He Inherited a Waterfront Cottage and Chose Not to Join the HOA, but Was Immediately Harassed Regarding His Seaplane – Was Ordering Them to Leave Justifiable?

A man named John had inherited a cottage from his Grandfather, a property that had been in the family for generations. The cottage was located on a tranquil lake, but little did John know, this tranquility would soon be disturbed.

A Cottage on a Lake

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The cottage that John had inherited was an historic property, one of the oldest properties in the area. It was nestled by the serene waters of the lake, and John was delighted to inherit it and continue his family’s legacy.

Reluctance to Join HOA

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Unlike his neighbors, John had chosen not to be part of the Homeowners Association (HOA). He preferred to isolate himself from their regulations and maintain his own unique lifestyle.

The Waterfront Cottage

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John’s waterfront cottage featured a quaint grassy yard that seamlessly transitioned into a beautiful beach along the lake. The serene atmosphere provided him with a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life. 

The Seaplane and Buoys

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John was a passionate aviator with a private pilot’s license, so he soon made some additions to his property. “I own a Piper SuperCub on floats. When I am not flying, the plane is either tied to my dock or is pulled up onto the beach and strapped down when the weather is bad.”

Ensuring Safety With Buoys

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About a month ago, John decided to enhance his property with two rows of buoys along the edge of his land, each adorned with custom-made warning signs regarding prop wash. These buoys extended 15 feet past his dock, still technically on his property. 

Reasoning Behind the Buoys

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The addition of these buoys created a 100 by 300-foot safety zone, ensuring that he always had a minimum of 100 feet of safe clearance on each wing during take-off and landing. Moreover, it discouraged people from venturing too close to his seaplane, which could pose safety risks.

A Letter From the HOA

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One day, John received an unexpected letter from the HOA, demanding that he relocate his seaplane to a nearby seaplane base and remove the buoys and signs from his property. The letter left him concerned about the future of his cherished aviation activities.

John’s Response

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In response to the HOA’s demands, John composed a thoughtful letter. “I explained the reasons behind having the buoys and told them I have no intention of changing anything”.

An Unwelcome Visitor

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However, John’s resolve was soon put to the test. Two days later, an angry visitor, a member of the HOA, arrived at his cottage. John calmly informed her that any unauthorized entry onto his property would result in trespassing charges. Despite this, the visitor used harsh language and was very rude to him. 

A Dilemma and Seeking Advice

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Now faced with a looming conflict with the HOA, John was left in a quandary. He believed he had the right to utilize his property how he wanted, but questioned whether his threats to the HOA were going to cause more problems than solutions.

Telling His Story

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Concerned that his unwilling involvement with the HOA was soon to interrupt his peace and quiet, John told his story online, asking for advice on how to move forward. HOA complaints were nothing new to the readers: “Yet another HOA thinking they can flex on their neighbors”, wrote one person. “Ignore them”, they continued. 

Get an Attorney

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Many readers suggested that the man should hand over his troubles to a legal attorney. “If you have documentation on your ownership that proves the legality of your actions, I would hire an attorney and stop replying to them yourself”, suggested one commenter. “Have the attorney send a letter to the HOA to kindly stop harassing you when you are not part of their HOA.”

Was John Sure?

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However, one reader did question John’s legitimacy. “Are you 100% sure that what you are doing is legal according to the property laws of your county/state/country?”, they questioned. “Where I am, private property does not extend out onto water like that. If you are in violation of any ordinances, laws, codes, etc., you would be in the wrong here.”

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