New Outrage! Homeowners Assn. Proposes Ban on Kids Playing

Hi Readers — Just be glad you don’t live in the Persimmon Place subdivision in Edgewater, Fla. The Homeowners Association (HOA) there is considering new rules that will ban children from playing outside.

I KNOW this sounds like a fantasy plot from one of the umpteen dystopian young adult novels out there, so let me quote from this report on

The HOA board said the proposed rule, which will carry a $100 fine for every violation, is all about safety. …

The proposal states that “minor children will be under the direct control of a responsible adult at all times,” and it would also ban the game of tag, skateboarding, Big Wheels, loud or obnoxious toys on “common property.” …

For now, the children can play outside without restriction, but the HOA board will meet with an attorney on Thursday, and the final rules and bylaws will be given to every resident before the April 27 vote.

The problem, defined by the Homeowners Assn., is a lack of open space in the 48-townhouse subdivision. So the kids  play on the driveways (oh! the horror!) and in the parking lot (which could be a fine or terrible idea, depending on its size and the number of cars there, etc. etc.). The point is: Kids DESERVE to play outside. It doesn’t even seem like it should be LEGAL to ban this, anymore than banning eating or sleeping.

But of course, it’s all about “safety,” the word that sneaks into so many debates, legitimately or not, and often stuns all common sense.

I hope the kids storm this meeting in their roller skates. It is time for a revolution. — L.

All these kids needed was a RAILING to play on.

121 Responses

  1. Is this an April fool’s joke?

  2. I love that photo! Play is about making the external world your own, and they are doing it!

  3. Some HOA’s are very, very evil. Glad I’m not in one.

    Question: Is this even legal? Free association, free movement, access to public property? I’m not a lawyer, any lawyer commentators want to chime in?

  4. Unfortunately it is legal. You agree to abide by the HOA rules as a condition of purchasing your property there. If you don’t agree you don’t buy. I have the misfortune of dealing with an HOA and the only people usually interested in the day to day running of it are those with too much free time and an authoritarian bent. Little old ladies with an “I’m important” complex. If a kid tries to show up at a meeting they will be told to leave as they aren’t homeowners.

  5. 4.1.11 – You almost had me.

    Then again, if this isn’t a joke, this is precisely why I would NEVER buy in a HOA neighborhood.

  6. I’m pretty sure this is an April Fool’s joke. The name of the subdivision gives it away.

  7. Clue #2 — in the video, the “rules” the reporter is waving around are a blank page.

  8. Persimmon Place gives it away? I’m lost.

    (And also choosing to assume it’s an April Fool’s prank until otherwise notified… say, sometime after noon today!)

  9. It’s not a joke. It might have posted here today, but if you click on the actual news story, it’s dated March 31. Sad.

  10. This sounds like my HOA. We aren’t allowed to have fences, and we aren’t allowed to have toys or play things visible in our yard. With no fence, that means we cannot have toys or any visible evidence of children in our yard. Ever.

  11. I hope this is a story for the day.

    But…can they really change the rules like that after you have bought in? I hope every resident, with kids, and those with grandkids who may visit at some point, votes against this. Otherwise I see a drop in property value as the families all decide to put their houses up for sale and move out.

    This is why we moved out to the country to a spot with no HOA and no covenants. If my neighbors want to park junk cars on their property, I don’t care as long as they don’t complain about my kids, dog, geese, ducks or projects that my husband and kids want to do. If I don’t want to see my neighbors, I will put up a fence or hedge.

  12. I think what’s really sad is that a lot of people buy in these subdivisions because they are supposed to be safer, but I’ve seen few, if any, that are kid friendly. That includes no sidewalks, no lawns, no play areas at all. I’m completely anti-HOA too. The last thing I ever want to do is pay someone to tell me what I can and can’t do. I get enough of that junk from the government.

  13. Having lived in that most child-hostile of states as a child, I see this as being more about property values and “quality of life” for the adults than about safety: if they mention safety, it’s a red herring. If it was about safety, they would be making safe places to play and putting the burden on cars and drivers.

  14. I never for the life of me understood why anyone would buy into a HOA. More bs has been perpetuated in the interest of ‘property values’ than I care to even think about. Property value paranoia is used to excuse racism, classism (can’t have those poor minorities around! Think of the property values!) and now apparently ageism as well.

    I seem to recall something about the love of money being the root of all evil. Case in point.

  15. Well, this sounds like a “taking.” If I moved there because it looked like a nice place for my kids to play in the neighborhood, and after I owned my place, they put a restriction on it so we could no longer use it as intended, then that restriction reduced the value of my property, and I want to know how the HOA is going to make up the difference.

    Assuming this isn’t an April Fool’s joke, of course.

  16. I would like to ban old people from living in Florida. Who’s with me?

  17. HOAs are evil.

  18. What should really be banned is subdivisions without outdoor common spaces. Whether for kids or the adults who live there, common outdoor areas are pretty much the only way for neighbors to meet and befriend one another. It’s the difference between a village and a collection of prison cells.

  19. My friend lives in a townhouse where the HOA prohibits children from playing in the parking lot. It is an understandable safety issue, because where she lives they have plenty of open grassy spaces & want to encourage the kids to play there safely & not near the cars. But I don’t understand how this HOA could prevent all outside play?! Are they then prepared for the indoor noise complaints they will receive from people who don’t have kids, when the children aren’t allowed outdoors. Seems weird.

  20. If this isn’t an April Fool’s joke, I’m hot–and I mean HOT.

    At times like this I wish I were JR Ewing. I’d do a hostile takeover & run those idiots out on a rail. If I couldn’t do that I’d hire PI’s to follow the head of the board, catch him in an “uncompromising situation,” and blackmail the hell out of him. It seems to be the only language these idiots understand.

    Android 2.2

  21. The first time I saw a subdivision, when I was 7 or 8, I promised myself that if anyone tried to make me live in one ever, whether it was my parents or my future husband, I wouldn’t even argue, I would JUST. RUN. At 34, I still feel that way about them.

    I can’t imagine living under an HOA like this. I can’t imagine anyone being able to tell me what color I can paint my house, what type of garden I may or may not have, how much porch furniture and what kind I’m permitted. I’ve rented from obnoxious, busybody landlords and landladies in the past, and I thought home ownership was meant to be an escape from that.

    But I’m curious, if you do buy into a subdivision that has an HOA, and you just choose not to abide by one of their rules, what can they do to you?

  22. This sounds a lot like my HOA. They tried making a rule that said people couldn’t ride bikes in the parking lots or drive aisles. The HOA board was worried about liability if somebody got hit by a car (which is even worse than doing it for safety reasons.)

    However, they needed a majority of votes of the home owners to pass the new rules into affect. Most people didn’t care, aren’t involved, and didn’t vote one way or another. A couple passionate parents went door to door getting as many no votes as possible and killed the proposed changes.

    As was a common refrain at the time, we don’t live in a retirement community. As somebody else mentioned in a comment, most people on the HOA board are older women who have too much time on their hands. I think they get annoyed at all of the kids in the neighborhood and would prefer if this were a retirement community. Unfortunately for them, there are a lot of young families that live here and playing outside is part of what kids do.

  23. Library Diva, HOA’s can fine you as much as they want. After a while, in my HOA because of a shared water meter they turn your water off and put a lockout on it. In the end they put a lien on your property and in some states they can foreclose on you.

  24. HOAs are the worst examples of democracy- to me, they look like 2 wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner.
    I’m so glad we’re not in one.

  25. But I’m curious, if you do buy into a subdivision that has an HOA, and you just choose not to abide by one of their rules, what can they do to you?

    Pretty sure it depends on the state, and the actual bylaws. Some areas are strengthening restrictions on the powers HOAs can have, though.

  26. I just wanted to share this link. It’s hilarious commentary on baby fashion and products.

  27. My whole childhood was based on playing on driveways, and parking lots, if we couldn’t get to a park, and there was no space for activities. Sometimes we would walk or ride bikes to nearby school yard to play as well. The world was literally our playground. Some of the best times of my life, I would trade them for the world. I just feel bad that some children in this day and age may never experience that in their childhood. That would be a shame just for “safety” sake. And as we all know by now, statistically, the world is much safer now than it was back then. Just another bunch of selfish adults thinking about themselves and using “safety” as fear tactics for the neighborhood.

  28. My suspicion about “Persimmon Place” is that persimmons are associated with sour, unfriendly attitudes in figures of speech. Have you heard of a description of someone who looked or acted “like they were eating persimmons?”

    I saw the March 31 date, but I don’t find that absolutely convincing. It could have been scheduled a bit early for posting.

    But it could be true. I’m just suspicious, both because of the extreme nature of the thing (the ban on kids I could easily believe, the $100 fine seems to put it into the realm of fantasy.) And the interviewees’ speeches, while not wholly implausible, just rang a little “fake” In their wording.

  29. This is one area where residents can make a difference.

    We rented a home in a very nice 35-year-old HOA for five years. They had five different playgrounds, tennis courts, a pool, several walking paths, and plenty of space where children could (and did) play. In addition, we were within walking distance of a public park.

    We bought a house in a newer HOA and received a notification we didn’t like and noticed that the CC&Rs (HOA rules) were inconsistent and often didn’t properly apply to our neighborhood. So my husband joined the board so we can have a voice on neighborhood regulations.

    I’m working on planning a neighborhood block party this summer and hope to use that opportunity to get folks to support a neighborhood watch program — as well as get a chance to get to know each other and create the kind of community that is being destroyed by anti-child rules in neighborhoods like that one in Florida.

  30. I actually like my HOA, but it probably helps that the president of the HOA is the mom of a very active child herself. She did have to send a letter out this fall because some people were complaining about kids riding their bikes in the street. She pointed out that although some of them are riding in the middle of the street which isn’t the safest legally they are supposed to ride in the street and not on the sidewalks so people would just need to slow down if they were concerned.

    There are a lot of older people in the community who bought in when the houses were first built 40 years ago but there is starting to be some changeover and everyone so far has been very pleased to see the young families moving in.

  31. Have you heard of a description of someone who looked or acted “like they were eating persimmons?”

    Nope, I’d say “pickles” or “sour lemons” (which I know is redundant).

    But thanks for the info 🙂

    And the dating doesn’t totally convince me either. We’ll see what we see.

  32. Persimmon Place in Edgewater, FL is definitely a real spot, so says Google.

  33. It is not a joke. Click on the link, note the date.

    If this HOA wants to make the place kid-free, then that’s what they should do and anyone who wants to buy in their subdivision should then know that children are not welcome while those with children should be grandfathered.

    But to try to ban kids from doing what kids are supposed to do is ignorant and wrong. Then again, what else is new in this country? Ignorant and Wrong? So long as it’s “safe,” sign me up! *eye roll*

  34. I checked Google and Persimmon Place is a condo real estate in Edgewater, FL. I hope the parents of this HOA band together and make their will known. They pay to live there and they have rights too.

  35. I rented in a complex called ‘Wynken, Blyken and Nod” in Fl, all based on fairy tales… so there was Tweety Bird Lane, Humpty Dumpty Dr., etc.

    It sounds fake, but it isn’t. That’s Florida for you. So, Persimmon Place is not even a blip on that scale.

    And Persimmons aren’t sour.

  36. Notes like this make me dance with the joy I feel in having left Florida far behind. They will not get their mitts on my kids! And property values? In Florida?Now? Puh-leez.

  37. Okay, I concede: it’s probably real, and Persimmon Place is a real subdivision.

    But FWIW, there are different kinds of persimmons, and some are known for being bitter: (note especially the second large paragraph.) And you hear stories of people biting into unripe ones and being shocked by the sourness. So I wasn’t just imagining that — I was just wrong. 😉

  38. Assuming for a moment that this is not a joke, I wonder what the median age is in this community. In Florida you can never be sure that it’s not just an issue of a community that is predominantly retired not wanting to be bothered by children at all for any reason and they are trying to make the rules unfriendly to families so they won’t join the community.

    My parents live in Florida now and their HOA levies a fine if there is any play equipment or toys left outside the home for more than 15 minutes without being used. That includes basketball nets, which have to be on wheels and are not allowed to be attached to the outside of the home! It’s quite a pain when their grandchildren visit, but the community wants to make children themselves neither seen nor heard.

  39. I’m reminded of a story from many years ago here in Southern Calif. It involved a “planned community” in Orange County (a.k.a The OC). A father installed a basketball backboard over the garage door so his sons and their friends could “shoot some hoops”. It didn’t take long for the HOA to notify him that this was a violation of their aesthetic rules and to remove it immediately. What a bunch of killjoys! The very idea of “having fun” seems to be anathema to a certain segment of our population. Kids playing? Why they might even shout and holler! My advice to folks like that is to live next to a cemetery. Although I have been in the “senior citizen” category for a while now, I was really pleased when our neighbor, who has two young sons, got them a “junior size” basketball goal. The previous family had a teenage son, and he and his friends would be trying their shots on a full-size backboard mounted on the garage. My only rule was that if the ball came into our yard, I got a “free throw” (and I made a few, too). One day they were challenging each other to make some difficult shots, and doing some “trash talk”–well, SoCal trash talk, like “You’ll make that shot when Kato Kaelin gets a real movie part!”

  40. Hello!

    We are looking to cover this story on Fox & Friends on the Fox News Channel this weekend. I am looking for a parent to weigh in on this issue. If you are interested please call me at (212) 301-3800 or (212) 301-5051


  41. A few years ago, the roof my uncle’s house in Florida was damaged in a hurricane. It took him months to get his roof replaced, because all the construction workers were so busy with other hurricane damage.

    The homeowner’s association ticketed him for having a dirty roof.

    So, yeah, they really can be that nuts. (Although my uncle did get the ticket forgiven in the end.)

  42. The apartment complex I lived in back in the early 90s had rules like this. I was a kid then, and we ignored every single one of them 🙂

  43. Part of me is very proud of the “I don’t have to” mother.

    I wish I knew what this parking lot was like. It could be bad, but then again….

    So all minors must be accompanied? Minor as in under 18? That will be a hit with the teenagers.

  44. That HOA had better construct a playground then and give the kids somewhere to play or they might as well start saying goodbye to their residents.
    If they truly don’t want kids to be seen or heard, then they might as well start advertising that area as an adults only neighborhood. I wonder what that will do to their home values?

  45. I’ve seen HOAs that blatantly ban kids. And I respect that. This place is just being sneaky. If you want a peaceful retirement community, just say so.

  46. Don’t many of the news stories these days sound like April Fools jokes?

    Lenore, this story would be good to feature on your TV show. No matter what the outcome, it would still be a good one to visit.

  47. This is related to the HOA rules (and even entire town rules) that you can’t have a clothes line, can’t park anywhere except in your garage, can’t park a truck in view of the street, no sandboxes, can’t paint your house any bright color, no vegetabel gardens in the front yard, and on, and on. There is a truly huge menu of useless rules that these communities can choose from. Oh, and another one is, you can’t let your grass get higher than 3″.

  48. Wow, how sad that people feel the need to legislate children playing. And loud obnoxious toys are the best!

    I had someone tell me they were going to call the EPA because of the bubble machine I had going for the kids in front of our house. I just assumed they were joking….

  49. It’s pretty clear reading between the lines that they’re really just trying to get rid of the kids entirely.

    “They came in and rented (a home) in a community that does not have a playground and is not conducive to children.”

    seems pretty darn close to “get off my lawn.”

  50. Ugh! Thanks for the reminder to NEVER, EVER, EVER buy a property with a HOA! One of my friends lives in one that bans gardens, so I’ve long thought them to be evil!

  51. I’m renting a home in a neighborhood with a HOA, and the experience has added to my resolve to never own with one. I don’t need the stress over things that are none of their business.

  52. […] New Outrage! Homeowners Assn. Proposes Ban on Kids Playing Hi Readers — Just be glad you don’t live in the Persimmon Place subdivision in Edgewater, Fla. The Homeowners […] […]

  53. I see it as blatant discrimination. Children are people and should have the same right to come and go as they please as adults do.

    Why do the dates over our posts read April 2 when it’s still April 1? Is that an April Fool’s joke?


    Cute tongue-in-cheek commentary on some sadly very real ‘toys’ for children.

  55. This is very sad. I grew up in the midwest and spent my entire childhood outdoors. We lived across the street from a church with a huge parking lot. With the exception of Sunday morning, that parking lot was completely empty and it became our baseball field and the place where we could ride our bikes without our parents present. When it was time to come home, our parents simply stepped outside and called out our names.

  56. Might I suggest that these dingbats are receiving VERY dubious legal advice, probably at great expense to the Body Corporate. It would not take a phalanx of senior council and a bevy of briefs to crucify them for child abuse. These people are actually sick and are in all likelihood in need of very serious counseling.
    Might I also suggest that THEY are in fact the very safety risk to the very humans (remember, children are, surprise surprise, actually young humans, not dogs) they purport to want to protect. Tossers.

  57. The article says that minors need to be under the direct supervision of an adult. So, does that mean 17 year olds can’t hang out outside on their own? That if a 17 walks across the property on the way to school, without an adult with them, that they could be subject to the $100 fine? Of course, we know that that is not what is meant, but whenever you impose ridiculous draconian rules like this, you’d better have very good definitions of what exactly it allowed and what is not. (I see that “tag” is prohibited, but it doesn’t say “Kick the Can” is! If this gets passed I was a parent, I would “supervise” my kids every day playing loud, active games that weren’t specifically tag, and have them play with Big Wheel knock-offs. Ha!

  58. This is ultimate BS, it is about too much noise for the people without kids. I live in an inner ring suburb. The kids play in the street. People are insane about this a parent much be watching at all times malarkey…
    I wonder how I survived the 1980’s..YEAH the 24 hour panic people into watching drama for ratings….now people are terrified…thanks CNN..for NOTHING!

  59. Persimmons are not sour…LOL.

    I would be extremely careful about buying in an area they did not have family friendly amenities..cannot have play toys outside? No fences? Say what?
    This is still socialized America, sounds like time to revolt against hoa’s.
    Sorry I was raised wealthy and this BS would NOT stand where I lived, Blessedly no hoa’s then. I cannot stand most people in my generation who are the paranoid ones

  60. Oh give me a break. I am so sick of parents thinking that everyone else should put up with their obnoxious kids! There are other people living in that subdivision who paid good money for their cars why should they have to put with kids playing around those cars and tearing them up? Why should they have to put with the noise and such too? If you want your kids to have outside space rent a house with a yard or near a playground. It’s not allowed for landlords to not rent to people with kids in the US, but obviously this subdivision wasn’t designed with kids in mind. I mean, I have a dog and I live in an apartment but I don’t get to let him run loose all over the place! If you are too lazy to take your kids to a park or playground your neighbors shouldn’t have to suffer.

  61. Lasey, you are a no child troll. Give me a break…go live in an adults only area.
    Kids are EVERYWHERE…they are NOT dogs…
    Lazy? My rear….kids could play outside for generations…I was a YUPPIE before I had my first child in 1995 and I DID NOT grudge those with kids prior to that.
    You probably view kids as as scourge….

  62. MommyMitzi, on April 2, 2011 at 10:30 said:
    “If this gets passed I was a parent, I would “supervise” my kids every day playing loud, active games that weren’t specifically tag, and have them play with Big Wheel knock-offs. Ha!”

    I totally agree. In my line of work I often use the analogy: “It’s their sandbox… they make the rules, we just find the loopholes”… seems appropriate to this situation too, lol.

    @freedomom, don’t feed the troll!

  63. I THINK THE ADULTS THAT OPPOSE THIS SHOULD GO OUT AND PLAY IN THE COMMON AREA!!! THEY DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT ADULT BEING FINED FOR PLAYING OUTSIDE! HA HA THAT WOULD BE REALLY FUNNY! Im only 27, but I remember how wonderful my childhood was and many of those memories were of me playing outside. It is a sad world for the children living today, and it will be over for them in minutes.

  64. Just because someone dares to suggest your little precious isn’t as important to everyone else as they are to you, doesn’t mean they are a “troll.” Someone linked to this article on another site and I just happened to have a differing opinion. I’m a little sick of having to be inconvenienced all the time because of other people’s kids. I didn’t choose to have them, YOU did so reign them in please.

  65. Sadly, many people believe they have the right to a public kid-free existence. The same type of mindset as people who advocate (overtly or sneakily) for an existence free of people of color, those with disabilities, older people, gays and lesbians, and trans persons. You get the drift. It’s called bigotry and it’s very sad and ugly.

    Lenore, I mostly read and rarely comment, but this really is a sad piece. Thanks for posting, although it is such a bummer to read. Sadly, this mindset does pop up quite a bit. Enough to be voted on instead of laughed out of the meeting.

  66. Interesting how they phrase things. Who wants to come out as pro-letting your kids play in a (presumably) busy parking lot or driveway? Now that clearly would be a misrepresentation but I can hear the smears now.

  67. Lasey, I hope you never have kids because I bet you would SUCK as a mom. You’d be the least kind, least fun mom EVER. I bet you’d be all up in arms if your apartment complex suddenly changed the rules, and any dog barking EVER would get their owner a $100 fine. Or a dog getting on the grass. Or whatever else dogs do because they’re dogs, but which some people might be annoyed by. But when people want their HUMAN CHILDREN to have the right to play outside, you get all pissy and uppity and tell them to “reign in their kids.”

    This is ridiculous, and is why I will never live in an HOA.

  68. For your info my apartment complex does charge fines for dogs being in areas they aren’t supposed to be in (around the pool and picnic tables) and the fine is $50 first offense, $100 second offense, $150 third + offense. Dogs are required to be on leashes at all times, you can be fined for excessive barking too and we have to pay an extra $300 deposit just to have a dog. When is the last time people had to pay a child deposit? And if I have kids I would have the common sense to rent or buy a house with a yard or near a playground instead of renting in a subdivision which is obviously geared toward adult tenants. If you don’t have the sense to provide an appropriate environment for your kids you don’t have any business having them in the first place. It’s not the responsibility of a landlord or an HOA to make a place for your kids to play. Take them to the freaking park! I take my dog to the dog park can’t you have time to take your kids to a park or playground? Parents expect the whole world to revolve around their kids and you wonder why childless people don’t like you?

  69. Btw, one thing that was kind of skimmed over in that article is that the HOA is comprised of the home owners and they all get a vote on matters such as this (it hasn’t been voted on yet according to the article). While I gather that a lot of the people with annoying kids causing problems are renters who won’t get a say and that’s why they are upset.

  70. Once it was assumed that nearly everyone would have children and society was geared around them. One side effect of modern contraception is that child-rearing is now viewed as an optional individual lifestyle choice rather than a socially useful activity and so parents, because they chose to have them, are SOLELY responsible for their impact on other people as well as for catering for their EVERY need.
    Parents who complain about this sort of thing do not necessarily think that their children are precious little treasures (why do people always say that?) who should be allowed to run around all over the place unhindered at all times, disturbing people screaming and shouting at all hours. I would be more sympathetic to the arguments of the “precious treasures” people if it was only a few places that were not geared towards children – the point is that there is hardly ANYWHERE where you can take your child or where children can go without getting aggravation and that INCLUDES the park. Just read through the archives of this blog for evidence of that.

  71. Nobody here expects the world to revolve around our children but we do expect them to get the same acknowledgement as human beings as anyone else. Nothing ticks me off more than people who expect ME to treat my children like a pet – just stick ’em in a kennel when they’re inconveniencing anyone.

    Your only answer is to take the kids to the park to get outside time? Seriously? My daughter wants to be outside ALL THE TIME – if I took her to the park as often as she wants to be outside (or even had to supervise her every second of being outside), I would get nothing done in my home ever. Gotta cook dinner sometimes! We go to the park frequently, but really, bleh. We have two brand new very nice parks … with artificial turf that increases the temp by a good 10 degrees and no natural anything anywhere. It’s almost like still being inside for all the exposure there is to grass and dirt and NATURE.

    Given the demographic shifts that are occurring in our society, I would just like to remind childless-by-choice cranks that when you are old, your geriatric medical treatment will be provided by MY children, and your government benefits will be paid for by MY children. So get a grip, or MY children may decide that they’re just not going to provide any of it.

  72. Lenore, this is absolutely insane. We continue to prioritize the convenience of adults over the needs of children. And then we turn around and scream that children are overweight and sedentary. We took play away. We have to give it back to them.

  73. This isn’t about safety. It’s about older people who are bothered by the noise and inconvenience of children playing outdoors (you might have to wait to seconds while children move out of the way before parking your car) . My mother-in-law is this type of person and I hear the complaints from her neighborhood all the time.

  74. When you move to a townhouse development, you HAVE to know that the open land is there for use by everyone. If you move to a development where children live, you should expect that they are going to play in those common areas. How tragic that these children would be deprived of a normal upbringing because some uptight adults can’t stand the idea of a young person having a childhood.

  75. I like Megan’s idea of the adults playing outdoors, too. When we lived in an apartment several years ago, before we had children, we would take a croquet set out to the common grassy area. Also there were a number of Indian families in the complex, and the men would play pick-up cricket many warm evenings.

  76. And if I have kids I would have the common sense to rent or buy a house with a yard or near a playground instead of renting in a subdivision which is obviously geared toward adult tenants.

    I’m so glad that when YOU have kids you’ll have the money to rent and buy the house in exactly the perfect environment for you and your family.

    If you don’t have the sense to provide an appropriate environment for your kids you don’t have any business having them in the first place.

    Again, I’m so glad that when YOU have kids, your circumstances will only ever improve! You’ll never lose your job and have to take a less-than-ideal place, you’ll never move to a child-friendly place and then watch them make stricter and more restrictive rules, you’ll never find that you have to choose between a substandard house in an excellent school district and a good house in a terrible one.

  77. “Parents expect the whole world to revolve around their kids and you wonder why childless people don’t like you?”

    No, I expect childless people to be tolerant of other human beings and not expect the world to revolve around THEM. Other people, whether they are children or adults, are sometimes bothersome in their mere existence. If you don’t want to be bothered, there are still many wide open spaces in the US to move where there will be nobody to bother you for miles. I suggest you go there. If you CHOOSE to live in a townhouse community where, by definition, people live very close to one another, you have to deal with minor inconveniences of other people.

  78. My ex’s parents moved to a place like this here in Canada. They had rules about what colour you could paint your front door and garage, what type of fencing you could have and size and colour of it. They even had rules about what type of flowers you could have in your front yard. My ex mil wasn’t to pleased when i told her she was crazy for moving from a home where she could do as she wanted to a place that had such stupid rules.

  79. […] New Outrage! Homeowners Assn. Proposes Ban on Kids Playing […]

  80. Here is Move Theory’s response to this issue:

  81. Of course, outside play is essential to children, to their physical, emotional and social well-being. That’s not the issue here.

    Since everything one really needs to know can be learned from musicals, I would here cite “Camelot:” “I know it gives a person pause, but in Camelot (Camelot), those are the legal laws.”

    All kidding aside, kinda, the choice to live in a home governed by an HOA, means acceptance of those rules. If one disagrees with them, then it’s perfectly logical and normal to try to change them through whatever procedures the HOA has for appeal and change.

    But we shouldn’t vilify Persimmon Place too reactively. Skateboards and tag in areas not designed for that can be dangerous. The real concern is that a skinned knee or–Saint’s preserve us–a broken arm are invitations to litigation in this culture right now. Who pays for that? The homeowner or the HOA?

    The net effect is unfortunate for kids, but it is understandable in a larger way. Choices and rules have consequences, and one is best advised to think those through and see if they are livable consistent with your values and what you want for your family.

    And, remember, for all its apparent perfection, Camelot was ultimately too confining for Guinevere.

  82. Chris: Please read my response at the link below. I think we are focusing on the wrong problem. We are a couple of steps too late in the process.

  83. I live in Edgewater, FL (((sigh)))…It’s actually not a bad little town. However- recently, EW was part of another news story that went national, I have to say- 1) There are 2 sides to every story, & 2) DO NOT trust everything the news reports to you!

    I don’t know the details on this one- I couldn’t find any other mention in our local papers, but the TV news media is especially untrustworthy & twists things to make the story more sensational.

    It doesn’t surprize me, though…. HOA’s are horrible & I can’t imagine living under their oppressive rules. There’s probably a lot of older folks who live in this subdivision who don’t like the noise of children interrupting their daytime soaps. Hopefully, the parents in this subdivision will band together & fight this. Maybe they can get a playground build on the property?

  84. “Why do the dates over our posts read April 2 when it’s still April 1? Is that an April Fool’s joke?”

    The dates have always been 12 hours off. I’ve mentioned this before but I guess fixing it isn’t a priority.

  85. I’m no fan of obnoxious children either. I hate it when parents take their child somewhere that’s not child-appropriate (like a hair salon or an R-rated movie) and then do nothing when the child naturally acts up. I hate going shopping and seeing them wreck the store.

    But, kids have a right to exist. They have a right to play outside their own home. If they’re bothering you, why not ask them politely to keep it down? If they’re playing kickball and the ball is landing too close to your windshield for comfort, why not a. move your car or b. ask the kids to move the game?

    This is the problem with society, rather than try to solve these minor inconveniences, or just put up with them, we look for someone else to do it for us. I work at a community newspaper and cover meetings of a local government, and I’m always amazed at the folks that come there to complain about someone not taking their trash cans in on time or having a bunch of junk on their porch. Could have just crossed the street and raised it with the person, could have written them a note, but nope, waited 2 weeks, drove down to village hall and got up during public comments to demand that the Scourge of the Trash can be addressed.

    Last night, I went out to dinner with my boyfriend. There was a family at the table next to us with a boy who looked to be about 6 and a girl in a stroller who was only a few months old. When they got ready to leave, they moved the girl and she started crying a little bit. Rather than get annoyed, I turned to the girl and just started talking to her, asking in a baby voice why she was crying. She shut right up! She was fascinated! It was the coolest thing, and the mom thanked us for being decent about it.

    Seriously, when something’s bugging you, it’s amazing sometimes what doing something other than sighing and rolling your eyes can accomplish.

  86. Let’s be honest here this rule was probably made in a response to older kids causing problems. It’s just too bad that little ones who just want to ride their big wheel or play tag are going to be punished for it. If you haven’t noticed lately the 10-14 set is pretty much out of control anymore. I understand little ones having tantrums, but I can’t understand pre-teens ramming into everyone with their skateboards and laughing about it, running all over stores and making a big mess just for a laugh, making as much noise as possible at every movie, etc. At my apartments we had to get security cameras when there was a rash of tire slashings and it was a bunch of kids that age just doing it for fun. Not to mention every time you try to take your little ones to the playground there are always these older kids there making it miserable for them. You parents here need to listen up and have a clue about what your kids are doing when they are running all over town all day. Your “free range kids” might be criminals in training. Pre-teens and young teens need structure or they get bored and start being royal a**holes for kicks. Get them into sports, music, plays, after school activities, volunteer work, etc. Don’t let them run unsupervised all around the neighborhood it creates a public nuisance and rules like this.

  87. @Library Diva you are so right. I lived next to the pool, when I lived in an apartment. One day I was jolted out of sleep by an awful noise. It sounded like a child, who had cried to the point of exhaustion.

    I threw on some clothes and went to check on my next door neighbor. I knew her husband worked odd hours, and she wasn’t feeling well. Since I NEVER heard her kids through the wall – all I could think is she had gotten dangerously sick and couldn’t get to the child. Her DH was coming out of the apartment. Nothing was wrong. 3 hours later (around 7 am), I figure out the noise is coming from a hose being used to fill the pool. I unkink the hose and go back to sleep (I’m a teacher and was on summer vacation).

    The noise starts up again. The pool was open now, and the kids were playing with the hose. I tell the teenagers about the awful noise in my apartment when they plug it up to spray.

    The kids (11 – HS seniors) policed themselves. They would tell kids that came in and raced to grab the hose about the noise it made in my apartment. The hose is not blocked or kinked up for the rest of the day.

    I did file a complaint about the hose because it was worn and easily kinked. The neighbor above me and above next door neighbor filed complaints about her letting her child cry for hours. Thankfully I was outside when the manager came over to give her a noise violation warning. I told the manager point blank the noise came from the apartments’ faulty hose and that I NEVER heard noise from next door neighbor.

    Another neighbor was constantly giving everyone problems about normal daytime noise around the pool. Until the cop that lived across from me, let him have it and threatened to arrest him for making threats against a child. (As in the guy threatened to punch a 9 yo in the mouth for laughing to loud).

    Honestly The pool was maybe 3 yards from my door and bedroom window. I never had a problem with the kids or adults in the day time. There were a group of women that jumped the fence at night and had loud drunken conversations that woke me up. A couple of other neighbors had come out to complain about the noise and the fact that we were being subjected to an X rated conversation.

    One of the women, said good I enjoy giving your brats a good education. I walked out and said, “So you get satisfaction from having sexually explicit conversations in front of children?

    She said Yes.

    I said great – Glad I got a recording of that (showed a voice recorder I used), you just admitted you are deliberately exposing kids to sexually explicit material for your sexual satisfaction – that is a sex crime. Bye bye job and freedom.

    They ran – not to an apartment but out the perimeter gate to a car parked on the street.

    The cop, who was walking in from the parking lot, couldn’t stop laughing at me. Another neighbor said, “I’m glad I’ve never ticked you off”.

    Upstairs neighbor didn’t see a problem with the women. Continued to complain about any noise he thought might come from kids, and to have a series of knock down drag out fights with his lovers. He didn’t like that I called the cops everytime they started up. Strange someone screaming I’m getting my gun wasn’t a good reason to call the cops, according to the landlord.

  88. Really the problem is people buying in HOA controlled areas. People buy HOA controlled homes because they want to control what other people do. Then they act surprised when others try to use the HOA to control them. People who buy HOA controlled homes deserve whatever blowback they get. It’s not like people don’t already know what these organizations are about and the sort of people that are enamored of them.

  89. Scott – sorry but that’s another example of a narrow view. SOME people buy in HOA areas for that reason, and more so in SOME developments. Many buy in HOA areas because it’s close to work, near a lake, close to parks, the house they can afford that’s on the market, etc.

    Narrow condemnations like this don’t bring us any closer to understanding or fixing the problem.

    And not all HOA’s are the same

  90. I thought Burgermeister Meister Burger DIED.


  91. Which, of course, should have been WHOA.

  92. Actually, it sounds like the people who bought there decided that they didn’t want to live there (perhaps because of all the rules) and decided that maybe they couldn’t sell for what they wanted and thought that renting would be the way to go. The person in the article seemed to think that it was all renters that were the issue.

    Perhaps they need to make rules that they can’t rent. Oh, wait, that may drive down the value of their own homes.

    Having been on a limited income while pursuing education, I understand why families may rent in a place that is less than family welcoming.

    And perhaps the attitude that the owners are seeing in the renters is because of the attitude of the owners seeing the renters as second class people, instead of as people in their town who could help look out for each other. Nah, it is easier to blame and try to drive people away instead of getting to know them.

  93. “Narrow condemnations like this don’t bring us any closer to understanding or fixing the problem.”

    Yes they do. What I said is the truth and it is the solution to the problem. If you don’t want to give a bunch of busybodies with sticks up their rear ends to get together and vote to ban children from playing, don’t sign any contracts giving such a group power over your life. That’s it. That’s the solution. On the other hand, when you sign a contract agreeing to live in one of these hell holes, you have no right to complain when they use their power to control you. None. You signed the contract. You are an adult. Accept responsibility for your actions and your binding legal agreements.

  94. (Lacey) It’s commendable that you don’t let your dog run loose, really it is, but kids aren’t dogs. Their nature & disposition is different, and they’re far more important.

    Android 2.2

  95. Well, Scott, some people don’t really have much choice. They live in areas where the whole place is sewn up with HOAs or whatever isn’t is unacceptable – too expensive, too much crime, 5 hours from work.

  96. Ridiculous! What is the world coming to when a kid can’t play outside.

  97. I don’t know how I feel about this one. I can see BOTH sides. Sounds like the one mother in the article has a bad attitude. When her daughter was dangerously playing on a power thing, the neighbor tried to tell her mother for her safety and the mother smarted off to the neighbor. I also see the point of the other neighbors that why did they move into a community with no yards or communal playspace if they knew they were going to have kids?

    If you have kids you should consider stuff like play space for your kids when picking out a residence. Yes, the kids should be allowed to play outside safely. But they do need to stay off other’s property if unwelcome there. Playing in the parking area, well if there is little traffic and the kids are old enough to watch out and move for cars, then it is probably okay. But you never know, some kids won’t move for cars or will scratch cars and stuff if play rough near cars. So I can see both sides of this.

    Mostly I don’t think they should outlaw kids playing outside but they might say the kids have to play on their own property or designate certain areas for their play. People without kids have rights too and if they don’t want kids on their property or scratching their cars…well I can see their point. The main fault is with the parents who moved to a community like this not taking into consideration where there children would be able to play.

  98. I wanted to add this is the VERY reason why I did not buy a house in a HOA neighborhood. We knew that was a no go for us. I don’t like anyone telling me what I can do with my property that I paid for. I don’t mind what my neighbors do as long as they keep it on their property. I have a large front yard and no backyard so my kids play outside all the time in the front yard. They are only 3 so I go out there with them, We leave toys on the yard while we are out there. We make noise. But we do respect other’s property. We don’t go on lawns where we are not welcome. If we go walking in the street, we move promptly for cars and wave to the drivers. I will make sure when they are old enough to play alone they continue this behavior.

    Unfortunately many parents don’t make sure their kids follow those simple rules to play respectfully and not bother neighbors. I was at an apartment complex visiting my friend and the kids just ran wild around there with no supervision. They had a little playground to play on but they instead did stuff like go up in the woods, find bottles and throw them at cars breaking glass everywhere. Yep. THIS type of stuff is why people get up in arms about unsupervised kids. I see their point.

  99. Well, Scott, some people don’t really have much choice. They live in areas where the whole place is sewn up with HOAs or whatever isn’t is unacceptable – too expensive, too much crime, 5 hours from work.

    Whoa… so, the HOA’s claim that they do it for safety is completely bogus and fraud (as I suspected all along!) — they are simply situated in areas, where there was less crime to begin with! Not as a result of their bizarre hateful policies. Makes me so angry.

  100. Since the article refers to the parents as renters, I suspect what has happened is that the community was originally built and marketed to Seniors and ‘professionals’ (that is, singles and couples so engrossed in their careers they don’t have children andmay never, DINK’s were a big big market 15 & 20 years ago).

    Original owners have moved to nursing homes and beyond, or in the DINKs case to gated, ‘family’ HOA communities with playgrounds and good schools. They or their heirs have become part time landlords and in the current market families with kids are their customers.

    The owners may or may not be violating HOA rules by renting/renting to families who can’t afford better options. Not outright poor, just not in a position to buy/rent in a neighborhood with suitable amenities.

    I live in one of those The OC communities referenced above. The difference between us and Florida is that FL very much catered to the retorted market, more money in their pockets and less need to include schools, parks, and playgrounds in new communities. Ours most often tend to be family oriented. You can’t have a permanent b-ball hoop, but there are multiple parks, playgrounds, pools, green spaces and trails and sidewalks. Iin some neighborhoods the elementary school is integrated with the parks and trails.

    HOAs can be a problem, but think the basic problem was lack of regulation of the design of the community in the first place. I think it’s very wrong not to have to plan for changes. Even retirees and DINKs could have enjoyed a few protected courtyards and lawns which, now that normal changes have occurred, could now be played in by kids.

  101. Why would renters with kids move in here?

    Well, lets take the example of my friend. She has a disabled son with autism. She gets help from Housing Authority for her rent. Her oldest son just moved out, so they had to downsize to a smaller place.

    She had two choices. (Literally, because of foreclosures, there are very few places available, and fewer that accept her program.) She could move in a condo with a yard, patio and the rent was cheap. Kid friendly. But, it is in a town where kids with dark hair are expected to be in gangs, and if they don’t give the right sign when approached, they get shot. He son would not even begin to understand what the person approaching her wanted.

    Or, she could live in a condo in a good section of the county, have no yard, no patio, little place to play, and pay more, but no one is going to approach her son asking for gang signs. She had to put up with a bunch of stuff from the owners that would never have been asked of a person who was not getting help for the rent. She expects that the women who own the place will make her time there miserable, as they have already made unreasonable demands. But, she now has a year before she has to find some other place. Her son will be safe, that is what matters.

    I suspect that many of the people renting in the above situation are facing similar types of issues – wanting good schools, lack of other places that allow kids, and in general no rentals because everyone who was foreclosed on is now renting. So, if the choice is….live in the car, or rent with a place with no playground, which would you choose? Even if they are living in the car, the kids still need to play.

  102. Cheryl: That is unfortunate what you explained and I can understand that. Again however, that is their problem, not everyone else’s. If they cannot afford a house with a yard to play in, then unfortunately some things are going to have to be given up and that may be unsupervised outside play time in your neighborhood. That does not mean the child cannot get outside play time. It means either the mother has to supervise to make sure the child does not bother any neighbors and stay out of people’s way or off their lawns. Another option is the mother is going to have to pack up more often and take a trip to the nearest playground. Heck I have a big yard and I still pack my kids up to go to the playground regularly because playgrounds are fun and there are more kids there.

    The point is there are other alternatives than just Oh wells they are going to have to play in the street and parking lot and bother everyone else. That is not an okay option and something else needs to be worked out. Maybe she can go play at a friend’s house in their big yard? There are other options besides piss off your neighbors.

    Kids have a right to play outside. In their own yard. Not in parking lots. Not in other people’s yards if they don’t want you to. Not in the street.

  103. Our condo association has done the same thing. There seemed to be about gazillion kids playing out front the day we first saw the house, and again when we moved in. It’s part of the reason we bought this house. There are about 100 houses in the neighborhood,. It’s a little crescent, with half the houses on the outside and half on the inside. We have a “park” space at the back of our house, which is encircled by grass and then the backyards of about half the houses.

    The park was another huge draw when we bought the house, and it made the condo fees a little more tolerable. When we moved here 7 years ago, when our son was 1 year old, there was a huge sandbox with swings, a big climbing structure, a club house and a big ‘ol wooden park, with a zip line! We thought “What could be better?!”

    A couple of years ago the rules changed. The powers that be declared that the “park” is the only place on condo corp. property that our kids are allowed to play outside, except the basketball halfcourt – which is to be used for BASKETBALL ONLY!!

    Now that spring is threatening to pull the kids outside, they just sent around a reminder of the rules. “There should be no kids playing in front of the houses. That is what the park is for. Absolutely no street hockey, golf, baseball, Frisbee, bike riding, skateboarding or rollerblading. These activities should be done in the back.” (Yup, that’s right – the kids should ride their bikes in the sand and grass only.) “Defacing the driveways and sidewalks is not allowed so there should also be no chalk drawings, hopscotch or any other games played there.”

    I’d be a little more supportive if:

    a) people realized that chalk dissolves in water.
    b) the kids could play hockey on the paved basketball court.
    c) if there was still a “park” in the back.

    A couple of years ago, in their infinite wisdom, they tore the park down because it wasn’t safe. “Someone could fall! Someone got a splinter! Someone got their finger pinched! There are ants, spiders and bees there!” And my personal favourite – “Teenagers hang out there at night!”

    Now the teenagers have to sneak off to have their fun, and the little kids here have 3 swings, one of those plastic climbing structure things and an old wooden balance beam, which is on the list to be removed next.. Basically it’s a big sandbox now and they’re even talking about removing that because of cat feces, broken glass, and other assorted garbage that we can’t see but is so bad that it apparently threatens our kids health.

    Thankfully, our side of the complex is on a city street and the 10 families that live on “the dark side” snub our noses at the rules and they can’t do a thing because it’s city property and, so far at least, the city has some sense. So, we have all the kids in the neighborhood here just about every day for a good ‘ol game of street hockey.

  104. I am Kristens’ Mom and I think she should become a politician and make lots of money so she can keep me in the lifestyle that I dream that I deserve…lol… Hi my baby…this is &(^*&* assanine and you and I both know it but everyone makes choices in their lives…we chose farm life and simple urban and others choose different lifestyles….all come at a cost but I’d choose ours anytime!!!!

  105. Dolly, actually, my friend does monitor her son when he is outside because he does not understand social cues and tends to misinterpret things that kids say to him. He, however, does not have the same issue with adults, and when adults talk down to him, he tends to throw it back in their face because he wants to be treated with respect too. (It is strange the number of adults who feel they should be treated with respect, but kids should not. I happen to side with the kid in this case, EVERYONE should be treated with respect.)

    Which is indeed what is at the heart of this matter. Certainly, property needs to be treated with respect. It annoyed me so much to go to the park on Saturdays and seeing kids pulling branches off of trees while parents looked on, that I stopped going on the weekends. The PARENTS should be teaching their kids to treat things with respect, and should be responsible when play results in damage.

    But you can’t do this by banning all play. And yes, you can’t do this by parents looking the other way. Kids need to know that parents may be looking out the window and may call them on their actions at any time. Neighbors need to know that they can talk to the parents of kids – both to tell the parents how well the kids are behaving, as well as to keep an extra eye on things.

    It sounds like in this collection of houses, that there is no sense of community. It sounds like people only talk to each other to complain, which is probably why the mom did nothing (besides the fact that the kid was probably in no actual danger unless she fell.) Really, they need a few block parties, some team building games, an ice cream social or three, something to bring everyone together for something good rather than bringing them together to vote on things that actually divide them more.

    Dolly, do you know your neighbors and their kids? Do you do social stuff with them from time to time? Perhaps getting to know all these kids apparently hanging out on your lawn could be beneficial – those kids usually are willing to help out with weeding, shoveling snow, washing the car, things like that. And, perhaps if you keep them entertained a bit, and give the working mom a break for a bit, she will be more social and open to what you have to say too. (Yes, I am reading stuff into what you are saying, but you did the same with what I said.)

  106. This was on our local news. The HOA members in the above article who voted against children being children, are in violation of every childs’ civil and constitutional right. Really, you are going to make it a violation for a child to go outside and ride a bike or catch a football? Here’s a note to those HOA members who are intolerant of our youth. I’ll have to remember that when I am voting for euthanasia. You’re nothing but a bunch of old bitchy, useless people. You fill our landfills with your elderly diapers and bed pans.You raise our auto insurance rates because you are completely oblivious to your surroundings and are incapable of driving safely. You are over burdening our health care system because you drink, smoke and have unhealthy food habits. So if there’s every a demographic our society should become intolerant of should be your old sorry a$$.

  107. Cheryl: Yes, I know my neighbors. The neighbors on one side are our best friends for like 10 years. When the previous neighbors whom we were friendly with and our kids played together were putting the house up for rent I got our best friends into renting it. The other side we are friendly with but they are not home much and we don’t have much in common. So I see them very occasionally but when I do its pleasant and our kids also sometimes play together.

    I also am friendly with other neighbors on the street. My kids and I are outside regularly and everyone in that neighborhood knows us and waves to us and comments on how cute my boys are. I make a point to be outside with them monitoring their behavior for their safety and for the good of the neighborhood. They are only 3.

    We don’t go in yards where we don’t know the neighbors or are not welcome. We clean up the outside toys before we go in. We walk in the street but we move promptly when cars come. All of that means we don’t bother anyone and have never had any complaints about the kids outside playing.

    I think things would be different if I let them trepass on other’s property willy nilly and had toys all out in the street or didn’t move when cars came. etc. We don’t have sidewalks so if we want to go walking we have to do it in the street but its not too busy and we move when cars come.

    That is the difference. I monitor my kids. Even when I might let them go outside alone I will be monitoring them for good behavior regularly. If they behave badly outside alone time will be revoked. Not everyone loves kids. Not everyone thinks kids playing in their yard is cute. I understand that so I try to be respectful of that. In turn I expect them to respect us by keeping their pets out of our yard for example. Its give and take.

    There is really no problem in our neighborhood. Probably because we all have yards. If we didn’t have a yard I would have to take my kids to the playground every time they wanted to play outside and I would do that. I can’t make some one else’s yard our play area or the street or the parking lot. That is not right.

  108. As we all narrow our horizons we become less and less tolerant of what doesn’t apply to us. People without kids (or whose kids have grown up) become less tolerant of kids, for instance.

    Sick, sad, impoverished world.

  109. Persimmon place, um? Their kids will soon resemble persimmons…..round and round and round.
    Hope the residents can all afford stationary treadmill exercise machines –
    But seriously, if a community group is that uptight about kids out in the social sphere, why allow them into the housing in the first place? Why not ban them?

    (Or are they all secretly seething because by-laws won’t allow that?)

    It strikes me as a really strange policy….smacking of civil rights abuse – or something akin to house arrest: YOUR CRIME: being a kid.

    – and what’s with the use of that word, “minor”????

    Isn’t a minor someone under the age of consent?
    So…..could be 15…….or could be 17………………

  110. Isn’t a minor someone under the age of consent?

    “Minor” is generally held to be somebody under the age of majority. So, in the US, that’s somebody under the age of 18, although in certain contexts minors may not be treated as juveniles by the law. For example, the age of consent is often slightly younger than the age of majority.

  111. People who are on HOA’s really have nothing else to do. I am experiencing the same problem. For the past 7 years I have used the neighborhood park for my children and the daycare children. The HOA hired their attorney to prevent me from letting my daycare kids play at the park. Their reasoning was liability so I proved to them and the attorney that I had full coverage insurance if something were to happen to one of my children at the park. Now they are still refusing for me to have access to the park?

  112. I guess no one in that housing association has ever been a “minor” or “child.”

  113. […] Thanks to Free Range Kids for pointing this out. Tweet This Post Stumble This Post blog comments powered by Disqus /* […]

  114. I have mixed feelings on this… We have an HOA and there are quite a few silly rules, but we knew that when we moved in. If you move into a neighborhood with one you know what you’re agreeing to and the penalties for not abiding. From Lenore’s representation of it, they are not banning all outdoor play, just unsupervised play and some equipment (skateboards, big wheels). Living in tight quarters (which is typical with a HOA) you have to be respectful of your neighbors and common property and a lot of people aren’t. Our neighborhood just put in a lovely gazebo for everyone to enjoy in November, before spring arrived some children in the neighborhood had taken baseball bats to it. Their parents have not effectively taught them to respect other people’s property. So now we all get to pay for repairs.
    If I had my own lawn I wouldn’t pick up after my dog everyday, but I have to respect my neighbors and follow the rules I agreed to when I moved in.

  115. What a ridiculous rule! We have an HOA where we live and I’d be quite upset if they tried something like this. Granted there are occasionally (very occasionally) kids that could use some supervision in our neighborhood, but not enough to warrant something like that. I let my 3 year old play out front by himself and he already is learning his boundaries. Since he’s only 3. I do make sure I can either see or hear him often, but I don’t hover over him.

  116. Wow, that would really make me want to buy a house there…not!

  117. “If you move into a neighborhood with one you know what you’re agreeing to and the penalties for not abiding”

    The problem here (as so often with HOAs) is that they change the rules as they go along. So people buy a property when the HOA rules are decent, then some new people enter the HOA (usually because they’re the only ones who want the job) and add a lot of nasty stuff you’re now bound to because you’re always bound to the current rules, not the rules as they were when you purchased.
    And since such nasty rules can seriously decrease property value (as noone wants to buy into the HOA any longer) you’re stuck with them unless you sell at a serious loss.

    ” Our neighborhood just put in a lovely gazebo for everyone to enjoy in November, before spring arrived some children in the neighborhood had taken baseball bats to it”

    Which has nothing to do with HOAs whatsoever. That happens whether you have them or not. Group of teens from the next suburb roam through the one I live in, kicking down fences and denting cars. It’s a police problem but the police does nothing, claiming lack of manpower and “it’s only kids”.
    I don’t have a HOA, wouldn’t buy if there were one (in fact passed up some otherwise nice properties specifically because they had one), but it wouldn’t matter one way or another as it’s outside their power and responsibility.
    All a HOA could do is fine me for having a dent in my car roof or having a crooked fence after it was destroyed by those kids, which is exactly the way many HOAs work.

  118. And people wonder why the child obesity rate is skyrocketing? Hello people. Let your kids be kids and play

  119. I don’t think this is about safety at all, but about adults who don’t want to be bothered with the noise and normal “chaos” that children bring to a community. I can understand people wanting to move to adult only communities, so if they don’t want to be bothered with children, why allow them at all?

  120. They allow children in those communities because they have to by law. We used to have adult only communities but they were deemed to be discriminatory. There were too many adult only complexes and not enough family friendly. If we still had these complexes then problems like noisy children playing in the street wouldn’t be as big of an issue. Don’t I also have a right to live in a peaceful neighborhood?

  121. Are you nuts? Kids shouldn’t be playing in heavily used parking lots. I complained to my hoa that there were children outside constantly running around near cars. They didn’t do anything about it and not even 3 weeks later a 3 yr old was hit and killed. Now the driver and hoa are being sued because the parents didn’t monitor/care about their kid’s safety. So yeah, keep preaching kids should be playing in parking lots, this world is overpopulated anyhow…

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