Get Out of the Garage - NOW!
The San Diego Union-Tribune recently reported on a 70 year old woman who likes to spend time in her garage knitting, watching a little Jeopardy on TV and visiting with neighbors. Marilyn Weber, a resident of Villa Portofino Association (“HOA”), hangs out in her garage around 4 to 5 hours a day. “I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t hang out in my garage, I think I’d go crazy,” she said. “All my friends come over to this space. It if wasn’t for them I would feel isolated.”
Mrs. Weber’s HOA doesn’t feel the same way. In fact, the HOA has fined Mrs. Weber $120.00 so far for using her garage as a living space. Evidently, the HOA’s governing documents say: “No structure of a temporary character, trailer, basement, tent, shack, garage, barn or other outbuilding shall be used on any lot as a residence, either temporary or permanently.”
So does hanging out in the garage a few hours a day mean Mrs. Weber is using it as a residence? Does a residence require running water or bathroom facilities? Does the use of a folding chair constitute furniture that’s usually found in a residence? Does this action by the HOA make sense or should the board be hauled out to the woodshed for a good talking to? Tell us what you think!
By the way, I grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where hanging out in the garage was a neighborly thing to do. Neighbors stop by for a chat, to sample the beverage of the day and to watch the hummingbirds buzz around the feeder. I guess it’s a good thing we didn’t live in an HOA!
Leave the lady alone. The HOA should be ashamed of themselves.
I think the HOA is crazy. How does sitting in her garage a few hours a day qualify it as a living space?
I think they are infringing on HER right to use her home in peace.
This HOA needs something else to worry about. Would they reprimand a parent who lets the children play in the garage on a rainy day? The person who uses the garage as a workshop? How would they feel if Mrs. Weber sat on her front porch & knitted? Legally, her "residence" is the whole of her property; the garage is part of it. She is not sleeping there, just enjoying a little fresh air and socialization a few hours a day. The selfishness of the members of the HOA is shameful.
Is there not something the Homeowner can do about this type of "harrassment" by the HOA? Where are the rights of the homeowners and when does it become a kind of dictatorship instead of a help to the community.