One Redditor recently posted looking for advice when their local homeowners association singled them out for their raised garden beds.
Many homeowners who want to add gardens or other eco-friendly improvements to their homes face resistance from their HOA. One Redditor faced fines for having a garden bed just a few inches too wide, and another complained about the unfair, inconsistent enforcement of rules about planters.
Some have faced long legal battles to make decisions about their own yards — but in many areas, the law is changing to protect homeowners who want to garden and make other improvements.
HOA is mad I have garden boxes in front of my house. Is there any sort of local right to garden laws or anything?
by u/zhollis21 in Knoxville
This Redditor hoped to find similar laws in place in Knoxville, Tennessee. They posted to r/Knoxville to ask, “HOA is mad I have garden boxes in front of my house. Is there any sort of local right to garden laws or anything?”
In a comment, they add, “I read [the HOA bylaws] and haven’t seen anything about landscaping or even types of plants allowed, etc. … I also walked around the neighborhood and saw at least 5 raised beds in front of other houses.”
According to the user, the “snooty” HOA president claims that other neighbors’ garden beds are less prominent, but the original poster has been taking photos of other yards to prove that their landscaping is consistent with the neighborhood’s norms. They want to know what else they can do if the complaints continue.
“Get elected to the HOA and get rid of stupid [bylaws],” suggests one commenter and another adds, “Better better yet, get rid of the HOA.”
Assuming that’s not possible, another user says, “Best bet might be to talk to the HOA board members to see if they will support you on this.”
Another user recommends using the HOA’s own rules against it. “When was your last meeting? Were you properly notified of said meeting by the process outlined in your bylaws? It’s entirely possible your HOA is acting out of accordance with its own rules … He may not even be a properly elected President.”
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