Prohibited, Guilty, Breakin’ the Law


Seems I have been breaking the law. I have been getting away with something and I have not even enjoyed it.

I am guilty, and have been informed by the HOA (that’s home-owners association):

“It appears that pot; which has a Norfolk Pine in it; has been placed in the front yard landscape along your front walkway. Unfortunately, pots, decorative items, figurines, etcetera are not permitted on the driveway, on the walkway to the back gate…or in the landscape and Norfolk pines are a prohibited planting as well….a follow up inspection will be performed on….”


At first, I thought I was accused of growing pot–but no, it is the little 2-foot pine, that is breaking the law, in the pot. What?

They included photos, so I could identify the guilty party. Who knew? I have walked in this neighborhood and seen potted plants and trees on the driveway and on the walkway to the front door. Did we all get letters? Or am I being singled out?

Who are these people that decide what we must all agree to?


They charge you, the homeowner to pay people to take photos, photocopy them, type up letters, get the “community standards service representative” to sign them, and mail them. 

They also pay for little pieces of paper that are citations. They put them on your windshield when you park on the street in front of your home for too many hours or overnight.


Don’t get me wrong, some control is nice, but in this neighborhood of Serrano it is over the top. I have a friend who told me one family sold their lot after the association demanded to choose the type of cabinets that would be built in the garage.

I hate confrontation.
I moved the little potted pine to a corner, out of sight behind a large “association-approved” ugly bush and it is fine. 
No wonder this neighborhood looks so much like a row of houses on a Monopoly game board. There is no diversity here, what happened to diversity — that big important topic they teach you in school– be tolerant of others –appreciate diversity — they used to have Diversity Week at my neighborhood high school. 
Everyone is the same, all homes the same, all front yards, the same. It has a very sterile atmosphere. You may not be an individual here. No diversity going on here.


This is the strangest neighborhood I have lived in, well, no I take that back, there have been others. 

You seldom see anyone in this neighborhood. “Who are the people in your neighborhood,” Mr. Rogers? Who knows. You must drive into your garage and quickly shut the door. You could get reported for the wrong kind of cabinets you know. 

You don’t really know your neighbors. The streets are bare of kids, people, plants of all varieties.

I got another notice that some neighbor complained that there were too many cars parked in the driveway. Four car garage, four cars parked in the driveway. All nice and neat. What the heck?


I hate confrontation.

And learning to love thy neighbor as thyself. I don’t love myself too much today.

So this is what I have going on:
  1. letter from assoc. to move potted plant– moved it.
  2. letter from property manager about too many cars in driveway–put two cars in the garage.
  3. letter from traffic court about those non-moving violations, window too dark, no front license plate, tag missing–find a cop get him to sign me off.
  4. letter from IRS audit– send them everything in my underwear drawer.
Where’s that pot I was accused of growing? 

fyi–In California, growing pot is not breaking the law today, if for your own medical use. 


And even if you are just leasing your home, better read the 500-page book of association rules. Right, who has time?

Do what you have to do, and move on.




2 Comments

  1. Saimi
    Saimi03-08-2011

    Gee sounds like a neighborhood the Stepford wives live in. Be careful who you talk to, they might discover you’re an original and come after you!

  2. Jocelyn Christensen
    Jocelyn Christensen03-09-2011

    You should learn to PA…the lot next to me is available! And we are an easy-going neighborhood! WITH KIDS!

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