2007-06-28 / Letters

HOA out of control

I find myself amused at the various letters that have appeared in The Acorn regarding various HOA "problems" and then further amused at the Calabasas effort to be recognized as one of America's finest cities. Calabasas is as far from an example of America's finest as I can imagine, with their totalitarian law about secondhand smoke (I don't smoke and hate the stuff, but appreciate other's rights to do so in a segregated outdoor setting) and various HOA nightmares.

I experienced this, to the max, while living in Mountain View Estates. After being "cited" for having an unacceptable driveway, due to the arbitrary judgment of the HOA since the driveway had been the same for more than a decade, the sale of my home was almost derailed by the HOA president's continued efforts to impose his ideas of order and design for the community. Several thousand dollars later in lawyer fees, I was thankfully able to complete the sale and leave Calabasas for the kinder, greener pastures of Oak Park.

Moved, as a renter, into a lovely townhome development, only to learn that the CC&Rs forbid parking your own car in front of your own home, overnight or for any length of time at all, regardless of the fact that the garages are too small for two large cars. Heaven forbid you leave your trashcans out too long or want to make room in your garage by placing them on the side of your house.

Further, arbitrary "standards" in the CC&Rs allow some residents to place certain outdoor chairs in view while others are "cited." And again, a board member applies their standards versus any truly democratic option. We're a neighborhood of many single parents, and one mom told me how she was chided for having her kids play outside in their cul-de-sac.

How terrible in this mecca of good schools and decency to allow your kids to play in the street in front of their own home. America's finest? No, America's most totalitarian. Bruce Sallan Oak Park

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