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A 3 year-old is getting artistic national attention but not in a good way.  The tot loves to doodle on her neighborhood sidewalks and not everyone is appreciating it.   So much in fact, moves are being made to ban the use of sidewalk chalk in a community.  

Sidewalk Chalk Ban

I know many of us live in communities with rules and homeowner association guidelines.  Have any of you heard of a ban like this?   Would you support or oppose this type of rule near you?

Tags: art, away, ban, chalk, children, clean, color, graffiti, off, rain, More…rules, sidewalk, toddler, up, wash, water

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I'm sorry if I offend anyone but that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.

It's GREAT for fine motor skills. It's great for imagination and creativity. It's fun. And the best part - IT WASHES AWAY! The rain or a hose will clean it right up. We have an RV pad behind out house next to our detached garage. We don't have an RV, it came with the house. There has been many a day my kids drew on it with sidewalk chalk and many a day I did it right along with them. 

I can see a rule like that in an over a certain age community (usually 55 I think?) If it's a no kids can live here type place, then I can see the visiting grandchildren not being allowed to, but even then I thinks it's extreme. IT WASHES AWAY! But I could maybe wrap my brain around it. But if it's the kid's neighborhood?! Then too bad. And my arguement would be we were here first, that rule wasn't in place when I bought. That was my fight when our old association told me I had to move my satellite dish we were among the first group in a new neighborhood. Cable wasn't available and months after we and others moved in they came up with "oh, we don't like seeing the dishes from the road" too bad - not in the bylaws, add it if you must but grandfather me and them in or pay the labor to have it moved. But that's not chalk. I mean come on... 

My number 1 condition when we moved from Jacksonville to here 4 years ago was no homeowner's association. I still haven't changed that opinion if we ever have to move again. I hope to never live in a neighborhood with an association again.

If I lived there it would take every ounce of self control I have not to write "bite me" on the sidewalk in front of my house, or at least my driveway. (Actually I probably wouldn't have the self control, good thing I married someone level headed to keeps me out of trouble with that kind of thing -or would at least watch me with the hose in hand)

Goodness, they are stepping all over the first amendment for kids!  I wouldn't support this ban in the summertime, that's for sure.  I'd rather them write all over the ground outside than mess up the house lol.     

Sidewalk Chalk

I too think this is ridiculous. This came up in my neighborhood last Summer and as HOA president, I put the cabash on it pretty quickly. It didn't get far.

And Alicia... I'm pretty certain your HOA was required to grandfather you in if the rule did not exist when you installed the dish. If it was a matter of the rule existing, but not being enforced, then that's different. We had to deal with that issue because our developer didn't enforce any rules.

Honestly, I see the benefits of HOAs, but would prefer to live some where without them. That is one reason I wanted to serve on the board... to keep ridiculous decisions from being made. It was a lonely job that no one seemed to appreciate.

I actually support the HOA on this issue.  While her drawings may be harmless, what is to prevent other "children" (teens) from drawing pictures that may be offensive to others.  It is best to completely ban the practice than leave it up to the board to distinguish between what is acceptable and what is not and leave themselves open to potential future lawsuits of discrimination.

This is not a first amendment issue.  I, nor children, have the right to draw on other people's private property.  If the sidewalk is private property of the HOA then it could be viewed as graffitti.

The sidewalks should be considered "common areas" available for use by all dues paying home owners. It would be perfectly reasonable for an HOA to make a distinction that local decency laws apply to anything drawn on the sidewalk with chalk. Does it mean there might be some uncomfortable drawings? Sure. But that's no reason to ban an entire activity.

Our HOA would probably disallow political speech, obscene drawings, or doodles that violated discrimination laws. 


MonsterMom said:

I actually support the HOA on this issue.  While her drawings may be harmless, what is to prevent other "children" (teens) from drawing pictures that may be offensive to others.  It is best to completely ban the practice than leave it up to the board to distinguish between what is acceptable and what is not and leave themselves open to potential future lawsuits of discrimination.

This is not a first amendment issue.  I, nor children, have the right to draw on other people's private property.  If the sidewalk is private property of the HOA then it could be viewed as graffitti.

I think it's ridiculous also. I think kids should be allowed to use chalk. It washes away or even sweeps away. If you don't want it in your part of the sidewalk then let it be known. But come on people. You want our kids to grow up too fast. Let kids be kids for as long as they can the real world is tuff enough.

I'm glad I don't have an HOA, we belonged to one once and all of a sudden me and my family were paying to update a pool area etc. that were decisions of a few folks in the complex.  Then, the bottom dropped out of the market, and each person had to pay even more for the update to be done.  The HOA guy was very nice and entertaining, but it cost too much and even though we lost a bunch of money, it was better to sell that place than to deal with an HOA. 

http://parsippany.patch.com/articles/condo-dweller-calls-supreme-wi...

I can see both sides of the story.  From the video this is not the sidewalk right in front of their home or part of their home. Would you allow your child to sit on the sidewalk in from of a store and write all over it. I would not have a problem with a child doing this but if people complained then she should bring a bucket of water and wash it away when her daughter is done.  Her daughter wrote all over the sidewalk and then they just walked away. My daughter writes all over my driveway but not my father in laws.  He doesn't care that it will wash away, he does not want it there at all. We respect his wishes and she does not use chalk there.

Everything Alicia said.  Plus, again, IT WASHES AWAY!!!  Good grief -- that HOA needs to get a grip.

Alicia (Alsan) said:

I'm sorry if I offend anyone but that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.

It's GREAT for fine motor skills. It's great for imagination and creativity. It's fun. And the best part - IT WASHES AWAY! The rain or a hose will clean it right up. We have an RV pad behind out house next to our detached garage. We don't have an RV, it came with the house. There has been many a day my kids drew on it with sidewalk chalk and many a day I did it right along with them. 

I can see a rule like that in an over a certain age community (usually 55 I think?) If it's a no kids can live here type place, then I can see the visiting grandchildren not being allowed to, but even then I thinks it's extreme. IT WASHES AWAY! But I could maybe wrap my brain around it. But if it's the kid's neighborhood?! Then too bad. And my arguement would be we were here first, that rule wasn't in place when I bought. That was my fight when our old association told me I had to move my satellite dish we were among the first group in a new neighborhood. Cable wasn't available and months after we and others moved in they came up with "oh, we don't like seeing the dishes from the road" too bad - not in the bylaws, add it if you must but grandfather me and them in or pay the labor to have it moved. But that's not chalk. I mean come on... 

My number 1 condition when we moved from Jacksonville to here 4 years ago was no homeowner's association. I still haven't changed that opinion if we ever have to move again. I hope to never live in a neighborhood with an association again.

If I lived there it would take every ounce of self control I have not to write "bite me" on the sidewalk in front of my house, or at least my driveway. (Actually I probably wouldn't have the self control, good thing I married someone level headed to keeps me out of trouble with that kind of thing -or would at least watch me with the hose in hand)

I'm having a hard time with this one.   We love sidewalk chalk.  It's one of the top 10 things we love to do as a family.  

In fact, if you drive by our house right now, our driveway is covered in chalk coloring. 

We do use this in our own driveway.  We don't have a sidewalk that runs through our property but it's my understanding that sidewalks belong to the community, not one individual.  If another child was chalking on someone's personal property without permission, I could see an issue but it's still hard to be on-board that train entirely if it wasn't a constant infraction.  Like said, it washes off so very easily. 

I wouldn't let my child stand in someone's yard without permission but the sidewalk I would.

I can even wrap my brain around rules regarding the use of chalk, but not an all out ban.

(Jennifer, my neighborhood did have to grandfather me in. I read the rules forward and back, the dish placement wasn't in there when we bought. They sent me the nasty letter threatening a lien on my property if I didn't do it, I guess they didn't expect a fight back. I won. And for the record it wasn't placed on the front of my house, like over the front door or anything tacky. Lol It was on the side/back corner but visible from the road. UGH)

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