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.
An Off-Color Joke?
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.
A Better Bush?
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
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.
A Rock In The Wrong
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.