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Can an HOA Block School Bus Transportation?

The answer to this is, YES! Even though it is no where in our CC&R it has been made possible. I have lived in my home since 2017 and they crossed the line last year! I am in the Apache Junction Unified School District and the HOA of my neighborhood would rather preserve the road than make sure our children make it to and from school safely. My child has an IEP that clearly states hand to hand and curb to curb. I was told by the school and the HOA that this was not allowed. I had to walk my 4 year old to the 5 lane road that is extremely busy! The HOA president has a note on file that if the transportation department sends a school bus (special needs or not) down our two lane road, they would sue the school. Just to clarify, it is safe for our buses to come down our straight street. They are able to turn around in one of our three parking turn outs. The HOA CC&R says this in regards to the buses:
No buses vans, or trucks having a carrying capacity in excess of 3/4 tons or tucks that are designated for commercial purposes shall be parked, allowed, or maintained on any portions of the property.
As far as I know, we are not maintaining the buses! We are simply wanting our children to use the buses that we, the tax payers, have the rights to! Not only that, but we have 4 (YES FOUR!) garbage/recycling trucks that stop at each individual home. We also have the delivery trucks that come through.

From my understanding, you have to be a home owner in order to go to the HOA meetings (which should be changed!?) and most of the residents in my neighborhood of 85 homes are renters, especially those who have children. When will their voices be heard?

I have presented this case to our HOA board and they simply said it’s the rules. I do not believe it is in the rule book, or CC&R’s anywhere. Does anyone have any advice for me?!

Thanks,
Britt

4 Responses

  1. dennisl

    Britt,

    It never ceases to amaze me how stupid some of these association boards can be. Have the school provide the bus to pick up your child. There is absolutely no way that the association can interpret their restriction on commercial vehicles to apply to the pick up and delivery of any child by a school bus. The association is required by federal law The American disabilities act to provide reasonable accommodation to any resident with special needs. Your son would qualify for this protection. They can try a sue the school system but would lose. If they try to sue the school or in any way interfere with your son’s ability to be picked up at his home you can simply file a request to the State Attorney General and he will sue the association for violation of the ADA.

    If the association wants to pick a fight with the Attorney General they can, but will absolutely lose. This is a very simple and reasonable request and the association has absolutely no right to restrict your son from being picked up directly from his home. No matter how they interpret this provision in their governing documents if it exist at all.

    This is a situation that cannot be restricted to only home owners. If you live in the community they must accommodate your son’s needs.

    The association also cannot prevent you from attending meeting is the homeowner provides them with a notice that relative to meeting participation you are their designated representative. The owner can still retain his voting rights but simply give you the right to attend and participate in meetings.

    Dennis

  2. livelovelaugh0589

    Dennis,
    Thank you for your response. They have been blocking the Apache Junction Unified School District buses for 12 years now. This has only effected me directly since 2018, the last 2 years. It sounds ridiculous, because it is! I just need some help getting the school to understand the HOA has no say so in any of this. I have gone as far as writing a letter to the school board members, the school bus driver, transportation department, the special education department at the school, and it is literally me against everyone else. The HOA has been winning this battle for years. My daughter is now at a different school, because I simply do no trust the AJUSD with her and her special needs. AJUSD dismissed her from her IEP (Individualized Education Plan), or special needs classes, at the end of last year right after I refused to take my daughter to the end of the street, because it says in her IEP that she had to have hand to hand, and curb to curb. I have adjusted my schedule and the things that I do during the day in order to take to her a school that has no transportation, but is assisting us with our daughter’s special needs.

    I am reaching out in hopes in finding the right resource to assist me fight against the HOA and make it known that AJUSD is allowing things like to happen. A few issues with this though, I have no been working so I have not had the funds for an attorney, I am not sure where to really start with taking this to the next level, and I have no solid resources out here to assist me (and my neighbors) with this situation. The neighbors that moved in 12 years ago had a petition and it “disappeared” as if it never happened according to them. Since then, they too, have had to readjust their lives in accordance to the HOA blocking the school bus.

    I simply want a safe community for the children of our neighborhood. If that means me not paying my HOA and having them take me to court, then I am ready to go. I have no paid the association a dime since I got the phone from the school asking me to take my child down to Ironwood and Broadway at 8am. I am willing to fight this until the end, I just don’t know where to begin.

    Thank you so much for your input. Do you have any resources or should I just keep posting in different blogs like this one?

    Below is the letter that I sent out a few days after the incident happened.

    “To Whom It May Concern,

    In accordance with Sunny Lane Estates CC&R (Section #.## included) there is nothing stating that school buses are not allowed in or through our neighborhood. Vehicles weighing 1500 lbs or ¾ ton are allowed to pass through the neighborhood i.e. UPS, FedEx, and garbage/recycling trucks (school buses should be included in this group). Basically any type of vehicle that consists of single axles. Vehicles with multiple axles such as Atlas Van Lines, Mayflower Van Lines, or vehicles delivering roofing supplies/furniture, etc. are allowed into and to pass through the neighborhood.

    Recently, the HOA has started complaining about school buses coming down to pick up our child and our neighbors’ children. We have a major issue with receiving calls about our daughter’s transportation changing in regards to our HOA calling and threatening to sue the school.

    This is a discrimination against children attending school especially in lieu of the fact that delivery and moving trucks are allowed into and through the neighborhood. Please take this information into consideration as you are blocking ALL buses from coming into the neighborhood via Stardust Lane. The newly recommended pickup zone for our children will be located at the wall along Broadway . Placing children, especially small children, on a fast-paced five lane road is dangerous and unsafe.

    There have been too many accidents where children have been killed on busy streets because drivers fail to stop for children getting on/getting off school buses . These drivers fail to stop for the stop sign attached to the side of a school bus whether they’re ignorant of the law, in a hurry, or not paying attention. We do NOT want our child or any of our neighbors’ children to become a statistic because of our HOA and the situation they have created or are creating. No parent or family should have to bury a child due to the indifference shown by an HOA.

    Respectfully,
    Brittney Fox”

    I have not heard anything from the school or any of the departments within the school about the letter or in regards to allowing any bus to come back through.

    Again, thank you for any help.
    Brittney Fox

    1. dennisl

      Brittany,
      I’m sorry to hear of the duration of your struggle. If I was in your shoes and my child had a legitimate special needs that the association and the school district refused to accommodate, I would immediately file a complaint to the Attorney General citing both the association and the Apache Junction school district for violating the American Disabilities act. Both the association and the school district are equally liable. While the association is run by incompetent amateurs the school district has to deal with these issues on a daily basis and should absolutely know better. When they failed to accommodate your Child’s special needs simply because the association did not want them too is simply a cop our of their responsibilities and they should know that. That is simply stating that they knowingly abandoned their duty and responsibility to accommodate, because the mean HOA threated me if we complied with the law. Let them they will lose in any court of law.

      Now if your issue is simply to have your kids picked up in your neighborhood instead of on the cities designated pick up route and location that is a totally different situation. I still believe that if the community wanted to have school bus pick up locations within the neighborhood and the school district was OK with that route change than the association truly has no right to restrict that activity even if the streets are owned by the association, without a specific restriction in the CC&R’s stating that school busses cannot pick up and drop off children in the community. Even without special needs that would be a violation of the fair housing act and disclination based on family status. Again prosecutable by the Attorney General. Whatever your situation is please file a complaint with the Attorney General office against the association for either violation of the ADA or FHA as appropriate. If you want to check with an attorney first please do so but once again it will be the attorney general filing charges against the association and or school district not you or your attorney.

      Dennis

  3. livelovelaugh0589

    Dennis, Thank you so much for clearing this up for me. I was not sure where else to go or who else to discuss this with. I am very passionate about getting this overturned, whether my child will be effected by this or not, our community as a whole needs and has to have this service.

    I will be reaching out to the Attorney General in the next few days.

    Again, thank you so much for your responses.

    Brittney Fox

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