How to make enemies and alienate your neighbors...

May 15, 2014

Well, I'm sure I've just made an enemy. I'm on the ACC for the subdivision where I'm building. This subdivision is small, only two streets and about 40 lots. There has been very little building over the past several years, maybe one house per year. Half the lots are still open.

My lot has four or five open lots to the left, and two open lots to the right. The two on the right have just been purchased. The second lot over, the owner is building the ugliest house I've ever seen. However, it's not in *violation* of the bylaws, so the design has been approved. :(

The lot RIGHT next to me, the owner hasn't submitted a house plan yet, but did submit plans for a 2000 square foot metal building. What on earth do you need a 2000 square foot metal building for? I think he's planning on using it for commercial purposes. In addition to his full time job, he runs a decorative concrete business. I'm guessing he's planning on storing all his concrete business equipment there, although he hasn't indicated such. Of course, our POA prohibits this type of commercial activity.

In addition, these are 2-2.5 acre estate lots which back up to a chain of three small (currently dried-up) ponds. This metal building would be placed toward the back of his property, where there are trees now. He has indicated he wishes to remove some of the trees to improve his view.

I voted against his metal building. It is not in keeping with the look and feel of the neighborhood. The size, material and placement are not harmonious with current residential structures.

So there. I'm already making enemies with my soon-to-be neighbors. I actually had nightmares the other night about it and woke up a few times. By nature I'm a conflict-avoider, but dammit! I'm not spending the rest of my life and a huge chunk of money to live next to this metal building. We'll see how this all plays out....

Comments (72)

  • pskvorc

    Deleting triplicated post.

    This post was edited by pskvorc on Thu, May 15, 14 at 20:56

  • pskvorc

    I didn't post that three times. I'd delete the extra posts if I could.


    This post was edited by pskvorc on Thu, May 15, 14 at 20:57

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  • Slimy_Okra

    I guess I'm going to play devil's advocate here. I cannot understand people who see it as their job to decide what other people do on THEIR land (you know, the land they paid for with their hard-earned money). If they're not engaging in criminal activity, stay out of it. If you don't like their buildings, put up a wall. His land, his rules. Screw HOA, POA and all that crap.

  • autumn.4

    Sooo, I think its good you said your peace now. Too many people knowingly purchase land in an HOA and figure better to ask forgiveness than permission because they know they have no intention of abiding by the rules. If you don't want to live where there are building constraints then don't buy in a sub with an HOA. It's not that hard - or I guess yes it is for some.

    We planted trees to block one neighbor in our old house. That structure by you looks like it will be too large to really block. My biggest beef with this would be if they intend on running a business or storing large equipment like that in it. In a sub? No way no how would I want to live by that. You own a business like that - better have it in something zoned for it! Good luck!

  • beaglesdoitbetter1

    I wouldn't want a big metal building like that in a nice neighborhood either. If you want to do that, buy acreage somewhere w/ no HOA. People go into HOA neighborhoods precisely because they want protection from that kind of stuff. That type of stuff also does have a big impact on property values. When we looked for houses, we looked at not just the house but the neighborhood and what the views would be. A big industrial-looking metal building would have been a turn-off.

  • musicgal

    Adding to all that is the fact that there are huge tracts or unrestricted property in carsonheim's area... acreage which is still reasonably priced by much of this country's standards. My friends have pecan groves and cattle grazing in their front yards, but they didn't buy into an HOA community. We did. But we knew we had to abide by the bylaws... so no cows in the garage...I mean barn... no, make that a garage.

    carsonheim- I think there is a good chance that my neighbors and I will get along after we move in... especially if she is a wine drinker- wink.

  • amberm145_gw

    I would have to say that 2000 square feet is pretty darn massive. A 4 car garage??? How big are the stinkin' cars?

    I believe they're in Texas. Everything's bigger there. :D

    Carsonheim, my 1200 sq' garage is a detached, separate building. It's actually smaller than the first floor of the house (if you don't count the covered porch.) :P

    And you're right, if there are employees, it's not a side business.

  • pskvorc


    "If you don't want to live where there are building constraints then don't buy in a sub with an HOA."


    Is A salient point. However, as is clearly demonstrated in this thread, "one man's ceiling is another man's floor". The issue here CLEARLY isn't about HOA "rules", it's ALL about "I don't like what you are doing."

    The WHOLE representation of this issue if from ONE perspective. "Metal building" has myriad possibilities. Not EVERY "metal building" in the world is "ugly". We are being TOLD by ONE PERSON that THIS "metal building" is "ugly". I'd like to hear the other person's perspective AND see what they have proposed, before I am willing to jump on the bandwagon to tar-and-feather the 'scoundrel'.

    To carsonheim:
    I can assure you that were I the "neighbor" (and I use the term loosely), that was being taken to task on the internet without opportunity to represent my side of the story, you most certainly would have made an enemy, and while geography would have made us "neighbors", neighbors we would not be.


  • pixie_lou

    Exactly what part of the aesthetic guidelines does this structure fail to meet? We've determined it is within setbacks. It's only 2,000 sf in a neighborhood of 5,000 sf homes. So if it's the metal, just ask him to add a brick or clapboard facade.

    When you write in your first post that you have 4 or 5 vacant lots to your left and 2 vacant lots to your right, there has been very little development, half the lots are still vacant, only 1 house being built a year. It sounds to me more like you have gotten used to having what equates to a 7 lot parcel all to yourselves, and now your miffed that you are getting neighbors. In the lot right next to you no less. A neighbor who hasn't had the courtesy to build a structure that complements the architecture of your home.

    I'm sure you spent hours looking through the aesthetic guidelines of the development trying desperately to find a way to block the ugly house. And when you found no way, you are passing it off that you are oh so open minded and are keeping personal feelings out of this.

    If you have any hopes of getting your development built, instead of sitting half empty, then you need to work with property owners, not against them. Don't just flat out deny this guys permit. I'm wondering how a court battle will ensue - what type of neighborhood aesthetics is the judge looking for? Find a way to work with him.

  • patriceny

    I completely understand why some people don't want to live in a deed-restricted community.

    What I don't understand is why people who don't want others to be able to "tell them what to do" then ever build in such a place.

    I've lived on 5 acres in "the country" where you could do almost whatever you wanted with your property. Now I live in a deed-restricted community. They each have their pros and cons.

    Where I live now, I can't have an outside clothes line. Personally, I think that is pretty stupid. :) But it is a clear rule, so the fair thing to everyone around me is for me to abide by it.

    In exchange, I shouldn't have to worry about my neighbors putting up little crappy sheds, and storing 15 broken down lawn mowers in various states of decomposition around them.

    Life - it's all about the choices we make. No one is ever forced to live in a deed-restricted community.

  • pskvorc

    I think pixie_lou's post hits the nail on the head. This isn't about HOAs. It's about "I don't like what your doing even if IT IS within the HOA guidelines.".

    What most people don't know until they get INTO court, is that most states in this country have 'standards' about being a "good neighbor" REGARDLESS of HOA "rules" (much like the standard of "reasonable person"). It is most often a 'rude awakening' to the "self-righteous".

    It should also be mentioned that just because there are HOA rules, it doesn't mean those rule can be used arbitrarily and capriciously to justify "I don't like what you are doing."

    As long as there is only one side to this story, the only issues that can genuinely be argued are "If you don't like HOAs, don't build in one." While carsonheim would like this 'discussion' to take that tack, CLEARLY, that is not the issue here.


  • carsonheim

    Wow, tough crowd!

    Paul -- a few clarifications: I never called the metal building ugly. I simply said it is not harmonious with other structures in the neighborhood. Our community does have a rule that homes must be 75%+ masonry. Appurtenances to any home should be in harmony with the residence, as well as with the general neighborhood. Without a house plan yet from this homeowner, this is a big unknown. Regardless, there are no 2000 square foot metal buildings in the subdivision, so it's my believe that it is not harmonious with the neighborhood.

    I *did* say the planned house in the next lot over is ugly. I approved the ugly house as it meets the guidelines.

    Pixie -- If the landowner submits plans that show the outbuilding is harmonious with the residence (for which no plans have yet been provided) and is of a material that is permitted, it would absolutely be approved.

    I'm a bit taken aback that you "are sure" I took hours to look through the guidelines to block the ugly house. Actually, I approved it after looking over the plans for less than 30 minutes. It meets the requirements, so it was approved.

    As well, I haven't "gotten used to" having 7 lots to myself. We don't even live there yet. We are in the process of building right now -- pouring the foundation next week.

    I like these discussions; good thing I have a thick skin!

  • kayakboy

    I am on ACC for my subdivision. Joined after they wouldn't approve our original plan because roof was too flat :).

    Is there anything is your rules about having to build a residence before you can build any outbuildings?

    Anything about permissible materials for siding?

  • JoppaRich

    "I would have to say that 2000 square feet is pretty darn massive. A 4 car garage??? How big are the stinkin' cars?"

    I've got a 2400 sqft metal (60x40) garage on my property (gets used some for workshop, some for animals, etc). 8 cars fits easy. If his is 50x40, it's 6 cars minimum.

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA

    What’s with making this personal with the OP?

    “I'm sure you spent hours looking through the aesthetic guidelines of the development trying desperately to find a way to block the ugly house. And when you found no way, you are passing it off that you are oh so open minded and are keeping personal feelings out of this.”

    “It is most often a ‘rude awakening’ to the “self-righteous”

    I’d like to steer the conversation back on to the subject of the post, which is about whether this 2,000 sq ft building is a problem or not.

    I’d like to be clear about what kind of building we are talking about. To me 2,000 sq ft is large. Larger than my entire house. From the description given, I am picturing a second structure on the lot in addition to the residence, is that right? A building that is metal, has me envisioning a storage locker like structure, with a garage door and no windows. Is this a two story 2,000 ft storage building, or is it a home that is 2,000 sq ft with windows and doors that is like every other one family structure except for the metal siding? Or is it like a separate garage that is very large and has no windows, but a garage door and is clad in metal? And is there some question here, that the person is not admitting that he will use the building in a commercial capacity, but is trying to get that past the board?

    I think the purpose of the building needs to be determined. If this person is building a storage building to store concrete and equipment for a business, then that is a commercial application and city/town zoning laws would come into play, not just HOA rules. But regardless of the use of the building, if it is a 2,000 sq ft outbuilding in addition to a large home, I would find that incompatible with most residential neighborhoods, and against most zoning laws, regardless of any HOA restrictions.

    And are there no city/town zoning laws that require a certain clearance of buildings from the lot lines? In our town you can’t build closer than 15 ft from the side lot lines and those are small lots.

    See, I would much rather buy a home already built in an established neighborhood and see what I am getting and what is around me. Most subdivisions are developed by a builder and sold to the public. The architecture of the homes is consistent and compatible throughout the subdivision and people who want that kind of home buy there and everyone is happy.

    This post was edited by prairiemoon2 on Fri, May 16, 14 at 11:56

  • patriceny

    Yeah, it's good to have a thick skin when one posts on an internet board. Some people will try to be helpful. Other people may project their issues on to you, and then beat you up for something you never did.

    Take the good, ignore the bad. Otherwise people get drawn down rabbit holes that never lead to happiness. ;)

    The neat thing is that if you can take the heat, opposing viewpoints can be useful in sorting out what you think the right path forward is.

  • musicgal

    Hey carsonheim.... naughty, naughty you for having an aesthetic opinion and voicing it in an ostensibly "friendly" forum. As your future neighbor has as much chance of finding this thread as I do of spotting a dodo bird in my bathtub, (unless they were tipped off)- I mistakenly thought you might just be healthily venting. Shame on you too for serving on your ACC... in my subdivision, we can't fill the vacant seat on ours because few people want to make hard choices. I am shocked, shocked I say, that you have the audacity to voice your opinion about issues that affect the value of your property in a subdivision where buy in means agreeing to the bylaws of the community. I am sure that you spend every minute plotting and scheming to keep every house from being built in your subdivision.

    OK. Sarcasm off:)

  • pskvorc

    It IS a good thing you have a thick skin, and for what it's worth, I appreciate that. (A thick skin should be a pre-requisite for ALL of us that choose to participate in an internet forum.)

    Most of what I hear as this onion is peeled, reduces my sympathy for your position. You haven't even built yet?!?!

    Something else that elevates my blood pressure is "harmonious with the neighborhood". Since there is so little development so far, the "harmony" of a neighborhood isn't exactly 'set in stone' yet.

    I SUSPECT that your objection to this building MAY have some actual merit. However, HOW one deals with one's neighbors is, more often than not, more important than WHAT one's neighbor is doing that offends one. For example: If "you" 'call the cops' on me (HOA "cops" too), before you make an effort to resolve the issue and beat me with the club of "law", "you" set the stage for a VERY long period of "unpleasantness" with someone that lives RIGHT NEXT TO "YOU".

    Regardless of one's position on religion, it is wise to see what people have thought throughout human history regarding how we treat one another. Most religious texts have at least SOME discussion of the subject. Consider the following from the Christian Bible found in Matthew 18:15-17: If your neighbor sins against you,go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

    (I particularly like the "pagan or tax collector" part. :) ) It sounds to me like you jumped right to the "church" (the HOA and "the Law").

    Of course there is also "The Golden Rule", which is present in one form or another in ALL major world religions. Have you honestly applied The Golden Rule - "Do unto others as you would have done unto you" - in this matter?

    If this were the path taken, by the time this ends up in court, whomever took the moral high ground would be viewed with much greater favor by a court. NOT because they were "right" OR "righteous", but because that behavior would make the decision of the court "easy".


  • back2nd

    quote: I would have to say that 2000 square feet is pretty darn massive. A 4 car garage??? How big are the stinkin' cars?

    just a little clarification on that shop size: I live in ND and on 2.3 acres. 2000sf is NOT big. You need bigger equipment to take care of that much land, compared to town. such as larger mower, a snow blower vs just a shovel, lots of yard items, etc. Now that I don't have a street to park on, where do I put my camper and pontoon? i don't want anything piled around the house, I want it stored and so I need more room. I would think my neighbors would like that.

    Anyway - I would hate that it's a metal building also. I don't have an issue with the size, just the sight and placement. Since you can't do anything about location, work on the metal issue - why wouldn't you have bylaws on exteriors? we have that with just our covenants in my neighborhood. Also, it clearly states that you can not run a business out of your residence. why wouldn't an area with hoa have this? I wish you luck, it stinks to have that stuff right next door. Sounds like your area is gorgeous!

  • Slimy_Okra

    "The architecture of the homes is consistent and compatible throughout the subdivision and people who want that kind of home buy there and everyone is happy. "

    But why? Why does it have to be consistent? Consistency is boring. Those neighbourhoods end up resembling prison camps or army barracks. It's almost Orwellian - do, act and think the same as everyone else.

    I do get the point that people should read the rules before purchasing, for their own sanity.

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA

    I don't think we are talking about the same thing. I'm not saying I would prefer a neighborhood of cookie cutter houses, where they all are basically the same style home. I lived in a subdivision where there were different styles of architecture, ranches, center entrance colonials, stucco homes with french hip roofs, english tudor. There was something for everyone, but they were all basically the same quality of construction and fit the lots they were built on.

    And then there are people who see consistency as peaceful not boring, and then there are people who bristle at the slightest restriction who would find a HOA not a comfortable environment. There's something for everyone in housing, but the old saying 'Buyer Beware' I would think applies to housing in a big way.

  • carsonheim

    Slimy- consistent doesn't mean identical. Consistency in the case of our POA means materials, size, height. The "why" is because it presents a cohesive look and feel to the neighborhood. Some people like that cohesiveness. Some don't. We all make choices based on our preferences.

    back2nd -- yes, adequate storage is essential. We will have a garage that's about 1000 square feet. Our bylaws *do* discuss appropriate outside material for residential structures and garages: 75% or more masonry. The "fuzzy" area here is how closely appurtenances must comply with the 75% rule. Frankly, I'd like to see the bylaws updated to clarify these types of things. The bylaws also prohibit commercial activity.

    Paul -- my role on the ACC is not to approach my brother who done me wrong. Rather, it is to review the plans and give my approval or not. Which is what I did. There's a chance that the other members of the ACC will approve the plan. Then majority rules. I've never had any hostile interaction with my soon-to-be neighbor. I've simply looked over the plans, compared them to the bylaws and made a decision that I think is consistent with bylaws. I have no ill-will toward my new neighbor.

    musicgal -- thanks for the laff! :)

  • autumn.4

    How about appropriate instead of consistent? A large metal barn like structure isn't really appropriate for a subdivision.

  • carsonheim

    hey, I can use my favorite gif again!!!!

  • pskvorc

    Thick skin deployed!



  • lavender_lass

    Paul agrees, "A thick skin should be a pre-requisite for ALL of us that choose to participate in an internet forum."

    And Pixie assumes, "It sounds to me more like you have gotten used to having what equates to a 7 lot parcel all to yourselves, and now your miffed that you are getting neighbors."

    First of all....Paul, Why? Why should someone have a thick sking on the forum? Is this supposed to be trial by fire? Are we all supposed to have our layers peeled away like an onion? Why?

    And Pixie- The OP has said he's not even living there you want to assume anything else...and then take that assumption and run with it, even though you have no idea what you're talking about?

    I don't know what the problem is...but this is supposed to be a forum about building a home. Not how to develop a thick skin, not on how to assume things and make yourself look silly.

    If you have something positive (or even relevant) to contribute...great! But otherwise, I suggest some go back under the troll bridge and wait until they can say something helpful.

    Now, back to the GW forum that is supposed to HELP people build their houses.

    This post was edited by lavender_lass on Fri, May 16, 14 at 13:59

  • homebuilder32

    Although I live on land where I can do what I want, I respect what HOA stands for. If people choose to buy land in a HOA then they should abide by the rules.

    It's very clear that the person who posted this has his own views, but it's obvious he's separated that from what he considers being violations of the HOA. I don't understand why certain people on here are trying to twist his words into something they're not.

    Maybe the trolls should go back under the bridge...

  • pskvorc

    "Why should someone have a thick sking on the forum?"

    "Maybe the trolls should go back under the bridge..."

    If "you" title your thread "How to make enemies..." "you":
    1) Already KNOW that you are creating emnity,
    2) Should be prepared for "disagreement", and therefore
    3) Should have an emotional "thick skin" or don't start the "conversation" with "HOW TO MAKE ENEMIES".

    In my opinion, carsonheim has comported themselves pretty well considering the 'feedback' they have received. It seems to me that it is their 'sympathizers' that are having 'emotional problems'.

    I may be a "troll", but you can bet your sweet bippy I don't "hide" ANYWHERE, including under a bridge.

    You can call me all the names you care to (thick skin, remember), but this "story" is ONE-SIDED. Period. I refuse to validate (side with) carsonheim's position until I "hear" the "rest of the story". So far, I'm not convinced carsonheim is "righteous", and calling me names - like troll - isn't going to shame or badger me into coming off of that position.


  • bevangel_i_h8_h0uzz


    Have you looked at the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions for your development? These are created and filed by the original developer and they continue to apply to every lot in the development unless/until a section duly revised according to the rules stated within the Declaration itself.

    Because the image you posted showed a street name and I already knew you what part of Texas you live in, I was able to figure out the name of your development and track down the documents in question. I haven't had time to review the documents in detail (they are quite lengthy!) but, a quick scan suggests language that is helpful to your situation.

    First: I assume that, under section 5.02, the lot in question has been designated for use as "a single family detached residence." Is that correct? If so, then under that same paragraph...

    "No Lots within any portion of the Property designated... for use for single family detached dwellings shall be improved or used except as a dwelling or structure designated to accommodate not more than one single nuclear family, plus such Improvements as are necessary or customarily incident to a single nuclear family residence." There is no way a 2000 sq ft metal building - which is easily big enough to garage 6 cars or a couple of RVs falls under the "necessary or customarily incident" clause.

    Second, paragraph 4.11 also appears to be applicable and, if so, it prohibits buildings with metal exteriors! Specifically, this paragraph requires that all one-story structures have MASONRY exteriors and that the majority majority - including the entire first floor - of all two-story structures be masonry! Metal building simply won't fly unless completely sheathed in masonry!

    Specifically, the last half of 4.11 reads..

    "The masonry requirements for single and two-story structures shall be as follows:

    One Story Structures: The exposed surface of all exterior walls of all single family structures shall be constructed of 100% masonry, exclusive of roofs, eaves, soffits, windows, gables. and trim work.

    Two Story Structures: The exposed surface of all exterior walls of the first floor of all two story structures shall be constructed of 100% masonry, exclusive oC roofs, eaves, soffits, windows, gables, and trim work. The exposed surface of all exterior walls on the second floor of all two story structures which face a public right-of-way shall be constructed of 100% masonry, exclusive of roofs, eaves, soffits, windows, gables, and trim work...."

    I couldn't find anything in your documents that speaks directly to the construction of "outbuildings" and I expect that, absent such language, the person who wants to build the metal building is going to try to argue that the masonry language above ONLY applies to his house itself and that the metal structure is not a "single family structure."

    HOWEVER, this language clearly refers to "Masonry requirements for single and two story STRUCTURES"... it does not say "single and two story RESIDENCES" and, earlier in the same section (just before the part quoted above) there is language that refers to "projections from a residence or other structure" which makes it clear to me that anytime the word structure is used is meant to refer to any type of structure on the property, not just residences, unless the term residence is specifically used.

    BTW - the reason your new homeowner MAY be planning to build such a huge metal structure could be that he thinks any one story structure has to be at least 2000 sq ft.

    Finally, under 7.03, the document gives that ACC and the HOA each the "authority to establish and promulgate rules, standards, policies, procedures, and Development Guidelines which either of them deems necessary and appropriate for the orderly development of the Property or any portion thereof." Only limitation seems to be that you're supposed to be "guided by industry standards" and cannot make any such new rules enforceable against anything that has been previously approved. . But, it seems to me that your HOA and ACC need to do to deal with such situations in the future is to promulgate new rules that apply specifically and clearly to the construction of outbuildings. Outbuildings would include stand-alone garages, guest cottages, work sheds, tool sheds, green houses, dog kennels, gazebos, barns, and pretty much every thing else except fences/sidewalks/driveways that is a permanent addition to the lot.

    Some fairly standard rules (i.e., within the industry standard) that would be helpful are:
    1) outbuildings may not be constructed prior to the completion of the primary residence (generally has an exception allowing stand-alone garages to be constructed at the same time as the primary residence so long as stand-alone garage has same exterior finishes as the primary residence)

    2) outbuildings typically cannot be larger than the primary residence... and often are limited to a much smaller size (eg., less than 50% of the total heated/cooled sq footage of the primary residence or less than 1000 sq ft.

    3) outbuildings must be harmonious in design and exterior materials with the primary residence.

    4) Outbuildings must not be visible from the roadway or outbuildings must be situated behind the primary residence.

    5) outbuildings must be approved by ACC in the same manner as primary residence.

    Really, since your neighborhood doesn't allow the keeping of any animals except cats and dogs (para 4.18), no one should need or want any extremely large outbuildings. In my neighborhood with lots ranging from 2 to 10 acres, horses are we have a number of homes with relatively large barns. And our ACC has elected to allow metal pole barns so long as they're either painted to blend with the house colors or painted a nice barn red color. But in every case, the houses were built FIRST and then associated barn. And I'm pretty sure that even the largest barn here doesn't approach 2000 sq ft.

    Good luck!

  • bossyvossy

    Extremely interesting discussion, Particularly b/c most have made pretty strong arguments pro and against. To the OP, even if you found 1,000 POA infractions, I doubt they will do anything b/c they don't want to spend POA $$$ in legal battles. More specifically, your very own neighbors will resent money being spent on one neigjbor's issue. They may talk a good talk about architectural harmony, yadda, yadda but when it hits the pocketbook, most of us become a lot less community minded-- just human nature. Besides, nobody knows if the realtor, in an effort to close deal, represented to metal building person that "POA was very flexible" and he'd be free to do/build whatever. You just never know...

    I think that if/when I get a new house, I will try to choose established subs, so I don't have these kind of unpleasant surprises. Orig poster, your only effective recourse may be to spent $$ in a natural barrier like trees, to block ur view.

  • carsonheim

    bevangel -- wow, you went to a lot of work to dissect those covenants. I appreciate it! Unfortunately, the document you found is not for my subdivision. I did specifically apply the established bylaws to this request. Would you mind terribly sharing with me (via email if you'd like) that document? I've been wanting to see if our POA would be amenable to a revision that does a more clear job of providing direction in these types of matters.

    Paul -- you are certainly free to have your opinion. However, I'm not sure what is one-sided about applying a set of standards to a request. For instance, if I run a stop sign and receive a ticket, the officer's side is that I broke the law. My side is.... what? I could see if it were an emergency, i.e., an 18-wheeler was barreling toward me at 70 miles per hour and I didn't want to get rear-ended. That is a potential loss-of-life emergency. I'm not sure what the emergency or extenuating circumstances are to build an out-of-compliance building in a subdivision.

  • pskvorc

    I am pleased to see your "policeman" analogy. Both sides of the story IS WHY WE HAVE A CONSTITUTION that provides an opportunity - unlike the kangaroo court that this forum represents - for us to REFUTE the police's representation of a "story" before we are hauled off to jail. What if the police officer didn't like your "all metal" car, and decided to give you a ticket for running a stop sign WHEN YOU HADN'T RUN A STOP SIGN. Black an white, right. No need for "the rest of the story" because policemen NEVER lie. We could just "try" you on the internet using ONLY the cop's version of the events. You wouldn't even be ASKED for your opinion because the issue was "clearly" that you were "in violation" of "the rules".

    This 'story' is one-sided because "we" don't even know- except from you - that there IS a building "issue". We don't KNOW - except from you - that your neighbor is PLANNING to build a "2000 square foot" building. We don't KNOW- except from you - that the building is "metal". We don't KNOW- except from you - that there has been ANY attempt by ANYONE to mitigate this issue by discussing options with the "accused". We have YOUR representation of this issue ONLY.

    That's pretty much THE DEFINITION of "one-sided".


  • carsonheim

    True. Nobody knows. Even the plans I reviewed, I don't know they were really submitted by the landowner. Maybe life is just a fantasy.

  • carsonheim

    ooooooohhh, a dancing KITTY!!!!

  • dekeoboe

    Regardless, there are no 2000 square foot metal buildings in the subdivision, so it's my believe that it is not harmonious with the neighborhood.

    If you follow that logic, doesn't it mean that the first people who build in the neighborhood get to decide what they want it to look like and all the others have to build houses that are harmonious with the first ones built?

  • musicgal

    Well, so far today whenever I've read this thread... I've had my layers peeled, my skin thickened, and had a sermonette to boot. I am now a much better person since I subscribed to this "kangaroo court".
    Speaking of animals... the dancing kitty is a lot cuter than the dog with the bone-wink.

  • wilcox902

    I’m confused; you’re on the ACC for the subdivision. Either his plans meet all the requirements or they don’t. If they meet the requirements then this seems to be about your personal taste. Of course, our POA prohibits this type of commercial activity (your words). You are assuming he will be working from his home? So, what you’re saying he can’t store, park, or move his equipment on his own property? I am having a hard time believing that your nature is to avoid conflict not because of your post. The responsibility of a board member on a committee is to resolve conflict. You didn’t think you would have any conflict being on the ACC board?

  • robin0919

    It 'might' not be for a business but a hobby storing antique cars? And that's what they were used to storing them in a metal building?
    Has 'anybody' actually asked them? Either the covenants cover out buildings or it doesn't plain and simple. If it doesn't, the developer sr@wed up! Did they have to sign a contract when they purchased the property that included the covenants?

  • mushcreek

    To mangle a famous quote: 'I may not agree with your HOA, but I will defend to the death your right to have one."

    Personally, I have no use for HOA's, and was very careful to avoid buying in one. But there are folks out there who don't see anything wrong with a big, non-conforming metal building in the middle of a nice subdivision. That's why HOA's came about. It's very simple; if you don't like restrictions, than don't buy in a subdivision that has them. But leave those folks alone- they paid to be in a restrictive neighborhood. I don't understand the personal attacks on the OP.

    As for the metal building itself- the ACC should look at the plans, and decide if it is appropriate. Their ruling should end the discussion. I have seen attractive metal buildings, but they are rare; most of them are decidedly commercial-looking. When we built our barn, it would have been cheaper and faster to go metal, but we didn't want to look out on a metal building the rest of our days, so we went with a costlier, higher maintenance, but more aesthetically pleasing classic wood barn.

  • pnbrown

    Regarding "non-harmonious":

    The entire neighborhood pictured in this OP, along with most other McNeighborhoods in the country, not to mention most business districts, are not harmonious with the landscape nor with reason.

  • Annie Deighnaugh

    Well, the issue really is if it affects the neighbors...and it affects the neighbors if it blocks their view or is ugly to look at or depreciates the value of their home or adds a lot of noise.

    At our old house, just before we were ready to put it on the market, our neighbors put up a tall and large metal building on their property that was very near our property line. A big ugly thing. However, it was within zoning regs so we never even got the opportunity to comment. He was retired and needed a place to store his boat and some old marina equipment he couldn't bear to part with. When we went to sell, the potential buyers were all very concerned that it was part of an ongoing business that would involve heavy equipment coming and going. We had to assure them and the neighbors were nice enough to be willing to talk to potential buyers to explain the situation that that wasn't the case. Our big concern was that it impacted the value of our home by how it affected quality of life at that home. That's only natural.

    (I really crack up at the "need for thick skin" on the GW as it is so incredibly mild. I've been involved in other forums where "getting ugly" included doing unnatural things with people's mothers!)

  • musicgal

    Gosh, that comment about McMansions really set me to thinking. I set out to find a dwelling in accordance with the natural surroundings... and I think I found one that fit the bill. It allows for population density, wonderful internal traffic patterns, bermed, well-insulated, using natural no-voc materials. The design is rather derivative though... I saw numerous examples of this style throughout my neighborhood, so I don't know if it will please any self-proclaimed arbiters of good taste... even though it is compact in its footprint and especially appealing to the thick of skin. Wait now... let me go out and take a picture...

  • musicgal


  • sombreuil_mongrel

    He needs the building for the all-night raves he plans on having every weekend. Or to store black powder and his homemade fireworks hobby, or perhaps it is a brooder house for his turkeys or a hangar for his drone fleet. It could simply be for storage of explosives or ammonium nitrate fertilizer. All innocent appropriate uses for a metal building, but all have the potential to be deleterious, disruptive or destructive to everyone elses "quiet enjoyment" of their residential property. But, Liberty! Freedom!
    Welcome to the future libertarian utopia where anything goes, screw the neighbors. The more resources one has, the fewer laws apply, and conversely, the fewer resources, the more laws are brought to bear.
    Anyway, this is such a first-world problem, fie!

  • pskvorc

    I do believe this 'horse is flogged'.


    This post was edited by pskvorc on Sat, May 17, 14 at 15:49

  • niteshadepromises

    This has been an amusing thread! I'd have to agree though that a 2000 sf structure (this is a home to some folks, obviously not in that neighborhood but big enough to be livable) should follow the same guidelines as the main structure. In your case 75% masonry. If they comply, great. They may use that structure for whatever they choose within the restrictions of the HOA. A future owner may renovate and turn it into a MIL apartment...who knows!

    I wouldn't let this issue slide just because you are concerned with a less than harmonious relationship with your neighbor. Unless the CC&R's were substantially lacking to cover an issue like this, it is your duty along with the others tasked to make sure folks abide by the land use rules. If you let this questionable one slide by, another will follow, and another. Nothing irks me more than the entitled nature of most folks these days thinking the rules were made for everyone but them.

  • galore2112

    Wow - rural Texas is now also HOA territory ?!

    That's the last area where I expected this. There is no stopping this phenomenon!

  • lyfia

    I don't think I would say no. I would say yes, but with conditions that it match in exterior material to the house and that roof needs to have the same pitch, and could be built at the same time as a residence or after. Not before as you don't want it to be the only structure go up.

    I'm the owner of a 2400 sq ft metal building in the greater general area of carsonheim. We have a lot of cars as a hobby and when we were lot shopping we made sure we could build a shop. In the end we had the harmonious bylaws issue in that we were told we had to do hardie siding and not metal as originally ok'd because it was so visible. Btw we didn't build your typical metal shop. We planned on a higher roof pitch than the low standard, along with roof overhangs which isn't generally done. We have to look at this building too, but we wanted metal siding for less maintenance, in colors that match the house, with some stone that matches the house. So we waited and saved up more money and got started. As they were working on the framing another neighbor was building a house and a metal shop and I get home one day to see them installing metal siding. They had been approved because theirs wasn't as visible. All very subjective as I could see it from our driveway a quarter mile away. You just don't see as much of it, but on the other hand it is in front of their house and you don't see the house at all from the road and roof pitch etc. Is more that of a typical metal building.

    In the end we have what we originally wanted. Can't allow one thing for one and not others, but I really wish we hadn't gone through the arguing that came with it in the end. Made us not care what others thought in the end.

    Anyways with that story I mean to say that you need to be careful in just saying no and provide some guidelines on what would be ok to do to keep things harmonious for this and future owners. Having a shop building of that size may sound large, but with no basements and a few extra cars, an Rv, boat, 4wheeler, lawn equipment etc. It isn't unreasonable on acreage and houses with the larger sq ft will make it look even smaller than the actual size. Ours is larger than our house sq ft without counting the 2 car garage and the house still appear much larger. All in how it is set back and placed.

  • don_in_colorado

    Wow, that cat is gettin' DOWN!!

    Don B.

  • sherwoodva

    Carson, I totally agree with your position. Is there a possibility that your soon-to-be neighbor does not know that commercial businesses are not permitted in the neighborhood? Could you ask someone else to tell him, or could you find a way to tell him? If he plans to run a business from his yard, he would want to know before spending the $$ to build that huge warehouse.

    The fact that commercial businesses are not permitted seems to be the strongest argument for not allowing the metal structure. Of course, if he says he will use it to store cars, then you are stuck with having to wait to see what happens.

    I agree with the others that it is a lovely neighborhood. A strong HOA is the only method for keeping it that way unless everyone is willing to give up and plant trees or bamboo all along the property lines.

    Good luck!

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