This year’s “in lieu of attending” charitable donation is made to the Abraham Kuykendall Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution to fund special projects for Veterans and DAR Good Citizens and youth award winners.

Robert and Vivian Armstrong

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No welfare for the well-to-do

“Payment of the utility bill is the single shared obligation contained in petitioners’ deeds, and each lot owner’s pro rata share of this expense totals approximately seven dollars and twenty cents per year.” August 18, 2006 North Carolina Supreme Court Opinion

A payment in the amount of $10.00 has been made directly to Duke Energy in compliance with the Court’s instructions above.

Robert and Vivian Armstrong

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“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will.” Frederick Douglass

Thank you so much for taking the time to exquisitely document your trip through HOA hell.

We are living in our own version in a small community outside of Lenoir, NC. After three lawsuits, we are still facing legal limbo, since the courts are powerless to undo the mess that our developer created. Each trip to court has cost us about $20,000. Fortunately, we have shared some of the costs with other homeowners, but most are unwilling to continue and plan to sell their homes.

The developer and his cronies tried to force us to accept new bylaws that would subject us to dues, fees, and assessments under 47F, even after we had a well known HOA attorney from Greensboro write a letter informing them that we were not a planned community since our deed restrictions did not state that we would pay anything to anyone. The only statement in our Declaration is “a property owners association shall be formed” and nothing more.

We have searched for this type of information for several years, and for some reason, just discovered it. We have found the links you provided to be most helpful. With gratitude…

Charles Woodworth

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Desert Storm veteran being fined $5,000 by homeowners association and forced to dig up trees he planted

An Operation Desert Storm veteran is being fined $5,000 by his homeowners association and forced to dig up two trees he planted in front of his Florida home because the organization says the trees are too small…..

Desert Storm Veteran fined $5000 told to remove trees.

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Annual BYOB Block Party

This year’s “in lieu of attending” charitable donation is made to the Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation in memory of Major Kevin M. Jenrette, the son of Bill and Ursula Jenrette who were our neighbors here in the Ledges and remain cherished friends.

Robert and Vivian Armstrong

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Picnic on the 6th Anniversary of the Supreme Court Ruling

Saturday, August 18th marks the sixth anniversary of the North Carolina Supreme Court ruling that allows us all to live in peace on this beautiful mountain without fear of threats and harassment and to pursue happiness as each of us defines it.   We’re also able to express our individuality, enjoy a diversity of ideas and associate as we see fit.  This is what we’ll celebrate on Saturday.  In lieu of a hostess gift and a dish to share, a donation has been made to Feminists for Life.

Robert and Vivian Armstrong

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Another “mandatory” fallacy

In its August 18, 2006 ruling, the North Carolina Supreme Court concluded that “…payment of the utility bill is the single shared obligation contained in petitioners’ deeds…” For 2011 this shared expense was $213.16 or $4.35 per lot. The claim that “mandatory” dues include an additional $277 is demonstrably false as evidenced by the decision’s plain language. To suggest that the Supreme Court intended to create $277 in additional expense in order to pay a $213 light bill is laughable. It is crystal clear from the transcript of the proceedings what the Court intended.

Our $4.35 payment was made directly to Duke Energy on April 24, 2012.

The Armstrong’s

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Neighborhood Picnic – Reply

Dick,

It was nice to meet you Thursday evening.  Thanks for stopping by to invite us to the neighborhood picnic you’re hosting with Carol later this month.

For the purpose of providing historical context and to explain our motivation, attached is a letter we mailed to everyone concurrently with requesting review by the North Carolina Supreme Court.

While the legal issues were resolved to our complete satisfaction on August 18, 2006, there remains a fundamental difference in our understanding of how we’re to treat our neighbors.  Although the “stick” has been replaced by the “carrot” in advancing the proposal to add walking trails and parks, the association’s ultimate objective is the same as it was in 2003.  The current situation in the Ledges is merely a temporary truce.

Twelve current property owners were among those who consented in writing to the scheme described as “unreasonable” by the Court.  To paraphrase George Staropoli, the founder of Citizens for Constitutional Local Government, there can be no friendly neighborhood get-together until the Amended Restated Covenants with their authoritarian predilections are disavowed.

In lieu of a dish to share, we’ve made a donation to the Wounded Warrior project.

Sincerely,

Robert and Vivian Armstrong

 

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As more are unable to pay homeowners’ fees, associations pit neighbor against neighbor.

Normally, it’s the bankers who go after delinquent homeowners. But in communities governed by the mighty homeowners’ association, as the sour economy leaves more people unable to pay their fees, it’s neighbor versus neighbor……

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Ledges Annual Meeting Reply

Tom,

We acknowledge receipt of your letter urging us to pay what can best be described as welfare for the well-to-do.  The board asks us to pay for insurance to protect their assets and to subsidize the maintenance of our neighbor’s private property.  Instead of redistributing the wealth we choose the activating principle of all human accomplishment – individual responsibility.

A $15.00 payment has been made to Duke Energy account number 0002454597 to cover the cost of the decorative entrance lighting for lots 33, 39 and ½ of 38.

As a matter of clarification, paragraphs 24 and 26 of the Restrictive Covenants do not mandate the approval of all tree removal or exterior changes and improvements
as stated in your letter.  The precise requirements can be viewed at the following link http://www.ledgesofhiddenhills.com/documents/northcarolinarestrictivecovenants.pdf

Our concern continues to be the potential for abuse by private governments and the lobbyist lawyers who enable them.  Here’s an example in North Carolina of what happens when an HOA has legal authority to impose uniformity with fines and liens.

http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20100210/ARTICLES/100219969/1177?p=1&tc=pg . George Washington warned, “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent, it is force.  Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”

Finally, we reiterate our pledge to contribute to the cost of pruning the evergreen shrubs at the subdivision entrance island. We’ll be happy to coordinate and schedule this work with Richard Fry or any other professional or assist a volunteer crew.

This letter is posted on the web site Blog.

Sincerely,

Robert and Vivian Armstrong

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