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Neighborhood Bans Children From Drawing On Sidewalks

June 25, 2012 by  

Neighborhood Bans Children From Drawing On Sidewalks
A homeowner's association in Denver wants sidewalk art banned.

Summer days used to consist of popsicles, hopscotch and drawing on the sidewalk. But if a homeowner’s association (HOA) in Denver gets its way, sidewalk art will be a thing of the past.

The HOA known as Innovations and Courtyard Traditions at Stapleton has temporarily banned any drawing that might hinder the enjoyment of shared spaces. The ban will be discussed in depth at an upcoming meeting.

One mother, Sarah Cohen, has been vocal about the ban, saying that the HOA is taking away one of her daughter’s “simple pleasures.” Cohen, who says her daughter’s drawings consist of hearts and flowers, believes the ban is ridiculous. “My initial reaction was, ‘You have to be kidding me,’” she said.

The HOA believes that because the space is a shared space, there should be no artwork. Cohen believes that because the space is a shared space, homeowners should have the right to do what they please. “We live on a courtyard and we all bought into the notion that we were sharing a space,” she argues.

Cohen plans to let her daughter continuing drawing as a way to protest the ban.

Bryan Nash

Staff writer Bryan Nash has devoted much of his life to searching for the truth behind the lies that the masses never question. He is currently pursuing a Master's of Divinity and is the author of The Messiah's Misfits, Things Unseen and The Backpack Guide to Surviving the University. He has also been a regular contributor to the magazine Biblical Insights.

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  • Harold Olsen

    This is totally ridiculous. Once of the joys of childhood is drawing on sidewalks with chalk. Leave children alone. Go after those scumbags who paint graffiti all over the place!

  • Tess

    They took away the lemonade stands, they took away the cupcake fundraisers, they take away the simple pleasure of pavement drawing with chalk (first rain shower washes away), they will soon take away the right of parents to have children. After all U.S. taxpayers pay for the Chinese one child policy where they now forcibly abort and sterilize mothers. Society without children next?

  • Leslie

    Totally ridiculous! Why doesn’t that stupid HOA just ban children altogether! Make it a retirement only neighborhood if they don’t want kids being kids! Do they really think someone would take offense to chalk flowers? Bunch of Nazis!

    • Chester

      Apparently someone has taken an exception to hearts and flowers on “their” concrete courtyard. It upset them enough they went to the homeowners association board and requested it be banned. This isn’t something the board came up with on their own, or it would have been in the covenant all homeowners in that area have to sign before they can buy in.

      • Big Woody

        Don’t bet on it not being the brainchild of the HOA. As members change, some of the new ones are soooo much smarter than their predecessors. They thrive on their power and authority. If the objecting homeowners are unhappy with new rules, they need to publish the names of the HOA officers that came up with the new rule and al those that voted for it. Let every homeowner know WHO is responsible and then all their neighbors that agree it is a bad rule can harrass those responsible until they get it right or quit.

  • http://google john p.

    WOW the Democrats are after kids now . trying to control
    the young . this is what Socialism is all about . Democrats
    want more power do as i say not as i do or else or else
    scares me . the only way to stop SOCIALISM is to vote
    the DEMOCRATS out of office .


    Tess, its not the local council who controls the rules in these cases. A homeowner’s association (HOA) in Denver as in anywhere else even in Australia were set up to protect property quality and prices which most local govt had no interest to protect from grafitti vandals,. It may be a gated community group of home owner citizens who have written their rules [constitution] to be followed by its citizen home owners.

    The people who are attracted to have these cleaner looking environments are usually and may unfortunately also be extreme minded individuals who find chalk on a pavements to be offensive. What seems rediculous by us who were children ourselves once in fact is an attempt by property owners to keep their property values high and cleaning costs low, so when a potential buyer visits the community. they will be impressed and not left wondering about how many vandals there might be in that community, if lots of children put chalk on pavements next door to the house for sale.

    Unfortunately, this is an inconveniece of living within the borders of HOA controlled housing estates. The choice is easy, if you dont like the rules, move to another area maybe harlen where there may be no rules?.

    • Big Woody

      Bull. If the association changed the rules from what they were when I moved in. It is a simple matter of “Bait and Switch”. I probably moved there because I liked the rules that were in effect when I moved in. But they are changing them so it is not as nice a place to raise the rest of my children. Now we get to the point of deciding what detracts from the appearance and what beautifies the area. I think Van Gogh painting are ugly. But if you are lucky enough to have one put on display in your community clubhouse, it would be considered an improvement. Beauty IS in the eye of the beholder. Let the kids draw flowers and play hop scotch or I will paint my house whit their kind of flowers all over it and see how anal the HOA will get.

      • Larry K.

        let the hoa take all the pleasures away from the children, chalk writing and coloring pictures on the sidewalks and maybe these kids will take away some of your pleasures like having to get the hose and bucket out and clean up messes made by some kids instead of laying on your butts and collecting money for your crooked hoa.

  • RJ

    Send in the drones that will teach those kids not to act like kids.

  • Ted Crawford

    I encountered a similar HOA, interestingly enough, in the same city, when I bought my first home in the ’70′s ! My experiences with them caused me to always avoid any such Communities since then.
    My, limited experiences with them has caused me to form an opinion of them. They seem, to me, to be populated with narrow, small minded individules who, are overwhelmed with narcissisim and shrouded in their self assured omniscience, they believe that if it’s, in their opinion, good for them, it must follow that it is also good for everyone else. If questioned about this their answers are allways some variant of- “We are doing this for the benifit of all ” ! Where have we heard this mantra before ?

  • http://survivingurbancrisis.COM Silas Longshot

    Ah, the joys of petty people who become the little dictators of a typical HOA. Seems they inevitiably are liberals, small minded, self important and not shy about throwing their weight around. I suggest they read Ayn Rand’s book ‘Anthem’ for the future look at total sociailst society. it’s free.
    click the name.

  • john garland

    abolish hoa

  • dcjdavis

    Overgrown schoolyard bullies.

  • RichE

    Looking good vs. having fun.

  • eagle

    I live in a very nice well kept neighborhood with people of all ages and races and we do quite well without a HOA. Every summer my driveway is a work of art and I furnish the sidewalk chalk. Kids from all over the neighborhood leave their artistic impressions there. There is no graffiti in our neigborhood and these are not destructive children.

  • David169

    I grew up in Southern California. When I was a child the local governments outlawed model airplanes, go-carts, playing baseball or football at the schools on the weekend, bicycles had to be licensed and protective gear worn, playing baseball or catch in the street was forbidden and of course using chalk for hopscitch was forbidden. Luckily I lived near the mountains and I went hiking for something to do. Many adults and police couldn’t understand why so many teens just sat and watched TV. It was about all that was left. I believe this contributed more to drug use than any other thing.

  • Beno

    Denver is run by a nazi administration to begin with and I’d never live where there in HOA, where they dicide what is good for my castle, like living in China, I’ve been there and they are one in the same. To much power in the government and needs to stop, they are destroying my hometown.

  • 2¢ worth…

    Yeah, I’ve read this article when it first appeared (by the way, the mother rebelled and told her child to ‘go ahead’ and be a kid).. What with this being ruled on and another article that has to do with banning the ice cream man because of the truck’s “inane music” the only things kids will be able to do is watch Tv endlessly, play the games that the establishment offers (for a profit to them) and the continual dumbing down by the public education system.. One day these affected kids will become adults and will vote for Alfred E. Newman if this is what the g’ment compels them to do.

  • michaeljbeglinjr

    This is pure BS.

  • Joe C

    i am not a libral, as a kid on Buswich brookyn remember writting all over the streets, but marking up walkways or in communities that try to keep a clean image has a point. Things have changed.

  • soldier

    Awesome, it looks like we see a return to survival of the fittest!!! While scarce police resources are directed at policing sidewalk children graffiti, there may perhaps be more vicious, violent rapists who will enter these home association homes and have their fun.

    • soldier

      Tragic, tragic. While cops are busy handing out parking tickets and busting up lemonaide stands, murders and rapes continue apace. Its just profitable to stop a rapist these days when the abortion machine and rape doctors can get excellent business in the wake of a rape.

      • soldier

        Its just NOT profitable to stop a rapist these days when the abortion machine and rape doctors can get excellent business in the wake of a rape.

        forgot the not.


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