Policy and Compliance Introduction
Policy and Compliance is an essential part to the cleanliness, maintenance, beauty, and value of Stillwater. The Policy and Compliance Committee is made up of members of the community who are willing to serve and give their time in order help homeowners work together in making Stillwater a place we all feel happy to call home. The Committee works with the HOA management company to ensure questions and complaints about non-compliance notices are handled appropriately and as neighborly as possible. They also help facilitate the process of granting lot landscape extensions when extenuating circumstances arise. Remember, these are your neighbors trying to help the community not by making rules, but by applying the rules that are in place for the benefit of the community. The committee is best contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is Policy and Compliance? Stillwater HOA has certain guidelines for how homes are to be constructed and maintained. The purpose of these guidelines is to foster the cleanliness, beauty and value of our neighborhood. Each month a third party company evaluates the homes within the HOA to determine whether or not they are within those guidelines. If homes are found outside the guidelines, homeowners are sent a letter of non-compliance indicating why their property is outside HOA guidelines
What are the guidelines used during inspection and how can I review them? The HOA has 2 primary documents it uses as guide for compliance inspections: The C C & R’s(Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions) and the ADG’s (Architectural Design Guidelines). Copies of these can be found on the HOA’s website. Every home owner should take time to review these documents because they are the “manual” for inspection. Most misunderstandings and frustrations occur when members receive non-compliance letters is simply because home owners are unaware of what is being inspected. We hope no home owner feels they are being targeted.
Lot landscape deadlines. Front yards are due to be landscaped by October 15th of the year following the completion of construction, and the back yard by October 15th two years from completion of construction. (Please contact the Design Review Committee to get your landscaping plans approved). Extension for the landscape requirement can be granted for extenuating circumstances. This is done by submitting a request and proper form to the Policy and Compliance Committee. This form can be found on the website or can be requested by the Policy and Compliance Committee via email: email@example.com
Weeds or dead plants in yards and flower beds. According to "Lot Landscaping #3, Architectural Design Guidelines" p.13: All yards shall be maintained: grass mowed regularly, lawn weeds treated, flower bed weeds removed, rock areas weeded, dead trees removed/replaced, dead shrubs removed/replaced, etc.
Lot Improvements made without prior approval from the DRC. According to CC&R Article XII, Section 1: To enhance the architectural harmony of Stillwater at Saratoga Springs and give architectural design direction to Owners and builders, no Improvements may be constructed, added, altered, or in any other way changed without the prior written approval of the Design Review Committee "Committee."
Lack of foundational shrubs. According to "Lot Landscaping #2, #3, Architectural Design Guidelines" p.13: Each front yard must have at least one tree and an assortment of foundation shrubs or landscaping that helps cover the foundation of the home. Additionally, front yards must have at least 70% of the yard finished with grass or ground cover plants approved by the Design Review Committee.
Trash cans viewable from the street. According to CC&R Article XIII, Section 2: Expect for pickup days, all refuse containers shall be screened and concealed from view from the street. Rubbish, trash, and garbage shall not be allowed to accumulate on any Lot or Unit.
Trailers parked in side drives that are not screened by a 6’ privacy fence. According to CC&R Article XIII, Section 8: Any equipment, R.V's, trailers, boats, ect. shall be parked in the side yard setback, screened from street view. All storage of materials or items of any kind must be in the side yards or rear yards, screened from street view (a solid fence or wall, six (6) feet in height -per City Code). Inoperable vehicles may not remain in front of any Lot or Unit for more than seventy-two (72) hours. All maintenance, parking, and storage of items must comply with the ordinances of the City of Saratoga Springs.
Debris or materials left along the side or front of homes. According to CC&R Article XIII, Section 8: Any equipment, R.V's, trailers, boats, ect. shall be parked in the side yard setback, screened from street view. All storage of materials or items of any kind must be in the side yards or rear yards, screened from street view (a solid fence or wall, six (6) feet in height -per City Code). Inoperable vehicles may not remain in front of any Lot or Unit for more than seventy-two (72) hours. All maintenance, parking, and storage of items must comply with the ordinances of the City of Saratoga Springs.
Un-landscaped areas with weeds over 6” (once landscaped there must be no weeds). "Lot Landscaping #10, Architectural Design Guidelines" p. 13: Non-landscaped lots must maintain weeds below 6" from April 1 through November 30 and be kept clear of construction debris/trash/tumbleweeds.
First, remember you are not being targeted or scrutinized more than the rest of the neighborhood. Often members feel they may be the only home getting a letter indicating non-compliance when they see other homes with the same issues. Remember, they are getting notices also.
Second, it's important to understand how the process of non-compliance notification works. Typically during the first part of each month there is an inspection of each property verifying its compliance with the CC&R’s and ADG’s. If your property is found out of compliance a courtesy letter will be sent notifying you of the non-complying issue. This gives you about 25 days to bring the mentioned infraction into compliance and requires no response on your part. Upon the following month’s inspections if the issue is still not brought into compliance, another notification will be sent along with a $25 fee. This process will continue until the issue is brought into compliance with the fee doubling each month until reaching its maximum of $200 (We hope it doesn’t get to that point).
Third, feel free to send an email to the Policy and Compliance Committee with any question or concerns you may have about a notice you may have received at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be contacted as soon as possible. Timely and open communication often resolves many of these concerns.
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