Satellite Dish, HOA Rules and Opera...
By Brooks Blanton / 3TV Investigative Producer
Article Courtesy of 3 on your side
May 28, 2002
|Have you ever had an argument with a neighbor?
3 On Your Side found out firsthand just how hot tempers can flare when
The police were called several times in the course of this story. Even the 3 On Your Side crew was the target of an angry call to 911.
It all stems from a dispute between next-door neighbors, one of whom happens to be the president of the homeowners association. It's been going on for nine months. The problem is threefold -- a satellite dish, HOA rules and opera.
John and Gail Massaro did not want 3 On Your Side anywhere near their Glendale town home.
"Get in your vehicle and leave, please," the couple said to the crew. "You do not have my permission to video. Please leave."
The couple even called 911 and threatened to do some exposing themselves.
"I'm taking off my clothes right now," said Gail while on the phone with a 911 operator. "Do you hear me? If they want to video tape that, they are going to have that on their hands."
Aidan and Helen Harney are the Massaros' next-door neighbors.
"That's typical," said Aidan of his neighbors. "If you don't agree with them, that's what you get."
Considering what the Massaros do for a living, the Harneys were not surprised at how vocal the couple was with the 3 On Your Side crew.
The Harneys shot some home video just outside their front door. On the tapes, you can clearly hear opera singers practicing inside the Massaros' home. The Harneys say the daily assault of song is too much.
"The singing begins every day with the scale," explained Helen. "[There are] tenors, sopranos -- some louder than others."
The Harneys accuse the Massaros of running a boot camp for opera singers. They even taped singers coming and going from the Massaros' home -- several in just one day.
"I didn't know that they ran a business here, every day on the hour with students coming back and forth past our property and a racket through every wall in my house," said Helen.
If the Massaros are running a business in their home, they could be breaking Glendale city code, noise ordinances and homeowners association rules.
Massaro is the HOA president, something he mentioned several times while trying to throw 3 On Your Side's crew off the property.
It wasn't long before the Glendale police showed up. They say that as guests of the Harneys, 3 On Your Side had every right to be there.
The Massaros refused 3 On Your Side's repeated requests for an on-camera interview. Off camera, however, they denied running a business. They say they are simply helping out budding opera singers.
The Massaros claim the problems started only after John, on behalf of the HOA, asked the Harneys to move a satellite dish.
"We had the dish," said Aidan. "The dish wasn't an issue. The issue was always the arrogance at which he approached it. 'You have one alternative -- move the dish or the association will move the dish for you.'"
Regardless of who's right and who's wrong, this battle has left both neighbors singing the blues.
"I'm very upset," said Helen. "I'm very stressed."
So, there's quite a mess at Quail Manor Estates.
The Harneys have refused to pay HOA fees, questioning John Massaro's ability as president. They are now facing foreclosure.
As for the Massaros, they go before a Glendale judge next month. They face a variety of misdemeanor charges, including noise violations and disorderly conduct.
If you find yourself in a dispute with
an HOA, there are a couple of groups you can call to help you settle it: