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Subject: Fence update - ARC review?
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MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10523


09/13/2021 4:15 PM  
I made a post regarding my fence situation at my new house. My neighbor installed a fence without notice next to me. It is not "shadow box" as believed the HOA requires. It is a single sided privacy fence along the left side of my property. It on my back door side. It now leaves a 4 foot distance from my back patio. They closed on Wednesday/Thursday the fence posts went up on Friday. The rest went up on Saturday. We don't get a copy of the ARC paperwork till closing. Plus I was told not to do anything project wise for the HOA to approve until closing ended.

I submitted about 6 weeks ago an approval to the HOA for my fence. The waiting list is 10 weeks for my fencing contractor. (They are best in the area and used before). The fence was shadow box to be stained "Smoke Tobacco". It was to be on all 3 sides. The door being on my patio side. The fence was cut short in the back due to a "drainage swell". It would block drainage and make a puddle for my dogs to play in. Plus allows me about a 6 foot area to make a garden. It butts against a tree line with an open field in back.

That is the background. I called the HOA PM today to ask about the status of my fence. Plus IF their fence was approved. I was rudely told it was none of my business. I am like well I now have to change my entire fence design and resubmit. Would like to know and confirm what style to make the new fence. Again told that it does not matter if they put a fence along my property line. Again I asked then how is my shadow box fence going to be stained? Response: Oh your fencing contractor knows how to do that! WTH? I am NOT going to put a fence against a fence!

Now admittedly got heated and went to the PM owner. She did the "research". Tells me now that my By-laws do not spell out it has to be shadow box. (Even though everyone but 1 person has shadow box). She then goes and tells me MY fence is now in violation for a 3 foot allowance! I am like where as I submitted my plot and the measurement from the fence. Won't tell me where. Mind you my neighbor fence is right ON the property line even in the back.

Do have to agree now it is not in the by-laws/CC&R's as thought had read. Hence why I designed my fence due to that description. It does get referenced in the below ACC requests. There are 2 types 1 for building a NEW fence. The 2nd is for ATTACHING to a fence. Which I applied for NEW fence NO attachment. Now going to have to change to attached. Which you would think if others do this they would contact the owner to let them know of that approval. Which in my opinion if I was approved for a fence then should they have not let me know someone applied to attach?

My gut tells me these neighbors did NOT get HOA approval. When I asked again told NONE Of my business. When I asked if I fill out the attachment form how do I do that if that fence is NOT approved. They told me if a fence is not approved then can't do that.

Sorry long winded. They refuse to let me know if someone was approved or not. Kept asking how do I know this fence was so I can fill out the right form? Plus they are telling me that there is no where it is state the fence has to be "shadow boxed" or stained. Well here is the form. You tell me:

the rear section of fence must stay off the rear property line by a minimum of 3’ for drainage easements. The sides must be on the property line or 3’away from property line

All fence approvals must be on the plot plan of the lot, owners are given paper copy of this at closing and a digital copy on the usb thumb drive at closing.


This application is for:

____An addition to my home

__x__ Installation of a fence (special provisions apply to corner, lake & common area lots)

If fence will connect to or cross onto another owner’s property, a consent letter from the owner is required

A REAR GATE is required for ALL fence installs

____Addition of a deck

____Change/addition to existing landscaping

____Construction of an auxiliary building

____Swimming pool installation

____Other (Explain below)


Date you wish to start construction or modification. _________________

Do you plan to use a contractor to do the work? _________ Name of contractor(s) _________

Note: Contractor signs are not permitted on homeowner property and are prohibited between the sidewalk and curb.

Provide a description of the work. Missing details can slow down your approval. What type of materials or plants, what color of paint to be used; the color brick; color of shingles; if fence- length, width or height, etc. and it is required to show over a plot plan

Description of work is install a Shadow box Dog eared Tobacco stained fence at the back yard. It will be at back corner of house. Door will be in front of hose bib in back. Other side at corner of other side. The back part will also have a 4 foot door. It will stop at the slope/drainage area not to extend to the very back. May do some beneficial landscaping back there for drainage flow in another project.

Location of Project: back yard, patio, side yard, front yard, etc.

Provide a drawing or sketch of the project. Although the drawing may not be exactly to scale, provide approximate measurements in feet. Detailed plans are required for extensive exterior renovations.

The information submitted is accurate and factual representation of the project that is proposed. If approved, I/we will not modify the approved plan without seeking an additional review of change plans by the Architectural Review Committee or the HOA Board. I/we understand that it is my/our responsibility to contact and coordinate with the local utility companies prior to any excavation work. I/we understand that work on the project may not commence until receipt of final written approval. I/we also understand that if we begin work before approval is granted, I/we are subject to fines or other remedies available to the association to stop work or remove work accomplished as outlined in the community covenants.

Please note that your declarant or representative has 30 days to review and approve/deny your request


Former HOA President
AugustinD


Posts:1675


09/13/2021 5:13 PM  
Is there a question? Or did you just want to vent? Which would be understandable.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10523


09/13/2021 6:48 PM  
The question is should the PM/ARC not tell you if someone's fence is approved? Why is it "none of my business"? If you have a form for filling out for attaching a fence to another, should that NOT be brought to fence owner's attention?

Basically I think their practice makes no sense. How can they approve a fence with the SAME plot lines next to each other and not tell each owner?

I am pretty sure these people did NOT have HOA approval. However, the PM kept telling me I had "No right to grant permission". Where is it that I giving permission? Asking if they got permission before I fill out my paperwork should be answered.

Former HOA President
MaxB4


Posts:1351


09/13/2021 7:06 PM  
This is the developer/declarant. SOL
AugustinD


Posts:1675


09/13/2021 8:45 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 09/13/2021 4:15 PM
Mind you my neighbor fence is right ON the property line even in the back.
...

Well here is the form. You tell me:

the rear section of fence must stay off the rear property line by a minimum of 3’ for drainage easements. The sides must be on the property line or 3’away from property line
This seems to be at least one issue that is clearly in your favor. You have been posting here for years. Don't you have ideas about how to deal with this? Granted suing the HOA, or even threatening suit, is off the table, because you believe that suing the HOA is suing one's self.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17766


09/14/2021 1:45 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 09/13/2021 6:48 PM

The question is should the PM/ARC not tell you if someone's fence is approved?




Varies from Association to Association.

I honestly don't understand why you simply don't ask your neighbor these questions?


Posted By MelissaP1 on 09/13/2021 6:48 PM

Why is it "none of my business"?




Well, Alabama statutes are simply not clear what records a member is allowed to see.
The HOA statutes, Section 35-20-13, doesn't specify that you are allowed to see those records.
The AL non-profit corporation act, Section 10A-3-2.32, doesn't specify that the Association must keep ACC requests.

It isn't clear if your request was in writing or not.
Even if it was, many States only allow you to see your lot file and not those of other lots.

Even if it was in writing, per statute, the Association can take 30 days to show you those records and charge you for the time to see them.



Posted By MelissaP1 on 09/13/2021 6:48 PM

Basically I think their practice makes no sense. How can they approve a fence with the SAME plot lines next to each other and not tell each owner?




It's not the Associations job to tell each owner what the other owner is or isn't doing.
perhaps they simply think that that neighbors would talk to neighbors, hence the reason for the application you posted specifying adjacent lot approval to attach a fence.



Posted By MelissaP1 on 09/13/2021 6:48 PM

I am pretty sure these people did NOT have HOA approval.




yet you are unwilling to simply go next door and ask - which would tell you if they do or not.

As a warm up, you can find out the type of fence and have them sign the application allowing you to attach your fence to theirs. The other option is to make a mountain out of a mole hill.



TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17766


09/14/2021 1:50 AM  
For those interested, this issue began on a different thread:

Subject: Fence question - Shared?
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17766


09/14/2021 2:05 AM  
Melissa,

Similar to many other posters, I think you are making it more difficult then it has to be by going through the HOA vs. talking to your neighbor. I also believe the longer you take trying to go through the HOA, the harder it will be to "fix" the issue.


The time to bring up your concerns to your neighbor was when the fence posts when in. Something that could have easily been corrected before fencing was attached. I get the impression that that time has passed and now there would be an additional expense for the owner of that property to "fix" the issue.

Regarding your question in the previous thread about this being a warning flag, I think it's simply owners excited about having a new house and having family who are gifting them a fence so they can enjoy some privacy in their back yard or perhaps have a future pet. It's possible the donors of the fence made all the arrangements as a surprise and didn't have any knowledge of the covenants or policies of the Association. It's possible, as Aug pointed out, the developer simply green lighted everything to make a sale. It's possible that the new owners have never owned within an HOA and doesn't really understand how they work.


I think failing to talk to your neighbor about the issue will cause further issues down the line and, perhaps, be perceived as (per your earlier posting) "that" owner.

I wish you luck.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10523


09/14/2021 4:24 AM  
FYI: I have talked to my neighbor. I met them briefly on Thursday walking my dogs. Immediately let him know I was installing a fence in October. That is when he told me his wife's family is buying them a fence as a "house warming" present. It was to be installed NEXT week.

That Friday they were NOT home. I saw fence posts were in the ground. That Saturday they still were NOT home. Their fence contractor was installing the fence. It's none of my business to talk to their contractor. Plus I did not know what the fence was to look like at that point.

I came home Saturday to find they had put the fence up 2 feet from the back property line. Plus they put the door to my side of my back porch. It is clearly not thought out if you saw it.

Talked to the neighbor yesterday. He told me that his mother in law called a fence company LAST week. BEFORE they closed. There is no way this fence could have gotten approved by the HOA. You don't get the ARC form until closing.

The HOA PM is trying to tell me that one can get pre-approved weeks prior. That is NOT the case at all. I know because I asked so could schedule my fence installation. Was told NO because closing dates shift and the developer still owns the property. According to my contract with the builder I was not allowed on the property without their rep onsite with me. Otherwise my contract would be cancelled.

My point is that this fence was NOT approved! However, they are now telling my fence is in violation as submitted. Plus that I am to change my fence and re-submit. Why? The fence was NOT approved. Which means the measurements, location, and type is NOT approved. I can no longer install my shadow box fence as they did their fence right on the property line.

Former HOA President
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11514


09/14/2021 10:37 AM  
Mel

I under Declarant/Developer control and the Declarant/Developer told them their fence was fine, then like it or not this is approval and they can do it. You have to learn to accept this.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10523


09/14/2021 11:05 AM  
No they did not say it was fine as in being approved. It was fine for the design. They did not apply for approval.

Former HOA President
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10523


09/15/2021 4:17 AM  
Not sure conveyed fully the situation. The fence my neighbor installed was NOT HOA approved. It just showed up one day. Literally. The design of side by side boards I thought was not allowed. Had read it had to be shadow box and stained. My fence design was submitted to be shadow boxed stained and did not go all the way back to the property line. If I had it would block water flow for my fellow neighbors upstream.

Have since found out there is no shadow box requirement. Which is okay. I can change my fence design to accommodate that. They also installed the fence so that the door lines up with my hose bib! So I can't even install a door in the original spot.

This is just frustrating because if they had applied for HOA approval would been okay. However, to just build a fence without telling your neighbor. Building it wrong. (Other measurements wrong) Plus no HOA approval. That is my problem here.

Former HOA President
JaniceM7
(Maryland)

Posts:16


09/15/2021 7:10 AM  
Does thier door open into your yard? Will that part be fenced in so if they exit the fence door they enter your fenced in yard?
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:764


09/15/2021 7:18 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 09/14/2021 11:05 AM
No they did not say it was fine as in being approved. It was fine for the design. They did not apply for approval.




The declarant by not making the owner apply for approval has in effect 'approved' it. Fair or not, since they are in control they win. If you continue to push the issue what stops them from having the owner fill out the forms now and approving it after the fact? From everything you have said so far, this sounds like a done deal.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11514


09/15/2021 10:48 AM  
Posted By JohnT38 on 09/15/2021 7:18 AM
Posted By MelissaP1 on 09/14/2021 11:05 AM
No they did not say it was fine as in being approved. It was fine for the design. They did not apply for approval.




The declarant by not making the owner apply for approval has in effect 'approved' it. Fair or not, since they are in control they win. If you continue to push the issue what stops them from having the owner fill out the forms now and approving it after the fact? From everything you have said so far, this sounds like a done deal.



I agree.
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