Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Watching Grass Grow and Paint Dry and Other Tired Clichés

Aside from having to pay our dues quarterly, I don't give much thought to the homeowners association. Since our development doesn't have a fancy swimmin' hole, recreation room, or anything else that would be covered by the dues to maintain; our dues are quite reasonable even with the $15 annual donation for the Fourth of July fireworks show - and appear to go towards landscape maintenance of the community, security patrol and the renovation and surveillance of one often soaped fountain. And postage and handling of letters gently warning residents to remove their trash bins from the curb immediately, or shutters that could use a fresh coat of paint; reminding weekend travelers that the RV needs to be returned to its storage area and not left on the street, and that boats, no matter how ostentatious, aren't allowed in the driveway. Neither are yachts.

[-Attention landscaping department: There appears to be a problem with the irrigation drainage off the easement, a common area, that sits behind our cul de sac. And when I say drainage I mean, it's not doing it at all. It's stagnant and smells a little like ass. Get a hazmat team on this pronto.]

It would appear that a long since dead dying three by five foot patch of grass on the south side of our front lawn was brought to the homeowners association's attention. The first letter we received requested that, and I quote "In order to preserve the appearance of the community and to keep the property values at their highest level"...blah blah blah..."please water and fertilize your lawn." In which they gave us one week to "correct said violation".

Okay. So we did that. Except the grass doesn't understand this whole one week thing. Which of course prompted a second letter. Worded exactly as the first except for the part about the possibility of being called to a hearing (which wasn't in the first) and another one week time limit to "correct said violation".

And the grass was all, I'm working on it bitches. Which lends credence to the statement that you can't rush nature. A statement that, according to a swift Google search, I just totally made up.

The third letter informs us that our attendance is requested for a hearing. Not in court, no. At the International House of Pancakes. I can't make this stuff up people. Where we will be allotted five minutes to argue our case. Where I will present the letters specifically stating to water and fertilize my lawn. To which I will respond: I did. But unfortunately the grass can't read English - perhaps you should have drafted the letter in Latin. And I've watched enough Judge Judy I know enough about law to understand that I followed their specific instructions; and anything that is implied is moot by what was explicitly written.


Then I'm going to ask them what actions they've taken against the banks that currently own several foreclosed upon homes in various states of disrepair in the community they so desperately wish to preserve.

Then I'm going to enjoy a plate of Super Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity pancakes. Heavy on the Rooty Tooty.

33 comments:

Sue said...

I might have to fly out just to go to this hearing! Could you video yourself, because I would just love to see you go off on them!
You tell them that the grass is the boss, not them!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like there is a grass roots movement out to get you. Maybe you should order the "Surf and Turf" platter. Put a beach towel over offending area. Ok, I'll stop now.

Jarrard said...

Maybe you could get an above ground pool to put over the offensive grass area. Or maybe some indoor/outdoor carpet to cover it - it would be green after all.

Dustin said...

I'm too tired to process where you live at the moment, but I'd have a really hard time getting grass to grow at this time, since 1) it's under a whole bunch of leaves and 2) it's so cold the grass seed would probably just wrap a few of those leaves around themselves and tell me to come back in the spring.

That being said, assuming you're someplace (relatively) tropical, can't you buy that fluffy green stuff, some miracle grow, and possibly hire a voodoo priestess and have some instant greenery?

Sophie, Inzaburbs said...

IHOP????

We used to get those letters all the time at our old house. We were always cited for something that had been naturally corrected by the time the letter arrived. Like a 2ft strip of edging missed. Or a hose which hadn't been put away.

Sometimes we would see a van with blacked out windows cruising the 'hood taking photos. At first I was freaked out, until I realized the photos were of trash cans and flower beds.

Stephanie said...

how funny! And seriously, what is the deal with the HOA? I'm with you, GRASS CAN'T READ, LOSERS!!!

Crisa said...

Wow I needed a good laugh this morning. Thanks and good luck in your hearing.

LI Laura said...

You could always spray paint it.

The Mom Bomb, a/k/a Folksy Mama said...

Tell them that the grass is depressed, and that the Association needs to hire a horticultural shrink to provide lawn-therapy. Or, use the stinking-ass non-drainage as a bargaining chip. No justice, no peace? No drainage, no grass.

Twenty Four At Heart said...

We had to go to an association hearing. Yes, our son PLAYED BASKETBALL IN THE STREET. We are the last house on a cul de sac street and our driveway has a steep slope so he and some friends played right at the end of our driveway.
HUGE infraction.
These people need to get a life. I hate associations.

g said...

Spray paint it green?

Get some astroturf?

I've never had to deal with this kind of problem. Of course, having crack dealers across the street is probably a little more challenging. (not an issue now - that was three houses ago.)

KD @ A Bit Squirrelly said...

Thanks for the reminder to appreciate my hoa free neighborhood. That is just insane.

Burgh Baby said...

Two words: spray paint.

Just make sure it's a grassy shade of green, but hot pink might give away your secret.

JoeinVegas said...

Rooty Tooty.

Holly said...

These folks obviously have waaaay too much time on their hands! I double the "Rooty Tooty!"

O'Neal (The woman in charge around here) said...

That is great! I just LOVE HOA letters, although I don't get any myself. Our hood just has retired nothing-better-to-do assholes that drive around & secretly call the city zoning dept.on you and the next thing you know you're standing in the front yard holding a $50-$150 fine because your tires were touching the grass just a few inches to the left off your driveway 3 weeks ago and you weren't even aware! Never mind the 5 families that moved into the 2 bedroom house down the street and the blue roofing tarps tied up in the trees out front that they use for shelter to cover the grilling out dinners to feed that multitude every single night.Or all the broken beer bottles in the street. Or the back hoe & concrete mixer parked next to the smoker on the lawn. Of course they couldn't fit any of that in the driveway because of the 2 RV/camper's permanently parked in the driveway with the bright orange drop cord running from them through the kitchen window which is convenient for the chickens to fly in & out of at their discretion! I'll be sure to draw smiley faces on the check I enclose with my lawn violation ticket ;).

Good luck with your lawn, try the yellow pages for "grass whisperer" LOL!

Mommy2Twinkies-Deb said...

We just got an HOA letter that asked us not to have visitors park in front of our house, only in our driveway. Said that we do it often. I was like yea, maybe once in a blue moon, and what a freakin waste of time and money, again, how about the house next to mine that's half built and about to fall over!!! Thanks for providing an appropriate place to vent!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

You Go Girl!
Wretched tyrants!

Swirl Girl said...

Our HOA just sent me a letter stating that my garage door, which is only supposed to be open for "the packing and unpacking of groceries or the like" is open for too long. Then , they sent someone to photograph the infraction and sent two photos with the time stamped on each. I responded to it by asking if this was the best use of our funds. To actually pay someone to photograph my garage door twice in one day, and send me the letter?? Seriously. Why didn't that schmuck just ring the bell and let me know my door was open. They have no problem calling at 3:00 am to let me know when we forget to close it at night. Better yet, the guy could have helped me unload the car, watched my kids while they were playing outside (hence the open door), and then drawn my bath and rubbed scented oils on my feet.

thedailysnark said...

Just tell them that you are trying to be ecologically responsible and by allowing the grass to go brown you are saving water, and thus saving the community.

Mrs. G. said...

I would put an old upholstered couch on that patch of grass and call it a day. That would really get things cracking.

MamaHenClucks said...

IHOP as a courthouse! I love it! Once we got sited for leaving the lawnmower out. Um, hello? I was in the middle of mowing and went into the house for a drink of water.

georgie said...

I will have some extra rooty tooty pani cakes in your honor!

The Girl Next Door said...

PLease oh please tell me you made this up...

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

"You can't fool Mother Nature." That's what you were thinking of, and it sort of fits. You can't fool that grass into growing faster.

The Introvert said...

The homeowners association is usually run by retired old farts who have nothing better to do than haul out a measuring stick and measure everyone's grass.

The first week we lived in our house, the HOA president came to threaten us with a lawyer (and make us pay for said lawyer) if we didn't remove the trailer being "stored" in our driveway. The trailer was A) not ours, we borrowed it and B) not being "stored" it was in use while we were doing demo so we could haul away the busted sheetrock. Would they rather we left the trash in the front yard?

Anywho, all that being said, hubby ripped the guy a new one for his "welcome to the neighborhood" and we received a letter of apology. Have fun at IHOP! :)

A Whole Lot of Nothing said...

Our bastardos of an HA send out letters on a regular basis to our house. We wait until the final notice to even open them any more.

MommyTime said...

OMG WHEN did you move into my neighborhood, and why haven't you called??!?! I got precisely that letter (except that it didn't tell me what the problems were, only that "to preserve the character of the neighborhood, blah blah blah, upkeep and complaints..." So I called. They didn't like the bare spot in the lawn and suggested I needed to reseed immediately. In late November. In Michigan. Which obviously wouldn't work AT ALL. Also, they weren't happy that when the city had removed the dead ash tree in the front yard, they hadn't ground out the stump yet. Again: not my schedule. A million or so trees had to be felled in MI thanks to the Emerald Ash Bore Beetle. "Sorry about the stump," I said. "Would you like to pay to have it removed? Or would you like to call the city for me?" Rude dumbassess. The worst, though, was that I'd left my raked leaves for too long on the lawn without bagging them. (They were already bagged by the time the letter arrived.) Why had they lingered there? Because the entire family was felled by stomach flu. I didn't feel like raking between puking. I was livid. Some "Neighborhood Association." So neighborly. So sorry you now have to deal with them too.

On the plus side, they pay a very nice plow guy, so the roads are cleared quickly, which will make you happy. And I'm your new neighbor, and I like to bake. So: hurray!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I owned a condo once. HOA = Evil power tripping retired people. Never again.

babs said...

I am new to your site, having come over via Derfwad Manor, which is via The Pioneer Woman. I love your site and your writing is a hoot! Keep up the fun!

babs said...

I just read everyone's comments. Wow! I'd heard some horror stories about associations, but these are just insane. I have never lived in a neighborhood like that and for those reasons, have never wanted to. A very pain-in-the-ass neighbor down the street wanted to start an association, but at the time, only 1/2 the houses were built. It wasn't in the original deed and I told her we specifically looked to build where there wasn't any associations. We have horses, cows, sheep, and alpacas all around us, for God's sake! She only backed off when she called an attorney and found out it would be a major hassle to get people to join that already lived here and would cost a lot. When looking for a house years ago, we tossed away any printouts that had a HOA. But I did get a kick out of your story and everyone's comments. Let us know how it turns out!

Mary Anna said...

Yeah, our HOA reminds us that this is a gated community and as such we need to hold to certain standards. Gate, schmate. Lots of Section 8 developments have gates too.

Anyhoo, we got a letter once for a weed. It specified what weed! No lie: it specified the weed to the left of the driveway, about 2 feet back from the sidewalk.

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