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House trim is a court matter

Barring an unanticipated settlement, Harbor Point resident Roby S. Williams will be in Chancery Court on Tuesday defending himself about the color of the trim on his house.

The Harbor Point Homeowners’ Association, Inc. is suing Williams, the president and CEO of the Black Business Association, for not adhering to association standards for changing the trim and for the trim color he chose for the house at 160 Island Place.

The trim on Roby S. Williams’ home does not conform to the homeowners’ association covenant and they are suing him. (Photo: Karanja A. Ajanaku)

The trim on Roby S. Williams’ home does not conform to the homeowners’ association covenant and they are suing him. (Photo: Karanja A. A. aku)

According to the suit, the homeowner’s association wants Williams to “repaint the exterior trim an off-white color” approved in advance by the Architectural Control Committee. That approval would require the submission of paint chips.

Williams is not going for that and has hired attorney Robert Spence to represent him on the matter when it goes before Chancery Court Judge Jim Kyle.

“It’s absolute nonsense. It can’t stand,” said Williams. “The state of Tennessee does not approve it and I am entitled to a jury trial.”

Williams bought his home in November 1995. The homeowners’ association is basing its suit on a “Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions” associated with the deed. Article VIII, Section 2 includes this reference:

Roby S. Williams (Photo: Karanja A. Ajanaku)

Roby S. Williams (Photo: Karanja A. Ajanaku)

“…With the exception of Developer, no structure of any kind or nature or any fence or any barrier shall be commenced, erected, placed, moved onto, or permitted to remain on any of the Lots within Harbor Point, nor shall any existing structure, fence or barrier upon any Lots be altered in any way which changes the exterior appearance (which includes but is not limited to changes in paint color and in paint color and )…without the written consent of the Architectural Control Committee.”

In the summer of 2013, Williams repainted his home, not knowing he says of the homeowners’ association restrictions and guidelines. The dispute has been ongoing since July of that year.

The New Tri-State Defender made multiple calls to the law firm representing the association, leaving messages when told that attorney on the case was in meetings and not available.

Williams said the covenant restrictions do not stand the test of time, pointing out that the number of homes has increased dramatically since the time he bought his lot. And, he says, other homes within his eyesight don’t meet the trim/paint guidelines.

A different homeowners’ association, however, governs those other homes. That, too, is germane said Williams, who points out that another association once had such color guidelines and decided to retire the color code and let the evolution of color schemes “go whatever way it was going to go.”

Williams is a dues-paying member of the association.

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