A Placer County homeowner’s association is mandating that its residents keep their garage doors open throughout the day during the workweek.
The policy, according to a notice taped to residents’ doors, states that people who live in Auburn Greens face “an immediate hearing notice and subjected to a $200 fine” if they do not comply. The notice states the policy was enacted in October.
According to board member Norma Brewer, the policy was put in place after it was discovered that a resident was allowing people to live in his or her garage. She would not comment beyond that.
“That’s an issue that they should address differently, I feel,” said Fred Waidtlow, who owns one of the units in the community.
Waidtlow cleaned out his garage Thursday and moved personal belongings inside his unit as he voiced frustration with the policy.
“If we have to have this open from 8 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon, anybody can help themselves and steal you blind. And they do it in this Auburn Greens complex,” he said.
Others echoed that sentiment.
“This will just be an open door policy and saying, ‘Welcome, take what you want,'” said neighbor Shally Ia, who plans to keep her garage door closed.
Auburn Greens’ on-site management closed its window as KCRA 3 pulled into the parking lot and subsequently posted a sign saying the office was closed. A phone call to the office was not returned.
Placer County residents living in Auburn Greens say this new HOA policy is unfair and puts their belongings at risk of being stolen. On-site manager closed the door as reporters pulled up, and the management company hasn’t returned messages.
Property management company, Eugene Burger Management Corporation, had no comment and referred KCRA 3 to the local district manager. A phone call and email to the district manager was not returned.
A spokesman for the California Association of Homeowners Associations said it’s possible for an HOA to create this kind of rule. He added that California civil code sets the laws for making rule changes, which typically require a vote of the owners. It’s not clear whether that took place.
John Sprankling, a professor at the McGeorge School of Law, said there’s likely no law prohibiting this move. However, he said the law states that a rule must be considered reasonable, which can be a difficult thing to argue.
A judge would ultimately decide whether this rule is reasonable, he said. Based on the circumstances, Sprankling believes a judge would rule against the policy because it provides security concerns — and added that the board can find a less intrusive way of meeting its goals.
HAVING A HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION IS LIKE HAVING THE POLICE INVESTIGATE THEMSELVES. THEY WILL USE THEIR POWER TO ABUSE WITH NO ACCOUNTABILITY. PEOPLE ARE NOT SMART ENOUGH TO REALIZE THIS TYPE OF ABUSE WILL LEAD TO THEIR DOWNFALL.