THE KANSAS CITY STAR: Olathe man’s war with HOA over landscaping: $400,000 at stake
By Judy L. Thomas
September 7, 2016
Four years ago, Jim Hildenbrand was ready for a change.
His kids were grown, his father had died, and he wanted to be closer to his mother. So he shut down his architectural consulting business in the Quad Cities in Iowa and bought a three-bedroom home in the Avignon Villas subdivision in Olathe.
But instead of settling into paradise, he says, he landed in purgatory.
For months, he fought the homeowners association over the placement of his satellite dish. He accrued tens of thousands of dollars in fines for parking his cars in the driveway too long and placing a ceramic flower pot and a St. Francis statue in his front-yard landscaping. And what started as a dispute with the HOA over a landscaping project that featured a long, low accent wall has cost Hildenbrand more than $200,000 in legal fees.
The case went to trial in Johnson County District Court earlier this year. Hildenbrand lost that round, and the HOA wants the wall taken down. Now, he awaits a decision by the Kansas Court of Appeals. Read more: