Lined by trees and a brick path, Broadacres is a popular backdrop for Houston-area photographers.
Both professionals and amateurs frequently stroll along the path up the walkway and into a nearby park, snapping photos and posing their subjects.
If nearby residents get their way, however, this location could soon be off limits.
Recently, the neighborhood’s homeowners association posted signs on South, North and West Boulevard banning photo shoots on both the streets and nearby park, claiming the land to be private property.
In total, it appears the HOA posted 11 signs throughout the million-dollar neighborhood.
Photographers who arrived to meet clients on the day the signs first went up said they did not know how to proceed.
“One side of me wants to say, ‘Let’s just hurry, and shoot the picture real quick,’ but we want to be respectful,” mother Carliss Ramos said in an interview with the Houston Chronicle of the signs, which read: “Welcome to Broadacres; NO photo shoots.”
Ramos said she arrived there to meet her daughter’s Quinceanera photographer Oscar Herrera after spending the morning helping her daughter get ready to pose for photos.
President of the neighborhood’s HOA Cece Fowler said the residents are becoming frustrated with frequent photo shoots, which they say reach as many as 40 or 50 a week.
“It has gotten completely out of hand,” Fowler said in an interview with the Chronicle. “If somebody wants to take a snapshot with their kid, that’s fine, but we get big wedding parties coming in.”
Residents say things are getting out of control, with photographers bringing in furniture for shoots, setting up tables to serve clients during all-day shoots and damaging property.
One person allegedly drove a Jeep over neighborhood property, damaging grass, the sidewalk and a sprinkler system.
“I would say it started getting bad about three years ago,” Fowler said further. “We liked that people loved our neighborhood, but, when all the professional photographers started coming in, it just got nuts.”
While the HOA said they own and maintain the land, the City of Houston disagrees, saying the streets and park are public property, and the HOA cannot make or enforce their new rules banning photography.
“We’re all paying taxes,” photographer Debbie Psifidis said in an interview with ABC13. “My clients are paying taxes. I didn’t realize they could get away with something like that.”