© 2008 -- 2011 the Grandpa at The Word Mechanic. All rights reserved.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Request for Modification Review

We are planning to fence in our backyard so the puppy can go out by herself and run, run, run. But we live in this thoroughly modern neighborhood that's overseen by Bureaucracy Unlimited, otherwise known as the Home Owner's Association, aka neighborhood gestapo aka bureau of regulations. That means that even though only if you squint as you go by the house (thanks to a line of evergreens at the end of our driveway and the fact there are no houses behind us) maybe you'd be able to see 8 feet of fence, we still have to fill out, submit, and have approved a "Request for Modification Review" that needs to be signed by our neighbor (we only have one on one side because we're the first house on our side of the street once you enter the division) before we can start building.

Did you realize there are over 90 words in that last sentence?

Anyway, I'm not going to bore you with all the things we have to document about the fence. But after I downloaded the form, I saw everything that, supposedly, needs to be approved:

* Exterior decorative objects, front porch flower pots [????????? boy, I got away with one there] lighting, etc. [etc???????????]
* Garden plot [????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Those can really ruin your property value. Now you have to sell to green people ?????????????????]]
* Private pool [?] [So if it's private, why do I need to have it approved?]
* Exterior landscape and maintenance. [I'm okay there. I just won't do anything to my yard. Let nature take its course. At last a green rule.]
* Storm windows/doors [I'd rather freeze anyway. That's what men do. I've learned that from reading blogs.]

Then at the end before I sign, I say I agree no work will begin until I get written approval from the Covenants Committee. I love the biblical nature of all this. After all, I live in the south. Where is Legal Mist when I need her?


  1. Yep, they can be difficult, but it's better to have them than not. We had a neighbor that was painting their house gangster blue. It was awful. Thank God we had some recourse. They are gone now, but one bad neighbor can be awful. We so know.

    Have fun and have a terrific day too. You'll get your fence approved. :)

  2. Ye Gads The Covenants Committee, no one expects the Covenants Committee!

    I shall smite thee with potted plants!

    Peace - Rene

  3. Right here for you, Grandpa! The dreaded HOA and their "Covenants Committee" can be rather devilish, eh?

    I have to say I disagree with Sandee. I'd rather put up with a neighbor with a blue house than deal with an HOA everytime I want to get a new flower pot, for cryin' out loud!!

    Well, good luck with that. I hope your neighbors like you and/or are easily "bribed" to sign the form for you -- perhaps a plate of cookies might facilitate that?

    Disclaimer (aka, the fine print): I am not giving you legal advice to "bribe" your neighbor. The foregoing was submitted merely in jest and should not taken seriously.

  4. I would hate to have to deal with that crap all the time.

    Good luck!

  5. I live in the bureacracy capital of the universe. My heart goes out to you :)

  6. A big Gold Star to my Hubby for dealing with all the red tape as well as the sometimes mildly irritating, but oh so sweet (secretly you are glad we got her--right?) puppy, and for continuing to write stimulating, engaging, and humorous posts through the experience--see why I love him so?

    That sentence only has 53 words--and only about half as much confidence that I got all the structure and punctuation right!

    <3 S

  7. Have you thought of Invisible Fence? We have woods and a public path through our property so impossible to physically fence. The training is a pain but then the dog is better contained because no one can accidentally leave open a gate. Since it doesn't show, maybe you wouldn't need approval. I think the pup might have to be a bit older.

  8. Did you realize there are over 90 words in that last sentence?"--What a riot..I want to create a 90 word sentence too.

  9. That's an excellent sentence, Grandpa! And right now, I'm glad that I'm a renter :)

  10. How I can relate to that. They have their benefits but having to dot all the i's and cross all the t's on those forms to get so much as a shutter painted is quite an ordeal. When we first moved into our home, a neighbor told us an urban legend of how one lady from the HOA used to jog around the neighborhood with a ruler on her person, and if the grass in front of anyone's home was suspected of being too high, she would get that ruler out and measure it. The home owner would then get a warning letter. Similar horror stories ensued over the years, but I suspect the stories were embellished in the retelling. That's what I hope anyhow ;)

  11. Reminded me of when I lived in a condo. It spoils your fun.

  12. I'm categorically against homeowners associations because so many of them are not fiscally responsible. Try asking to see the books someday --and yeah, you get the picture.