Homeowners association sees red over pink playhouse

Georgia group sues the homeowner, demanding that the structure be repainted a color more in keeping with community aesthetics.

By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Sep 24, 2012 12:13PM

© Columbia County News-TimesWe know there are people who don't find pink an appropriate color for outdoor décor, though living in Florida, we find that hard to believe.


The latest controversy over pink is playing out in a suburb of Augusta, Ga., where the homeowners association is demanding that Becky Rogers-Peck repaint the pink playhouse she built for her 4-year-old granddaughter.


The objection is not based upon a belief that pink for girls plays into a stereotype but upon aesthetics: The HOA says pink is not an appropriate color for an outbuilding at the Rogers-Peck house.


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But Rogers-Peck's granddaughter, Aubree, likes pink, and her grandmother refuses to repaint. After trying to find a resolution since spring, the Millshaven Property Owners Association has sued.

"It’s really disheartening," Rogers-Peck, who resigned from her post on the HOA board, told The Columbia County News-Times. "I feel like I live in Russia … where I can’t do anything on my own property without permission."

The association argues that she doesn't live in Russia but in a homeowners association, whose members agree to follow certain rules when they buy a home in the community.


One of the rules in this community is that the construction of outbuildings has to be approved by the Architectural Control Committee. The committee agreed to give Rogers-Peck retroactive approval if she agreed to repaint the playhouse, which is not visible from the street but can be seen by some neighbors.


The color is not "keeping in tradition with the neighborhood," Wright McLeod, the attorney for the HOA, told the newspaper.

Rogers-Beck argues that the playhouse is not an outbuilding but a piece of play equipment and not subject to the outbuilding standards. Her response to the lawsuit has been to try to get a new board elected that agrees with her.


Commenters on the newspaper's website were split over the issue.


"I am sure when she signed the legal contract to purchase her home she was given a covenant," one reader wrote. "The reason they moved into the neighborhood was because of how well the properties have been maintained. One individual allowed to break the covenant without consequences can become a nightmare. Paint the house or move out of the neighborhood."


But others argued that the association is unreasonable. One wrote:

"Having basic rules is one thing, and a very good thing, but I've found HOAs mostly are just a vehicle for busybodies who feel compelled to impose their taste on everyone else.

"Have the lady put in shrubbery that screens the playhouse from her neighbors' view if they find themselves unable to tolerate the view of a child's short-lived dream. A pink playhouse won't bring down property values; anyone seeing it would recognize it for exactly what it is."

What do you think? Is the homeowners association right to demand that the playhouse be repainted? Or is the rule that it can't be pink unreasonable?

Sep 29, 2012 7:31PM
Simple DO NOT buy in any HOA  housing
Sep 29, 2012 7:18PM
When I moved into my current neighborhood I knew there was an HOA.  I didn't think it would be a problem...however 5yrs later new people are "in charge" and make up new rules as they go along.   Only about 8 people meet and make rules for the rest of us.  Unfortunately, I don't have the time to invest to fight them...fortunately I have a life too busy to be making other peoples lives and what they do the priority of my life.
I think the HOA needs to back off and use common sense.  If they continue to be idiots the homeowner should just plant shrubs so they can't see it.  No one is going to tell me something I have built for one of my granddaughters is going to be done their (HOA) way or no way.
Sep 29, 2012 6:34PM

This is why Obama will win dum **** people worrying  about what color a f...ing  child play house is instead of worrying about who the f... is going to run the country


Sep 29, 2012 6:13PM
Why is it that all of us can see how stupid and petty this issue is, but the people who can actually do something about it can't. I'm so over people trying to impose their idea of what things should be like on us. Just let people live their lives without trying to ruin the last few rights that we have left.
Sep 29, 2012 5:43PM
Let them go on to court. Unless the house is of a substantial size, is built to standard that would qualify it to be considere a real "building" and not a child's play area, as the family asserts, the court will find it a piece of play equipment. Then the HOA cab try to assess all the members for the expenses of their adventure in court. What a stupid waste of time.
Sep 29, 2012 4:37PM

Whomever gets offended by a pink playhouse obviously has bigger issues than the plain dislike of a certain color choice on a little playhouse. May I suggest taking up a hobby instead of trying to make other people's lives miserable? To the homeowners with the playhose: I would paint my entire house pepto bismol color and move!

Sep 29, 2012 4:30PM

There should be some law put in place,whereour able to sue for your legel fees and other inconviences caused by the suer,if you win a case.

 Why the ell would you want to buy a home where there is a H.O.A.Not only do you have the government and the town rules,yo want more idiots telling you what to do.Tere is no advantage in livin in one of these,only headaches.

 Then people wonder whypeople go crazy and go on shootng sprees and killing there bosses or a worker or some azz that works for the H.O.A.Its called a breaking point,and nothing else to loose.

Sep 29, 2012 3:43PM

How dare she have a pink playhouse for her granddaughter, that is totally outrageous.  Do these neighbors and hoa have nothing else to do than to complain about a pink playhouse? These people are silly and petty.

Sep 29, 2012 3:24PM
Hoa's in my opinion are not needed people buy land its theirs! why should someone else or a group of someones get to decide what can and cant go n someones property! then they have their fail safe excuse, well they where given a covenant before hand.......B.S thats what i say, people think the hoa laws should be reviewed and done over i disagree, i think if the law is going to get involved in this then they should abolish Hoa all together it is useless except for the miserable few who wish to make their neighbors miserable to! heres a novel idea mind your own damn buisness!!!! wow imagine that!!!!!!  
Sep 29, 2012 3:20PM

well i guess they shouldnt have moved to a hoa .Sell the house and quit crying about it because we dont give a damn.

Sep 29, 2012 3:15PM
Having read about this in a previous article, this HOA has apparently not consistently enforced all the rules it tries to impose.  The previous article mentioned issues such as uncovered air conditioner units.  If the chooses not to enforce all of its rules, it does not have the right to try to enforce any of its rules.  The pink playhouse should stay.
Sep 29, 2012 3:09PM
HOA should be banned! I dont need someone to tell me that I need to BE a responsible homeowner, they go way too far damned if I ever buy a house with a HOA. 
Sep 29, 2012 1:20PM
Totaly unreasonable, no question about it. Who owns the property? Who pays the taxes on said property? That is the real question! Screw someone telling me what to do!! I'm an American and I have my rights also. You have no exclusive right to abolish the Constitution of America. K.M.A.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sep 29, 2012 1:12PM
One HOA here in  California told a homeowner that he had to take down the flagpole that he hung his USA flag on..  No height problem, just no flagpole allowed at all!!!  I never heard anything more about it...
Sep 29, 2012 1:10PM
HOA's have way too much power. They manage your money, dictate your esthetics, and form cliques to "punish" those who disagree with them. There are too many stories of HOA's feathering their own nests at the expense of home owners. Granted, I don't want my neighbors to run an auto garage in their driveway, but if I want to have a pink play house, I will have one. I hope she sues their asses for harassment. 
Sep 29, 2012 1:00PM
Sep 29, 2012 12:39PM
If the HOA wants to dictate what color the playhouse can be painted, then they can also pay her mortgage.   Until that happy day, they need to take their HOA rules and shove them.  If I'm paying a mortgage for a home I purchased, then I get to do whatever I want.  If someone wants to dictate to me what I can or can't do on my own property then they can pay the mortgage.
Sep 29, 2012 11:50AM
Acording to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an outbuilding is : a building ( as a stable or a woodshed) separate from but accessory to a house. A playhouse is, in NO WAY an accessory to a house, it is a play area for children!
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