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Just Too Much! : Neighbor's House Is Blue, So Is His Mood

July 26, 1987|LOUIS HILL | Special to The Times; Hill is a Cypress free-lance writer

It had to come. Sooner or later someone was going to violate the Color Code and make a mockery of the sacred subdivision writ known as Conditions, Covenants and Restrictions.

Think of it! After 20 years of unity and embracing all of the conventions of community life, we come to this!

I look at it this way. You buy into a community because you like the architecture, the neighborhood, the schools, the stores and even the houses. You buy into a neighborhood because you know you can fit in.

Oh, maybe you don't like the people next door because they drive cars that don't fit in, and that guy on the other side who uses his Winnebago as a fence between your house and his, and those people down the street who keep digging up their front lawn once a year without ever planting grass or even weeds.

That's Tract Life

Come on! This is community life! This is what tract life is all about. Putting up with the oddities and eccentricities. So what if I don't take my Christmas tree lights down? No big deal! Do I turn them on any other time except at Christmas? No!

And maybe you don't think those so-called wind chimes of yours sound like a transmission shattering at high speed. And that's just it. We don't say anything because we're part of a mutual attraction.

But there is a limit! It's when that guy down the street decides to violate the Color Code. I don't know what gets into a guy like that. He goes along for years as a tract-abiding citizen and one day he cracks up.

He violates a sacred trust. He paints his house. Not just the normal tract color like, say, brown, mousy brown, burned brown or eternal brown, or the second favorite tract color, which is off-white, dirty white, gray-white, or un-white.

No, this up-to-now-stable citizen paints his house bluebell blue! And there goes the old neighborhood! Everyone knows that just one bluebell blue anything can wreck property values.

But I know my tract. This neighborhood will act. That's what we've got a tract board for. One of their jobs is to enforce the CC and R. So we can just sit back and let them do their job. And when they tell us that we'll have to hire attorneys and, eventually, go to the Supreme Court, of course we won't do it.

I never said I didn't like bluebell blue. I can live with it if I have to. It's just that the old neighborhood won't be the same. And who knows what'll happen next?

I can tell you who knows what'll happen next. Those real estate guys--those guys in the money-colored green jackets. Already they're claiming Mr. Bluebell is upgrading the neighborhood and we could add X number of dollars to our own property values if we'd do the same. And didn't I say--there goes the old neighborhood?

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