Homeowner Backed for Threatening to Call Cops on HOA Over Airplane

A seaplane owner is finding support online after refusing to remove their plane, along with buoys and signs, from their property at the insistence of the HOA.

The viral Reddit post recounting the situation, titled, "AITA for ignoring my neighbors and their HOA group," has been upvoted 9,600 times since it was shared in the subreddit "Am I the A**hole" on May 17. Redditor @Infinite-Badger1362 shared the post, revealing they live in a cottage they inherited from their grandfather.

"The cottage is one of the oldest homes in the area, and unlike my neighbors, I am not a member of the HOA," the original poster (OP) revealed. "The cottage itself is a waterfront one in which I have a small grass yard that turns into a beach on the lake."

Seaplane landing in lake
A homeowner is being backed for threatening to call the cops on an HOA over their airplane. Here, a seaplane lands in a lake in Alaska. JOSHANON/GETTY

The OP has never had an issue until very recently when it comes to their seaplane and buoys. The Redditor has a private pilot's license and owns a Piper Super Cub with floats, or pontoons, that give the plane buoyancy. When the OP isn't flying the plane, it's tied to the dock or is pulled onto the beach and "strapped down" when the weather isn't ideal.

According to Pilot Institute, getting a private pilot license costs around $10,000 with at least 35 to 40 hours of logged flight hours, but most pilots need 60 to 75 flight hours in total. However, it can vary greatly in cost depending on a number of factors, including the school and type of aircraft.

The OP continued, "A month ago I decided to make some new additions to my property. These additions were two lines of buoys at the edge of my property with signs on each. The buoys extend 15 feet past my dock and are still technically on my property. The signs themselves are ones that I got custom-made warning about prop wash." Prop wash is a water (or air) current caused by a propeller.

In a comment, the OP revealed that they "have property rights over the water, but only for the first 100 feet from the beach." They also know with 100 percent certainty that what they are doing is legal since they have paperwork showing the portion of the lake that they own.

The Redditor revealed they added the new additions because when they take off in the seaplane, on occasion boaters or kayakers will stop and watch them on the lake, which is 58 square miles in length. It isn't usually a problem if they manage to "keep their distance," but lately they have been "getting too close for comfort."

With the addition of the buoys, I can keep a 100 x 300 feet safety rectangle.
Original Poster

"With the addition of the buoys, I can keep a 100 x 300 feet safety rectangle," the OP revealed. "This makes it so that at the bare minimum I will always have around 100 feet off of each wing of safe space. Additionally, it prevents people from cutting me off when I come to dock or park on the beach."

Around a week ago the OP received a letter from the HOA "demanding" they move the seaplane to a local base and remove all the buoys and signs. They "claimed" the OP was violating their "waterfront policies," according to a comment the Redditor wrote to another user.

"Their policies prohibit people from having and using buoys on the water," they added. "Their objection to the plane was over it being parked on my beach as they do not allow watercraft to be anywhere but in the water."

The Redditor responded by writing them a letter back explaining the reasoning behind the buoys, adding that they have "no intention" to change things.

A few days later the OP received an "angry" HOA member visit, but told her that if she or the HOA come on property again they will be "arrested for trespassing."

"Before leaving she used some very colorful words and called me an a**hole," the OP concluded.

'Am I The A**hole?'

Over 800 comments poured in over the situation, and the majority of people are standing by the OP.

Many people ragged on HOAs in general, and one Redditor thinks people on the boards of associations "are the most petty and annoying people on the planet. You need to protect yourself from a bunch of bored, old people who will spend who knows how much time to try and figure out ways to make your life miserable."

...Imagine the audacity of demanding someone change how they use their own property even when they're not in your club of complainers?
Reddit comment

Another added, "...Imagine the audacity of demanding someone change how they use their own property even when they're not in your club of complainers?"

Yet another seemed to think it was a play for power.

"[Not the a**hole], my God, these types of HOA people really annoy me," a Reddit user said. "It's like this weird need to assert their power over people for the sake of it over things that to most people are insignificant."

Several commenters said they feel like, if it truly is all within the OP's property, it's within rights to put up the buoys and signs.

HOAs "are always crazy," one added, "Be prepared for paperwork from them because they like court. Keep putting those a**holes in their place."

People weighed in with their two cents on the HOA's actions, and one Redditor thinks the HOA actually sounds "mighty pushy," saying they'd "be filing a report with the local law enforcement. "You wouldn't want to come home and find your property stolen or damaged without a paper trail."

Redditor @Infinite-Badger1362 told Newsweek:

"I am truly grateful for all the replies and likes, I did not expect this post to go so viral.

"One thing I would like to make clear is that I harbor no hatred or ill feelings towards my neighbors. I do not believe they are behind this.

"I think what happened is there was an HOA inspection on their homes and the inspector just happened to see my buoys and plane. The lady who came to my door was not somebody I knew, which makes me think that she is a resident living further down the lake or inland.

"Looking forward, I have no intentions of letting the HOA dictate what I can do on my property."

This isn't the only viral moment involving HOAs or neighbors.

A woman was slammed for forcing residents to sell "luxury" items which the HOA would be taking profits from.

People are backing a homeowner in a dispute with their HOA over hinges.

In addition, a father had to destroy their kids' treehouse after an HOA complaint.