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State intervenes after HOA construction removes vital endangered species from neighborhood: 'Serves them right'

"Every few years, the state comes to check for endangered bats."

Bat houses

Photo Credit: iStock

One Redditor dealing with a pushy HOA may have a new ally protecting their bat houses: the state of Indiana.

In the fight for money-saving and eco-friendly home improvements, HOAs can present an obstacle. Their first concern is the appearance of the neighborhood, and an HOA may have the power to impose fines on residents who are simply trying to make the best decision for their property and the planet. 

Some HOAs have interfered with solar panel installation, clotheslines, and drought-friendly landscaping. In some cases, it takes a change in state laws to get them to back down.

But one Redditor may already have the law on their side. The poster claims they've had a longstanding conflict with the nearby HOA, which doesn't govern their property. 

"They complained about all the honeysuckle that runs along my fence line … They complained about an oak tree that is older than the country," the homeowner said, listing multiple grievances in a subreddit dedicated to complaints about HOAs.

The Redditor said that most recently, the HOA has complained about several bat houses that he built with his grandsons on his property. 

"It's cut down on mosquitoes," the poster said of the bat residents, which are known predators of the blood-sucking pests. "Every few years, the state comes to check for endangered bats. They found 12 in one house."

Endangered animals, including the Indiana bat, are subject to both state and federal protections, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. That may put a kink in the HOA's development plans, which are apparently happening 175 yards away from the bat houses.

According to the original poster, the state representatives who came to check on the bats are "pretty serious about endangered animals and really don't like construction too close." 

The bats were temporarily removed from the neighborhood by the local government and transferred to the Columbus Zoo to be checked out and tagged, according to the original poster. 

If the HOA's construction was found to be disruptive to the bats, the project could be canceled or limited. "No idea what will happen; it's up to the state," the user wrote.

One commenter wishes the HOA would have the outcome it deserves for disturbing the neighborhood's beneficial bats. "Wait until summer nights come along and they get devoured by mosquitoes. Serves them right."

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