An ongoing battle between a couple's Obama lawn sign and the homeowners association is ripping an Olde Belhaven community in Northern Virginia’s Fairfax County apart. The Obama lawn sign battle has been going on for over four years and has cost the community almost $400,000.
When Sam and Maria Farran planted the Obama sign in their yard during the 2008 election, the couple had no idea it would put them on a collision course with the neighborhood homeowners association. The problem: It was four inches taller than the association’s rules allowed.
Yahoo! reported on Feb. 10 that the battle started when a disapproving neighbor filed a complaint with the association. Shortly after the complaint was filed, the association requested that the Farrans remove the Obama lawn sign.
However, instead of removing the sign, the Farrans decided to cut it in half. The homeowners association didn't find the couples' actions funny, and the couple received a $900 fine for the infraction.
Following this incident, the HOA denied the couples' proposal for roof and deck renovations and the Farrans believe the denial had no basis. The couple said,
“It’s like we weren’t living in America,” Maria Farran said. “You are always one board election away from a tyranny. They wield enormous power.”
The Farrans filed a lawsuit against the HOA that claimed that the association didn’t have the authority to impose fines. They also alleged that the board rejected their home improvements as an act of retaliation against the couple's defiance.
The legal battle rages on and it has consumed the Olde Belhaven community.