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Old 31-03-2003, 05:20 AM
J Kolenovsky
 
Posts: n/a
Default HOA pounds lady over Wildscape - write Austin HB 645!

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.ht...olitan/1834433

Lisa Wright's website with full details and disclosure -
http://www.wrightlandscapefortexas.itgo.com/


March 28, 2003, 10:35AM

Homeowner avoids jail over yard

She'll be fined $100 per day until it's clean

By JO ANN ZUNIGA
Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle =


A Harris County resident Thursday was ordered to pay $100 a day until =

she cleans up her front yard of "natural" vegetation that has angered =

her homeowners association. =


Lisa Wright, 55, could have been imprisoned for violating a court =

order requiring her to clean up her property, but County Court at Law =

No. 2 Judge Gary Michael Block said he decided against jailing her at =

this time. =


"I'm not going to make you a martyr by putting you in jail," Block =

said. =


"But I still believe you are in violation of your order," the judge =

said. He fined Wright until the case or the yard is cleared up. "If =

you want to rack up a fine of $100 a day, that's your fault." =


Wright agreed to the order last year, but said Thursday that she had =

previously suffered a stroke and was not in a clear frame of mind =

before she signed it. =


"If it takes me to be a martyr, I'll do what it takes to help any =

homeowner," Wright said after Thursday's hearing. =


Wright, unemployed and living on unemployment assistance, said the =

fine would place almost as much of a hardship on her as jail. =


Wright was ordered to clean up her property in the Sundown Glen =

subdivision near Katy after members of the homeowners association =

there said she was violating deed restrictions and filed suit. Over =

the past 10 years, she has cultivated a collection of red cedars, =

crepe myrtles and wood sorrel ground cover, along with an overcup oak, =

a Barbados cherry tree and a Mexican plum. Dozens of other plants, large =

and small, dot the yard. =


Block had ordered Wright to return to court Thursday to start a =

24-hour jail sentence for contempt. =


"The reason the court is angry is because this was your word to agree. =

It's your word you broke," Block told Wright. =


"Whether you were ill or not, none of that was brought to my attention =

at the time," the judge said. =


Wright was surrounded by her lawyer, Helen Mayfield, and a group of =

homeowners who say associations sometimes infringe on their rights. =


"The judge stayed punishment, but then he added another punishment," =

Mayfield said. "I thought we did away with debtors' prison." =


Sherry Carey of Crest Management, which oversees deed restriction =

violations for the association, said Wright's house is not visible =

from the street and a fire hydrant was only recently discovered under =

the growth. =


"The association had no intent for her to go to jail. But we have to =

watch out for the sanitary and health concerns of all the
residents," Carey said. =


Sundown Glen, an early 1980s subdivision comprising several square =

blocks of middle-class homes north of Katy Freeway and west of =

Barker-Cypress Road, has mostly short grass lawns, a few ornamental =

shrubs and a shade tree or two. =


Wright, Mayfield and Jane Janecek, attorney for the homeowners group, =

are scheduled to reappear before Block on April 4 to argue over =

motions for a new trial and constitutional issues that Mayfield is =

raising. =



***This is Lisa's earlier word about it:***


My name is Lisa Wright & I need help! I've lived in Sundown Glen =

Subdivision (north Fry Rd, Katy) for 15yrs. My front yard has been a =

wildlife habitat for 12 of those 15yrs. When I started my project I =

read my deed restrictions carefully to be sure I wasn't in violation. =

I'm not some plant lover who stuck natives in her yard & called it a =

habitat! I have a degree in Horticulture, have worked as a landscape =

designer specializing in wildlife habitats using Texas native plants, =

taught a landscaping class through Leisure Learning for several years, =

& I am twice-past President of the Houston chapter of the Native Plant =

Society of Texas. I've also had a garden featured in the Chronicle & =

one in Texas Gardener magazine. My yard is certified by Texas Parks & =

Wildlife Dept, #1740! So I know what I'm doing=85I learned from the =

best in the business=85the late Lynn Lowrey, Sally Wasowski, who has =

written several books on natives, and a very creative local designer, =

Will Fleming.

During all those years the HOA never bothered me, except to send an =

occasional notice to edge the sidewalk & curb. I freely confess=85I had =

an aggressive ground cover that would try to cover the sidewalk & =

take-on the street. I would promptly attend to it. And as for weeds, =

there is no such thing! The definition of a weed is "a plant growing =

where you don't want it"=85 I wanted & planted each plant in my yard. =

Then I got a notice that I was being sued. I hired an attorney, went =

to mediation on July 12, 2002 & agreed to do certain things, just to =

appease the HOA & "make them go away" as my attorney put it. Two =

items I balked at=85I felt I was being discriminated against, as no one =

else in this neighborhood is required to do them. But I =

signed=85reluctantly=85I had had a stroke on June 4th, then lost my job o=
n =

July 8th. I was doing good just to be upright with the help of a =

cane, & wondering when I would have the second stroke, as so often =

happens, the one that kills.

I told the HOA the items would be done by a certain date & a =

particular board member could inspect my property. The items were =

completed but the "inspector" just couldn't find the time to come by, =

even though he has to pass my street to go home. I heard nothing else =

from the HOA until Jan 31st when I found a Contempt of Court notice =

taped to my front door. I have to appear in court Wednesday, Feb 19th =

to show cause why I should not go to jail!

I have not violated any deed restrictions, I held up my end of the =

agreement, yet the HOA has charged me in excess of $8,000 in legal =

fees. And now I have to pay my attorney an additional $750 to defend =

me. I am a "national statistic"=85female, single, middle-aged (55), & =

jobless. I'm not on unemployment insurance & have exhausted all my =

money on medical bills. I'm one month in arrears in my utilities & =

two months on my mortgage. If I can't bring it current by March 10th =

Washington Mutual will start foreclosure proceedings. I've even had =

to swallow my pride to go to a food pantry & a free clinic to get my =

medication. Needless to say I've got much more important matters to =

deal with than the HOA!

The HOAs in Texas, and especially Harris County, have too power, as we =

have seen lately. My attorney advises me to get as much media =

coverage as possible=85DonnaLee Keith with Channel 26 will aired a story =

Weds, Feb19th, @ 12Noon after court. The Katy Times ran a story =

Sunday, Feb 23rd and the Houston Chronicle will be running a story =

in the near future, as will be Channel 2. I have gotten great =

encouragement from various government agencies, plant societies, & =

wildlife groups.

Please, I need public support, this could happen to any homeowner! =

It's time to call your Congressmen!! Homeowners have NO RIGHTS! The =

Homestead Exemption Act no longer protects us!

Check out 2 websites: www.hoadata.org & =

www.stoptexashoaforeclosures.com =


***HOA board members a Pres Mike Hill, VP Paul Orlando, Sec =

Kerry Crellin (281-579-7759), Tres Pat Valdez & Trish Hendrickson. =

Four apparently have unlisted #s as they are not listed in the book. =

The management company is Crest Management, 281-579-0761. Mgr Carolyn =

Bond, Property Mgr Tami Martin, Asst Property Mgr Lori Bornachella.

LisaGay Wright
2922 High Plains Dr
Katy TX 77449
281-398-1900
Since court on the 19th my attorney has asked to withdraw from the =

case. & the Judge allowed an additional $1,500 in attorney fees for =

the HOA. =



***With $100 a day fine, it wouldn't be long before she's out in the =

cold. My feeling is that she could appreciate any donations along =

with support from us that we can give her.***
-- =

J. Kolenovsky, A+, Network +, MCP
=F4=BF=F4 - http://www.celestialhabitats.com - commercial
=F4=BF=F4 - http://www.hal-pc.org/~garden/personal.html

  #2   Report Post  
Old 31-03-2003, 06:08 AM
Karen
 
Posts: n/a
Default HOA pounds lady over Wildscape - write Austin HB 645!

J Kolenovsky wrote in
:
***With $100 a day fine, it wouldn't be long before she's out in
the cold. My feeling is that she could appreciate any donations
along with support from us that we can give her.***


How can you defend her blocking the fire hydrant?

Karen
  #3   Report Post  
Old 31-03-2003, 07:44 AM
Robbin
 
Posts: n/a
Default HOA pounds lady over Wildscape - write Austin HB 645!


"Karen" wrote in message
.150...

How can you defend her blocking the fire hydrant?

Karen


As the fire hydrant appears to be 2 to 3 feet from the street, I find it
hard to believe that she could have blocked it. Did you look at the pictures
on her site? She appears to have a nice naturalized yard. It would not be a
problem here in Austin!


  #4   Report Post  
Old 31-03-2003, 02:56 PM
groober
 
Posts: n/a
Default HOA pounds lady over Wildscape - write Austin HB 645!

"Karen" wrote in message
.150...
: J Kolenovsky wrote in
: :
: ***With $100 a day fine, it wouldn't be long before she's out in
: the cold. My feeling is that she could appreciate any donations
: along with support from us that we can give her.***
:
: How can you defend her blocking the fire hydrant?
:
: Karen

From the pictures, I don't understand what the issue with the hydrant is.
It's hardly hidden. There are small plants one foot away on the sides which
may violate the wording of the deed restrictions, but to say 'it was only
recently discovered under the growth' is hard to believe. Plus, being two
feet from the curb would put it on the city's right of way. If the HOA is
concerned about safety, they should be calling city hall.


  #5   Report Post  
Old 31-03-2003, 03:20 PM
animaux
 
Posts: n/a
Default HOA pounds lady over Wildscape - write Austin HB 645!

Okay, I think some clarity is in order. While it's true she is certified by the
state, she is certified BACKYARD Wildlife Habitat. We are seeing photo's taken
in winter or when vegetation is not at its peak. In a sub-division this can be
seen as a huge mess.

My backyard is World Wildlife Federation certified. However, the front is kept
in a way which complies with how others maintain their properties. I have far
more species of plants in the front, and each week I remove more turf and put in
plants, but it is not complete with scraggly trees, Tarzan vines and the like.

What the story shows, in my opinion, is not fair to the other homeowners and
their ability to maintain their property value.

In my backyard; whole 'nother story. Anything goes, and it does. By the middle
of summer it is overrun with overgrown plants and weeds (though each year there
are less and less because I pull them before seeds germinate and hand dig out
the perennial weeds).

I admire Lisa for what she is trying to do, but in all due honesty she should
contain the wild look to her backyard so people can maintain some compliance
which compliments property value and curb appeal.

Victoria

On Sun, 30 Mar 2003 22:31:40 -0600, J Kolenovsky wrote:

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.ht...olitan/1834433

Lisa Wright's website with full details and disclosure -
http://www.wrightlandscapefortexas.itgo.com/


March 28, 2003, 10:35AM

Homeowner avoids jail over yard

She'll be fined $100 per day until it's clean

By JO ANN ZUNIGA
Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle

A Harris County resident Thursday was ordered to pay $100 a day until
she cleans up her front yard of "natural" vegetation that has angered
her homeowners association.

Lisa Wright, 55, could have been imprisoned for violating a court
order requiring her to clean up her property, but County Court at Law
No. 2 Judge Gary Michael Block said he decided against jailing her at
this time.

"I'm not going to make you a martyr by putting you in jail," Block
said.

"But I still believe you are in violation of your order," the judge
said. He fined Wright until the case or the yard is cleared up. "If
you want to rack up a fine of $100 a day, that's your fault."

Wright agreed to the order last year, but said Thursday that she had
previously suffered a stroke and was not in a clear frame of mind
before she signed it.

"If it takes me to be a martyr, I'll do what it takes to help any
homeowner," Wright said after Thursday's hearing.

Wright, unemployed and living on unemployment assistance, said the
fine would place almost as much of a hardship on her as jail.

Wright was ordered to clean up her property in the Sundown Glen
subdivision near Katy after members of the homeowners association
there said she was violating deed restrictions and filed suit. Over
the past 10 years, she has cultivated a collection of red cedars,
crepe myrtles and wood sorrel ground cover, along with an overcup oak,
a Barbados cherry tree and a Mexican plum. Dozens of other plants, large
and small, dot the yard.

Block had ordered Wright to return to court Thursday to start a
24-hour jail sentence for contempt.

"The reason the court is angry is because this was your word to agree.
It's your word you broke," Block told Wright.

"Whether you were ill or not, none of that was brought to my attention
at the time," the judge said.

Wright was surrounded by her lawyer, Helen Mayfield, and a group of
homeowners who say associations sometimes infringe on their rights.

"The judge stayed punishment, but then he added another punishment,"
Mayfield said. "I thought we did away with debtors' prison."

Sherry Carey of Crest Management, which oversees deed restriction
violations for the association, said Wright's house is not visible
from the street and a fire hydrant was only recently discovered under
the growth.

"The association had no intent for her to go to jail. But we have to
watch out for the sanitary and health concerns of all the
residents," Carey said.

Sundown Glen, an early 1980s subdivision comprising several square
blocks of middle-class homes north of Katy Freeway and west of
Barker-Cypress Road, has mostly short grass lawns, a few ornamental
shrubs and a shade tree or two.

Wright, Mayfield and Jane Janecek, attorney for the homeowners group,
are scheduled to reappear before Block on April 4 to argue over
motions for a new trial and constitutional issues that Mayfield is
raising.


***This is Lisa's earlier word about it:***


My name is Lisa Wright & I need help! I've lived in Sundown Glen
Subdivision (north Fry Rd, Katy) for 15yrs. My front yard has been a
wildlife habitat for 12 of those 15yrs. When I started my project I
read my deed restrictions carefully to be sure I wasn't in violation.
I'm not some plant lover who stuck natives in her yard & called it a
habitat! I have a degree in Horticulture, have worked as a landscape
designer specializing in wildlife habitats using Texas native plants,
taught a landscaping class through Leisure Learning for several years,
& I am twice-past President of the Houston chapter of the Native Plant
Society of Texas. I've also had a garden featured in the Chronicle &
one in Texas Gardener magazine. My yard is certified by Texas Parks &
Wildlife Dept, #1740! So I know what I'm doing…I learned from the
best in the business…the late Lynn Lowrey, Sally Wasowski, who has
written several books on natives, and a very creative local designer,
Will Fleming.

During all those years the HOA never bothered me, except to send an
occasional notice to edge the sidewalk & curb. I freely confess…I had
an aggressive ground cover that would try to cover the sidewalk &
take-on the street. I would promptly attend to it. And as for weeds,
there is no such thing! The definition of a weed is "a plant growing
where you don't want it"… I wanted & planted each plant in my yard.
Then I got a notice that I was being sued. I hired an attorney, went
to mediation on July 12, 2002 & agreed to do certain things, just to
appease the HOA & "make them go away" as my attorney put it. Two
items I balked at…I felt I was being discriminated against, as no one
else in this neighborhood is required to do them. But I
signed…reluctantly…I had had a stroke on June 4th, then lost my job on
July 8th. I was doing good just to be upright with the help of a
cane, & wondering when I would have the second stroke, as so often
happens, the one that kills.

I told the HOA the items would be done by a certain date & a
particular board member could inspect my property. The items were
completed but the "inspector" just couldn't find the time to come by,
even though he has to pass my street to go home. I heard nothing else
from the HOA until Jan 31st when I found a Contempt of Court notice
taped to my front door. I have to appear in court Wednesday, Feb 19th
to show cause why I should not go to jail!

I have not violated any deed restrictions, I held up my end of the
agreement, yet the HOA has charged me in excess of $8,000 in legal
fees. And now I have to pay my attorney an additional $750 to defend
me. I am a "national statistic"…female, single, middle-aged (55), &
jobless. I'm not on unemployment insurance & have exhausted all my
money on medical bills. I'm one month in arrears in my utilities &
two months on my mortgage. If I can't bring it current by March 10th
Washington Mutual will start foreclosure proceedings. I've even had
to swallow my pride to go to a food pantry & a free clinic to get my
medication. Needless to say I've got much more important matters to
deal with than the HOA!

The HOAs in Texas, and especially Harris County, have too power, as we
have seen lately. My attorney advises me to get as much media
coverage as possible…DonnaLee Keith with Channel 26 will aired a story
Weds, Feb19th, @ 12Noon after court. The Katy Times ran a story
Sunday, Feb 23rd and the Houston Chronicle will be running a story
in the near future, as will be Channel 2. I have gotten great
encouragement from various government agencies, plant societies, &
wildlife groups.

Please, I need public support, this could happen to any homeowner!
It's time to call your Congressmen!! Homeowners have NO RIGHTS! The
Homestead Exemption Act no longer protects us!

Check out 2 websites: www.hoadata.org &
www.stoptexashoaforeclosures.com

***HOA board members a Pres Mike Hill, VP Paul Orlando, Sec
Kerry Crellin (281-579-7759), Tres Pat Valdez & Trish Hendrickson.
Four apparently have unlisted #s as they are not listed in the book.
The management company is Crest Management, 281-579-0761. Mgr Carolyn
Bond, Property Mgr Tami Martin, Asst Property Mgr Lori Bornachella.

LisaGay Wright
2922 High Plains Dr
Katy TX 77449
281-398-1900
Since court on the 19th my attorney has asked to withdraw from the
case. & the Judge allowed an additional $1,500 in attorney fees for
the HOA.


***With $100 a day fine, it wouldn't be long before she's out in the
cold. My feeling is that she could appreciate any donations along
with support from us that we can give her.***




  #6   Report Post  
Old 31-03-2003, 03:56 PM
Victor M. Martinez
 
Posts: n/a
Default HOA pounds lady over Wildscape - write Austin HB 645!

I am sooo happy there's no homeowners association in my neighborhood...

--
Victor M. Martinez

http://www.che.utexas.edu/~martiv

  #7   Report Post  
Old 31-03-2003, 05:08 PM
Terry Horton
 
Posts: n/a
Default HOA pounds lady over Wildscape - write Austin HB 645!

Jay, is there somewhere we can see what this Houston judge considers
to be the relevant restrictions in her HOA covenants?

For those who don't have a HOA, here's what our HOA covenants say
about landscaping:

"Landscaping work and planting in general do not require the approval
of the AC (Architectural Committee). However, the committee should be
able to provide advice on good landscaping. Trees, hedges and shrubs
which restrict sight lines for vehicular traffic shall be cut back or
removed.. Landscaping and planting should not unduly restrict the view
from other property."

....but then goes on to say approval must be sought for...

"unusual vegetation coverings or dense shelter belts".


We ignore it.
  #8   Report Post  
Old 01-04-2003, 12:20 AM
John T. Jarrett
 
Posts: n/a
Default HOA pounds lady over Wildscape - write Austin HB 645!

Terry,

Where J.K. lives, they have VERY explicit laws in Bellaire (or was it one of
the other tiny towns next to there?) that describe in exact detail not only
what tree species you may plant in your yard, but if they are OVER a certain
dbh (Diameter at Breast Height) which trees you may cut down! Can you
imagine being fined for cutting down one of your own trees?!?!?! And that's
City law, not HOA regs.

I remember in high school near Houston, my girlfriend's parents were
threatened by their HOA to cut their yard or have it cut and be billed. At
least one yard in 7 isn't mowed more than once a month in even the new parts
of Leander.

Honestly, some of the neighborhoods I've lived in in Austin, I wish they had
had an HOA! Hard to believe having grown up with (and hating!) them, but at
least everyone on the block mowed their yard!

Although you and I might trade front yards with her in a heart beat, even a
local suburb town to Houston (Sugarland) informed me when I asked that a
fence greater than three feet high could not be built in front of the front
face of the house. So, you could have a picket fence around your yard, but
not a privacy fence OR hedge. She DEFINATELY blocks the front view of her
house...

Last neighborhood I lived in here had a house with a 6' rock fence all the
way to the street :/

But, like at my parents that still live near Houston on a corner lot,
bringing the fence out and extending the backyard into unusable front yard
would be great! Even if only 6 or 8 feet on the back 50 feet...

Oh well, HOAs...plus-points, out-points, and lots of opinions. Between
Dallas, Houston and Austin, I've seen it all and still can't decide if their
plus points outweigh the out-points. Both ways seem to have LOTS of vocal
out-points.

Personally, I hope she wins...tho if I was her neighbor I'd probably want
her to at least trim the trees and bushes up so it looked less like a vacant
lot...

--

John T. Jarrett
http://logontexas.com
---------------------------------------------------------------
Web Design - Program - Host - Maintain - Databases - E-Commerce
$9.95 Nationwide Dial-Up ISP new customers welcome...
---------------------------------------------------------------

"Terry Horton" wrote in message
...
Jay, is there somewhere we can see what this Houston judge considers
to be the relevant restrictions in her HOA covenants?

For those who don't have a HOA, here's what our HOA covenants say
about landscaping:

"Landscaping work and planting in general do not require the approval
of the AC (Architectural Committee). However, the committee should be
able to provide advice on good landscaping. Trees, hedges and shrubs
which restrict sight lines for vehicular traffic shall be cut back or
removed.. Landscaping and planting should not unduly restrict the view
from other property."

...but then goes on to say approval must be sought for...

"unusual vegetation coverings or dense shelter belts".


We ignore it.



  #9   Report Post  
Old 01-04-2003, 01:44 AM
Wayfarer
 
Posts: n/a
Default HOA pounds lady over Wildscape - write Austin HB 645!

I lived in an exclusive neighborhood in Littleton (suburb of Denver) that
had a very rigid HOA -- all landscaping had to be pre-approved, painting
your house (even the same) had to submit paint samples in advance, could not
park in driveway (had to park in garage and if you had too many cars too
bad) -- they even told you when you needed to weed your yard. If you did
not comply they would put a lien on the property and take you to court --
even succeeded in garnishing one homeowner's pay. The HOA always won. At
the time I hated it but my property value soared and things always looked
nice.

Now in northwest Austin I have people living next to me that would make the
people in Jeff Foxworthy's jokes seem high class -- pontoon boats in the
front yard -- trailers -- people running auto repair shops out of the homes
(and all of the available parking spots in front of all the adjacent
neighbors -- yards that look abandoned -- the property values on my street
are $10.70 a square foot less than on other streets in the same
neighborhood.

I agree with those that suggest the person landscape her backyard as she
likes (within reason -- that is within limits that would not include garbage
or health concerns) BUT that when her "rights" impinge significantly on
others she should consider theirs as well as her own. Next time I move I
will be looking for a neighborhood that protects my property values.

--
Marta
(if you email me directly you need to remove the X )


  #10   Report Post  
Old 01-04-2003, 02:33 AM
cat daddy
 
Posts: n/a
Default HOA pounds lady over Wildscape - write Austin HB 645!

Has anyone explained why HOAs are obsessed with seeing the house from the
street? My house would definitely not qualify......
And, I believe Austin has laws against cutting down trees exceeding a
certain diameter.

"John T. Jarrett" wrote in message
...
Terry,

Where J.K. lives, they have VERY explicit laws in Bellaire (or was it one

of
the other tiny towns next to there?) that describe in exact detail not

only
what tree species you may plant in your yard, but if they are OVER a

certain
dbh (Diameter at Breast Height) which trees you may cut down! Can you
imagine being fined for cutting down one of your own trees?!?!?! And

that's
City law, not HOA regs.

I remember in high school near Houston, my girlfriend's parents were
threatened by their HOA to cut their yard or have it cut and be billed. At
least one yard in 7 isn't mowed more than once a month in even the new

parts
of Leander.

Honestly, some of the neighborhoods I've lived in in Austin, I wish they

had
had an HOA! Hard to believe having grown up with (and hating!) them, but

at
least everyone on the block mowed their yard!

Although you and I might trade front yards with her in a heart beat, even

a
local suburb town to Houston (Sugarland) informed me when I asked that a
fence greater than three feet high could not be built in front of the

front
face of the house. So, you could have a picket fence around your yard, but
not a privacy fence OR hedge. She DEFINATELY blocks the front view of her
house...

Last neighborhood I lived in here had a house with a 6' rock fence all the
way to the street :/

But, like at my parents that still live near Houston on a corner lot,
bringing the fence out and extending the backyard into unusable front yard
would be great! Even if only 6 or 8 feet on the back 50 feet...

Oh well, HOAs...plus-points, out-points, and lots of opinions. Between
Dallas, Houston and Austin, I've seen it all and still can't decide if

their
plus points outweigh the out-points. Both ways seem to have LOTS of vocal
out-points.

Personally, I hope she wins...tho if I was her neighbor I'd probably want
her to at least trim the trees and bushes up so it looked less like a

vacant
lot...





  #11   Report Post  
Old 01-04-2003, 02:33 AM
Rusty Mase
 
Posts: n/a
Default HOA pounds lady over Wildscape - write Austin HB 645!

On Mon, 31 Mar 2003 17:13:39 -0600, "John T. Jarrett"
wrote:

...... but at least everyone on the block mowed their yard!


Mowing only makes a yard uniformly flat. Is having a uniformly flat,
uniformly green, uniformly weedless lawn actually preferred?

That is no less than going to an art show and ignoring a Jackson
Pollack piece over a sheet of blank white paper. It all has to do
with information content. I want my front yard to speak to you.

Rusty Mase



----== Posted via Newsfeed.Com - Unlimited-Uncensored-Secure Usenet News==----
http://www.newsfeed.com The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! 100,000 Newsgroups
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  #12   Report Post  
Old 01-04-2003, 06:44 AM
Robbin
 
Posts: n/a
Default HOA pounds lady over Wildscape - write Austin HB 645!

Xref: 127.0.0.1 austin.gardening:19372


"animaux" wrote in message
...
Okay, I think some clarity is in order. While it's true she is certified

by the
state, she is certified BACKYARD Wildlife Habitat.


OK I've looked at the websites and I cannot find any reference to the fact
that they only certify backyards. "There are no size restrictions -
everything from 100-acre mini-ranches to city balconies to suburban
backyards are eligible for certification." The moto is "Texas is our
Backyard".

We are seeing photo's taken
in winter or when vegetation is not at its peak. In a sub-division this

can be
seen as a huge mess.


Obviously it was seen as a mess. "If every other yard in Sundown Glen was
like that, we would have snakes, armadillos ... and other creatures living
in them," Martin said. "That's not safe, and it's not healthy."

Will it ever be safe to live in Texas -- I mean all of the armadillos,
snakes, and such?

My backyard is World Wildlife Federation certified. However, the front is

kept
in a way which complies with how others maintain their properties. I have

far
more species of plants in the front, and each week I remove more turf and

put in
plants, but it is not complete with scraggly trees, Tarzan vines and the

like.

She has had 12 years to do her yard, you have only just begun at three. But
why should what you do with your yard have anything to do with what she can
do with hers? What is the problem with scraggly treess, vines, and the like
in the front yard?

What the story shows, in my opinion, is not fair to the other homeowners

and
their ability to maintain their property value.


Please provide references providing data that indicates that a naturalized
yard decreases property values.

In my backyard; whole 'nother story. Anything goes, and it does. By the

middle
of summer it is overrun with overgrown plants and weeds (though each year

there
are less and less because I pull them before seeds germinate and hand dig

out
the perennial weeds).

I admire Lisa for what she is trying to do, but in all due honesty she

should
contain the wild look to her backyard so people can maintain some

compliance
which compliments property value and curb appeal.

Victoria



Victoria

I've put my comments in this, but I really don't understand your
perspective. You seem to have stated that what you are doing will lower the
property values of your neighborhood, so you only do it in the backyard.
That is wrong! So what that they can't see her house from the street? How
does this affect property values? I challenge you to "prove" your points!
(friendly challenge :-)

Robbin


  #13   Report Post  
Old 01-04-2003, 06:56 AM
Robbin
 
Posts: n/a
Default HOA pounds lady over Wildscape - write Austin HB 645!


"Wayfarer" wrote in message
digy.com...
Now in northwest Austin I have people living next to me that would make

the
people in Jeff Foxworthy's jokes seem high class -- pontoon boats in the
front yard -- trailers -- people running auto repair shops out of the

homes
(and all of the available parking spots in front of all the adjacent
neighbors -- yards that look abandoned -- the property values on my street
are $10.70 a square foot less than on other streets in the same
neighborhood.
Marta



It would be extremely unlikely that there were not boats and trailers in the
front yard when you bought your house. You should be able to deal with auto
repair shops in residential areas through legal channels if you so desire.
Is there any chance that you "got a deal" when you bought your home because
your street was cheaper? What does any of this have to do with a naturalized
yard?


  #14   Report Post  
Old 01-04-2003, 02:44 PM
animaux
 
Posts: n/a
Default HOA pounds lady over Wildscape - write Austin HB 645!

My front yard does speak volumes. However, it is orderly and planned out. Many
people walk and jog in our neighborhood and several of them asked me if I would
do design work for them. Now I hold free classes on native species and their
uses. It can be done. After all, I did sign on the dotted line and was fully
aware of the deed restrictions. I still have a neighbor with a basketball hoop
which he hangs dead deer and wild boar from with a trailer in the driveway. I
plan to highlight this in the restrictions and warn him. Then I will definitely
take him to civil court. Our homes are valued at 250 and up. His is the first
people see when they arrive to view homes for sale. Not good.


On Mon, 31 Mar 2003 19:33:42 -0600, Rusty Mase wrote:

On Mon, 31 Mar 2003 17:13:39 -0600, "John T. Jarrett"
wrote:

...... but at least everyone on the block mowed their yard!


Mowing only makes a yard uniformly flat. Is having a uniformly flat,
uniformly green, uniformly weedless lawn actually preferred?

That is no less than going to an art show and ignoring a Jackson
Pollack piece over a sheet of blank white paper. It all has to do
with information content. I want my front yard to speak to you.

Rusty Mase



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  #15   Report Post  
Old 01-04-2003, 02:56 PM
Marc Stephenson
 
Posts: n/a
Default HOA pounds lady over Wildscape - write Austin HB 645!

Living without HOAs is just fine unless you need one (like to force a
neighbor to cut down the 6 foot weeds and haul off the junkyard outside
his garage, or to force another neighbor to disconnect the 35-foot
motor home parked in the driveway).

Anyway, the woman shouldn't have signed an agreement in order to "make them
go away." That was a bad sign and I don't blame the judge for getting
upset with her for trying to claim that she signed it when she was sick
when she wasn't claiming that at the time.

I also don't share her (paraphrasing here) "weeds are
anything that you don't want to grow there." I agree that there is a
lot of latitude in the definition of a weed, but I don't want the neighbor
on my corner being able to go to court and just say that he wants them
to grow there. That's seems likely the incentive behind the plant
identification req. on the lady - if you intend it to grow there, then you
likely know what it is (particularly if you're educated in horticulture). She
ought to be able to produce a list pretty easily - she's obviously qualified.
As for the "inspection" situation, if her habitat is being maintained in a
fashion agreeable to her neighbors and HOA, then it won't matter when the
inspectors show up.

I have a weedy front yard. It's a steep slope (~30 degrees) and
the deer destroyed the ground cover that was planted when we built the
house. I didn't really realize that it was mainly deer damage that was
prevented the stuff from growing in, but I know now and I'm filling in
the spaces with more deer-resistant plants, but it's never going to be
a suburban lawn situation (installing a lawn on that slope would be nuts).
Anyway, I know what's supposed to be there and what is not.
--
Marc Stephenson IBM Server Group - Austin,TX
T/L: 678-3189


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