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Vindictive HOA president devises arbitrary rule to target innocent neighbor: 'I don't know exactly what she had against me'

"I've been looking forward to this [for years]."

"I've been looking forward to this [for years]."

Photo Credit: iStock

One dismayed Redditor claimed they were being singled out by their local HOA president when it came to planting a garden.

HOAs are often a problem for homeowners who want to change their yards. They've been known to block money-saving and environmentally-friendly changes, and assess huge fines for tiny issues, such as a garden bed being just six inches too wide. In many cases, their decisions are binding.

That's the problem one Redditor said they were facing after giving their HOA president a little too much information about their garden plans.

"I've lived in my current rental for seven months, and made the mistake of being friendly and open to my next door neighbor, who I knew to be the HOA president," the Redditor wrote. "I told her all about my plans to plant a garden in the front area of the town house I rent."

The Redditor's plans for the space were beautiful: take out the rock, create a raised bed with a retaining wall, and fill the area with low-laying flowers, moss, and a few flagstones for potted plants and statues. 

"Nothing huge, extravagant, or tall," the homeowner said.

But they were shocked to find that their neighbor, who had seemed friendly, was plotting against them. 

"Well, on my way out to pick up curbside groceries, she stops me and tells me she is planning on changing the rules so only potted plants are allowed out front," the Redditor said.

It would be one thing if the rule applied to everyone. But according to the Redditor, the neighbor and most of the other residents already had beautiful front gardens. 

"Of course HER garden and everyone around me will be grandfathered in, so it will only affect me," the Redditor said.

"It's personal," they concluded. "She knows I've been looking forward to this; I have plans, tools, and a budget ready … I don't know exactly what she had against me."

Commenters wanted the original poster to get their dream garden. 

"If the rule hasn't changed yet and isn't even on the agenda for vote — plant away!" one user suggested. "Just do it quickly. Also, don't talk to the busybody neighbor anymore."

For homeowners facing existing HOA regulations that interfere with their garden plans, The Cool Down offers a handy guide to changing your HOA's rules.

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