Neighbors, HOA Take Political Sign Battle to Court

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

A Grand Junction neighborhood is in a political scuffle over political signs. A man says his homeowner's association went too far in tearing down campaign materials in his yard. Now he and the HOA are taking their fight to court.

Jim Rozman is putting political signs up in his front yard -- again. He says last week he came home to find them on his porch with a note, saying they were in violation of the homeowner's association codes and regulations.

"It's a violation of our first amendment rights," said Rozman. "Apparently when you sign up for HOA or move into a subdivision you give up your rights."

But Tom Lowrey, the Grand View HOA president, says that's not the case.

"We are a private association as the home owner's association, so the first amendment does not apply to us," said Lowrey.

Rozman admits he did sign the rules that outline limits on displaying signs, but says a law passed in 2005, allowing people to put campaign signs in their yards, should trump those rules.

Lowrey says while that is the case for many HOA's, the law also lists certain conditions where they can be exempt -- conditions he says Grand View meets.

"We have a clause in our CCR's which specifically exempts us from the act," said Lowrey. "And because our homeowner's dues are less than 300 a month."

Lowrey says he understands why his neighbors are saying what they're saying, and that he's only doing his job enforcing rules that were set in 1995.

He says neighbors who still want to show their support for candidates and causes have other options besides yard signs.

"People in this neighborhood can put political signs in their windows and there are many ways to be involved in the political process," said Lowrey.

Now both sides are taking the issue to court.

"Maybe we won the battle," said Rozman. "We'll see if we win the war."

"I will abide by that judge's ruling no matter which way it is," said Lowrey.

All in hopes they can resolve the issue and move on.

Jim Rozman has filed a complaint with the police department against Tom Lowrey for trespassing.

Lowrey says of the 200 homeowners in the subdivision, he's only run into issues on the rule with Rozman and about nine others.

Click on the attachment to read the entire senate bill.

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