A homeowner association in Florida ordered residents to remove yard signs in support of law enforcement.
The Burgess Family, of St. Cloud, Florida, put up a “Back the Blue” yard sign following a tragedy in which two Kissimmee police officers were shot and killed while on duty.
“We support the ‘blue,’ we back them, so we like to show that,” Bryan Burgess told WOFL. “We’re showing support for our local law enforcement, two have lost their lives in the line of duty I don’t think there’s an issue with it.”
The Van Kirk family, who live just up the street from the Burgess family, have a background in law enforcement and put up a similar “Back the Blue” sign in their yard.
“It’s just about being supportive, of those that put their lives on the line every day to protect me and my family,” said Janet Van Kirk.
Both families were among a number of local residents who received a letter from their HOA prohibiting yard signs, no matter what they say. A number of neighborhood residents who have “Back the Blue” signs in their yards were told by the Stevens Pantation Residential Owner’s Association that the signs are unauthorized and are to in compliance with the community’s governing documents.
“It’s frustrating, it’s not uglying up the house, I mean it’s just a sign,” Burgess said.
Van Kirk told WKMG that she had the sign up in her yard for several months before receiving the letter from the HOA.
“It’s not like it’s controversial,” Van Kirk said. “It’s not like it’s a hate group. Why does this make a difference on my property values?”
The note to residents stated, “The primary purpose of a community association is to maintain and increase the value of each owner’s property. It is not the desire of the board of directors to impose hardship.”
Some residents plan to move their signs to their window and others said that they will voice their concerns at an upcoming HOA meeting.
Burgess, however, said that he does not plan to remove his sign for the time being.
“I plan on it staying there until I can go to the community meeting and talk to them about it,” he said.
Some neighbors agreed with the HOA’s position on the issue.
“When is enough enough?” One resident asked. “You just have to obey the rules and that’s it. I think the signs should not be there and (should) come down.”
Van Kirk added, “If we can’t make some compromise with the home association (in) going to the meeting and coming up with something, then I’ll remove at that point. But I’ll leave it up till then.”
Sources: WOFL, WKMG / Featured Image: Pink Sherbet Photography/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: WOFL, WEAR