A South Bay HOA wants to start checking garages to make sure they’re being used for their intended purpose, but some residents are calling it an invasion of privacy.
The Eastlake III HOA wants to regulate residents’ parking habits in an effort to clean up street parking in The Eastlake Woods, Eastlake Trails, and Eastlake Vistas.
Residents have been rallying in the threads of social media sites like Facebook and Nextdoor calling it an invasion of privacy, and they made sure to show up at Tuesday’s 6 p.m. HOA meeting so their voices could be heard.
Eastlake homeowner Rey Casas is one of many who doesn’t like the idea of the HOA telling him what to do inside his home. He recently had a back-and-forth with his HOA when he wanted to tear out his lawn to save water and had to redesign his landscape plan until the HOA was pleased with it.
The Navy veteran understands that the HOA has a say in what he does outside his home, but should they be able to tell him what he should be doing inside?
“Oh no, sir,” Casas said. “No, sir. I disagree with that.”
Cases, like hundreds of his neighbors, first heard of the HOA’s plan to check garages on social media.
“I was disappointed. I was mad. I was frustrated,” he said.
Jackie Metcalf, a realtor who also lives in Eastlake, said her first reaction was “horror.”
“People are not going to want to buy in a place where there's that kind of supervision,” she said. “Just the logistics of enforcing that is crazy.”
Metcalf said she took the issue up with Walters Management which works with the HOA on enforcement. A spokesperson for Walters Management told Metcalf and NBC 7 that the information surfacing on social media is wrong.
The spokesperson said the rules being discussed would only allow the HOA to inspect a garage after a complaint and an investigation.
The HOA invited residents to Tuesday's meeting so that both sides could discuss the issue. by the end of the meeting, the HOA agreed to table the proposal until they heard more input from the community and come up with language that everyone can agree on.
While some at the meeting agreed there is an overcrowding issue when it comes to street parking in the neighborhoods, most attendees agreed that letting the HOA inspect their garage was out of line.
One woman said her neighbor has at least five cars and that she often doesn't have room on the street for her trash cans, but even she said that giving the HOA authority to inspect her -- or her neighbor's -- garage isn't necessary.
Casas said he wants to make sure the HOA stays out of his garage no matter what. That's where he keeps his cars.