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Subject: CC&RS but No active HOA or Architectural Committee
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03/21/2021 11:00 AM  
We have CC&RS which I understand are enforceable (by individual owners if no active HOA in place). However, our CC&RS stipulate getting approval for such items such as raised garden planters, avocado/citrus trees, sheds, outbuildings, fences etc. by the Architectural Committee. However, if there is no committee, how can this be done?

Background: We live in So Cal, on 2 acres, original CC&R's recorded in 1997 and are valid for 50 years with automatic 10 year renewal. Our development was completed in 2003 and originally had and an HOA, but the HOA/Architectural Committee (AC) hasn't been active for about 10 years.


(1) I want to build some raised planter beds but there is no reference in the CC&RS on anything relating to this other than getting landscaping approved by the AC. I also want to plant some fruit/avocado trees. Hence, no Architectural Committee or HOA how do I get them approved?

(2) My neighbor has numerous violations relating to the CC&RS. Some of the CC&RS are very explicit on what you can do (amount of animals, storage of vehicles/trailers, etc.) but some are vague because the CC&RS just reference you need AC approval. They have built 6 very unsightly pens and shelters which are supposed to approved by the AC. The CC&RS state that pens need to match the motif of the primary dwelling (I'm not sure pipe corrals and chicken wire match the motif) but since there is no AC for them to ask approval, they just built what they wanted. I believe they wouldn't have been approved but if there is no AC how can they ask?

After hours of reading thru 389 pages of topics, I finally just decided to ask you all. 99.9% of the homeowners are doing the "right" thing and adhering to the CC&RS even though there is no HOA to enforce them. Of course, our neighbor is the .01% that is choosing to ignore them. Discussions have gone no where as he just keeps saying "there is no HOA"....argh). I realize our only remedy is to take them to court.

So, I guess what I need to know is how do you get approval from the Architectural Committee if it no longer exists and there is no clear clarification in the CC&RS?



03/21/2021 12:04 PM  
Welcome to the Forum,Laurie. I think we need to know little more about your HOA. In CA, they're called CIDs (Common Interest Developments) if you have, for example, recorded CC&Rs and part of the development is common areas.

Does your "HOA" have any common areas? What are they? Do owners in your HOA ("members") pay dues to maintain & repair these areas?

How many homes/lots are there in your HOA? Do you have a property manager

When you say there "is no HOA," I think you mean board of directors. I think you're saying that there is no governing body to enforce the CC&Rs. Is that right?

Related to that, do you have a governing document call Bylaws? If you're incorporated (most HOAs are), you have this document. It would tell you how to elect a board, how many would be on it, officers that may be required. Without an Arch. Committee, it's usually boards of directors that accept applications for changes.


03/21/2021 12:38 PM  
We do have recorded CC&RS and an Architectural Committee was established after the completion of the development in around 2003. The committee fell apart due to lack of people wanting to be on it (so I'm told around 10 years ago). We purchased our property about 6 years ago knowing this, but also knowing there were CC&RS attached to the property/development.

There are no common areas. Other than an equestrian trail and roads (no fees/dues are collected to maintain these).

We do not have a property manager.

I do not know the exact amount of parcels/homes in the development, but let's assume it is 50. All parcels have single family residence homes which are completely built.

There is no HOA, only the CC&R's which I have a copy of....not sure if I'm allowed to post them?


03/21/2021 1:00 PM  
Laurie, it sure sounds like you can do what you would like to. You have CCR's on paper but nobody to care if they are followed or not. There is not an ARC to answer to. Right now it looks like everyone is on their own. Not bad. Are the roads private?


03/21/2021 1:12 PM  
Except I do care...LOL The 6 unsightly buildings are a real eyesore (along with the 3 trailers they have stored out in the middle of 2 acres). But enforcing the CC&RS appears to be up to me and going to court.

I just want to have a vegetable garden and need some raised beds because my knees are shot. I just want to be in compliance but don't know who to ask.

The paved roads are private and at some point need to be maintained and at that time I'm sure will have more issues, but for now, the roads are all good.



03/21/2021 1:45 PM  
So, Laure, does your assn. have Bylaws? Is your HOA a corporation? This info might be on the 1 st page of your CC&Rs.

If you have Bylaws you can elect a board of directors, who could enforce your CC&Rs. Otherwise, it does sound like you must pursue that violators on your own in court.


03/21/2021 2:36 PM  
There is definitely no reference to an HOA and/or Bylaws. The CC&RS only reference an Architectural Review Committee that was appointed by the Declarant. This was done, but it fell apart/disbanded due to getting enough interested people to sit on the board/committee.

We are prepared to take the "violators" to court if need be, and I understand the costs involved.

What I still need help with is if I can build planter boxes if they aren't referenced in the CC&RS. The only reference is to get landscaping approved by the committee. The planters would not be visible from the main street (not that this matters). I don't want to take someone to court for violating CC&RS then to find out I'm also in violation.
(South Carolina)


03/21/2021 2:50 PM  
Someone with better legal knowledge than me may be able to answer this. My question is since the CCR's mention the ARC committee why can't you get a few volunteers and create one? Once you do, you can submit your plans for approval and you'll also have an existing ARC committee in place.


03/21/2021 10:06 PM  
GeorgeS21, create a new account.


03/22/2021 6:15 AM  

Do you pay assessments?

If you do, send the request to the same address.

If you do not, I would build the beds and enjoy your garden.


03/22/2021 6:45 AM  
Some CCRs say that applications that are not responded to within some period of time (e.g. 30 days) are automatically approved, do yours have anything like this? If so, the offending owner could just say they submitted to the last known ARC address and never heard back.

You could certainly sue to enforce compliance, but lawsuits can get expensive quickly, and the judge may or may not rule in your favor. I would guess that the longer the non-compliant structures have been in place with no action against them, the less chance you have in court. You need to decide how much its worth to try to get rid of the structures. Are any neighbors willing to chip in?

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > CC&RS but No active HOA or Architectural Committee

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