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HOA demands homeowners keep garages open – or pay $200

AUBURN, Calif. - An California community is upset after their homeowners association told them they needed to keep their garage doors open during the day.

The rule calls for residents with garages to keep them open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. While some have been abiding by the new rule, despite being against it, others were keeping their doors shut.

Nine-year-old Jason, whose family lives at Auburn Greens, was concerned.

"I’m still worried a little. I’m still a little worried because I just think it’s all going to get stolen, you know?" Jason told KTXL.

A sheet of paper was the cause for concern, a list left earlier in the week by the Auburn Greens Unit 1 Homeowners Association.

"I don’t think it’s a good idea because they are going to steal my bike," Jason said. "I’ve got an electric scooter, I've got an electric wheelchair, I’ve got all kinds of stuff. So, I just don’t think it’s very good to have it open."

For every home like Jason’s that began following the new rule, there were plenty others that refused to, like Shally Ia.

"I have nothing to hide. I understand somebody had people living in the garage. I don’t. I am following the rules," Ia said. "All I am asking is a reasonable way to get around this. If you want to do a monthly, bi-monthly inspection of my garage, I have nothing to hide. If I have something that's being stored in there and you don’t like it I’ll remove it."

Residents say a $200 fine and an administrative hearing are the potential punishment for keeping the door down, but for some paying the fine may be worth avoiding a burglary.

"Fine, let me give you the $200 fine right now," Ia said. "Give me a month so I can get my stuff out, and I might as well clear everything out and leave the garage door open permanently because there is no point of having a garage door then."

A call to the HOA was not returned and the office was closed during the hours it had posted as opened. As some residents seemed to be testing how open the garage needs to be, regardless of the choice to keep the door up or down, many residents shared a common disdain for the rule.

"I hope it does change. I hope it does," Jason said.

The HOA monthly meeting is scheduled to take place in two weeks, and many residents say they plan to be there.