This is a story about PASSION with PURPOSE wrapped in SERVICE… a story of encouragement to “never give up” even if it looks like you lost. It’s a story about one of our Spring Ridge families and their venture for “Truth, Justice and the American Way” (Superman intro 🙂 )
The Worsham’s moved here in the Fall of 2013 from Biloxi, MS. They’d been living in cramped U.S. Air Force Base <1000 sq foot temporary lodging until they could settle into their new home here. As soon as Angelica saw her Spring Ridge kitchen she knew this was their home (my wife had the exact same reaction).
Ryan Homes agreed to add in their deck and if they paid the cost a fence could also be put up. Ryan also assured them that when they were settled in they were to take their request to Beavercreek Township zoning for approval and then the Worshams could put up their fence. Their exact words were ”It’s a very simple process”.
The Worshams knew EXACTLY what type of fence they needed, and it was important having 3 kids and 2 dogs. They then found out that they also needed HOA approval and that is when their “challenges” began and their integrity was questioned… it was like, why would they go through all the trouble of getting zoning approval if they were trying to ”pull a fast one”?
The Worsham’s live by rules; combined they have over 30 years of Active Duty military service having served together in 9 deployments; their world revolves around rules. They knew they had to do the right thing, so the first thing they asked was how do they “make this right”.
When they asked NUMEROUS times to present their unique case to the board, the board members repeatedly denied their requests. The Worshams said they were willing to take the fence down if they heard straight from the ‘horse’s mouth’… we all know how that must’ve felt… to be ignored, dismissed and discarded like… trash.
This blatant disregard by our present Oberer managed HOA was an invitation for them to fight this cold decision… an invitation which the Worshams eagerly accepted and passionately pursued.
Through the HOA manager, the board communicated that even though their garage side of the house is what Beavercreek Township zoning association and Greene County considers to be the front of their home, for the purpose of putting up a fence, Oberer HOA determined the front door as the front of the house.
Now, I ask the reader to see the absolute ridiculousness and outrageous absurdity of this selfish decision by our present HOA. The reason the garage side was determined as the front of their house was so that “THEY” can literally sandwich another home next to them… because if the front door is the the actual front of the house, “they” would need a 30ft clearance off the back (which they don’t have). So it’s ok for the garage side to be the front door for them to ROB this beautiful family the cost of a home??…but not ok when it clearly follows the covenants… in that their fence is flush with the rear of their home.
The Worshams did EXTENSIVE research to fight this decision. Here are a few things they learned from the zoning department:
- Spring Ridge community was built after a court order overrode the zoning commission’s decision to not grant permits due to building on this land is not ideal. Hence, there is a reason why we are “Spring” Ridge. There are groundwater springs underneath us which could eventually cause some homes to sink.
- The following is from a credible and verifiable source: Everytime zoning has declined a permit, Oberer paid off a judge to get their way. When three individual attorney’s and the Air Force base attorney were consulted, NONE wanted to represent them in court because “you will not beat George Oberer” and “you don’t have enough money to pay off the judges who work for George Oberer”.
How ironic, honest lawyers! They felt bad taking their money… but, justifiably and most likely, they also did not want to ruin their reputation. One even said to the Worsham’s, “We are living in a dictatorship and have no say and that it might be best if they moved”.
I’m not trying to fearmonger, but it is sad that hard working individuals like US who purchase these homes, in some cases our “Forever Homes”, could lose everything because of the unstable foundation on which some of our homes are built.
Currently there is a proposal to break ground over wet lands by Siebenthaler’s Nursery… building on wet lands… does that make sense?
Also it leaves one to wonder, “Why are they singling out the Worshams?”
We need to respond with both our hearts and our heads… most of us know there are numerous violations in our community, and it is in no one’s place to point them out… some are obvious and clearly prohibited by the present covenance/code but we understandably stay silent on these issues because it’s really not a BIG deal (yet some of us may be trembling in fear of being FOUND out).
We need not have this fear if the management we choose in 1917 has a “heart of integrity” with OUR best interests in mind.
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At first I saw this post as a “rough draft”… intending to refine and recompose into a letter, then send to our HOA, Oberer, Ryan Homes and whatever local News Media would be brave enough to take our case. But after discussing it with my wise wife I now think it best we just keep this to ourselves and seriously consider what type of Spring Ridge government we want in 2017 when our contract with Oberer expires.
But we must DO something… both Albert Einstein and Edmund Burke accurately said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
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Lastly, there are much more serious issues in our community on which we may wish to focus our energies… such as :
- There have been several Spring Ridge residents who unfortunately had to dial 911 due to a medical emergency. The calls may have been dispatched to Xenia instead of Beavercreek and it’s taken an ambulance 45 minutes to arrive here in Spring Ridge. Had it been a life threatening situation, death could have been the result.
- During the last HOA annual meeting, it was PROMISED we would have a Speed Detector (SID – Speed Indicator Display) posted on the street… we’re still waiting patiently.
- And if I may add, the Worshams were also promised the opportunity to let the community speak and express how they felt about the Worsham’s fence. It took a month just to hear back from the board.
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KUDOS TO THE WORSHAMS
They put a LOT of work into comprising petitions, addresses, individually addressing each one, stamping, attaching a note, and driving endlessly around the neighborhood to make sure not one home was missed then hand_delivering_them.
We can only imagine how difficult this was for them… they even feared some of you might have felt “creeped out” by their approach… haha.
The Worsham’s did what they had to do to defend their rights. And the information was NOT provided by our HOA manager… they got it themselves.
One way we can show support is by STILL returning their petition (if you’ve not already). It’s stamped… return it regardless of your opinion, and perhaps a personal note of encouragement even if you are glad the fence will be taken down… haha 🙂
The fact that they got only 41 of 153 petitions back does not represent their true support (mine’s sitting in front of me right now… it’s been an incentive to write this). With only 79 homes here in Spring Ridge… it’s understandable that most if not all of Spring Meadows did not respond (which is another reason we might consider seceding and forming our own HOA)… we’ve nothing in common except our original builder.
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A SAD… but POTENTIALLY HAPPY CONCLUSION
Last Friday, July 3rd (Independence Day Eve) the Worshams got their final notice that they had 30 days to tear down the fence.
If their fence is not torn down by Monday, August 3rd, another lien will be placed on their home, and a court order will be issued to have the fence forced down. THIS, despite all the work they did drafting the petition, handing them out, etc.
IMMEDIATELY upon receipt of this notice 2 weeks ago the Worshams emailed our HOA manager… whom they’ve yet to hear anything back from–our now VOICELESS and FACELESS HOA Board.
Plus, Angelica is leaving for Texas soon for military deployment training!
All for nothing? …I think not.
SUGGESTION: I was born in the Amish Country of Pennsylvania… how about we have an Old Fashioned Barn Raising party for their fence… on both ends. We could gather together to tear it down… perhaps even make a bonfire with it (shhh.. might be against the convenence)… then, have another EVEN BETTER “Fence Raising” in 1917 when we’re under more “just” control… perhaps even ourselves.
NOTE to Mr. and Mrs. Worsham: “From our communication together over the past few weeks I’ve gleaned that you are extremely competent, confident and personable people. Know that my wife (and she’s really smart like you) and I will “have your back” in any form you need if you would be part of our HOA MANAGEMENT SEARCH TEAM.”
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OH, EVERYONE I almost forgot. Ya know that little skinny lot to the North of the Worsham’s home that Ryan would not sell them (most likely because they could make more money selling with a house on top?)… well, it’s just been learned that it has a “drain easement” which could lead to the home’s destruction if at any point there is a main blockage or a pipe bursts. Will anyone tell the potential owners about their possible “dream home”?
The Worshams have agreed to take down the fence because no attorney would represent them. PLUS, they did not feel it was worth taking away any more of their time and effort from their family and kids.
They LOVE their neighbors… they started looking into moving and purchasing a new home but their “GREAT NEIGHBORS” would not allow it and felt it wasn’t just THEIR fight but the community as a whole… WHICH IT IS !!!
In closing I say the following with the Worsham’s permission… as one last chance to tug at your heart strings and see this as a PERSONAL / HUMAN issue… (here’s your cigar if you got this far… haha). The fence was extra important to them not only because of their 2 dogs and their 3 children, but their oldest child has a neurological condition, and when outside playing, the fence gave them extra peace_of_mind and security.
While it’s sad, we can also be encouraged by this entire situation. It’s been a pleasure getting to know this beautiful family.