Friday, September 23, 2005

Hilda Barg's Campaign Violates HOA Restrictions

Driving home last night, I noticed a "Hilda Barg for Delegate" sign on the lawn of one of my neighbors.

Don't know, and kinda doubt, that it's this guy.

Nevertheless, it's a clear violation of existing restrictions in that little piece of heaven known as Montclair.

I guess Hilda's minions have the same respect for rules that she does for the taxpayers' money.


Ben Tribbett said...

James, you are a lawyer, right? Check the VA Supreme Court decisions, they blew all those rules out about 2-4 years ago. When that decision came out, I remember it clearly because Burke Centre where I live had a 14 day rule. Basically they said- private property- free speech- HOA's can't regulate, only counties can.

James Young said...

Ben, a lawyer, yes. A Virginia lawyer, no. I've only had NLRB cases in the Commonwealth, and ones defending the Commonwealth's Right to Work law, when I had to associate local counsel (my sons' godfather, in fact). Haven't seen those decisions, and I know that the gentleman whose site I reference would be interested in them. Do you have anything more specific as to name or citation to them? I'd certainly not want to have any misleading information here.

Ben Tribbett said...

I did back then, but I don't remember now. Like I said, it's in the time frame of 2-4 years ago. I never read the decision, only remember hearing about how pissed off Burke Centre was about it- and how my name was mentioned as a new potential billboard eyesore. :)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
James Young said...

Noon Coward: I don't like your post. But if you'd attached your name, I would have responded to --- not discarded --- it.

Chris Casey said...

Hi James,

Thanks for the link, and for your interest in sharing factual information. You are right that I would be very interested in learning about the Court decisions that Ben referred to.

While I'm unaware of an Virginia case histories relating to political signs, I know that last year a new law was enacted which prohibited any Virginia 'locality' from prohibiting the display of a political sign on private property.

But when subsequently asked to determine if this new law applied to Homeowner's Associations, then Attorney General (and current candidate for Governor) Jerry Kilgore's opinion was that HOA's are not included in the definition of 'locality' as defined by the law and so are not affected by it. (Of trivial interest, the original sponsor of the bill was other opponent in his Governor's campaign, Senator Potts)

The suggestion in the title of this posting, that a campaign is in violation of an HOA restriction is ridiculous. Be real. A campaign is no more responsible for a sign in a private yard than the Nationals are responsible for the caps on their fans heads. Responsibility for a yard sign starts and ends with the homeowner. And if that homeowner is in violation of their HOA's covenants, they alone are responsible for the violation and any consequences, not the campaign their sign supports.

You may recall commenting on my site on the sign issue about this posting relating to signs on a boat on Lake Montclair. When shared at a subsequent MPOA board meeting, there was agreement among the members that the sign display shown in that photo IS a violation of Montclair's Covenants. And while I applaud the boat owner for standing up to exercise their free speech despite the prohibition in our covenants, I do not accuse Jeff Frederick of any violation. Only a member of the association can be in violation, and only this boat owner can be held responsible for theirs.

You may take issue with your fellow Montclarions who stand with the founding fathers over our founding developers in the exercise of their free speech. The campaigns they support aren't members of our association, or responsible for how any individual might choose to display one of their signs.