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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Woman Sued for Planting Flowers in Her Front Yard

Thank you to Angela, for sending us the link to this article.  It seems a little crazy to me, what about you?

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (CBS) – Kimberly Bois’ tiny front yard garden isn’t much to look at right now. But in a few weeks, it’ll be in full bloom, and every blossom will cost her dearly.
Even though she says her builder gave her permission to do a little planting, the current condo board now says she’s in violation.

They’re charging the Portsmouth, New Hampshire homeowner $50 a day for being so petal pushy. That fine has reached close to $6,000, plus the board’s legal fees.

“It’s just not a happy place to live anymore for me,” says Bois, who planted the small flower bed with the help of her mother, who has since passed away.

She says, “It just feels like we’ve been bullied and really all we wanted to do was have a conversation to figure out how this can benefit all of us.”

A new certified letter arrives every month, ordering Bois to uproot her garden and keeping track of her fines.

It got so bad, she contacted a Realtor friend of hers to talk about just selling the place that she has owned since 2008.

That’s when she got the real shock: the board put a lien on her townhouse for their fines.
Bois says the whole situation has, “gotten out of control.”

She even offered to pull up the flowers and pay part of the board’s legal fees a couple of weeks ago – an offer she says was refused.

The association’s bylaws don’t expressly forbid planting flowers on your property, Bois explains, nor do they explicitly allow it.

Board members have told Bois they just want all the units to look the same.
“Now we’ve gone down a rabbit hole that I just can’t seem to get out of and it’s very sad, and it’s upsetting,” she says.

WBZ reached out to the attorney who represents the condo association, but he did not respond our request for comment.


Poppy said...

This seems ridiculous but unfortunately, not so far fetched that it couldn't happen to any one of us who lives within the control of a homeowners association. My husband has decided that we will never purchase a property that is part of a H.O.A. for the very reason this poor lady is considering moving. How sad to "own" property but not be able to decide what you can plant. Imagine how her H.O.A. would react to a vegetable garden!

LindaG said...

A few months ago I read an article about a person who was fined for turning their front yard into a garden.
This country gets scarier every day.

Alison said...

Our neighbor down the street was told she had to plant the wildflowers growing in her yard in planters if she wanted to keep them.....um, they're WILD flowers. I very much dislike having an HOA and the idea that every place should be identical is ridiculous. True I don't want the houses to all be painted orange, purple and blue, but we should be able to plant and care for our places as long as they are cared for - which clearly this lady has done.

Anonymous said...

Seems this woman needs to file an injunction against the homeowner's association and file a lawsuit for intentional infliction of emotional distress. This is absurd and sounds more like a miscommunication than anything. This would make me want to move as well.

Stephen said...

I will never live in an HOA for this very reason. At first glance I wanted to say she knew what she signed up for, but after reading it again "No she didn't" because it doesn't say she can't.

Me? I'd be knocking on neighbor's doors offering to plant flowers in their yards for free so they could all look the same :D

Cheryl Ann said...

I currently have the city of Palm Desert after me because I went to Home Depot, bought 3 packages of wildflowers, and threw the seeds out by my front fence. THEY call them "weeds" and I've got 2 citations. They are purchased WILDFLOWERS and any IDIOT knows that! They are now threatening us with a $600 a DAY fine. Screw them. I'm NOT mowing them down!!!! And, it isn't just HOAs!

Stoney Acres said...

Augh! I hate stuff like this! HOA's are evil! I will never live some where with an HOA.