Association fines homeowners from displaying school spirit signs in yards in Montgomery

WCIA refers to deed restriction says it doesn’t discriminate against any particular signage

MONTGOMERY, Texas – Parents in a Montgomery neighborhood are voicing concern over not being able to put up school spirit signs in their front yards because of the neighborhood association’s rules. The parents said the rule has not been enforced until this year.

The parents said after the year their students have had they are fighting to be able to show school spirit and support. They want the leaders of the subdivision to reconsider.

Christelle and Kerry Lockhart have two children at Montgomery ISD schools.

“Certainly, [I’m] very proud of [my son Zachary] and my daughter, Sophia, as well,” Kerry Lockhart said.

However, the Lockharts are among many parents in the Walden on Lake Conroe neighborhood who are frustrated with their inability to show that pride outside their home without receiving some kind of reprimand from the Walden on Lake Conroe Community Improvement Association.

“They send a letter and a picture of your infraction and tell you that you have 10 days to remove it or you will be charged a fine,” Christelle Lockhart said.

While political signs are legal and also pose no issue with the Walden on Lake Conroe Community Improvement Association, the school spirit signs violate the neighborhood rules, which homeowners claim have never been enforced until 2020.

“There’s been a rule in the books for a long time, since the 70s and we’re not sure why this is an issue this year,” Kerry said.

Parents showed KPRC 2 letters from the association, which cite a violation of the Walden on Lake Conroe Community Improvement Association’s deed restrictions.

“I took mine down. We contacted them. They said that we can’t [have it up],” another Montgomery parent and homeowner said.

That parent got creative.

“I turned it into a wreath and hung it,” the mother said. In fact, many parents got creative, putting signs in their windows, and car windows while parked in the driveway. However, parents told KPRC, their efforts were reprimanded.

“You get a letter for that too,” Christelle Lockhart said.

Several parents told KPRC 2 that they received multiple letters. One parent said she had to pay a fee of around $150 for having a visible sign.

Considering 2020, these parents are asking for some consideration.

“They didn’t get a proper graduation. They didn’t get prom and now you’re taking something this silly away from them? It’s ridiculous,” Christelle said.

The parents said the signs help boost positivity and community during this unprecedented time.

“We feel that this is a great thing and the greater good. And, we understand the intent of the rule, but think that this really sort of goes passed that--so we would like to see that considered,” Kerry Lockhart said.

Lake Conroe Realty, a business nearby, allowed parents to put up their signs on its property on Walden Road and Freeport Drive to help parents share the school pride.

Walden on Lake Conroe Community Improvement Association’s General Manager released a statement to KPRC 2:

“...Walden has a specific Deed Restriction prohibiting ANY type of signage. We have always diligently enforced that restriction. We do not now, nor have we ever, discriminated against any particular type of signage. As I am sure you know, The Texas Property Code mandates that political signage be allowed, for specific periods of time, during an election season. Thus, we do allow those types of signs for the limited time required by law. Besides that exception, Walden has always enforced the prohibition against any type of signage, and has never singled out enforcement against any particular type of sign, including the school spirit signs...”