As we all know, the HOA levies a ton of restrictions against those who purchase a home in their “territory”. Among those restrictions is the fact that signage is not allowed in any form. Even yard sale signs (in most HOA’s), not properly removed within 2 days, can get a homeowner fined. For those who like to show their neighbors and the rest of the world where their political loyalties lay, these restrictions have, in essence, violated their right to free speech by disallowing signage in windows or yards. For those who dare to flout the restrictions by putting out their signs anyway, there are high penalties along with the removal of the signs. The HOA’s strict policies have been rather hard to fight in past, but in Indianapolis the HOA might actually have to swallow their restrictions for at least 30 days during election.
A proposal in the Indiana Statehouse would stop homeowners’ associations from banning political signs in members’ yards and windows near elections. The Senate Election Committee voted 6-1 Monday for the bill to allow people to put up signs starting 30 days before an election regardless of association rules. The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
Supporters say the bill protects political free speech. However, anything that can be supported can also be railed against. Opponents say people who join homeowners associations know the rules before they buy property. They say restrictions on signs are often imposed to make sure an area looks nice. And while I tend to agree that there should be imposed limits (who wants to go every few feet seeing signs like flowers littering the streets?), I also feel that most people would be grateful enough to have the opportunity to show their political support that most will abide properly and remove their signs after the 30 day period has passed.
While Indianapolis is hundreds of miles from where this writer currently abides, it is hoped that if the bill can be passed there, it might make its way elsewhere. And even if this can only be seen as a small step in the right direction – I think we can all agree that finally stickin’ it to the HOA makes even baby steps seem like a huge accomplishment!