June 28, 2017

The C C & R’s

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Many of us live in complexes or communities that are governed by a thin layer of bureaucracy referred to as a homeowners association.  Most associations use a set of rules and regulations as a guideline for making decisions about our everyday lives. These rules are called “The C C & R’s.” According to the board of directors this stands for Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions, but I found out it really means Convoluted, Confusing & Really stupid.

I will go over a few of the rules we live by and the real reasons for having them. Some of these rules may not apply to the specific association where you live.

A. Keep your dog on a leash. We all know your dog has had all its shots, so poses no real threat to anyone, even if it were to bite a small child. However, many of our current residents have not had their shots, so do present a real threat to your dog if it was to bite one of them. We would hate to see you lose a treasured pet to some terrible disease.

B. Clean up after your dog. We pay good money for our landscaping contractor to fertilize our lawns. He has already threatened to take us to court if we continue to have it done for free with non-union labor. He already has removed all loose sticks from the property, so we have no way of scraping the dog poop from our shoes.

C. Don’t feed the ducks. Two things well-fed ducks do are make lots more ducks and crap a lot. (Several joggers have already skidded off the sidewalk into Mrs. Smith’s hedge.)  One thing well-fed ducks don’t do is eat the stuff they’re supposed to in order to maintain the ecological balance of the lake. The real problem, however, is that our maintenance man will get the idea you’re saving all the good stuff for the ducks.  If he thinks he’s not getting his fair share, he’ll quit and we can’t get another one to work as cheap.

D. No Parking, Fire Lane. We know if there’s a fire, the trucks need to get through, but if there’s no fire, what’s the big deal?  Simple. If the board ever visits the property, they need somewhere to park.

E. No loud parties after 10pm. This rule is intended to ensure that all board members are invited to all parties.

F. All drapes, blinds, etc. visible from the exterior must be a neutral color. Before this rule was implemented, a traveling gypsy carnival set up in the common area and it took two months to get them to leave. As you can see, the grass has not fully recovered.

G. No barbecue grills on patios that have wooden fences. This problem is not so much a fire hazard as it is one of maintaining the fence. The gaps between the boards keep getting wider as the remaining boards are rearranged to allow for the ones that have been burned in the grill when the resident runs out of charcoal.

H. No car repairs in parking lot. Minor repairs were once allowed, but three adjacent residents opened a Grease ‘n Go franchise in the covered parking and traffic congestion became a problem.

I. No motorcycles on the property. It really annoys the board to see anyone who can avoid the speed bumps. (See also M.)

J. Clean up oil in assigned parking spot. This was a cooperative effort between the board and a local supermarket to reduce an overstock situation on kitty litter.

K. Make sure trash is placed inside the dumpster. If you leave your trash outside the dumpster, the maintenance man has to pick through it to find your name on an envelope so he can send you a fine. He doesn’t mind going through your garbage because he learns interesting little details about your life. He just hates to hurt your feelings by sending you a fine.

L. No commercial vehicles in lot overnight. It’s not that these vehicles are eyesores and look tacky. If your neighbors find out where you work, they will expect you to work for them for free.

M. No skate-boarding or bicycling on property. It really annoys the board to see anyone who enjoys the speed bumps. (See also I.) Because the board works for free, several of the regulations are tied to kick-backs and other arrangements made with local merchants. How else can they turn a thankless job into a profitable situation? If you’re interested in knowing more, run for the board and be involved. You too can become rich. It could even be the start of a lucrative political career.

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