QOTD for the fans of local rule.

From a  comment thread on BoingBoing:

People keep telling me that the more local the government, the more responsive and receptive they are to your needs. And then I remember homeowner’s associations and disregard most of that.


20 thoughts on “QOTD for the fans of local rule.

  1. Chris says:

    My HOA is pretty responsive, but I encourage that by showing up unannounced at their offices when I need something. 🙂


  2. alan says:

    HOAs aren’t governments.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      They’re elected bodies which make enforceable rules for the community that elects them. Functionally speaking, they’re private local governments.

  3. PeterT says:

    They may not legally be a government, but in my experience, they sure do think they are. I will no longer buy a house with a HOA. Nazi bastards.


  4. Paul Michael says:

    His HOA just needs a community organizer. 😛

  5. Gerry N. says:

    HOA’s are undoable. When my wife and I bought our house in 1974 we unknowingly got sucked into a HOA. After several years of being hounded and harassed by the lawn and flower NAZI’s , several of the owners (one is a lawyer) read the codicils in our deeds and the bylaws of the HOA, and inside of six months had it disbanded. Several of the “rules” the HOA had tried to enforce ran afoul of City Ordinances, as well as State and Federal Laws. The result was that the HOA, thus every owner in the development, was potentially liable for tens of thousands of dollars in fines and settlements should someone file and win a lawsuit.
    The easy, permanent way of protecting ourselves was formal disincorporation. That took the lawyer less than four billable hours. In ’81 that cost less than $200 total. It totally pissed off the lawn and flower NAZI’s too. That alone made it worth the effort.

    Gerry N.

  6. Dr. Feelgood says:

    I just joined my HOA board. No problems, yet.

  7. Linoge says:

    HOAs are unfortunately a significant concern for us, since we are house-shopping… I can understand them not allowing things like solar panels and wind turbines, even though I disagree with both rules, but not allowing gardens in neighborhoods? That is just bleeding retarded.

    There is definitely a lower limit of locality…

    • Gregg says:

      As I recall, here in the U.S. HOAs can not legally restrict solar panels, not sure about the wind turbines. Yes they can try, but then they would be in violation of some federal law or other.

      As far as gardens, some HOAs around here try, but since our fences tend to be made of cinder blocks…

  8. RevolverRob says:

    The only good thing about local rule versus federal rule is this. When it’s time for a changing of the guard in a revolutionary way, it’s easier to conduct the change…


  9. wombatoverlord says:

    I read the BoingBoing thread when I needed some downtime at the lab (brains which wanted to eat mine). The fellow involved is a prime example of just how shortsighted humanity can be.

  10. I’m not sure I get the point of this post.

    Are you saying HOAs are retarded (they are), or are you insinuating that the best government is made from the top?

    And I can’t believe it’s the latter.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      I’m not saying the best government is made from the top. I’m saying that local government is not necessarily any better than a distant one.

      Chicago has a strong local rule, for example. A few dozen jerks on the town council or in City Hall can claim a mandate to piss in my cornflakes just as well as a few hundred jerks in D.C., and often more effectively so. The locals know how to hit where it hurts, if they’re so inclined. To the Feds, I’m just a tax ID.

  11. Windy Wilson says:

    Lawn and flower Nazis.
    Yep. Someone said to me once that the infighting was so ferocious in the HOA’s because so little was at stake.

    The reason government should be done at the lowest level is so leaving its clutches involves less gunfire. When it’s a HOA or a corrupt town like that of Boss Hogg in Dukes of Hazzard, when the intrusive government is not at the national level, it’s easy to move, even if there’s some sort of tax or penalty involved in moving. That’s just way harder at the state or national level, and if the UN gets as powerful as the European Union, it won’t be possible at the international level, either.

  12. planetcaveman says:

    One doesn’t need to go nuclear right away, one can pour Coca-Cola on the offending Nazi’s car overnight, post their picture and phone number on Craigslist for gay sex or fill out a few dozen online applications for mortgage refinancing.

    If local Nazis are harassing you it’s because you haven’t put enough pressure on them yet.

  13. Matthew Carberry says:

    The fact that HOA’s are often horrible in practice is not an indictment of HOA’s as “local rule” but rather an indictment of the ability of those who set them up.

    Most are “pure democracies” with all the evils therein. There’s no reason one couldn’t form a “Pallas on Spooner Street” HOA.

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