Decorations and use of the common element (June 2016)

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From the Bylaws: No Co-owner shall make alterations in exterior appearance or make structural modifications to the Co-owner’s Unit . . . or make changes in any of the Common Elements, Limited or General, without the advance express written approval of the Board of Directors . . .

No unsightly condition shall be maintained on any patio or porch and only furniture and equipment consistent with the normal and reasonable use of such areas shall be permitted to remain there during seasons when such areas are reasonably in use and no furniture or equipment of any kind shall be stored thereon during seasons when such areas are not reasonably in use.

Sidewalks, yards, landscaped areas, driveways, roads, parking areas, and porches shall not be obstructed in any way nor shall they be used for purposes other than for which they are reasonably and obviously intended. No bicycles, vehicles, chairs, benches or other objects may be left unattended on or about the Common Elements.

Each Co-owner shall maintain his/her Unit and any Limited Common Elements appurtenant thereto for which he/she has maintenance responsibility in a safe, clean and sanitary condition . . .

Decorations are understood to be personal possessions that are either inanimate objects or living plants or flowers confined to flowerpots. A decoration should not be connected to a source of power, and it should not provide illumination. Artificial flowers are not allowed.

With the exception of those items specifically identified on the list of additions by co-owners that are exempted from prior approval, anything that will be attached to the structure requires prior written approval from the Association. Flagpoles, security lighting and cameras, and dish antennas are routinely approved, within guidelines. Flagpoles must be mounted on the wood on the front of the garage. Flags and seasonal banners must be in good condition and removed or replaced when weathered, faded, or torn.

Decorations cannot be fastened to the structure without approval. Existing decorations that are attached to the brick or masonry of a structure as of May 2016 can be retained, but future requests to make attachments to brick or mortar will be strongly discouraged. Co-owners who choose to remove a decoration that is attached ot the brick or mortar should contact the Association for the repair; co-owners should not attempt to do any repair to the common element themselves.

Attaching decorations to the wood of the structure, apart from those noted as pre-approved, require approval. Hooks for hanging baskets of flowers and hooks for hanging wind chimes are pre-approved as long as the attachment is made to the wood of the structure; no formal request for approval is needed.

Decorations on a deck or porch are not restricted, provided that they are consistent with the “normal and reasonable” use cited in the Bylaws and do not exceed 36” in height. For safety, no decorations are allowed on deck or porch steps.

Decorations adjacent to a porch or deck, or within an area of the common element for which the co-owner has received permission to alter the landscaping (refer to the section on Plantings) are subject to the following guidelines:

  • Decorations should not exceed 36” in height;
  • Decorations should be at least 1 foot away from any area that the Association landscaping company is responsible for mowing or maintaining, and must not interfere with the landscaping;
  • Up to 5 items are allowed in the area adjacent to the porch;
  • Up to 5 items are allowed in the area adjacent to a deck;
  • Up to 5 items are allowed in any other area for which the co-owner has received approval to alter the landscaping;

Other personal decorations, not attached to unit, and located outside of the deck or porch areas, require prior approval. Decorations in the area between the sidewalk and garage do not need approval, but should not exceed 36” in height and should not be attached to the structure.

Trellis’s and shepherd hooks in good condition, and used as a support for climbing flowers or plants, may be used during planting season and are exempt from the item count limits and the 36 inch height restriction. The co-owner is responsible to maintain any edging that they use around the perimeter of areas landscaped by them in common areas.

Mulched areas can be used for plants and for feeding birds, as long as there is Grounds committee approval. Plants can be in the ground or in pots or other containers, or can be in baskets hanging from shepherd’s hooks. Bird feeders can be hanging from shepherd’s hooks or from the branches of the local tree (if the relative sizes of the feeder and tree branch are reasonable). Purely decorative items or items for illumination will not be allowed in mulched areas. The landscaping contractor will not be held liable for damage to artifacts or plants within mulched areas.

No items can be stored under any porch or deck or around the perimeter of the unit.

With regard to holiday decorations, prior written approval within the confines of existing rules (refer to the section on Holiday Decorations) is not required. These items are time limited.

All lawn furniture (chairs, tables, patio umbrellas, gliders, furniture cushions, etc.) must be removed from the entry porch from November 1st through March 31st. During this time, barbeque grills may be left on a deck if covered with the fitted cover designed for the grill or with a black, brown, or tan improvised cover. Other lawn furniture typically used on a porch or deck may be kept on a deck (but not on the entry porch) between November 1st and March 31st if covered with the cover designed for the piece or with a black, brown, or tan improvised cover, and if not extending above the deck railing.

One security sign is allowed, in the area between the sidewalk and garage or adjacent to the garage door. For Sale and Open House signs are allowed per the existing rules on Resale Procedures.

A maximum of two bird feeders or bird baths are allowed in the common area, with prior approval. Food or housing for other animals is not permitted in any part of the limited or general common element. Pet waste and receptacles for pet waste cannot be stored outside of any co-owner’s unit, and should only be outside the unit when included with the rest of the garbage on trash pick-up days.

If leaving trash out the evening before pick-up, co-owners are encouraged to use metal or plastic containers.

Bonfires are not allowed under any circumstances; fire pits are not allowed on any part of any common element or on any porch or deck.

Unlicensed vehicles may be kept in the co-owner’s garage with Board approval. Cars may not encroach on any sidewalk.