By Brian Maass and Kati Weis

ERIE, Colo. (CBS4) – Homeowners in the Erie Village subdivision say they are appalled and outraged that their management company ordered them to immediately remove their social activism yard signs or face financial penalties.

“It was pretty selective,” said homeowner Kristi Short who has a sign supporting unity in her front yard.

(credit: CBS)

She and an estimated 30 other homeowners received letters from their management company in early September saying there had been an inspection and her sign had to be removed by Sept. 20 or she would face fines.

“So to have the only thing picked on about my home being a tiny unity sign seems outrageous to me. I was pretty shocked. I thought ‘Really? This is what we’re going after? That’s so sad and disappointing,'” said Short.

She told CBS4 that many neighbors have front yard signs offering congratulations to graduates, signs for security companies and other signs, but the only homeowners who received warning letters were those who had Black Lives Matter and other unity signs on display.

(credit: CBS)

“I feel so many people are feeling disenfranchised,” said Short. “They’re feeling marginalized, they’re not feeling important, and I want people to know that in our home that they’re welcome.”

Laura Pionek has lived in the HOA neighborhood for about two and a half years and also got a letter from the management company telling her to remove her social justice sign.

“It was really surprising and quite a bit upsetting,” she said. “I felt attacked and I wanted to know right away why this was happening.”

Gary Gianetti, President of the Erie Village HOA, told CBS4 he was “astonished” at what happened and blamed the HOA’s management company.

“I think the management or inspector, whoever it was, should have looked at things more comprehensively. I don’t know what they were thinking. As a result of them not doing that, we asked for a change because they didn’t do their job properly.”

He said while there are covenants that do prohibit signs that are non-political and outside of election season, “The management company may not have written enough violations so people feel like they were individualized.”

(credit: CBS)

Homeowners said there have been much more serious issues like sidewalks in disrepair and overgrown yards, which made the sign enforcement action more questionable.

After the blowback from homeowners, the HOA put a moratorium on fines and enforcement actions until Dec. 1. By then, the HOA board hopes to have proposed new rules and regulations regarding yard signs.

Gianetti told CBS4, “We’re going to move forward, whether that means getting a new management company or a new manager, that’s what we’re going to do.”

The Erie Village flap is similar to what occurred recently in Denver’s Lowry neighborhood, which is also governed by an HOA. Homeowners there pushed back after they were told they could no longer display their social justice yard signs.

Within days of media reports on the dustup, the HOA altered its rules to allow two yard signs per home.

Comments (17)
  1. The heavy-handed rule of HOA’s and the pallid social-activism-by-yard-sign of the offenders are both ridiculous.

    1. Robert Miller says:

      I love it when these commies are read the riot act!! The BLM and ANTIFA are terrorist organizations!!

  2. orcahawk says:

    Sad to see so many commenters here coming out against freedom of expression in America. Remember that place? Where our fathers taught us things like “I don’t agree with your point of view but I’ll fight for your right to express it”? I lived there, and it was wonderful.

    Sorry to say that place is gone. We’ve replaced it with a place where fathers are teaching children to hate each other based on race and creed. Now they plan violence against citizens holding views they don’t agree with, even if those citizens are in the majority in our democracy.

    1. Chip says:

      BLM was founded by avowed Marxists who promoted the destruction of the nuclear/traditional family on their website until recently scrubbing it. They have looted and burned businesses, assaulted citizens, physically and verbally abused the police and have even shot at them. And YOU have a problem with those of us pushing back against these criminals and their supporters? This goes far beyond “Free Speech.” These people are supporting racist, violent thugs who want to harm the rest of us.

      1. Robert Miller says:

        Chip,you hit the nail right on the head! It’s very sad that these useful idiots are so brainwashed that they would put themselves and family members in jeopardy,as long as they vote Democrat!

  3. Michelle says:

    Why is this even news?

  4. Chip says:

    I wonder how many of these people moved to Colorado to escape the marxist/socialist states they ruined?

  5. Common Sense says:

    Erie Village HOA, do NOT back down to the supporters of the domestic terrorist group BLM. Hopefully the HOA rules allow you to evict terrorist supporters.

  6. Chip says:

    Take the letter “L” out of blm and you’ll have have an accurate description of what these vermin really are.

  7. Lucy says:

    What a bunch of miserable, virtue-signaling crybabies. Move to a neighborhood without an HOA if you’re so unhappy with the rules you agreed to when you bought your houses. Maybe try downtown Seattle, Portland, Chicago or Detroit.

  8. Randy Lahey says:

    These people who cleaned to be appalled are the same ones who have no problem attacking children carrying a Trump sign or rip hats off of 7 year olds and throw them away. Such a double standard these “woke” caucasians live with.

  9. jerry garson says:

    Simply add the letter A to the BLM signs so sign says BLAM.
    BLAM…cool!

  10. Black Waters says:

    That’s why you pay your HOA fee’s, read it and obey. Three hundred fffteen thousand black on black murders in last fifteen years, BLM (the organization) does nothing about those lives.
    It’s political and poinnted at the 19 unarmed blacks that get killed annually by police. Usually not follwing their directions. We have all heard the phrase over the last six months. Grow up.

  11. Joe Bloe says:

    Poor babies…. they are appalled over everything.

  12. Ryan, Oracle says:

    Watching the rise of this new religion is very interesting, it even has yard signs! The last empire to see such drastic wide-spread religious change within an existing empire were the Romans. However, this modern social media-born cult does not profess, or claim, any center of gravity so its Overton Window literally shifts by the hour. Result: it will fall apart by its own hypocrisy and chaos, as it devours its own cultists, and ultimately ends very very badly as people wake to realize how bad they’ve been duped.
    Pass the popcorn normies of the world, real life is turning into a great movie to sit back and laugh as these cultist fighting for group hierarchical positioning via virtual signalling (look at my signs/symbols!). Special kinds of ignorant, novel BIOS programming aside, is always inciting to enjoyment – it’s so crazy! ;)

  13. jayalenby says:

    The people who want these stupid signs in their yard should move to the ghetto. These rich, white snobs just want to pretend they care. They don’t even know any black people. They are snowflakes and posers. Hopefully the HOA fines them all. They knew the rules when they bought the house.

  14. Mary says:

    Folks who are OWNERS in HOA controlled communities and are unhappy with ANY of homeowners’ declarations need to do 2 things:
    1) Get elected to the subdivision’s board of directors (which can only happen once a year, usually at the annual meeting, unless a board member quits/dies and needs to be replaced; it’s a bear to attempt to have a board member “recalled” although it can be done). Note that serving on a board requires monthly meetings of at least a couple of hours (including commute time, although many are currently holding Zoom meetings during the pandemic) + plus “prep time” before the meeting.
    2) Work to change those declarations – some places allow the board to change them almost “at whim” – others require a majority vote of the owners.

    For those who are renters, if the owner of the place refuses to get involved, you are SOL (even though you are required to follow those declarations); however, technically the OWNER is the one responsible for any fines.

    The management companies involved HAVE to follow the declarations (they can often be fired “at whim”), so the BOARD holds responsibility for those declarations.

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