BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - We hear complaints about home owners' associations on a regular basis in our newsroom. Sometimes - it's a single resident who's upset. But in this case, more than a thousand people have signed a petition complaining about the new speed limit in Brunswick's County's St. James Community.
The St. James Property Owners' Association recently dropped the posted speed limit from 30 to 20 miles per hour in much of the neighborhood. Jack Carpenter is one of many residents who think the change was a bad idea. "They said it's for safety reasons. I could understand safety if we'd had accidents out here, but there have been no accidents…For many of the residents, you are driving another mile or two or more down at 20 miles an hour, and it's a snail's pace."
Carpenter is one of more than a thousand residents who signed a petition asking for the speed limit to be restored to 30 miles an hour. But so far - that hasn't swayed the POA board. Residents we talked to feel the board's lack of concern for their opinion is as disturbing as the speed limit itself.
"We pay a substantial POA fee every year, and we think the POA should be listening to the residents," Carpenter added. "Things just seem to sort of slide through, they let you know a little bit about this, a little bit about that. And then it's done. And once it's done, they are not going to change."
POA President Gorden Corlew did not return our repeated phone calls for comment, and when St. James security officers found us getting video of the roads in question - they revoked our visitor's pass. Home owners tell us they plan to vote out as many board members as possible in the upcoming fall election.
Millions of North Carolinians live in communities managed by home owners associations, and complaints about over-reaching HOA boards have gotten the attention of state law makers.
Two bills introduced in the General Assembly this year would have regulated HOAs, in the hopes of curbing abuse of power. But Representative Frank Iler said the bills both stalled before making it into law.
He said so far, state leaders have not been able to find a good one-size-fits-all solution for the many different types of problems with HOAs.
Copyright 2013 WECT. All rights reserved.
322 Shipyard Boulevard