Sun Valley woman fighting to fly American flag

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Updated: 7/04/2014 10:20 pm
SUN VALLEY, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- Americans across the nation woke Friday morning to raise their flags in support of their country.

But one Sun Valley woman is facing off against her local Homeowners' Association to keep her patriotism soaring.

Kathleen Legere has a small bucket list of two items. One is to put a flag pole in her front yard. She checked it off her list on Friday, but she will have to erase it and start over again.

"I'm an American and it's the Fourth of July. It seemed like a really good day to do this," said Legere.

After living in Sun Valley for nine years, Legere's home is complete. The Sparks woman has been eyeing a change to her front yard for quite some time: an American flag for the neighborhood to enjoy.

"I called the Homeowners' Assocation and mentioned what I was planning to do, and they said, 'Oh, how exciting.'"

The tree occupying the space was uprooted and a concrete base was built. Two days ago, she invited community board members to the flag-raising ceremony and the reaction changed.

"They said, 'You have to cease and desist, you can't do that. You don't...that hasn't been OK'd by the board and it probably won't be.'"

Legere said the Homeowners' Association told her she can only have a pole in the backyard, and it must be 16-feet-high or shorter. Hers is in the front, and stands around 20 feet.

"I decided to have the ceremony anyways since the pole is removable," said Legere. "We'll let it fly for the day and then take it down and I'm working on a petition which they recommended."

A petition she is already seeing support for. "The fourth of July, it's very important to me," said Eric Metzger. "It's all about showing our pride and our country, having a flag out in our front yard and being able to do that shows our freedom."

Board members could not be reached and the Highland Ranch Homeowners' Association is closed for the holiday.

Legere has been told she needs the entire neighborhood to sign the petition and raise the flag again. The next Homeowners' Association board meeting is in four days, and she said if she does not have the signatures by then, she will be ready for the next month.

After all, Legere said, she is patient.
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RetiredUSArmy - 7/7/2014 2:00 PM
0 Votes
reading the articale I think the HOA was banning the pole not the flag, so if this HOA is ignorant enough then I would buy 100 flags on their wooden poles and stick them in the front lawn, or is there a HOA rule about too many "ornaments".....allot of HOA are run by people who think they are senator of the state or something, thinking they are above all others, and allot of HOAs deal with allot of money so there ya have it , Ingorance, Power and MONEY...........

Speed - 7/6/2014 3:39 AM
0 Votes
USNvet71; First,Thank you for your service. Next,I can only speak to what I've seen. I'm sure there are places where the County owns the streets and all that,but there are ALSO communities on private property where the HOA owns everything except the actual residential lots. These are more common out away from the cities. In these places,all the maintenance is the responsibility of the HOA;granted,a lot of it gets sub-contracted just to expedite service and insure more efficient use of the money expended. This "iron fist" you mentioned can be of varying hardness depending on the people involved,where the community is located,how close to election time it is,what your last name is or who you golf with. And YES-the Moral fiber of the "officials" is critical too. You're right about an HOA board member not being able to vacation on HOA money-one was recently fired AND prosecuted for just that,and more,here. That comment was mostly just my sarcasm creeping out. Sorry. The point I wanted to get across is that some have rules the residents have to live by,(SOME are pretty arbitrary),but if the buyer signs,he or she lives by the rules,or,as you said,gets involved and works to get the rule changed. Also,as you clarified,READ THE RULES.Ask for clarification if you have questions. Another thing-it you're recently widowed,go to the board and ask to go over the rules and regulations. Many families have one member take care of that on purchase,and if that person passes away,nobody else in the family has a clue what the rules say,and that fact won't excuse any violations that may happen later on. All in all,I'd rather live in a refrigerator box than have to kiss up to an HOA,but if an HOA is good with you,at least read the rules,and bring the wife and eldest child with you when you talk to the HOA rep.,make sure everybody understands how the rules relate to your family.

USNVet71 - 7/5/2014 9:46 PM
0 Votes
Ans Speed, FYI, the HOA can't clean streets or gutters, or plow the streets, those belong to the county. They might be able to help try to convince the county to upgrade park equipment. Nevada rules HOAs with an iron fist. They have to hold elections and they have to send you an annual profit and loss statement and balance sheet detailing where every penny of dues is spent. Lots of home owners just toss them. I suggest that everyone read them very carefully. An HOA board member taking a vacation on your HOA money would get them a free stay with uniforms and three squares in the Nevada Pen.

USNVet71 - 7/5/2014 9:18 PM
0 Votes
HOA rules are provided to every buyer when you buy your home. Read them! If you can't abide by them, either don't buy, or buy and then run to be on the HOA board and work to get them changed. The same rules that keep your neighbor from having a stripped 57 Chevy up on blocks or three RV's and a boat in the front yard also have rules about where and how you can make improvements to your property. If the HOA fails to make a rule stick the rule can become un-enforceable. This isn't about Independence Day, flying the flag or patriotism. It is about living in a community under a set of rules that you agreed to live under. Want to be a patriot? Live by the rules until you run for office, or start a petition process, or step up to the plate some other way. You probably can't paint your house in red, white and blue stripes with a garage door covered in stars either. No one said that you can't fly our flag, or even twenty of them. This is ridiculous!

Speed - 7/5/2014 1:29 PM
0 Votes
I'd like to see a survey done of home owners who have HOA's to see how many of them have been benefitted by the HOA rules,and how many have been unduly restricted. So far,it appears it's all about having control over a home owners rights. Does the HOA spend the dues money on maintaining the community's water system? Installing and maintaining street lights? Getting new playground equipment for the local parks? Cleaning up trash and sweeping the streets and gutters? If not,I see nothing that justifies their existence. If this is the case,then,what are a person's HOA dues actually being used for-besides telling them what they can't do? Buying new patrol vehicles? Vacations for HOA Board members? Whatever-they have a history of inhibiting home owners' freedom to live as they want to,without much in the way of material benefits. As others have stated,if you move into the realm of an HOA without reading,and gearing your life to comply with,The Rules,AND fine print that usually follows The Rules,you can't expect them to change The Rules just because they are no longer convenient to you. There IS a legitimate way to CHANGE a rule in some cases,and it sounds like this woman is probably going to go that route.

kdavis52 - 7/5/2014 11:08 AM
1 Vote
So is the HOA board a bunch of foreigners? Seems like they're not very patriotic to me. Personally I'd never live in a community that has an HOA. I am an American, born and raised. No one is going to tell me what I can or cannot put on my property. You have to go through an HOA to plant a bush or flower? Echoes of WHAT?

ProfessorQ - 7/5/2014 10:23 AM
0 Votes
Having served on an HOA board I can tell you there are a number of people on them who just want to keep their neighborhoods looking nice and their property values up. Unfortunately, there is also a significant number of these people who become nothing more than mini-thugs once they realize the power they have; and they do have power.  I ran into people who wahnted to ban everything from kids having pet snakes in their home to Christmas decorations on your own lawn and in your windows because it might "offend" someone. That said, Our HOA had a similar CC&R for years, then rescinded it to allow a pole and flag. One of my neighbors put one up and it is not unsightly in the least. At different times of the year they fly the American flag, a Nevada state flag, a UNR Wolfpack flag, and their alma mater flag. And, it neither offends anyone nor was there a surge of homeowners putting them up, something often echoed by HOA boards as the "slippery slope". My guess is the same thing would happen in the HOA mentioned in the story if they just got off their high horse's for once.

sybersnot - 7/5/2014 8:29 AM
2 Votes
You people who buy homes within a HOA should read before you sign the agreement.

pops1 - 7/5/2014 8:20 AM
1 Vote
fly your flag i do 365 day a year

nubgnngs42 - 7/5/2014 8:11 AM
1 Vote
Interesting how something (HOA) uses the rights and freedoms that a symbol as the US Flag is, to try and ban it's use.

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