HOA vetoes family's plans to rebuild home lost to fire

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They want to rebuild on the lot where they lost their home to fire, but the plans have been vetoed (KTRK)

Losing a house and all it contains to fire is tragic, but for the Mitchell family in Clear Lake, recovery is even harder. They blame their homeowner's association.

Jason Mitchell says he sought out a builder who could construct a new home for a modest cost, compared to Houston's inner-loop. The base price of the model he selected is listed for about $170,000.

At an architectural committee meeting at the homeowner's association offices, Mitchell says he was told to change the brick color and exterior paint to blend in with other houses in the Oakbrook subdivision. He agreed.

"I thought it was all done," he says. A few days later before the homeowners' association board, Mitchell says it changed.

Mitchell says he was told the design was too modern, and to go back to the drawing board. Now, Mitchell and his family are trying to decide what to do next.

Mitchell says he doesn't know how to make what appears to be a traditional design less "modern." To build a copy of the house that was destroyed would require an architect and more money.

The family, though, is committed to staying in the neighborhood, but he doesn't want to buy an older home and put thousands of dollars into repairs and updates.

The homeowner's association says it's matter of the size of the building for the site.

"This is not about the Mitchell's," said board president Fred Swerdlin. "It's about that structure on that lot that seems inappropriate"

Meanwhile, the Mitchell family is living in an apartment, and they still drive by to look at the lot where they once lived.
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homehomeowner associationClear Lake
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