Whistleblower: Eden Prairie birdhouse dispute costs $650

  • Article by: MARY LYNN SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 26, 2011 - 11:08 PM

Townhouse resident stunned to get legal bill for meeting with homeowners association.

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justanother1Nov. 26, 11 8:34 PM

These stories are just too common these days. It's time to squelch any individuality, eradicate all wildlife, and just paint every house beige. Then all these 'issues' would just resolve themselves according to the group rule. People just need to stop being independent and do what everyone else wants them to...but not before getting permission, of course. ;)

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zekefaxNov. 26, 11 8:45 PM

$650 bucks for listening to a discussion on bird feeders!!! I should have been an attorney!

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yathinksoNov. 26, 11 8:46 PM

It was a personal attack on him. Seems pretty petty, and obvious.

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rhermyNov. 26, 11 9:21 PM

It is just another example why one should never agree to homeowners rules , covenants, etc; Our freedoms are threatened more than enough by the world as it is. We don't need local groups trying to take away rights and freedoms as well.

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jojoobooNov. 26, 11 9:21 PM

I live in an association managed by Community Development. I'll be proposing to our board that we look at other management companies if this guy has to pay these attorney's fees. Common sense is rare these days...Community Development appears not to have it.

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mn_meNov. 26, 11 9:25 PM

Associations are also responsible for having clearly stated rules and regulations. If there was no such policy about birdhouses in their by-laws or published rules and regs, they can't simply impose them on homeowners without notification. And some property management companies have far too much power over the residents who are on the boards. Talk about politics! I've lived in an association for the past 8.5 years, and previously served on the board for three. You couldn't beg me to do that job again.

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justsammyNov. 26, 11 9:29 PM

I feel so sorry for Mr. Harcus. He may never again feel relaxed and at home in his own residence as a result of this altercation. Obviously this is a personal battle with all of the power on one side, with a willingness to use it against him. But if he served on the homeowners association committee in the past, he should not have been so naive about what a crushing blow could have been done unto him. It seems he tried to lower the level of conflict by notifying tell them he would come alone, without his attorney, but that someone in power is incapable of modulating down their own response.

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dorkeemnNov. 26, 11 9:34 PM

Community Development is a PIA. Period. They consistently recommend increases in HOA dues, to build "reserves" and do very little to earn their expensive fees. I own a rental property in one of their neighborhoods. Nothing but trouble - the renters had "excessive" (CD's word, not mine) bird feeders, toys, and other things in the yard - I got the letter from CD telling me to clean it up. I drove by the property and could see nothing out of the ordinary (in fact on the way into the property I saw 4 more serious violations of the covenants. But that didn't matter to CD - what mattered is that my property was a rental - so they came after me. Fortunately I avoided a "hearing" with them.

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bigtmnNov. 26, 1110:26 PM

Too many bird houses? It would have been nice if the writer had told us how many. I'm reminded of the Joni Mitchell song "they paved paradise and put up a parking lot. They took all the trees and put 'em in a tree museum, and they charged all the people a dollar and a half just to see 'em."

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sharkysharkNov. 26, 1110:26 PM

This is a good example why you shouldn't live in a townhouse or condo. Everyone acts like they own a piece of your place and want a say in what you do there. You are better in a rented apartment than buying one of these places with a HOA.

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