We Hate ‘em and Need ‘em, So Which HOA Rules?

Andrea Molberg

Most of us spent years longing for the day when parents, teachers, and bosses wouldn’t be telling us what to do. Demand people do something, and they resist. Conversely, tell someone they can’t do something and, suddenly, the something looks awfully good.

Though we dream of being in charge and having things our way, fairness matters. No longer kids playing Monopoly or Red Light-Green Light, we still want to yell, “Hey, play by the rules! Don’t cheat!” Because agreements help us know what to expect and what others can expect of us, they are necessary evils for sports, marriages, businesses, and HOAs.

The SaddleBrooke TWO Board and its Rules and Regulations Committee are struggling with which SaddleBrooke rules to keep, discard, or change. Thank them. We elected them to make decisions about our precious resources, and they accepted a burden. Residents should insist they use our input, even though we won’t completely agree on our user manual. People have different needs and preferences.

Life in a community or country comes with regulations and laws, but how much easier rules are to swallow when we recognize dog policies, landscape maintenance, and speed limits are agreements. How does it work? We have the opportunity (not everybody chooses to take it) to make our case and vote, and then the deal is to live honorably with the decision. Of course, later we can revisit whether the agreement makes sense. We get both rights and obligations.

It’s much easier for us to comply when we know why. When will we resist a change? When we think the status quo is okay, fear the change won’t work, misunderstand, and/or lack information about risks and rewards.

Over 1,000 of your neighbors have signed paper and online petitions asking SaddleBrooke TWO to adopt the same successful dog policy SaddleBrooke One has had for decades. After hours, SaddleBrooke One allows dogs riding in carts and walking on a leash on golf paths only. In contrast, SaddleBrooke TWO imposes a $500 fine for dogs on golf paths, whether walking or riding.

SaddleBrooke One’s friendly, simple policy is popular with residents and realtors, because having dogs on the paths builds community and provides a safe place for exercising in a beautiful spot. Having the same policy throughout SaddleBrooke makes things easier.

Those who get the right to use the courses they pay for have, of course, the obligation to prevent damage to them. We’re allowed to drive cars when not every driver obeys laws, so permit the many dog owners to use golf paths even if there’s an occasional dishonorable rule breaker. The rest of us will thank you and keep picking up poop.