There was an interesting article on problems with the rules of home associations in the May 2005 issue of This Old House also. There are restrictions on lightposts, landscaping, siding, and driveway surfaces. Hmm. Just what does "attractive" mean? One of the extreme cases was having to build an airplane hangar--at a cost of about $150.000--before selling a house. Here are a few samples of actual association rules:
Lawns must not be allowed to turn brown. [Oh, oh. Mine turns brown after the first frost.]
Hedges must always be trimmed. [Plant hedges that don't need to be trimmed! If you can.]
Freestanding basketball hoops are banned. [Well... But where are the kids going to play and practice?!]
The article does point out the need for some rules--though I think restricting paint colors to gray, green, or bown is extreme; get away from my dog with that ruler!--but I do see the need for some basic rules. (I see them driving around, but I also sympathize with workers who need to take their vehicles home.) So, read your documents!
Additional tidbit from This Old House:
Phillips screws were apparently invented in 1937 when General Motors used them to build Cadillacs. They went in quickly, and the screwdriver had a better grip, ensuring a tight fit so rough roads couldn't shake them loose. Other carmakers followed their example. (I wonder who Phillips was?)