Plant limit

tnaz71

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So I live in a town home with a small backyard since 1999. I basically own the air inside the house. I have to pay monthly dues which they use to take care of landscaping, paint, roof, etc. Now they don't touch the backyard, never have in all the years I have been here.

So, today I get a notice saying they are giving me a 15 plant limit & I have 14 days to comply before they come and remove them. I call them up asking them nicely WTF is this note. They said that they are enforcing a rule for a plant limit for everyone not just me.

I asked them to show me this so called rule in my agreement that I signed.

They said they couldn't.

I ask them why?

They said it wasn't in the rule book yet & is a new rule.

So I asked them wouldn't I have to agree to a rule change and sign? This is what it says in our agreement.

They said I have 14 days then if it's not fixed then they can come in and remove them.

I said if they touch a plant I will call the police and have them all arrested for theft.

So they told me if I didn't abide by their rules then they would take legal action to make me leave.

I told them "bring it on"

So I called the city & told them of this drama, they said there is no such law that limits the amount of potted plants that someone can keep.

Now I don't really care if they kick me out, I need to get out of this hell hole of a state. But do you all think I am in the wrong? I seem to have the city on my side (for now).

I tell you, if my life didn't have some sort of drama involved in it I wouldn't know what to do.
 

lupe21

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that sucks sounds like someone is jealous do you have many specimen trees
 

tnaz71

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I probably have too many plants sure. Without counting I probably have upwards of 50 plants. Out of those, I have 10 that I would call specimen trees. I had quite a lot more but recently went through and sold off probably 30+ smaller unfinished ones.

& yeah I will for sure be standing out there holding them at gun point if they show up. We were always told & it's in the agreement that the backyard is our's no one can enter it unless it's a emergency. In all the years I have been here never have they came in. Only thing I can think of is maybe a neighbor complained but, I am not sure. My backyard has a tall fence & all my neighbors have trees bordering there's so no one has every bothered me.

I just need to booby trap some trees with some land mines. I can see it now!

Dirt bag #1- Hey grab that one
Dirt bag #2 - Ok im on it!
*Click*
Dirt bag #2 -:eek:
*BOOM!!!!*

Haha, yeah I am a bit warped sometimes.
 

logan3

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What brought this rule change on, is it an issue with watering, who pays the water bill? What is this country coming to when someone can DICTATE how many plants a person can have. What are your neighbors saying about this? Good luck,Pete
 

mat

Chumono
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I'd buy a shotgun and defend myself if someone tried to take my trees :)
Not sure that's the response Bodhisattva would have given ;)

What do they care how many plants you keep? Your yard is enclosed. No one should even really see them, let alone be bothered by them. It's not like you have 50 cats peeing all over the neighbors' stuff or 50 dogs keeping them up at night with their barking. or 50 pot plants contributing to the spread of the evil plague of THC.

Moving to a spot where you own some land may be a better long term solution for your trees than standing up to the man with a shotgun in hand. (though it is much less romantic & dramatic)
 

rockm

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Maybe the issue isn't so much the plants, as the clutter. I know my backyard is something of an obstacle course and some might consider it an eyesore, but it's behind a six foot privacy fence.

BTW, the city rules may not apply to where you live. If you signed the agreement, you signed a contract and may be bound by the rules of the community. If you plan on fighting this, you'd better do some legal research or hire a lawyer.
 

togishi

Sapling
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Not knowing where you are in SoCal, but I don't think they can just walk in and remove anywhere in LA/OC counties.

I like the shotgun idea. :D
 

tnaz71

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It's not really cluttered. I have built benches & they are very neatly put on. Some are in the corner are packed yes but they are hidden in what yard I have. I have a 6ft fence all the way around the yard, with my neighbors on each side having trees that extend over their fence so only way they can see what is in my yard is to open the fence, or climb on something to see over it.

I am unsure what has brought about this supposed rule change. And I never signed or agreed to anything regarding plants. I have looked over my agreement & nothing states anything regarding potted plants. It basically says that the backyard is mine to do as I please & at no times shall the management enter without notice, unless it's for emergency. It also says that they can add/delete rules but the rule must be agreed upon by all parties & signed showing your in agreement, Which never happened!

Also I pay all the utilities.

I asked one of my neighbors if he got a notice. He has numerous potted plants (he estimated approx 300) and they are everywhere outside in the front yard, backyard, side. He said he never heard of it & never got notice. So I must of pissed someone off.

It makes sense now why my one maple just suddenly died over night & looked like someone lit it on fire.

Sigh..

Oh well, I am off to make some more booby traps :rolleyes:
 

Speedy

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That sounds like some BS to me.

You mentioned that you sold some of your unfinished trees. Could it be that they think you are running a nursery? Any rules about running a business out the house? Just an option to be considered.

Holding them at gun point might get you some trouble, maybe you could look into having some of your local law enforcement on stand by the day you say they are coming to remove the plants? If you've talked with them about the issue already that might work.
 

Smoke

Ignore-Amus
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If you belong to a "homeowner asscociation" you will be subject to their rules, specified or not and can be in violation of said rules by asscociation at any time they deem necessary. If you signed a contract, police will do no good.

I deal with home associations all the time, and they are a huge pain in the ass.


...with the contract signed there is nothing you can do about it short of selling and getting the hell out.
 

tnaz71

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Well I did sell quite a few but just on Ebay & craigslist. No one was ever at my house I always just met people when I sold on craigslist to reduce their drive & mail all of ebay. I would pack them at night and put the boxes in the car that was in the garage so no one ever saw the boxes. I just didn't want people to know I was selling them then catch on & start stealing them.

I honestly don't think they will come & try to take them. My one neighbor said it's them trying to intimidate people and to see who caves & who fights. She said it's just a way that they know they can get to me to see what I do. Either way it's harrassment, I am going to call one of my friends tomorrow who is a laywer and find out what he says. At the very least maybe he can come talk his mumbo jumbo to get them off my back.
 

imholte

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Sounds like you need someone with a silver tongue. Not sure what brought this about but perhaps a talk with the manager and discussing the reasons why you have so many trees and how they are therapeutic...etc. It might be a line of bs from you but something that could get them to say, no worries or get them on the same page as you.

I have had dealings with apartment managers in the past and being hard and right (not saying you are) sometimes ends up with them keeping your security deposit.

My 2 cents would be to go about it super nice and see where that goes. It cant hurt.

Trust me when I say the nice way is the easiest when dealing with people. I deal with that everyday in my job.
 

rockm

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A request for a DETAILED written statement about how you're violating the rules is warranted. Have your lawyer friend ask for that statement in writing. Doing that will not only clarify the situation a bit, but will also put the association on notice that you are building a paper trail in a potential legal battle.

I have been a member of a homeowners' association (I quit because of stupidity not only on the association side, but on the residents' side. I came to the conclusion that living in a townhouse community that the only thing worse than having an association is NOT having one:rolleyes:). The last thing associations really want is a costly legal battle. Most, if not all, have limited funds to actually go to court. If they see a money drain, they will most likely not pursue things agressively--unless you have a bunch of jerks on the board, then all bets are off.
 

jk_lewis

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The moral of this story is to never live in a subdivision (or townhouse) with a property owner's association.

The smaller the bureaucrat the more bureaucracy. People complain about government bureaucrats, but private sector (and amateur organization) bureaucrats are 100% worse.
 

Vance Wood

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It's not really cluttered. I have built benches & they are very neatly put on. Some are in the corner are packed yes but they are hidden in what yard I have. I have a 6ft fence all the way around the yard, with my neighbors on each side having trees that extend over their fence so only way they can see what is in my yard is to open the fence, or climb on something to see over it.

I am unsure what has brought about this supposed rule change. And I never signed or agreed to anything regarding plants. I have looked over my agreement & nothing states anything regarding potted plants. It basically says that the backyard is mine to do as I please & at no times shall the management enter without notice, unless it's for emergency. It also says that they can add/delete rules but the rule must be agreed upon by all parties & signed showing your in agreement, Which never happened!

Also I pay all the utilities.

I asked one of my neighbors if he got a notice. He has numerous potted plants (he estimated approx 300) and they are everywhere outside in the front yard, backyard, side. He said he never heard of it & never got notice. So I must of pissed someone off.

It makes sense now why my one maple just suddenly died over night & looked like someone lit it on fire.

Sigh..

Oh well, I am off to make some more booby traps :rolleyes:
Even if there is a rule change you should be grandfathered in.
 

rockm

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"The moral of this story is to never live in a subdivision (or townhouse) with a property owner's association"

Moralizing is just that moralizing. In some larger urban areas of the US, a house without an association is far beyond most people's ability to afford. I know buying a house here in N.Va. without a homeowners or neighborhood association of some kind would cost well above $500,000. Not living in a subdivision without one is a luxury.

Even though they CAN be a major pain in the rear, they can also work to stop your neighbor from doing stupid and obnoxious things only feet from your property--like running a pig farm in their back yard (which my association actually had to do after a resident turned her 20'by30' backyard into a mud wallow for her three potbelly pigs...)
 

Bill S

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Ditto what rockm said in #14.

Some of these associations are crazed, no clothes lines in your yard, you must keep your garage door closed at all times, no parking in your driveway, there are 6sq. inches of dead grass in your lawn, we are sending the landscaper, he will give you the bill. Find out if there are covenants before rocking the boat, but asking for a copy of your signed agreement on a lawyers letter head, will probably send the busy body off in a hough, or show that they have a case. If they have the right, then address the are you going to enforce this on everyone now question would be next. They may not want to piss off the whole place only you.

Then you and some friendlies will need to run against the association if those are electable positions.

If you get the worst, get everyone on your side to privately list thier unit for sale, if half the place goes up for sale all of a sudden, you can minipulate (even if it's only in the boards head) the supposed property values, won't look too good if all of a sudden everyone wants to leave.

On the evil end of it, get some poison Ivy and selectively plant it in touchable locations.:eek:
 

rockm

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"Then you and some friendlies will need to run against the association if those are electable positions."

Unfortunately, if you don't like the association, this is the only way to make sure it won't bite you in the butt again. I did just that and was immediately disgusted, not only by SOME of the association elected officers, but by residents. I could only take six months of it. I actually had to leave a meeting before I physically assaulted one of the members for being such a douchebag, er, sorry:eek: still a bad memory. That said, the president and vice president were extremely consciencious, aware of all of the ridiculous crap on the board side and worked extremely hard to make sure the community got what it needed. I would be surprised if there aren't at least a few of these Good Guys on your board. Make sure you know who they are...

Anyway, while I was there I also got to see things from the other side. One man's "right to park in his driveway" can translate into resident complaints about "he leaves his car up on blocks for three months with the hood up. It's leaking oil onto my lawn" Another's "cute yard display" translates into cement squirrels that break lawnmowers that are repaired using resident dues...There are always several sides to issues like this...
 

jk_lewis

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The blessings of living on a farm in the country I guess. No homowner associations. Few hassles of any kind -- but you do have to mow the pasture and feed the livestock.
 
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