'Natural' yard could land owner in jail
By TERRY KLIEWER, Houston Chronicle

Lisa Wright makes it a point to stop and smell the flowers every day. She never fails to hear birds singing. She seeks to be one with nature, and the place where she chooses to do so is her own front yard. That apparently doesn't suit the Sundown Glen Community Association. The neighborhood group has nothing against flowers or birds or trees, but it isn't happy at all about Wright's front yard. And because of that, she may be headed to jail. 

The community association is in Harris County Civil Court at Law No. 2 to get Wright to overhaul her self-described 'natural habitat' front yard to bring it into line with the others in her small west Harris County subdivision. Wright built her yard painstakingly over the past 10 years, starting from an almost bare-dirt yard with one broken Siberian elm sapling. Since then, she has cultivated a collection of red cedars, crepe myrtles and wood sorrel ground cover, along with an overcup oak, a Barbados cherry tree and a Mexican plum. Dozens of other plants, large and small, dot the yard. 

The effect is a small-scale version of the Houston Arboretum or, as she notes pointedly, 'the kind of yard you see in parts of River Oaks or in places along Memorial Drive in the villages (area).' It's not, however, what you see elsewhere in Sundown Glen, an early 1980s subdivision comprising several square blocks of mid-priced homes located north of Katy Freeway west of Barker-Cypress Road. Most homes have ordinary grass lawns, a few ornamental shrubs and a shade tree or two.

The slight, black-haired, 55-year-old defendant laughed nervously last week at the prospect of going to jail. But she said she remains dead serious about what she's doing and why. 'I've never been in a spot like this, and I don't like confrontation,' she said. 'But when I'm pushed up against a wall -- like this -- if I'm wronged, then I'll fight. I'm not hurting anyone with my yard...' Question Who's Online | Find Members | Private Messages
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563 hits Rate me! Share Favorite | Flag 19 years ago by KikiPeepers

Should this woman be jailed for not taking care of her yard?
`Natural` yard could land owner in jail

By TERRY KLIEWER, Houston Chronicle

Lisa Wright makes it a point to stop and smell the flowers every day. She never fails to hear birds singing. She seeks to be one with nature, and the place where she chooses to do so is her own front yard. That apparently doesn`t suit the Sundown Glen Community Association. The neighborhood group has nothing against flowers or birds or trees, but it isn`t happy at all about Wright`s front yard. And because of that, she may be headed to jail.

The community association is in Harris County Civil Court at Law No. 2 to get Wright to overhaul her self-described `natural habitat` front yard to bring it into line with the others in her small west Harris County subdivision. Wright built her yard painstakingly over the past 10 years, starting from an almost bare-dirt yard with one broken Siberian elm sapling. Since then, she has cultivated a collection of red cedars, crepe myrtles and wood sorrel ground cover, along with an overcup oak, a Barbados cherry tree and a Mexican plum. Dozens of other plants, large and small, dot the yard.

The effect is a small-scale version of the Houston Arboretum or, as she notes pointedly, `the kind of yard you see in parts of River Oaks or in places along Memorial Drive in the villages (area).` It`s not, however, what you see elsewhere in Sundown Glen, an early 1980s subdivision comprising several square blocks of mid-priced homes located north of Katy Freeway west of Barker-Cypress Road. Most homes have ordinary grass lawns, a few ornamental shrubs and a shade tree or two.

The slight, black-haired, 55-year-old defendant laughed nervously last week at the prospect of going to jail. But she said she remains dead serious about what she`s doing and why. `I`ve never been in a spot like this, and I don`t like confrontation,` she said. `But when I`m pushed up against a wall -- like this -- if I`m wronged, then I`ll fight. I`m not hurting anyone with my yard...`


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19 yrs ago - Saturday 5/3/03 - 8:37:56 PM EST (GMT-5)
Ideally I would like to do something like that with my yard to too. It's sad that there are laws like that. An embarrassment to the neighborhood? That's stupid. I think it's pretty.
19 yrs ago - Saturday 5/3/03 - 8:42:35 PM EST (GMT-5)
Yes,of course every yard should look the same in subdivisions.We wouldnt want anyone diffrent would we? morons
19 yrs ago - Saturday 5/3/03 - 8:48:21 PM EST (GMT-5)
Why is Texas so weird? What is this obsession about putting people in jail or killing them?
19 yrs ago - Saturday 5/3/03 - 9:06:16 PM EST (GMT-5)
LOL veraa
19 yrs ago - Saturday 5/3/03 - 9:19:01 PM EST (GMT-5)
im not even gonna read that article,the question itself jsut makes me wanna cry
19 yrs ago - Saturday 5/3/03 - 9:19:49 PM EST (GMT-5)
Only if the yard kills someone.
19 yrs ago - Thursday 5/8/03 - 7:18:12 AM EST (GMT-5)
She should grow a man-eating plant in her yard and feed it the members of Sundown Glen Community Association...
19 yrs ago - Thursday 5/8/03 - 7:21:18 AM EST (GMT-5)
Homeowners' associations = suburban nazis
19 yrs ago - Thursday 5/8/03 - 7:22:30 AM EST (GMT-5)
No
19 yrs ago - Thursday 5/8/03 - 7:27:47 AM EST (GMT-5)
Ha maybe a foriegn power needs to impose a regime change to prevent this from happening. Another nail in the freedom myth.
19 yrs ago - Sunday 5/25/03 - 8:03:16 PM EST (GMT-5)
And this is worse than immaculate chemically laced lawns how exactly?
19 yrs ago - Sunday 5/25/03 - 8:06:19 PM EST (GMT-5)
What happened to personal property? Why is it their business? I really don't like this kind of crap. I like flowers, birds and trees.
19 yrs ago - Sunday 5/25/03 - 8:09:01 PM EST (GMT-5)
I hate subdivision laws... I live in one and if someone really felt like it, they could challenge my property...
19 yrs ago - Monday 5/26/03 - 9:05:12 AM EST (GMT-5)
I love association rules - I live in an association and at first I thought it was restrictive but now I realize how much better it is. You'd never have to worry about neighbors like this letting things get overgrown, and you don't have to worry about property value declining if a bad seed moves in. I don't think I'll ever live somewhere without association rules any more - never having to worry about crap neighbors is worth it :P
19 yrs ago - Monday 5/26/03 - 9:11:29 AM EST (GMT-5)
Since when does the state have the right to tell the citizen how to live thier life?
19 yrs ago - Monday 5/26/03 - 9:17:09 AM EST (GMT-5)
What a brilliant plan! Send her off to jail and let her yard get overgrown too because shes not there to cut it. What fumb ducks...
19 yrs ago - Monday 5/26/03 - 9:22:42 AM EST (GMT-5)
she should get a medal for having a cool looking yard..
19 yrs ago - Monday 5/26/03 - 9:57:00 AM EST (GMT-5)
I'm not totally opposed to association laws. The personal freedoms they restrict are returned ten-fold in property value and neighborly harmony. In this case, however, I really think there is a difference between someone who creates a beautiful garden in their front yard and someone who puts a bunch of rusted out cars up on cinder blocks in their front yard. It is subjective, to be sure, but a neighborhood association should be a little more concerned with merit than uniformity.
18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Friday 8/29/03 - 8:11:59 AM EST (GMT-5)
Oh for God´s sake. What is the world coming to? For once somebody actually has some originality and what happens? The law tries to destroy it.

So, her neighbours want to destroy all the great things she´s done. How about we destroy their hideously "normal" white picket fence gardens with their perfect lawns and their lack of wildlife?

These people actually make me very VERY angry.

18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Friday 8/29/03 - 8:26:37 AM EST (GMT-5)
The law does not want you to be diverse, they want you to be the same as everybody else. That way they don't have to worry about you rebelling against them. These neighborhood associations are nothing less than communism at work, and I think they are ridiculous. If I buy a piece of land, and pay my money to put a house on that land, then there isn't going to be anybody that can tell me what to do with it.
18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Friday 8/29/03 - 8:32:40 AM EST (GMT-5)
Well said don!
18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Friday 8/29/03 - 8:33:57 AM EST (GMT-5)
Two words

Personal Property

18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Friday 8/29/03 - 8:50:40 AM EST (GMT-5)
I wouldn't live in a place subject to association laws. Now they tell you what your yard should look like, what will they do next--tell you what kind of pet to own? What color your partner/family should be?

Even though there are a couple of homes with a similar 'natural style' yard property values in my neighborhood grow significantly every year.

18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Friday 8/29/03 - 9:02:35 AM EST (GMT-5)
I cant believe this story there is no way anyone should go to jail unless they are a danger to the public, the only danger this lady presents is to annoy her stuck up neighbours as she dares to be different. I hope you let us know how she gets on.
18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Friday 8/29/03 - 9:04:15 AM EST (GMT-5)
If you choose to live in an area that has rules you have to abide by them. If you don't like it move.

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