FOSTER parents installed a wheelchair ramp in their home, but it caused problems with the homeowners association.
Julie and Irl Copley said they’ve had a few minor issues with their HOA in the 14 years since moving into their Olathe, Kansas, home.
The situation escalated in 2016 when they built a ramp to make it easier for their foster child to get in and out – without following HOA protocols.
The Copleys received help from their local church to build the wheelchair ramp for their 11-year-old child with cerebral palsy.
Then the Mill Creek Grande Homeowner’s Association contacted them and ordered them to remove the ramp and cover the affected area with landscaping.
“They said it hurt the beautification and flow of the neighborhood,” Irl Copley said The Kansas City Star.
“There can’t be anything in this area that isn’t perfect.”
The couple said they were contacted by Don Payne, president of the HOA, who said the ramp did not meet the association’s rules.
“Goodwill is one of those things you build with your neighbors over time,” he reportedly wrote in a statement.
“Malice is mutual; it grows when you generally ignore the agreed rules and act without consideration for your neighbors.”
Payne apparently argued that the ramp could have been built in the garage.
“The rules are in place for a reason and everyone agrees to them when they move into the neighborhood,” Payne said in an email to The Kansas City Star.
“These are not draconian rules. Basically, every HOA has a rule that you must obtain permission before construction. Otherwise people could build whatever they want.”
Payne said at the time that the HOA was trying to work with the couple to resolve the issue.
“The HOA requested that landscaping be installed in front of the ramp, which the Copleys initially agreed to, but to date it has not been completed,” he said.
The Copleys claimed they were tired of the back and forth and wanted to move, but argued the process would take time.
In addition to finding a new home, they would also have to find a suitable home for their foster children.
“With foster children, we would first have to buy another house to move into and get it approved by the state,” Julie Copley said.
The Copleys still live in Kansas and run a business called Home Works for Books.
The US Sun has reached out to the Mill Creek Grande Homeowner’s Association for comment.