Monday, September 14, 2009

The garage door's open - and will stay that way!

My wife and I live in a townhouse located in a great neighborhood in one of the cities finest suburbs. We have wonderful neighbors, kids play in the street, it's close to schools, there are plenty of trails and parks nearby - I couldn't ask for much more. Although townhouse living is great, someday a "real house" will be called for.

One of the conveniences of townhouse living is having "people" to clean the driveway in the winter, and mow the lawn in the summer. As an airline pilot, this is wonderful because I know my wife won't get stuck shoveling 4 feet of snow or cut her toes off in the lawnmower while I'm away. Don't get me wrong, I'm not the kind of guy who normally has "people" to do those things for me, and if we lived in a real house I would do those chores myself, but it's part of the deal I signed when the house was purchased. I would love to boost my cylinder index with a lawnmower, snow blower, and other loud power tools, but for the time being, it's just not necessary.

There are downsides to townhouse living however, some of these include; shared walls, no choice as to what color the outside of your house can be, and having to get a permission slip just to plant flowers. I can deal with most of these disadvantages, but recently we received a letter from the association that put me over the edge. Before I go on a rant, I'll let you read the letter:

Dear Resident:

One of the most difficult tasks of a manager's job is to inform homeowners when they are in violation of their association's governing documents. This notice to you is one of those tasks. Quite often, owners are not aware that they are in violation of their associations governing documents.

Your Board of Directors conducted a recent property inspection and noted you have been leaving your garage door open for extended periods of time.

To assist the Board of Directors in their efforts to preserve the integrity of the community, your cooperation in keeping your garage door closed when not in use would be appreciated.

Rule 8 states:

"To reduce the risk of theft, pest infestation and improve the property appearance, garage doors, must not be kept open for extended periods of time. When not in immediate use, doors must be kept closed."

Please refer to your association Rules and Governing Documents if you have concerns or would like further consideration of this matter.

I am confident that you understand the necessity of having an established Rules and Regulations program and will take the required corrective action on this issue.

Tamara Eiden
Multiventure Properties, Inc
Edina, Minnesota

Are you kidding me! The association has taken the time to send us a letter explaining why the garage door should be shut! MY GARAGE DOOR!! This is the same association that did nothing after a weeks worth of phone calls when there was raw sewage flooding the lawn and floating in the street (thanks to some neighbor kids clogging the outflow line with rocks). This is the same association that calls the tow truck every time a car has been legally parked on the street for 24 hours because it doesn't look nice! Do these people have nothing better to do!?

In the letter they talk about preserving the "integrity of the community." Wouldn't the "integrity of the community" be better preserved if all the garage doors were up and people were outside talking to each other, instead of closing the door as soon as the car's bumper clears the garage door track? We have all winter to be holed up inside but when the weather is nice, the garage doors should be up and we should be outside, talking to our neighbors, keeping an eye on things, preserving the integrity of our community - whatever that means.

I wonder what's going to happen if we keep leaving the garage door open? Are they going to stop mowing the lawn or shoveling the walk? Maybe they'll send another nasty-gram, I'm really very scared. As far as I know, we still live in a free country, this isn't Nazi Germany or Communist China - leaving the garage door up is one of the many freedoms we enjoy as Americans. We have that freedom thanks to the soldiers of the United States Military, some of which are my neighbors - who I've had the opportunity to meet, only because their garage doors were up.

As far as I'm concerned, the association can send as many letters as they want, but as for me and my garage, the door will stay up until I'm ready to close it!


Adam said...

Ah... the good old private government association. They really have gotten out of hand. I'm very glad I don't live in one.

Anonymous said...

We have the same complaints by the same property manager! So frustrating!