An elderly veteran who has been building furniture from his garage and donating it to military families for years was recently ordered to cease operations or face a fine up to $1,000.
Dennis Kocher told KMAX-TV that his homeowners association placed strict limits on what he can and can’t do on his northern California property.
“I may not paint, sand, cut wood or screw on the property at anytime,” he said.
The Vietnam veteran, who lives in Nevada County, has been building cabinets and dressers for a decade, donating the furniture largely to military families.
“Everyone who received my furniture or responsible for dispersing it gave me this gift and it’s something I’ll treasure forever,” he said.
Kocher told KMAX that he makes no money from the work.
“I don’t make a profit. The money I spend is my own money, my own time and talents and I build it to give to the Beale (Air Force Base),” he said.
According to KMAX, the veteran was forced to get a business permit in 2012, despite not profiting off of his work. That permit has now been revoked by the Lake of the Pines Homeowners Association.
“Now they’ve come back to me and said I’m producing odors and noxious fumes,” he said.
Neighbors have authored letters of support to the homeowners association to no avail, KMAX reported. The association’s general manager would not comment to the local CBS affiliate.
Kocher, however, isn’t too worried. He plans to start building again shortly and appeal the decision at an August 5 meeting.
“I’m going to keep that fighting spirit,” he said. “I don’t give up.”
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