Black News

Feud Over Obama Sign Costs Community $400,000

In most communities, a homeowner putting an election sign in their front yard is not a big deal. But in the Fairfax County community ofobama yard sign Old Belhaven, an Obama for President sign tore a community apart and costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Washington Post reports:

The modest placard Sam and Maria Farran planted in their yard during the 2008 election put them on a collision course with the neighborhood homeowners association. It was four inches taller than the association’s covenants allowed.
 “Need I say more! This would lead to chaos,” a neighbor fretted in an e-mail about the precedent that would be set if the sign wasn’t removed. “Our property values would be put at risk.”
The Farrans acknowledged that the sign was too large, but felt the homeowners association was taking things a bit too far. The Farrans responded by cutting their sign in half, and erecting two OBA and MA signs in their yard. That’s when the board attacked, and passed a resolution which would fine the Farrans $900 per infraction for the sliced sign.
Outraged, the Farrans filed a lawsuit against the HOA, and HOA increased HOA dues from $650 to $3500 a year to pay legal fees.
In 2010, a judge sided with the Farrans on the fines issue, putting HOA on the hook to cover the Farran’s legal fees. In the end, the dispute cost the community as much as $400,000.


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