Playhouse paintjob gets family in trouble with local HOA

2:24 PM, Sep 10, 2012   |    comments
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WAGT - When you buy a house in Augusta, Georgia's Mill Haven neighborhood, you agree to a set of rules set by its homeowners association.

The Peck family never imagined these rules would control the color of a playhouse in its own back yard.

Aubree's pink play house in her family's backyard is her favorite place to play.

She plays with a kid's toy kitchen and loves to bake up cupcakes and brew tea.

Aubree's grandmother built her the play house as a Christmas present. She never imaged the color of the walls would turn into an expensive lawsuit from her homeowners association.

"This is ridiculous," says Becky Rogers-Peck, Aubree's grandma. "There's too much crime and everything else. These lawyers need to be worrying about other things that are way more important than whether or not my granddaughter has a pink playhouse."

If you're driving or walking down the street, you wouldn't even know that the pink playhouse existed.

You have to peek around their home and into their backyard.

The association's rules say you have to get permission before adding an outbuilding, but Rogers-Peck doesn't consider the playhouse to be an outbuilding.

"I chose to say its play equipment," said Rogers-Peck. "No different than if I put a trampoline or swing set out here."

HOA president Susan Bradley says you can't put something in your yard unless it's approved.

"Part of the approval is the color," Bradley said. "We didn't disapprove of the play house; we disapproved of the color of it."

The HOA says if the colors of the walls were different, the house would be acceptable, but, Aubree's grandma said she's not willing to repaint.

"I'm going to fight it until the bitter end," Rogers-Peck says. "I will not paint that doll house. I'll move first."

The Peck family has called a couple lawyers for help, but says legal fees are very expensive.

Lawyers told them their chances of winning are only 50/50.


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