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View Full Version : Condo Owners Miffed By Removal Of Virgin Mary Statue



Rockntractor
12-11-2011, 02:09 PM
(Credit: KDKA)
Marty Griffin



ROBINSON TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — The Vasko home is full of religious icons. Some of them have seasonal significance and some don’t, but all of them are inside the home for now.

“I had a Blessed Mother statue sitting out here,” Steven Vasko said.

He placed the statue just below the window of his family’s Robinson Township condominium.

“Yeah it was taken,” Vasko said. “The association – they stole it.”

He’s kind of right. The homeowners association did have someone remove the 150-pound cement statue from the spot.

The association says its common ground. No one is allowed to have anything on common ground so the statue had to go.

To get the statue back, Vasko will have to open his wallet.

“I have to pay a fine,” he said. “Would that be extortion or kidnapping? You tell me, I don’t know.”

Papers from the homeowners association indicate the Vaskos were fined for every month they violated policy by having the statue outside illegally. That fine is now more than $4,000.

There’s more. Because they haven’t paid the fine, the homeowners association is holding the statue and has just taken away the couple’s rights for them to park on the property.

“This is religious persecution. This is discrimination. Is it a losing battle to hold your ground? No.

“If you are, then we might as well all quit as Americans and say, ‘Have a nice day, bye.’”

Looks like the homeowners association plans on standing its ground. So do the Vaskos, they say, for the Virgin Mary.

“I made a promise to the Blessed Mother and I’m keeping it,” Vasko said. “And this is about her. This isn’t about me.”

The dispute will most likely end up in court.



http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2011/12/09/condo-owners-miffed-by-removal-of-virgin-mary-statue/

The statue has been violated, it is now just Mary and will have to be replaced.

THE Gypsy
12-11-2011, 03:36 PM
If they did not want to abide by the rules of the homeowners association they should have found another place to live.

Novaheart
12-11-2011, 04:07 PM
"“This is religious persecution. This is discrimination.""

No, it isn't you moron you. It's the price of living in a deed restricted community. When I lived in Laguna Vista, I thought the rules were great, they kept the place looking nice, and trust me that economics alone is not a sufficient barrier to bad taste.

Yes, it was a tad annoying to have Spike (no idea what his real name was) the retired marine inspecting "the property" every Thursday, but Spike is the reason that neighborhood sells for double the surrounding homes. Well, that and the waterfront.

Anyway, there is a fine for an oil stain on your driveway, an outside light that stays burned out too long, having leopard print drapes without white or neutral backing, and drying clothes on your deck. If there were not these rules, trust me that there would also be cement statues of the Virgin Mary and probably some Inca temple gods as well.

newshutr
12-12-2011, 06:09 AM
Who cuts the grass at the home? Who takes care of the landscaping around the home (the flower beds, etc..)

Seems that the statue was placed below the window...where a flower bed would be and if maintained by the homeowner, no way should it be considered "common area" if maintained by said owner right below a window.

If they do consider it a "common area" below the window and up against the house, what is to stop people from standing in that area and looking in peoples homes and using it as a "common area"...?

Never lived in a HOA area, so I may be off the mark. That's why I asked the questions and brought up the scenario..

NJCardFan
12-12-2011, 10:39 AM
If they did not want to abide by the rules of the homeowners association they should have found another place to live.

Agreed here. The HOA is not congress so the 1st amendment doesn't apply, especially if you're placing said statue on common ground. Don't want to abide by the rules, then move somewhere else.

noonwitch
12-12-2011, 12:02 PM
My mom's condo association would have done the same thing. She can have potted plants on her front porch. A 150 lb cement statue is pretty big. They might have tolerated something smaller and lighter-like a plastic statue, as tacky as that might be.

My mom would probably be allowed to have a statue on her back deck, if the weight was not a threat to the structure . She has one of those feng shui water fountains back there.

Odysseus
12-12-2011, 12:43 PM
If it is on their property, does that constitute a common area?

THE Gypsy
12-12-2011, 12:50 PM
If it is on their property, does that constitute a common area?


It was not on "their property". It was on "common ground"...

The association says its common ground. No one is allowed to have anything on common ground so the statue had to go.

Rockntractor
12-12-2011, 01:02 PM
My They might have tolerated something smaller and lighter-like a plastic statue, as tacky as that might be.



As long as it was virgin plastic and not recycled it would be acceptable.

Odysseus
12-12-2011, 02:13 PM
It was not on "their property". It was on "common ground"...

The association says its common ground. No one is allowed to have anything on common ground so the statue had to go.



He placed the statue just below the window of his family’s Robinson Township condominium

Usually, there is a property line that includes the area immediately surrounding the house. If they are defining common ground as anything that can be seen from the street, then it seems too expansive to survive a court test.

THE Gypsy
12-12-2011, 02:33 PM
He placed the statue just below the window of his family’s Robinson Township condominium

Usually, there is a property line that includes the area immediately surrounding the house. If they are defining common ground as anything that can be seen from the street, then it seems too expansive to survive a court test.

Not in the case of a community operating under a HOA. Most police anything that is in public view, and yes, many consider the property right up to the outside walls of your home as "common ground". It can easily "survive a court test" because the home owners sign a contract when they buy the house agreeing to abide by the HOA Rules, which they receive a copy of to review BEFORE they sign on the dotted line.

This is why I do not live in a community that has a HOA.