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McKinney Homeowner Fights Back When HOA Cracks Down On Political Signs

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McKINNEY (CBS11) - A McKinney homeowner says his freedom of speech is under attack after his HOA cracked down on political signs in his front yard.

The first time you see the sign outside the home on Palo Duro Canyon Drive with tape covering the name, "Clinton," you might think the guy who lives there doesn't like Clinton, but a few feet away he's got the same sign with Kaine's name covered. If you ask him, he'll tell you this was the best way he could support them both without breaking any rules.

People who live in McKinney's Stonebridge community like to keep their front lawns neat. But yard signs are to be expected during an election year. That's why Steven Spainhouer was surprised when he got a violation notice from his HOA.

"Friendly reminder from the HOA saying I was violating the covenants by having more than one sign. The rules for the HOA state that you can have one sign per candidate," Spainhouer said.

He didn't like the rule, and after talking to a compliance officer, Spainhouer came up with a way he felt he could stay within the rules and still keep both signs.

"I taped over the political names of one of the candidates on each sign so that I have one sign for each candidate, different office, which meets the essential elements of the HOA rules," Spainhouer said.

He even went to his HOA's monthly board meeting to argue his case. The attorney for the HOA declined to comment on the issue and told us we weren't allowed in the meeting. When it was over, Spainhouer says the board agreed to let him keep both signs up as long as he keeps the tape covering one name on each sign.

"As a homeowner, as a U.S. citizen, I think I should have the right to freedom of expression and protected speech in my own yard," Spainhouer said.

He tells us he's satisfied with the outcome, and his goal now is to post signs for as many different candidates as he can fit in his yard.

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