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Subject: Shed vs Play Equipment
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Author Messages
AmandaT5
(Arizona)

Posts:6


06/25/2021 7:38 PM  
Hello,

My partner and I are currently having a disagreement with our architectural committee and management company about a play structure that looks like a shed that was built in our neighbors rear lot that is visible across the wash. This was approved as a playhouse.

We believe there was no consideration of neighboring property as well as the aesthetics or elevation of this outbuilding as stated in the guidelines. This can be seen from every window in our backyard and across the street.

We are requesting from the Management/Board to have the resident screen this off as the requirements are listed in the guidelines for a shed or have management plant vegetation in the wash to lessen the visual impact from inside and outside our property, but are not receiving any give. This outbuilding is an eye sore and there are several residents in our area that are also impacted by this and would appreciate a resolution.

The next Board Meeting is end of July to appeal this decision.

Any insight, suggestions on this would be helpful as this is my first time in this situation.

Thanks!
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10534


06/25/2021 9:06 PM  
Views work 2 ways. What is stopping you from putting up your own screen?

Former HOA President
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1429


06/25/2021 9:11 PM  
What bothers you about it? Many ARC committees follow a simple standard for ARC request. As long and these ARC request do not skew from the set standards they are approved without question. When ARC request fall outside the standards BOD discuss among themselves to grant or deny the ARC request.. ARC request rarely are never an agenda item.

Typically the person seeking the ARC request visits their 4 adjoining neighbors to sign off and submits the ARC to the HOA.
AmandaT5
(Arizona)

Posts:6


06/25/2021 9:59 PM  
What bothers me is that it's a large structure that soaks up our entire backyard view. I can see this walking in the front door, in the kitchen, in the living room and dining room. We had a beautiful, peaceful, natural desert view that has been taken away from this structure. No longer do we keep the curtains open or the shades.

There was no signature request from neighboring properties. It was approved by the arc committee without consideration of neighboring property and constructed by the neighbors without consideration which is written in the guidelines.

Also, if it looks like a duck and swims like a duck... Isn't it a shed?
AmandaT5
(Arizona)

Posts:6


06/25/2021 10:08 PM  
Nothing is stopping us, but how is it fair that we now bear the responsibility of buying a tree, watering a tree, maintaining a tree for a large structure that should've had more consideration for neighboring properties. Especially with an open view fence along with a higher elevation.

The arc committee didn't do their due diligence with this and that is a travesty in any community as this now sets the standards for future outbuilding such as this to be constructed and could certainly lower property values.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:571


06/25/2021 10:11 PM  
Posted By AmandaT5 on 06/25/2021 9:59 PM
What bothers me is that it's a large structure that soaks up our entire backyard view. I can see this walking in the front door, in the kitchen, in the living room and dining room. We had a beautiful, peaceful, natural desert view that has been taken away from this structure. No longer do we keep the curtains open or the shades.

There was no signature request from neighboring properties. It was approved by the arc committee without consideration of neighboring property and constructed by the neighbors without consideration which is written in the guidelines.

Also, if it looks like a duck and swims like a duck... Isn't it a shed?




Is this thing fifty feet wide? How can it possibly obscure your entire view?

Anyway it all comes down to what is in your governing documents and how your board interprets them, and nobody on the internet can answer that for you.

You can always sue your neighbors directly, if the board doesn’t give you what you want.

Or perhaps you can find a way to compromise. Children do tend to grow up, so the playhouse won’t be needed forever. Perhaps you can agree on a future date when it comes down. Then you just have to somehow find the will to keep on living without your beloved view.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2475


06/26/2021 4:57 AM  
Posted By AmandaT5 on 06/25/2021 10:08 PM
Nothing is stopping us, but how is it fair that we now bear the responsibility of buying a tree, watering a tree, maintaining a tree for a large structure that should've had more consideration for neighboring properties. Especially with an open view fence along with a higher elevation.

The arc committee didn't do their due diligence with this and that is a travesty in any community as this now sets the standards for future outbuilding such as this to be constructed and could certainly lower property values.



If this structure complies with architectural standards for your community (as written in your governing documents), then the HOA has no choice but to approve it. You can fight it legally, but courts tend to come down on the side of homeowners' right to use their property as they choose - in other words, you're unlikely to win this.

If the "eysore" is in fact a violation of your governing docs, and you can point to the restriction that forbids such things, that's a different matter. You may actually win that argument, but you'll have to consider the cost of doing so (time, effort, money and aggravation).
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11539


06/26/2021 9:06 AM  
Posted By BarbaraT1 on 06/25/2021 10:11 PM
Posted By AmandaT5 on 06/25/2021 9:59 PM
What bothers me is that it's a large structure that soaks up our entire backyard view. I can see this walking in the front door, in the kitchen, in the living room and dining room. We had a beautiful, peaceful, natural desert view that has been taken away from this structure. No longer do we keep the curtains open or the shades.

There was no signature request from neighboring properties. It was approved by the arc committee without consideration of neighboring property and constructed by the neighbors without consideration which is written in the guidelines.

Also, if it looks like a duck and swims like a duck... Isn't it a shed?




Is this thing fifty feet wide? How can it possibly obscure your entire view?

Anyway it all comes down to what is in your governing documents and how your board interprets them, and nobody on the internet can answer that for you.

You can always sue your neighbors directly, if the board doesn’t give you what you want.

Or perhaps you can find a way to compromise. Children do tend to grow up, so the playhouse won’t be needed forever. Perhaps you can agree on a future date when it comes down. Then you just have to somehow find the will to keep on living without your beloved view.




Well said.
AmandaT5
(Arizona)

Posts:6


06/26/2021 10:09 AM  
All sheds must be screened from view to minimize the visual impact from surrounding property or common area.

This is what's written for shed. This structure is 80 sq ft by 10 ft tall which is the maximum sq footage and 3 feet taller in height than shed requirements. Because of the open view fence and elevation gain in their property it's a significant impact the arc committee failed to consider. 5 homes can see this clearly, one that is 300+ ft away from the outbuilding.

This was approved under play equipment as a play house, but there's no distinction of this. Play equipment is slides, monkey bars, teeter totter. Stuff you see at a park. Do you often see 80 sq foot 10 ft tall enclosed structures at your playgrounds?

So once it's approved as it stands, there is no use in fighting this anymore?



BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:571


06/26/2021 10:40 AM  
Posted By AmandaT5 on 06/26/2021 10:09 AM
All sheds must be screened from view to minimize the visual impact from surrounding property or common area.

This is what's written for shed. This structure is 80 sq ft by 10 ft tall which is the maximum sq footage and 3 feet taller in height than shed requirements. Because of the open view fence and elevation gain in their property it's a significant impact the arc committee failed to consider. 5 homes can see this clearly, one that is 300+ ft away from the outbuilding.

This was approved under play equipment as a play house, but there's no distinction of this. Play equipment is slides, monkey bars, teeter totter. Stuff you see at a park. Do you often see 80 sq foot 10 ft tall enclosed structures at your playgrounds?

So once it's approved as it stands, there is no use in fighting this anymore?








None of us can predict the future. You’ll have to decide for yourself if it’s worth fighting. Before you decide whether to fight this or not, decide what you’re fighting for.

If your view is ruined by an object, how is screening it going to help? You’ll have a view of trees as opposed to the view of whatever was there before the playhouse … I guess empty space?

If what you want is your view restored, the only way to do that is to somehow get the playhouse taken down. That will be a very unsympathetic position to a judge and the media if, god forbid, they get called into this.

If you just want it screened, because that’s what your documents appear to require, that may be easier to achieve.



AmandaT5
(Arizona)

Posts:6


06/26/2021 11:17 AM  
Got it-thanks for everyone's input!
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1429


06/26/2021 11:22 AM  
The Play structure in our comm,unity is about 12' tall from ground to the top of the flag on the canopy. This structure may look like a shed, but it is probably a doll house or play house.
My neighbor kids had one when I was little a big nothing burger. May I suggest you be a gracious neighbor and bake some chocolate chip cookies and make some grape Kool-Aid for the kiddies when you see them at play.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17785


06/26/2021 8:16 PM  
Take pictures and print copies for each member of the committee.
This way, they can see what you are talking about.
AmandaT5
(Arizona)

Posts:6


06/26/2021 10:58 PM  
We've done that for both meetings and I've sent it to the board as well.

Is it typical to not have someone from the Arch committee or board to visit this themselves to see what it looks like in person? It's so much different than a picture.

We've requested this several times, but there hasn't been a single site visit from our perspective.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17785


06/28/2021 12:43 AM  
Posted By AmandaT5 on 06/26/2021 10:58 PM

Is it typical to not have someone from the Arch committee or board to visit this themselves to see what it looks like in person? It's so much different than a picture.

We've requested this several times, but there hasn't been a single site visit from our perspective.




It depends on the schedules of those on the committee.
They may simply think the photo is enough.

One thing to remember is that not everyone will see this the same way.
You may see it as an eyesore. Others may not.

As an example:
I have a friend who complains about seeing the top of a boat in the neighbors back yard.
I have seen the issue in person and don't have an issue with it.



As someone else posted, the quickest resolve to your issue may be for you to install some screening (a tree perhaps) in your yard.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:1040


06/29/2021 6:17 AM  
You need to look at your Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions (CC&Rs). If play houses are allowed and there is no stipulation that they have to be aesthetically pleasing, the architectural committee probably had no choice but to approve it.

Also, if it was approved, it would be unfair to require additional conditions after the fact. I can't imagine that being upheld in court.
AugustinD


Posts:1695


06/29/2021 7:20 AM  
Posted By BenA2 on 06/29/2021 6:17 AM

Also, if it was approved, it would be unfair to require additional conditions after the fact. I can't imagine that being upheld in court.
To be more clear, I would add "if it was approved and complies with the covenants... " Because if the playhouse does not comply with the covenants, and the ARC approved the playhouse, then a court might very well throw out the ARC's approval.
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