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Children Versus Home Owners Associations

The long arm of the law needs to sit down on the sidewalk and draw a smiley face

By Jeremy Greenberg Jun 10, 2012 9:44PM

Children aren't much for respecting private property rights. You gotta jump into a backyard to grab a ball, you do it. No harm, no foul.  But one kiddie scofflaw has gone too far.  Colorado’s own  Emerson Cohen, has been drawing chalk pictures on the common road that runs past his house.  And the powers that sort-of be are not happy. The responses of some of his neighbors would lead you to believe that the only thing they want Emerson to draw is a chalk outline of himself. The whole thing has created something of a kerfuffle, and now that HOA has to determine if they’re the kind of people who allow 3-year-old kids to wantonly play with chalk on the streets.

But the real story here, the one that resonates throughout the country, is the major battle of children versus home owners associations.

In my neighborhood, we have a lot of kids as well as some retirees. The cotton ball brigade here has also decided to put up signs prohibiting skateboarding and roller blading down the street.  Because I guess once you’re too old to have fun, no one should be allowed to have fun. It’s pretty obvious where I stand on the issue. I played in the street as a kid, and so did my dad. We played football, hide and seek, you name it. When a car was coming, someone yelled, “Car!” and we scattered so quickly that the car didn’t even have to slow down.  

These HOAs aren’t making the streets safer, they’re ushering in the extinction of a very rare breed of human: the child who likes to play outside. Yes, these former mammals who craved sunlight and kickball are being surpassed by Ritalin doped video game junkies. Sure, once they're extinct, you’ll get home a few seconds quicker, But don’t expect your lawn to be mowed. The kid who would do it for you isn’t allowed to have an unlicensed motor vehicle in the street. 

Should kids be allowed to play in the streets in front of their homes, or is the HOA right?


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1Comment
Aug 9, 2012 4:52PM
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I think the day my HOA stops my children from playing outside is the day I find a new place to live.
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