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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  1. That judge ought to be recalled…or whatever methods that can be used to get him off the bench.

  2. Let this be a lesson to you. Homeowner associations ARE the ultimate in left-wing control freaks. Most rational people (i.e., conservatives) would say, “Hey, it’s your yard, put up whatever sign you want to.” While the conservative might not particularly like an Obama sign, he would still fall in favor of the homeowner’s right to put such a sign on his own private property. (No doubt, the conservative has his own signs in his yard, promoting his favorite candidate or cause.) Sadly, liberals want to control everybody’s life — and make THEM pay for it; this is why homeowners’ associations are a classical example of liberals in action: they tell you what you can’t do with your property (far beyond basic zoning laws), they tell you things that you MUST do, from what color shingles you must put on your roof to how high you must set your lawnmower when cutting the grass . . . and then they make YOU pay for all the rules you have to follow, PLUS, they make you pay them a fee just because they exist. Conservatives might not like your choice of green shingles or the bamboo growing as a privacy hedge in your front yard, but still, they put up with it, realizing that it is, in fact, YOUR property, and likewise realizing that they wouldn’t want you over at their house telling them what to do with their property.

  3. Ain’t that the truth.

  4. They will be back in court when the other residents dont pay the increased HOA dues!! lol..