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Subject: How does your community handle yard ornaments, etc?
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Author Messages
DavidG45
(Delaware)

Posts:139


09/15/2021 12:28 PM  
I started a thread earlier that devolved into a side discussion, so I'm going to start again with a more generic question. Our Declarations currently include the following paragraph:

No statues, sculptures, painted trees, bird baths, lawn ornaments, replicas of animals, or other like objects may be affixed to or placed on any Lot or building. No more than one flag may be located on any Lot and must be mounted to the building located on any
such Lot. Lawn furniture shall be permitted only in the rear yards of the Lots.

The ARC, the Board, and our residents all agree that this is a bit too restrictive. There are some yards that are absolutely filled with gnomes, frog statues, etc., and we understand rules agains that extreme. On the other hand, a couple of things in a backyard flower bed ought to be fine.

I'm curious what, if any, restrictions some other communities have; and how their guidelines are worded.



JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:764


09/15/2021 12:31 PM  
We are side by side condos and all property is common area. We allow each resident to have no more than 6 'yard art' items and they must be in the mulched areas and not in the way of the landscape crew when they cut the grass.
DavidG45
(Delaware)

Posts:139


09/15/2021 12:34 PM  
Posted By JohnT38 on 09/15/2021 12:31 PM
We are side by side condos and all property is common area. We allow each resident to have no more than 6 'yard art' items and they must be in the mulched areas and not in the way of the landscape crew when they cut the grass.




Thanks. I like the term "yard art"; and keeping them off the lawn is a good idea.
MaxB4


Posts:1339


09/15/2021 12:39 PM  
As you are still under declarant control, and you're the only resident board member at this time, I wouldn't be wasting time on the issue, If the builder thought it was an issue, then maybe they would have done something.

Have you addressed this issue at a Board meeting, and if so, what was their answer?
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:569


09/15/2021 2:46 PM  
The community I manage does not have any rules against yard art. It is a large community (over 1200 lots) and my experience has been that the larger the community the less nitpicky they are about things like that. Part of it is pragmatism - boards don't have the time or energy to keep up with dozens of violation hearings for every little thing. And part of it is that residents are simply less likely to care what someone is doing eight streets or even a mile or two away in some other phase.



LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1425


09/15/2021 5:17 PM  
David, the covenant you cited is ambiguous at best, what exactly does your HOA want to restrict? Our PM sent out a violation courtesy letter on an owner flying a collegiate flag from the Eave of his garage. Eye roll" please don't waste postage on something so trivial.

We have owners that have a miniature Our Lady of Lourdes statue, Blessed Virgin Mary statue, A small horizontal flag with a butterfly. a 4' high by 2' wide waterfall, a mosaic tile art display, few rose trellis. They are all beautiful and gives the neighborhood some tranquility. Nothing gaudy about it.. One go the HOA's I patrol has a giant water fountain in front of their home, the sidewalk splits around it to get to the front door. think the ending of Analyze This..

What are you trying to ban or prohibit?
AugustinD


Posts:1672


09/15/2021 6:12 PM  
Posted By DavidG45 on 09/15/2021 12:28 PM

The ARC, the Board, and our residents all agree that this is a bit too restrictive. There are some yards that are absolutely filled with gnomes, frog statues, etc., and we understand rules agains that extreme. On the other hand, a couple of things in a backyard flower bed ought to be fine.
The Declarant is still in control, right? This means the Declarant can amend the Declaration fairly easily (as long as the amendment is reasonable). Since people seem to be in agreement about this covenant, I hope the Board will amend the Declaration.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11507


09/16/2021 11:19 AM  
We allow no deviations form our planned landscaping in the front and side yards thus no ornaments at all. One can do as they wish in their backyard which is fenced in
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:1026


09/16/2021 11:39 AM  
Fortunately, we do not have any restrictions on yard ornaments.
LoriM15
(Florida)

Posts:34


09/16/2021 1:50 PM  
We rewrote our architectural rules, rules and regs and bylaws earlier this year specifically because our attorney informed us that we had to be very specific or we would not be able to defend the rules in case of an issue.

We have a "four-square foot" exemption. Our rules say this: In general, sculptural landscape decor may be displayed in the front of properties so long as the decor does not cover a total area of greater than 4 square feet and no more than 4 feet in height without seeking ARB approval. Such exempt sculptural decor must be neutrally colored and in keeping with Community appearance standards. Children’s play items, discarded/ reused tools and items such as sanitary fixtures are examples of unacceptable items.

However, if someone complains about somthing that used the four-square foot exemption, the board will hear the complaint.

We also wrote in limits to those small garden flags - 2 per lot (some people like to have one for each holiday and another for their favorite team). And they are limited to five plants in pots. These seem like silly rules, but we had one homeowner who filled his entire front bed in plants in mismatched pots. And another who says her lot is bigger than everyone else so she needs more flags. It never ends.

We try to be reasonable and frankly don't get a lot of complaints.
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