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HOAs are madness

July 24, 2008

Ok, so I’m doing a complete master plan for a great couple in an active adult community in the area, and I just got a copy of the Design Guidelines. Here are a few choice excerpts:

  • trees and shrubs may be planted, as long as they are a minimum of 10′ from rear and side lot lines and 20′ from the curb. The HOUSE is 22′ from the curb! Little help here?
  • removal of grass and replacement with mulch, gravel, or some other kind of ground cover… will be considered for limited areas, e.g., on steep slopes Because without wall to wall grass, we will have… human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together- mass hysteria!
  • Trees or shrubs should be spaced so that there is an unobstructed distance of one-half of the width of the tree or shrub between two trees or shrubs at maturity. Ok, seriously? I got over my peas touching my mashed potatoes when I was 4. Plants like each other.

The good news: pink scalloped concrete edging? Totally cool. As is up to 4 lawn ornaments, as long as they don’t exceed 2′ in height. Oh, and a 2′ planting bed around the base of the lamppost. The Renegade Gardener had better live a blameless life, because otherwise this is his ever after.

I’m just frustrated, because I was hired to develop a soft, natural-looking landscape, with an emphasis on great plants. Apparently that’s verboten. I guess I’ll go to the board meeting and present my plan myself, and see if I can’t get it approved.

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