The Great Parking Place Stand Off

07-19-06 0907An older couple in our condo complex owns a huge RV. (This particular model, mentioned previously, is called “Everest” for a reason!) Covenants forbid large vehicles from being parked on the property, but these folks have made it abundantly clear that they don’t give a rip about the covenants.

– More than a year ago, the President of the HOA asked them to move it. They declined. (Well, actually, they said that, if he would waive all their HOA fees — giving them free water, cable, and pest control — they would use that money to pay for a proper parking space for the beast.)

– A neighbor of ours wrote letters to the board, demanding that the vehicle be moved. The couple responded by saying this particular neighbor needed to “get a life.”

– Because they don’t want to stare out at an RV all day, they insist on parking the thing in the unassigned parking space behind my house. In addition to making it more difficult for me to get into and out of my own assigned parking space, parking their RV here blocks the view from our kitchen window. When I knocked on their door and asked them to at least consider parking their vehicle behind their own home, they laughed in my face and said, “Nope. If you don’t like seeing it, you’ll just have to enjoy it being gone during those weeks when we’re on the road.”

– At the last home owner’s meeting, I made a passionate speech about enforcing the covenants that govern our community standards. These folks responded to that by saying, “That parking space isn’t assigned, and anyone can park anything there. We were parking our RV there for years before you came, and we’ll continue parking it there, whatever the covenants say, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.”

As it turns out, they were wrong about that.

07-19-06 0907An older couple in our condo complex owns a huge RV. (This particular model, mentioned previously, is called “Everest” for a reason!) Covenants forbid large vehicles from being parked on the property, but these folks have made it abundantly clear that they don’t give a rip about the covenants.

– More than a year ago, the President of the HOA asked them to move it. They declined. (Well, actually, they said that, if he would waive all their HOA fees — giving them free water, cable, and pest control — they would use that money to pay for a proper parking space for the beast.)

– A neighbor of ours wrote letters to the board, demanding that the vehicle be moved. The couple responded by saying this particular neighbor needed to “get a life.”

– Because they don’t want to stare out at an RV all day, they insist on parking the thing in the unassigned parking space behind my house. In addition to making it more difficult for me to get into and out of my own assigned parking space, parking their RV here blocks the view from our kitchen window. When I knocked on their door and asked them to at least consider parking their vehicle behind their own home, they laughed in my face and said, “Nope. If you don’t like seeing it, you’ll just have to enjoy it being gone during those weeks when we’re on the road.”

– At the last home owner’s meeting, I made a passionate speech about enforcing the covenants that govern our community standards. These folks responded to that by saying, “That parking space isn’t assigned, and anyone can park anything there. We were parking our RV there for years before you came, and we’ll continue parking it there, whatever the covenants say, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.”

As it turns out, they were wrong about that.

As of two weeks ago, Clyde and I essentially became a one-car family … because while the bullies our neighbors were gone to a NASCAR event in Atlanta, I parked my little red Saturn VUE in the unassigned parking space behind our house.

Permanently. I mean, as far as I’m concerned, my car can sit there until the wheels fall off.

This is not convenient. During the day, I like to run errands. From time to time, I enjoy shopping for groceries. I’m the kind of person who prefers to drive. But since the board has admitted that our covenants have no teeth (essentially, they’re “non-binding resolutions”), and since the neighborhood isn’t interested in taking legal action, it’s the only option I have left.

Our neighbors have now returned home, and their response has been interesting. When they see us, they glare at us. (That’s nothing new, believe me.) Apparently, when they said, “That parking space isn’t assigned, and anyone can park anything there,” they were under the impression that “anyone” meant them and “anything” meant their camper. The idea that someone else might take up that space has really rocked their world.

Meanwhile: the Everest camper is nowhere to be found. At some point, I may conduct an experiment, moving my car just to see how long it takes Mrs. Neighbor to snag the spot with her Jeep and Mr. Neighbor to summon the RV from whatever parking lot it’s parked in …

… but for now, I’m perfectly content to let my five-year-old, paid-for VUE enforce the rule our HOA would not.

Mark McElroy

I'm a husband, mystic, writer, media producer, creative director, tinkerer, blogger, reader, gadget lover, and pizza fiend.

8 comments

Who Wrote This?

Mark McElroy

I'm a husband, mystic, writer, media producer, creative director, tinkerer, blogger, reader, gadget lover, and pizza fiend.

Worth a Look