MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WKRN) — A disabled couple told News 2 they feel trapped in their home after they say their homeowner’s association made them take down their wheelchair ramp.
It’s a situation that has residents in the Mt. Juliet Cedar Creek Commons neighborhood outraged.
“It’s just hard to move,” Nancy Hurst explained, saying she suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Her motorized wheelchair and her husband Lyle are keys to her livelihood.
“He takes good care of me. He was just out there making my lunch,” Nancy said.
Lyle may not recall, but Nancy will be quick to tell you they’ve been married for 50 years.
“She’s worth it,” Lyle, who is a retired Vietnam veteran with the Army Commendation Medal, said with a laugh.
However, he struggles himself getting around.
“He has balance problems, and he’s fallen a number of times,” Nancy explained.
It was a recent fall that drew attention to the couple’s wheelchair ramp.
“Lyle tripped on the ramp, and when the policeman came to help him up because I can’t get him up, he saw that the wheelchair ramp was in disrepair,” said Nancy.
The next week, the Mt. Juliet Police Department’s nonprofit youth program funded and organized efforts to build the Hursts a new ramp.
“It was beautiful,” Nancy said.
However, a letter from Sentry Management on behalf of the Cedar Creek Commons HOA soon followed. The letter, dated Dec. 19, 2022, said in part that the ramp was installed without permission and that it was blocking the sidewalk and a parking spot.
The Hursts pointed out that the new ramp didn’t take up much more space than the old one, which they had built eight years ago without approval and never had any issues. They sent the board an application for approval on Feb. 2, but instead, two weeks later, they received a follow-up letter telling the couple if it wasn’t taken care of, their next step could include legal steps.
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“That alarmed me. I didn’t want them to put a lien on the house, so that’s when, Monday, I had the ramp removed. It was very upsetting. I should never have let them badger me, but they did,” said Nancy.
The Hursts are now without a ramp and say they feel violated and bullied.
“I’m really angry because I got a bit of a disability myself and it’s hard for us to get out and shop. It’s set up for disaster the way it is right now, the next time out the door could be the time,” Lyle explained.
Neighbors are now working to help the couple, outraged over the actions of the HOA.
“They have no heart. They should have sent somebody out here to talk, to them to realize the situation,” Judy Hoffman, who lives next to the Hursts, told News 2. “I mean, I don’t understand how somebody can be that cruel, and I know business is business, but that’s ridiculous and it affected nobody except Lyle and Nancy.”
Neighbors have offered help, like picking up groceries and medication for Nancy and Lyle, but they want the HOA to put the ramp back up.
An employee of Sentry Management told News 2 the board is sensitive to the situation and that they did seek input from the association’s attorney.