being a mom

Furious Parents Claim HOA Doesn’t Want Kids to Play Outside

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Homeowners’ associations can be the  bane of a person’s existence. In a best-case scenario, they cut costs, provide a sense of community, take care of common areas, and make sure the whole neighborhood is kept up nicely. Unfortunately, a lot of meddling HOAs get bossy and domineering about things that are none of their business. (Remember the evil HOA that wouldn’t allow Make-A-Wish to build a playhouse for a little girl with cancer?) Now a pair of Sacramento parents who just moved their family to a new neighborhood says their HOA actually tried to ban their kids from playing outside.

According to CBS News, Jed Peters took to social media to complain after he got a note from his homeowners’ association. He told everyone that the HOA said his kids were not allowed to play outside in the neighborhood.

But Peters posted the HOA note to social media, and it doesn’t actually say that the kids shouldn’t play outside.

hoa kids outside

Image: Screenshot / CBS Sacramento

I never in my life thought I’d side with an HOA on anything, but the note doesn’t say the kids aren’t allowed to play outside.  It says the kids shouldn’t be playing in the street, and that multiple people have complained because they almost hit the children who were playing in the road. The note suggested the kids play in their backyard–which they have–or in a nearby park.

Don’t play in the street

An anonymous HOA member told CBS Sacramento that the letter was worded badly, and that neighborhood kids were allowed to play in the streets. The issue was that the Peters had been putting cones out into the street to stop traffic while their small kids were playing, and the cones weren’t allowed.

Sometimes kids who live on cul de sacs or very quiet roads play ball or ride bikes in the street, and that’s fine. Some of the Peters’ neighbors said their own kids played in the street without trouble. But riding bikes in the road is contingent upon kids knowing to keep an eye out for traffic and to get out of the road when a car comes. If the kids can’t do that, they can’t be allowed to play in the road.

Nobody wants to hit a kid with a car, and if the road isn’t a safe place to play, then a backyard or a nearby park is a better option. Both of those are available to the Peters kids. But for some reason, the Peters seem to be framing this as though there’s a crabby neighbor who doesn’t want to see children outdoors.

“I think this neighborhood is wonderful,” Jed Peters’ wife, Suzanne, told CBS. “I think there’s maybe one bad apple that got a little cranky and didn’t want to see the kids out.”

Nobody said the kids shouldn’t be seen outside! They said don’t block the road with cones so your kids can play in the street.

The HOA has scheduled a meeting to discuss the issue.

Whose side are you on? Let us know in the comments.

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(Image: iStockPhoto / byakkaya)