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Homeowners Association: Veteran Can’t Build Furniture For Military Families In Need

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NEVADA COUNTY (CBS13) — A war veteran who builds furniture in his garage and gives it to military families in need could be forced to shut down the saws.

A homeowners association is telling Dennis Kocher he needs to close up shop after years of doing business, or he could be fined between $100 and $1,000.

“I may not paint, sand, cut wood or screw on the property at anytime,” he said.

The new mandate cuts deep, as he’s been building cabinets and dressers for a decade, donating most 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 holding a photo.

He builds to help make a better life for families who have very little.

“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.

Even as a nonprofit, the Vietnam veteran was told he had to get a business permit, which he did in 2012. But this March, the Lake of the Pines Homeowners Association took it away.

“Now they’ve come back to me and said I’m producing odors and noxious fumes,” he said.

Such complaints typically come from neighbors, but those who live nearby have written letters supporting Dennis Kocher and his work.

We tried getting answers from the association’s general manager, but he would not comment.

Kocher has stopped building for now, but he vows it won’t stay that way for long.

“I’m going to keep that fighting spirit,” he said. “I don’t give up.”

He plans to appeal his case to the board at an Aug. 5 meeting. He will have some company, as the senior master sergeant from Beale has also promised to be there.

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