9News recently published a story about a man in the Denver Highlands who is protesting the construction of a nearby duplex by putting multiple toilets and other items in his front lawn. According to the contractor constructing the duplex, the homeowner has resisted its construction from the beginning, and is now trying to discourage its sale.
The toilets and debris do not violate city ordinances or codes, and as the neighborhood was developed before common interest communities became commonplace, there is apparently no homeowners association to dictate lawn décor.
If the owner lived in a homeowners association, the association would notify the owner of a covenant violation, request compliance, and potentially impose fines or seek a court order to remove the toilets and debris. The man would be liable for the expenses the association incurred in enforcing the governing documents, protecting the other owners from the expense of one person’s stubbornness.
This man’s neighbors are not so lucky. When you choose to live outside of a homeowners association, you bear the risk of living next to a person with unusual aesthetic ideas. While many people feel associations can be overbearing or dictatorial, this is an example of the kind of behavior that originally made developers and owners create the protective covenants that evolved into the associations we know today.
The next time you receive a violation letter or feel put-upon when you have to ask permission to do something to YOUR property, think about the gentleman in the Highlands, and be grateful your property values aren’t going down the toilet!