I realize I’ve been slacking on my blogging. I’ve spent most of my non-Daylight Saving Time sleeping, like a hibernating bear. Time changes mess with me.
Yesterday while we were eating lunch, Lynn looked out our windows and exclaimed, almost indignantly, “There’s a shed!” Sure enough, heading down Kokanee (Road? Street? Avenue?) was a pick-up pulling a flatbed trailer with a green and white shed on it.
Consumed with instant curiosity, we watched the truck go past the first two houses, and Lynn insisted she could see it go past the third, even though she really couldn’t from our vantage point. Finally we couldn’t stand it any longer and drove down Kokanee ourselves.
The now-empty truck, with a company name on the side — but I had already driven past before I thought to look — was leaving the Oros driveway, where over to the side of the house the shed now sat. I saw Ken Oros outside, but by the time I got turned around and went back, I didn’t see him. I had so many questions, and I should have just stopped, rung his doorbell and peppered him with them. For now I’m stuck with speculations, and here’s the first: I am speculating the Oroses just ordered a shed and placed it, without any consultation with the homeowners association. And I’m saying: good for them.
Oct. 7. That’s the day I foolishly e-mailed our HOA attorney, who refuses to be on the board but acts not only as gatekeeper for all HOA information, but at meetings conducts the agenda and keeps the minutes despite the presence of a board president and secretary. I asked for permission to place a shed on our lot.
It is now Nov. 5 (Election Day in Colorado, if you haven’t yet voted), and I still don’t have permission. The attorney, who lives at the very end of Kokanee Road/Street/Way/Avenue, keeps dangling this permission tantalizingly just out of reach, and I am the jackass who keeps reaching for that carrot on a string, while the Oroses just went out, bought a shed and put it in place. Or so I’m speculating.
I speculate this because when I asked, the attorney’s response was to note the covenants don’t “as a rule” (it says in the covenants) allow pre-fab construction. No modulars, is the intent. Then he got back to me to say didn’t think that would be a problem for the board with a building as small as a shed.
I located – okay, Kara located – a used shed, which just happened to be stick-built rather than pre-fab and a bland, inoffensive neutral color. And yet, the board was offended, at least “some” members of this five-man (all men) board (plus the attorney) insisting that it be painted to match the house the second the shed arrived on our property. But then the attorney did not forward our paint swatch in a timely fashion. We painted anyway, going so far as to attempt to match the trim, on the last possible days the weather would allow paint to cure.
I sent a picture and got, “Those are the colors you’re going with?” before the attorney sent this on. I also sent a map showing where, inside the building envelope, we want to place the shed. We planned to slot it between two giant cottonwoods, minimizing its visibility. We are doing this for ourselves, but by now it’s apparent that the board would rather we not have a shed at all, so we thought this would make the board happy.
The board sat on our request for a full week, a week in which friends and family unanimously advised me to just move the shed onto our property. I need to move it soon; the previous owner has been very patient, but it is taking up space she doesn’t really have. I assured her I would move it this week.
Which was probably rash, because instead of approval, I got another shift forward of the carrot. Now the board is deeply concerned about the covenant that suggests there must be “harmony of the building with the environment” and wants us to locate the shed alongside the garage. And now they want to know what we’re doing for a foundation, although they are magnanimously not requiring that we get it engineered.
Every step of the way, it’s like the HOA is doing us favors, waiving covenant requirements. But all I can see all over the development are waived covenants. One lot has four buildings where two are allowed, and a fence well over the three-foot height limit. At least half the houses have metal skirting when no metal is allowed; a board member has a detached two-story building in progress when the covenants say no second story, and another board member has a tall metal fence.
I don’t understand why 64 square feet of shed is being subject to more scrutiny than anything else in the entire development.
I had already suggested the location alongside the garage, but noted to the attorney (who seems to have no recollection of this suggestion) that it is outside the building envelope. One e-mail prior they were very concerned that this shed be inside the envelope. Now it has snowed, and I can see a distinct problem with this location: the garage roof drops snow. There are two other problems, one of them temporary: it is extremely muddy. The other, the downward slope of the ground, can probably be mitigated, but I’m not sure Lynn and I can do this ourselves this week.
Dusty solved one problem, after I tracked him down yesterday, by suggesting the shed back up to the house. The roofline would run perpendicular to the garage, allowing snow to slough off easily without creating a perpetual area of ice. And we would be able to get into the shed without fighting through roof slide.
But it’s still outside the building envelope, and frankly far more visible now from Kokanee Street/Place/Circle than it would be in the trees.
I need to respond to the attorney, because I need to get this shed moved. I don’t know whether to just try to move it to a muddy, down-sloping site outside the building envelope, or whether I even point out it’s outside the envelope (which I already did, in a previous e-mail); suggest the board come take a closer look at where we were going to put it; note that if I wanted to build a 1,200-square foot detached garage we could put it right where they think a little shed is not harmonious, knocking down a huge number of trees along the way . . . all I wanted was a stupid shed. I had no idea it was going to be an Ordeal.
Do you know how much I envy the Oroses right now? With their white-trimmed, forest green shed that doesn’t match their olive green house (no white anywhere on the house) that I think is only on skids for a foundation, set right where they want it? Probably one day after they paid for it? Of course, I’m only speculating. And forest green with envy.