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  1. #1
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    Default Va Homeowners Association orders removal of Flagpole and American Flag

    There are a few things you do NOT mess with in this country.

    Our Nation's Flag is one.

    A Medal of Honor recipient is another. At least they should be.

    The Homeowners Association of Sussex Square, in Henrico County Va, has told a 90 year old Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, a veteran of 3 wars, that he must remove the American Flag he flies in front of his home each day.They apparently feel that a flsg pole does not meet the asrthetic standards of their community.

    The full Richmond Times Dispatch coverage is here:

    http://www2.timesdispatch.com/rtd/si...s/tag/barfoot/

    Col. Barfoot has the Governor, a couple of Senators, and several tens of thousand of highly POed Americans backing him.

    Number me among those tens of thousands. He’s a highly decorated hero who put himself in harms way to defend the very freedom that allows homeowners associations, and the members there-of , to exist and spew their opinions. The community should be more than proud…indeed honored…to have such a man such as Col Barfoot among them. Instead the HOA disrespects him and Our Nations Flag.

    The HOA is NOT doing well in the court of public opinion.


  2. #2
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Officials of Home Owner's Associations are nothing more than Politicians who can't hack being a real politician.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  3. #3
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Yep............

    Another Prime Example of why Restrictive Covenants on Real Estate should be Outlawed. When I Buy a Home from someone, it becomes mine. There should be a Law prohibiting any Ties to any previous owner.........
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    I'll be the bastard that disagrees here. I was reading this story last night and here are some of the facts from what I could gather:
    • He has always flown the flag from a pole
    • He has, however, just recently moved into this neighborhood
    • He applied for, and was denied, a request to install a pole
    • He ignored the HOA and decided to install the pole anyway

    The neighborhood association has every right to enforce "standards" in their neighborhood. That's is what makes them a pain in the rear. They are not saying "No Flag", they are saying "No Flag Pole".

    The Vet has lived in many places and always had flag poles. Please don't tell me that he has never had to deal with a HOA for approval to have anything installed. Heck, even I know (with zero homeowners experience) to read the HOA rules to see if I can agree with them before I buy a house.

    The Vet made the choice to move into a neighborhood with a stupid HOA whose rules he doesn't agree with. Which means that he either didn't bother to read the HOA rules before purchasing the house, or just bought the house thinking "I don't care what the rules say, I put up my pole anyway".

    I love Christmas lights, if I would look at house with a HOA that has stupid rules on Christmas lights, then I would not be spending my money in that neighborhood. Same with flag poles.

    If you don't like the rules then you don't buy the house.
    Last edited by MarcusKspn; 12-04-2009 at 10:32 PM.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

  5. #5
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Nope...........

    I Respectfully Disagree.

    If the Rules are STUPID, Ignore them, and do everything possible to make life as miserable as possible for anyone who tries to enforce stupid rules. I Still think that there should be a ban on anything that is less than Government Imposed Zoning Regulations. Sooner or later, this crap will get to the Supreme Court, and the Rights of Property owners will prevail.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
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    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

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    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

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  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber ffemtPAJ's Avatar
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    Default

    I am from that area and I have some bad news for this guy. About 6 years ago, a similar situation occurred in a neighborhood a few miles away. Guy was a veteran, put up a flag pole knowing it was against the HOA. Lawsuits took years to settle. Outcome: You knew the rules when you moved in. Obey them or pay the fine. Veteran was also required to pay $88K in legal fees to the HOA to cover the cost of the lawsuits. Agree or not, HOA's rule.
    He may have everyone's support, but he doesn't have a legal leg to stand on.
    I have to say that this neigborhood will gladly accept him flying the flag on a pole attached to his house, just not on a freestanding pole. People seem to forget that option.
    PAJ

    IACOJ Rehab Sector

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    I Respectfully Disagree.

    If the Rules are STUPID, Ignore them, and do everything possible to make life as miserable as possible for anyone who tries to enforce stupid rules. I Still think that there should be a ban on anything that is less than Government Imposed Zoning Regulations. Sooner or later, this crap will get to the Supreme Court, and the Rights of Property owners will prevail.
    I might agree if you buy a house and years later a HOA comes in and changes all the rules. But these rules were part of the deal when you buy the house. They are part of the property. If you buy a house you buy the building, the land, and the rules attached to the property.

    The HOA have stupid rules, that I don't deny. But they have every legal to make and enforce the rules. The best way, and only way IMO, to change these stupid rules it to quit buying houses that are part of the HOA. If you hit their pockets you will have a better chance at changing the rules.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffemtPAJ View Post
    He may have everyone's support, but he doesn't have a legal leg to stand on.
    I have to say that this neigborhood will gladly accept him flying the flag on a pole attached to his house, just not on a freestanding pole. People seem to forget that option.
    That is another part that many people seem to forget. This case has NOTHING at all to do with the US flag. It is 100% about a pole.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

  8. #8
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    I'm with you Marcus. The neighborhood associations set up the rules and you sign up to abide by those rules. If you don't like the rules don't move into the neighborhood. That is right up there with the morons who move in next to an airport and complain about the noise. Or Build next to river and complain about the flooding (or build a city below sea level ).

    That would be like having a bunch of Mexicans coming into our country and then telling us we have to live by their rules and learn their language.

  9. #9
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ffemtPAJ View Post
    I am from that area and I have some bad news for this guy. About 6 years ago, a similar situation occurred in a neighborhood a few miles away. Guy was a veteran, put up a flag pole knowing it was against the HOA. Lawsuits took years to settle. Outcome: You knew the rules when you moved in. Obey them or pay the fine. Veteran was also required to pay $88K in legal fees to the HOA to cover the cost of the lawsuits. Agree or not, HOA's rule.
    He may have everyone's support, but he doesn't have a legal leg to stand on.
    I have to say that this neigborhood will gladly accept him flying the flag on a pole attached to his house, just not on a freestanding pole. People seem to forget that option.
    As much as I hate to admit it, you are correct. The gentleman obviously did not fully understand what he was getting into prior to purchasing the home. A few years back, when my wife and I were looking for a home, I can't tell you the number of times where I had to tell her "No" when she would want to buy in an HOA community. She would drag me out and make me look at places, thinking that the place being so nice would change my mind. And we did indeed look at some beautiful properties, except for one thing- that pesky HOA. Many of them up here even go so far as to tell you what color curtains or blinds you will have in your windows.

    It finally got to the point where I flat out told the wife- "Do your homework first, if there is a HOA, I don't even want to go look at it. Period.

    And then there are the stories I could tell about being a Code Enforcement Official, and having to deal with angry HOA officials who do not like the fact that I approved of something that they did not like (cosmetically.) Just last week, I did a final U & O inspection of a newly constructed deck. The homeowner had issues with the height of his very first step off of the grade; it was too high. I told him that he had to do something to adjust the riser height so that it was lower than 7.75". He asked for suggestions, I told him "do something with the grading perhaps- maybe add some topsoil and tamp it down firmly, or maybe go buy a couple of paver blocks to place under the stairs....Then I gave him my usual "these are strictly suggestions, I can not tell you how to overcome the problem. Whatever you do, check with the HOA first."

    Three days later I get a phone call from the homeowner. He is ready for re-inspection. So I head over there later in the day. He added some topsoil, and some paver blocks at the bottom of the stairs, and he met the requirements of the building code. I issued him a field approval form, and mailed out the formal U & O later the same day. A week later I get phone calls from 4 different members of the HOA "demanding that I tell the homeowner to remove the unapproved landing at the bottom of the deck stairs. I politely told all 4 of them that it was not my problem, and that it was perfectly acceptable by the building codes.

    Well, when HOA's don't get their way with Township Officials, they cry so hard the puddles form in seconds. The phone calls got so bad that I finally told my Secretary that I was no longer taking any calls from them on the matter, and if they had any further comment or questions that they could forward them in writing.

    And my Township has 8 different HOA's. Lucky Me.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  10. #10
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Hate to break it to our veteran. But one of the reasons he fought for our country was to protect the rights of HOA's (no matter how stupid their CC&R's).

    A contract is a contract. Don't like it. Change the contract. This individual has the right to run for the Board of his HOA and change the rules.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

  11. #11
    Forum Member gunnyv's Avatar
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    I am one of the "know the rules first" believers as well. But here's the part that makes it fuzzy for me:

    "There is no provision in the community's rules expressly forbidding flagpoles, Barfoot's daughter said. But she said the board ruled against her father's fixture and ordered it removed in July, deciding that free-standing flag poles are not aesthetically appropriate. Short flag stands attached to porches dot the community."

    So they decided flying the flag from a 20' pole is ugly? The guy earned the MoH, how about the idiots give him a one time exemption? He's 90, how long will they have to deal with it anyway?

  12. #12
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    I hate HOA's and refuse to live within them. My neighborhood has a voluntary one and the only global rules pertain to empty lots and the min size of house allowed and no 'trailers' or manufactured houses. Nothing else.

    That said - some of the people I work with love thier HOA. They can't fathom the idea that thier neighbor might do something that they might find tacky. There, they can have at it. Make all the pesky rules you want just leave me out of it.

    When we went shopping for a house - it was extremely diffucult to find a house not in some type of HOA situation. Some like our neighborhood have minimal rules, many though were controlling documents and subject to the whims of the current board. The worst was the 62 page list of covenents. They went so far as to dictate the type of mailbox, species of grass and approved (and required) lawn services to use. There of course was the ability to add new rules as well.

  13. #13
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnyv View Post
    So they decided flying the flag from a 20' pole is ugly? The guy earned the MoH, how about the idiots give him a one time exemption? He's 90, how long will they have to deal with it anyway?
    Because there is no such thing as a one time exemption. Once the precedent is set, the door is open and it is impossible to close.

    I don't live in an HOA community for just this reason.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

  14. #14
    Forum Member PaladinKnight's Avatar
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    For a short while, I lived in area that had a Grass Inspector that carried a little ruler and color chart so he could determine if the grass was the proper height and color.

    People can get a bit carried away at times.

    I prefer to live in the boondocks, so I can establish my own rules...

    Number #1 Rule: "Beware of Dog".

    Number #2 Rule: "Trespassers Required to carry ID so remains can be returned to family"


    Old Glory is proudly flown everyday. Never had a complaint; they were more concerned about the massive bleeding.

  15. #15
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Because there is no such thing as a one time exemption. Once the precedent is set, the door is open and it is impossible to close.

    I don't live in an HOA community for just this reason.
    Ain't that the truth. No different than with a union contract/CBA. You cannot say that it is OK for Mike to do it, but when Joe wants to do the exact same thing, you can't say now it is not OK - unless the agreement says so. Medal of Honor recipient or not.

    When this gentleman purchased his home, he signed a contract with the homeowner's association. He is breaching that contract, no different than if the HOA had breached their side of the contract. Basically this means that this gentleman gave his word, and then violated his word.

    And I also agree with scfire and others about not living in a house that has an HOA. I am not going to drop $200,000+ for a house to have some bunch of panty-waisted, uptight, morons tell me what I can and cannot do with the property that I own.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaladinKnight View Post
    For a short while, I lived in area that had a Grass Inspector that carried a little ruler and color chart so he could determine if the grass was the proper height and color.

    People can get a bit carried away at times.

    I prefer to live in the boondocks, so I can establish my own rules...

    Number #1 Rule: "Beware of Dog".

    Number #2 Rule: "Trespassers Required to carry ID so remains can be returned to family"


    Old Glory is proudly flown everyday. Never had a complaint; they were more concerned about the massive bleeding.
    I'm with you on that. If I don't want to cut my grass that is my business. If I want to paint my house black to absorb the heat fro the sun that is my business. If I want four or five unregistered cars in my yard that is my business. You can take your city life and your sub-urban life and keep it, I will live free.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaSharkie View Post
    Ain't that the truth. No different than with a union contract/CBA. You cannot say that it is OK for Mike to do it, but when Joe wants to do the exact same thing, you can't say now it is not OK - unless the agreement says so. Medal of Honor recipient or not.

    When this gentleman purchased his home, he signed a contract with the homeowner's association. He is breaching that contract, no different than if the HOA had breached their side of the contract. Basically this means that this gentleman gave his word, and then violated his word.

    And I also agree with scfire and others about not living in a house that has an HOA. I am not going to drop $200,000+ for a house to have some bunch of panty-waisted, uptight, morons tell me what I can and cannot do with the property that I own.
    The only problem is the agreement did not specifically outlaw flagpoles. I guess it fell into one of those gray areas.

  18. #18
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    The only problem is the agreement did not specifically outlaw flagpoles. I guess it fell into one of those gray areas.
    Maybe. But the HOA board ruled that he could not have one, and he put one up anyway. He violated the rules. He should have appealed the ruling before doing what he wanted anyway. It is highly likely that the HOA agreement required him to follow any board ruling. Hence he still gave his word - and violated it.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

    www.daveramsey.com www.clarkhoward.com www.heritage.org

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaSharkie View Post
    Maybe. But the HOA board ruled that he could not have one, and he put one up anyway. He violated the rules. He should have appealed the ruling before doing what he wanted anyway. It is highly likely that the HOA agreement required him to follow any board ruling. Hence he still gave his word - and violated it.
    That is correct. Hence the reason I live in the country and avoid those cesspools.

  20. #20
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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