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SW Bend HOA to residents: No ‘solidarity’ or political signs, except at election time

Only allowed 45 days before election -- and must come down 3 days after

BEND, Ore (KTVZ) -- Some residents in southwest Bend's River Rim neighborhood are reacting with concern to a board letter telling them that what are defined as 'solidarity signs" must come down until election time.

Resident Nicolas Hall told NewsChannel 21 on Sunday the notice came after several residents put Black Lives Matter signs and other social issue support signs up at their homes in the neighborhood.

“I think that there is a surprise on how that decision was made," Hall said.

Homeowners sent NewsChannel 21 a copy of the letter from the board. It reads:

"The Board upon review of the CC&R's, ARC Guidelines, and Community Guidelines has determined that these new types of signs popping up in the community, we will refer to "solidarity" signs or any other type of sign that shares a cause that you are passionate about, will be viewed as a “political sign.”

"Therefore, these signs and all other types of political signs may only be displayed on an Owner's lot for 45 days prior to an official election and must be removed within 3 days after the election. Signs are not permitted to be placed in windows or attached to fencing. No more than 3 political signs shall be displayed at any given time.

"We are now requesting that all political type signs be removed at this time."

Hall described how he and some of his neighbors feel about the move.

“The big issue that we all have seen is the redefinition of any signage of, that your world view is now your political view -- which is a vast difference, and maybe an overstep in their vast definition of terms."

According to resident Noah Abelson-Gertler, some residents also were told that American flags were the only flag allowed to be displayed in the neighborhood. But he said he can't find the justification in their regulations.

"Nic has looked at the CC&Rs, I have looked at the CC&Rs, my wife has looked at the CC&Rs, that neighbor has looked at the CC&Rs," hes aid. "Nowhere in the CC&Rs does it state that American flags are the only that you can flight."

Abelson-Gertler said he, too is frustrated and "upset. And if our speech is limited and we don’t have free speech, when it comes to an election time -- especially an election like this, everyone needs to be able to express their values and beliefs."

"If you want to express 'Make America Great Again' with use of a flag, do it. If you want to express 'Black Lives Matter, or you want to put out a Gay Pride flag, do it," he said.

NewsChannel 21 reached out to the homeowners association board for comment. President Lawrence Waters said, "Our HOA CC&Rs ban signs, unless the board approves them -- something that would be fraught with subjectivity and potentially unintentionally discriminatory. 

"So until we can determine what our options are, we are basically just reminding everyone of what the CC&Rs say," Waters said.

Bend / Central Oregon / Election / News / Top Stories
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Blake Allen

Blake Allen is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Blake here.



    1. No, Bend is not better than this. It is filled with long time residents in the slack jaw yokel category that don’t think they are racists, but have just enough subtle characteristics such as this HOA to be racists. And don’t tell me the often repeated statement by these long time residents of “Bend used to be a great town with friendly people”. No, it was a friendly, closed minded town friendly to other white people. It is the hated Californians and people from other parts of America coming in and creating diversity. Unfortunately, the old Bendites don’t like these “changes” coming to Bend.

      1. ” No, Bend is not better than this. It is filled with long time residents in the slack jaw yokel category that don’t think they are racists, but have just enough subtle characteristics such as this HOA to be racists. ”

        Slack jaw yokels that don’t think they are racist ? Why is it that some people have such a hard time accepting it if someone says they aren’t racist ? Seems ironic because these same people are the ones that don’t seem to actually understand the definition of racist. They just like throwing the word around, and labeling people, and your comment about those with HOA being racist proves that.

        1. Just because you say you are or are not something does not make it true. You can’t say you are not a racists, and then turn around and do racists acts. Just because you don’t use a racial slur to a minority, does not exclude you from being a racists.

    2. Just remember, Oregon is a Right to Dry State so you can always hang a line and dry your solidarity t-shirts, sheets, or your favorite BLM thong!!

      It is LEGAL to hang your clothes to line dry outside in Oregon even in an HOA, even if the CCRs say no.

      Maybe your HOA would prefer a line of BLM T-shirts, sheets, etc in the yard vs the non-CCR compliant signs.

      Personally, I love the smell of unity laundry

      1. I have a BLM thong! It’s a little brown in one little spot but now that I know it is my right to dry I am going to hang it from the flagpole in my front yard!

  1. Here it comes, Bendites. MORE control and regulations on our First Amendment of FREE SPEECH. As I recall, there are few Republicans in our local Bend or Deschutes County positions of authority any longer. Bend is becoming more like Portland every day.

      1. Apparently you don’t realize that the HOA board is the “government” part of that home owners association? They are elected on the same ballot as everyone else, serve a specific term, the last one I was on you didn’t even need to be a resident to be on the board

        1. I guess you put “government” because you know it’s not. An HOA is a private contractual organization; often a corporation.

          But going back to HorsesenseUSA’s idea that the HOA is prohibiting BLM signs because there aren’t Republicans on the Board – huh? Nonsensical.

    1. All someone needs is a copy of the BLM manifesto and that alone will prove the dirt bags that refer to themselves as BLM is perpetuating nothing more than political movement. The smoke and mirrors illusion of pretending that it’s all about black lives is a distraction for the low information types like yourself that bit hook line and sinker into the fable. If black lives mattered to the miscreants and malcontents they’d be marching in the south side of Chicago where blacks are killing blacks at alarming rates.

      1. Go away you racist jerk, I don’t care what you say. The right has made this political but it’s a human rights issue, you just don’t care about human rights except or whites!

        1. It is NOT a human rights issue! Being an illegal alien is NOT a human rights issue! And for your moronic stupidity, it’s the radical left that made BLM a political issue.

      2. Your calling black people who wish to be treated with respect, dignity and non violence, “dirtbags”;”miscreants”;&”malcontents” ?
        Look in the mirror.

  2. What many people don’t realize is that when you belong to an HOA and sign the CCR’s, you give up a number of your rights. You can give up your right to chose whatever color you paint your house, what kind of drapes, yard decorations, flags, political signs, and many other things. 1st Amendment may no longer apply and even the 2nd Amendment may no longer apply . . . it just depends on your HOA and CCR’s. If you’re a good little robot and sign, you’re okay . . . however, if you sign and then try to fight the HOA or CCR’s, you can expect a long, drawn out court case, that you’ll probably lose. I’ve seen it happen all too many times. The only way to get out of it, is to find another sucker willing to sign . . . that the HOA also approves of. That’s right, in many cases, the HOA has to approve of who you sell your house to. Buyer BEWARE!

  3. We enjoy and embrace our HOA rules, they keep it clear and we do not have all the crap associated with people who have no respect for people living in a well kept society. Our neighbours work together to provide a great place to live collectively. No RV’s, no cars parked on the lawn, no refrigerators in front of the house, we work together to make it beautiful where we live. We support the non-opinionated way of life, “It is better to keep one’s mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

    1. Wait a minute . . . Oh, that’s right, BLM is demanding Black segregated schools and communities of their own. And here many thought we did away with segregation back in the 60’s.

      I lived in Bend for over 10 years and I didn’t see ANY segregation of any kind . . . well, with the exception of the rich on Aubrey Butte vs DRW vs East Side vs LaPine.

  4. Where I live the HOA Management tried to tell me no guns allowed on my property I let them know it was a violation of my second amendment rights yet they morons speed in & out here when there are kids out playing HOA’s are nothing more than a joke & a way to get money We have board members that don’t follow the rules or CC&R’s If you say something to them they get P O at you This is a City of Bend Rule The City don’t even enforce other laws like people parking the wrong direction parking in front of Fire Hyd’s Parking on or across sidewalks parking in front of Mail Boxes These HOA’s are a big joke We have Law enforcement that don’t diddle crap The City of Bend is the Blame for this crap

  5. People are finally getting sick of the BLM and “In Our America” virtue signalling signs being shoved in their faces. Ha! I love it. Yeah we know you are passionate about black lives living in RiverRim far far away from any blacks…

  6. ……cant leave your garage door open, cant park a utility trailer in the driveway, can’t build a garden shed, etc, etc.. so much for “owing” your property. The neighborhood may look nice but in reality it is a very sterile environment.

  7. Sorry, but you are the ones who decided to live in an exclusive community, a community that you voluntarily pay a fee for a group of people to decide what you can and cannot do on your property. No tears here.

    1. Hang it from your clothes line too!

      Exercise your Oregon given right to solar energy and hang your BLM panties in full view of the racists who want to hide behind illegal CC&Rs.

      If you are part of the HOA, make sure that your HOA board is unilaterally enforcing it’s rules for all households.

      Look for whether your HOA board is selectively enforcing the CC&Rs only for certain people.

      If they are, enlist a pro bono lawyer to protect your rights.

      HOAs don’t like lawsuits because they are expensive.

      Protecting your rights legally can be done free through pro bono legal aid. Take advantage of it and fight even the thinly veiled racism at HOAs.

  8. Just remember, Oregon is a Right to Dry State so you can always hang a line and dry your solidarity t-shirts, sheets, or your favorite BLM thong!!

    It is LEGAL to hang your clothes to line dry outside in Oregon even in an HOA, even if the CCRs say no.

    Maybe your HOA would prefer a line of BLM T-shirts, sheets, etc in the yard vs the non-CCR compliant signs.

    Personally, I love the smell of unity laundry!

    1. I don’t see anything in that article stating that HOA’s can’t impose their own rules. This issue made the news years ago on the Colbert Report when the HOA on Awbrey Butte was requiring a home owner to take down their clothes line. When you buy a home with CC&R’s, that is what you agree to abide by. It is a legal document. Having lived in RiverRim for 11 years, I knew this rule existed and was never an issue with anyone that lived there. Everyone wants to get all fussy about things, but that is the rule for that sub. End of story.

      1. Btw, ignorance (even for 11 years)of the law won’t save you in court if you violate it.

        Maybe you should learn about our state laws from something other than late night tv 🙂

        Have a good day

    1. Just guessing, but by singling out one group by its race would cause some folks to argue its racist. Not saying I agree, just presenting what I think the quibble is about where some folks find it racist.
      Me, I see BLM and just think Bureau of Land Management.

      1. Would have been so much better if BLM’d gone with “Black Lives Matter, Too”. But they didn’t, and that allowed all these strawmen that racists use to argue against them with great success–to the point that the original message is all but forgotten and the systemic racism perpetuates…

  9. Another case of the Bend “better than you”‘s
    As thinly held together our society has become, with constitutional norms ignored, federal crimes forgiven, state cops allowing the federallies to kidnap and maim; the city cops too busy to help citizens, why would a hao have any teeth to enforce their bigotry?
    I say for every hate crime commited under color of the law by the blue mafia, to every hatch act violation, homeowners can ignore one petty cc &r (whatever that is).
    Old uptight white guys, and the angry loud women whom cling to the prestige of their semi successful professional career minded husbands.

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