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Subject: HOA commity adds rules without Community
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DianneC2
(South Carolina)

Posts:2


02/01/2021 6:53 AM  
My cousin lives in a community that has many ponds, in order to keep the geese from coming on their lawn and pooping, the homeowners put strings with flags out in front of the pond in their yard. For some reason the geese will not go past the, hence no goose poop! Now the HOS & our architectural committee tells us that we have a new rule, “no flags or strings”! This is a NEW rule that they just now put in without any input from the community or from the homeowners that live on the ponds. People that chose to live on the ponds pay a premium for that land, shouldn't they have some kind of a say in how to keep the geese from pooping in their yards? Is it legal that the HOA & the architectural committee can just make this decision amongst themselves without the community input??
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3923


02/01/2021 7:37 AM  
Part of living in a HOA community means you agree to comply with the community's Bylaws and CCRs. The Bylaws dictate how the community is run and the CCRs dictate how the common area is to be used. The common area is the area owned by the association - depending on the type of community you have, lawns could be a part of the common areas, as the association has to maintain them.
So your cousin needs to start by reading his/her documents to see what's considered common area. Or you can do it, since you're asking the question.

Some Bylaws give the community's board of directors the authority to issue additional rules that flesh out what's in the documents, but those rules cannot supersed the Bylaws or CCRs. Keep reading to see what they say. Usually, you'll find the board doesn't have to get community input, although, in many situations, it's a good idea. When you have buy-in from the community (a majority anyway), it's usually easier to enforce the rule.

You haven't said, but is it possible, people have gone overboard with the flags and whatnot, and now the community looks bizarre? Maybe some of the flags and strings have blown off and got all over the neighborhood and the association had to pay to clean all that up? Your cousin might not be happy with the new rule, but it may be most of his/her neighbors feel otherwise. Perhaps the board IS working on a long term solution to the problem, such as goose repellent (which is expensive and has to be reapplied especia

lly after it rains), or having dogs patrol the area, since geese and dogs are natural enemies. After several incidents of being chased away, the geese learn to avoid the area altogether. You haven't said if any of that was tried, so you (or your cousin) may want to talk to the board - in fact, that should have been your cousin's next step after reading the documents.
DianneC2
(South Carolina)

Posts:2


02/01/2021 7:51 AM  
Thank you for your response! just answer the part of common areas this is not a common area this is their back yard & the ponds are in their yards
everyone that lives on the pond has the flags up or string in order to keep the geese out of their backyards sometimes there’s 30 or 40 geese in peoples yards so you can imagine the mess that these geese make! The committee told us the HOA did a study on geese and ponds and the studies show that the strings doesn't help with the geese, but if you go on the Internet everyone says put string on your property! The people that live on the ponds all agreed they would put any colored flags the HOA required or just plain old string and they still refuse to allow this! We will be checking on all the by laws, before seeking legal help. Thanks
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3923


02/01/2021 8:01 AM  
Geese can also get used to the strings so that may not necessarily resolve the problem. Also might you have neighbors who think the baby gees are oh, so cute and so they feed them bread crumbs and what not? If your neighbors are doing that, the geese will keep coming and you will still have tons of poop. Oh, and you do know geese are protected and so if someone does something more drastic like shoot them, he/she could get arrested. Once the gees make a nest and eggs appear, you can't move them at all - and we will be in that season in another month or two.

You are a long way from taking legal action on this, and frankly, I can think of other issues that are far more important to sue about than this. What you and your neighbors need to do is attend the next meeting and talk to the board about other alternatives - it doesn't sound like either side has thought of any. There is a lot of information on the internet about scaring away geese - some tactics may work better than others, but depending on how long this has been a problem, I can assure you it probably won't get resolved overnight. So slow your roll for a moment and perhaps go to your local Animal Control or state department of natural resources for some suggestions and try a few of those. They may be more effective than the string
AugustinD


Posts:0


02/01/2021 8:04 AM  
Posted By DianneC2 on 02/01/2021 6:53 AM
Is it legal that the HOA & the architectural committee can just make this decision amongst themselves without the community input??
-- The rule is only legal if it has a basis in the covenants and possibly meets other requirements.

-- No, the Board is not required to get input from the community when it creates rules (that have a basis in the covenants).

-- You folks can send a demand letter lite to the Board and see if this results in a positive response. Google on "demand letter" for more information. Be unemotional in the letter. No exclamation marks. No words in all-caps. No 'waah waah, the HOA is a tyrant." Quote the covenant. Quote the problems with geese excrement. Ask for the rule to be rescinded. Nothing more.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10131


02/01/2021 9:40 AM  
Going to have to say those flag and string solutions sounds like a combo of an eyesore and danger to wildlife. Strings get loose or fly away can kill other wildlife or pets. So I would say a big no to the string theory.

Flags most likely are not allowed. Most of the time HOA's only allow for sale or for rent signs. Flags may fall into that catagory of not allowed.

Should go to the proper wildlife management office or animal control to find out best solutions before insituting your own. Google isn't one of those professionals...

Former HOA President
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10952


02/01/2021 9:44 AM  
I think this might revolve around the placement of the flags. If placed on ones own property the association is going to have to show how they can tell people not to place them. If on common property the association can remove them.
JohnC77
(California)

Posts:562


02/01/2021 9:46 AM  
South Carolina is probably not one of those states who need to inform anyone about a rue change.
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