One thing I’ve thought strange about living in America is that in the Land of the free, freedom of how you can actually express yourself is severely constrained by the local home owner association (HOAs).
No fence in your outside yard to protect you house from trespassers; No grass above a few inches or turn your outside yards into a natural haven for butterflies; No painting your house with those Socialist rainbow colors; No broken links on your basketball hoop; No dinosaurs to scare away other potential dinosaurs.
Wait did you say dinosaurs?
Yes, I did where this was exactly what Nancy Hentschel did in her Sugarland, Tx property and came up against New Territory HOA.
Children and curious onlookers seem to be delighted by the prehistoric additions, but the New Territory HOA is not. It wants the dinosaurs extinct.
Even though the sculptures violate Hentshel’s deed restrictions, she isn’t budging.
“I’ve met more neighbors, delightful people, in the past 24 hours than I have in the 17 years we’ve lived here,” she said. “This is my statement. You know, open up your mouth. Wake up, roar and be a little bit more about neighbors and community… real authentic community.”
The neighborhood Facebook page has mostly supportive comments. Some residents think the sculptures should have been placed in the back yard, though.
Hentschel promises some special effects for Halloween if the dinos are still standing then.
New Territory. I know that place. I usually drive through it on my journey to / from work. Since this address is only just down the road from Sugarland’s annex of HMNS which has it’s own Dinosaur exhbits, I was wondering if they were linked.
On my way home, I took a detour to the street and took the photo shown earlier. The reptiles are no longer prominently placed to offend HOA but are somewhat hidden (To protect the garage) but I noted how small they looked compared to the Museum’s exhibits.
It still bugged me where I have seen such similar items so I looked through my old briefcase and found it in a now defunct Skymall magazine.
On those boring flights, I used to look throught Skymall and wondered who would buy such tat and now I finally met them. Nancy Hentschel gawd bless you. You are America. Thank you for keeping the dream alive and fighting against the HOA and Uni-taste.
However, it is not the first house where people clashed with local authorities.
My favorite is the shark embedded head first into the house in Heddington, Oxford in England. The Oxford City council at first tried to get it taken down on the ground of safety and after that didn’t work, said it didn’t have planning permission. After a local backlash, the decision was taken to the Dept of the Environment who allowed it to stay. It has become an alternative tourist attraction.
Hey America, next time you criticize the Brits as being subjects that are not free, at least they can do this to their houses.
It is also interesting to note that Sugarland while part of greater Houston, is not actually part of the City of Houston. In Houston itself, they famously have no zoning laws which allows some interesting local artistic impressions like the Orange Show. Time to take Patricious on a an educational trip to show how bat shit crazy some people really are. Trip report to come.