Mike Perkins has the perfect excuse not to mow his lawn. He can't, by law.

In fact, the homeowner's association in Pullengreen threatened on May 18 to take legal action against Perkins unless he stops cutting his grass.The association hires a landscaping company at a monthly fee of $112 per home to mow all 52 front yards in this Charlotte suburb. The goal is to keep all yards looking exactly the same.

Perkins, 36, insists he can do a better job than the landscapers. Plus, he enjoys puttering around his quarter-acre lot trimming the grass with his 3.5-horsepower push mower.

"It blows me away that they felt I didn't have the right to cut my own lawn," he said. "If they take away my right to take care of my own property, where's it going to stop?"

Perkins didn't think he would be penalized for taking extra pains with his grass when he moved in six years ago. He pays the monthly fee but still wants to do the work himself.

"If I didn't like the rules, I'd go somewhere else," said Wilson Haney, a board member who oversees the landscape committee.