By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – What can and can’t a homeowner’s association tell you about the way you keep your own property?

A homeowners association in Denver, taking the “hey you kids get off my lawn” grumpy old man thing to a whole other level is looking to ban children’s sidewalk chalk art.

Not particularly neighborly, but is it legal? Can you tell kids what they can and can’t do on the sidewalk? Yep.

In most new subdivisions and planned communities, there is a homeowner’s association that governs how the property can be used. The covenants, conditions & restrictions (the cc&r’s) contain rules on everything from the color you can paint your house to your landscaping choices including whether silk flowers are allowed to whether or not you can park your car on your own driveway or have to garage it. And the homeowner’s associations often have powers so broad they can actually foreclose on your house for failure to pay your homeowner’s dues.

Best advice – ask BEFORE you buy whether or not you’d be subject to a homeowners association and ask to see the cc&r’s before you plunk down your money for the house…or the chalk.

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