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!

Written By:Jerry On April 11, 2011 1:24 PM

Leave the lady alone. The HOA should be ashamed of themselves.

Written By:Marlene On April 11, 2011 3:58 PM

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.

Written By:Elizabeth Nelson On April 12, 2011 11:59 AM

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.

Written By:Vickie On June 28, 2011 2:05 PM

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.

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