Raintree Place, a private gated community near River Oaks, is home to the rich, the successful and the parking Nazis.
Dianne Josephs, who rents a house in Raintree, had parked her car in her driveway and was loading it with clothing and household goods to donate to wildfire victims. It had been there all of ten minutes when she received this e-mail from the Raintree Place Property Owners Association:
Ms Josephs you have been warned repeatedly of your parking violations. There is no parking in driveways, streets within Raintree or visitor parking by residents. You must park outside of Raintree.
The same evening, Josephs said her daughter's car had a note on it, threatening to tow.
Norman Schneidler, who is on the neighborhood board and in charge of parking, told Hair Balls he did not care to comment.
This isn't the first time Josephs has been the target of a crazy neighborhood association, or even of Raintree's nakedly offensive parking police.
Just before Josephs had hip-replacement surgery, her husband Bob requested temporary parking accommodations for her. Here's an excerpt from Schneidler's response, via an e-mail forwarded by Dianne Josephs:
Raintree makes no provisions for handicapped parking for residents as residents are expected to park in their garages. Good luck on your surgery.
When the Josephs hired a housekeeper to help during Dianne's recovery, she and her husband tried to get the housekeeper a space to park. "Sir," wrote Bob in an e-mail, "I need a hang tag for my wife's housekeeper to park in the visitor spaces. Thank you." Schneidler's response:
Bob at this time we do not have any hang tags for domestic. However y\our [sic] domestic will not be tagged at this time.
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SHOW ME HOW
To gauge how important parking is at Raintree, the listed rules take up the entire Web site.
Dianne Josephs says her neighbor circles the complex several times a day to report open garages and cars parked in driveways. Once, she reported him for having his garage open, and she says he flipped her daughter off with both hands. "I wanna buy it [the house], but the people here are so mean!!" squealed Josephs. "They yell at me and say, 'You're nothing but trouble.'...but I question authority. When I think it's crazy, I question it."