We understand that no one likes to get a violation notice, but unfortunately, there are times it has to be done to maintain the community. If you’re not sure what the rules and regulations are, please refer to the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R’s) and Architectural Guidelines. The first violation notice is a courtesy notice of the issue, and residents are given time to correct it. If the problem isn’t solved after the first warning letter, subsequent notices will be sent out and you may be fined. Fines can be up to $100 per day per issue! To help prevent a violation, here is a list of some of the most common violations to avoid.
HOW VIOLATIONS ARE HANDLED
Our governing docs (CC&Rs) clearly define the process of violations and fines if applicable, in accordance with Florida Statutes 720.305.
Step 1. Upon inspection or verified report to the Board of a violation, a violation notice is sent by mail to the homeowner. The notice states the reason for the violation and includes a photo of the issue. A period of time to correct the issue is also given (7-14 days), with instructions on how to report back that the issue has been resolved.
Step 2. If the homeowner does not respond or correct the violation within the allotted time frame, another inspection is done to verify the issue still exists. If it does, a second notice of violation is sent to the homeowner, with an additional period of time to correct the violation.
Step 3. If the violation is still present after the first two notices and time frames have elapsed, then a third letter, stating the intent to fine the homeowner for non-compliance and a notice of hearing by the Covenants Committee (CC) is sent to the homeowner, giving a minimum of 14 days notice of the time and location of the hearing. At the hearing, the Covenants Committee will be presented with the non-compliance, after which the homeowner will be able to present their reasons as to why a fine should not be imposed. Afterwards, the Covenants Committee will vote, and if a majority of the committee votes to impose the fine, the homeowner will be notified in writing no later than 21 days after the hearing of their decision. Any fines will be due within 5 days after notice of the fine being imposed.
Fines can be up to $100 per violation, per day. A fine may be levied on the basis of each day of a continuing violation, with a single notice and opportunity for hearing. Fines in the aggregate are not capped to any amount, and will continue to accrue until the violation is corrected. If fines exceed $1000, a lien may also be placed against the home, and sales of the home cannot proceed with open violations.
Homeowner that do not respond or correct violations may have their access to Common Areas such as the community pool revoked until the violation is corrected. Additionally, any homeowner who has is more than 90 days delinquent in fines due to the HOA may have their access to the amenities revoked until the fines are paid.
MOST COMMON VIOLATIONS TO AVOID
EXTERIOR CHANGES WITHOUT PRIOR ARC APPROVAL
Apply to the Architectural Review Committee (ARC) for approval before making any exterior changes to your home or lot. This includes landscaping changes such as adding or removing trees or shrubs, landscape borders/edging, and installing fences, sheds or playground equipment. This also includes changes to the exterior of the home itself. Failure to have approval prior to work being done is a violation that can result in a fine. The process is set up to ensure that the work you are requesting is in compliance with the rules, as it would be an expensive mistake to put in a fence for example that doesn’t meet the guidelines, and be forced to remove it and replace it.
Keep the lot and home maintained in a manner so as not to be unsightly when viewed from the street. This includes keeping flowerbeds, and tree wells free of weeds and grass, prevent lawn from excessive height, and free of weeds, edging your walkways and driveway, and replacing dead plant material.
Landscaping beds and trees must be mulched with red, black, brown, or natural color mulch, pine bark, or cypress wood chips or river rocks. White rock is NOT permitted. Also make sure you abide by edging/landscape border rules also.
The street trees between sidewalk and curb are required per ARC guidelines, and the master plan for the community with Orange County. Replacing these trees is allowed with an approved ARC application and with a canopy-type tree from the Orange County Approved Tree list. Also, please remember that replacement trees must be at least 8 feet tall and minimum trunk diameter (“caliper”) of 2 inches per OC guidelines. No saplings/seedlings are allowed. Also remember that no edging/borders or plantings other than the street tree is allowed in the area between sidewalk and curb.
UNNATURAL PRUNING OF STREET TREES
The street trees between sidewalk and curb are to be maintained in a natural form. Do not prune or trim trees into unnatural shapes or “top/round” them over. Pruning to maintain a canopy no less than 8′ from the ground and for the health of the tree is allowed. Trees that have been pruned or topped shall be replaced within 30 days after notice from Association.
LANDSCAPE BED ORNAMENTS & POTTED PLANTS
A maximum of three (3) ornaments and/or potted plants are permitted in front of the house & landscape beds, or in the rear of a home that is not screened with a fence or other approved screening such as landscaping.
Lawn ornaments include, but are not limited to: bird baths, bird feeders, bird or squirrel houses, decorative flags (including holiday, sports, etc.), fountains, patriotic non-flag display items (yellow ribbons, buntings, decals, etc.), personal items other than furniture are considered lawn ornaments, hanging baskets or other plants on hooks, plaques, potted plants, statues, stepping stones within a landscape bed, large stones or boulders, sun dials, tiki torches (may only be located in the rear yard of a home).
TOYS & PLAY EQUIPMENT
Keep all toys (including basketball goals and bicycles) behind your fence and out of view of the street (either behind home or in garage). A portable basketball goal can be placed in your driveway while in use, not on public sidewalks, or in the street.
Your driveway cannot be used for storage purposes, including storage of boats, trailers, golf carts and inoperable vehicles, or for the repair or restoration of vehicles. They must be out of public view. Vehicles parked in the driveway should not block the public sidewalk. Note that the HOA cannot write tickets for parking on county-owned streets. If you see a vehicle parked illegally on the street, contact Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
Commercial vehicles or vehicles with emblems for advertising, trucks with tonnage over one ton, boats, trailers, inoperable vehicles, recreational vehicles (RVs), mobile homes or any vehicle the board deems to be a nuisance, unsightly, or inappropriate are prohibited and may not be kept, parked, or stored anywhere on the property (driveway or street).
No signage may be maintained on your lot except those advertising a home for sale or rent (standard realtor type sign professionally made on 4″ x 4″ post arm), permit boards, political signage (no more than TWO weeks prior to an election and removed one day after the election), or a small sign displaying the name of a security company.
As a courtesy to other homeowners, barking dogs should be brought in the house and owners should pick up the waste of your pets when walking them through the neighborhood. ALL pets, regardless of size be on a leash if not in a fenced area. Failure to clean up after your pet or lease your pet is a County ordinance violation and you could be subject to a citation from OC Animal Services. We have placed multiple pet stations throughout the community to help. If you see someone not picking up after their pet or letting a pet off leash, please report to OC Animal Services or the OC 311 app.
Loud music that could disturb your neighbors is not allowed. Please play indoor and outdoor music at a level that you can hear but will not disturb other neighbors who might be enjoying their back yard. Police should be contacted to report violations.
ABOVE GROUND SWIMMING POOLS
Above ground swimming pools are prohibited by the ARC Guidelines. Small plastic kid pools are allowed temporarily in backyards only, and must be removed when not in use.
All trash bins must be stored out of sight or screened from the view of the public from the street and neighboring lots by a privacy fence, landscaping that covers 80% minimum of the bins, or placed into a garage except on pickup day for that color cart. Bins may be placed out after 5PM the night prior, and must be removed the same day as pickup. Normal trash days are Mondays and recycling/bulk items/yard waste picked up on Tuesdays of each week.