Why did it have to go so far as this? Perhaps he didn't know about the permits. Guy just wanted a little shed and had to uproot his whole family and possibly go into financial ruin because some HOA nazis couldn't resolve a monumentally easy issue.
You can preach all you want about the hoa and how great they are but when they try to impose thier rules on people outside of an hoa, that is where it should be outlawed. I'm not the only one who has dealt this crap, I know of farmers who were forced to change thier crops, their livestock and a few gave up thier farms because of the hassle after they were there for generations. I also know of a couple people who have been taken to court on easement issues and green space issues and two who were forced to sell because of thier involvement in a federally sanctioned activity. All of which points to the lack of rights of others who own property near an hoa.
It should be an option to join, not a requirement, and they should not have any authority to act like a city or township when it comes to enforcing laws.