Community told they must keep their garage doors open — or face a $200 fine

A HOA is forcing its residents to keep their garage doors open during the day on weekdays.
A HOA is forcing its residents to keep their garage doors open during the day on weekdays. Screenshot from John H Youtube

Jason is nervous.

The 9-year-old from the Auburn Greens community in Auburn, California, told Fox40 that he worries someone might steal some of his favorite possessions.

His anxiety stems from a new rule created by his community’s homeowners association that mandates residents to keep their garage doors open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays — or face a $200 fine.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea because they are going to steal my bike,” he told Fox 40. “I’ve got an electric scooter, I've got an electric wheelchair, I’ve got all kinds of stuff. So, I just don’t think it’s very good to have it open.”

The homeowners association plastered the new rule on the doors of residents, warning that those who do not keep their garage doors open face “an immediate hearing notice and (will be) subjected to a $200 fine,” KCRA reported.

Some in the community were not happy with the rule, expressing concern that it will leave them easy targets for would-be thieves.

"If we have to have this open from 8 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon, anybody can help themselves and steal you blind,” Fred Waidtlow told KCRA. “And they do it in this Auburn Greens complex.”

Shally Ia, another resident of the Auburn Greens community, said “fine, let me give you the $200 fine right now.”

Homes associations are meant to keep neighborhoods from turning shabby and to maintain property values. But when homeowners don’t follow their strictly enforced regulations, they may be fined, end up in court or even lose their homes. Here are the

“Give me a month so I can get my stuff out, and I might as well clear everything out,” she told Fox40, “and leave the garage door open permanently because there is no point of having a garage door then.”

Others took to the community’s Facebook page to leave their own thoughts on the controversial rule.

“Are you kidding me? What geniuses made this rule?” wrote one commenter. “Making residents leave their garage doors open and put their property in almost certain jeopardy is one of the most careless decisions I've ever heard of. Please reconsider.”

The rule, which went into effect on Jan. 1, was put into place after someone in the community let people live in their garage, a board member told KCRA. But there’s some good news for those opposed to the policy — John Sprankling, a professor at the McGeorge School of Law, predicted that a judge could overturn the policy if they find it threatens the safety of residents.

Of course, this isn’t the first time a homeowners association has drawn ire from members of its community. One man in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, told The Gettysburg Times that a homeowners association asked him to take down a sign that said “Jesus” because “it isn't in accordance with normal Christmas decorations.”

“I just felt it was time to acknowledge I'm a Christian,” he said.

And in Rosenberg, Texas, a homeowners association told a veteran that he must take down his Marine Corps and U.S. flags down. The reason: he didn’t get approval for the 20-foot flagpoles that he used to fly the flags, KPRC reported.

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