Now, before everybody freaks out, this women claims that she had permission to plant these flowers before there even was a condo association.
That said, anybody who willfully enters into one of these Little Hitler condo fiefdoms is nutz AFAIC.
Woman sued for planting flowers gets support from media, gardeners
By Elizabeth Dinan
March 19, 2012 3:09 PM
PORTSMOUTH — An Atlantic Pointe condo owner being sued for planting flowers said she's “completely flabbergasted” by the offers of help and massive media attention her story received since being published Sunday on seacoastonline.
Kimberly Bois, a homeowner in the condo complex since 2008, has been summonsed to court by the condo association which seeks fines for every day she leaves her daisies, bearded irises, lavender, hydrangeas and tulip bulbs in the ground around her condo. Many of the perennials are heirloom plants from Bois' late mother and all were planted with permission from the developer before there was a condo association, Bois said.
Describing the land where she's planted the perennials as common area, the condo board mailed Bois 13 certified letters, which progressed from an order to cease-and-desist having the flowers, to a demand for her to dig up the plants and pay fines and penalties.
After reading about Bois' blossoming predicament, a York, Maine, woman offered to host Bois' plants in her own yard if Bois is forced to remove them.
“As I also have some heirloom plants that came from my grandmother's, and then my mother's gardens, I can understand how she feels,” the woman wrote.
The York gardener has offered to allow Bois to move her plants to her garden and said, “she would be able to come visit them whenever she likes.”
Rochester resident Donna Claveau read the story and said, “as a garden lover I wanted to do something to lend my support.” Claveau said Bois simply “wants to beautiful her condo yard” and said she plans to ask her garden club to write letters showing similar support.
In the meantime, Bois said she's been contacted by WBZ and FOX news television stations, a radio station and two news wire services.
Versions of the story have since been published by the Huffington Post, MSN, the Boston Herald, Boston.com, Yahoo, America Online, Newser, the Portland Press Herald, New England Cable News and various other news outlets.
“I didn't expect that much interest,” she said. “I think people are looking for an ounce of joy and happiness now, especially in this bad economy. I think that's what people are responding to.”
The fines levied against Bois began accruing Oct. 24, 2011, at a rate of $25 a day and have since increased to $50 a day. Monthly letters provide her with a current balance and were followed by a Feb. 23 notice that a lien was put on her condo for $4,500 in back fines. Bois has also been notified that she has to pay the condo board's attorney's fees for suing her.
Instead, she and a neighbor hired attorney Paul McEachern who said he suspects members of the condo board are “intoxified with the power they have and want to use it.”
“It's not a logical response,” he said.
The condo association is being represented by attorney Sandy Roberts, who said the grounds surrounding all of the condos are common area, controlled by the governing board. He also contends that when Bois got permission from the developer to plant her perennials, she was told the permission was temporary and could be changed by a future governing board.
Bois said she wouldn't have spent $2,000 on perennials if she believed she'd received temporary permission.
“The developer created a problem for everyone,” Roberts said. “The practical implication is that what one person thinks is beautiful, another person thinks is horrible. Whether you like it or not is not the issue.”
If Bois is allowed to keep her flowers, Roberts said, “the guy next door will say, ‘I want to do it too.'”
“It's not about do you like these flowers or don't you,” he said. “It's a question of was it authorized and is it permanent.”