Friday, October 17, 2008

Risk to our Community

Dear Fellow Nellie Gail Homeowners,

Three years ago our Architectural Guidelines were changed in a way that put our entire Association at great risk. The Board is considering a revised version of the Guidelines that will restore our Open Space* rights and remove that risk. We need to show that we support their effort. (*Open Space refers to the sloped potions of many lots).

This is why:

From 1996 to 2005 our Architectural Guidelines pertaining to Open Space read:

“Recreational uses shall be limited to landscaped areas; swimming pools; children’s play areas; single story recreational, storage or agricultural buildings; horse stables and corrals; tennis and sports courts.”

In 2005 a small but influential group of Nellie Gail residents decided that their preferred use of “Open Space” was all that should be permitted for the entire neighborhood. A likeminded Board obliged and quickly changed the Architectural Guidelines to forbid the use of Open Space for any purpose other than Equestrian or Agricultural.

Let’s consider how these guidelines create risk to Nellie Gail:

Consider two next door neighbors that purchased identical properties in 2003. One built a children’s play area, a landscaped seating space and a fountain in their open space. The other planned to do the same in 2006 only to find out that those improvements were no longer allowed. Both put their homes up for sale in 2008.

Who do you think the resident with the dirt and weeds on his open space is going to hold accountable for the difference in appraised value?

It’s not like the 2005 Board wasn’t aware of this risk. They chose to disregard the written recommendation of Daniel Stewart, our Landscape Architect at the time, who expressed his concern for the “disastrous implications” of the revisions (see letter attached).

We have been fortunate. Since the August 2005 guidelines have been in place there have been several appeals to the Board related to open space use and multiple homeowners have sought legal counsel based on restricted property values. However, no legal action has been taken against the Association – yet.

Certain homeowners claim that restoring the right of all residents to enjoy their yards somehow threatens their ability to enjoy the Nellie Gail equestrian lifestyle. This is both selfish and inaccurate. Common sense screening and setbacks can allow all residents to utilize their yards with zero impact on the equestrian experience.

For the good of our entire community we encourage all Nellie Gail homeowners to show their support for guideline revisions by sending an email to telling them to “Restore my Property Rights”. Numbers matter – please send an email today!

If you can make it, please attend the Town Hall Meeting on Oct. 21st and let your opinion be heard.


Nellie Gail Homeowners for Common Sense Guidelines


Anonymous said...

I agree. Thank you for bringing - it was not here before - Common Sense to our neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Common Sense? Now the hit piece with STAMPS? Come on, too late for that. You truly gave yourselves away with that one. And really, the new name? You are not fooling anyone.