008


Jane vs. the HOA in the Battle of the Fence

OK, that's a tad overdramatic, really.  But I'm off today, so I can afford some flamboyance.

You might recall that we've been asked by the Homeowners' Association to replace our privacy fence on one side of the house.  Initially, we were asked to fix it, but my fixes proved insufficient to their wishes, and so we were asked to replace it entirely.  Given that the fence is in pretty rotten shape, it's an understandable request in many respect.

The thing is, there are some additional things to take into consideration.  First, they would not be asking us to replace the fence if not for the fact that we're at the end of a row of houses and that side of Casa de Bretzes faces a community-owned park.  A park which has been vandalized a number of times in the past.  Vandalism that has occasionally extended to the boards of our fence.

Second, for the past few months, we've watched the HOA replace the entirety of the privacy fencing backing homes on the outer perimeter of our subdivision.  A few innocent-sounding questions revealed that this was done entirely at the HOA's expense, not the homeowners.

Thirdly, according to the guidelines handed down by the HOA, replacing fencing between two properties should be worked out between the respective neighbors.  Since the HOA owns the land adjoining ours, and given their willingness to re-fence the perimeter of the neighborhood, it seemed reasonable to ask them to foot at least part of the bill.

I expected we'd get a "Hell no," from them, but Jane wanted to give it a shot.  We got bids and she submitted a request through the management company, who forwarded it all to the board.

Yesterday, we got a response.  The good news is, it wasn't a "Hell no."  The bad news is it was still a "No."  But, we did end up with some concessions we can live with.

1.  We have a six month extension to replace the fence.  No further complaint/reminder letters will be sent to us.

2. The HOA sent their fence contractor to bid on the job.  His bid fell in between the two we'd already gotten, but Jane saw something she liked in it.

3. Once the fence is replaced, any further vandalism is to be reported to the Management Company and the HOA will foot the repair bills.

All of the above was accompanied with the HOA's apologies.  It came down to funding and they hadn't considered what effect the perimeter re-fencing would have in conjunction with picking this year to request new fences from folks in the neighborhood.  Apparently, they were bombed with requests for them to pay for the entire thing.  By asking for half and explaining our position so well, we at least got a "We're really sorry but," instead of the "No.  Get it done," everyone else ended up with.

So, it's not a perfect solution, but I'd expected we'd have to pay for the whole thing in the first place.  We've got more time, and we've effectively got a warranty and the apparent goodwill of the HOA board at the moment.  So, that's something.

Doin's and Not Doin's

I'm off today (my annual birthday holiday).  Here's the agenda of things done and to be done:

Get the car's oil changed.
Pick up prescription.
Go to craft stores.
Get crafty. (Subject of later post if it goes to plan.)
Hopefully go out for dinner this evening. (Depends on C-Monster.  He's been a cranky homebody lately.)
Watch "Spiderwick Chronicles" with C-Monster.

Thing not to be done:

Go see the new Batman flick.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure I'll eventually go see it in the theater and I'll probably like it, but it's really hard to get me fired up about cinematic Batman efforts.  As far as I'm concerned, the definitive version was done over the course of several years by WB Animation, and the live action versions (even the most recent) are just trying too hard and missing the essence of the character.  I'm sure the new one will be a fine film about people with the same names as characters in the Bat franchise, but I doubt they'll have any more heart than their predecessors.
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