A homeowner’s association in an upscale Nashville suburb thinks that the aesthetic appearance of the neighborhood is more important than a man being able to get into and out of his own home. Last summer, the Rev. Mr. Michael Broadnax had a stroke. When he was released from the hospital, his wife was told to install a wheelchair so he could receive therapy at home. She hired a contractor and did so. For months, no one complained. June 1, 2015, the Broadnax family received a letter demanding that the wheelchair ramp be removed within 14 days or that the HOA would take it down and charge the Broadnaxes for the cost of removal. Mr. Broadnax is back in the hospital, for brain surgery this time, and Mrs. Broadnax is more than a little upset about the situation.
Sam Tabar understands that the basis of the HOA’s complaint is that the Broadnax family did not apply for permission before building the ramp. They now state “The board did not know the ramp was for the homeowner, Mr. Broadnax. The association would like to work with the owners on a compromise regarding the appearance and location of the ramp and compliance with any applicable codes.” Was the HOA under the impression that the Broadnax family put up a wheelchair ramp on a whim, as opposed to planting hydrangeas? A little common sense and compassion would go a long way.