Attention Burglars: Californian HOA Mandate Forces Residents to Keep Garage Doors Open All Day

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Throughout the 20th century, there have been three social ideologies that looked appetizing on paper, but ultimately proved toxic in practice. I am of course talking about fascism, communism, and the homeowners association. While we’ve successfully managed to keep the former two restrained in North America, the dreaded homeowners association has persisted — borrowing heavily from the worst parts of both fascism and communism to enforce an arbitrary pettiness upon regular folks everywhere.

This month, “everywhere” just so happens to be a California neighborhood where the local HOA is forcing residents keep their garages open all day. Apparently the Auburn Greens complex in Auburn, California found out that a single resident had been caught allowing people to sleep in their garage. To ensure this never happens again, the homeowners association has mandated all residents leave their automotive bays open between the hours of 8 a.m. an 4 p.m. or receive a $200 fine.

In addition to being the worst solution to a non-problem in history — people sleeping in garages typically don’t do so during working hours —the new rule also leaves an entire neighborhood exposed to thieves. While residents are at the office, anything stored in the garage is now up for grabs.

The same goes for what’s in the house, too. After all, if a burglar doesn’t see a car in the garage or the driveway, it’s a safe assumption nobody is in the building. However, if someone were to leave their second vehicle in the garage with the door up while they were out for the day, that would also provide a car thief with adequate coverage to get in there and do what they do best. But at least no one will be sleeping in garages anymore.

“That’s an issue that they should address differently, I feel,” Fred Waidtlow, who owns one of the units in the community, told Sacramento-based KCRA 3. “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.

A spokesman for the California Association of Homeowners Associations said it’s possible for an HOA to create this kind of mandate. He added that California civil code sets the laws for making rule changes, which usually require a vote of the owners or board. As unpopular as this decision appears to be within the community, there’s nothing illegal about it.

However, the HOA laws do stipulate that new rules must be considered “reasonable.” While the garage door policy seems anything but, the vague guidelines could be difficult to argue against. Residents may need to seek out court intervention to overturn this utterly ridiculous garage-door policy.

[Source: Jalopnik] [Image: KCRA 3]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

More by Matt Posky

Join the conversation
4 of 114 comments
  • Flipper35 Flipper35 on Jan 10, 2018

    I know a guy that was fined by his HOA because his RV was visible to people that trespassed on his property. It was NOT visible from the street.

  • CincyDavid CincyDavid on Jan 10, 2018

    I'm building a house in a subdivision with not one, but TWO for the subdivision itself, to mow common areas, maintain the ponds, etc, and a 2nd one to mow the lawns/mulch beds/remove snow up to my front door in the "lifestyle homes" part of the subdivision. I'm getting to an age and stage where I want things to be neat, tidy and orderly and don't relish breaking out the Snapper and mowing every 5 days. I'm practicing for the retirement village we'll land in at some point somewhere between Sarasota and Ft Myers.

    • See 1 previous
    • CincyDavid CincyDavid on Jan 12, 2018

      brn, this way I know my neighbors' lawns will get cut too, all the same day so they're uniform. No muss, no fuss.

  • Probert A few mega packs would probably have served as decent backup.
  • Lou_BC Lead sleds. Now-a-days GM would just use Bondo.
  • Jrhurren This is a great series. Thanks Corey
  • Tane94 Not as stylish as the Soul which it is replacing but a practical shape and bonus points for EV only.
  • Ronin What is the magical white swan event in the foreseeable future that will suddenly reverse the trend?Success tends to follow success, and likewise failure. The perception, other than among true believers, is that e-cars are a lost cause. Neither government fiat, nor government bribery, nor even the promise of superior virtue among one's peers have been enough to push past the early adapter curve. Either the bust-out is right now for e-cars, or it doesn't happen. Marketing 101.Even subtle language-manipulation, such as deeming those possessing common sense as suffering from some sort of vague anxiety (eg, "range anxiety") has not been enough to induce people to care.Twenty years from now funny AI-generated comedians will make fun of the '20s, and their obsession with theose silly half-forgotten EVs. They will point out that, yes, EVs actually ran on electricity generated by such organic fuels as coal and natural gas after all, and then they will perform synthesized laughter at us.