Covenant Enforcement




The Buffalo Highlands neighborhood is a covenant controlled community subject to the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for Buffalo Highlands (the Declaration). The Declaration document was created by the Developer of Buffalo Highlands and filed in the Adams County Clerk and Recorder's Office on January 31, 2018. All 165 single family home lots are included within this covenant-controlled community.

Each lot is subject to the covenants, conditions and restrictions provided in the Declaration. Article 3 (Restrictions) and Article 2 (Architectural Review) contain the specific restrictions applicable to each lot.

Restrictions and Prohibitions Applicable to Lots

Article 3 of the Declaration Document contains the restrictive covenants.

Lot Modifications Requiring Pre-Approval

Article 2 of the Declaration Document and the Design Guidelines and Standards lists the modifications and improvements to lots that require the pre-approval of the Architectural Review Committee.

Architectural Review Committee (ARC)

The Architectural Review Committee (ARC) is comprised of homeowners who volunteer their time serving on the Committee. The members of ARC are appointed by the District's Board. Although positions on the ARC are not elected positions, the District's Board has oversight authority over the ARC. (The ARC reports to and receives its authority from the District's Board.)

 

The ARC’s primary responsibilities include the following:

  1. Review and approve (or deny) written design request forms submitted by homeowners;
  2. Maintain the Design Guidelines and Standards for the neighborhood;
  3. Monitor homeowner lots to ensure compliance with the Design Guidelines and Standards

Lot Maintenance

Section 3.12 of the Declaration states, “...each Unit (including adjacent tree lawn) shall at all times be maintained, repaired and replaced in a good, clean and sightly condition by the Owners of such Unit.”

The District board must exercise a great deal of judgment to determine what constitutes a lot that is maintained in a “good, clean and sightly condition.” Lots that are not maintained in a “good, clean and slightly condition” are in violation of this lot maintenance requirement. To better define and communicate its expectations regarding “clean, safe, attractive and slightly” conditions, the Board developed a Covenant Violation Guidebook that establishes standards for lot maintenance. The Board encourages homeowners to review this guidebook so they can better understand the standards established by the District regarding lot maintenance.

The Covenant Violation Guidebook (a copy of which can be downloaded from the document library webpage) provides guidance on issues such as:

  1. What constitutes excessive weeds in rockbeds and planters
  2. What constitutes excessive oil stains in a driveway
  3. What constitutes adequate care of the lawn
  4. What constitutes adequate maintenance of flowerbeds and planters

Common Lot Maintenance Violations

The most commonly noted violations within the neighborhood are as follows:

  1. Excessive weeds in the rockbeds and planters
  2. Dead/dying trees
  3. Excessive weeds in the lawn
  4. Failure to move trash cans to the backyard or garage
  5. Excessive oil stains in the driveway
  6. Turf disrepair (i.e. bare dirt areas throughout the lawn area)
  7. Inadequately maintained flower beds and planters
  8. Excessive weeds in the driveway and/or sidewalk section separators
  9. Disrepair of backyard landscaping

Homeowners who are mindful of regularly monitoring and correcting these types of violations on their lots are much less likely to receive violation notices from the District.

Rental Properties

Owners are responsible for maintaining their Lots in a manner that reasonably complies with the covenants and restrictions contained within the Declaration Document. The Board holds "Landlord" Owners who rent or lease their homes responsible for the reasonable maintenance of their lots—regardless of any contractual maintenance arrangements that may exist between Landlords and their renters or their property management companies.

Owner Responsibilities

The Board expects Owners, who use the lots as their primary residence, to be responsible for the reasonable maintenance of their lots—regardless of the Owners’ business, vacation or other schedules that may cause the Owners to be away from their lots for extended periods of time. Also, Owners are responsible for being familiar with the covenants and restrictions contained within the Declaration Document and the Architectural Design Guidelines and the Board’s interpretations of the various covenants and restrictions as provided in the Board’s Covenant Violation Guidebook.

Enforcement Process

The District's Board, through its management company, performs neighborhood inspections approximately every two weeks. For all lot violations noted during neighborhood inspections, the District will send out letters notifying the owners of the nature of the violation and the date on which it was observed. In addition, homeowners are subject to fines when recurring violations of the same type are identified on their lots.

The notice and fine schedule for covenant enforcement is as follows:

First Notice

Written courtesy notice

Second Notice

Second courtesy notice

Third Notice

Written notice of $25 fine

Fourth Notice

Written notice of $50 fine

Fifth Notice

Written notice of $100 fine

Sixth and
Subsequent Notices

Written notice of $100 fine and intent to file lien and/or turnover to attorneys

Please note that based on the above notice schedule, Owners are allowed at least one month to correct any violations on their Lot before fines begin to be assessed on the Owner's account.  (In certain cases, a violation may have existed for one or more weeks prior to the first notice being issued--which makes it possible violations to exist up to 6 weeks before a homeowner is fined for failing to address a violation.)

The District's Board allows homeowners ten (10) calendar days from the date of the written notice to correct the violation. If, on a subsequent inspection, the violation has not been corrected, the next notice in order will be sent to the homeowner.

Fines are not assessed on a homeowner’s account until after the homeowner has an opportunity for a hearing (see below). If the homeowner does not request a hearing within ten (10) days of date of the written notice, the related fine may be assessed on the homeowner’s account.]

LEGAL FEES

After a third notice regarding the same open property maintenance violation, the District may turn over a property any time to the District’s legal counsel to initiate legal action against the homeowner (including filing a covenant lien and obtaining a judgment in court). In addition to addressing any judgement that may be obtained by the District against a homeowner, the homeowner must reimburse the District for any legal fees the District incurs related to enforcement actions taken regarding a property maintenance violation (in addition to paying any violation fines assessed by the District).

Hearing

Homeowners who receive violation notices may request a hearing before the District's board to present evidence, testimony and present witnesses to support their case. Homeowners must submit their request for a hearing within 10 days of the date of the notice.

A request for a hearing can be submitted via email or via regular mail to the District Manager.

Changes to or Termination of the Declaration

Homeowners may conduct a vote in accordance with the Declaration to change or terminate the covenant-controlled community. In accordance with Section 5.6.1 of the Declaration, approval from 67% (or 111) of the 165 lot owners within Buffalo Highlands Filing No. 1 must be obtained to pass any proposed changes to or termination of the Declaration.

DISCLAIMER - ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The information contained on this page is incomplete and only intended to be a summary of certain key provisions of the District's Covenant Enforcement Policies and Procedures and the District's Collection Policies and Procedures. Homeowners are responsible for carefully reviewing the District's policies and procedures (posted in the document library on this website) to understand the District's and homeowners' respective responsibilities and rights regarding the enforcement of covenants, conditions, restrictions, rules applicable to the use and enjoyment of their properties.