STANDARD OF THE WESTSIDE AT BUTTERCUP CREEK MODIFICATION COMMITTEE
Subject: Location, Use, and Storage of Basketball Goals and other Recreational or Playground Equipment
Date: June 26, 2001
Whereas Article IV, Section 3 of the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions for WestSide at Buttercup Creek requires and authorizes the Modifications Committee to develop Standards for interpretation and regulation of the Restrictions, this Standard is hereby recorded.
This Standard is to serve as an interpretation of the contents of the Declaration and as a guideline for the actions of representatives of the Association, including the Modifications Committee, the Management Company, and the Board of Directors. This Standard does not replace or amend the Restrictions, and should dispute arise, the contents of the Declaration shall take precedence over this Standard. In case of dispute, the decision of the Board regarding the validity of this Standard and the suitable interpretation of the Declaration shall be final.
STATEMENT OF STANDARD
Permanent installations of any type of playground equipment are only allowed at the rear of a lot, and must meet all requirements of the Declaration. These requirements include, but are not limited to: placement, including setback and easement requirements; height limitations, maximum square footage, and building materials. All such installations must be approved by the Modifications Committee as described in the Declaration. The improvements must have minimum visibility from any street, especially Lakeline.
Semi-permanent or permanent structures, footings, or mountings; whether constructed above or below grade, or attached to the house, fence, or other structures; for the purpose of attaching removable equipment, are not permitted except at the rear of a lot as described above. For the purposes of this Standard, permanent is defined as a structure that is mechanically attached to the Property or any structure thereon.
Portable recreational and playground equipment, including basketball goals, may be placed in front of the Residence while in use, as long as they do not cause a traffic or safety hazard due to their location and use. They may not be located where they would block traffic or visibility on either the streets or the sidewalks. These items should be stored out of sight of the street and sidewalks when not in use. City Ordinance may further restrict the use of such equipment.
All recreational and playground equipment, portable or permanent, that is in view of the public, must be kept in attractive and safe operating condition. Unsightly or unsafe equipment must be repaired or removed.
SPECIFIC REFERENCES AND INTERPRETATION
Article X (Restrictions of Use), Section 24 (Outbuildings) states that no building or play equipment (including basketball goals) shall be constructed or installed without the approval of the Modifications Committee (MC). It also stipulates that all playground and recreational equipment must be placed at the rear of a lot. An additional statement is made regarding basketball hoops, “No basketball hoop and/or backboard shall be installed closer to the front or side Lot lines facing on any adjacent street than the applicable building set-back line along such street.”, which some have interpreted to mean that permanent installations are allowed in front of the house. However, this statement does not override the previous statement that all playground equipment must be at the back of the lot. Instead, it, and the statement following it regarding easements and setbacks, are additional limitations to the placement of these items. The wording of these statements match several other statements in the Declaration with regard to construction within front and side setbacks. The intent of this statement is to indicate that basketball goals must be kept behind the building setbacks, so that Residents on corner lots are not allowed to make permanent installations that are “behind” their house, but also along the street or sidewalk beside their lot.
While a removable piece of equipment with permanent or semi-permanent mounting structures could be classified as “portable”, the nature of such installations reduces the likelihood that the equipment will actually be removed and stored out of sight when not in use. In addition, the mounting structures that would remain could result in an appearance that is more unsightly than the play equipment itself. Worse yet, the mounting structure may pose a physical hazard when not in use. Thus, any such modifications are deemed to fall under the same restrictions of Article X, Section 24.
Article X, Section 2 (Reasonable Enjoyment), requires striking a balance between those Residents who would rather not see what might be considered “unsightly” portable equipment and those who would like the opportunity to use their driveway or front yard for recreation. With this in mind, it is acknowledged that the Residents should have the right to use portable playground equipment, but that such equipment should not be left unattended for long periods of time such that the neighborhood becomes unsightly and undesirable. In addition, such equipment cannot be allowed to pose a hazard to Residents or Guests of the Neighborhood. While no requirement or time limit is currently being placed on storage of portable play equipment, it is expected that Residents will be considerate of their neighbors and aware of the impact on the appearance and value of the Neighborhood, so that such equipment is stored out of sight when not in use for extended periods of time. Article X, Section 10 (Storage of Boats, Trailers, and Other Vehicles and Equipment), which provides restrictions on recreational vehicles and equipment, defines storage as placement in a location for a period of forty-eight (48) hours or more during a period of seven (7) consecutive days. While this limitation may not be practical for equipment that is used on a daily basis, equipment that is left unused for a week or more should be stored out of sight. Section 10 also describes the visibility restrictions for storage and the requirement that sidewalks etc. not be blocked.
Article X, Section 2 (Reasonable Enjoyment) and Section 17 (Lot Maintenance and Environmental Concerns) require that Lots and their contents be properly maintained, and provide remedies should the Homeowner fail to do so.
The contents of this Standard, while only now formalized and approved by the Board, have been used in the decision process of the Modifications Committee since prior to 1999. This formalization process is being undertaken for a number of Standards to cover instances where issues have arisen.