Come lower your spread lights 4"

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by pete scalia, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 960

    Just got a call that the HOA wants my pathlights lowered 4" on a job I completed this spring. No biggie but it's over 100 pathlights. Uplighting is prohibited so spread lights 20' apart are the only form of lighting allowed. The height is 22" from ground to top of fixture top. My understanding was from ground to where light emits which would have put me in compliance at 18". They say 18" overall fixture height regardless of where light emits. Try arguing with these groups.
  2. Greg_B

    Greg_B LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    HOAs have there good and bad points depending on the price of the house. We have someone that drives around at 3:30 am to make sure trash cans are not left out overnight. My community here in FL is supposed to represent the northeastern US so palm trees are prohibited. Most of mine were pre-existing the current HOA landscaping rules and were in place from the prior owner. The two new ones I added are the result of my finding a loophole and having a lawyer write a letter. I got so frustrated with the prior architectural board member that when she quit, I joined the board. She rejected my fence because I didn't say what color it was going to be - only white is allowed. Rejected my underground propane tank because she didn't read the spec sheet that showed it was going underground. Refused to allow even temporary relocation of palm trees for pool construction - if they were moved they were gone - I appealed and beat her on that with the full board.

    Read the HOA docs if you want to fight it, see how specific it is but then again, if you do a lot of work in the community, you might not want to make waves.

    Good luck.
  3. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    when i lived in vegas i used to deal with a that we live in the country i will never look back. If I wanna walk outside and burn a huge bonfire we can. Wanna shoot clays on a lazy sunday afternoon ? no problem... wanna paint your house hot pink with purple polka dots ? sure.... want your pathlights 22 inches out of the ground... yup go for it.

    Good and bad... i dont think they should make general guidelines for professionally designed items as long as they are in good taste. I do like how they tend to keep alot of nieghborhoods neat and clean. There is 1 I absolutly cannot get a proposal to pass thru... another was very easy to work with. Not as many of em around here as most areas tho.
  4. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    I am guessing an HOA is a 'home owners association'? In any case, it sounds like a horrible thing to have to deal with!

    What ever happened to the "Land of the Free"? I mean really, you guys in the USA have more rules, regulations, laws and prohibations then any other place on earth.
  5. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 960

    It's really a sham here in the states set up by lawyers to benefit lawyers.
  6. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    I've never had to deal with one here. The term HOA around here tends to refer more to townhouse or condominium homeowners associations. Not really my market except for irrigation services.

    Besides that, I think they're more of an issue in planned and/or gated least in California.

    Sounds like someone in the particular HOA that Pete or his client is dealing with is a real stickler.
  7. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 960

    Sounds like someone in the particular HOA that Pete or his client is dealing with is a real stickler.

    I'd say so. Anyone who takes a yard stick to a pathlight and wants to play God over 4 inches needs to get a hobby. Too much time on their hands
  8. Greg_B

    Greg_B LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    They get real bad down here, one HOA put liens on a Veteran's house for flying a flag from a flagpole instead of from a house mounted pole. They were accruing fines and the guy could have lost his house. The state stepped in and changed the law and veterans groups helped him out. I seem to recall the HOA is stuck paying through the nose now.

    Its a fine line, I lived in Northern Virginia in a 1948 vintage house with no HOA. The next door neighbor has his first new car - a 1981 Toyota Celica in the driveway, not running but he maintained plates on it to keep the county from being able to cite him. The bushes were growing over the car - the car was green so it was starting to blend in. He spoke of keeping it for his 16 yr old son to drive but it was so rusted out that I don't think it was ever going to run again. I'm convinced he lost his virginity in the car and was keeping it for sentimental reasons.

    That car would not last in an HOA community.

    I am now on my HOA board because of my issues and I decided to change it from the inside - I was nominated for a vacancy by the current board. If I have to run for re-election, I will run with the campaign slogan - "A palm tree in every lot!" because of my battles. I'm also looking to eliminate the "no pickup truck rule" leaving only the limitation on commercial vehicles having to be garaged.

    My boat trailer was at the house for repairs and after arriving on a Sunday, I had an HOA letter by Wednesday.

    My wife and kids have an outdoor cat (I'm not a cat person) and we got a letter about that too. There was a 4' alligator in the pond and now that I'm on the board I got an email about it. I told the management company to leave it alone as it would take care of the cat problem... :)

    If I felt that every neighbor would keep up their house as I do, then I would not want an HOA. If I moved back to VA then I would favor an area without them but given the small lot size here in FL - 9,000 sf, the houses are very close, you see everything that goes on in the 'hood. My pool is actually in my side lot and the landscaping is designed to grow in to provide maximum privacy. I just need a bigger tree in one spot to shield the street lamp.
  9. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 960

    Greg thanks for the insight into HOA's. Sounds like some nightmarish stories so close to halloween. Ironically I was asked to bid on two gated entry ways for a HOA subdivision this week for the lighting. I don't think I'm going to bother since the management company who is in charge of getting the bids won't even meet me on site so I can get a feel for what they want, where the power is and how they want to switch it, what they are looking for design wise, budget etc. They want their bid by fax or e-mail before Nov 1st since it's then that they have their bd meeting. No spec sheet nothing I have no idea what I'd be bidding on. Sounds like a cattle call destined to end up in a mess.
  10. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    HOA's SUCK! You buy the property, you own the property who is some group of neighbors to tell you what to do with YOUR MONEY. I refuse to buy a house in an HOA community. I live in the country and thats the way I like it. Except when a raging so cal fire comes through. But even then the HOA would have fined us for having ASH in the driveway.

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