Woodlake HOA Hell and Gestapo Neighbors-Happy One Year Anniversary in VA to Us.

My friend Ron once made a wise statement about neighbors that’s stuck with me for over 20 years now.

“I want a house that’s far enough away from everybody that I can mow the grass naked if I want to.”


SOURCE: Sodahead.com (no, this isn’t Ron…or anyone I know as far as I can tell.)

Ron obviously followed his own advice. His family lives way the heck down a dirt road, almost to the Oconee River in Johnson County, GA. Deliverance music starts to play out of nowhere as you approach his 1800’s era house. He can indeed mow the grass naked if he wants. (I’m not sure if he does and I doubt I’ll ask.)

Sadly, James and I didn’t follow the “mow naked” rule of thumb last year while shopping for a home here in Virginia. We bought a house in a huge development called Woodlake on the Swift Creek Reservoir. We were taken in by its resort-like amenities.

woodlake photoPavilion_Panorama1

“It’ll be like living on vacation!” I boasted cheerfully….naively.

There was one huge element of this “resort living” that we underestimated.

The Homeowners’ Association. (cue the shower scene music from the movie Psycho.)

Not only is mowing the grass naked strictly prohibited. It says so in section 483, chapter 19, page 72, line 569F of the HOA Guidelines Manual. Having pretty much any independent thought is also prohibited. And I have to get approval from the board of directors on what shirt to wear each day (practically).

It all started with James’ utility trailer. He made the mistake of parking it under some trees next to our house, pretty much out of sight…unless you’re a freakin’ busy body neighbor with NOTHING else to do with your time except volunteer as an HOA Gestapo member.

After only five days, we received a polite letter from the board asking us to move the trailer inside the back fence.

James complied, spewing a cloud of curse words that hovered over our neighborhood like creative air pollution.

That was a few months ago.

Up until last week, he had a camo painted golf cart parked amid a thicket of trees, right next to our fence. ON OUR PROPERTY. You’d have to really look hard to see the thing.

And yesterday we received yet another polite letter from the HOA saying that a neighbor “just happened to be walking by on the back trail and noticed it.”

Yeah. RIGHT. They just happened to be walking by. Walking by with a pad and pen, taking note of any potential violations to turn in to the board.

I can assure you, they didn’t have to walk far at all. Do they get freakin’ commission for this stuff?

The letter suggested that we cover the golf cart (that’s already camo, mind you) with a camouflage tarp. Wouldn’t a large, random tarp be more of an eyesore than the golf cart itself? WTH!!!!!!

I’d also like to be able to paint my front door, but we have to submit our color of choice along with a urine specimen for approval at the next board meeting.

And the politics! I swear it’s worse than the federal government. After running the last HOA manager off with torches and pitchforks, the board finally hired a new one. And now all the tightly wound “panties-in-their-crack” housewives are freaking out on Facebook because this new manager is a prolific adult sex novel writer with a huge following of S and M and spanking fans. They’re calling for the resignation of whatever board member signed off on her hiring.

(Everyone grab your torches and pitchforks again!!!! We’ve got another career to ruin!)

With our new black lace wearing manager at the helm, it ought to at least liven up the board meetings. Maybe she’ll use corporal punishment for homeowners who violate HOA codes.

Yep, today marks a year that we’ve been Virginia residents. I miss Georgia where everyone minded their own freaking business.

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6 Responses to Woodlake HOA Hell and Gestapo Neighbors-Happy One Year Anniversary in VA to Us.

  1. Donna says:

    OMG – this sounds exactly like what we’ve been up against in our little “resort” development in California. We are like you, basically keeping to ourselves but if we step out of line, or even attempt to put our big toe over the line we get a violation! We, too, have a utility trailer that was parked at the side of our driveway, up against trees. The problem was is that we also have a travel trailer which we try to use once a month. We are allowed (I checked) to park the travel trailer on the street in front of our home for 1 day, which we have done. We started getting tickets for the travel trailer which wasn’t there when they said they spotted it. I called and got it straightened out. Then we get another, and another. Actually, they were giving us tickets for the utility trailer but calling it a travel trailer. OOPs, now it’s in our garage. We have people violating the rules right and left about yards and upkeep but if we even think of trying something, we get a warning.


  2. angelaweight says:

    Oh Donna, I can so relate. Violations all over the development that no one seems to care about. But let us have a freakin golf cart next to the fence and BAM a violation. I hope your situation gets better. Thanks for taking time to comment.


  3. Stephanie says:

    We have the same problem down the road from you in Creekwood. For example: our front porch rail rotten and fell over into the rose bushes. Well, I pretended not to notice for about a week, then drug it out and my husband and FIL replaced the entire rail on both sides and up to the front door. About a week later we got a nasty letter from the Board because we did not ask permission to replace the rotted porch rail that was laying in the rose bushes. 🙂 Apparently that was favorable to the new one. I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder, right?


  4. angelaweight says:

    Oh Stephanie! You’re kidding me!!! Isn’t that insane!!! I should write a post listing examples of unreasonable, clueless HOA’s.


  5. Sunny says:

    Love your posts Angela and do miss seeing you in GEORGIA!


  6. Leah Clair says:

    It wasn’t me!! LOL. But seriously, they have nothing better to do then look at your golf cart?
    As for the new CM, I am all for giiving her a chance. If she starts requiring us to wear studded leather collars and bustiers, I will reconsider. To add to your arsenal, the reason our fence is sickly beige is because it was more desirable to paint 900 running feet of fence instead of letting the natural wood blend into the trees. I fought long and hard and lost that battle.


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