Apparently going by the notion that the best way to keep a child from getting run over while playing outside is to keep the kids from going outside, a homeowners association in Boca Raton, FL, has decided to ban just about any fun activity a child might enjoy in the complex’s shared areas.
According to WPTV, residents received a letter last week alerting them to a change in policy that banned just about anything with wheels — skateboards, roller blades, bicycles, scooters — along with toys and ball-playing, from the complex’s roadways, walkways or common grounds.
“These people don’t know what freedom is!” says one outlaw 9-year-old. “They wanted to play when they were kids, didn’t they? So why can’t we play? I was so upset.”
The letter says it’s an issue of safety and liability, but some parents say it’s never been an issue before and there is nowhere else in the neighborhood to play.
“They watch out for each other. They say ‘car,’ they get out of the way,” explains one parent to WPTV. “There’s been no property damage. There’s been no injuries.”
We don’t usually tell people to watch the video, but you should consider checking out the above clip, if only to see the HOA board members running scared from the WPTV cameras.
“It’s not about the kids!” hollers one from her car as it drives away.
The HOA president stands behind her door and yells at the camera, “There is no comment! Don’t you understand?”
Her husband was a little more forthcoming, explaining, “What do we have to do, wait for a kid to get run over? That’s what is going to happen. Cars go through here very fast.”
To that end, the HOA is cutting the speed limit in the complex to 5 MPH. Meanwhile, parents are putting together a petition to have the policy overturned.
While a police officer who lives in the complex tells WPTV he doesn’t see his fellow officers being called out to arrest rollerskating tweens, it’s worth pointing out that the preferred method of handling these sorts of violations is to slap offending homeowners with fines.
Between this and the anti-chalk scolds in Denver, it’s probably time to update our list of examples why HOAs sometimes make for horrible living situations.