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Woman wins fight over pink playhouse

Homeowner association drops lawsuit

Monday, Oct. 15, 2012 5:39 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012 12:26 AM
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 Becky Rogers-Peck got to tell her 4-year-old granddaughter Monday that her playhouse will stay pink.

“I’m so excited,” Rogers-Peck said. “We just found out this morning.”

The playhouse was at the center of a lawsuit filed against the Evans woman by the Millshaven Property Owners Association, which dropped the suit Thursday.

“The (association’s) board directed us to dismiss the law­suit,” attorney August Mur­dock said, adding that he could not discuss the details. “As far as I know, no action was taken.”

The board said the color was against covenants in the Evans subdivision. The lawsuit, filed Aug. 2, claimed that Rogers-Peck didn’t get permission from the association’s architectural control committee before she built what the board considers an outbuilding. She considered it a piece of play equipment, built for granddaughter Aubree for Christmas.

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

The board said neighbors complained about the color and tried to get Rogers-Peck 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 it were repainted.

Attorney David Dekle, representing Rogers-Peck, said he filed an answer stating that Rogers-Peck was being treated unfairly, the board was being arbitrary about enforcing the covenants, and the rules were vague and ambiguous.

“A week later, we get the dismissal without prejudice out of the blue,” Dekle said.

Rogers-Peck said she believes a new board, seated in a recent election, chose not to pursue the suit.

“I’m pretty excited,” Rogers-Peck said. “It was a good victory.”

She said she believes that a homeowners association shouldn’t be allowed to dictate something as inconsequential as the color of a playhouse.

“I get tired of the little man having to do what the rest of the world thinks is right,” Rogers-Peck said. “Something as harmless as a pink playhouse – come on.”

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resident 10/16/12 - 10:17 am
Here is a question

What if they purchased a playhouse factory made that you can buy at Toys R Us and they can be pink, I have seen them before. Would that be an outbuilding??? The material it is made of is basically immaterial. What I see is plain bullying by an association. HAd those peole done the same thing for their grandchildren they would probably have expected the same consideration. It is not in the fron yard. I think sometimes people get a bit carried away with stuff they consider bad taste or tacky. Ther is nothing wrong with having diversity. This does not impact the price of a house!!!!! People pay what they want to pay...Snooty stuck up people well if this is what you desire then go live in the control freak neighborhood I bet my house would still be worth what it is today but I would not have to deal with you. See thhis is the point that I make. Associations just go too far it is a dumb power trip thinking they candictate every single home item. Character and uniqueness help seel most houses. If you want dull all the same then move into government houses they are just that. Flip side is there have to be some guidlines because some are extremely lazy and do not take care of things or will make a big mess (still could be subjective) in the yard. Set a standard yes but lets be reasoable. People do like to tinker, people do like to save money, people do like DIY stuff so get over it just because you do not like the same thing does not make it hurt your home valuse!!!!!!!!!!!

InChristLove 10/16/12 - 10:54 am
Simple solution

Simple solution resident....if you think the association is a bully and snooty stuck up people live in the neighborhood and you don't want to live in a control freak neighborhood.....Don't buy a house that has an HOA covenant.

So are you saying it isn't okay to place guidelines on what you can place in your yard because after all, character and uniqueness sells, but it's okay for you to place guidelines on how I maintain my yard, whether my grass is cut to guidelines, whether I can have pink plastic flamingos in my front yard, or whether I can place my grandkids swingset in the middle of my front yard.....because it makes a big mess.

"Set a standard yes but lets be reasoable", so long as it goes in my favor, right?

gman3302 10/16/12 - 12:15 pm
Agreed a win for the homeowner. $$$ issue.

Now that a step to being better neighbors has been made with new leadership and money may be the reasoning. How about a compromise on the color scheme? Leave the front pink but make the other sides that face the neighbors a more blended look. Your granddaughter has her pink appearing playhouse and you step toward your newly accepting neighbors. You have a win-win.

burninater 10/16/12 - 01:40 pm
Don't buy a house that has an

Don't buy a house that has an HOA covenant.
Amen. A collection of people obsessed with the color of a child's playhouse is just plain freakish.

jasper1 10/16/12 - 02:09 pm
Good grief!

Good grief is right. Why don't they go around and complain about homes that have nasty sofas on their front porches, broken down vehicles, and uncut lawns and crap all over their yard. If they get bent out of shape over a little playhouse, they would have a field day in my neighborhood!

InChristLove 10/16/12 - 03:02 pm
"Why don't they go around and

"Why don't they go around and complain about homes that have nasty sofas on their front porches, broken down vehicles, and uncut lawns and crap all over their yard"

That's the's not in THEIR neighborhood. It may seem like they are obsessed with the color of a child's playhouse and to most it seems like a big joke, but the fact is, they have guidelines in the form of a home owner's covenant that stipulates certain things and if you don't agree with it, don't buy in that neighbor or if you disagree with the guidelines, work to change them. Purposely ignoring the rules and then crying about it later when someone complains you've broken the rules, seems childish

mooseye 10/16/12 - 09:48 pm

well, I am, by nature, a non-conformist. I can see the HOA's point, but the difference is, it is not an outbuilding. It is a playhouse.
Having made that point, what I would do is go find the biggest, loudest colored store bought playhouse in existence and put one on every corner of the property. Oh, and not paint my mailbox either.

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