The story came from Rogers County, Oklahoma. According to the original poster, their parents’ HOA passed a rule in 2019 requiring houses to be set back 35 feet from the road.
They then shared a picture of a beautiful brick home in their parents’ neighborhood, which, according to the poster, was deemed too close to the road. “These neighbors may have to tear down their house if they are not approved for a Variance Permit,” they said.
If so, the owners’ HOA would be destroying their most valuable asset — and possibly leaving them with a mortgage they had no way of paying off. Meanwhile, they’d be sending an incredible amount of debris to the local landfill, where construction waste already makes up an estimated 10% to 30% of trash globally.
In the photo shared on Reddit, a public notice was visible in the home’s front yard. “It is proposed to change the use of this property by Variance Permit to reduce front building line from 35 feet to 20 feet,” said the sign. It also invited residents to a public hearing about the issue.
In the comments, the original poster added more context. “According to my parents, they are actually trying to sell the house, but have to hold off until the variance is passed,” they said.
Commenters were horrified by the situation. “What the actual heck? Like, how, how is that even legal? Does your government simply allow this?” asked one Redditor.
But as another user pointed out, HOAs often have an unreasonable degree of power over homeowners. “It’s a contract between private citizens,” they said. “They can agree to anything they want.”
Even so, some readers were skeptical that the HOA could enforce its decision. “Unlikely that the HOA can tear down the house,” said one user. “Structures like homes are almost always allowed to stand, even if a new ordinance is passed. Get a lawyer.”
Another commenter thought it was likely the homeowners would get the needed variance. “This seems to me to be a purely procedural hearing. The only reason the HOA would vote against this is if they think it would open a precedent for future homes being built.”
Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.