Protest in Summerlin gets hot
Association delegates confront residents chanting outside meeting
Article Courtesy of Las Vegas Review Journal 

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Tempers flared Wednesday among Summerlin residents frustrated by what they perceive as an overbearing homeowners association that selectively enforces its rules. 

Just outside a subdued meeting of the Summerlin North Homeowners Association, some 30 residents with their children and a handful of people who belong to a neighborhood church rallied for fairness. 

Left, Summerlin resident Terri Donahue prevents Joann Boyd from confronting Anthony Rheingans, a delegate of the Summerlin North Homeowners Association, who cursed protesters outside the Spring Gate Community Center.
Some protesters accused the association of enforcing a double-standard on portable basketball hoops. Others were angry that some religious organizations are charged association dues while others pay nothing. 

Three elected delegates of the association stormed out of the Spring Gate Community Center to shout back at the residents, who had been chanting and yelling through a megaphone. 

"If you don't want to go by the rules, then get out," shouted Anthony Rheingans, who directed obscenities toward the protesters. 

As tempers continued to rise, Summerlin resident Terri Donahue chanted a new tune into her bullhorn. "We're positive, we're happy, we love living in Summerlin." 

Donahue, a Summerlin resident for eight years, said many residents think association board members do not listen to them and do not treat them fairly. 

Donahue ran into problems with the association when she left her children's portable basketball hoop in the street. 

"When I went to my hearing, I was screamed at and called names and told to move out of Summerlin," she said. 

Two other residents said their stories illustrate how the association fails to enforce the rules consistently. One said she received a letter of warning about her basketball hoop and giving her 10 days to move it from the street. But her neighbor received a letter of complaint and a $271 fine, followed by a nearly $500 fine a month later for failing to pay the first fine. 

The residents contend the association has no right to regulate portable hoops placed in the streets and cul-de-sacs, which in nongated communities are considered the public right-of-way. 

Las Vegas Councilman Larry Brown, who represents parts of Summerlin, told the board the city has jurisdiction over streets in nongated community areas. 

"But the city doesn't want to be used as the enforcement arm for a third party like the association," he said. "The city doesn't want to be used by the homeowners to circumvent the association either." 

Association President Hal Bloch said that the association has discussed the church issue twice and the basketball hoop issue six or eight times and that the residents protesting simply did not like the outcome of those discussions. 

"We've tried to work out compromises that don't compromise the rules," he said. Bloch said the association has never said portable hoops are not allowed, only that they should be put away when not in use "because they're not such pretty things to look at." 

Desiree Kicker, a homeowner and elected delegate of the association, said she agrees with the rules and believes they are fair. 

"These are homeowners who just refuse to go along with the regulations, and now they're getting nasty about it," she said. "I think the association does not work fast enough, and enforcement of the rules is not strict enough. We waste a lot of time on barking dogs, hoops in the street and other things that already are addressed" in the codes, covenants and restrictions.

More of this story? Click here!