Columbia County subdivision resident sued over playhouse

  • Follow Crime & courts

 Becky Rogers-Peck built her 4-year-old granddaughter a pink playhouse for Christmas, complete with play kitchen, window boxes and a wreath on the door.

Becky Rogers-Peck is being sued because the pink playhouse she built for her granddaughter Aubree Rogers, 4, doesn't meet neighborhood covenants.   JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
Becky Rogers-Peck is being sued because the pink playhouse she built for her granddaughter Aubree Rogers, 4, doesn't meet neighborhood covenants.


Now the Millshaven Property Owners Association, which enforces covenants in the Evans subdivision, has filed a lawsuit against Rogers-Peck because she wouldn’t repaint it.

She didn’t get permission from the association’s Architectural Control Committee before she built what the board of directors considers an out-building. The color is not “keeping in tradition with the neighborhood,” said attorney Wright McLeod, who represents the association.

Board members contacted Rogers-Peck in the spring and said other Millhaven residents complained about the playhouse. She found out it was two or three complaints. She applied for architectural approval, but the color was denied.

“I told them I was not going to repaint it,” said Rogers-Peck, who resigned from her position on the board when the playhouse issue was brought up at a monthly meeting. “It was foolish. It was not an out-building. It was a piece of play equipment.”

The playhouse is only slightly visible from the road, but is clearly visible to her immediate neighbors and a few homes across the pond behind her house.

McLeod said Rogers-Peck is bound by the covenant because she bought a home in the subdivision.

The board tried to get her to conform to the neighborhood covenant by repainting the playhouse a color more appropriate to the home. The architectural committee agreed to approve the playhouse construction retroactively if the structure is repainted.

“They never said, ‘If you paint it, we won’t sue you,’ ” Rogers-Peck said “They said, ‘If you don’t, we’re going to sue you.’ ... It was the principle of it. Why do they have the right to tell me what to do on the property that I pay for?”

The lawsuit filed Aug. 2 contends that Rogers-Peck “has acted in bad faith, has been stubbornly litigious, and has caused (the association) unnecessary trouble and expense.”

The association must enforce the covenant regulations, McLeod said. When Rogers-Peck refused to correct the violation, he said, the board had no recourse except to sue.

“She’s (given) the association no option,” McLeod said. “She’s left us no choice other than going through Superior Court or ignore the violation. ... We just need her to repaint.”

Rogers-Peck said her granddaughter loves pink, though, and doesn’t want her playhouse repainted.

Rogers-Peck has 30 days to file a response after being served with the suit Sept. 5. She already has checked with several attorneys, most of whom said she won’t win.

“It’s really disheartening,” Rogers-Peck said. “I feel like I live in Russia ... where I can’t do anything on my own property without (the association’s) permission.”

The expense of an attorney is a barrier to fighting the suit, she said.

“Once it became an issue,” she said, “I thought I’d stand up for myself and my rights. I had no idea a (homeowners association) had so much control in a neighborhood based on who was on the board of directors.”

Comments (45) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 09/15/12 - 02:56 pm
0
0
In a year this cute little
Unpublished

In a year this cute little playhouse could be falling down and junk. Some people don't want to live next to someone that has visible junk next to them. If they were to allow this, the neighbor on the other side may want to build a bigger one, paint it florescent blue or green and say that they can do it because they allowed this one. Covenants are designed to let the entire neighborhood have a say so on what ALL the properties look like. You are NOT forced to live there... you agree to THEIR terms when you move in.. and a former board member should know better. I no longer live in a neighborhood with covenants because they're too restrictive for me (and hate paying association dues!) but I realize they are a comfort to some people. She could paint the outside to match the house and paint the inside pink

Little Lamb
48019
Points
Little Lamb 09/15/12 - 03:25 pm
2
1
Welcome Back

Thank you for your comment, Radwaste. It's good to hear from you again. A little girl's playhouse at the center of a lawsuit. Shame on Wright McLeod.

Little Lamb
48019
Points
Little Lamb 09/15/12 - 03:29 pm
1
2
Good of the Neighborhood

JMO posted:

The rules of the convenant are for the overall good of the entire neighborhood.

That little girl's playhouse does more good for the neighborhood than McLeod's lawsuit does.

KSL
140497
Points
KSL 09/15/12 - 04:19 pm
4
2
Pink with a purple door.

Pink with a purple door. Yuck!

KSL
140497
Points
KSL 09/15/12 - 04:34 pm
1
2
The real point is that if an

The real point is that if an exception is made, it opens a can of worms. Somone could put in something that even the posters who are not bothered by a pink playhouse might well be bothered by.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 09/15/12 - 04:41 pm
1
1
Not Wright's fault "Granny" is a bitter apple..

Attorney McLeod is not the plaintiff, here.

Granny is the bad girl; not Wright. She is modelling the bad behaviour for her little one to copy which shall ultimately come home to roost.

CobaltGeorge
170656
Points
CobaltGeorge 09/15/12 - 04:53 pm
2
2
LL

This is the very first time that I have given you a downer. I agree with most of the comments on this issue.
Drive through subdivisions that don't have HOA rules. Cars on blocks, old sofa's, used refrigerator, tires, and many other trash items that the owner are too lazy to dispose of.
I don't know where you live, but what I know of you on here, I doubt very much that don't have that atmosphere when you step out the front door.
I'm not saying that the Grandmother wasn't doing a nice thing for her Granddaughter but lets use some common sense on this one.
She Is Wrong......

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 09/15/12 - 04:57 pm
1
1
Hey, ksl...we've found
Unpublished

Hey, ksl...we've found something we can agree on...color combinations. Wanna go shopping sometime??!

KSL
140497
Points
KSL 09/15/12 - 05:26 pm
2
1
Sure!

Sure!

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 09/15/12 - 05:56 pm
0
0
Can I go, too?

Can I go, too?

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 09/15/12 - 06:17 pm
2
0
You bet, willow. And you can
Unpublished

You bet, willow. And you can have anything you want

mycomments
339
Points
mycomments 09/15/12 - 06:41 pm
3
2
1. Not an outbuilding 2. No

1. Not an outbuilding
2. No pre-approved colors in the covenants
3. Only covenant broken was not getting permission to build first.
4. How about those plastic pre-made kid's playhouses you can buy at Toys-R-Us? Should they be approved before purchasing? Swing sets? Where do you draw the line?
5. It's said if she painted it more the color of her home, she can keep it. So, what "covenant color" did she break? Ther are no approved colors listed.
6. Every attorney knows that it's a losing battle to take a covenants battle in to the court-for both sides. Judges have more important things to do than intervene in a petty neighbor disagreement. It's a waste of the court's time. She can't fund or find an attorney because they know this and don't want to be a party to aggravating a judge they will have to appear in front of on many other more important cases.
7. Covenants in the State of Georgia aren't worth the paper they're written on. McLeod handles many neighborhood associations. It is hoped the written letter from the attorney will prompt the homeowner to comply. And it probably does more times than not.
8. Stand your ground Becky. What are they going to do, come paint it for you? Tear it down? In the State of Georgia that's called trespassing, covenants or not. State law trumps local neighborhood covenants every day.
9. Mr Hodges, you are an angry little man and the epitome of the neighborhood association board member who wants every neighbor to conform to his way of living. Who made you or your Board the one who gets to decide what is a proper color? I hope Becky will see fit to go ahead and paint her home the same color as the playhouse so they will match. Then maybe you can move.

CobaltGeorge
170656
Points
CobaltGeorge 09/15/12 - 07:06 pm
2
3
mycomments

Good feeling comment, BUT, I think you are missing the point of this petty issue.

KSL
140497
Points
KSL 09/15/12 - 08:43 pm
1
2
It looks like an outbuilding

It looks like an outbuilding to me. My playhouse had windows and looked like a tiny house.

Tullie
2930
Points
Tullie 09/16/12 - 06:33 am
0
0
So..

Why is this in the newspaper? This is news? I don't care, who really cares about this other than the people that live in that neighborhood? This will probably go viral..

RogueKnight
221
Points
RogueKnight 09/16/12 - 05:05 pm
1
0
I think

the homeowners association needs to take a laxative.

KSL
140497
Points
KSL 09/16/12 - 07:21 pm
1
1
Put up an approved privacy

Put up an approved privacy fence. When the grandchild outgrows her playhouse, her grandma will have her outbuiding. If no one can see it, no harm no fowl.

Purposely miselled because I recently found out that Aiken County has tighter rules on me in my subdivision than the City and that is a first in 40 years.

KSL
140497
Points
KSL 09/16/12 - 07:28 pm
1
1
Would that be the little pink

Would that be the little pink pill so often advertised on TV years ago?

Trivia question. Who was the Advertiser? Prize to be announced depending on who answers the question.

Back to Top

Top headlines

UGA plans James Brown tribute

ATHENS, Ga. -- The University of Georgia Redcoat Band is scheduled to pay tribute to James Brown at halftime of Saturday's UGA-Georgia Tech football game in Sanford Stadium.
Search Augusta jobs