Couple, HOA battle over flag honoring woman's son killed in workplace shooting

North Carolina parents who lost their son to a workplace shooting in Illinois earlier this year have erected a flag to honor his memory.

But the homeowners' association for the neighborhood where the couple lives has threatened them with fines because the flagpole violates its rules, WRAL reported in September.

Clayton Parks was shot and killed along with four other employees at Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora, Illinois, in February, WRAL reported. Gary Parks, a former co-worker who gunned them down, was shot and killed with police, CNN reported.

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Parks' parents, Leslie and Dave Kendra, put up a flagpole to raise an "Aurora Strong" flag and a U.S. flag in their son's memory in May, the Chicago Tribune and the Beacon-News reported.

Professional Properties Management Inc., sent Leslie Kendra a letter informing them of a due process hearing last month. The Kendras said the letter was the first time they were told they were in violation of the community's regulations, WRAL reported last month.

The letter stated that they could be fined up to $100 a day, the Tribune reported.

After the letter was received, the Kendras said they retroactively petitioned the Porto Fino Wake Forest Homeowners Association to allow them to put the 20-foot, removable flag pole on their property.

In the application, the couple cited federal law passed in 2006 that says HOAs cannot prevent or restrict the display of the American flag.

HOA spokesman, Matthew Leffler, said the issue wasn't about the flags themselves, it's the pole that they would be flown upon, which the Kendras installed without permission.

Leffler showed WRAL a letter dated Aug. 30 that had warned the Kendras about the unapproved flag pole. The Kendras said they did not receive the correspondence.

The HOA dropped the threat of fines, after news coverage of the battle, the Tribune reported. However, while the fines were dropped, the discussion over the pole itself has not.

While the regulations controlling the HOA cover antennas, satellite dishes and awnings, saying those items need to be approved by the HOA board or its architectural committee, they do not specifically outlaw flagpoles, WRAL reported.

Another letter sent to the Kendras outlines that the pole can stay but it has to be moved from in front of the house to the left side of the yard and can only be as tall as 15 feet. The Aurora Strong flag may be flown through Feb. 15 but after the one-year anniversary is over, it may only be flown on Feb. 15 in the following years, the Tribune reported.

Leslie Kendra said the pole's relocation is not feasible since there are water irrigation lines in that area of the property. She also told the Tribune she would like to display the Aurora Strong flag throughout the year, the Tribune reported.

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