One Redditor was anxious to help an elderly neighbor after a draconian homeowners association (HOA) cut down his flowers.
When it comes to planting a garden, HOAs can sometimes be the enemy. Many insist on an ordinary grass lawn, limit pots and planters, or forbid certain plants and other yard features.
In extreme cases, HOAs sometimes even enter a homeowner’s property to make changes. According to this Redditor, that’s what happened in their Texas neighborhood.
“My elderly neighbor had a lovely patch of bluebonnets in his yard, which he and our community really loved and nurtured,” the user told r/texas. “My neighbor is 76 years old, lives alone with no pets, and still works a 9-5 for the city water. He’s a kind old man.”
Bluebonnets are the state flower of Texas, so it’s not surprising that the neighborhood enjoyed seeing a patch of them. “Some of us even had professional photos done in them!” said the Redditor.
The HOA, however, had a different take.
“Our HOA randomly took it upon themselves to mow them down after telling him that it violated the rules citing excessive weeds,” the Redditor said. “He spent an hour in his truck literally crying about it as he loved those flowers.”
The user then asked Reddit for advice. “Is there anything we can do about this? I assume no because the HOA overlords rule all with no oversight.”
In many areas, a homeowner could work with the local Audubon Society to receive protection for native plants in their yard. Some states also have laws to allow homeowners to grow native flowers or anything else they want.
In this case, users based in Texas couldn’t agree on a legal basis for challenging the HOA. Instead, they suggested rallying the neighborhood and the local news.
“This is horrible,” said one user. “Does your community have a Facebook page? I would start there and call them out.”
“Get a reporter to do a story on HOAs and their excessive power,” said another commenter.
Several users suggested running for the HOA board, but the original poster wasn’t confident that they could make it work. “I actually did a while ago for different reasons, but unfortunately it turned into a popularity contest and I lost out to a very very social butterfly within our neighborhood,” they said in an edit to their post.
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