I actually wrote this post a while ago, but since I am feeling like ranting today, here it goes:
Here are some of the signs my POA dues recently paid to have installed. (there are probably at least half a dozen more at various points around the park) Seriously, could these be any more tacky, rude, and uninviting? Long story short, our subdivision was built in several phases, and in our phase there happens to be a small park surrounding a detention pond (Which happens to be the only park at all in our part of town). Our POA dues are supposed to pay for things like, say, mowing the grass around the park, landscaping, and installing new playground equipment, etc… “Great”, we thought when we first moved in, “what a nice little place for a picnic, or to bring our nephews for the afternoon.” Not the case. The first time we decided to visit the park, we kept getting the uneasy feeling we were being watched. Sure enough, an old man (who we later dubbed the “Park Nazi” for his elitist views on park use) came over and started harassing us for not having a “membership card.” (which, although we paid our POA dues, we never received) Never mind that we DO happen to own a house in the correct phase of the subdivision, he basically called us liars when we told him so. Needless to say, we did not return to the park for a long time. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. We were walking around the neighborhood and came around from another street towards the park. Apparently it appeared that we -gasp!- were trying to access the park from one of the excluded phases. Once again we were harassed and called liars, this time by a cohort of the Park Nazi (who we have witnessed on several occasions running others off from the park for no apparent reason, including families). We don’t have a crime problem in the area, or a vandalism problem. The people being run off are not hoodlums or the like, they are families just trying to enjoy the afternoon together. They are our NEIGHBORS! Some of them actually have adjoining properties to the park, and yet are excluded from using it. WHO CARES if my dues are the ones paying to maintain the park? What would be wrong with a park that benefits the ENTIRE community? What would be wrong with a sign that instead reads, “Welcome neighbors. This park is maintained by the Hidden Lake POA for the community to enjoy. Please help us keep the park nice by observing park rules (no littering, park closes at dark etc…)? Enjoy your visit!” What would be wrong with letting people be as long as they aren’t causing any harm? Maybe I should start a petition. Sigh. Anyways, this one of the few things that has had us recently thinking of a move (although probably not feasible until post-adoption). Here are some of the pros and cons of subdivision life we have come up with so far:
- Park Nazis.
- Silly covenants. For example, what exactly is wrong with trying to do my part for the environment by installing a clothesline? Well, apparently property values would plummet and our whole community would go into utter ruin if I did such a thing- it is strictly prohibited by the subdivision covenants. (don’t tell but I did it anyways=) And, as hard as it may be to believe, some people don’t find Stephen’s occasional rusted out “project” cars quite as charming as the rest of us do=). And oh yes, although I can sort of understand the reasoning here, they won’t allow me to have a goat either. And I have always wanted a goat=)
- Crowded! Lots of houses packed as densely as possible=more money for already wealthy builders
- No mature trees. We actually sometimes drive across town and park our car at the library just to go for a walk in a neighborhood that has tree lined streets.
- Although I mostly grew up on military bases, I am a country girl at heart. And, well, here I barely even have room for a couple of tomato plants and an herb garden.
- Can’t let the kitties out because of traffic
- This last one doesn’t really have anything to do with subdivision life per se, but Arkansas is no Wyoming=)
- We are fortunate to have really awesome neighbors our street (who are with us on the park issue!)
- We are within walking distance from a school, a grocery store, a post office, and very close to a number of other handy places. (and we finally got a sidewalk and a crosswalk! yay!)
- Stephen can ride his bike to work. (Since Stephen’s job change his commute has doubled to a whopping 2 miles! It is, unfortunately, down a busy, not-so-bicycle-friendly road now. He can still ride to work in a pinch though!)
- We are just a short bike ride away from a really nice, albeit in the middle of town, 6 mile mountain bike trail around Lake Fayetteville. Perfect for Saturday morning rides without having to set up the bike rack! We are also very close to the Jones Center and the library, which will be a great places to take Miles someday.
- Hey, it’s better than renting
To move or not to move, that is the question.
Since I originally wrote this post, Stephen and I are a lot closer to actually deciding to move. I have to say that the real catalyst here is the goat issue. I mean, I really, really want a goat=)