Yard sign enthusiast leaving homeowners association behind

Remember Lisa Schmidt, the woman who butted heads with her homeowners association over the signs in her yard that say “stand up for religious freedom”? She’s decided to move into a new neighborhood without an HOA.

She’s found someone to rent her current house, and plans to move next month. Her seven yard signs have remained planted in her yard throughout the controversy.

Schmidt had hired a lawyer to write a strongly-worded letter to the Mt. Vista Home Owners Association after the HOA told her that her sign about religious freedom wasn’t in line with the association’s rules.

The HOA has since said it will meet to modify the rules, and that it was never the association’s intention to infringe on anyone’s freedom of speech.

Vicki Sparks, manager of the Mt. Vista association, said state rules regarding political signs and homeowners associations are vague, and that the HOA did the best it could to create their rules about signs based on state law. The group will work to reform its rules about yard signs at an upcoming meeting.

“Will there be a modification (to the rules)? For sure,” Sparks said. “Do I know exactly what it will be? No, I don’t.”

Although Schmidt is leaving the HOA behind, she framed her experience in a positive light.

“I’m glad to see that this has become a discussion point,” she said. “Because I kept my signs up, I feel like we have moved Clark County forward.”

Stevie Mathieu: 360-735-4523 or stevie.mathieu@columbian.com or www.facebook.com/reportermathieu or www.twitter.com/col_politics

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