30 Nov Summary of Covenants and Guidelines
Because Fearrington Village is a planned community, there are restrictions regarding what you, as a homeowner, can and cannot do in using, maintaining and/or modifying your house or property. The restrictions are listed in Article V and/or Article IX of the Declaration (the “Covenants”), a copy of which you should have received at your title closing. You can also find the Covenants applicable to your neighborhood under Fearrington Homeowners Association (FHA), by clicking on Covenants.
All homeowners in Fearrington Village are required to be members of the master homeowners’ association (the Fearrington Homeowners Association). If you live in a neighborhood with a Service Group, the Service Group is responsible for the maintenance of these common areas as well as for the initial enforcement of the covenants. If you live in Phases I-IV, The Woods, Bush Creek, Burke Place, McDowell Place or Richmond, you are entirely responsible for maintenance of all aspects of your home and property and you should direct questions or requests concerning covenants compliance to the FHA.
At present there are a total of approximately 20 phases and Service Groups within Fearrington Village. The Covenants vary somewhat for each phase and Service Group; as a result, if you are contemplating a renovation or improvement to your property it is essential that you read carefully the Covenants that apply to your neighborhood before proceeding.
When a new house is built in Fearrington Village, the authority for architectural control and covenant enforcement is vested in Fitch Creations, Inc. (“FCI”), which retains authority until it relinquishes all lots in a development or assigns its authority in writing to the FHA or the board of a service group. If your home is in an area which is still controlled by FCI, your request for architectural review should be submitted to Laura Morgan 919-545-5710 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you live in Phases I-IV, The Woods, Bush Creek, Burke Place, McDowell Place or Richmond, FCI has transferred authority to the FHA Covenant Concerns Committee, which administers any requests for property modifications subject to approval under the covenants for those areas.
A Property Modification Request Form needs to be completed and this form is available on the FHA website or at the management office at the Gathering Place. The form should be completed and returned to the FHA Office. Please attach sketches showing a “top-down” view as well as a “side elevation” of any proposed structural changes, together with photographs or links to product information, and include small samples of paint or shingle colors. If your request is for tree removal, it should include a sketch of your lot identifying the trees for removal, and include an arborist’s report stating the reason for the tree removal. Also, the trees designated should be marked with construction tape, so they can be identified during a site visit.
Upon receipt of your Property Modification Request, the FHA Covenant Concerns Committee has 30 days to act on your request, after which approval is deemed given. However, if you elect to proceed without written approval, you will still be subject to the standard that “no building or other structure shall be erected which violates any of the restrictive covenants contained in the Declaration and the design shall be in harmony with other structures in the subdivision.” It should be noted that the Request Form requires the signature of affected neighbors but such signatures are not approvals of the requested action, it is just to let the applicable committees know that neighbors have been informed of a potential change. The approval or disapproval of neighbors will be taken into account by the reviewing committees but are not binding on them.
If you live in a Service Group (Bradford Place at Fearrington, Inc., Bush Creek Townhomes, Inc., Camden Park, Inc., Countryhouse Service Group V, Inc., Weathersfield Service Group VI, Inc., The Knolls, Henderson Place, Millcreek Circle, Millcroft, Rutherford Close or Montgomery), check under the listings for your group to determine the responsible covenants concerns committee and their procedures for approving property modification requests.
The following is partial list of Covenants applicable to many phases and a summary description of those Covenants (the actual language of the Covenants is controlling):
- Trees: Removal of any tree measuring six inches or more in diameter (outside bark to outside bark) at four feet above the ground without prior written approval of the FHA Covenants Concerns Committee and/or the applicable Service Group is prohibited.
- Maintenance: Each property owner is required to maintain and preserve his/her property in a clean, orderly, and attractive appearance within the spirit of the phase in which it is located. Property owners in Phases I-IV, The Woods, Bush Creek, Burke Place, McDowell Place and Richmond are responsible for maintaining the portion of the street right-of-way between their lot and the street pavement, which specifically includes the stormwater swale and drain-pipe under the driveway. If any owner fails or refuses to maintain the property or keep his/her premises free from weeds, underbrush, or refuse piles or other unsightly growths or objects, then FCI, the FHA Covenant Concerns Committee, or the applicable Service Group, may remove the same at the expense of the owner, and those costs can become a lien against the property.
- Animals: No animals except dogs and cats shall be kept by the owners and occupants, and those pets shall be confined to the owner’s/occupant’s premises unless on a leash and under supervision. In most phases a fine not exceeding $25 may be assessed for a violation of this provision, however, in some phases the fine can be $25 per day; in Country House it is $100 per day. Any droppings by a pet being walked off a resident’s lot should be promptly removed by the pet owner.
- General Restrictions:
- In non-Service Group phases, approval will not be granted for the following: gaudy outdoor statuary; artificial plants; and any metal or temporary outdoor storage structures.
- In phases with Service Groups, the following are prohibited: artificial plants; awnings; clothes lines; dog houses; outdoor statuary; outdoor storage structures; screen doors (except for standard approved design) and storm doors; sports equipment including but not limited to basketball backboards; temporary structures; and unlined curtains.
- No horses or mini-bikes are permitted on lots, streets, or on the Common Areas.
- No house trailers, tents, mobile homes or motor homes, or temporary structures of any kind may be placed on any lot.
- No mailboxes or newspaper receptacles may be placed in front yards or within street right-of-ways in front of any house.
- No commercial signs by anyone can be placed on any lot except with the written permission of FCI, the FHA Covenant Concerns Committee or the applicable Service Group; or as may be required by legal proceedings. Permission will only be granted if it is reasonably necessary to avert serious hardship to the property owner and authority is reserved to restrict size, color and content of signs.
- All garbage cans and trash shall be screened from view from the street or any adjoining lot.
- No junk cars may be abandoned or permitted to remain or be otherwise parked on the lots.
- Flagpoles: Freestanding flagpoles are not permitted; flag poles attached to a home are permitted while attaching flagpoles to trees is discouraged.
- American flag etiquette: Only waterproof flags should be displayed in the rain; flags displayed after dark need to be lighted; torn or faded flags should be mended or replaced as soon as possible; and flags should never touch the ground. Proper disposal of worn or damaged American flags should be observed – that is, burning or delivery to an organization that provides this service.
- Noxious or offensive activity: Noxious or offensive activity is not permitted upon any property, nor is anything tending to cause embarrassment, discomfort, annoyance, or nuisance to the neighborhood. No owner is allowed to maintain any plants or animals, or device or thing of any sort whose normal activities or existence is in any way noxious, dangerous, unsightly, unpleasant, or of a nature as may diminish or destroy the enjoyment of other property owners in the neighborhood.
- Architectural Control: No construction or renovation, wall, fence or other structure may be commenced, erected or maintained by any owner without first obtaining written approval from the FHA Covenant Concerns Committee and/or the applicable Service Group, which approval must be requested by submitting a Request for Property Modification Approval. This requirement applies to any exterior addition to or change or alteration, including repairs and reconstruction required as a result of fire or other casualty. The Request should include plans and specifications that must indicate the nature, kind, shape, height, materials, color and location of what is proposed. The granting or denial of approval is a matter of judgment as to whether the proposal is compatible with the neighborhood and Fearrington Village overall.
- Enforcement of the covenants and restrictions, if not successfully accomplished by agreement of the parties may result in fines which can become liens against the property and/or other legal remedies in accordance with Fearrington Village governing documents and the North Carolina Planned Community Act.