HOA wants decorative cross removed from Katy home


by Tiffany Craig / KHOU 11 News


Posted on October 25, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 25 at 10:40 PM

KATY, Texas -- A battle is brewing between a family and their homeowners association (HOA) over a cross being displayed outside their home.

Bryce Dehn and his fiancé Jeanette Talasek bought the house in the Morton Ranch subdivision in August and added the cross a couple of weeks later.

The purpose of the cross was to dress up a fake shutter bolted to the brick that seemed out of place.

"We liked the fact that it's made out of wood," Talasek said. "It would complement the wood and the fact that it would fit perfectly."

The couple was feeling right at home in their Katy neighborhood until a letter arrived this week from their HOA.

"They put up an exterior modification and they didn't apply for it," said Bill Higgins with Crest Management Co.

Crest manages the Morton Ranch Homeowners Association.

Higgins explained to us that there are two issues with the display. He said they didn't ask permission to make any outdoor changes, and if it's a religious display, it's not following the Texas Property Code.

"In the way the regulation is worded, it limits it in terms of size and where it can be located,' Higgins said.

Code states that the cross needs to be on the front door and shrunk to a mere 25 square inches.

"I don't want to fight with the HOA," Talasek said. "I just really don't think it's right and I don't think it's fair that they are saying if it's a religious item, I have to make sure it's this small and this wide."

Ironically, for this couple, they don't see the cross as a religious symbol. It's just a decoration that looks nice.