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Wednesday, October 20, 2021











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Subject: Sheds/Garages
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Author Messages
DerekS1
(Wisconsin)

Posts:2


09/16/2021 5:45 PM  
The village I live in permits accessory buildings on the lot up to a 2.5 car garage - which I would LOVE to be able to build.

Our HOA guidelines contain the following definition: "Structure" and "Improvement" shall be synonymous and shall both mean and include any and all of the following, regardless of whether temporary or permanent in character or intended use: building, outbuilding, shed, booth, garage, car-port, or above ground storage facility; exterior lighting or electric fixture, antennae, tower, pole, or bug control device; fence, retaining or other wall, fountain or above-ground or in-ground swimming or wading pool; driveway, sidewalk or walkway; pet kennels or run line; screened or other type of porch, patio or gazebo; tree house or other exterior play equipment including skateboard ramps; and any other type of equipment or facility for any decorative, recreational or functional purpose of any kind (including, without limitation, additions or alterations to or deletions from any of the foregoing) not located and ensealed entirely below ground level, unless located entirely within the exterior perimeter of the walls of the home constructed on the lot. Use of the phrase "structure or improvement" or any other use of such words shall not imply different meanings for such terms.

Another section states "No Outdoor detached storage structures of any kind shall be permitted" , yet there is no specific definition of "storage structure"

Can this overlapping text be argued in my favor?



AugustinD


Posts:1675


09/16/2021 5:54 PM  
-- Does your HOA have any kind of architectural review committee?

-- What do your covenants say about adding structures/improvements?

-- Unless lots of others in your HOA have detached garages, and have had them a long time, so far I do not like your chances.

-- Keep in mind that covenants are a contract. You bought the property knowing (per recordings with the county clerk) that 'no outdoor detached storage structures' were allowed. A deal's a deal.
DerekS1
(Wisconsin)

Posts:2


09/16/2021 6:22 PM  
Yes, the HOA has an ACC (I'm one of the 3 on it) - and I fully understand the "contract" - but no harm in hoping I can change it.

There is a fair chance that if a vote occurred to support detached buildings that it would end in my favor, as there are only 2 houses that are not expressly FOR supporting them due to their lot grades (ironically enough they are the president/vice president of the HoA), but 7 who simply don't care and would rather let people live how they choose.

The "Improvements" section states quite a bit, and more specifically that a lot should have nothing on it but the primary structure (unless you build a pool). The statement on "No outdoor detached storage structures of any kind shall be permitted" is a sub-section under improvements.

There is so much "gray" area around what is permitted outside. Underneath Animals/Pets: "No separate outbuildings or enclosures may be erected or kept upon any lot for the purpose of housing or restraining any animal or pet, except if any such outbuilding or enclosure has a concrete paved floor not located within the setback areas and is physically attached behind the Home or garage with any fences screed from view by adequate landscaping."




AugustinD


Posts:1675


09/16/2021 6:42 PM  
Posted By DerekS1 on 09/16/2021 6:22 PM
Yes, the HOA has an ACC (I'm one of the 3 on it) - and I fully understand the "contract" - but no harm in hoping I can change it.

There is a fair chance that if a vote occurred to support detached buildings that it would end in my favor, as there are only 2 houses that are not expressly FOR supporting them due to their lot grades (ironically enough they are the president/vice president of the HoA), but 7 who simply don't care and would rather let people live how they choose.
When you say above, "if a vote occurred... ," I hope you mean an owners' vote to amend the Declaration. That is, the contract is only change-able by a supermajority of owner voting for an amendment, at a properly noticed meeting of the owners, typically.

Of course, ARC's mess up all the time. Down the road, sometimes this leads to litigation.

Conventional wisdome is that you should recuse yourself in voting on your own application. This leaves two others to vote on your application. The HOA Board has veto rights.

Such is how I believe things should go in a perfect HOA. If you're not aiming for perfection, have at it.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:1026


09/16/2021 7:31 PM  
A couple of things to consider:

The Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) are the contract that you are bound by. The guidelines are generally written to clarify the CC&Rs when they are unclear. The CC&Rs are enforceable, the guidelines are there to help you understand the CC&Rs but are not enforceable on their own.

In some states, ambiguous CC&Rs are not enforceable but in others the HOA has a lot of latitude in interpreting ambiguous CC&Rs.

So the answer to your question probably needs to be answered by someone familiar with your state law.
MichaelS56
(Minnesota)

Posts:275


09/17/2021 6:05 AM  
Why is the committee looking to solve a problem that the elected Board of Directors have not given you any guidelines to work within?
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