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Paying to play? In Methuen, Mass., some parents who told their kids to "go outside and play" were charged $500 by their condo association.

According to the Stonecleave Village Association, Inc., children were violating a bylaw by playing organized sports in a common area of the complex. But according to the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, who filed charges against the Stonecleave association for discriminating against families with kids, the association didn't take any action against adults who violated similar bylaws by throwing an unapproved party in the common area.

Help save play in Massachusetts! Contact the Stonecleave property manager, Elaine Romano, and tell her to stop picking on the kids of Stonecleave Village.

* Read the full story here

Letter to
Property Manager, Stonecleave Village Elaine Romano
I recently read about the penalties that you and the Stonecleave Village Association issued to parents whose children were playing in the complex’s common area. While I was shocked to see that the association's bylaws prohibit against children playing games in a shared outdoor space, I was even more disheartened to discover that no action was taken against adult residents who also violated bylaws concerning the common area.

I hope that you and the association will be more proactive when it comes to accommodating the needs of families with children. The designated play area does not seem to adequately meet their needs, given that its location makes adult supervision difficult. Yet while these families’ concerns have not been heeded, complaints about running and screaming children have been given careful attention.

Moving forward, I hope that Stonecleave will treat its residents more equitably. Having a safe, outdoor space to play is crucial to a child’s development and should be a priority for your any property you manage.

Thank you for your attention.

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