Well, it’s happened again, this time in New Hampshire (you know, the Live Free or Die state? Yeah, right–apparently not in condominium complexes). A woman who had permission from the developer of her condominium project to plant perennials and shrubs that she brought from her late mother’s garden in and around her condominium unit has received no fewer than 13 “cease and desist” notices from her Homeowner’s Association for inappropriate “development of the property” according to this story in the Seacoastonline.
What sorts of perennials and shrubs are we discussing? Is it something rangy and weedy like wildflowers? (Not that it would matter if it were, mind you, just that those are less likely to be acceptable in a community where people live in close quarters). Not at all. She’s growing bearded iris, lavender, hydrangea, daisies (no variety specified) and tulips.
Unfortunately, she may lose her case because in common interest communities, like condominiums, when you buy a property you buy being aware of the restrictions involved. And the developer did advise her that once the condominium board was established, her right to have those flowers might not continue.
I do think she has a good argument, however, for the law of being “grandfathered in.” She should be able to maintain those plants, as is, as long as she lives there and is able to maintain them. Once she sells her unit, however, it should revert to condominium board rules and regulations–unless the board comes to its senses and realizes that she is actually raising the property values of all the units with her plantings.