Article Courtesy of Island Package Online
aims to keep flagpole in yard
By JESSICA FLATHMANN
Posted 04 - 26 - 2003
James Dick has flown the American flag
proudly in the back yard of his Eagle's Pointe home for more than five
But the Army veteran has been told by
the community's property owners association that he has to take down his
unapproved permanent flagpole before mid-May or start paying a fine.
been approved by the association, but nobody
has asked to have a permanent flagpole.
A letter Dick received April 18 states
he must take down the pole within 30 days of April 17 or pay a fine of
$25 a day.
"I'm not taking it down. It's just not
coming down," Dick said. "I just don't understand why after this amount
of time they're saying I can't have it."
Eagle's Pointe Property Owners Association
president Steven Emerick explained the delay in telling Dick about the
flagpole problem by noting that the developer rather than the association
had exercised control over the property until the beginning of 2002.
"That's why it happened now because finally
we had all the volunteers to get the work done," Emerick said. "It has
nothing to do with the American flag."
Emerick said Dick could apply to the association
for permission to have a flagpole. He said several removable flagpoles
|Eagle's Pointe resident
James Dick flies an American flag from a pole in his back yard.
But according to the letter Dick received,
the association "does not allow permanent, fixed flagpoles."
Dick said he hadn't decided yet whether
he would apply.
Dick said he put up the flagpole in February
1998 when he moved into the home he and his wife, Karen, had built. At
his previous home in Rose Hill Plantation, he also had a flagpole.
The 12-foot pole is in a garden in Dick's
back yard. The flag flying from the pole isn't visible from the front of
"The only thing I fly is the American flag,"
the 66-year-old said.
American flags are "on flagpoles as you
drive into Eagle's Pointe. If they can have it why can't I?" he said.
State law requires homeowners associations
to allow one removable American flag on each home but does not address
permanent flagpoles. Beaufort County doesn't have an ordinance restricting
homeowners from putting up permanent flagpoles as long as they are not
in the right of way, code enforcement officials say.
The Town of Hilton Head Island requires
permanent flagpoles to be set back from 20 feet to 50 feet, depending on
the amount of traffic on the road, town planner Marcy Benson said. Residents
in the town of Bluffton need to get a building permit before putting up
a flagpole, and residents of the town's historic district also need special
approval, said town planner Laura Bailey.
Although Dick is not in violation of the
county or state law, the association has said he is in violation of the
Dick said he has flown an American flag
in his yard for as long as he can remember.
He has contacted an attorney to see what
he can do to keep his flagpole up.
"It's just that I'm proud to be an American,"
Dick said. "People die for the American flag."