Bob's Links and Rants

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Cretin du jour

Bob Kearns, president of the Loma Linda Homeowners Association in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, who is fining a subdivision resident for displaying a peace-sign wreath.

Now I know there have been numerous incidents of homeowners' associations cracking down on residents displaying signs and symbols of all sorts, including giant American flags. Since people in these neighborhoods generally have to sign away some of their freedom of expression when they move in, it is certainly arguable that certain things can (should?) be banned. If they can ban flags and manger scenes, peace signs seem like fair game, too. The Constitutional issue would be whether people should have to give up their freedom of expression in order to buy a home in certain neighborhoods; I don't know what the law is, but it seems, given how many such associations exist, that the answer is "yes, they have to." So while I would tend to side with the woman with the wreath on this one, that's not why Mr. Kearns is my cretin du jour. This is:
The subdivision's rules say no signs, billboards or advertising are permitted without the consent of the architectural control committee.

Kearns ordered the committee to require Jensen to remove the wreath, but members refused after concluding that it was merely a seasonal symbol that didn't say anything. Kearns fired all five committee members.
Somehow I think the woman with the peace sign wins that case if it ever gets to court--even in Colorado.