Home Owners Association Uses Google Map Satellites To Find Violations
A home owner was threatened with fines and even a lien on his property from his neighborhood HOA (Home Owners Association) for having a shed in his backyard that wasn't approved by the association. They said they were performing random audits and that's when they became aware of the shed. He asked how they knew about it because you can't see it from the street or anywhere from the front of the house. The HOA used Goggle Maps to find it.
The story gets worse. The owner bought the property three years ago and the shed was already there. That's right he purchased the home with the shed on the property, but the HOA didn't care. They told him since he's the owner now he was responsible for it and had to knock it down or rebuild it to the HOA's codes. Random audit, that's laughable. They needed a satellite to even find it and there's been no complaints from any of the neighbors, so really is it that big of a deal? And talk about an invasion of privacy, I could understand if it was visible from the street or an eye sore.
It's sad that things like this require public attention and involvement for companies and even an HOA to do the right thing. After the news broke the HOA now says they'll grandfather the shed in if the owner fills out all the proper paperwork and that they'll no longer use Google Maps or satellites to spy into backyards to try and find violations when performing audits. Thank God for his local TV station and the internet so he could get his story out and shame these people into doing the right thing.
This is why I would NEVER live in a neighborhood with an HOA, well that and I seriously doubt I could afford to. Sure these types of associations were started for good and with good intentions. There's nothing wrong with trying to keep the neighborhood nice. However more often than not it turns into a bunch of power hungry Chads and Karens who use the association as a means to bloat their already enormous egos. It has more to do with fees, fines and control than trying to keep the neighborhood clean and safe.
If I ever end up with stupid money I'd love to move to one of these neighborhoods and drive them absolutely nuts. My house would be 100% out of compliance with toilet bowl flower planters lining the driveway and pink flamingos everywhere. That's just for starters...Hey, why have the money if you can't enjoy spending it.