HOA Threatens Fines Over Patrol Car In Driveway, Backs Down After Backlash
Eagan, MN – A homeowner has won a battle against her homeowner’s association (HOA) after they tried to fine her for allowing her tenant to park his marked Minnesota State Police vehicle in the driveway.
The Cliff Lake Courthouse community rules state that residents may not park commercial vehicles in their driveways.
Even so, the homeowner was surprised to get a violation notice threatening her with a fine if her tenant continued parking his marked police vehicle in the driveway of the home that he rented from her in Eagan.
The homeowner posted a petition online on Tuesday that explained exactly what was going on.
“I own a townhome and rent it out to a state trooper. The home owners association and board director are going against my tenant/myself because his state trooper vehicle is parked in the driveway - stating that it's a ‘commercial/work vehicle’ and per the rules, commercial vehicles need to be parked off site or in the garage with the garage door closed,” the post began.
“[The state trooper] provides for a safer neighborhood - his vehicle and residency is a deferment [sic] for crime and speeding. He is required to live within a short distance from his territory and needs to respond to emergencies at a moments notice. My tenant has a truck in the garage and the trooper vehicle is the driveway,” the homeowner further explained.
“This HOA needs to reevaluate their priorities and recognize that a state trooper vehicle is not a commercial vehicle and said rule was created for aesthetic purposes. Our emergency responders and law enforcement officers deserve recognition and the right within their duty to park in the driveway of their own home. I have gained over 75 comments and reviews on the 'Cities Management' Facebook page. Cities management is the HOA and has yet to respond to any Facebook comments made on their page,” the angry homeowner wrote.
Her petition garnered 988 votes and hundreds of comments in support of the Minnesota state trooper being allowed to park his police vehicle in his driveway in just a two-day period.
Cities Management, a community association and property management company based in Minnesota, finally responded to the slew of complaints posted on its Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon.
“We have received many calls, messages and emails regarding the association’s policy on service vehicles and we are pleased to report that our meeting this week with the owner and the board has resulted in the following resolution:
“The Board affirmed the owner had a valid argument regarding a state trooper vehicle parking on the property. The owner has not been fined and the Board will be making an amendment to the current Rules and Regulations document for future reference on this matter. The Board has confidence that an amendment to the current Rules and Regulations will benefit Cliff Lake Courthomes,” the management company wrote.
“The Amendment will be as follows: Law enforcement, emergency response and fire vehicles will be allowed to park at Cliff Lake Courthomes,” the post continued.
“The Board feels that having any of these vehicles on the property could assist not only in the projection of safety but possible quicker emergency care,” the management company wrote, echoing the posts of many who signed the petition in support of the state trooper.
The post went on to say that HOA rules exist for “visual continuity” in the community, but that sometimes they need to be changed when “rules and regulations no longer fulfill their original intent.”
A woman going by the name Heather Peterson Aschoff on Facebook called out Cities Management.
“Oh but you did originally fine the owner....shame on you. Nice back peddle to save face,” Aschoff wrote.
Cities Management responded and said that they don’t impose the fines, and that those decisions are made by the community’s board of directors.