1. What is a Homeowners Association?
A homeowners' association (HOA) is usually a not-for-profit organization established by a community which governs rules regarding what can and cannot occur in homes, and also determines the rules and money spent on shared property. Many new developments of single-family homes establish a homeowners' association to hopefully protect the rights of all in the community.
Those who own property in the established area govern the homeowners' association. When a person buys a home in an area with a homeowners' association, he or she becomes a member of the HOA and is responsible for complying with the CCRs and membership dues.
The first act of a homeowners' association is to establish a set of covenants, conditions and restrictions (CCR). The CCR establishes monthly/annual dues for all homeowners, and can restrict the rights of the way a person can use his or her own property or joint property. For example, a CCR may have rules governing the number of people who can occupy a house, the colors one can paint a house, additions to the house, storage sheds, landscaping or the times at which the common areas can be used.
The CCR of a homeowners' association has the goal of making the property pleasant for all residents.
The homeowners' association may cause difficulty for owners if they do not strictly follow the CCRs. HOAs can assess fines, fees, or even evict those who do not abide by the CCRs, even if the infractions are minor.
A successful HOA gives property owners a way to solve minor disputes, as well as to organize repair or maintenance of shared property. When well administrated, the homeowners' association can provide a certain predictability in owning a home, keeping the home/neighborhood value and clearly delineate both the homeowner’s and the association’s responsibilities.
2. Why have a HOA and what is it's purpose?
•The purpose of the HOA and Board is to enhance and protect the value, desirability and attractiveness of the subdivision and to protect the environmental and architectural integrity of the subdivision in accordance with the provisions of the CCR's. •To serve as a focal point for maintenance and the upkeep of the common areas and property of the community •To encourage and promote community pride in our neighborhood by providing a forum for neighborhood activity. •To provide the neighborhood with an effective communication link with local government officials and other influential groups. •To encourage and promote the involvement of membership participation in the decision making process that directs the neighborhood association's actions.
3. What projects have to be reviewed and approved by the Architectural Committee?
CCR ARTICLE VI Section 2. The purpose of the Committee is to protect the environmental and architectural integrity of the Subdivision in accordance with the provisions of this Declaration. No building, fence, wall or other structure or improvement of any nature shall be placed, constructed, erected or maintained on any Lot, nor shall any exterior addition to or change or alteration therein be made until the construction plans and specifications for the same shall have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Committee as to (a) conformity and harmony of external design and location in relation to surrounding structures and topography, and (b) quality of workmanship and materials Any plans and specifications to be submitted shall specify, in such form as the Committee may reasonably require, the location upon the Lot where the improvements are to be placed and the dimensions thereof as well as appropriate information concerning the structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing details and the nature, kind, shape, heights, color scheme and materials of the proposed improvements or alterations, and shall comply with the Plan Approval Process and Permit Requirements of the Committee downloadable in this web site under "Documents" then "Architectural Review Committee Improvement Form". The Committee shall also have the right, where not otherwise set forth herein, to
(a)Waive any requirement or restriction set forth in this Declaration, (b)Specify minimum setbacks, (3)Specify the location, heights and extent of fences, walls, or other screening devises;
(4) Specify the orientation of structures and landscaping on Lots with respect to streets, walks and structures on adjacent properties however, the Committee shall not require setbacks further away from the streets than any platted building line; and
(5) Specify a limited number of acceptable exterior materials and/or finishes that may be used m the construction, alteration or repair of any improvement.
4. How long is the Architectural Improvement Process?
(1) REMEMBER, YOU MUST HAVE APPROVAL PRIOR TO COMMENCING THE PROJECT. We have had recent instances where plans were submitted the night before the workers showed up to begin the project as well as receiving plans after the project is already complete (this is not acceptable).
(2) Complete the Architectural Review Committee Improvement Form (you can download from "Documents" on this web site).
(3) Once the form is completed, attach all documents for the planned project. You should mail it to Overlook Estates HOA.
(4) The Board will complete the review and approval/disapproval process within 30 days but normally you will have an approval/disapproval or a letter sent for any additional clarification within 5-10 days.