Subject: Playground Equipment

Date: September 5, 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.


This Standard is intended to cover all playground equipment, including forts, playscapes, swing sets, slides, tree houses, play houses, etc. All playground equipment must be approved by the Modifications Committee prior to construction or installation as described in the Declaration [1].

The standard building material for play structures is weatherproof wood (pressure treated pine, redwood, cedar, etc.). Plastic, vinyl, metal, etc. are not allowed except for minor accessories (slides, swing seats, etc.) to wooden structures [2]. All wood must be stained and sealed with a cedar or redwood color stain, or sealed with a clear sealant to maintain its appearance [3].

Any play structure should have a minimum visibility from any public street or sidewalk, especially Lakeline Boulevard [4]. If necessary, obscuring trees or bushes may be approved by the Committee to aid in meeting this requirement. The trees or bushes should be of sufficient size to provide a reduction in the visibility of the structure. As a minimum, such trees should meet the native tree requirement of the Declaration [5], which is two inches (2”) or more in diameter, measured three feet (3’) above ground level. The preferred tree is a live oak, which is evergreen, and will thus provide coverage year round. The Committee may consider other plants, but should take into account their size and appearance during all seasons.

No playground equipment of any type will be considered or approved for front or side yards that are on the street side of the privacy fence. Accessories (tarps, slides, etc.) that are visible above the fence line shall be a solid dark color. Currently approved colors are dark green, dark blue, or dark cranberry red. Bright or multi-colored accessories are not allowed to be visible above the fence line or from outside the lot [6].

The Declaration requires that all improvements meet the building setback requirements of the lot as indicated on the associated plat or Supplemental Declaration [7]. This is typically five (5) feet from the side fence and eight (8) to ten (10) feet from the back fence, depending on the section of the neighborhood [8]. The Declaration also restricts the height of outbuildings and play structures to ten (10) feet [7]. The Modifications Committee shall consider heights of up to twelve (12) feet for variance requests to the Board of Directors [9]. However, when the proposed height exceeds the ten-foot limit, effort shall be made to insure that the structure, or at least the tallest part of the structure, is placed further away from the fence. The guideline for this shall be an additional five (5) feet for every additional foot of height.

Trees are protected by both the Declaration [10] and the City of Cedar Park. Trees may not be cut down to make room for play equipment, and any excessive pruning must be expressly approved prior to construction [11]. Tree houses are not allowed [12]. All play structures are required to have any permits and inspections required by the City of Cedar Park in addition to approval by the Modifications Committee [13].

All play structures should be properly anchored to prevent them from moving or falling over.

All play structures shall be maintained in attractive and safe operating condition [14]. Unsightly or unsafe equipment must be repaired or removed. Faded, torn, or damaged accessories shall be replaced promptly. Stain and/or sealant shall be reapplied as needed to prevent degradation in the appearance.


This section is intended to provide the background behind the preceding Statement, either by direct references to the Declaration and/or by explaining the reasoning behind specific requirements. These references may not represent the entire set of supporting documentation provided by the Declaration and/or previous decisions by the Modifications Committee or the Board of Directors.

[1] Article IV, Sections 3 & 4; Article X, Sections 2 & 24.

[2] Wood is considered a common building material in harmony with the neighborhood. Plastic, vinyl, metal, and similar materials are not, and are even prohibited by the Declaration in some cases (Article X, Section 24).

[3] All wood must be maintained in an attractive manner. Cedar or redwood stain sets a common standard so one structure will not stand out as an exception to all others.

[4] The Declaration restricts the visibility of common items from public view (Article IV, Section 3 & 4; Article X, Sections 4, 10, 11, 16 & 19). For most lots, the main residence usually provides a considerable amount of view restriction to items in the back yard. Corner lots and lots backing up to public streets (i.e. Lakeline Boulevard.) or clearly visible from public streets (i.e. some greenbelt lots) do not obscure these items as much. Thus, items on these lots are required to meet the highest standards in terms of appearance and harmony with the neighborhood.

[5] Article X, Section 23.

[6] Bright or multi-colored accessories draw too much attention to the play structure and detract from the appearance of the neighborhood. In addition, these tend to fade more quickly and become subject to maintenance violations. Dark “earth tone” colors blend in well with surrounding housing and trees, and can typically survive a longer period of fading without needing to be replaced.

[7] Article X, Section 24.

[8] Section 9, “Setbacks” of the various Supplemental Declarations for each neighborhood section. The Supplemental Declaration and the plat survey give specific information on each lot. It is important to review the Supplemental Declaration for each Builders Subdivision or “Section” and the plat survey. These define the building lines and setbacks for each lot in that “Section”. In all cases, the plat map takes precedence. Also, note that the building line is not the fence line.

[9] Since most commercially available playscapes are between 10 and 12 feet tall, the Board of Directors has set a 12’ height limit on variance requests.

[10] Article X, Section 18 & 23.

[11] We do not allow the destruction or heavy pruning of native trees, especially hardwoods. Dead or damaged trees must be replaced within sixty (60) days. The City of Cedar Park has additional restrictions you should investigate prior to removal of any trees.

[12] Tree houses are too likely to cause permanent damage to native hardwoods, and too likely to be unsightly. Therefore they are prohibited.

[13] Approval from the Modifications Committee or Board of Directors does not go to the city. It is up to each Homeowner to get city approval as well as Homeowner Association approval. Do not rely on your contractor to do this! You are responsible for all permits and approvals. If your contractor does offer to get City approval, request to see a copy of the permit prior to allowing construction to commence. City fines for construction without permits start at around $1000!

[14] Article X, Section 17.


The contents of this Standard, while only now formalized and submitted to the Board, have been used in the decision process of the Modifications Committee for the past two years. This formalization process is being undertaken for a number of Standards to cover instances where issues have arisen.