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kbolin10

HOA said NO to my sign

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Has anyone had issues with their HOA in having a sign saying what radio frequency to go to for the music?

My HOA sent a letter saying no signs were allowed in the yard.

Are their any ideas on how I can tell people which station to listen?

I was thinking about just putting a giant pegboard above my garage. That wouldn't be in the yard and it also would be much bigger than my sign and fell like it would stick it to em a bit.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Kevin

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33 minutes ago, kbolin10 said:

I was thinking about just putting a giant pegboard above my garage. That wouldn't be in the yard and it also would be much bigger than my sign and fell like it would stick it to em a bit.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Kevin

Never had a problem yet with my HOA sorry to hear about your issue.  Like your idea though!

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I’d be surprised if the sign prohibition didn’t extend to the entire lot.  Did you check your CCRs?  (No, not Cosmic Color Ribbons...  LOL)

That being said, check that there actually IS a prohibition on your sign.  Many HOA management companies have little idea how the rules change from community to community across the many that they manage.   Mine cited me several times for things that were NOT violations.

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First, check your DCAs to see how much the fine will be.  The fine must be specified.  Sometimes it's easier to just give them their $10 a month than to fight. 

If you have to fight:

Is your sign decorated in any way?  Does it have anything Christmassy on it? Doesn't have to be religious.  That is helpful as you can claim holiday decoration and that they can't put an undue burden on how you celebrate.  NEVER call it a sign.  It is a holiday decoration.  Don't change the sign now even it isn't Christmasy.  Leave it AS IS.

The next thing to do:  They have to give you a grace period to either remove the sign, or for you to request a due process meeting.  That may be in the letter you just received.  Wait until the last minute, and hand-deliver a written letter to the HOA that you want your due process meeting.  Do it in writing, not EMAIL.  ENSURE you get a receipt that you handed it to them.  If they refuse YOU keep a note of the person you talked to, date and time.  Documentation is GOOD.

They then have to give you written notice of the date and time of your due process meeting.  Rules vary by state, so they can't just make a date up - it should be during one of the scheduled meetings of the board or the committee.  If not balk - tell them you want this in front of the board/committee and you want your day.

Again, Check your DCAs.  Is there a provision for you to request an extension?  If so, do it AGAIN:  Hand deliver a letter close to the date of the due process meeting and let them know that you will not be able to make that meeting and to reschedule it.  Have a good reason (but not a lie). 

Before your due process, take a walk around.  Take pictures of EVERY 'Merry Christmas', 'Happy New Year', 'Welcome to the Jones's' sign you can find.  Bring them.

Go to your due process meeting. Tell them you refuse on the grounds of religious expression (even if you are not religious).  Show them examples of these other 'signs' and ask why THEY are permitted.  Ask them for the exact DCR reg you are violating.  Ask them where in the DCRs they define exactly what a sign is - question why other can have xmas decorations that also have words (making them signs).

They'll get mad.  They will rule against you.  That's OK as they must now give you ANOTHER written notice on what their decision was, as well as another grace period   Make sure you TELL them that - that you expect the decision of the board to be IN WRITING, along with the date that corrective action must be taken.  Let them know that they should send the notice with a return receipt to ensure you receive it.  (If they don't....  well...  lost mail)

By this time, it's probably January.  Take the sign down, Christmas is over.  Send a letter telling them that you have removed the sign.

If not...  There are still more ways to push:

Remember the return receipt you told them to send with the letter?  The post office will re-deliver that for a few days.  Push it till the last minute.  They can't start to fine you until you receive the letter.  Don't however refuse delivery.  Now they have you.

Now, redecorate your sign.  Change the size if you can, and add elements to make it more 'festive'.  This will be VERY effective if no one else has to take down their 'Happy Holidays' decoration.  Again send a letter to the HoA.  Tell them you have modified the item to be more inline and to reflect the 'spirit' of the DCA's and claim that you believe it meets all published requirements - especially in light of the holidays and other members decorations.  Send a picture.  Request another meeting. 

That should frustrate them long enough.  

The two most important things:
1 - Whatever you do, don't just ignore it.  Remember - keep EVERYTHING in writing.  
2 - He who lives by the book, DIES by the book.  Use the DCRs work FOR you as well as against you.  Use them to YOUR advantage.  

DISCLAIMER:  I am NOT a lawyer, but I like to fight with my HOA when they try to pull stupid carp like this.  These suggestions are my own personal ones and may or may not work for you - even if they have for me in different ways.  If you are unsure, consult with a lawyer - I am not responsible if you get fined for following any of this.  In other words:  you are on your own!

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13 hours ago, DevMike said:

First, check your DCAs to see how much the fine will be.  The fine must be specified.  Sometimes it's easier to just give them their $10 a month than to fight. 

If you have to fight:

Is your sign decorated in any way?  Does it have anything Christmassy on it? Doesn't have to be religious.  That is helpful as you can claim holiday decoration and that they can't put an undue burden on how you celebrate.  NEVER call it a sign.  It is a holiday decoration.  Don't change the sign now even it isn't Christmasy.  Leave it AS IS.

The next thing to do:  They have to give you a grace period to either remove the sign, or for you to request a due process meeting.  That may be in the letter you just received.  Wait until the last minute, and hand-deliver a written letter to the HOA that you want your due process meeting.  Do it in writing, not EMAIL.  ENSURE you get a receipt that you handed it to them.  If they refuse YOU keep a note of the person you talked to, date and time.  Documentation is GOOD.

They then have to give you written notice of the date and time of your due process meeting.  Rules vary by state, so they can't just make a date up - it should be during one of the scheduled meetings of the board or the committee.  If not balk - tell them you want this in front of the board/committee and you want your day.

Again, Check your DCAs.  Is there a provision for you to request an extension?  If so, do it AGAIN:  Hand deliver a letter close to the date of the due process meeting and let them know that you will not be able to make that meeting and to reschedule it.  Have a good reason (but not a lie). 

Before your due process, take a walk around.  Take pictures of EVERY 'Merry Christmas', 'Happy New Year', 'Welcome to the Jones's' sign you can find.  Bring them.

Go to your due process meeting. Tell them you refuse on the grounds of religious expression (even if you are not religious).  Show them examples of these other 'signs' and ask why THEY are permitted.  Ask them for the exact DCR reg you are violating.  Ask them where in the DCRs they define exactly what a sign is - question why other can have xmas decorations that also have words (making them signs).

They'll get mad.  They will rule against you.  That's OK as they must now give you ANOTHER written notice on what their decision was, as well as another grace period   Make sure you TELL them that - that you expect the decision of the board to be IN WRITING, along with the date that corrective action must be taken.  Let them know that they should send the notice with a return receipt to ensure you receive it.  (If they don't....  well...  lost mail)

By this time, it's probably January.  Take the sign down, Christmas is over.  Send a letter telling them that you have removed the sign.

If not...  There are still more ways to push:

Remember the return receipt you told them to send with the letter?  The post office will re-deliver that for a few days.  Push it till the last minute.  They can't start to fine you until you receive the letter.  Don't however refuse delivery.  Now they have you.

Now, redecorate your sign.  Change the size if you can, and add elements to make it more 'festive'.  This will be VERY effective if no one else has to take down their 'Happy Holidays' decoration.  Again send a letter to the HoA.  Tell them you have modified the item to be more inline and to reflect the 'spirit' of the DCA's and claim that you believe it meets all published requirements - especially in light of the holidays and other members decorations.  Send a picture.  Request another meeting. 

That should frustrate them long enough.  

The two most important things:
1 - Whatever you do, don't just ignore it.  Remember - keep EVERYTHING in writing.  
2 - He who lives by the book, DIES by the book.  Use the DCRs work FOR you as well as against you.  Use them to YOUR advantage.  

DISCLAIMER:  I am NOT a lawyer, but I like to fight with my HOA when they try to pull stupid carp like this.  These suggestions are my own personal ones and may or may not work for you - even if they have for me in different ways.  If you are unsure, consult with a lawyer - I am not responsible if you get fined for following any of this.  In other words:  you are on your own!

All solid advice, but taking that advice might also cause them to spine up and prohibit his display in general for 2018+ due to traffic, nuisance ....etc.

If he got a letter about his sign, someone is already not a fan of his display in general. 

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P10 matrix panel to show song title and tune to information.

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I have a big bay window with no panes and I use a video projector to display the tune to information.  It originally had a virtual Santa video playing during the show but decided to just play the tune to info this year.

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15 hours ago, DevMike said:

First, check your DCAs to see how much the fine will be.  The fine must be specified.  Sometimes it's easier to just give them their $10 a month than to fight. 

If you have to fight:

Is your sign decorated in any way?  Does it have anything Christmassy on it? Doesn't have to be religious.  That is helpful as you can claim holiday decoration and that they can't put an undue burden on how you celebrate.  NEVER call it a sign.  It is a holiday decoration.  Don't change the sign now even it isn't Christmasy.  Leave it AS IS.

The next thing to do:  They have to give you a grace period to either remove the sign, or for you to request a due process meeting.  That may be in the letter you just received.  Wait until the last minute, and hand-deliver a written letter to the HOA that you want your due process meeting.  Do it in writing, not EMAIL.  ENSURE you get a receipt that you handed it to them.  If they refuse YOU keep a note of the person you talked to, date and time.  Documentation is GOOD.

They then have to give you written notice of the date and time of your due process meeting.  Rules vary by state, so they can't just make a date up - it should be during one of the scheduled meetings of the board or the committee.  If not balk - tell them you want this in front of the board/committee and you want your day.

Again, Check your DCAs.  Is there a provision for you to request an extension?  If so, do it AGAIN:  Hand deliver a letter close to the date of the due process meeting and let them know that you will not be able to make that meeting and to reschedule it.  Have a good reason (but not a lie). 

Before your due process, take a walk around.  Take pictures of EVERY 'Merry Christmas', 'Happy New Year', 'Welcome to the Jones's' sign you can find.  Bring them.

Go to your due process meeting. Tell them you refuse on the grounds of religious expression (even if you are not religious).  Show them examples of these other 'signs' and ask why THEY are permitted.  Ask them for the exact DCR reg you are violating.  Ask them where in the DCRs they define exactly what a sign is - question why other can have xmas decorations that also have words (making them signs).

They'll get mad.  They will rule against you.  That's OK as they must now give you ANOTHER written notice on what their decision was, as well as another grace period   Make sure you TELL them that - that you expect the decision of the board to be IN WRITING, along with the date that corrective action must be taken.  Let them know that they should send the notice with a return receipt to ensure you receive it.  (If they don't....  well...  lost mail)

By this time, it's probably January.  Take the sign down, Christmas is over.  Send a letter telling them that you have removed the sign.

If not...  There are still more ways to push:

Remember the return receipt you told them to send with the letter?  The post office will re-deliver that for a few days.  Push it till the last minute.  They can't start to fine you until you receive the letter.  Don't however refuse delivery.  Now they have you.

Now, redecorate your sign.  Change the size if you can, and add elements to make it more 'festive'.  This will be VERY effective if no one else has to take down their 'Happy Holidays' decoration.  Again send a letter to the HoA.  Tell them you have modified the item to be more inline and to reflect the 'spirit' of the DCA's and claim that you believe it meets all published requirements - especially in light of the holidays and other members decorations.  Send a picture.  Request another meeting. 

That should frustrate them long enough.  

The two most important things:
1 - Whatever you do, don't just ignore it.  Remember - keep EVERYTHING in writing.  
2 - He who lives by the book, DIES by the book.  Use the DCRs work FOR you as well as against you.  Use them to YOUR advantage.  

DISCLAIMER:  I am NOT a lawyer, but I like to fight with my HOA when they try to pull stupid carp like this.  These suggestions are my own personal ones and may or may not work for you - even if they have for me in different ways.  If you are unsure, consult with a lawyer - I am not responsible if you get fined for following any of this.  In other words:  you are on your own!

Why can't we "like" an admins post?   That was a great post.  You  certainly deserve a pat on the back when you go above and beyond.  Should change that.

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1 hour ago, JPat said:

All solid advice, but taking that advice might also cause them to spine up and prohibit his display in general for 2018+ due to traffic, nuisance ....etc.

If he got a letter about his sign, someone is already not a fan of his display in general. 

Makes sense that they went after the sign.  Sorta keeps their hands clean of Grinch, and/or  religious rights PR .  The public tends to frown upon Businesses that are offended by Christmas lights.

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36 minutes ago, jfuller8400 said:

And this is why I refuse to live in an HOA community.

+1

 

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1 hour ago, jfuller8400 said:

And this is why I refuse to live in an HOA community.

yup.  I kinda believe that most are designed to keep me out, anyway.

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2 hours ago, Dcroc said:

Why can't we "like" an admins post?   That was a great post.  You  certainly deserve a pat on the back when you go above and beyond.  Should change that.

Yes Mike shares thoughtful and meaningful stuff.

If you ever have the pleasure of him answering the phone when you call and have a pleasant spirit he’s all ears.

JR

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I did try a home association once. The day we closed on the house we were left a citation for grass! Had they left that prior to closing we would have walked! 

A year later I took a $30k loss just to get out to our present home. It was well worth the loss.

To bad the home was beautiful 

JR

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19 hours ago, jtomason said:

I’d be surprised if the sign prohibition didn’t extend to the entire lot.  Did you check your CCRs?  (No, not Cosmic Color Ribbons...  LOL)

That being said, check that there actually IS a prohibition on your sign.  Many HOA management companies have little idea how the rules change from community to community across the many that they manage.   Mine cited me several times for things that were NOT violations.

It does say the lot but not sure how that is to be interpreted for the house. I think I can decorate it up some and consider it a decoration.

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18 hours ago, DevMike said:

First, check your DCAs to see how much the fine will be.  The fine must be specified.  Sometimes it's easier to just give them their $10 a month than to fight. 

If you have to fight:

Is your sign decorated in any way?  Does it have anything Christmassy on it? Doesn't have to be religious.  That is helpful as you can claim holiday decoration and that they can't put an undue burden on how you celebrate.  NEVER call it a sign.  It is a holiday decoration.  Don't change the sign now even it isn't Christmasy.  Leave it AS IS.

The next thing to do:  They have to give you a grace period to either remove the sign, or for you to request a due process meeting.  That may be in the letter you just received.  Wait until the last minute, and hand-deliver a written letter to the HOA that you want your due process meeting.  Do it in writing, not EMAIL.  ENSURE you get a receipt that you handed it to them.  If they refuse YOU keep a note of the person you talked to, date and time.  Documentation is GOOD.

They then have to give you written notice of the date and time of your due process meeting.  Rules vary by state, so they can't just make a date up - it should be during one of the scheduled meetings of the board or the committee.  If not balk - tell them you want this in front of the board/committee and you want your day.

Again, Check your DCAs.  Is there a provision for you to request an extension?  If so, do it AGAIN:  Hand deliver a letter close to the date of the due process meeting and let them know that you will not be able to make that meeting and to reschedule it.  Have a good reason (but not a lie). 

Before your due process, take a walk around.  Take pictures of EVERY 'Merry Christmas', 'Happy New Year', 'Welcome to the Jones's' sign you can find.  Bring them.

Go to your due process meeting. Tell them you refuse on the grounds of religious expression (even if you are not religious).  Show them examples of these other 'signs' and ask why THEY are permitted.  Ask them for the exact DCR reg you are violating.  Ask them where in the DCRs they define exactly what a sign is - question why other can have xmas decorations that also have words (making them signs).

They'll get mad.  They will rule against you.  That's OK as they must now give you ANOTHER written notice on what their decision was, as well as another grace period   Make sure you TELL them that - that you expect the decision of the board to be IN WRITING, along with the date that corrective action must be taken.  Let them know that they should send the notice with a return receipt to ensure you receive it.  (If they don't....  well...  lost mail)

By this time, it's probably January.  Take the sign down, Christmas is over.  Send a letter telling them that you have removed the sign.

If not...  There are still more ways to push:

Remember the return receipt you told them to send with the letter?  The post office will re-deliver that for a few days.  Push it till the last minute.  They can't start to fine you until you receive the letter.  Don't however refuse delivery.  Now they have you.

Now, redecorate your sign.  Change the size if you can, and add elements to make it more 'festive'.  This will be VERY effective if no one else has to take down their 'Happy Holidays' decoration.  Again send a letter to the HoA.  Tell them you have modified the item to be more inline and to reflect the 'spirit' of the DCA's and claim that you believe it meets all published requirements - especially in light of the holidays and other members decorations.  Send a picture.  Request another meeting. 

That should frustrate them long enough.  

The two most important things:
1 - Whatever you do, don't just ignore it.  Remember - keep EVERYTHING in writing.  
2 - He who lives by the book, DIES by the book.  Use the DCRs work FOR you as well as against you.  Use them to YOUR advantage.  

DISCLAIMER:  I am NOT a lawyer, but I like to fight with my HOA when they try to pull stupid carp like this.  These suggestions are my own personal ones and may or may not work for you - even if they have for me in different ways.  If you are unsure, consult with a lawyer - I am not responsible if you get fined for following any of this.  In other words:  you are on your own!

Thank you for the advice and I promise not to hold you responsible for any outcome :). I was thinking about just contesting it long enough to get through the season then take it down anyways. I did go get the materials for my new sign so that should buy me some time in case they don't like the new one either.

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17 hours ago, Thebug said:

Devmike you are one devious son of a gun I love it!! After all that and they are still Pia's next year maybe this would work it's not a yard sign. Local sign shop made it for $60ish it a 20x36in magnet

Devious?  No.  I play by the rules, and they are the ones that made the rules.  It doesn't matter if it is the law, DCRs, whatever.  Those laws and rules may be used by those people to gain an upper hand, but those same rules and laws protect YOU.  But YOU need to use them.

Now between you and I, I see what the issue is with that sign.  It's commercial looking, and that is probably where the argument will go.  BUT again don't admit to it.  Get your due process meeting, extract what the issue is THEY see.  

Now take the sign and decorate it.  Garland.  Snow Flakes.  Wish people happy holidays, merry Christmas, WHATEVER.  and send it back for review.

The thing to remember in this case is, you are not looking to WIN.  You are looking to delay.

4 hours ago, JPat said:

All solid advice, but taking that advice might also cause them to spine up and prohibit his display in general for 2018+ due to traffic, nuisance ....etc.

If he got a letter about his sign, someone is already not a fan of his display in general. 

This is all very true.  However, most HOAs work on the thought that they are kings and everyone will just capitulate (the Bully rule).  As soon as you stand up and demand your rights they usually back off.

I had a 2 year fight with mine.  I wanted a shed, and the DCRs say that sheds must be screened from the street and approved.  I went to the meeting to get approval for the shed, and they agreed that a hedge row would screen the shed.  A year later a new board came in and decided I needed to put up a fence.  I had my meeting notes, and (with respect) told them to look at the minutes for the meeting where it was approved and gave them a picture with the hedges.  They put up a fuss because 'they couldn't find or don't have the minutes' from that meeting. 

FL law to the rescue!  According to the law here, they have to keep those for a minimum of time.  Without them, the association was unlawful.  At the next due process meeting I dropped the bomb that if they wanted to press the issue - I wanted it in front of the courts here in FL.  During that time I would ask the judge to dissolve the entire HOA because it was operating unlawfully.  No more fence :P

The next 2 years were heck.  They wrote me up for every little thing.  Every other month it was a new violation.  Some were easier to just do what they asked (paint my mailbox post).  Most I fought.  And they backed down.  Finally I had it up to here with their shenanigans.  For 3 months I went to board meetings.  If people showed up for due process I found where in the DCRs or laws they could fight.  If they came for approval of something, I found ways to get it approved even if the board tried to turn it down.  People would come in asking the board for help with a neighbor issue and the board would say they couldn't do anything.  I would find in the DCRs where they were compelled to do something.

After the 3rd month I took the president aside after the meeting.  "Maybe you are sending TOO many violations?" (the "to me" was implied).  The violations stopped.

About 3 years after that (last year), here comes a violation letter telling me I need to pressure wash my driveway (new board apparently).  Oh goody, time for more fun!  My section of FL has some very strict laws about water conservation.  No car washing.  Water lawns only once a week in a small time window, that sort of thing.  The law also very clearly states that any provisions in DCRs that require the use of water are NON ENFORCEABLE during the drought declaration.  DUE PROCESS MEETING!

I get my time, drag out the statute and read it to them.  'We'll have to look into it'.  'No problem.  But your attorney over there (who is on the board) should know the law better.  Perhaps he's not qualified to sit on the board, or maybe even be a lawyer?'.  3 days later they send an eMail to the entire association that they were sorry.  They were in error demanding that people pressure-wash their houses or driveways during the drought.  Darn right you are sorry!

I can talk at great lengths about HOAs.  It is NOT that I am against them - in spirit they should enforce what people should be doing.  But in practice they are nothing more than documents that give certain people a swelled head.

Or maybe I just like to use peoples rules against them.  Or maybe I need a hobby! :P

 

2 hours ago, Dcroc said:

Why can't we "like" an admins post?   That was a great post.  You  certainly deserve a pat on the back when you go above and beyond.  Should change that.

It's the Anti-Suck-Up rule :P

 

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4 hours ago, JPat said:

All solid advice, but taking that advice might also cause them to spine up and prohibit his display in general for 2018+ due to traffic, nuisance ....etc.

If he got a letter about his sign, someone is already not a fan of his display in general. 

Yeah there is always a scrooge.

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1 hour ago, kbolin10 said:

It does say the lot but not sure how that is to be interpreted for the house. I think I can decorate it up some and consider it a decoration.

The lot usually is legally defined as everything within the property lines.  

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1 hour ago, DevMike said:

Devious?  No.  I play by the rules, and they are the ones that made the rules.  It doesn't matter if it is the law, DCRs, whatever.  Those laws and rules may be used by those people to gain an upper hand, but those same rules and laws protect YOU.  But YOU need to use them.

FL law to the rescue!  According to the law here.....

 

 

I concur.  I live in FL and have had multiple issues with incompetent HOA boards, the management companies that they hire to run the association, and their attorneys.   In every case, I made legal arguments using both the CCRs and State law, and in each case I prevailed.    I faced the same sort of harassment and fought back.   EVERY SINGLE ISSUE WAS ULTIMATELY DROPPED.   You have to stand up for yourself. 

 

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20 hours ago, DevMike said:

 

DISCLAIMER:  I am NOT a lawyer, but I like to fight with my HOA when they try to pull stupid carp like this.  These suggestions are my own personal ones and may or may not work for you - even if they have for me in different ways.  If you are unsure, consult with a lawyer - I am not responsible if you get fined for following any of this.  In other words:  you are on your own!

I'm sorry I couldn't resist. 
How do you know the carp (fish) they pull is stupid, isn't it kind of rude to call a fish stupid? And why are they pulling carp anyway. 

 

 

 

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