First Colony HOA powerless “like fighting D.C.”

By Elsa Maxey

This U.S. Post Office on 3130 Grants Lake in Sugar Land recently had its grass cut in what seems to have been prompted by the First Colony Community Association, which has no jurisdiction over federal property.  Some First Colony residents had been getting vocal about the appearance of the landscaping, which is still not to their satisfaction.

Beautifully landscaped and well maintained, that’s the description of the neighborhood of those living in First Colony, according to the home association’s website. But, if you include the post office in that geographic area on Grants Lake, the description does not fit. But the white blooming crepe myrtle tree-lined street where it is located does showcase the landscaping it claims. So, it’s no surprise that dues paying members of the First Colony Community Association would be concerned about creeping, seed head grass topping what was also described as an unsightly lawn with flat patches.

But, it seems like the grass has now been mowed “after about six plus weeks of growth,” said a passerby at the post office taking notice this Monday. Another postal service customer at the site on the same day said, “it looks like the grass was butchered!” There were large clumps of dry, cut grass visibly scattered throughout the property.

“Formal complaints about the post office had not been filed,” First Colony Community Association executive director, Doug Earle told the “Star” in response to an inquiry about the unkept property from a reader prompting the look-see.

“The home owners association cannot do anything about it because it’s federal,” said the complainant. “It’s like fighting D. C.,” quipped Earle.

Earle said the post office on federal property is not in the community association’s jurisdiction. That means it is not a dues paying member, unlike churches, and it is not obligated to conform to their deed restrictions.

He said there were comments about the general appearance of the post office’s landscaping “or lack thereof, not in keeping with the community association.” Calls were made to the post office and messages were left, which Earle said were unreturned. His office followed-up and sent a letter “asking them to cut the grass.” So, it looks like they did it. But, based on the comments of those at the post office giving the Star” feedback on Monday, the results are not satisfactory.

One quick look at the exterior of the post office building shows dark streaked stains in all likelihood not in keeping with the requirements of the First Colony Community Association, which has no real say-so, also in this regard. Earle said its non-jurisdiction is the case with publicly owned property, like city facilities for which the association does not have “any authority over them much as is the case with the school district.” An account indicates that the school district has had similar issues with respect to lawn care, “but to a smaller degree.” Also in the community association’s geographic area is a Sugar Land park, which the city regularly maintains.

As a note of interest, in at least one part of the country, there’s a Boy Scouts troop that does landscaping for a post office in need.

Short URL: http://www.fortbendstar.com/?p=22397

Posted by on Aug 1 2012. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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