Home Owner Association is defined on Wikipedia as a corporation formed by real estate developers for the purpose of marketing, managing, and selling of houses. They act as a mini City Council for the people living within the community, and if the majority of the residents want to enact a longboarding ban then unfortunately for longboarders living with those residents, they can.
In our neighborhood we have had an increase in longboarders since last summer. We have always been very respectful, and talk to anyone who walks by. They always say we are good kids and and very respectful. The neighbors never really had a problem with us longboarding until we started holding onto our friends cars to take us up the hill, aka: skitching.
One day while doing what we usually do, a police officer stopped to talk to all of us, a lady had reported us skitching, so he told us to stop. We did what the cop told us and stopped skitching, however the following weekend our longboard session was suddenly stopped by a cop. He asked us if anyone had been skitching? We said, “no sir”. He told us the lady reported us skitching again. Not only had we not been skitching, we hadn’t done it since we had been warned to stop.
The next weekend some kids went by her house, and started ringing the door bell and running. They assumed it was us, and later a cop approached us while sitting at our neighborhood park. He informed us that the lady had called AGAIN and we weren’t allowed to go back on her hill! This sucked because it was one of our favorite hills. It was clear this lady didn’t like us.
Although we had always been friendly every time we saw her, we were never in her way when she came through, and we never left trash on her street! She started sending emails to the Home Owners Association about us and how longboarding should be banned!
Other neighbors saw the emails. More and more emails started flying around the Home Owner Association about longboarders. One lady even said, “Get your phones and take pictures of the preps!” Other emails said they wanted to ban us from longboarding and if you weren’t from this neighborhood you had to leave. This lady had managed to split our quiet community into Longboarders vs Home Owner Association.
My mom went and printed out petitions to keep longboarding in the neighborhood. One lady even came to our house and said she didn’t agree with it one bit. She said, “if they ban kids from longboarding what will they ban next? My daughter riding her bike or scooter?”
They decided to hold an HOA meeting about the issue. Fortunately EVERY long boarder and their family showed up to the meeting. Some neighbors defended us, saying they have had very nice encounters with us. They said,” The boys are very polite! Every time I pass, they wave and smile and get out of the way!”
On the other hand other neighbors claimed kids were cussing out cars, and playing chicken with them allegations that frankly where not true! We made it a point to point that out! There’s another group of longboarders who are in college now but used to get in all kinds of trouble for cussing and messing with cars. We reminded them of those kids and how there back a lot and we are always respectful and just want to longboard!
Although the entire ordeal was very stressful, after factoring both sides of the argument and listening to what the members of the Home Owner Association had to say… They decided we could still longboard! On one condition! They were concerned about safety and did mandate that we get some reflective vest, or reflective tape so they could see us at night. We went out that day and got 25 vest and some reflective t – shirts.
Since the meeting we have had no more trouble! The neighborhood is trying to raise money though for a skate park because many of us longboard and skateboard. We have the land and are in the process are getting a grant from the tony hawk foundation, and are hosting a contest to raise money for it!
Story by – Zac Sessions & Branden Mixon:
Email: [email protected]
Get Up, Stand Up, Stand Up For Your Rights – Bob Marley
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This country is big on precedence, once one community outlaws longboarding others will surely follow suit. This is a clear example of how longboarders can be vilified by adults, some of whom have forgotten what it was like to be young. What it feels to enjoy life, by taking calculated risks. These adults will try to impose their will on others. It is not rare for teenagers to be made out to be escape goats, however our generation is smarter than previous generations. We have ways of communicating other generations couldn’t dream of! For this reason it is our responsibility to band together whenever an elected body tries to take away our right to enjoy this beautiful sport!
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