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Evans woman sued for not repainting pink playhouse

Posted: September 14, 2012 - 6:57pm  |  Updated: September 14, 2012 - 6:59pm
Becky Rogers-Peck has been told that the pink playhouse that she had built for her granddaughter Aubree Rogers, 4, doesn't meet the neighborhood covenants and will have to be painted another color.   Photo By Jim Blaylock
Photo By Jim Blaylock
Becky Rogers-Peck has been told that the pink playhouse that she had built for her granddaughter Aubree Rogers, 4, doesn't meet the neighborhood covenants and will have to be painted another color.

Twitter @ValerieRowell

 

Becky Rogers-Peck built her 4-year-old granddaughter a pink playhouse for Christmas complete with play kitchen, window boxes and a wreath on the door.

But the Millshaven Property Owners Association, which enforces covenants in the Evans subdivision, recently filed a lawsuit against Rogers-Peck because she wouldn’t repaint it.

Rogers-Peck didn’t get permission from the association’s Architectural Control Committee before she built what the board of directors considers an out-building. The color is not “keeping in tradition with the neighborhood,” said attorney Wright McLeod, who represents the association.

Board members contacted Rogers-Peck in the spring and said other Millhaven residents complained about the playhouse. She found out it was two or three complaints. After applying for ACC approval, the color was denied.

“I told them I was not going to repaint it,” said Rogers-Peck, who resigned from her position on the board when the playhouse issue was brought up at a monthly meeting. “It was foolish. It was not an outbuilding. It was a piece of play equipment.”

The playhouse is only slightly visible from the road, but is clearly visible to her immediate neighbors and a few homes across the pond behind her house.

McLeod said Rogers-Peck is bound by the covenant because she bought a home in the subdivision.

The board tried to get Rogers-Peck to conform to the neighborhood covenant by repainting the playhouse a color more appropriate to the home. The ACC agreed to retroactively approve the playhouse construction if it is repainted.

“They never said, ‘If you paint it, we won’t sue you,’” Rogers-Peck said “They said, ‘If you don’t, we’re going to sue you.’ ... It was the principal of it. Why do they have the right to tell me what to do on the property that I pay for?”

The lawsuit was filed on Aug. 2 and contends that Rogers-Peck “has acted in bad faith, has been stubbornly litigious, and has caused (the association) unnecessary trouble and expense.”

The association must enforce the covenant regulations, McLeod said. When Rogers-Peck refused to correct the violation, the board had no recourse except to sue.

“She’s give the association no option,” McLeod said. “She’s left us no choice other than going through Superior Court or ignore the violation. ... We just need her to repaint.”

But Rogers-Peck said her granddaughter Aubree, loves pink and doesn’t want her playhouse repainted.

Rogers-Peck has 30 days to file a response after being served with the suit on Sept. 5. She’s already checked with several attorneys, most of whom said she won’t win.

“It’s really disheartening,” Rogers-Peck said. “I feel like I live in Russia, ... where I can’t do anything on my own property without (the association’s) permission.”

The expense of an attorney is a barrier to fighting the suit, she said.

“It never even once crossed my mind that it was ever going to be an issue,” Rogers-Peck said. “Once it became an issue, I thought I’d stand up for myself and my rights. I had no idea a (homeowners association) had so much control in a neighborhood based on who was on the board of directors.”

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Comments (27)

mybaskett

Really?

I am sure when she signed the legal contract to purchase her home she was given a covenant. The reason they moved into the neighborhood was because of how well the properties have been maintained. One individual allowed to break the convenant without consequences can become a nightmare. Paint the house or move out of the neighborhood.

Little Lamb

U.S. Congress

Boy, am I glad that Wright McLeod was defeated in his bid for U.S. Congressman. A mindset like that would have been disastrous.

Little Lamb

Think

Think about this, MyBaskett — If the Pecks paint their house the same shade of pink, they will be in compliance with the HOA's compromise offer. Here is a quote from the story:

The board tried to get Rogers-Peck to conform to the neighborhood covenant by repainting the playhouse a color more appropriate to the home.

BobbyHodges

If

you don't want to follow the rules you signed up for, move to Harlem where you can live like a slob and nobody cares.

Just My Opinion

So, this lady was a member of

So, this lady was a member of the neighborhood association board, and then resigned when this became an issue. Well, prior to having this building on her property, she KNEW full well that things like this would become contentious. The HOA has given her an out, but she's too stubborn to comply...that's not just stubborn, that's being foolish. And, if she's following the whims of a 4-yr old (who "loves" pink!), then she is a fool. Don't get me wrong, I know how frustrating it is to sometimes follow a HOA directive, but you knew what you were getting into when you moved into that neighborhood, and it's really for the good of the neighborhood.
Just paint the stupid thing!

Just My Opinion

Sorry...accidental repost.

Sorry...accidental repost.

JustLilMe

I truly have a hard time

I truly have a hard time imagining that a four year old would notice that the three publicly viewable sides of this shed-cum-playhouse were painted to a more neutral approved color. Paint the inside pink for pete'sake!
Of course the other lesson the four year old is getting is that rules are made to be ignored. Granny knew of the covenants yet just assumed she was somehow exempt because she deems this shed a piece of "play equipment" ??
I wonder how she would she feel about some ugly chain link fencing in the neighborhood?

Little Lamb

Lawyers

I hope the residents of this subdivision enjoy paying the legal bills of Wright McLeod's law firm for this frivolous lawsuit.

GaStang22

Poor Parent

Rather than repainting or fighting the battle on her own she has involved her 4 year old and upset her with this adult issue. Her priorities are screwed up regardless of any bad HOA behavior!!

Frank I

All the while, I'm sure her neighbors

All the while, I'm sure her neighbors are screaming about that Marxist in office.. ;)

PUPPYMOMMA

Comply. It is the easiest and

Comply. It is the easiest and cheapest way out. If a lawyer tells you he thinks he can help-he's lying. They will hang you out to dry and it won't be cheap. Been there, done that. BH had good advice about moving to Harlem. That's where I am and love it.
Not every one is a slob out here but I do have neighbors that target practice, turn up their music loud, a beagle that howls while chasing rabbits and it doesn't bother me one bit. It beats an HOA riding by my house dictating my life.

catfish20

Paint the outside of the

Paint the outside of the playhouse the same color as the house but paint the inside
pink and lavender. Easy fix.

catfish20

Paint the outside of the

Paint the outside of the playhouse the same color as the house but paint the inside
pink and lavender. Easy fix.

corgimom

I live in an neighborhood

I live in an neighborhood with a strong HOA. All the homes are kept up, kids play in the street, people are out walking, houses sell. Across the road is a much newer subdivision that doesn't have an HOA. It is a Section 8 mess, and looks like a war zone, nobody wants to buy a house there. An absentee landlord won't buy a strong HOA-based house, they'll be forced to spend money on upkeep. If they bend the rules for her, they have to bend all the rules for everybody. Let her move, she'll find out the hard way that it's better to have an HOA.

scoobynews

LOL

Give me a break! I use to live in neighborhood in Grovetown that had HOAs and it was a JOKE! I would rather have had that cute little play house to look at than the fishing boat that was parked on about a third of my property, the pontoon boat that was parked up hill in the driveway in front of my house, the uncut grass that was about a 3 foot high at the house beside the boat house, the flower beds that were overflowing with weeds, the house that had every kind of cheap ceramic outdoor decor you could find scattered about the yard, the loud barking dogs, and need I go on. That grandbaby is going to grow up and one day the little house will eventually be a shed painted the "right" color. That is much more tasteful than those cheap plastic ones that fade over time that litter the yards of some people. Glad I no longer live in such a monitored prison anymore.

proudgunowner

I live in National Hills and

I live in National Hills and sure wish there was a HOA here that would / could enforce some restrictions on the trashy people that live down the street with their junk cars, unkempt lawn, broken blinds in their windows, peeling paint, barking dogs, screeching birds, commercial trucks with trailers parked in the yard and more. Two or three people can destroy the values of every home on the street with their redneck ways.

What is the big problem with this story is that the homeowner is teaching her spoiled granddaughter that rules don't apply to everyone.

Sweet son

No Winners!

Both sides of the suit will spend money and the only ones that will profit will be lawyers. I am like others and think the playhouse should be painted pink on the inside and toned down some on the outside.

I thought about getting a goat to clean up some of the undergrowth on my wooded lot. And, it was just that, a thought! Made me laugh to think what the HOA would say or do!

JustLilMe

Re: LittleLamb

Its only a frivolous suit because this woman is wasting others time and money. She knew what the rules of the neighborhood were when she moved there. If you don't want to abide by HOA rules, don't move into an neighborhood with covenants. It's not like she didn't have a choice!
A pink shed in one yard (as harmless as it is), then someone else decides to put a rickety chain link fencing across the front of their yard, and perhaps then a few cars up on blocks can cause neighborhood values to drop and the neighborhood can turn shabby.

soapy_725

HOA's have fee.

That fee should pay for the lawyer. The resident in violation should pay the charges beyond said legal fee. HOA is a legal contract. But so is a marriage license. Society is sick. No one cares about anyone else. Personal liberty YES, personal responsibility NO. Responsible adult humans are a dying breed. When there are no rules, there is chaos and anarchy.
Civilized people love rules. Rules define freedom. Peace and order can be achieved.

Fiat_Lux

HOAs are mainly a pain in the rear

Having basic rules is one thing, and a very good thing, but I've found HOAs mostly are just a vehicle for busybodies who feel compelled to impose their taste on everyone else.

Have the lady put in shrubbery that screens the playhouse from her neighbors' view if they find themselves unable to tolerate the view of a child's short-lived dream. A pink playhouse won't bring down property values; anyone seeing it would recognize it for exactly what it is. Worry instead about overgrown hedges that can hide break-ins or poorly-maintained fences that might allow a child to drown in a back-yard pool.

Millhaven, while nice, just doesn't rate the kind of self-important pride in its affluence that justifies such an aggressive action against a homeowner who isn't cooking meth or running a brothel.

corazon

Homeowner association

Mrs Rogers i will do the same thing, i will not change the paint color, the homeowners association they can go to held, they dont pay you mortgage and they do not own you home. i hate homeowners association. My advised to people do not buy a house in a subdivision. Home builders need to stop creating subdivision. This is not CUBA....

kjggfddddd

GaStang22

Really?? ^^^^

SMH

soapy_725

Pain in the rear? The Constitution is a pain in the rear..

for some. It is all prescription. Not the common good, but my good. My space. Live in the woods in Idaho. As one post said, people look at a neighborhood and say, wow, how clean, quiet and peaceful a place to live. Then they move in an "spit on the rules" that provided that LOOK. You pay to have an HOA. Abide by your legal contract. Park five cars on a two pad lot. Basketball goals in the street. Commercial vehicles parked in the street. Overgrown shrubbery and grass. Teen party houses with drug dealers. Blasting stereos. One of every created faded plastic riding toy permanently attached to the front lawn. Garbage cans left in the street for days. Then comes the laundry drying on the fence or shrubbery. Then old swing frame with a chain hoist and auto engine suspended there to.

Then the original owner who sincerely loved the peace and quiet move on and those who come to look at their houses say, "wow, a trashy neighborhood where anything goes". We have found a home. Unload the chickens and goats. Fire up the meth lab and post a lookout in the street. Roll the charcoal grill into the front yard and pass out the six packs.

Wow this was such a peaceful, clean place to live and raise small children.

Laws only offend the lawless.

Scharley

Its just a kids playhouse

You people need to get a life. We are talking about a playhouse for kids,

Maddy8140

Little Lamb...

Do you have anything better to do than to anonymously berate Wright McLeod on every online outlet you can find? It is getting quite old.

As for the playhouse, it does seem harmless and a little silly. However, it is up to the Board to take whatever action they feel necessary to protect their association covenants. People have a choice to buy in a neighborhood with covenants or without. She had to have agreed to these covenants when she bought her house, and it is a very good point that Just My Opinion makes. She served on the Board? Then certainly she was well aware of the rules when she broke them. As silly as it seems, the Board is entitled to enforce the rules, and Wright McLeod must follow the Board's wishes. Hopefully, this seemingly silly action will protect the neighborhood as a whole. If this person is allowed to break the rules, then everyone else will feel entitled to as well, which could ultimately bring down the property values of the entire neighborhood. This is why you have Homeowner Associations in place. Seemingly silly...maybe. Frivolous...no.

Little Lamb

That Stings

Well, I might as well add another one for Maddy. In a Metro Spirit interview with Wright McLeod just after he lost the primary race, the reporter brought up the issue of Rick Allen's campaign filing the FEC complaint about McLeod not reporting contributions properly. McLeod just blew the whole thing off in the press, but when the FEC investigated, they charged McLeod a pretty hefty fine. When the reporter questioned him, McLeod said, “That stings.”

I'm sure that's what the HOA will be saying when they get McLeod's bill.

Maddy8140

Nothing better to do? That's what I figured.

I'll take that as a "no". I guess you have nothing better to do.

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