Illustration for article titled In Case You Forgot HOAs Are Terrible, A Florida HOA Reminds Us By Demanding A Nurse Remove Her Quarantine RV
Screenshot: News4JAX

I know over the years I’ve written a lot about HOAs and their actions, most of which I find to be the most reprehensible examples of human pettiness and misery, especially when it comes to residents and their cars or trucks. I freely admit that I am biased. And while my bias may be regrettable, it’s really hard to shake when they continue to do things like this, where a Jacksonville, Florida-area nurse is being threatened with a $1,000 fine if she does not remove the RV she has in her driveway that she has prepared for quarantine use, since she is at great risk of contracting the Covid-19 virus.

Advertisement

Sarah Lynch is the nurse in question, and she lives at the Magnolia Point Golf and Country Club housing development in Green Cove Springs. Lynch is a hospital nurse and her husband is a Department of Defense employee, and both are considered essential personnel and are continuing to work, with Lynch herself, as a hospital nurse, and while she’s currently working from home, she expects to have to go into the hospital for work soon, and then will have a much higher than average chance to be exposed to the virus.

The couple has a special-needs daughter as well, and the thinking behind moving their 34-foot RV to their circular driveway was that it, with its kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping facilities, would make an ideal quarantine unit, should that become necessary.

Advertisement

Honestly, it seems like a pretty smart idea; Lynch believes that it is likely she will need to self-quarantine at some point because of her work, and since the have the RV already, why not use it? It seems like a responsible thing to do, having a ready-to-go plan for quarantine, which, those of you familiar with the definition of quarantine may recall, will be helpful for everyone in her fancy little community.

The HOA, of course, doesn’t see it that way, and believes that even during the largest pandemic seen in America in over a century, it’s still a far greater crime to park an RV in your driveway.

I mean, I get that RVs are weird-looking with their baffling earthtone swoopy stripes and all, but come on.

A day after the RV was parked in their driveway, the Lynches found a note taped to it informing them that if the RV wasn’t removed, they’d face a fine of $100 per day, up to $1,000.

Advertisement

It also appears that someone posted a note with the HOA guidelines about RVs on the vehicle, too. Just think about the kind of person that would do that. Try imagine going on a road trip with such a person. Now try to imagine not abandoning them at a rest stop somewhere. You probably can’t do that last one.

Sure, Lynch probably should have formally requested it with the HOA and all that, I suppose. Lynch told local news station WJXT4 that

“We figured the HOA would be more lenient as the community is all pulling together,”

Advertisement

...which, really seems perfectly reasonable to me.

The Lynches have moved the RV back to the storage facility in the meantime, but personally I’d have liked to have seen an alternate approach taken: fuck the HOA.

Advertisement

I mean, come on, why, why, why should this matter at all? It’s not like they had any other purpose for parking the RV in their driveway—they already have a storage place for it, it’s pretty clear why they wanted it there, and it seems a pretty prudent thing to do, given that there’s a fucking pandemic going on and she’s a nurse.

I get that the HOA has rules they agreed to when they moved in, and one of them is a rule against RVs in a driveway because somehow that’s terrible to the sorts of fussy, prickly monsters that make up HOAs, but, really, couldn’t they have just given them a warning and cut them some slack if they agree to remove it when this whole mess is over? Would that have been so terrible?

Advertisement

Apparently so, since this was the HOA’s response:

“The owners in this case, one who is a nurse and currently working at home and the other who works at a local military base are neither infected with the COVID-19 virus nor have they been directed by authorities to self quarantine. Hence, they have no immediate or justifiable need to keep an RV at their residence.

The owners made no attempt to contact the Association, register the RV at the front gate to obtain a standard 48 hour pass or subsequent extension(s) to keep the RV on site beyond the normal 48 hour limit. The requirement to register RVs, boats and trailers has been a long standing rule of the Association for many years.

For the record, I received a phone call from the Lynch’s (sic) and listened to their argument to keep their RV at their home. I assured them that if they needed to self-quarantine, we would support them in the safest way possible, including parking their RV in the driveway…

We have a number of residents who work in the medical field and not one of them has signaled a need to keep an RV at their residence ‘just in case.’ Nor has there been a pubic call to provide RVs for the purpose of quarantining individuals outside of direct hospital care.

The HOA Board’s position is simple ... we will support and accommodate to the maximum extent possible, any valid need, and will organize community support for any resident or family that falls prey to the COVID-19 virus (or other emergent need), to provide any and all assistance desired. MPCA holds in the highest regard, law enforcement, first responders, our military, and all medical professionals who place themselves at greater risk to take care of the rest of us should we ever need medical assistance.”

Advertisement

Okay, so, if the HOA is willing to “support them in the safest way possible, including parking their RV in the driveway…” then why not just fucking do it? Why not just say okay, fine, and be done with it?

Having the RV there before they need to self-quarantine, should that happen, is important, as it allows for the quickest possible quarantine. They should just have a blanket rule that anyone who wants to do something similar during the pandemic can do so, because why the hell not?

Advertisement

If it’s too painful to look at RVs in driveways then perhaps human vision isn’t a thing some people should avail themselves to. I understand the HOA is likely in the right here, legally, but from any human decency perspective, I can’t see it.

I’ll never understand HOAs. And if I ever do, I hope someone will quickly and swiftly attempt to remove the mind-control chip from my brain.

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)

Share This Story

Get our newsletter