Texas family spars with homeowner’s association over large ‘BETO’ sign painted on lawn

ABC 13 News

A family in Katy, Texas, are at odds with their homeowner’s association (HOA) after painting “BETO” in white letters on their lawn to show their support for Sen. Ted Cruz’s Democratic challenger, Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

Shannon Bennett and her husband painted the tribute to O’Rourke in an effort to keep people from stealing the their political lawn sign, the Star-Telegram reported Thursday.

Bennett said she and her husband were immediately confronted by the the president of the Chesterfield Community Association, who she said was “very hostile” over the sign.

{mosads}“This is truly a shock, that they became so angry,” she said.

The family received a notice through the online homeowner’s association portal informing them that they had violated community standards.

Bennett told the Star-Telegram that the notice was confusing, saying it was “clearly written in a fit of rage.”

Bennett said their kids mowed the grass in preparation for painting the sign and argued that the paint can be mowed away.

“It’s grass, right? You just mow it off, and it’s gone. It’s so temporary,” Bennett said. “The code that he was telling us we’d violated is the landscaping code. I said, ‘This isn’t landscaping, it’s a temporary design on the ground.’”

She said the family researched the community’s landscaping code before they painted the sign. 

“We’re going back and forth between doing nothing, and replying and requesting a specific answer as to what code we violated,” Bennett said.

Bennett told the paper that she felt like there is a double standard in the neighborhood, noting that she lives near a house with a sign that reads “I stand for the anthem, and kneel for the cross.” According to Bennett, the neighbor’s sign should not be allowed under the HOA rules because it is not a political sign. 

Bennett said she was forced to remove a sign that reads “kindness is everything” due to the same guideline.

Steve Jordan, the chief risk officer for the HOA company that manages Chesterfield, said the dispute over the ‘BETO’ sign has nothing to do with the political message. 

“This is not a violation for them placing a political sign; it’s the type of signage that they’ve actually placed on their property being an extremely large painting on the actual grass of their front yard,” Jordan told the Houston Chronicle. “It is a landscaping and signage violation. It has nothing to do with it being a political signage. Any type of signage of that nature would be in violation.”

Cruz is in a tight reelection race against O’Rourke to maintain control of his Senate seat. The incumbent is polling ahead of O’Rourke just weeks from the Nov. 6 election, holding the support of 54 percent of likely voters polled compared to 45 percent who said they support O’Rourke.

Tags 2018 midterm elections Beto O'Rourke campaign signs homeowner's association Houston Katy Ted Cruz Texas
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