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Subject: Fence question - Shared?
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MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10461


09/10/2021 5:06 PM  
I just moved into a new subdivision with a Developer owned/controlled HOA. Only common area will be retaining ponds. Which basically are empty until it rains. There are 2 builders. My builder isn't the HOA owner from what I understand. Plus they have a PM office to contact for requests etc... It will be awhile before turned over to owners. That is the background. My former HOA was different as it was owner owned/operated.

Here is the issue. I requested a fence approval and was granted approval. My contractor is 10 weeks back logged. It may not be till next month before they can get to it. It's to be shadow box and stained per the HOA documents. Just been here a month.

Yesterday got a new next door neighbor. Just met the husband in brief. I mentioned to him that was planning on building a fence. It is back logged and may start in October. He then told me that his wife's family is building them a fence as a "house warming" present. They are installing theirs next week.

So today I get home to find fence posts have been installed! They just moved in YESTERDAY! The fence is going to be longer than mine. There is a swell for drainage which if installed the fence there would just leave my dogs exposed to a "puddle" when it rains. Plus leave a gap of possible escape. The documents also state need to have a back door and a 3 foot "drainage" access.

I sent an email to the POC of the PM. There are 2 forms to fill out. One for a fence build and one for attaching to a fence. Now do I need to change my request to attach to their fence? There is no way the 2 fences can co-exist together. This would be considered to attaching now. I would have split the cost but the fence is a "gift" from a 3rd party.

Now do you think the HOA should have told me my neighbor was approved for a fence? Seems they should have said something before I had my fence approved. I also wonder IF the neighbor even went through the HOA at all? I can't tell yet if they are doing the required "shadow box".

Do not want to be "that" owner but don't you think installing a fence in a HOA out of the blue is a warning flag?

Former HOA President
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1388


09/10/2021 5:16 PM  
Don't ARC applications have to show owner support from their adjoining neighbors? i.e. neighbors sign off on it??
Sounds a lot like they never sought or was granted ARC approval. I too would be concerned if gaps would affect my property and lead to possible issues like water drainage. flooding or a pet escaping or other animal entering your property.


Are you able to ask the PM if they were granted ARC approval? There should be a way to put the kaibosh on any unapproved "structure"
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10461


09/10/2021 5:36 PM  
I have a email in with the POC now. No response today. However, I figured they may not be in office today on a Friday. Waiting on Monday. Hoping they don't finish the fence by then...

Yeah, I am not sure if they got approval. There are requirements it has to be 3 feet from the back and a door. It is also to account for the drainage. Which my yard "swell" is a bit higher than my neighbors. Hence why I opted to cut the fence at the swell.

The backyard buts up against a row of trees and like a ditch of debris. It then goes to a neighboring field. I don't own that part. The land was hit by a F5 tornado 10 years ago. So the tree line is still a bit tattered. There are 2 trees that sort of lean toward my house. Somehow they started growing upward. There are old vines growing off of them. I have been killing off the vines. So that section of land would not support a fence. I may add a garden there.

So by them extending that far back means no access to the back. Plus blocking the drainage. The back yards were set up to have a swell leading to the retaining pond down the road. It just it ends up in mine right now because the swell was not installed correctly.

Not sure what going to do if they go on and install this fence this weekend...

Former HOA President
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17710


09/11/2021 5:07 AM  
Here's a thought.

Have you asked the neighbor if they got approval?

Have you asked the neighbor if you can attach your fence to theirs?

MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10461


09/11/2021 9:39 AM  
I just met the husband in passing while was walking my dogs. Introduced myself. This was Thursday evening. We exchanged pleasantries. I then told him that I was planning on installing a fence in October. My contractor was 10 weeks behind. That way could give them a heads up that a fence was going to be installed.

This is when he told me his wife's family has bought them a fence for a "house warming" gift. I was like that is really nice. He then told me it was on schedule to be installed NEXT week! I am like uhmmm... Had to walk away because the dogs were pulling me. Figured would talk to them another day.

Well last night (Friday) I got home and there are fence posts in the ground. No sign of the neighbors. This morning Saturday they are installing the fence!

So now I have to go back to my fence contractor to modify my fence design. Had it approved by the HOA/Developer a month ago. There was no mention of my neighbor or neighbors having fence approval. Now the POC did ask me if the form was for attaching a fence to another? At that time there was no other houses occupied on either side. Plus had been told wasn't allowed to do anything to the property until after my closing.

I had to submit a picture of the design of my fence on the form with all the measurements. It clearly has all 4 sides on it. Mine is modified as not going all the way back on the property line. There was not a single word about "oh your neighbor has been approved/installing".

Honestly, I am okay with the fence being installed. It's going to save me on that. Considering it's a house warming gift from the parents I see no reason to offer to split any costs. Plus they did not care enough to contact me. I am not happy it was done without notice. Plus it appears to be in violation. They also did not do any prep work to the back portion. Which is covered in ivy killing trees. One of them is leaning over their corner of the fence into my yard. Which if it falls because of the ivy killing it puts everyone at risk.

Former HOA President
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10461


09/11/2021 4:56 PM  
Update. I had left for the day to do some business. Came back and yes they did indeed install the WRONG fence! It's not the shadow box per the CC&R's. Staining will come later in the process. It is also sitting too far back. The CC&R's spell out there has to be a 3 foot access with a back door. They put the fence right along the property line. Open the door and it's in the other property. No way to access to take care of the weeds/vines/trees.

The irony is that today got a letter in the mail from the HOA. It is a bill for the dues. Plus it contained a financial report and a memo stating some rules. It even says at the end you received and ARC form at closing.

That means there was no way they could have gotten approval for the fence. Sounds like her parents paid for it without reading the CC&R's. I was even told during the building process to NOT order a fence or other projects until AFTER closing. They just closed Thursday. Had a fence started on Friday?

I emailed the POC at the HOA again to inquire if they were approved or not. If so, then I now have to modify my entire fence design and size. It will not match at all. Plus later it will be in violation of the HOA. Which I want to make sure my fence matches the CC&R's. I could be subject to removing my fence later.

I let the POC of the HOA know that they can access my property to make the changes if needed. I am not a monster. Just someone who has put a down payment on a fence and on a 10 week waiting list... Now has to change EVERYTHING!

Former HOA President
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11420


09/12/2021 8:53 AM  
Mel

As long as your development is Declarant control, all bets as to procedures, fence types, fence location, etc. are off. The Declarant can pretty much do as they wish and let others do as they desire.

Would you consider a different style fence to match theirs?
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11420


09/12/2021 8:55 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 09/12/2021 8:53 AM
Mel

As long as your development is Declarant control, all bets as to procedures, fence types, fence location, etc. are off. The Declarant can pretty much do as they wish and let others do as they desire.

Would you consider a different style fence to match theirs?




ADD ON

It is not uncommon for a Declarant to grant a variance (difference) to make a sale. A fence style would be a classic example.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10461


09/12/2021 9:10 AM  
Oh I agree that it's Declarant control and they do as they wish. There is a similar fence put up in the 1st phase. Which so far as I can see that owner has been doing a few things not HOA approved. So I can't judge that person is putting a thumb up to the HOA. Everyone else has the shadow box fence..

I am not sure how hands on or off the HOA really is yet. So far have emailed the HOA Representative with some slow responses. However, will say when I submitted my plans for a fence they did respond with wanting more details. Which to me meant they did review it. It was approved.

This sucks as I am still going to go with the shadow box. I like it. Just now half my fence is not going to be shadowbox. Plus I would have to tie into theirs. How are potential buyers going to like that?

I just moved from a house with a fence issues. Gave directions by the ugly fence next door to find my house. So I was hoping to avoid the whole fence issue when moved here. I was even going to be the first one between the houses to install. So both my neighbors would have essentially gotten a "free side".

Mind you this will not only effect my house but their other neighbor too. Which have not moved in yet. Plus my neighbor next door would have to change their fence. This is a mess...

Former HOA President
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11420


09/12/2021 12:03 PM  
Mel

I understand the tie-in but I have heard of situations where one's fence only went within one inch of adjoining fence so no actual tie-in required. What is the purpose of your fence? Other then aesthetics does it really matter if one side is different if the fence serves the purpose?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10461


09/12/2021 3:29 PM  
The CC&R's spell out specifically that you have to have a shadow box tobacco stained fence with a 3 foot access in the back. Plus has to have a door in the back for that access. It also can't be blocking water flow.

This fence is none of those thing. Of course can't stain a fresh fence. However, there is no way to stain the other side of the shadow box fence if there is a fence already ON my property line. We are talking ON my property line! Plus I already had a door planned to go there but up higher as to not block my hose bib.

I am coming from a house where had to explain why half of it was chain link and the other half privacy. The chain link side is because those neighbors are COUNTY. The wood side is City. The county if they had to do work were not as keen to replace what they tore down. The city would.

At this point the old saying "Fences make good neighbors" is failing hard with me...

Former HOA President
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11420


09/13/2021 10:01 AM  
Mel

It appears the Declarant/Developer gave the owner a variance to install this type of fence. The Declarant/Developer has this right. Get over it. It is a done deal. Like it or not, you are going to have to modify your fence plans to accommodate it.

You say:

This fence is none of those thing. Of course can't stain a fresh fence. However, there is no way to stain the other side of the shadow box fence if there is a fence already ON my property line. We are talking ON my property line! Plus I already had a door planned to go there but up higher as to not block my hose bib

What type fence is it?

What makes you think there will be a water drain off issue?

Please clarify what you mean by if there is already a fence there.

One might argue a property line is not a piece of land, it is a line. Building on that line is not building on your property.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10461


09/13/2021 12:56 PM  
Going rounds with the PM now. They do not get I have no access to put up my fence or stain it. I had a shadow box and theirs is privacy. So no way can match it.

I asked how it was approved so fast? They gave me some BS answer. Figured out it is probably an employee of the company. Otherwise the logistics makes no sense.they would not confirm or deny.

Former HOA President
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11420


09/13/2021 1:49 PM  
Mel

I am still confused. If they put up a fence, will not that fence be along one side of your property? If so, then you have to fence only the rear and the other side. Are you considering putting up your shadow box fencing beside their fence on one side? If so, that is foolish.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10461


09/13/2021 3:41 PM  
NOW your getting it! Hello! EXACTLY!!! I was approved for a shadow box fence for all 3 sides. No one had moved in next door yet. It is a 10 week + wait for my fencing contractor. They are the best in the area and well known. Getting on their waiting list is hard. I am 6 weeks in of my wait.

So now I can't install the shadow box fence I was approved for as who in their right mind would butt up a fence to a fence? There is only 3 feet between us now! No room for another fence.

I am thinking of just doing the same type fence on the right side to match the left. Put a shadow box front and back. The neighbors next door on the other side will have a large dog and like 5 kids. So a more private fence would bold well on that side. My dogs don't get along with other dogs.

Former HOA President
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17710


09/14/2021 1:47 AM  
For those interested, this issue continues in another thread:

Subject: Fence update - ARC review?
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Fence question - Shared?



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