TEXAS – Sugar Land woman says HOA crossed the line

fortbendstar.com: Sugar Land woman says HOA crossed the line
By Michael Sudhalter
May 22, 2015

Last winter, Sugar Land resident Eleanor Burgess put an 18-inch decorative Christian Cross in her front yard garden as a memorial to her 92-year-old mother who passed away in December.

Burgess, who lives in the Commonwealth subdivision in Sugar Land, received the cross as a gift from relatives in East Texas at her mother’s funeral.

She was surprised last March to receive a letter from the Commonwealth Homeowners Association (HOA), saying that the cross violated the neighborhood’s deed restrictions.

“It was infuriating that I can’t have something so meaningful and non-offensive in my front yard to honor my mother,” Burgess said. “The HOA’s power has exceeded their usefulness. I never thought I’d be breaking any kind of rule. It never entered my mind that I was being any kind of rebel. Crosses are so much a part of our family.”

As per HOA policy, Burgess was given the opportunity to state her case during an HOA board meeting in March.

“They were so defensive and ready to (oppose) me from the minute I walked in—they weren’t going to be swayed,” said Burgess, who has since reluctantly moved the cross to her backyard where the HOA has no issue with it.

State law allows people to have any type of religious item on their front door, but individual HOAs have the discretion on whether to allow what they describe as “yard art.” Read more:

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