Homeowner loses fight over yard

March 8, 2008 11:12:33 AM PST
It's a battle in one west Harris County neighborhood that has been going on for years. People are upset over the condition of one woman's yard. The woman claims it's a natural habitat and she says what's been done now has just gone too far. It's an issue of beauty being in the eye of the beholder.

The homeowner thought the yard was beautiful. However, the homeowner's association disagreed and took drastic measures to resolve the situation. Now it's the homeowner who says her trees and her rights were pruned back too far.

On a blustery morning, Lisagay Wright surveys what's left of a yard she's spent the past 17 years landscaping.

"Like a nuclear blast went through here," she said. "What was done was vicious. It was mean. It was discrimination because my yard was diffrenent. It was the most beautiful yard in this neighborhood."

Its a battle we first showed you in 2003 at Wright's Katy home. She pointed with pride to her blooming Mexican petunias, part of her indigenous to Texas yard-scape. The front yard was covered with an extensive assortment of winding vines, bushes, and trees. Five years later, Wright came out on the losing end of a nearly seven-year legal battle with her homeowners association.

"Before I started any of this 17 years ago, I read my deed restriction," said Wright. "There's no height. There's no limit to trees in your yard. There's nothing."

While there are no exact requirements, the association told Eyewitness News, "A single family dwelling is to be maintained in a tasteful, healthy and attractive manner."

"Unfortunately, the property had not been maintained in several years," said the association.

It went on to say, "Ms. Wright had failed to comply.

A copy of the court order brought by the Sundown Glen Community Association last month found Wright in contempt of not maintaining her yard, giving the association the authority to bring the property into compliance.

The homeowners association provided recent photographs, saying it shows Wright's home as being overgrown and unkempt, an opinion shared by some of her neighbors..

"It was not attractive in our neighborhood," said neighbor Debbie Hull. "It looked more trashy than aesthetic. It was a little more than I could handle down the street from my house."

The drastic results have left Wright less compliant and more defiant.

"I have no intention of stopping this fight," she said. "I've done nothing wrong."

Wright tells me she won't replant, but plans to continue the legal fight.

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