Do folks on Blazek Loop (seen in a map from FlashEarth.com) really hate Roberta and Darryl Watkins because they are black and Muslim?
Do they manipulate the irrigation system to ensure the grass around the Watkins’ townhome burns up and dies?
Did they plant trees behind their unit to obscure their view and hide them from the predominantly white neighborhood?
Did they vandalize lilac bushes the Watkins planted? Order the landscaping crew to ignore needles and leaves in the grass around their unit?
Do they warn new neighbors to avoid the Watkins due to their race and religion?
The Watkins sincerely believe neighbors have done all this and more. The believe they are victims of harassment, intimidation and retaliation.
They believe their townhome was kicked out of a neighboring homeowners association in 2005 when the board learned a black family had purchased it.
The believe Colorado Springs Police won’t pursue a criminal complaint against their neighbors because they are protecting the Campus Commons Townhome Association and its president, a Colorado Springs firefighter.
The Riggles have lived in the left side of the townhouse since it was built in 1994. The Riggles live on the right side.
The Riggles say they welcomed the Watkins. They believe much of the animosity the Watkins feels toward them and the HOA is due to a misunderstanding about how the townhome works: everything outside the building is commonly owned property — not privately owned grass, landscaping and trees.
Charles Riggle said the trees are an example of the further misunderstanding. He said the trees were planted to create a buffer from adjacent Damon Drive and to stop neighboring townhome owners from driving across the grass when moving in and out.
He said the burnt lawn is another misunderstanding. It’s true, he said, he turned the sprinklers on, manually, for a month or so when a problem developed with the automatic timer. And he did not turn on one sector near the Watkins’ unit.
But he explained that was only because the control valve is right next to their home. He didn’t want to upset them by walking up to their house and kneel next to their window to turn it on and off.
As for other complaints, the former president of the neighboring townhome HOA tells me the Watkins/Riggle building was never in their HOA and never removed because a black family moved in.