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We’ve all heard the old saying, “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” For the board of directors, it should mean that it’s not wise to harass homeowners over real or imagined violations of the covenants when board members are guilty of the very same transgressions. Yet, the situation has been known to arise, and although only a few of these unfortunate situations are known, it is quite likely that many more have occurred. No homeowner should have to deal with these petty annoyances that only result in creating more anger and hostility within the community. A conscientious and responsible group of people should never allow themselves to be caught in situations like these.
Some may remember the incident described in the San Antonio Current’s March 2004 article, “Neighbor Vs Neighbor, where a board member demanded a resident completely repaint his home because the board member thought that parts of the home, which were painted from the same can of white paint, did not match.
“He repainted his garage using the house's original color of paint from the original can (although it was several years old), an ACC member told him the color wasn't appropriate and didn't match, and demanded to know when it would be repainted."
What this article did not mention was that the house belonging to the board member who initiated this incident is painted in two subtle but distinct shades—white, and cream.
Article eight, paragraph four, page eight of the CC&Rs states that no fence, wall, hedge, or tree shall obstruct the sight lines around a corner. In February 2003, it was brought to the board’s attention that a member of the board was in violation this clause—the board decided to take no action. Yet in the Meeting Minutes for September 2003 the Covenant Committee sent violation notices out to other homeowners they say allowed shrubbery on their property to block stop signs.
“Letters were sent to…two residents who need to trim trees on their property that are blocking stop signs…”
In August of 2004, the same homeowner brought this situation to the board’s attention again, this time stressing the fact that the oversize bush created not only a liability for the individual board member but for the entire association should an accident occur at that corner. This time, the hedge was trimmed—18 months after the situation was originally brought to the board’s attention and 9 months after violation notices were sent to other residents for the very same offense.
It should be noted that the board made no effort to rectify this situation until after this website had been made public and had exposed a few other questionable board activities. With that in mind, it seems reasonable to assume that the modest level of oversight this website provides is responsible for eliminating the possibility of a potential lawsuit that could have effected every homeowner in Shavano Ridge.
The Shavano Ridge Board of Directors has issued covenant violation notices to homeowners who temporarily store landscape materials (fertilizer, wood chips, rocks, soil, etc.) on their property while work is in progress. But apparently, these rules do not apply to board members. In May of 2004, a board member stored a large pile of baseball-sized rocks not on his property, but in the street in front of his property. This pile was roughly three feet high and extended out into the street about the width of an automobile. Once again, this lapse of judgment not only exposed the individual board member to the possibility of litigation, it exposed the entire association.
In would seem that the decision making process that these incidents reveal is tainted with an element of pettiness and false sense of entitlement that has the potential to put the whole community at risk.
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