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Bev's Burner
Some's Hot, Some's Not 

By B.K. Carter

"Bev Carter is the owner/publisher of the Fort Bend Star, winner of numerous state and national awards. She has been a voice of Fort Bend's largest circulated newspaper for 30 years."


 

HOAs once again...I wrote several weeks ago about the troubles some residents were having with various homeowners associations (HOA) scattered around the county.

I have received more information from readers about the troubles they are having with their HOAs and also some information about various bills that are before the Texas legislature to curb some of the powers of the associations.

This week one homeowner from the Greatwood area contacted me and said that he is being harassed by his HOA to the point that it seems to have become personal.

He received a letter stating he had too many weeds in his yard. He said he bought weed killer, fertilizer, and grass seed to take care of the problems. Shortly after that, he received another letter telling him that he had too many bald spots in his grass. He said this was the result of the weed killer he used even though he had reseeded the grass in those spots. “I guess it was not growing fast enough for them,” he said.

This resident also claims that the assessment fees for Greatwood were increased this year with no vote taken by the residents. The residents were told they were lucky because other areas went up even more than the 10% that Greatwood did.

I was very surprised that the assessment was increased without a vote by the residents. Most HOAs have to get permission from the residents before such an increase occurs. I checked with HOA head Aly Long and discovered that indeed this was the case. The assessment went from $585 for 2008 to $638 for 2009.

According to Ms. Long, the developer set the covenants which govern the subdivisions and these particular covenants stipulate that a general vote of the residents does not have to be taken.

FYI: Greatwood Homeowner Association encompasses 4,227 homes in 29 sections.

These same covenants (which is the contract that is commonly known as “deed restrictions”) are also causing a homeowner uprising in the same area.

Don Yarborough, a resident of the area, doesn’t believe that the homeowner is responsible for sidewalk repair in front of his house. He maintains, and has hired a lawyer to challenge the HOA, that the sidewalks are in the public right-of-way and therefore not the responsibility of the homeowner.

Yarborough says as much as the cost of repair to the sidewalk is a problem, he also thinks that making the homeowner responsible for the sidewalk also makes the homeowner liable for any accident which may occur on the sidewalk. Yarborough says the HOA is interpreting the covenants differently than they read.

At his own expense, he has hired an attorney and has sent out letters to his neighbors about the situation. He is going before the HOA board as we go to press to put his case about the sidewalks.

Useless info.....I was in Sam’s Club (yeah, I know. I hate them as much as Wal-Mart, but sometimes I just can’t help myself) the other day to taste free samples. I was short of cash and that’s the nearest place I know where you can almost get a free meal (if you don’t mind bite-size pieces).

While exploring each aisle to see what food sample was located where, I happened upon the wine aisle. Now me, I’m more of a beer person, but I couldn’t help but notice some of the new names for wine. It’s like you can’t get marketed unless you have an attention-getting name.

I really don’t like wine much but I would never buy a wine titled “Red Truck,” or “Menage a Trois” or “Fat Bas---d.” (sorry, family newspaper) You might as well be drinking “Old Sneakers.”

I have accused wine drinkers of being affected (as in feigned sophistication) before but this was carrying it to new levels.

I came home and looked up several of the grapes on the internet and discovered that “Fat Bas---d” is one of the best selling French wines in the U.S., and that it’s a good wine.

I patted myself on the back for being just a beer drinker. But since I was on the internet, I decided to look up beer names.

Hey, brewers are just as silly and, yes, affected. Some of the names I found were “Old Engine Oil,” a Scottish beer; Santa’s Butt,” banned in Maine and New York; and “I’ll Have What The Gentleman On The Floor Is Having,” a 12 % barley wine.

Okay, so beer drinkers can’t claim a corner on the working class ethnic. We’re sometimes a bunch of effete snobs ourselves.

B.K. Carter is the owner/publisher of the Fort Bend/Southwest Star. She can be reached at beverly@fortbendstar.com.

Contact bkcstar@earthlink.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:
June 26, 2009