Please read the following recounting by a former resident. It is very moving, and unfortunately, all too familiar to those many of you who have suffered harassment by the board and property management company.
Dear Mr. & Mrs. Miner,
I want to send you this email about when I lived in Lake Charles. I lived there almost 18 years. My last few years where unbearable. First I lost a loved one, and the depression was overwhelming and I was now trying to manage my home with only my Disability Social Security income. Because my home was located on a corner of Lake Charles Blvd., I felt that I was an easy target to those riding by looking for violations. First violation I had received was a real shocker. I had my daughter and grandchildren visiting for Christmas… It was a very exciting and joyous time until… Shortly after I received a violation letter along with about 10 picture taken at 4 am Christmas Eve because my visiting daughter’s car bumper was hanging over my sidewalk a little. But the aggravation really started with the Landscaping Companies hitting my pool equipment twice.
The first time that my pool equipment was hit the large lawnmower hit and broke a main PVC pipe and I wasn’t even notified that they hit it… I woke up to water gushing out out the pipe and my pool was quickly loosing water. I immediately called the office and the Supervisor of the landscaping company came by with PVC Pipe and Glue and patched the pipe to get it running again. Just in time for a 4th of July party planned for my grandchildren. I went to the Dollar Tree and purchased About 6 stick-in-the-ground “Happy 4th of July” , God Bless America”, etc related banners and lightly decorated the front of my house. A day later I get a knock at my door and told that I must remove them immediately because I was in violation because they where considered to be “Signs” which were not allowed. As upset as I was I quickly removed the “God Bless America”, and “Happy 4th of July” banners from my yard because I could not afford a fine or legal representation to fight the board. I was very tempted to call the news media because I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I really didn’t understand the violation because these are the same style banners used for other Holidays like Christmas, Easter, etc. and I believe they are still used today in LC.
The next event was calls and emails telling me that be sent a violation because I was putting my (1) garbage can down to the curb to early (around 1 pm). I was told I had to wait until after 6 pm because it didn’t look good for realtors showing homes. I explained that I was disabled and alone and sometimes I had to take the can down when I felt physically able, however I could not afford a legal battle so I complied. Then once again, the Landscaping crew hit my pool equipment again, and one again, I wasn’t notified and the damage appeared much worse. I was asleep and woke up to my Pool equipment sounding like it was going to explode. I quickly stepped out of my door into over my ankles water to shut off the power at the electrical/fuse box and I was very lucky I wasn’t electrocuted. To top thing off I was told that the damage wasn’t caused by the hit by the lawnmower, it was because it was old, well it ran just fine before they hit it.
Unfortunately, because of this and a second “under the foundation slab leak” that I couldn’t afford to repair (which I hear is from a construction flaw and was an epidemic in LC) my only option at this point was to sell my home “as is” and take a great loss in the sale. Well selling my home and trying to pack my entire house myself was very hard and I was devastated. As I packed I loaded my boxes into my garage. To really put the icing on the cake in my last days I was sent a letter of violation because I wasn’t putting my empty trash can “inside my garage”. I showed up at the violation hearing with my letter and I was told that I was not on their violators agenda. I was very upset and said that you threatened me with this violation letter to appear today so I insist you put me on the agenda and record my explanation and to show proof that I complied with the letter and attended the meeting.
It is sad because at one time I loved living in Lake Charles. I was always a very compliant resident and I was always careful to follow rules and regulations in place to make our community a better place. I really feel the board should hang their head in shame for targeting a single, disabled, and long-time resident.