Maybe it's the fact that we are kids of the Age of Aquarius, but we've always kind of balked at The Rules. When we built our house, we were among the first to break ground in the neighborhood. It was out in the country and therefore easy to forget that, when built up, the neighborhood WOULD be a subdivision. There were some regulations that had been flashed before our eyes by the developer at some point, but we didn't pay too much attention.
This came back to bite us later when, after all the homes were built, a very, shall we say, over-enthusiastic neighborhood architectural board was hand-picked by the original developer. He wanted to ensure that his "vision" was in safe hands. The rules became more stringent and at meetings, one of the board members, an attorney, was able to throw up a pretty effective and intimidating smoke screen of legalese.
It always seemed to us the teeniest bit restrictive to have severe limits on what homeowners could and couldn't do when the yards are all so large--all the lots are between three and five acres. We can't even see beyond the next-door neighbor's house. And the next-door neighbor's house is pretty much beyond shouting distance.
This past summer, a letter appeared in our mailbox announcing a meeting to elect new officers to the Architectural Board. Much smirking and joking ensued at our house about what we've always called The Fashion Police. Mr. Kathie went to the meeting and to his surprise found himself elected to the Board, mostly on the merits of his always having been a thorn in the sides of all the previous Boards. This was a good sign.
Last night was the first meeting of the NEW Fashion Police, with Mr. Kathie as a member, and he came home dumbfounded but very pleased. The other new Board members are on the same page philosphically, very eager to ease restrictive rules. On examining paper work from earlier years, it appears that the aforementioned attorney took it on himself to add to and amplify rules that were never voted on by anyone, and was able to file them as official with the Town Board and the County.
So there is work ahead, but I think the majority of neighbors will be pleased. Here's a concept: we're grownups and can probably be trusted to do the right thing with our properties. And if someone wants a little yard art, I can hardly see it from my house anyway. Go for it.