ONLY ON 3: Neighbors react to HOA’s decision to fine resident for patriotic display

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Submitted: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 2:34am
Updated: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 2:58am

Wilmington, NC (WWAY) — On Memorial Day, Willoughby Park resident Kelly Hill had a choice between removing a flag on her front door supporting her son, who is fighting in Afghanistan, or face a fine from the homeowner’s association.

Today, neighbors spoke out about the situation.

One neighbor, who did not wish to identify themselves, says they backed the home owners association’s decision to force Hill to take down her flag. They say this isn’t the first time she has gone all out or overboard with her decorating, and that the HOA had to draw the line somewhere.

Hill’s son, Zakary Faircloth, is currently serving his second tour of duty in three years. To support her son and all of the troops, she wanted to hang a flag with the simple phrase “Support the Troops” across the top.

Instead, she was threatened with a fine from the HOA, and took down the flag. While nobody from the home owners association or the management company cared to make a comment, residents of the neighborhood continued to come up to our news vehicle in support of Hill and her situation.

“I think it’s a shame that our association and our neighbors are against it,” says resident Dorthy Sampson.

“No way, no way, you don’t fine anybody I mean, it’s your own place, if you want to hang a banner you can hang it.” Another neighbor, Lou Diorgi, said. Many neighbors seemed opposed to the decision of the home owners association.

One neighbor, Carolyn Clark, says she plans to take action.

“I think she should have the right to put a flag or a banner or anything else on the front of her house in support of all the troops, not just her son, but all the troops. I can’t believe that the association is making her take it down and I am so enraged right now that I feel like I am going to postpone my vacation and come up with a petition and have everybody sign it in support of her,” she said.

The majority of the neighbors we talked to in Willoughby Park supported Kelly Hill and spoke harshly of the Home Owners Association.

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25 Comments on "ONLY ON 3: Neighbors react to HOA’s decision to fine resident for patriotic display"

Chester Moyle
2015 years 8 months ago

I have always had the idea that in this country we had freedom of speech. we can burn flags and protest against the goverment. but how dare we protest againt a homeowners assoc. these people need to crawl back under their rocks and leave people alone. From Gandhi to Martin luther king and countless others we have fought against discrimination. this might be a good time to see about contacting our elected officials about these people. I think that this is discrimination in its worst form. You think my way or get out.


2015 years 8 months ago

…HOA’s are formed on the basis of a set of legal documents. They are usually very well defined and very clear regarding all rules and regulations as a legal document should. The HOA administration can be made up of neighborhood residents or the administration can be a third party, completely oblivious to anything other than what is on those documents. There is nothing descriminitory or illegal about these documents or the administrations. The administration is simply enforcing the codes of the document, usually to the letter. They have the power to invoke fines and even follow through with foreclosure proceedings against those that refuse to comply with the documents. Again, these documents are well prepared, legally filed and are public record.

Anyone that buys OR rents in an HOA controlled neighborhood, is by law, required to have these documents in their entirety, fully disclosed prior to signing the sale or rental contract. SHOULD ANYONE DECIDE TO MAKE THIS MOVE, READ THESE DOCUMENTS VERY CAREFULLY, WORD FOR WORD, SENTENCE BY SENTENCE!!! I would recommend hiring an attorney for full understanding of the potential consequences. It is ALL there in black and white and 100% enforceable. Do not even consider the thought, “Oh…they won’t enforce THAT silly rule!” That’s the first one that will bitch-slap you!

THINK VERY, VERY HARD before entering into any HOA agreement!!! I personally think someone would be on the lower IQ levels to even consider it. Look somewhere else, the Stepford neighborhoods are CHOCK FULL of perfectly miserable, nothing else to do than scruitinze YOUR abode and make a report on you, all the while giggling and chatting behind your back. It is a real shame that HOA’s are allowed this much power, but you have to keep in mind: This is completely legal. You WERE told up front. You had full opportunity to review the docs in entirety and make a decision. You made your decision. It IS NOT going to change. YOU will NOT win. You will comply or you will be fined or forced to move and maybe even lose your home!

Christopher Fahey
2015 years 8 months ago

how can a homa disgrace the freedoms that our flag stands for? any american has a right to display our flag and be proud that they do. my nephew David R. Fahey was killed in combat 2/28/11 in afganstan defending the right for anyone in the USA can fly old glory. and for a homa to say this is wrong they are unamerican and should be disbanded and fined for trying to take away the rights of the american peoplewho support our troops and honor the familly members who are at WAR to protect our freedoms. This is truely a disgrace for an american company to disallow the flying the flag, maybe they would rather see a poster of osama bin laden……..

2015 years 8 months ago

It is ABSURD that HOA’s have more legal rights than our elected officials. To Our government officials and ELECTED reps.. It is BEYOND time you step in and limit the amount of control and punishments HOA’s have.
There is NO WAY in God’s grean earth that an HOA should have MORE authority and MORE ability to levy fines and punishment than Our city and county zoning and ordinance dept.
I had a friend in Johnson Farms that was fines because their mailbox (even thought the paint was FROM the Homeowner association) was a tad.. and I mean a tad shade different than the original color and the individual had to pay $500…
You know what.. That is BEYOND STUPID… It is plain idiotic….
It is time for our law makers to limit the control these sharks have!
I own a house in an subdivision built in the 70’s in the county without an HOA with 4oo homes… Guess what….. No HOA, and no one does anything that “bothers” and of the rest of us where we could constitute forcing someone to pay $500 or loose their home… And my American flag PROUDLY flys ott my outer most wall… I DARE somoone to tell me to take down my stars and stripes… They’lll have to pry it from my cold dead hands first..

2015 years 8 months ago

did you READ the story..they didn’t DISCRACE Old Glory…had they..I would be on your side. They evidently don’t allow designed flags to fly…kinda stupid if you ask me…HOWEVER..there WOULD be a way to have it changed!

2015 years 8 months ago

I bet if you check, most of the people on this HOA are probably transplants not They move here and try to change everything. So glad I live where I can do whatever I want on my own property.

2015 years 8 months ago


By saying, “transplants” we ALL understand that you meant it as an off-handed remark that was MEANT to be nasty, instead of saying “northerners” … you put your tongue in cheek and snidely said…”TRANSPLANTS”.

BUT…Let me be the first to say “SORRY THAT YOU FEEL THIS WAY!”

Dammmm Yankees, Huh???!!!

U 4-got 2 say to leave!


As MUCH AS YOU WISH US AWAY, we jUST keep on coming. Learn to live with us and realize that it is NOT a NORTH/SOUTH thing, but an OBNOXIOUS personality thing…. and there are always “those” goofs!

All the HOA BOARD MEMBERS IN OUR CURRENT NEIGHBORHOOD ARE SOUTHERNERS who grew up here, went up north, made their money, came back
“down” here and are living large from NORTHERN companies!

Sorry to disappoint you, but the southerners that we know OWN half of the delapidated and semi good rentals in Wilmington, and GUESS where the RENTALS are LOCATED?
In our neighborhoods with HOAS. SO, TRANSPLANTS=SOUTHERERS…

No matter what, WE LIKE EVERYONE of THEM… and WE ARE “TRANSPLANTS” as you ignorantly put it! WE have a RIGHT TO BE ANYWHERE WE WANT TO BE IN THE WORLD…except North Korea.

The Southerners who run our HOA are not the gustapo and everyone agrees that we do not want the Gustapo type of HOA, but one that will be able to notify a contractor or fix something that may break at the pool or Clubhouse.

But, good to know how you really feel. I think I know you, don’t you belong to our Church and greet me with open arms every Sunday????

Think about it and God help you if you ever need a tried and true northerner who would give you the shirt off of his or her back. We can sniff out the people who are ‘ghastly’.

2015 years 8 months ago

Having worked in a POA office for a major community, I second your opinion. The transplants not only want to change or control everything, they provided 95% of the complaints that came through the office.

2015 years 8 months ago

Agreed…….HOAs are nothing but crap! A way to put $ in the pockets of a few so they can pay for the “shared expenses” and especially the projects they really want done. These people need to go back to the days of everyone taking care of their own property. It worked better that way, and everyone took turns cutting the grass in common areas. Never any problems…..until the anal control freaks started taking over. Do away with HOAs and let property OWNERS take care of their own property they paid for. They should not have to pay HOAs for all of this nonsense! Had to be the lawyers that came up with HOAs at first….think of all the $ they are making interperting, advising, suing, enforcing, etc. I wish all of the control freak leads of the HOAs would get a life and job and MYOB! Maybe if people refuse to buy in areas with HOAs they’ll get over themselves. Ditto for historical neighborhoods with their own rules. If they make want to control all of the homes, they should have to buy them and pay the mortgage too.

2015 years 8 months ago

IS PLAINLY OBVIOUS YOU have never been in an HOA…much less volunteered to serve your community in one….LINING POCKETS WITH MONEY…LOL…my HOA has dues to maintain the common area and fix sink holes…we have an account with money it it for large projects so that nobody gets assessed….the same board members have been on for OVER five years….that’s with over 300 homes….and you think people will VOLUNTEER to maintain the common areas…LOL…maybe just the five that volunteer already!

A few other things…you really cannot by within NHC without being in an HOA anymore…at least in the new neighborhoods built after 1994. HOA’s are NON-PROFIT…they don’t MAKE money…LOL..YOU sir are a moron! I bet you believe in flying ponies and unicorns too!

2015 years 8 months ago

HOAs were created in order to maintain control over the property value in these “developments”. People are mroe concerned about property value than anything else. These “homeowners” complain when their “property value” goes down becuase of something they dear the neighbor will do, but then complain when their “tax value” goes up because their “property value” went up.

Thats one of the main reasons for parts of our economic problems, is the real estate market. Why in the heck would anyone buy an expensive “house” house in one of these “neighborhoods” where everything has to be the same, and you have no control over your property.

I may not live in a McMansion, but what little bit I have is PAID FOR, and IS MINE, and NO HOA with their power tripping neo-nazis wiritng me tickets for dead spots in my grass.

There is a simple solutiion. Get out of the neighborhood that has the HOA and build somewhere else. If all of these neighborhoods lose all of the residents, there will be no more HOAs. One thing you do have to watch out for though, is restrictive covenants on your deed. Those are worse than HOAs…

2015 years 8 months ago

VERY simple…YOUR neighbor paints his house pink, throws pink flamingos out front and lets his yard get neck high in weeds…NOTHING you can do….my neighbor does it…HE GETS HIS BUT FINED for being obnoxious! End result…my property value remains. I am MORE concerned with the value of my home than going outside the restrictions that I agreed to. I bought my home as a nest egg…and if some IDIOT REDNECK next door doesn’t mow his yard and is being obnoxious…I lost my investment.

2015 years 8 months ago

But, I wouldn’t live in a HOA neighborhood if you gave me the house.

I keep my yard, house and vehicles up but do it on my time and terms. If my neighbor wants to live like a slob, there are city and county ordinances that address certain things. If they want to have a purple house with polka dotted shades, I could care less as long as they keep it clean. Good fences make good neighbors.

2015 years 8 months ago

YEAH..try to get code enforcement to do ANYTHING…that’s almost laughable!

I BET if you had to sell your home…you wouldn’t like that purple house with polka dots!

2015 years 8 months ago

what do I do about the slob monkeys next door that devalue my home

2015 years 8 months ago

Sounds like the HOA needs to be sued. I think that they just decreased
everyones property value.Who would ever want to live there!
Thanks to all the military and their families for protecting our rights and the good ole USA.

2015 years 8 months ago

I know a Superior Court Judge in New Hanover County and he says that HOA lawsuits are what he hears MOST in his courtroom. The HOA’s filing suits and the individual homeowner filing suits.

Sure says a lot about these “utopian wannabe community groups”, huh?

Once again, this is just ANOTHER GROSS waste of American Tax Dollars on a State funded Judges salary and the courts support teams salaries, etc., when there are real crimes being committed!

We’ve all lost our freaking minds and have taken the Kool-Aid to become Control Freaks!


An American
2015 years 8 months ago

Amazing, or should I say so un American it makes most of us want to vomitt up the poor excuse these Anti Americans of the HOA have. Lets see have one of you who support removing an American Flag off one’s door, ever stepped foot on combat ground? have you yourself ever put yourself on the line for another? have you are a family member, ever took your God Given right for Freedom, to the Test, well you sure think you can voice your Amedment right, of speech dont you?? but when pushes comes to shove, your ingorance, and your cowardence, is worn, like a Mask, for you are no American, if Just the presence of our Flag ould so much offend you, and that is what it does, it offends you as it reminds you that You are not with our Troops, they are fighting a War far away, and there loved one are fighting a Larger one right here at Home. God Have Mercy On You!!! Semper Fidelis, To Bad The HOA isinit!!!

2015 years 8 months ago

YOUR NC education is showing…READ THE ARTICLE MORON! They DIDN’T REMOVE THE AMERICAN FLAG! BTW..I don’t mind the HOA as I live in a neighborhood with one…AND I served both here and abroad for 10 years.

2015 years 8 months ago

I have my own ideas about HOAs but your statement is hard to keep up with because of the very poor spelling.

Guest `12
2015 years 8 months ago

I think whoever snitched on the neighbor on Memorial Day is shold have displayed more openess to the fact that our rights are being protected by men and women fighting overseas. Afterall, it’s Memorial Day, to honor those. What would it have hurt had she been able to fly this flag on that day. Now, if it would have been up much behond that, then I say, there is an issue.I wouldn’t blame the HOA. There are set rules and they have to enforce them if someone does not abide by them. Anyone who buys and rents in these type of subdivdision should know thisto prevent these kind of occurences happen.There are much bigger battles to fight than this one… writing your government representatives to bring our troops home so that we can devote our hard earned income, little of it as there is now, to turn this economy around.If a hurricane hits us this season, yo will be looking for the HOA to make repairs to our community, and yes, it will be done per the legally filed rules and regultions and out of the account that the board diligently set up to handle disasters. More openmindness wouldn’t hurt….on everyone’s part.

2015 years 8 months ago

“One neighbor, who did not wish to identify themselves…”

I wouldn’t want to be identified if I was a NAZI SYMPATHIZER, either.

It’s too bad that people value liberty and individual freedom so little today. Evidently they believe that we must sacrifice them for the common good.

Der fuehrer would be proud of you. Chairman Mao and Stalin, too. Because right or left, tyranny is tyranny…..and the one thing worse than tyranny is SELF-IMPOSED TYRANNY.

When you find that wonderful, ideal home, if it’s governed by an HOA, find another wonderful, ideal home.

2015 years 8 months ago

Sorry, but loss of you investment is more from a failing economy than from an “idiot redneck” (spoken like a true yankee). Your little nest egg? Haven’t you been reading the papers? Home values are falling like crazy (and not due to any rednecks – gasp!). Now myself, on the other hand, have lived here all my life, bought my house in 1978 when it was $32,000, and it’s now worth $135,000, even with the failing economy. Now THAT was a wise choice. Just sayin’…

2015 years 8 months ago

I personally don’t mind the HOA’s…your commend that the MAJORITY of complaints come from retired yankees….is true. They are some of the most untollerable, inpatient, pains in the butts! I happened to be on the board and my first contact was always to go to the persons house and talk to them face to face…if they got lippy…FINE…you get the teeth. If they were sociable and needed more time or needed time to get some money…I was nice about it and gave them time. Our problem children were ALWAYS the same idiots who just wanted to be slobs.

2015 years 8 months ago

And I bet you believe in the tooth fairy…Sorry, but what you don’t know about HOA’s could fill a book…well, at least a page of one. If you want an education, which I doubt, because you seem to just want to spew hot air, check this out:

BTW, I may live in a house built before 1994, but it’s paid in full, it’s worth four (4) times what I paid for it originally, and I don’t have some a**hole telling me what to do with my own property.

I wouldn’t throw the word “moron” around too much…it makes you look very foolish when the egg lands on your own face.