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?

HOA's are outdated and boards are run by stuffed shirts that think they are better than everyone else.  covenant, regulations or rules in places that are suppose to be uniform are guidelines, not rules written in stone. For evey rule there is an exception, I believe this Grandmother and the playhouse are the exception. It is good that she is working to get different people elected to the board, but she lso neds to file a counter suit and call it HOA Stupidity. I have grandchildren and totally agree with her about the color and thelittle girl's dream house! Go Ganny GO!!!!
Sep 29, 2012 5:02AM
WTF!?  Web sites should not be allowed to blast out a video without permission.  I plan to file a complaint with the FCC. 
Sep 29, 2012 4:29AM
We had a similar situation with a playhouse we built for our grandddaughters.  All our immediate neighbors were okay with it, but the HOA said it was an outbuilding and we needed permission.  We argued it was play eqiupment and never intended for storage or any other purpose than being played in.  The HOA said play equipment is mobile and the playhouse was not.  We said fine, we will put wheels on it and a motor and it will be mobile and it will be all over our property (we live on a golf course) and that way we will be able to make sure everyone sees the beauty of it.  My husband was fully capable of making it mobile.  We never heard back from the HOA and that has been 5 years ago.
Sep 29, 2012 4:27AM

You have to choose to live in a neighborhood with a HOA.  For the most part, they benefit the community by ensuring  properties are well maintained and houses look appropriate.  It's situations like this that put them in a bad light.  If this were an outbuilding, the HOA would be completely correct.  However, I actually agree with the homeowner in this case.  The playhouse does not have any association with the main house, such as a garage or storage building.  It's solely for use as a playhouse by a child.  Though perhaps the incident could have been avoided if the homeowner had the foresight to go to the HOA first.  If she explained what she was doing it may not have been a big deal.


So I don't think the HOA is correct in this case, but explaining her plans for the playhouse before doing anything probably would've avoided all this trouble.

Sep 29, 2012 4:27AM

This HOA is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and obviously have WAY too much time on their hands!  They also apparently don't have grandchildren, or this would NEVER have been an issue.  LEAVE THIS CHILD HER LITTLE PINK HOUSE; childhood is over all too quickly as it is.  GOOD FOR HER GRANDMOTHER - I'D DO THE SAME, WERE IT MY  GRANDCHILD, AND I HAVE SEVERAL! I'D FIGHT AND FIGHT, TILL I WON THE BATTLE FOR MY GRANDCHILD!


Sep 29, 2012 3:59AM
When I bought my home, the FIRST thing I looked into was whether there was a HOA or any unreasonable tennets that I found offensive. Had there been any I wouldn't be living where I am today. I won't tolerate a busybody trying to tell me what I can and cannot do with property for which I am paying.
Sep 29, 2012 3:57AM

A bunch of busybody pigs. Too bad they can't put that much time and effort into community service.

Sep 29, 2012 3:47AM
Petty people with nothing better to do. Makes them feel important. Get a life.
Sep 29, 2012 3:37AM
Here's what one guy here did.  He painted his house and the commies(HOA) said it was not an approved color. So, he got a list of the approved colors and painted his house, in a patchwork pattern, with ALL of them.
Sep 29, 2012 3:23AM
I Have no use for HOA. They suck! Its all so folks can bicker, gripe, and complain about this,that ,and the other.In additioin to fees. I dont feel like I need to reside in a place that tells people when, where, and how to live their live, it flies in th face of freedom, and HOA runs itself just like any other govt agency. Folks shouldnt have got HOA started. Why do you want to pay fees and have someone tell you how to live.
Sep 29, 2012 2:51AM
Look what happens when H O As get out of control this is happening everyday since housing prices have dropped, due to Real Estate market conditions  'not because of Pink Playhouses or a "uncut yard'.
Sep 29, 2012 1:29AM
Insisting that you keep your property well maintained is one thing, but HOA's have gone too far.  I see it here.  Leave the playhouse pink and sue.  Ridiculous is ridiculous.  When are they going to outlaw swing sets?  Here anything that is over 6' tall is against the rules.   We had to remove a well, professional built trellis because of the HOA so I just let my Jasmin do its own thing and it, to me, looks tacky and I am leaving it that way.  If they had wanted it to look nice, they would have let the trellis stand and it would be quite pretty.  They got what they wanted so they can just live with it or come trim it themselves.   These HOA's need to be cut off at the knees.
Sep 29, 2012 12:21AM
Leave it pink, last time I checked, this is still America, and you have rights. Screw em' with a red-hot poker..
Sep 24, 2012 5:07PM
HOAs are such petty organizations. I say stand your ground and refuse to give into suburban fascism.

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