Tuesday, March 2, 2010

HOA coming to you!

Make no mistake, this garbage is the camel's nose in the tent. Home Owners Associations are well known for being little tin pot dictatorships, and now the Virginia Senate is saying what the hell, might as well make it state wide.

Some problems here.

First is that, as pointed out in comments at the bottom of the article, in the case of letting the grass get tall enough to be an eyesore, the state is one of the worst offenders. Add to that all the foreclosures on houses, and it will add up to be a great big mess.

I have apologized more than once to my neighbor about my grass being too tall, as I used to travel so much that I wasn't around to cut it. Also, it rained so much last year that the grass not only grew super fast, but it made cutting it impossible. Such is life.

This stupid law, if passed, will be perfectly legal. I can hear the screams now about how "yada yada yada, I own my house and the county can't tell me to cut my grass!" Actually, you probably don't own your house, and the county can absolutely tell you that you have to cut your grass. Because the county holds the title to your house, they can collect taxes from you on it, and they can make up all kinds of arbitrary things to tell you to do. Because the county holds the title to your house, they are on the hook to protect it with the fire department, police, EMT, etc. That is their duty. You agreed to it when you bought your house. With that said, the county also holds the title to foreclosed homes, so they are on the hook to cut that grass. I don't know about the empty houses that have been foreclosed on in your neighborhood, but in mine the grass is so tall that you could hide a mechanized infantry battalion on a tenth of an acre. The grass is like four feet tall all summer long.

I see this as a death by a thousand cuts. If the county is struggling with their budget right now to the point where they're laying off Sheriff's deputies and fire fighters, there's no way they're going to pay someone to cut the grass. If I get a civil penalty for not cutting my grass, I'll happily pay it, and then take a leisurely drive around my neighborhood and find all the foreclosed houses that have tall grass, and I'll have a field day with the county taking them to task for it.

This stuff works both ways.
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